Mom. A three letter word, endless meanings. Caretaker, nurturer, giving, supportive, accepting, selfless, understanding, compassionate, strong… the list can go on and on. We learn so much from our moms, and most of the time we don’t realize it until we are an adult or have kids of our own. So for this Mother’s Day I want to reflect on how much my mom has taught me throughout the years.

 

  1. Be independent

No matter how reliable your family, spouse or friends may be, always be independent. I’m not talking about being overly independent to the point in which you never want anyone’s help, but be independent enough to know how to do and handle things on your own. Growing up in our house I never saw my mom sit and wait for someone to do something for her, she handled it. At any moment things can change. Your spouse and family could pass and your friends can disappear into the sun, and your left looking like a sad puppy because you have no idea on how to get things done. Nope not this girl!

  1. A closed mouth, don’t get fed

Ooh, I can’t tell you how many times my mom has said this to me. If you are not familiar with this saying, it means if you don’t ask for what you want, you can’t expect to get it. The younger me would let it go through in and out the other. But as an adult I totally get it, I even find myself saying it to my kids. People have the tendency not to speak up because they are afraid of what the outcome may be, but without asking you will never know. The worse that could happen is that they say, no. She always told me, you can’t expect people to read your mind, and you can’t get upset at those who don’t know what you want or need if you don’t say anything.

  1. If they don’t love you at your worst, they don’t deserve you at your best

Everyone has flaws and imperfections, and everyday you are not going to be at your best. You should not have to hide who you really are for people to embrace you.

  1. Be smarter than what you’re working with

I’m going to be honest, I never understood what the hell my mom was saying when she said this. I would usually respond with, “Ok, ma” and then keep it moving. Throughout the years I finally started understanding what she meant. I understand now that she meant when faced with challenges (whether its something as small as changing a light fixture to dealing with a difficult person) you must: 1. You must actually understand what you’re working with so do your research. 2. Find the easier way to achieve something, why make things harder for yourself. 3. Think outside the box, there is more than one way doing something

  1. Try your hardest

So, I’ve always been a horrible test taker. When I was in school I would have anxiety the morning of the test and I can remember my mom saying, “As long as you try your best, I won’t be mad at the results.” Not saying that she was absolutely thrilled if I happened to fail the test, but she knew that I used every resource I had to study for that test. As a mom, I am now telling my kids the same thing. I want them to know that all I ask for is that you try your absolute hardest in everything that you do. If you happen to fail, it’s ok; it only leaves room for improvement.

 

So mom, thank you. Everything I am, you taught me to be. I will always love you for every sacrifice that you’ve made for me. You are truly a wonder woman. In the words of Tupac, “You are appreciated.”

 

-XOXO your daughter Kahla Jas.

 

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A Letter: The Burnt-Out Mom

Hey there beautiful,

How are you doing today? Are you trying to hang in there? Does everything seem to be pushing your buttons lately? Has anyone asked how you were doing? If they have, let me guess, you answered “I’m Fine”, knowing deep down inside you are not fine. I get it, I fall victim to the response of “I’m Fine” all the time, I probably say it on a average of 4 times a week. But lets be real, we are not fine.

Let’s face it, we quickly say, “I’m Fine” to avoid the feeling of feeling guilty of not having it all together. We feel guilty because we live a society where women are looked at as always supposed to be “strong”, but sometimes we are not.

Motherhood is a job that comes with high sand lows, laughter and crying, joy and anger. All of these emotions can get pretty overwhelming after a while, sort of like a jack-in-a-box, it keeps turning until it POPS. Have you ever snapped at your husband and/or kids and then had to ask yourself why did I do that? What about being so tired that you let your kids and husband fend for themselves? Or have you ever had that feeling when you just can’t come up for air? Or what about the times when you are ready to just walk out the door and go far away…

Yep, your burnt-out girl!

I believe EVERY mother has experienced a period in motherhood when they are burnt-out and have that feeling of nothing else to give. We simply just need a break. I know, the thought has crossed through your mind, a break?

And I get it, how could us as mothers need a break from our families. We are the ones who are supposed to be the nurturers, the consolers, the one who takes care of the household for the family, the one who everyone can run to for love and support. So, when I say break I don’t mean a vacation where I’m on a island sipping Pina coladas; I mean a break for a few hours where my mind is focused on me and that the things that make me happy. Going to a coffee shop and reading a book, taking a hot bubble bath with some wine and candles, joining that exercise class, taking up a new hobby, going to see that sappy love movie at the theatre, or even going to have lunch by yourself. You know, just a few hours when you can feel like yourself again, a few hours when you can catch a breath of fresh air.

For me, I can honestly say I am “afraid” of giving myself breaks, solely because I fear that once I leave my house, all hell will break loose and once I return I will have more work that would need to be done. However, I am learning that we as moms do NEED breaks, in order to provide our family with the proper love. Without those mental breaks, we are no good to not only our husband and kids, but also to ourselves. Without those breaks I can’t be the attentive mother I need to be for my kids. Without those breaks I put my marriage with my husband on the back burner. Without those breaks I tend to forget things around the house.

