Maneuvering Through Life as Mom (Messy Hair and All)

Moms, do you remember, as little girls, playing house with your dolls?  Playing the role of mom seemed so magical and truly glamourous.   When I was pregnant, at the age of 27, I was told far too many times that motherhood was going to change my life.   My husband and I never really knew if that was meant to be a good thing, a bad thing, or a little of both.

I realized quickly that this MOM role would not follow the path I had laid out.    My life was now very different in so many ways, all good ways.   However, I had not realized how different I would become.  How I would see the world differently and interact with others differently. How I would worry about the temperature in the house and would panic immensely over someone driving too fast.  Didn’t they know that I had precious cargo on board?!   I found that my focus shifted more towards THE BIGGER PICTURE.   How am I going to master this new role as MOM?

To me, the first 12 months were impeccable.   For the most part, I had a very easy going baby and that allowed me to relax a little and enjoy that first year.   However, with every year, there are challenges that come as children get older and their personalities shine through.   Everyone warned me of the terrible two’s. To me, the two’s were the absolute best.   I burst through year 2 with flying colors, maybe even with fireworks!  I thought for sure I must be the best mom to the best kid ever!!  Little did I know what was around the corner.

Fast forward to the day after my daughter’s 3rd birthday.   My precious, perfect 2 year old, woke up with an OPINION.  Can you believe that?   I was not prepared for this.   I was not even sure if that was allowed.   I thought for sure I had at least 3 or 4 more years before she would have a voice.   As we were getting ready for church, I was grabbing the dress, leggings, and shoes that I had laid out for my daughter.  Much to my surprise, my now 3 year old with her new found opinion, decided she was not happy with my shoe choice.  So, she marched herself, with every bit of sass, over to her closet and pulled out the shoes she wanted.  All I could think was, good thing they matched. Next came fixing her hair.  My daughter loves braids.   I started braiding her hair like I have always done, and that’s right, you guessed it, I was immediately told that the old braid would no longer do.   The Elsa braid was in order.  What?!?!? I didn’t even know what the Elsa braid really was.   After correcting her as to how she is to ask for something, I taught myself the Elsa braid, thanks to YouTube.  Luckily, I was able to defeat my first big battle in this MOM Life!

So, you might ask, “What is this mom life exactly?” I don’t have all the answers but I can tell you it is adjusting to something new all of the time.  It’s learning how to get your kid to eat, teaching them their manners, and how to constructively and positively correct them when they are wrong.  It’s learning how to praise them and participate in their blessings and achievements.   It’s about becoming more than what your 10 year old self envisioned.  There’s so much more to it than just holding a baby and rocking it to sleep.  I am raising a self-sufficient child to one day be an educator, doctor, nurse, artist, or leader.  This mom life is truly the hardest job I know and will ever have.   There are days I wonder if I can truly master this MOM thing.  I think to myself, Is it ok to feed my child chicken nuggets 3 times in one week because I just am too tired to cook something new for her?  Will I be enough for my daughter?

Well moms, the answer to all of this is YES!!   The Mom Life is not about being perfect and about having everything in order.  I mean, come on moms, we need to cut ourselves some slack.   We are doing a great job raising these little people.  If we go to work today with a messy ponytail, jeans and flats, that is totally acceptable.  You may have worked into the wee hours of the morning catching up on your laundry and cleaning the kitchen because you chose to play tea party with your child before bedtime.   It might just mean you only get 5 hours of sleep before you wake up and do it all over again.  It is important that we know we will still ROCK today and master this role as mom even if that means no makeup and messy hair.   Let’s embrace our roles as MOMS! One day, when our houses are quiet and empty, when our kids are grown and finding their own way, we will miss the sweet slobbery kisses we received from our babies and the dirty handprints on our walls.

The time is here.  The time is now.  Embrace it.  Need a little encouragement?  Check out this awesome MOM video.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ4Rnba85o8

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LAYAWAY TODAY: FULFILLING THE NEED FOR GREAT FINDS WHILE LIVING FRUGALLY

Rhea Lana’s is all about empowering the super savvy mom to live frugal without sacrificing the fulfillment of a great find. With the holiday season fast approaching we wanted to share a quick and easy way to get ahead of the game.

