Recently, I found the transformative power of daily affirmations. Of course, I had been hearing about how great affirmations are and how they have the power to change your life, but not quite realizing the power of thoughts and words yet, I shrugged it off as woo woo. You know, that new age stuff that folks are all into nowadays. Unbeknownst to me, affirmations–positive thoughts and words–are not new at all. I mean, this stuff goes way back, like biblical back. There are a ton of scriptures that support affirmations, but the one that always sticks out to me is, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

When you really sit down and think about how much of your life is guided by your own thoughts and words, it’s quite shocking. Confidence, self-esteem, goals or lack thereof, all stem from what we think and say about ourselves. Cognitive behavioral therapy is rooted in the belief that addressing, and then reframing, maladaptive thinking can lead to behavioral changes. This stuff is everywhere.

So what does any of this have to do with kids and confidence? Well, everything. As Jam gets older and is exposed to more and more, I’m starting to notice a few things that concern me. There seems to be some self-deprecating comments happening and I don’t like it. And then there are the numerous instances of giving up if things don’t go perfectly or the automatic assumption that she can’t do something or that she’s not smart enough, thin enough, tall enough, funny enough, etc. This is a slippery slope, in my opinion, and I’d rather nip it in the bud now than have to deal with it later. Since positive, daily affirmations have helped me so much, I thought it would be a great idea to get Jam involved. Here are a few of the daily affirmations we’ve started saying.

  1. It’s okay if I don’t fit in because I was born to stand out.
  2. I am strong and I am brave.
  3. I am loved.
  4. I am a great friend.
  5. I like me because I’m awesome!
  6. Everyday, I get better and better.
  7. I make mistakes and that’s okay.
  8. I always do my best.
  9. I am unique and I am special.
  10. I am creative.
  11. I have the ability to solve problems.
  12. I can express my thoughts and feelings openly.
  13. My parents and friends love me.
  14. I can learn and will ask questions when I need help.
  15. I take care of my body so that it can take care of me.
  16. I believe in my dreams.
  17. I can reach all of my goals.
  18. I can do a lot of great things.
  19. I am beautiful.
  20. I love and accept myself.

Can you imagine hearing your child or children say those things and believe them? I can attest to the fact that it’s a wonderful, I-may-get-this-parenting-thing-down-yet, feeling. I’m already noticing a boost in Jam’s thoughts about herself and we’ve only been doing this for a few days. My hope is that this becomes a lifelong practice for her, or at least a coping mechanism for when she’s feeling out of wack.

Does your child say daily affirmations? List your favorites in the comments below!

This post contains affiliate links.


I just love books with beautiful, brown girls on the cover. Just love them.  Far too often, it’s a demographic that’s overlooked or underrepresented.  I think that it’s so important that little girls, including my little girl, be able to see positive reflections of themselves in the media that they consume–and books are a major part of that.  That’s why I was so happy when I came upon the Princess Cupcake Jones book series.

Princess Cupcake Jones is a beautiful, brown girl with big, curly hair, which she wears under a tiara.  Yes, a tiara. Talk about raising queens! In the book that we received, Princess Cupcake Jones doesn’t want to go to school.  This little girl is adamant about it. She does everything in her power to forego going to school. Her mother, who has much more patience than I could ever hope to have, helps to Princess Cupcake Jones figure out why she doesn’t want to go school.  Turns out, it’s just a little fear.

PrincessCupcake1 PrincessCupcake2

I thought that this book was so cute.  Going to school, for some children, is a real fear.  It’s difficult transitioning from what you’ve always known, to something else when you have no idea what to expect.  Jam related to this book so well; I was surprised.  She recalled her first day of kindergarten and how nervous she was about going to a big school and having to make new friends.  This book actually sparked a great conversation about being nice to people and making new students feel welcomed.


This is a book that all ethnicities can relate to, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I am thrilled that the main character is a natural-haired, tiara-toting, tutu-wearing, brown girl.  Princess Cupcake Jones is just as spunky and cool as her name implies.  Between the big, bright, colorful illustrations, the easy to read and comprehend writing style, and the adorable and relatable Princess Cupcake Jones character, I am definitely suggesting that Princess Cupcake Jones Won’t Go to School be added to your “to read” list.  You can [amazon asin=057811304X&text=purchase the book here]

Have you read any books from the Princess Cupcake Jones series? What’s your favorite?

