Friday, December 7, 2018

A moment of nature can truly soothe the soul...ENJOY!

We've all heard the saying  "A picture is worth a thousand words"...

So that must mean a video is worth a MILLION...

Which is why I will let this video speak for itself...

Consider it my gift to you πŸ’–


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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT for EVERYONE on your list!



I don't know about you, but EVERY SINGLE YEAR I stress out about what to get everyone for Christmas. 

I know, I know, I'm not alone, we all do it...

But I swear, every year right after the craziness of the holidays is over I think to myself:

OK, NEXT YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT...

I WILL PLAN EARLY...


I WILL BE PREPARED...


I WILL KEEP NOTES ON MY PHONE...


I WILL REMEMBER WHEN SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT THAT ONE THING THEY REALLY WANT...


I WILL TAKE SCREENSHOTS SO I DON'T FORGET...


I WILL. FIND. THE PERFECT GIFT...


And every year, without fail... I FAIL...miserably!

Here we are, already one week into December and I'm scrambling, racking my brain, trying to figure out what to get everyone on my list...

So I figured I'd take a quick break...take a deep breath and share some great gifts I have given and received over the years in hopes that it might help you with your list and maybe you can share some of your ideas with me in return...a win/win!

So here goes...things I really LOVE to give and have really enjoyed receiving over the years!
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First, I truly believe you can not go wrong with photo gifts:

I absolutely πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’• Photo Coffee Mugs!!!



I designed all of these online at Walgreens. I include my favorite pictures from throughout the previous year.

Perfect gifts for grandparents and under $20. 


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Another big favorite of mine is photo ornaments. 

I try to make one for the family every year...here's one I found on Amazon:





You can pop your favorite picture right into the ornament. Super cute keepsake for a baby's first Christmas and you can't beat the price!

I also like this one...



...such a sweet keepsake for a great price and it's available on Amazon Prime, so FREE SHIPPING...
(honestly, is there any other way to shop?!) 

I have also made my own homemade ornaments over the years for friends and family...a fun DIY craft with the kids!



In my opinion, giving a PHOTO GIFT really shows you care. It shows that you have really put some time into thinking about the specific picture, the type of gift and MOST IMPORTANTLY, the special person you are giving it to...

In other words, it's NOT one of those last-minute, after-thought type of a gifts...

BUT, it is a gift, that in many cases, can be ready in less than an hour!

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Ok, the next gift is a SPLURGE...but trust me when I tell you... THIS IS WORTH IT...it's the gift that keeps on giving...

THE SONOS SOUND SYSTEM...
We use this almost every single day. So while it might be a bit pricey, it's worth it! 

It's honestly the best and only sound system you will ever need. 

Simply put, you buy the components (we have one in our living room, kitchen, office, bathroom and outside), plug them in, download the app, pick a song from whatever source you choose and voila...you have amazing surround sound in every room of your house! 

I'm listening to it right now...love flooding the house with holiday music this time of year!

It's IDIOT-PROOF...promise! 

And the best part (besides being idiot-proof) you can play different songs in every room of your house. 

Honestly SONOS is a game-changer!


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Last, but certainly not least, is something I got at the checkout at Ulta Beauty as a giveaway/freebie...


It's "EXUVIANCE BIONIC OXYGEN FACIAL"

I honestly threw it to the side when I got home and didn't even think twice about it at first...

But WHOA NELLY am I glad I tried it...

This stuff is the BOMB DOT COM

Trust me when I tell you it feels AMAZING

Seconds after you massage it in, it starts to go to town on your face!

I actually had to get out of the shower & look in the mirror to see what was happeningπŸ˜‚...

What started out as a simple face cream turned into a FULL-ON FOAM FACIAL IN SECONDS!

You can feel it working...it's like snap, crackle and pop...but on your face...I know, that sounds strange...so strange, but it's the only way I can think to describe the sensation.

It's seriously so cool! 

I am so-not-one to keep up with a skin-care regime, but this is so easy and so awesome and I'm hooked.

This would be a great gift for anyone on your list...especially yourself 😜...


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So there you have it...some of my favorite holiday gift ideas

For the love of God I beg of you to share some of your favorite gift ideas below in the comments....please...I'm desperate!!!

Trying to pick the perfect gifts for teens is going to be the death of me!

Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog...

