The Athenaeum: Luxury in the Heart of London

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Heather

When I started looking for a great luxury hotel in which to stay while in London, I was given a suggestion from a friend to check out The Athenaeum. At first glance of their website, I liked what I was seeing. It is rare to see “family” as a tab on most hotel sites, let alone a luxury hotel. Some hotels claim to be family friendly, but you can be left wondering, “What does that really mean?” With Athenaeum, it’s clear from their site what they provide and how they can make your family vacation even better.

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5 Activities to Honor and Give Thanks to Veterans on Veteran's Day

Friday, November 8, 2013
Jewels

Easy

A friend of mine posted on Facebook this morning a cartoon that said "Thanksgiving: is a day when we pause to give thanks for the things we have. Veterans Day: is a day when we pause to give thanks to the people who fought for the things we have."

As an American I take Veteran's Day very seriously. It is a time to reflect, and to honor as well as express gratitude for the countless men and women who have fought and in many cases died for our Country. As a mother I am always looking for ways to make sure that I pass on this understanding and feeling of profound gratitude to my children. Here are 5 Activities you can do with your children to honor and give thanks to Veterans on Veteran's Day!

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Making Memories Can Be Simple! Plus Win A $75 Gift Card!

Friday, July 19, 2013
Heather

“I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Lay’s. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating” 

As always my opinions are my own and they are probably crazy too. lol 

Summer is full of amazing memories and sometimes the most simple of activities can make the best memories!

What amazing memories have you made this summer? 

This summer we decided as a family that we would take a picnic every Sunday.

Unfortunately we found that there are some Sundays we don't feel like going very far, but that's ok because sometimes all you have to do is just step right out your front door for some great summer fun.

Last Sunday we decided to do just that! We did a little picnic right under the shade of our front porch. 

Summertime is definitely for making memories! 

And while we are on the subject of making memories; Lay’s potato chips is celebrating 75 years as the perfect summer snack.

Every day they will be showing favorite summer moments using Lay’s potato chip packaging. 

I went over earlier to check it out and they are pretty cool! 

Plus when you share your favorite summer moments or memories on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Lays75 and tag @Lays you will be entered to win a $75 gift card!!! 

Awesome!! And for all my DIY’er fans, you can check out simple tutorials on their Pinterest page show all of us how to re-create the Lay’s images at home. 

(I love those chubby little hands!) 

These two pics. just melt my heart. It's rare that I happen to have a camera when they decide to hug each other or show affection.

I'm usually yelling at them "stay like that while I grab the camera!!" and of course by the time I get back that love somehow turned into an argument. lol 

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13 Awesome “Out-of-the-Box” Activities for Kids!

Friday, July 19, 2013
Heather

Easy

Zumba class.

Mixed and youth Zumba classes have started popping up, thanks to the popularity of this upbeat aerobic dance workout.

Classes are often cheap, less than $10 per person. Ask about first time discounts.

Start a business.

Is your child entrepreneurial?

Help them take their desire to make money to the next level by discussing basic business concepts.

What does their business offer that is unique? How will the business make money? What are the start up costs?

Then help them launch their own business.

Flash mob.

Surprise friends or other family members by secretly participating in a flash mob, which is when a random group of people suddenly break out into a choreographed dance routine in public.

When you and your kids head out for practice sessions, let those not in the loop know that you’re planning something very special for them.

Write a blog together.

It’s easy – and free – to start a blog. (I highly recommend WordPress.)

Pick a topic you both share a deep interest in and write a launch post.

Make a schedule for when you’ll each publish and have fun designing the logo and picking a color scheme.

Oral history.

Interview an elderly neighbor about their personal life history together. Make an oral recording on your smartphone or even an old fashioned tape recorder!

Depending on the age of your child, you may want to trade off asking questions or suggest they conduct the entire interview while you man the recorder.

It’s a good idea to jot down a few questions ahead of time to get the conversation going.

Make something out of duct tape.

Here are 45 crafty ideas of things you can make out of duct tape, courtesy of the inspiring home blog ByStephanieLynn.com.

Let them decide what’s for dinner – and cook it!

Kids often complain about what’s for dinner.

Well tonight is their lucky chance! Let them plan the menu and cook the meal.

If you sit back and give them directions and suggestions from the safety of the kitchen table, you’re less likely to takeover the recipe.

Sure, they’ll make mistakes. But they will also take pride in their meal – and have a new respect for your cooking.

Sign them up for college courses.

Many high schoolers are eligible to take college-level classes at a community college, which may offer a much more diverse set of courses than your child’s high school.

Whether or not the classes earn them credit towards a degree, it can be a fun way to explore a new interest for relatively cheap.

Watch a meteor shower.

Find a list of meteor shower dates on TheSkycrapers.org (scroll down).

Learn an instrument together.

My mother made me practice my trumpet everyday starting in the third grade.

Okay, not every day. But almost every day. Once I played a few notes, I loved it.

But pulling out my horn and warming up was always the hardest part. I wonder how much easier it would have been if I was learning alongside my mom.

Create a dance routine together.

Does your kid love to dance?

Enlist yourself and other siblings to be in his or her dance troupe.

Pick the music, set a performance date (a few days in the future) and brace yourself to learn the steps and movements of your child’s dance vision.

Give each other henna tattoos.

You can buy a simple kit online or at Barnes & Nobles.

Practice your chosen design and then apply henna carefully. It’ll last about 10 days.

Draw each other’s portraits.

You can take turns or draw them simultaneously. Use pencils and make sure you each have a good eraser.

How do you appear in your child’s eyes? Who creates the more realistic portrait? The more artistic one?

You’ll be surprised what you can learn about your child from their art.

Thanks, Mint.com

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The Invisible Mother *Must Read*

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Heather

Easy

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, ‘Can’t you see I’m on the phone?’

Obviously not; no one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?? 

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, ‘What time is it?’ I’m a satellite guide to answer, ‘What number is the Disney Channel?’ I’m a car to order, ‘Right around 5:30, please.’

Some days I’m a crystal ball; ‘Where’s my other sock? Where’s my phone?, What’s for dinner?’

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She’s going, she’s going, and she’s gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, ‘I brought you this.’ It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: ‘With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.’

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. 

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, ‘Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman replied, ‘Because God sees.’ 

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was Almost as if I heard God whispering to me, ‘I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.
No act of kindness you’ve done, no sequin you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. 

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, ‘My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.’ That would mean I’d built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, he’d say, ‘You’re gonna love it there…’ 

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

—Mary Lynn Plaisance

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About Mamas Spot

We are a family of four that left it all behind to go travel the world. No, literally we left it all. We sold all of our possessions, packed what we could into four suitcases and said goodbye to suburban life. All we own is now pulled behind us as we travel to new and exciting destinations. Showing our kids the world and teaching them about new cultures, food, and ways of life is now our 9-5.

We love watching our kids learn, and learning along side them. Together we have now explored many new countries, visited family on the other side of the world, and made memories that will last a lifetime.

Welcome to our journey!