Layaway. Most of us are familiar with the term but let’s do a quick refresher. Layaway is an agreement between a seller and a buyer in which the seller “lays” an item “away” for a buyer while they make payments on the item. There is usually a very minimal down payment required upfront. Once the item has been paid for in full the buyer can pick the item up from the store and take it home. There is sometimes a fee associated with this payment method since the seller is storing the item. Advantages include no interest charged, a fixed price, guaranteed availability, refund of money should you decide you no longer want to reserve the item (minus the fee) and the option to reserve multiple items. Even better, it helps keep gifts secret! No more worrying about those curious kiddos in your life. (Or your husband either!)

There are many retailers both in-store and online that offer this service to customers. To make it easier on you this Christmas we have listed the top layaway programs below along with the policies for each.

BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY/BABY DEPOT

This layaway plan is seasonal and available through the holidays.  They will give all customers a $5 promotional card if payments are completed by December 24, 2014 which in turn cancels out your service fee. Payments can be made in store.  

Available: In-Store
Cancellation Fee: $10, plus tax if applicable
Down Payment: 20%
Final Payment: December 24, 2014
Service Fee: $5, plus tax if applicable

ELAYAWAY

eLayaway is an online third-party layaway processor where you can shop for thousands of items and have them put on hold while you pay from your bank account.

Available: Online
Cancellation Fee: $25 or 10% *Whichever is less
Membership: Free
Payments: Scheduled payments you choose through your bank account (*No credit cards)
Service Fee: 1.9%

GAMESTOP

This layaway plan is available all year around. Trades are valid forms of payment and there are no scheduled payments on this plan.  (*Not available in the District of Columbia or Maryland)

Available: In-Store
Down Payment: $25
Pick Up: Must be made where the layaway is initiated.

K-MART

Layaway is not available on certain items, like flammable products, magazines, prescriptions, cigarettes, photos and food. (*Only available at select locations.  Items will be restocked seven days after a missed payment.)

Available: In-Store and Online
8 Week Contract (Available both in-store and online)
Cancellation Fee
: $10
Down Payment: $15 or 10% *Whichever is greater
Pick Up: You can pick up your item or have it shipped to your home.
Service Fee: $10

12 Week Contract (Available on purchase of $300+ In-Store)
Cancellation Fee
: $20
Down Payment: $30 or 10% *Whichever is greater
Pick Up: You can pick up your item or have it shipped to your home.
Service Fee: $10

MARSHALLS

Marshalls offers layaway year around but only in some of its stores.  To find the store nearest you visit their website and look for a hanger icon next to the location. Layaway is not offered to items on markdown, jewelry, food and furniture and you only have 30 days to pay off the item in-store.

Available: In-Store
Cancellation Fee: $5
Down Payment: $10 or 10% *Whichever is greater
Service Fee: $5

SEARS

Layaway at Sears is available year around and you can make your payments in-store or online. Any cancellations of the contract must be made at the location which the layaway plan was set up.

8 Week Contract (Available both in-store and online)
Cancellation Fee
: $15
Down Payment: $20 or 20% *Whichever is greater
Payments: 4 biweekly, online or in-store (25% of balance due after down payment)
Pick Up: You can pick up your item or have it shipped to your home.
Service Fee: $5

12 Week Contract (Available on purchase of $300+ In-Store)
Cancellation Fee
: $25
Down Payment: $35 or 10% *Whichever is greater
Payment: 6 biweekly (16.7% of balance due after down payment)
Pick Up: You can pick up your item or have it shipped to your home.
Service Fee: $10

TOYS R US/BABIES R US

This layaway is available year around on all products except for clothing, food and formula.  (*Not available at the Times Square Location in New York City)

Available: In-Store & Online
Cancellation Fee: $10
Down Payment: $25
Pick Up: After the final payment is made they will either ship it to your address or you are free to pick it up in store.
Service Fee: None

WALMART

Layaway has been available since September 12 and runs through December 15 this year. Payments can be made at any Walmart store. Individual items must be $15 or greater, and the total purchase must be $50 or greater. Final payment and pickup must be made on or before December 15 at the same store where layaway was initiated (or the order will be canceled). Layaway is available for electronics, toys, select sporting goods, small appliances and jewelry, but excludes wireless phones that require contracts. Some stores offer year-round layaway on jewelry purchases.

