Our Year Long Secret

It’s been a little more than a year. A year since I sat in my 4th doctor’s office and listened to them tell me that my son is on the Autism spectrum. So many emotions and thoughts filled my brain. I’ve been so overwhelmed and unsure of myself as a Mom, that only my immediate family & his teachers knew, until today.

I was relieved that there was a name for what was going on with him, sad that it took us so long to get it diagnosed and overwhelmed with everything that had to come next. He has Asperger Syndrome and technically defined as “A developmental disorder affecting ability to effectively socialize and communicate and is a condition on the autism spectrum, with generally higher functions.” The Autism spectrum is just that - an extremely wide spectrum and children can be anywhere on it. My son happens to be on the high functioning side (a phrase I flat out hate) but that made it difficult to figure things out.

My Noah is a sweet, highly intelligent, well behaved child - all good things, but also all things that took us 8 years to get him diagnosed. I was fortunate and got to stay home with him from birth, he never went to pre-school, he and I just hung out for 5 years. He met all milestones, walking, talking, learned baby signs, read before kindergarten, could write his name…etc. As you can imagine, most people just thought he was a mama’s boy. When he went to kindergarten, there was some anxiety about leaving me, but we all figured it was to be expected, but it never got better, he never really adjusted to going to school. He always cried, had some melt downs during the day and at night, hated any change in schedule, like a field trip or a substitute teacher. It was just very difficult and there didn’t seem to be any solution. There weren’t enough reward charts, re-directing, schedules, early bed times in the world. He also had amazing, patient, thoughtful teachers every single year and that still didn’t help. That just wasn’t the problem, but no one knew what it was. Not even me, I’m his Mom, I was supposed to know. I didn’t, but I knew enough to advocate for him and keep going until we figured out why he couldn’t adjust to school.

The first doctor did the regular tests and said how great of a child he is. Lovely to hear, but that didn’t solve it. The second doctor tested him for ADD - not even a the tiniest blip on radar, although there are some repetitive motions that he does for comfort, but very little hyperactivity and he pays attention in class, that is what teachers have always praised him for. The next doctor tested him for some kind of trauma, thinking it was environmental (and by environmental meaning me & our home/my parenting) - you can imagine how that made me feel, but nothing. The 4th doctor, was an angel. I was honestly about to give up and home school him because we were heading to a new school year and I just could not do it again. The daily crying, the nights of not wanting to go to bed because that meant school in the morning. This doctor, knew within a few minutes of talking to him what was going on. He did all of the test and came back and confirmed he was on the spectrum.

As relieved as I am that he has an official diagnoses and we can now “treat” him - it is just the start. We’ve tried a few medications, another challenge because of his size. He’s 5 foot, over 100 pounds, but just 9. It was a fight with the insurance company to approve the medication based on his weight instead of his age and even with that fight, it still cost $90 for his 30 day prescription. There are therapy sessions, I’ve put him in singular sports like swim, horseback riding, karate. There are so many doctors appointments and blood tests to make sure the meds aren’t doing more harm than good.

He has struggles. Aspergers is a processing disorder. Things that should be every day “normal” things are not so. He “should” be able to tie his shoes with no problem, but it’s a struggle. He “should” be able to get a hair cut every 2 weeks, but he HATES it. The noise of the ciippers, the constant touching is all difficult for him to process. He “should” be able to carry on a 3 sentence conversation with people, but if you ask him more than 2 or 3 questions, he will begin to cry. He “should” be able to play team sports, but the instruction is difficult, managing a relationship with teammates is difficult. In fact, because he is such a good size, he is asked on a regular basis why he doesn’t play football like his brother and it sends him to immediate tears. He gets angry - goes from zero to 60 and there is no de-escalating him, he just has to work through it or he breaks something and that’s a completely different issue. The balance between acknowledging his Aspergers and requiring him to follow the rules. I could go on and on, but those are a couple at the top of the list.

I decided to share now because we are a few days away from a new school year and I want you to know and I hope that you share with your children a few things:

Just because of someone’s outside appearance is “normal” does not mean there isn’t an internal struggle. The outside doesn’t always match the inside and being a friend to someone who is quiet or different or weird could be a great thing! My child and so many others on and off the spectrum just want someone to sit with at lunch and play with at recess. He (and so many others) make really great friends, but just may not be able to be a friend first. 💗

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5 Steps to Create Content

First things first, you need a calendar. Paper or digital, I’m old and love paper. Specifically, I use post its. I like color coding things and they can be moved around if I change my mind


Step 1:
Take full advantage of the monthly made up holidays. Do any of them speak to you? Your brand? Your audience? If so, create a day or 3 of content around them. For example, some of the made up holidays in August are:
August 1
National Girlfriends Day
August 2
 International Beer Day 
 National Ice Cream Sandwich Day
August 3
 National Watermelon Day
August 4
 National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day
 Sisters Day 
August 10
 National S'mores Day
August 17
 National Thriftshop Day
August 26
 National Dog Day
August 31
 National Eat Outside Day
 National Trail Mix Day

These are just a few of the days and there are several more! 

Step 2: 
Identify your own personal holidays or events for the month. Birthdays, weddings, vacations or any other event you know you’ll be attending in the month that you will be able to grab content from. 

Step 3: 
Always think content. If you are eating, talking a walk, having a great cup of coffee, out with the kids-you can grab content. This content can be to throw in your stories or for a future post. 

Step 4:
Make it about you. One of my personal annoyances is when content creators ask the audience what they want to see. Who cares what they want, that’s not really the point. The people who follow you now or will follow in the future are there because they connected to something you posted or wrote. That should always be your focus. Being true to you and your brand/goals is the true “secret” to building and increasing your following. 