I wish you and yours the HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAY SEASONS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

25 things I'm THANKFUL for...but probably won't share at the Thanksgiving dinner table (#24 might be my favorite)



It’s that time of year…time to gather ‘round the dinner table with family and friends and share what we are MOST THANKFUL for…

Well this year, I thought I’d shake things up…

Instead of sharing the obvious things I'm thankful for: health, happiness and a loving family…

I’m keeping it real and sharing things that I’m TRULY THANKFUL for…but probably won't share at the dinner table.

So here goes:

  1. When I open up the washer or dryer fully expecting to find it full of clothes and it’s EMPTY!
  2. When I’m making a salad and I grab a knife sharp enough to cut a tomato…you know, like so sharp it slices right through and keeps all the tomato insides intact so they don’t leak all over the other stuff
  3. Days my dog doesn’t jump out of bed at the crack of dawn to go to the bathroom and instead let’s me sleep in and maybe even sneak out of bed to grab a cup of coffee and return before he wakes…or any day my husband let’s him out to pee for me
  4. When I’m folding clothes and actually find the match to EVERY SINGLE SOCK I put in the washer
  5. When I get to the checkout at Publix or Target and I’m 4th in line and a cashier in the next line signals me over and turns on the light (THE BEST!)
  6. When I’m in a hurry and EVERY SINGLE LIGHT IS GREEN!
  7. People with COMMON FREAKIN’ SENSE.
  8. When I have a free day to BINGE WATCH WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT!
  9. A super cold Coke Zero
  10. When no one sits next to me at the movie theater or on the plane or really anywhere for that matter
  11. That one second at the end of the day when no one is asking me for something.
  12. That one second at the beginning of the day when no one is asking me for something
  13. A nice, long, hot shower without any visitors
  14. When the shampoo comes out like it’s supposed to without me having to squeeze the bah-jesus out of it or bang it against my hand
  15. When I order a glass of wine and get a proper pour
  16. Valet parking
  17. Moms who keep it real
  18. Kids who say please and thank you and look you in the eye
  19. People who keep their political opinions to their self
  20. When there’s no toilet paper left, but someone remembered to put an extra roll behind me
  21. When I’m talking to someone and don’t actually hear what they’ve said but somehow manage to come up with the right reaction to whatever it was and we both laugh
  22. When I witness someone doing the right thing when no one else is looking
  23. When I see my son/daughter do or say something to a stranger that makes me proud and let’s me know they actually are LISTENING & that I'm raising them right
  24. When I find extra french fries at the bottom of my McDonald's bag
  25. And last, but certainly not least, of course I’m thankful for all of you for supporting my silly little blog and taking the time to read it and let me know that you have read it and that you enjoy it…even if you are just being nice!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Here's a great example of a mom raising her daughter right!

This is the RIGHT WAY TO RAISE KIDS! 

Teach them the CLASSICS... 

The earlier the better...

Watch as this sweet 3 year old phenom from Scotland belts out Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody from her car seat! πŸ˜‚



SHE'S JUST TOO CUTE FOR WORDS!

Her mom says she sings the song multiple times a day and is dying to see the new movie out in theaters this week!

Friday, November 2, 2018

THE BEST iPHONE FEATURE EVER

It seems like every month iPhone comes out with some sort of new update...

A lot of times they are "fixes" for bugs triggered by previous updates...

But sometimes they are ACTUALLY PRETTY COOL and USEFUL!

I take A LOT of pictures...

Like I mean A LOT...

Yes, you read right, that's more than 93,000 PHOTOS on my iPHONE!!!
(Don't judge...or do, whatever ;)

I also have close to 9,000 VIDEOS on my phone...like this one of Baylie stunting at Cheer Express:


And countless SCREENSHOTS, like this one I took of Jake's football playoff schedule, I grabbed it off of Facebook:


Screenshots are a lifesaver for me, they are like a substitute for my short-term memory which seems to be non-existent these days...(hence the name of the blog: My Kids Stole My Brain!)

So....as you can see I love to take pictures & videos...which is a blessing and a curse...

It's GOOD THING because I have pretty much documented my kids' ENTIRE CHILDHOOD on my iPhone...

It's also a good thing for my friends...because I have also documented most of THEIR kids' childhood as well.

I'm pretty much the "go-to" mom when you're looking for that one photo you took on so-and-so date in so-in-so's class or at so-and-so event...you get the "picture" - ha! (pun not intended, but love that it happened!)

So, the NOT-SO-GOOD part...up until recently....was trying to sort through tens-of-thousands-of-pictures to find the picture I was looking for...it was like, yes, you know it's coming...like trying to find a NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK.

Well that's all changed!

iPhone has come out with what I consider a GAME CHANGER!