Available: In-Store
Cancellation Fee: $10
Down Payment: $10 or 10% *Whichever is greater
Final Payment: December 15
Service Fee: None

As you start your holiday shopping be smart, think ahead and plan wisely to make the most out of your money with these awesome layaway options. Happy shopping to all the super savvy moms out there!

Your Featured RL Frugalista,
Kailey Wood

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Back to School Project

Hangers Blog

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year for so many reasons! The weather is cooling off, the trees turn into beautiful arrangements of color, and there is another chance to shop a fabulous Rhea Lana’s event! Fall also means heading back to school for many of us. In the hustle of trying to get prepared for another year of school, many of us are buying school supplies, planning out rigid schedules, and dreading those mornings of attempting to get out the door in time. In an effort to be more organized in the mornings and cut out some of the guess-work, we have a fun idea for you: Use door hangers to designate outfits for the days of the week! You can also use these for multiple events in the same day (i.e. school, gymnastics, small group). Picking out clothes in the mornings is typically a major decision in my house (especially so soon after a Rhea Lana’s event! So many new and exciting options to choose from!). While staring and analyzing everything hanging in my child’s closet, I ask the same questions on a daily basis: Is this clean? Did she wear this last week to church? Are these the pants she wore last time we went to Target? If you are like me at all in this way, this DIY project will be something you will find very useful! Bonus—it doesn’t require a lot of creativity!

Hangers Blog2

Visit hobbylobby.com (or you can make a trip to the store itself) and search for “chalkboard door hanger.” There are several options that come up in the search, but my personal favorite is the wavy one!Wave HangerFancy

You can also find a variety of letter stickers at Hobby Lobby or other craft stores for your letters on top of the door hangers. Your child could have some involvement by picking out some more decorative stickers that display their personality. You can find chalk to go along with these just about anywhere! These door hangers will fit perfectly over the hangers of the outfits you have chosen for the week! Planning ahead will take the guesswork out of the mornings, and it will give you and your child the opportunity to avoid one piece of the morning madness.

As the days of summer wind down, take some time to make a memory with your child while preparing for the new school year ahead. This project can be as creative or as simple as you would like. The idea is meant to relieve stress, not create it! There are also many cute printables on Pinterest as well! Log in to Pinterest, and search “Days of the Week Closet Organization Printables.”Printable1 Printable2

We hope you will find this project to be fun and helpful!

Happy Creating!

-Adrien

{Photo Credits: Pinterest.com}

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Don’t stress it: Fourth of July!

We’re pretty removed from being ruled by a different country, but our independence is a REALLY BIG DEAL! Help your kiddos celebrate the day with a few activities that will keep them busy and celebrate America the beautiful!

1) Decorate bicycles for your own Fourth of July Bike Parade! If there are other kids in the neighborhood, this is a great way to get exercise and foster friendships. Provide red crepe paper, pom poms, construction paper, balloons and other items. **Note: before riding their decorated bikes, make sure an adult checks them for anything that would make riding dangerous. bicycles for 4th 2) Kids LOVE to paint! Supplies: red, white and blue paint and brushes. Put a tarp  on the driveway, and provide cardboard boxes, flower pots, or other items to paint. Make sure kids have old clothes on, and let them go to town! Everything looks good with a little Americana paint! baseballs flower pot 3) Food Prep: It’s not always easy to have kiddos in the kitchen, but on the 4th, it might be a great time to have them stir the cupcake batter, roll the cookies, press down the Rice Krispie treats or even help “watch” the ice cream freezer for you! Food is center stage in most of our American celebrations, so train them young to shop, mix, set the timer, bake and eat!

Firecracker Cookies Cake batter cookies Fourth of July rice krispie 4th

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Celebrating with Family

We have so many things going on in the Rhea Lana family (over 74 franchises now!), it’s fun to gather in the off-season and celebrate our growing company. Last week over 70 owners from across the country gathered in Little Rock, Arkansas, at our Annual Owner’s Conference. Lots of great information was shared by these smart owners about how to make the most of their businesses. Our owners are all different; some are single moms, some are professional women, some are stay at home moms, but all have helping their families and serving their communities in common.

I love working with so many savvy and innovative people, it makes every day doing my job more enjoyable!

Here are some pics from our Awards Banquet. It’s one of my favorite things to be able to honor our owners for their hard work and growth.

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