Step 5: 
Plan,plan,plan. You will either have to spend the time to plan or spend the money to hire someone to do it for you, but none of this happens without a plan. Your 30 day calendar needs to include post days, but also days to get the content, days to engage with your audience and a day to plan.

Those are my 5 ways to plan your next 30 days. Still struggling on where to start? Below is sample of a planned content week. Use it, change it to suit your brand and share it! 

7 Days of Content

7 Days of Content

3 Picture Editing Apps You Should Be Using Now!

I get asked daily how to increase followers across social networks. There’s not an exact science, but you need to have great pictures to post. Here’s 3 apps I use to get mine. The editing apps you’re not using right now, but you should be. 

  1. Airbrush - I’m obsessed with it. It does everything!!! Clears your skin, whitens your teeth, brightens dark photos, so many filters. It can even make you a little taller, a bit thinner if you want. Like all things, there’s a bit of a learning curve, but when you play around with it-you’ll love it like I do. It’s free and almost all of the features are free. There are some that cost, but the pro-version is $3.99 and if you edit a ton of pics, it might be worth the purchase. 


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2. Pic collage. You’re probably using it, everyone has it even my 4th grader, but you’re using it wrong. For starters, once you make your collage, crop the pic collage logo out of your pics 🙄- seriously, it looks ridiculous (you could also buy the pro version) either way, stop it.  What you should be using it for is to overlay text on top of your pictures and watermark your pictures. You can also use it to shrink down a photo that’s too big for Instagram. Obviously you can make a collage, which is less of an issue now that insta has the carousel feature. 

3. Mojo - oh em gee!! It’s my new fav. Have you seen everyone’s IG story that look like a mini-movie with pictures and text? It’s done with Mojo! Like all apps, there’s a free and pro version but the free version is really good. 

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These are the apps I use and love, do you have any that you swear by? I’d love to know what you’re using. Drop a comment below of what pic apps you’re using or if you have questions. 

Free Summer Fun in KC

This is mostly a summer bucket list that I want to do with my kiddos, all free, some events starting Saturday June 1 (2019). It’s broken down by months and anytime activities as well as an updated list of spray parks. Enjoy and we just might see you out and about! 

June:

Levee Fest – June 1

555 River Park Drive

Kansas City, KS 66105

Join Levee Fest and the Rock Island Bridge crew for ongoing tours of the Rock Island Bridge. Re-imagine what this historical structure could become.

Enjoy Levee Fest before and after your tour!

JOIN US FOR FUN, FOOD TRUCKS, & FAMILY ACTIVITIES ON THE ARMOURDALE LEVEE TRAIL, PLUS RIBBON CUTTING WITH MAYOR ALVEY CELEBRATING THE TRAIL EXTENSION!!

Sign up for a boat tour, bring your bike or skateboard, and bring a friend! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/levee-fest-2019-free-boat-and-bridge-tours-tickets-60437913426

#leveefestkck

KC Watersports Free Fest

PRESENTED BY: KC WATERSPORTS
DATES: JUNE 2, 2019
LOCATION: KC WATERSPORTS
ADDRESS: 25825 EDGEMORE RD, PAOLA, KS 66071
PHONE: (913) 783-4300
TIME: 10:00 PM TO 6:00 PM

THE LINE UP

9:30 am VIP Boat & Bridge Tour #1

10:00 am Festival Opens with Vendors & Activities*

10:15 am VIP Boat & Bridge Tour #2

10:45 am Open Shuttle to Boat & Bridge Tour (every ½ hour)

11:30 am Ribbon Cutting for Levee Trail Phase 2 with Mayor Alvey

Noon – 2 pm

No-Drop Bike Tour of Levee Trail & KCK Bike Infrastructure

Out and Back Guided History/Ecology Hikes (2 or 6 Miles)

Get Moving with Zumba/Pound/Salsa/Kickboxing

Ironwoods Park is one of our favorite hidden places. There’s a Nature center, lake trails and events!

Free cultural events are provided by the City of Leawoodall Summer long! Check out the Kids Summer Programs every Tuesday in June at 9:30 am at Ironwoods Amphitheater or Lodge, 147th & Mission Road, Leawood, KS

▪ June 5  Funky Mama Concert

▪ June 12  “Mr. Stinky Feet” Concert

▪ June 19StoneLion Puppet Show

▪ June 26  Juggler Brian Wendling

Coder Dojo KC

KC STEM Alliance

http://coderdojokc.com/

4825 Troost Ave #124
Kansas City, MO 64110

June 8th, 20198:45 AM –12:00 PM

July:

Kids, Water, Bugs, Fish 2019

Event Navigation

Saturday, July 20
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Admission Free
Lakeside Nature Center

Did you get your lure?  What do Fish Eat?
Little Blue River Watershed Coalition and Heart of America Fly Fishers invite you to bring your children and learn all about the bugs in our streams, the fish that eat them and what they can tell us about the quality of the water.  Learn from the Heart of America Fly Fishers as they tie flys of those bugs. Build a craft and get a tattoo.  Call (816) 513-8960 or e-mail us at folnc@crn.org for more information.

Sesame Street Festival

Sesame Street is hosting a free, family festival in Kansas City on July 13th!

Join your Sesame Street friends for a fun, interactive family festival and stage show, a giant maze, a treasure dig, photo opportunities, sweepstakes, a cookies-and-milk snack station, and more!

Sat, July 13, 2019

10:00 AM

Frank A. Theis Park

Kansas City, MO 64110

August:

Kemper Museum’s fifth annual block party!

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

4420 Warwick Boulevard

Kansas City, MO 64111

Sat, August 24, 2019

6:00 PM – 10:30 PM CDT

Join us to celebrate the museum’s twenty-fifth anniversary with featured music, food trucks, exhibition tours, family activities, a Museum Shop trunk show, and outdoor movie screening on the museum lawn to close the evening.