Introducing...
THE BEST iPHONE FEATURE EVER:
(in my mom opinion)

THE SEARCH FEATURE IN PHOTOS:


Simply type in a KEYWORD: CAT, DOG, BEACH, POOL, PUMPKIN, CHAIR and voila...every picture you have ever taken that includes that word pops up!

I've put together a short video to show you EXACTLY how it works...check it out:

In case you missed the ending...you must search "brassiere"...it's a HOOT!!! (AGAIN, PUN INTENDED!!!) I won't share what came up on my phone πŸ˜‚πŸ˜³...

So there you have it, what I truly consider the BEST iPHONE FEATURE EVER!!!
IT'S A TIME SAVER...LIFE CHANGER & I SWEAR YOUR FRIENDS WILL THINK YOU ARE A WIZARD next time you are reminiscing about that "one day" and you pull up a picture lickity-split!

So what's your favorite iPhone feature?

I'd love to hear from you...drop a line below in comments...

And if you like the blog...please take a moment to share it with friends! Sharing is CARING :)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Teacher's twitter blows up because of how she GRADES papers!


OMGEEEE!!!

I LOVE THIS IDEA!!!

Ok, it could be because I'm super into MEMES, but that's not the only reason... 

MEME: a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

So this high school English teacher in Chicago recently posted THIS πŸ‘‡on her twitter page (πŸ‘ˆ click on the link to see for yourself) and people are going NUTZZZ!

As of this posting...more than 150k people around the world have liked her tweet and that number is growing by the second! (I'm pretty sure she'll be popping up on ELLEN sometime soon!)

Instead of using good ol' RED INK to mark up papers the old-fashioned way, she got creative and started using "MEME STICKERS" instead!

I mean, it's so simple, yet so brilliant! (by the way, she designed these herself and printed them at home, so easy! See the bottom of this post for more on this!)

Her students LOVE IT! And so do I!

Here's why:
1. As I've already mentioned...I love MEMES...they are so juvenile, yet they pack such a punch of meaning in such a little snippet of media!
2. These meme stickers show that this teacher is "on trend" or as us "40-somethings" might say...she's "with the times"
3. She's obviously got a GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR πŸ˜‚
4. And as silly as it might seem, these stickers send an important message to her students: they show them that their teacher is SUPER RELATABLE and APPROACHABLE!

And in the end, isn't that what kids really want? 

A teacher who they CONNECT with and who shows interest in what's important to them?! 

If you think about it, it's truly what we all want...to feel connected.

              _________________________________________

What's something a teacher did in your classroom that still sticks with you today?

Or if you are a teacher...What's something EXTRA you do in the classroom that kids really connect with? (By the way, thank you for all you do!)

I would love to hear from you in the comments below!

p.s. If you drop your email address where it says "SIGN UP FOR FREEBIES"  in the upper right hand corner of my blog I WILL SEND YOU your very own MEME STICKERS - you can print them at home or at work!



Here are the printable stickers from AMAZON πŸ‘‡

Friday, October 12, 2018

The BEST HALLOWEEN TRICK I ever played on my kids!

Notice the pumpkins next to their feet

So I don't know about you, but when my kids were younger, I lived for this πŸ‘†πŸ‘†πŸ‘†reaction...

I mean, c'mon...isn't that face THE BEST?!

I guess I still do, but as they get older, let's be honest, kids aren't as easy to surprise or delight or...ANYTHINGπŸ˜‚ 

We all lose that little bit of "wonder" as we grow up. That's what makes moments like this one so special!

So what garnered this particular reaction from my daughter? 

Honestly, she was completely FREAKED OUT that the pumpkin seeds she planted the night before, not only turned into a real-life pumpkin, but also had her favorite Disney princess (at the time) stenciled on it! 
Star Wars for Jake, Snow White for Baylie

Such a fun "trick" 
**scroll down to see how the magic happened!

SCORE ONE for mom!

My son was also surprised, but I didn't catch it on cameraπŸ˜†

Gawwwd, do I miss the days of these cute little Disney PJs!

Fast forward to the "tween" stage πŸ‘»πŸ‘‡


Halloween Lansbrook style!
The kids always come up with the cutest costumes!
Here's my baby boy's first costume...aw, puppy love!
And my baby girl...so sweet :)

**oh yeah, for those of you who didn't figure it out, the trick is to take some pumpkin seeds and "plant" them the night before, then place the pumpkins in the same spot the next morning before waking the kids πŸ‘»

Here's another one of my favorite halloween traditions...
BOO GAME!


Happy Halloween!!!