Be sure to check out some of our other Little Bookshelf reviews:

The Colorful Adventures of Zoe and Star

Please, Baby, Please

Don’t Turn the Page

Baba Didi and the Godwits Fly

This post is brought to you by Mott’s and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.


Parenting. It’s hard. The movies and cute television shows make it look easy, but the hard, ugly truth is that it’s a hard job.  And it’s one of those jobs where your performance is not measured until years and years down the line.  I mean, just the other morning I found myself hoping that I wasn’t raising a serial killer.  A serial killer?? Yes, a serial killer. That’s the way that parenting has warped my mind and skyrocketed my anxiety.  Sad, isn’t it?

The fact of the matter though, is that all of us are doing the best that we can with what we know and what we’ve got.  Still, I constantly question my decisions, my beliefs, my actions–everything–when it comes to parenting.  And the parenting books, blogs, documentaries, and even conversations with other parents don’t make it any better.  Because according to some of them, I’m a pretty crappy mom. Heck, to some of them, I’m technically a bad parent.

7 things I do that technically make me a bad parent

  1. I allow my daughter way more screen time than I probably should. In my defense, I’m watching it too so it could be counted as spending time together.
  2. We don’t have a hot meal every day. Sometimes, it’s a bowl of cereal and some fruit, while other times it’s “whatever you find Wednesday!” At this point in our lives, I’m more concerned with Jam actually eating, more so than I am with if I prepared what she’s eating.
  3. I’m cranky…a lot.  Oh boy, can I be Mrs. Cranky Pants! Sometimes, the whining and the several requests to do the same thing just does me in.  “Mommy, why can’t I wear a sundress and sandals even though it’s 4 degrees outside? You don’t love me!!!” Oh my goodness, on some days I just can’t deal.  And instead of explaining for the 14th time that her legs will freeze off, I become short and “because I said so” inevitably finds its way out of my mouth.  Yes, some days I am Madame Cranky.
  4. I curse. Like a sailor. A very pissed off sailor. But in my defense, I try really, really, REALLY hard not to do this. It’s just that most of the time I fail.
  5. I forget everything. My poor kid.  From showing up to school in “regular” clothes on pajama day to mixing up crazy hair day with the much more formal read and feed day, my forgetfulness has done Jam in on a number of occasions.  Thankfully, she’s a forgiving child, a trait she must have picked up from her dad.
  6. I’m selfish. There are some days that I just need to be by myself. Give me a marathon of Grey’s Anatomy and some snacks, and I can be alone for days.  As a mom though, that’s not possible.  But on some days, I make it possible.  I shut myself off and it’s just me…and it’s glorious.
  7. I don’t feel bad about this list.  It’s true; I don’t. Because as parents, we all have tricks, ideas, things that we won’t tell anyone up our sleeves.  It’s totally okay! No matter how much we’re told as parents that we should be perfect, the truth is, we’re not and we never will be.


That’s why I’m so happy that Mott’s is encouraging moms and dads to be good and honest about this thing called ‘parenting.’  Mott’s, maker of applesauce, 100%  juice, and juice drink that parents have counted on for years, just wants us to tell it like it is!  In an effort to uplift parents, share a laugh and acknowledge that we all are basically just winging it as we go, Mott’s is asking that we share our #GoodandHonest moments when it comes to parenting.  Let’s help each other out with tips, tricks, or hacks we’ve learned along the way.


Leave a comment below with your “parenting truth.”

Thanks to Denny’s for sponsoring this post! As always, opinions are all mine.

Today was one of those days that you know will suck before it really even gets started.  I don’t know if I just rolled out on the wrong side of the bed or what, but everything has just been kinda blah today.  First, I woke up waayyy before the alarm was set to go off and couldn’t get back to sleep.  When I finally did fall asleep, the alarm went off like two minutes later, I swear.  Then in the midst of running around trying to get Jam to school and me to work on time, I forgot to take something out for dinner.  Of course, I didn’t realize this until I was sitting at my desk at work…20 minutes from home!  Life, right?  After sitting there contemplating what I could thaw quickly and have on the table before it got too late, I decided that today would be a fine time to take advantage of my new partnership with Denny’s.  So yeah, Denny’s it was!