Anytime:

Splash Parks:

Kansas City is home to many wonderful Spraygrounds! Spraygrounds are water playgrounds where children can run and play through sprinklers and sprays on a safe surface. This is a fantastic, fun, FREE way to cool off on a hot Summer Day. Spraygrounds are open Memorial Day - Labor Day across the Metro! Note: As a rule, spraygrounds only operate on days that are 75 degrees or warmer, and they will not be operating during thunder or lightning storms. Check the weather before you plan your outing.

Blue Springs, Missouri Sprayground:

NEW! Burrus Old Mill Park: 112 NW Woods Chapel Rd, Blue Springs, MO (featured photo)

Kansas City Missouri Spraygrounds: (Open 11am-7pm)

Dagg Park: 701 E 21st Ave

Harmony Park: E. 10th St & Agnes Ave. Kansas City, MO

Jacob L. Loose Park: W. 52nd Terrace & Summit Ave. Kansas City, MO (Closed Wednesdays.)

Sunnyside Park: W. 83rd St. & Summit Ave. Kansas City, MO

Longview Tract: 7107 Longview Rd. Kansas City, MO

Golden Oaks Park: N.E. 46th Street & N. Antioch Rd. Kansas City, MO

Garrison Square: E. 4th St. & Forest Ave. Kansas City, MO

Central Park: Linwood Blvd & Bales Ave. Kansas City, MO

Nelson C. Crews Park: E. 27th St & Michigan Ave. Kansas City, MO

Douglass Playground at Grace Williams Nicholl Park: 2632 Jarboe St. Kansas City, MO

Zona Rosa: I-29 and Barry Rd. Kansas City MO

Gillham Park: 3915 Gillham Rd, Kansas City, MO

Independence Missouri Spraygrounds:

McCoy Park: 24 Highway & N. Delaware

Rotary Park: 24th & Hardy

Lee's Summit Missouri Sprayground:

Miller J. Fields Park: 1301 SE 3rd Terr

Lea McKeighan: 125 NE Chipman Rd

Grandview Missouri Spraygrounds:

John Anderson Park: 4701 E. 135th Street (Note: This one features a fun pirate theme! This Sprayground is featured in the photo on the right.)

Liberty Missouri Spraygrounds:

City Park: 970 S. Highway 291

Ruth Moore Park: 401 N. Morse

Kansas City Kansas Spraygrounds:

Eisenhower Park: 2901 N. 72nd St.

Heathwood Park: 10th & Parallel Pkwy

Overland Park Kansas Spraygrounds:

Roe Park: 10400 Roe Ave

Sapling Grove Park: 82nd & Grant Ave

Children’s Peace Pavilion

Located in Independence, MO., this hands-on museum is an interactive way to teach children the concepts of peace. More than 25 child-centered learning activities encourage children to implement conflict resolution, communication and stewardship skills into their everyday lives.https://www.thepeacepavilion.org/

Frontier Army Museum

Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9am-4pm, Saturday 10-4pm. Closed Sunday, Monday, and all Federal Holidays. Admission is FREE to the public. Donations are welcome.

Address: 100 Reynolds Ave, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027

Hallmark Visitors Center

Hours: 9:30am-4pm Mon.-Sat.

See one of the world's most creative companies come to life. Located in Kansas City's Crown Center complex, the Hallmark Visitors Center celebrates the Hallmark story in a display of remarkable exhibits, from our founder's humble beginning in 1910, to the creation of one of the world's largest greeting card companies. Step inside the Timeline exhibit where you'll view historical artifacts that reflect various eras and trends throughout 20th century America into the new millennium. Marvel at the J.C. Hall Christmas Trees, a collection of 17 unique and imaginative trees. You can even press a button to create a star-shaped bow that you can take home as a souvenir.

While you’re down there, stop by Kalidescope:

Hours: 50-minute creative art sessions start at 9:45, 10:45, 11:45, 12:45, 1:45 and 2:45 Mon.-Sat.

Kaleidoscope nourishes the creative spirit. It is a place where children and their families are invited to be creative, have fun, and feel good about their own special ideas. Provided by Hallmark Cards, Kaleidoscope is FREE! At Kaleidoscope, children use their imaginations to make art with materials from Hallmark’s manufacturing processes. Some materials are cut into shapes, while others are left just as Hallmark sends them. And Hallmark provides different materials so the projects are ever-changing

Hours: Open Tues–Wed 10am-4pm, Thurs–Fri 10am–9pm, Sat–Sun, 10am–4pm. (Mon closed)

Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary, 407 N La Frenz Road, Liberty, MO

Located in Liberty, this nature center includes educational programs, live animal exhibits as well as multiple hiking trails. Try geocaching for an adventurous game during the hike.http://www.naturesanctuary.com/

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Home to more than 34,500 pieces of art, from ancient Chinese ceramics to modern art in the Bloch Building, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a world-class treasure located right in the heart of Kansas City. The ever-expanding collection makes The Nelson unique each time visitors explore. Be sure to enjoy the shuttlecocks at the Sculpture Park on the south lawn.

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Stroll through this 300-acre nature sanctuary for a wilderness retreat featuring eight natural ecosystems. Paved or woodchip pathway, the Arboretum is a picturesque example of Kansas City's beauty. Free on Tuesdays and every day for visitors 5 years old and younger

Penguin Park

This fun and playful park has everything from a 26-foot kangaroo slide to a 23-foot penguin to play inside.

Address:

N Vivion Rd. & N Norton Ave.