Sunday, October 7, 2018

One of my ALL-TIME, ABSOLUTE FAVORITE FAMILY VACATIONS!

Stone Mountain, Georgia

I love to travel and friends always ask me about my favorite family vacation. 

And without a doubt, I always say Stone Mountain Park, Georgia!

My husband was traveling a lot in the summer of 2012, so the kids and I decided to do the same. 

We hit a lot of GREAT destinations that summer:

*Key West
*The beautiful beaches of North Carolina
*Montreal, Canada
*The Cove at The Atlantis, Bahamas...

Of course, they were all beautiful and amazing places...

But the one that really stands out is 
Stone Mountain Georgia!

And I really think it's because there was SO MUCH TO DO!

A TRULY WHOLESOME, SLICE OF AMERICANA, FAMILY-FRIENDLY ALL-AROUND FUN EXPERIENCE...

The best part is we hadn't even planned this getaway and I live for spontaneous travel. 

We were visiting my high school BFF in Atlanta and she mentioned how awesome it was.

So next thing you know, I googled it and booked a room at the Stone Mountain Inn (more on our room later πŸ‘‡) and we hit the road.

We didn't even have to travel that far...Stone Mountain is literally only a stone's throw northeast of Atlanta (20 or so miles to be exact-ish).

Here's a little snippet of all the fun things we did!

So fun, huh?!
Here's everything we did:
* Ziplining
* Rock climbing
* Took a Sky Hike - AMAZING!
* Took a Skyride to the summit of Stone Mountain and hiked down (btw: it was about 102 degrees that summer with a "feels like temperature of 110-115 πŸ”₯) You can see the Atlanta Skyline in the distance!

via GIPHY
* Duck tour
* Played in the Geyser Towers! 
* Watched the AMAZING/HISTORIC laser light show on the mountainside while having a picnic dinner by the moonlight...
That's Stone Mountain behind them











There's honestly sooooooooo much to do!
via GIPHY

Oh yeah...a little more about our accommodations. Like I said, we stayed at the Stone Mountain Inn:
Aerial view
Front view



and it was absolutely lovely. I mean, the room could have definitely used some updating, but it was HUUUUGGEEE! 

No bells and whistles, but exactly what we needed and so close to everything. 

There's also a campground option and the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort.

If you ever decide to visit Stone Mountain with your family please let me know if you have any questions :) 

I'd love to hear about your FAVORITE FAMILY VACATION SPOTS! Drop me a line in the comment section below!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

One of my FAVORITE Halloween traditions!






Halloween is right around the corner!

And one of my favorite Halloween traditions is the 
"You've been BOOed" game!

In case you're not familiar, it's "sort of" like the Halloween version of Secret Santa. 

One neighbor puts together a fun little (or big) treat basket, a BOO poem, BOO instructions and a BOO sign and secretly delivers it to your doorstep!
The lucky BOO recipient then tapes the sign to their door, letting others know that "WE'VE BEEN BOOed!" 

That way no one gets BOOed twice!

Then you simply follow the instructions (see FREE PRINTABLES BELOW) and BOO two other neighbors...

Before you know it, the whole neighborhood has been BOOed!

It's a super fun way to get into the Halloween SPIRIT!

And the kids LOVE it! 

I mean who doesn't love sneaking around in the dark, BOO-ing others and leaving treats...

SO MUCH FUN!

Wanna get it started? 

Great!

I've done all the design work for you! 

All you need to do is print these FUN FREEBIES & you're on your way!
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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Being a kid is just the BEST!




I mean...how awesome is this? 

Going down a waterslide at warp speed without a care in the world!

Those faces at the end are priceless!

That's why being a kid is THE BEST!

Too bad, we don't really realize its AWESOMENESS until we're older. 

When we are young, all we want to do is GROW UP...

And now that we are GROWN UPS, all we want to do is BE YOUNG AGAIN!

Am I right???

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By the way, I recently figured out how to make my own GIFs (see the video at the top) and I'm obsessed!  

Let me know if you'd like a "how-to" blog about it!


GIPHY
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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Some of the BEST MAMA ADVICE I have EVER RECEIVED!


Now that I’m 46 (yes, 46 and I don’t care who knows)…something a friend said to me when my kids were little finally makes sense. 

I was probably complaining that so-and-so didn’t include my daughter in so-and-so activity and it hurt her feelings…

I wanted my friend to commiserate with me, validate my feelings, share her mom “war story” with me and tell me how to “fix it”. 

And maybe she did for a hot second.