Even though today was crap, it can’t take away the excitement I have about working with Denny’s.  For my family (and for you), it’s awesome.  We get to learn about what’s new at Denny’s and what initiatives they’re taking on before anybody else.  Plus, I get to share specials, deals, and anything else that comes about with you on a regular basis.  And plus + plus, Denny’s is  right off the interstate and on my way home from work, so that means less cooking for me!  Yay!! Most importantly, the food is delicious and there’s something for everyone.  Before today, Hubz and Jam had never eaten at Denny’s and it had been awhile since I had.  We all ordered cheeseburgers (because what’s a salad?) and left full as ticks! The Mango Lemonade and Strawberry Mango Pucker that Hubz and I ordered were the business and Jam was excited to see characters from Penguins of Madagascar, Puss in Boots, and Turbo FAST on the kids menu as well.  Denny’s is partnering with Dreamworks Animation to bring these characters to life through puzzles and other games during mealtime. And let me just say—my kid thinks that this is the best thing since sliced bread!




Along with the Dreamworks Animation characters, Denny’s kids menu also includes things like the Junior Cheeseburger, Build Your Own Jr. Grand Slam®, and Jam’s new favorite,  Build Your Own Jr. Sundae®.

So, yes my day started off pretty awful and it definitely got worse before it got better. But I have so much to be thankful for that it would be silly of me to let those few bad apples taint an otherwise great day.  I’m partnering with a great company, we had a great meal that I didn’t have to cook, and I got to spend some uninterrupted, quality time with my family.  Yeah…bad day be gone. Hello sunshine..

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PurellWipes #CollectiveBias


OMGoodness, Spring is here.  Finally!   It’s been a treacherous winter for us Nebraskans because we got cold, but not a lot of snow.  It’s just been a bitter, face-numbing, cold enough to freeze so that you slip and fall kinda winter.  Man, I’m glad it’s almost over! I say almost over because the last few days have been chilly, but it’s obvious that Spring is just around the corner!  And I am so here for it.

So what does that mean?  It means sun, flowers, and good ol’ spring cleaning.  Am I right?

But not spring cleaning in the traditional sense.  No, none of that.  Just for a moment, let’s forget about deep cleaning the kitchen and rearranging the living room furniture.  Let’s take a break from the coat closet that hasn’t seen a good vacuuming since before you put off doing it this time last year.  Just for a second, let’s take the focus from the exterior and bring it on in to the interior.  Let’s talk about us.

I know my body could use a spring cleaning.  What about yours?  What about our kids?  Ewww!  Some of the stuff we consumed this winter has done us no good in the “love your body” department.   That overall icky feeling cannot be ignored.  I’m feeling it, Jam is feeling it, and it’s obvious that we both need a good ol’ internal spring cleaning.  And what better way to fight the germs, combat the bad food decisions, and nourish our bodies than with a couple of homemade spring clean smoothies.

So, what’s this spring clean smoothie?

Well, it’s a mix of fiber-packed raspberries, immune boosting vitamin C pineapples, and just overall delicious, vanilla yogurt.  See why it’s called a “spring clean” smoothie?  It’s all about getting rid of the old and replacing it with something better.

Spring Clean Smoothie and Wiping Away the Smoothie Stache
Recipe Type: Beverage
Author: Mommy Works a Lot
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3
  • 1 c Raspberries
  • 1 c Pineapples
  • 1.5 c Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 c Pineapple Juice
  • 1 c Ice
  1. Pour all ingredients into blender
  2. Blend
  3. Serve




The thing about a good smoothie is that, eventually, you’re going to do away with the straw and just go for it.  Lips to glass–chugging.  And when that happens, you inevitably get one of these:


…the dreaded smoothie stache.

Aren’t I an awesome mom for letting her attack her father with this face?  I mean, really.

As cute as she is, though,  I can’t be letting her walk around with smoothie face for long.  It’s just not cool. Thankfully, when I was at Walmart picking up our smoothie ingredients earlier in the day, I grabbed some PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes.  Since they’re safe to use on face and hands, they were the perfect companion for Jam’s tiny, germy hands and of course, that smoothie stache.  Plus, it gave her a chance to practice good hand hygiene…and pretend that she was in front of a studio audience.









I mean, a smoothie and a stage for all the world to see?  I should be crowned Awesome Mom of Year. 🙂

If  you want to be Awesome Mom (or Dad) of the Year, make this spring clean smoothie, let your kids get smoothie staches, make them chase the other parent around, and then clean them off with PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes.  It’s really that simple.


Grab your PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes from the household cleaning aisle and be sure to use this coupon for $1 off any PURELL® Canister Wipe product.  And beginning on May 17th, be on the lookout for coupons in the Sunday paper for savings of $1.00 on any PURELL® Wipes canister or $1.00 on any two PURELL® Products.  Don’t forget to join the PURELL® loyalty program!