Kansas City, MO 64118

Shoal Creek Living History Museum, which started in 1975, is nestled quietly on 80 acres out of the 1,000 acres that makes up Hodge Park. The museum has twenty-one structures including seventeen authentic log cabins and homes, relocated from surrounding counties, dating from 1807-1885 to create a village setting. The grounds are open daily, dawn until dusk, free of charge except during Special Events. Enjoy self-guided tours by using our Walking Tour Guide

Free Family Fridays

Location:

Mission Family Aquatic Center - Mission, KS

5930 W 61st St

Mission, KS, 66202

United States

Phone:

913-722-8200

Contact name:

Christy Humerickhous

Email address:

chumerickhouse@missionks.org

Dates:

06/07/2019

07/05/2019

08/02/2019

Time:

5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Price:

Free

Ages

All Ages Adults & kids together

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#MySummerAmbition

Hi!!! Yes, I still blog...it’s been a minute. My work life balance has been off and my desire to write has been non-exsistent.  

Summer is here and I’m hoping it renews passion for some of the things I love.

With that, I’ve created a list

{no matter how my creative side shows, my OCD always takes over}. 

#MySummerAmbition : 

- Finish/get into production my new “dad hat”

- Create Innovative summer segments for Mom Monday’s on Fox 4

- Family Vacation

- 10 things on my kid’s summer bucket list

- Grow my garden - by grow I mean, try not to kill the 8 plants I started growing

- Wear very little makeup  

- Time on the beach

- Finish my journal/planner  

- Spend lots of time in these overalls

 

 

I want to know what your summer ambition is, what’s on your list?  

 

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I Do What I Want

It is my theme for this year. I usually have a word, I very rarely ever make resolutions but over and over I find myself saying, I do what I want. 

It started as my response to the whole curated Instagram feed, using the same filter, getting professional pictures taken and the allgorythm that every Influenster talks about. It drives me nuts, so I just started posting whatever I want, whenever I want. There are definitely some sponsored posts, because money is money but for the most part I feel like people are here because they like to see glimpses of my life and that’s where they connect with me. 

Cut to the last couple of weeks and me sharing more of my yoga. I stopped for a while because sometimes the creepers can get obnoxious and it’s exhausting blocking people and getting unsolicited penis pictures.  🙄

However, I posted last week and almost all of my messages were from women. All kinds of women across the country, women with bodies like mine and some not, but every message was encouraging. It was that they were inspired or happy to what could be accomplished with some dedicated practice and to see someone who looks like me doing yoga.   That’s the moment I decided to do what I want. I decided that the few creepers I have to block is nothing compared to the women I’m inspiring and encouraging. 

I practice in shorts or underwear because I’m at home and it’s comfortable. If you take my Sunday class, I’ll have on pants, but again, I do what I want- I’m at home.  

Please don’t let the little squares on Instagram fool you, I am not a small girl. If you know me in real life, you know the curves go on for days. The fact that I can get all that ass off the ground and over my head is not something I take lightly.  Doing yoga has been this wonderful, freeing, learning what my body can do type  thing for me and I am enjoying sharing my journey with you.  Hopefully showing you that size, shape, age doesn’t matter, everyone can do it - if they want to. 

You will see me, in my short-shorts practicing  & pushing the limits of my body. I post for accountability and documentation of progress and because I do what I want. 😉

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Every Effin’ Day!

This is for my fellow Type A, OCD people and everyone else who does not subscribe to my make a list philosophy.  I have found what I think to be a happy medium of Super OCD (insert my face) and F*ck it all!

If you tuned out when I said list, let me bring you back.  This “Every Effin’ Day” is easy! Like nothing on this list should take more than 10 minutes.  If it does, it does not belong on this particular list.  If you can’t possibly see yourself doing it after working an 8 hour day, then don’t put it on this list. Now that your are back with me, let’s talk about the goal.

The ultimate goal of this list is to accomplish 5 or 6 things EVERY EFFIN’ DAY to improve the quality of your life in small but impactful ways. Even if you have a mostly crap day, there are 5 or 6 things that you have accomplished and so this day is not a complete wash.  And if we are getting deeper in to the phycological part of this, the most effective way to change your life/habits is to do something small each and Every Effin’ Day!

How To Get Started:

·         You can do this on your phone, but I love post-it notes! It is the perfect size to fit your 5 items and you can stick it somewhere you will see it. Mirror, dashboard, computer, back of your phone.

·         Write your 5 or 6 things down.

·         Do Them!

That’s it! What 5 or 6 things are you doing ‘Every Effin’ Day”?

What is the smallest possible action that will make you feel like you’re on top of it?

Examples: Wear perfume, spend 5 minutes deleting emails, check your bank account balance, pick out your clothes for the next day, clean off your desk before you leave.

What is the smallest possible action that will make your space feel less stressful?

Examples: make your bed, run the vacuum for 5 minutes, open the window while getting ready to get some fresh air, lint roll your furniture, throw away junk mail on the table.

What is the smallest possible action that will make your feel healthier. Examples: drink 2 glasses of water, eat a fruit/veggie, stretch 5 minutes before bed, add a daily vitamin.

What is the smallest possible action that will make you feel better emotionally? Examples: give a compliment, look at facebook memories, send a text to someone you don’t talk to all the time, take 5 deep breaths, listen to your favorite song.

 

These are just examples because maybe drinking water and eating vegetables are a no brainer for you. Maybe you make your bed every single day. The goal should be specific to you, just you and the overall goal of incorporating new habits and feeling like you’ve accomplished something Every Effin’ Day!

 

 

Wondering what’s on my list:

·         Drink 1 bottle of water before I have coffee. Sounds super simple, but honestly I fail most days! I am mostly made of coffee.

·         Read something for 10 minutes that is not on a screen. Book, newspaper (yes, actual real hard copy newspaper).

