I’m knee deep in planning an annual fundraising auction at my childrens’ school. This is the second year that I’ve co-chaired the event and I really love it. There are so many things about putting on a successful event that I enjoy.

I love the organization, the planning, the teamwork, but most of all I love seeing the fruits of our labor. When it finally all comes together, the end result is the most rewarding. In this case, I hope that translates into a lot of money made.

As I sift through spreadsheet after spreadsheet and call donor after donor, there are a few things that have become even more apparent to me. There are these constant themes glaring at me, that I know are important when planning an event, but also important in the overall context of life.

First, community. It literally takes a community to put on an event like an auction. We need volunteers, committee members, leaders, donors, attendees and more. Without any of those pieces, the puzzle would not fit together properly. Teamwork is a critical element in life. Family, friends, colleagues, coworkers, everything just works so much smoother when everyone comes together. One common goal can really unite a group. Cooperation is something I highly value and love when people show hearfelt support for others.

Delegating is essential. Everyone has different strengths and assets. By dividking and conquering the work, we can be more successful. If individuals are able to use their talents, they feel more productive and the quality of the work improves. This is important at home, too. As a family, we are a team. Delegating to other members of our team strengthens our unit. The kids can benefit from building work-ethic and responsibility. And, as adults, we can benefit from lighter workloads and knowing that we are all working toward the same goal of a happy household.

Lastly, preparation for this year’s auction has reminded me that there are many levels of success. We are still two weeks away from the big event, but on many levels we’ve already seen success. We’ve seen a team come together and work hard to secure thousands of dollars in donations. We’ve seen event tickets being sold. And, we’ve seen volunteers sign up to work shifts over the next few weeks.

Sometimes, I think, we are too focused on the ultimate goal to realize the small successes we see along the way. As my children grow, all too quickly, I am constantly trying to remind myself to notice the small things. We obviously want our kids to grow up to be productive and successful members of society. The positive things they are doing every day are the stepping stones that will lead them there.

I always look forward to the opportunity to review Wonder Forge products and games. This time, their representative contacted me regarding their Brio and Ravensburger brands. As always, I was impressed with the products they offer.


The Brio Countryside Horse Set is terrific. It’s made from high-quality wood (FSC certified) and it’s not so massive that it takes up your entire playroom. The wooden railway allows children to take their horse over the rocks and to the hidden pasture. It’s battery operated and great for toddler – preschool age children (I have a four-year-old). It’s very affordable at $64.00 and a great option for the train or horse fanatic in your house!


The Brio Highchair Toy is an adorable toy that fits securly to your highchair top. My nephew loves it! It is great to be able to put the baby in the highchair while you finish preparing the meal and have something to occupy them that won’t get thrown to the floor right away! The colors and design are bright and attractive. It also makes noise when the wheel is pushed! This is great for little ones. It retails for $27.99


Lastly, I requested the ScienceX Smartscope for my older children. This allows you to use your own smart phone or tablet to magnify your own objects that you find. Things like feathers, sand, water and insects can be used. Or, kids can study the objects on the included manual and poster. It’s very educational and interesting for kids 8+. It retails for $44.99 and is sure to provide hours of fun for a long time to come.

Any of these fantastic products would make great Easter gifts for the kids in your life!

Disclaimer: I received free items in order to write this review, but all opinions are my own.

I use a lot of medicated shampoo products on my hair so I was excited for the opportunity to review Shielo’s Intensive Hair Mask.

From their website:
An intensive treatment for hair that restores elasticity, freshness and suppleness to dry, chemically treated or damaged hair. The mask instantly repairs to make hair look fresh, moisturized and free flowing. It is a concentrated formula of organic ingredients, complex peptides and highly moisturizing agents that make hair manageable and beautiful.

For normal hair, use once per week. For extremely damaged hair, use twice per week until hair is restored. Results can be expected after one time use of the product.

My hair immediately felt better after just one use. My hair is thick and it immediately felt softer and more managable.  

The Intensive Hair Mask is available for purchase on Shielo’s website for $42. The cost is a little high, but the product is high quality and since it’s not a daily use product, will last for quite a while.I use their Volume Bounce Style Creme regularly and really like it as well.

Disclaimer: I did receive free product in order to write this review, but all opinions are my own.


It is not easy being a working mom. Still, there is no point in feeling guilty when having a job is a necessity. The good thing is that child care centers are usually open during the same hours as most day jobs and some even provide special service in taking care of children during your own specific working hours. Therefore, spending the rest of the day with kids is a time to be enjoyed and looked forward to.

Talk and rest together

The fact that your kid goes to the child care center only works in your favor because you will have a lot to talk about when you all get home. Much more than you would have if the child stayed at home all day. So, even though you probably want to relax take this opportunity to rest together with your child while talking about daily events. Moreover, during this period of relaxing, you can watch cartoons or movies together and share your opinion about them.

Bring your kid with you to the kitchen

Have your child help you prepare dinner. This might not seem like a fun activity for children but it actually is. Children love to be a part of something grown up-looking and making food is definitely one of such tasks. They will feel proud and satisfied with themselves because they are able to help you while you will be able to spend some quality time with your kids while teaching them something useful.

After-dinner playtime

Of course, do not forget about fun time that comes after dinner. This is when you and your child can play together to your heart’s content. Both of you will be tired from activities and obligations during the day, so the amount of time you will have for playing is perfect. There is no limit to what games and pastimes you can choose. It would be a good idea to ask the child to show you some of the new games and activities they learned at the child care so that the kid feels like he/she is actually doing something important and spending time wisely. From hide-and-seek to book coloring and making arts and crafts, there is nothing to stop you from a fun and fulfilling evening.

Irreplaceable moments before bed

Bed time is a special time of the day for children and it is important to be there for your kid. Singing lullabies or reading books is a great way to send your little one to the dream land. When reading or telling stories, focus on those with happy endings and great moral teachings, so that your child would reflect on positive values while sleeping and wake up full of energy and brightness for the next day. What’s more, you will be able to sleep better when you know that you were able to spend quality time with your kid until the very end of the day.

Use the days off to the fullest

Weekends are the days for family fun and therefore a perfect opportunity to spend time with children. You can do whatever you want as long as you are together and the child’s big smile will make you forget about work stress in no time. You can go to the park, swimming pool, organize birthday or random parties for your child at kids party venues with trampolines, have fun going ice skating or roller blading, or simply stay at home and play together as your kid’s imagination leads you on. These two days of the week should help you bond with your child more and provide you with enough positive energy to go through another working week.

It might be hard at first, but you will soon get used to the time you have to spend at work and your child at day care. This will only make the hours you have together more special and enjoyable for both of you.

About author:

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”