But it’s what she said next that has stuck with me. And something I feel compelled to share with other moms (with young kids) who might need to hear this today:

“Small kids, small problems…BIG KIDS, BIG PROBLEMS”…

I’ll never forget it.

At the time, it was the LAST thing I wanted to hear. 

Didn't help me AT ALL.

I didn’t have BIG KIDS, I had small kids...and that’s all my exhausted mama mind could care about at the time.

BUT DAMN…fast forward 8-10 years (although it seems like the blink of an eye) and what she said is no doubt some of THE BEST MAMA ADVICE I’ve ever received.

Her point...it's all about PERSPECTIVE!

When you are in the thick of it…I’m talking about the stage of life when your kids are still pretty much 100% dependent on you and you haven’t slept a full night in years, showered in days (maybe a week), peed in privacy or eaten anything besides leftover, half-eaten chicken nuggets since the last time you can remember…it’s hard to comprehend that things could get MUCH WORSE…

OH, BUT THEY WILL… AND THEY DO…

I’m only at the middle school stage right now…God help me! (I'm serious people, pray for me!)

And I hear my friend in my head, every day repeating this: small kids, small problems...BIG KIDS, BIG PROBLEMS...

She was RIGHT!!! Every day the problems do get bigger and BIGGER!

I know, I know, it’s all part of growing up. But this is my first time on the “PARENT” side of the growing up process.

THIS SHIT IS HARD!

And now, I GET IT!

Oh man, what I would do to have little people problems again. (**btw: my kids are perfect angels)
then and now
What is the BEST MAMA ADVICE you've ever received?

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New here? Check out some of my other fun stuff:

---->>> Why I think THIS VIDEO went VIRAL!
and
---->>> My TOP 5 WAYS TO GET KIDS UP FOR SCHOOL!
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Friday, September 21, 2018

Who else has that "FRIDAY FEELING"?


_____________________________________


via GIPHY
Oh, to be 3 and carefree again! Those were the days! 

Those moves thoughπŸ˜‚! (she's gonna kill me!)

Watch out JT (insert your favorite here: John Travolta or Justin Timberlake...I'm going with Justin :)

↑↑↑ THIS  ↑↑↑

This right here folks, perfectly sums up what it means to have that "FRIDAY FEELING!"

T.G.I.F.  Thank God (or goodness, whatever you prefer) IT'S FRIDAY!!!

In honor of my FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK...(in fact, not surprisingly, America's favorite day of the week) I have complied my...

"FAV FRIDAY FUN FACTS & STUFF!!!"

via GIPHY

1.  OK, the first one is a fun fact that involves math, which no one likes to do on Friday, but bear with me. Have you ever wondered how many FRIDAYS there are in an average lifetime? Well, I did. And here's the answer: There are 52 FRIDAYS in a year, the average person lives 79-ish years, so that works out to 4,108 FRIDAYS! (I know you just pulled out your calculator, how many do you have left?)

2.  Not as interesting, but still note-worthy: Did you know Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were born on Friday the 13th 1986! That makes them 32 years old! How old do you feel now?πŸ‘΅
FRIDAY THE 13TH TWINSIES

3.  So what are the odds of being born on Friday the 13th? Glad you asked...
There is roughly a 1 in 30 chance that a person is born on the 13th day of any given month. There is a 1 in 7 chance that a person's 13th birthday falls on a Friday. Multiplying these two probabilities, 7 times 30 = roughly 1 in 210 chance that a person's 13th birthday occurs on Friday the 13th.

Ok, enough math, this post is about Friday afterall...

I LOVE these next two (both inspired by my kids):

4.  One of my FAVORITE FRIDAY traditions is a middle school rite of passage around these parts: FRIDAY SLURPEES at 7-Eleven afterschool, followed by a GOLF CART ride in the 'hood!

5. Another awesome Friday tradition started by our very good family friends is "PANCAKE FRIDAYS!" All the kids look forward to these special mornings when they are invited to a before-school pancake breakfast where they  eat   scarf down flapjacks, swig some OJ and have some time to hang out and do what tweens and teenagers do. These fall on the final Friday of every month. THEY ARE AWESOME!
PANCAKE FRIDAY!


*BONUS*: Had to throw this one in the mix:
THE MOST IMPORTANT FRIDAY FUN FACT (this week anyways):

For those of us who live in the Tampa Bay area, this particular Friday means we are ONE DAY CLOSER to MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL when Ryan Fitzpatrick casts his spell on the PITTSBURGH STEELERS & the Bucs win #3 to continue their UNDEFEATED season :)
I may be slightly obsessed #FITZMAGIC #GOBUCS!



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