·         Engage with 3 posts on Instagram.

·         Make my bed (again it’s so simple but something I struggle to do every day).

·         Give a compliment to someone (I do this a lot, especially in an office full of new people).

·         Pick out clothes for the next day (mine and the little boy)

None of this is earth shattering and could really all be done in about 45 minutes, but that’s the point. It should be easy, almost too easy to get done. You want to accomplish it EVERY EFFIN’ DAY!

 Tell me, what are you putting in your “Every ‘Effin Day” List?

 

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My Life, Needs Sneakers

My crazy busy life requires tennis shoes! But not just any shoe will do. Black (because that’s my favorite color) and a little sparkle too!

Rack Room Shoes has become my go to for trendy athletic shoes for the children and I for this holiday season.

My children are picky about their shoes and at this point they are all wearing adult sizes- even the 8 year old! Luckily we can always find something fashionable, on trend and affordable at Rack Room.

All of the kids picked a shoe from Nike. The boys wanted red and the girl wanted black and their cute style choices can be found here:

Nike Women's Tanjun: https://www.rackroomshoes.com/p/tanjun/700284?utm_source=Mikita%20Burton&utm_medium=Blog&utm_campaign=Holiday%20Fashion


Nike Men's Tanjun: https://www.rackroomshoes.com


I went with the converse and they have glitter!!! All girls need a little glitter for the holidays!

Converse Women's: https://www.rackroomshoes.com/p/madison-ox-after-party/744719?utm_source=Mikita%20Burton&utm_medium=Blog&utm_campaign=Holiday%20Fashion


Rack Room Shoes has great sales and sometimes you can even catch a BOGO (restrictions apply)!

Since the store in my area has opened, it is my go-to destination for budget-friendly footwear. This holiday season, my kids are wearing all the fun, trendy athletic styles.


If you head over to my Instagram page, you have a chance to win a $100 gift card to shop at Rack Room. The give away will be live on 12/1/2018 and close on 12/7/2018. Winner announced via Instagram and chosen at random.

www.instagram.com/allthingsmikita


As much as I want to be cute, I also need comfort to keep up with my kid’s schedules and I think I found the perfect fit.

I was compensated for this post. All thoughts, words and opinions are 100% mine. Please refer to the legal tab for additional information.

#MomLife  

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Athletic Shoes for the Whole Family  

Personalized Geotag on Instagram

It seems everyone is using insta stories these days and one of the features is adding your location. If you are a business, creative or just want your own personalized location, here’s how: 

1. Make sure Facebook and Instagram apps are updated. 

2. Go to Facebook app and “check in”. Type in your business, blog or whatever name you want. It will then ask you to pick the category and location. You will then “add custom location”.  That is basically “registering” the name you’ve chosen.

2. Open the Instagram app and search your custom location. That’s it!  

A couple of tips:

* it works better if your location service is on.

*You should pick an actual name and not something in appropriate or Facebook will kick it back.  

* you have to start the name with a capital letter.  

 

Feel free to agoot me a measage or leave a comment if you get stuck.  

 

 

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Obstacles + Mud = 8 Year Old Boy Nirvana

I am not sure it gets much better than spending a Saturday morning, climbing over obstacles, trudging through mud pits and swinging on ropes - oh, unless you get to do it with your Mom and torture your sister too! This past weekend was the Kids Challenge Obstacle race and it was pure Nirvana for my boy. 

 

The course is built for kids who have a sense of adventure! The course race series is designed for kids ages 5-16, with 13-15 fun and challenging obstacles and mud. Even though it says it's for kids, some of the hills were quite the challenge for the adults too.  Don't worry, there are plenty of water stations at the front and throughout the course and always the option to skip an obstacle if you want.  All of the obstacles are doable with little to no help from parents.  My kiddo was very proud that he did all of the obstacles with no help from me.  Such a fun way to spend some family time, while being out and active! After running jumping and climbing your way through the obstacles, you end with a fun slide down into MUD! You can get REALLY muddy or not so much - the choice is yours.  If you happen to get really muddy, you'll need to hit the rise station at the end of the course. 

A few tips:

*Wear snug fitting clothes, maybe in a moisture wicking fabric. Big cotton t-shirt will get caught in some of the obstacles and really carry around that mud and water

*Trail shoes if you have them, if not a pair of old tennis shoes you don't mind not being able to keep.  If you decide not to keep them, there is a place to donate them to charity

*Get there 45 minutes early.  It will give you time to check in, take pictures, stretch and get a little water before the race starts. 

*HAVE FUN! That's the whole point of doing such family fun thing is to enjoy every minute of it with the kids. 

 

The Kids Obstacle Challenge is  the largest touring adventure and obstacle course event series for kids in the nation! Every participant received a backpack that you could fill with some snacks and few other freebies, as well as a finisher medal.   And the best part is, it's a FAMILY adventure - parents get to run with their kids for free!

Visit https://www.kidsobstaclechallenge.com to see when the race is headed to your city! 

Even Superman Had A Day Job

Every single time I’m on TV, people tell me- you are a natural on television, you should have your own show. 

Every single time I write or vlog or teach a yoga class, I hear it again. You are a natural, you should do this full time.   I’m not too bad at my day job either. Somehow talking to angry parents, wrangling principals and solving problems is a skill set I’ve gotten the hang of this past year. 

I happen to be capable of lots of things and I’m not sure why people think you should only do one thing. 

As much as I admire people who go all in, quit their job and chase their dreams, I am not built that way. I have to deal in my reality and reality is that bills need to be paid. There is still some massive financial fallout from my divorce. Those 3 children that are my whole world, they are expensive! They need all kinds of stuff: a place to live, lights, hot water, a car to drive back and forth to college, clothing, medicine for asthma, insurance, therapy for anxiety that I insurance doesn’t cover and we won’t even talk about what my grocery bill looks like because basically I breed giant humans.

I can’t live in an online fantasy world, where sponsored posts and TV segments and yoga classes fully support my family. To be honest, my day job (s) funds my Dream! 

I read and study a lot. Every single piece of millionaire advice references multiple streams of income. Take a look at any business person that you admire and you will see they have several businesses. 

I haven’t quit my job because I just can’t get caught up in thinking struggling to work for myself is the only way. Why struggle if I don’t have to? Why borrow money? Why make it so hard?  Full time entrepreneurship is difficult and because of my previous life choices (marriage/divorce/debit/credit repair/single Mom of3) I can’t just throw caution to the wind and chase my dreams. Instead, I keep my day job, use my time wisely, my body on needs about 6 hours of sleep and still chase my dreams all while having a roof over my head and taking care of my children.

The goal is not 1 slowly dissolving project or 1 product or yoga studio or TV show or book that takes off. The goal is always multiple streams of income, following all of my passions and sharing my story along the way.  

There are several ways to follow your dreams, so don’t let people on the internet (including me) have you believing that struggling entrepreneur, jump off a cliff, all or nothing is the only way.

I have a lot of passions and several dreams to chase, but even Superman had a day job.   

Superman Had A Day Job 

Superman Had A Day Job 

My Love Life...not for public consumption.


Here’s why you won’t see any posts dedicated to “my guy”, me “booed up” or anything about my love life.


1. It’s none of your business. Which is the most odd thing for me to say. This girl, who openly shares so much about her life. I am purposely choosing not to share that part.


2. I don’t always know what I’m doing. Listen, I said “to death do us part” to my ex-husband and neither of us is dead. So... I would prefer to take my L’s in private. What does forever really mean? Honestly? My current life philosophy: “Everything ends, every single relationship you will ever have in your lifetime is going to end. I’ll die, you’ll die, you’ll get tired of each other. You don’t always know how it’s going to happen, but it is always going to happen. So stop trying to make everything permanent, it doesn’t work. I want you to go out there and find some nice man you have no intention of spending the rest of your life with and have some freaking fun. You can be very, very happy with people you aren’t going to marry.”


3. For his sake. It is my choice to be a “public figure” I don’t think he should have to have his privacy invaded because of how I post. To be honest, this was a lesson I learned in my last relationship. I posted a lot of our comings and going and him being a good guy in general and that still ended. Not that I regret our time together or the posts, because it was a significant chunk of my life; but some things should just be for us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m romantic and spontaneous and likely to post a picture on an island with a ring on my hand.


4. The way some of y’all are set up, you are still following him (my ex-boyfriend) and we haven’t been together in more than 2 years. So...yeah, it’s kind of set up for other women who don’t care about your relationship to find & reach out to him. If you are posting how good he is to you, the next woman is wondering if he would be just as good her.


5. So much of what people post is flat out bullshit or make believe. Seriously, I can show you a screen shot right now of a girl who posted her #ManCrushMonday and a screen shot of her "man" in my DM, about an hour later AND every other day after that. So what these men are not about to do is have me out here looking stupid. For example: I’m in a relationship, but he is out here acting real, real single. #ThatAintItChief 

6. Yes, I date; my relationship(s) are for me, not for social media. I don’t post him because I’m with him in real life. At some point you have to decide is this for us or for everyone to see. Let me be the first to tell you, not everyone is wishing you well and someone may know something you don’t and is more than happy to share that with you when they realize “he’s your man”. If you feel like your relationship needs social media validation, then that’s probably a different discussion.  

7. Be clear, my relationship(s) are private, not secret - HUGE difference. If you see us out, I (we) will say hello and continue on with our day. I’m not going to go hide under a table because I see someone I (we) know. 

 
For now, there are pictures but they stay on our camera rolls. 

Also, for the record, I am happily “auditioning” ... but unless you happen to see us out, you won’t know who he/they are. You may see an occasional “we” or a post where it is obvious I am not alone, but you won’t see any “look how in love we are” selfies. You won’t see him tagged and you won’t see his actual face where you can dive into his DM. Or where you can dive into my DM and spill tea about him. 

 Oh, and before you go looking through my social media feed - the dudes that comment the most are the ones trying to get my attention and probably not him/them. He/they are probably looking at the “read all” comment section and laughing or taking secret pleasure in the fact that they took the picture getting all the likes.

This is MY dating philosophy, based on this dating after 40, divorced, single Mom experience. If you have something working for you, by all means, do you but if you are new and want some advice...this is how to move. Because... #TheseHoes in my Drake voice. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

for me, not for y’all...

Gorgeous and So Very Gray

I’m going gray...fast and
I am letting my gray grow out, again!
Depending on how long you’ve been following me, I’ve tried it a couple times before. The first time when I decided to ditch my relaxer and go with the natural hair movement; and again when I chopped all my hair off to donate to Locks of Love.
I am trying again. Coloring it has become almost an every 2 week process and sometimes it doesn't even last that long.  There are weeks it gets colored and more often then not, the next morning there is a gray shinning bright and I’m kind of over it. I’ve had gray hair since I was in high school, so as much as I would love to blame my age or children for it, I’m pretty sure it’s just genetic. It’s also a trait I’ve seemed to passed on to my 18 year old son, who already has gray hair, sorry kid!

My gray doesn't seem to be growing in a graceful, sprinkling throughout my head, it seems to be growing down.  Almost completely white at the roots and then black!  I haven’t colored my hair in 6 weeks, so that black may just be left over color, I'm not sure. 
I have been transitioning with braids, letting my gray roots show and added some gray to the braids.
I’m a little too vain to just let it grow out and look crazy. Y’all know that’s not going down, like ever!
It will likely stay braided or weaved up until I grow the gray out to a place I like.

You also know how I get bored and/or impatient so I could throw it all away and die it back to black or chop all the color off and have a super short all gray pixie. You just never know, but for now, here’s to being gorgeous and gray.


 

All Dressed Up & No Where To Go!

I'll be honest.  My New Years Eve plans usually consist of me in pajamas, playing games with the kids, baking and watching various year in review from my couch.  Just in case this year is different, I partnered with Swap.com to get this dress! 

Little Black (glitter) Party Dress! 

Little Black (glitter) Party Dress! 

 

Cute, right?! Black and glittery, you really just can't go wrong.  Swamp.com is an online consignment shop.  It has millions of items - literally.  Some of the clothes are new, a ton of them brand names and toys too.  It has become my new go to find affordable holiday items for the whole family.  My last shopping haul included Hollister jeans, Loft skirt, Play Station games and Addidas leggings.  All name brands, all for under $50 plus free shipping.  

Don't just take my word for it.  Head to Swap.com and see for yourself.  It is the perfect place to find yourself a party dress or clothes for a family photo shoot.  

Ready to shop? Use my code: 

25HOLIDAYCHEER for 25% off your purchase (for new shoppers) and my code expires 12/31/2017 - so get to shopping! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Disclosure: I was compensated for my review.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% mine. 

First Ever Winter Fest!

For the first time ever, Worlds of Fun has opened their gates for winter fun! And by winter, I almost mean summer because it was 75 degrees yesterday when we visited. 

The park is decorated with thousands of lights and a 7foot Christmas Tree that is gets "turn on" via the giant switch every night at 5:30.  So many lights with different themed and hundreds of photo opportunities for that perfect holiday card.  There are shows every hour with all your favorite songs, rides, ice skating, cookie decorating, letters to Santa, photos with Santa, hot chocolate, rides and so much more! 

The ice skating and cookie decorating are extra, but the giant cookies and the sweetest Mrs. Claus ever are well worth it! *pro-Mom tip, decorate the cookies at the very end or at least when you are finished with the rides, because they come in a box that you will have to carry around!  Tickets for admission start at $25, but you can purchase other tickets that are all inclusive and have meals too. *pro-Mom tip - buy online and save a little money, especially on parking. 

There are so many characters waling around and wanting to take pictures, quite a few rides open and all of Snoopy's Play Place and cool petting zoo.  I would say it's best to get there as close to 5 o'clock as possible.  That way you could do the merry go round or another ride and be right up front for the tree lighting at 5:30.  It's fun for all ages and not to missed this year! 

*Disclosure: I was given tickets for admission, but all thoughts are mine as always.  If you have any doubts about if it's worth, my 18 year old (who doesn't like much of anything) said it was fun!!!

Hot Mess Mom Does Not Equal Real Mom. Stop It!

It's been bugging me for a while and since this is where I write and tell you how I'm feeling, here it goes. 
I am not sure when the "I'm a hot mess Mom"  started to mean you are a real Mom,but it doesn't and it's pretty annoying. 
Stop it.
When did not combing your hair and wearing pajamas in public mean you are a good Mom who's keeping it real? 
In fact, I believe it means you need to reevaluate your life and it's kind of a flip off to those of us who work really hard to keep things together. 
Don't get me wrong, there are definitely days when I don't have it together,when kids act crazy,when I'm struggling with balancing it all,but never does that mean that can't be bothered to put on pants to go to the grocery store. 

Am I TV ready Mom that you see on Fox 4 twice a month,  the perfect make up Mom, wearing stilettos to work Mom, Pinterest perfect decorated, spotless house Mom, no. 

I am however, doing my hair, putting on some lip gloss and getting my kids to school on time with a packed lunch, making dinner, throwing the dishes in the dishwasher and helping with homework, taking them to practice, making a to-do list and getting shit done Mom.

I think we've somehow we've gotten off track by watching the viral Facebook videos of the Moms guzzling wine and calling their kids assholes. 

Again, yes, my children can be a pain in ass and sometimes they make you want to drink; but come on. That in no way makes you a more real Mom. There are so many women I know who would give anything to be a Mom, who waited and prayed and hoped for their babies. There has to be a balance between the two.  

Perfect Mom no, I am not, there are so many failures on my part, it would require another blog. Hot ass mess Mom, nope, not that either. 

I get up 30 minutes before my kids, so I can have my coffee (no one wants to know me without my coffee), I stay up 30 minutes later sometimes to practice my yoga or eat brownies in the peace and quiet or veg out and watch Friends for the millionth time. It's called balance and making this Mom thing a priority - even when it's difficult.  

Take off those damn pajama pants, roll your face in a little makeup and get it together. Show your children you can handle being their Mom and have your own goals/life and not be a hot mess.  

 

This is 40 - The Rugged Maniac Edition

Listen, it was on my bucket list (or my 40 List as I’ve been calling it).  It sounded like a really great idea when I signed up for it. I am so glad I did it, but listen.  Don’t do what I did, sign up for it and do it 2 weeks later with zero preparedness.

If you’re going to do it, plan better and here’s what you need to do:

1.       Cardio, cardio and maybe another day of cardio.  The race in KC was at Snow Creek (ya, know, snow creek where people ski and therefore there would be ski hills to climb).  I read that part, but didn’t really pay attention.  Not only was this race at Snow Creek, it started by climbing a ski hill.  Like, that was the start. Like, before all obstacles. Like, right out of the gate. Like, it almost fucking killed me! There were several hills through the whole damn race, so, do your cardio!

2.       Buy some trail shoes.  In my head, I was never doing this again, so I thought I would be fine wearing my old shoes and donating them at the end of the race(which I did and they do wonderful, charitable things with them).  My old tennis shoes did not have nearly enough grip on them and the see-saw obstacle, I couldn’t even climb on without slipping and face planting. So, if you’re going to do it, hop over to Amazon and pick up a pair of trail running shoes, they’re like $20.

3.       Do it with a friend or maybe even a group.  Some of the obstacles you will likely need a boost, so having a strong friend is helpful. A group would be even better to help pull, push and encourage you too. 

4.       Sign up for an early time.  The earlier, the less tracked through the course is, the weather maybe a little cooler.  I went at noon – dumb, don’t do that. It was hot and there were some deeper holes from where other people had already run.  Not the end of the world, but ya, know just trying to make it easier (and I am being very loose with the word easy).

5.       Where tight fitted clothing and quick dry material if you can.  If you’re a girl with curves, a pair of pants with a drawstring to keep them up, also helpful.  Because when you’re waist deep in mud and getting your ass caught on barbed wire, you are going to at least want your pants to stay up.   I’d say a tank top, so your sleeves don’t get caught on barbed wire or other obstacles, but if you’re afraid of getting scrapped, maybe long sleeves, but also maybe you shouldn’t be doing this race.

6.      You need to Pack: bug spray, sun screen, Advil (there will be pain, there will be bruises) and allergy medicine! Not sure what I encountered, but it sent my outdoor allergies into hyper drive! Towels, wipes, change of clothes and shoes.  If I had been thinking, a disposable camera would have been fun, but they provide a ton of free photos from the pro-photogs along the course. 

All and all it is something I am glad I did at least once.  It did not turn me into an addict and leave me with this burning desire to do it again and again, but I would consider doing it again with a group of people or with couples…that would require me to have a boyfriend and friends that have boyfriends/spouses, but I digress.

I did feel strong and capable and accomplished when it was over.  I was impressed with myself crawling through the muck, because if you know me in real life, I don’t do dirt and mud for real! The biggest take away for me in this race is it restored my belief in humanity. Odd to say of a mud run, but it really did. Perfect strangers helping others and cheering each other on.  When I climbed the tall wooden wall (not sure what it’s called) I freaked.  It was way taller than I was prepared for, it was shaky and I climbed to the top and could not talk myself down the other side – enter Captain America.  Not really Captain America, but he was wearing the shirt and that’s what I called him.  He climbed up and said you can do it, you’ve got it – here, I’ll help you, let me help you! I mean, I could have just cried right there, but that wouldn’t be very maniac like of me! He (and other random strangers) were just so kind and encouraging and we could all use a little kindness that right there is reason enough to do the Rugged Maniac.

My Wardrobe Capsule #Project333

In staring my new job (and not being able to be so casual), I’ve was feeling stressed.  Not sure why, since I’m not big on keeping a lot of stuff around, but my closet was becoming the exception to that rule.  So much stuff, but nothing to wear!

I discovered:

Project 333

3 months 33 items of clothing

Yes, really.  I thought it was extreme and then I started to pair it down. Before we talk about how I got to my 33, take a look at the some descriptions:

What is a ‘capsule wardrobe”: In the 1970s, London boutique owner Susie Faux coined the term "capsule wardrobe" to describe a minimal wardrobe composed of 30 to 40 high-quality, versatile items that will meet your needs for a given time amount of time.

*Helpful hint: when using google to get some inspiration for your wardrobe, be specific.  If you just google “capsule wardrobe” you will likely get the 20-something fashionista version.  That will include short shorts, hooker heels and dresses for clubbin’…etc.  None of those things work for my life, so google capsule wardrobe and include your age or occupation or curvy or winter or all black…that will point you in a more realistic version. 

 

The Basics of What the 33 items are: (Taken from BeMoreWIthLess.com)

·         3 accessories: tote, sunglasses, scarf

·         5 shoes: (might drop this to 4)

·         6 outerwear/layering (raincoat, long sweater, jacket, vest, blazer, zip up sweatshirt)

·         3 dresses

·         5 bottoms (jeans, leggings, pants, shorts, skirt)

·         8 tops (2 long-sleeved, 6 short-sleeved)

·         3 pieces of jewelry (2 necklaces + 1 bracelet)

The Basics of What it is not:

·         What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear,  and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout)

I started with my t-shirts.  I do love a good t-shirt, I have been known take them from friends and buy one at every concert and out of town trip. But there are some that just needed to go.  I had (literally) 25 tshirts from my gym.  In my defense, I work there part time and need a logo shirt for work, but 25 is probably a little much.

I created my donate pile when I really needed to do laundry.  Why? Because the things I truly wear every week are in the laundry basket.  The stuff in my closet, I clearly haven’t worn all week, maybe not all month.

I gave away the just in case I gain weight clothes, I gave away the just in case I get really skinny clothes and the shorts I bought on vacation that I never planned on wearing again and every other piece of clothing that was in bad shape (torn, missing buttons…etc). After that, turns out I didn’t have as much as I thought I did.

I started today (September 1st) and will document my outfit daily. I’m curious to see if anyone notices, I doubt they will, seeing as how I wear the same things all of the time anyway.  To make it a bit easier to start, I’ve decided to go with the seasonal plan, since I’m in Kansas and the weather can change by the hour.  Here is a Head-To-Toe Wardrobe Capsule Guide from The Refinery (http://www.therefinery.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/head-to-toe-wardrobe-capsule.pdf) it helped guide me in my choices.

I already feel less stressed about what to wear tomorrow for work and if nothing else, it’s worth this current peace and contentment that I feel right now.

There’s a ton of people already doing this, you can see their stuff by searching or using the Hashtag: #Project333

Here’s to not stressing on what to wear for the next 3 months!