I’ve read articles, which stated that the mom is the tone of the house, if mom is crabby, the rest of the house will follow suit and be crabby as well. Lucile Ball said it perfectly, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” We as moms, have to be comfortable with taking/demanding our breaks. So, what do you do? If you are married, talk it over with your spouse and explain how you need this time and what it means to you. Or find a friend who has kids and is going through the same thing and work a plan out to have play dates so each of you can catch a breath of fresh air. Hire a babysitter. Or find a local moms group that you can join. Whatever you have to do get your break girl, do it… you not only need it, you deserve it!

– XOXO Kahla Jas.

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Being a mom of two, date day/nights are a necessity in our household. While we look forward to date day/night, we sometimes spend half the time trying figure out what exactly to do. I get it, it happens to everybody. We get so busy in our day-to-day lives that when we finally get that time we are like deer caught in headlights. And although the traditional dinner and the movie are ok, we sometimes want to change things up. So I thought since the weather is finally breaking (goodbye winter, hello spring), why not put together a list of date day/night ideas that will get you and your bae and make the most out of this spring weather! I have compiled a list of 20 ideas that you and your significant other will enjoy!

20 Spring Date Ideas

1. Check out your local farmers market – So many towns host farmers market every weekend. You are bound to find a variety of items available, from fresh fruit and veggies to art work

2. Take a walk around your neighborhood park

3. Stop by your favorite ice cream shop

4. Have a picnic- It doesn’t have to be like the fancy ones in the romantic movies, it can literally be a blanket and some deli sandwiches. Whatever will make the date memorable

5. Watch the sunset/sunrise – Stay up late or set that alarm, to view nature’s beauty

6.Visit the zoo – Many zoos have adult nights that have different food and drink vendors

7. Go to a concert

8. Attend a movie in the park screening

9. Go on a bike ride

10. Partake in a dinner on a patio – Not only can you enjoy dinner, but you can also people watch

11. Check out the botanical gardens

12. Go to a wine tasting – I mean who doesn’t love wine?

13. Attend a sporting event – Ok ladies, sometimes we have to attend these kind of events even if we aren’t into sports, but as long as there are great drinks and good food we will survive, right?

14. Play a game of miniature gold

15. Go on a brewery tour

16. Go on a night sightseeing boat cruise – Yes, you may have walked around your city in the daytime but have you really seen your cities beauty at night with all the building lit? Plus it’s a great learning experience

17. Book a couples massage

18. Have brunch & mimosas- Dates don’t always have to be at night, why not take advantage of the daytime? Who said you couldn’t have a drink at 11am? It’s 5 o’clock somewhere

19. Go to a paint & sip

20. Find a local festival – Chicago has TONS of festivals, most which are free. You’d be surprised how majority of cities have free events that range from concerts to art shows to movie screenings

I hope this list gives you and your significant others some new ideas for date day/night. I look forward to hearing some other date night ideas from you guys!

– XOXO Kahla Jas.

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20 Before 2020!

Can you believe that we are already 4 months into 2019? Crazy right? Well I know the beginning of the year is when people usually make their goal list, but I’m a little behind and I don’t see the harm in creating a goal list whenever! Now I’m gonna be honest, I suck at sticking to goal, but I also know that creating goals gives you something to strive for and challenges you to be your best. Instead of making outrageous goals that I know I wouldn’t probably achieve, I decided to focus on goals that I know are more realistic. So here go my 20 goals I plan to achieve by 2020:

1.Meal prep every Sunday
I’m gonna be honest, (and yes, I’m going to whine) meal prepping is not a fun activity for me. The whole, cooking 3-4 meals for the week in one day, is absolutely stressful for me, HOWEVER I would rather that one stressful day over the stress of cooking everyday after work. Between being tired from working all day, then doing homework with the girls and bath time, cooking is the last thing I want to do, but with meal prepping I eliminate that added stressor. And to be truthful I find that when I meal prep, the meals are healthy, instead of hot dogs, chicken nuggets and fish sticks for dinner.

2.Eat out less (hence, if I achieve #1 this one will be quite easy)
Also a reason for goal #1! While I do enjoy eating out, I do not like the cost. Have you ever looked at your bank statements for the month? Ha, well I did this and couldn’t believe how much our family had eaten out. From grabbing breakfast on the way to the office, or going out for lunch because I was too lazy to pack a lunch, or those nights when I refuse to cook so we go out for dinner, or even those last minute cravings. IT RIDICULOUS! All the money we spend on eating out could be used for something more meaningful or put in our savings account. WE GOTS TO DO BETTER!

3.Say yes to new experience (Step outside your comfort zone girl!)
Ok, so its not like I say no to everything, its just that I shy away from anything that I’m not used to. For example, I came across an event that promoted self-care for women, I really wanted to go to this event, but I never signed up for it, because I would’ve had to go by myself (friends and family were busy). Instead of telling myself,” Yes, Kahla go ahead and go, meet new people, get the information that will be provided.” I said, “No, you cant go by yourself, people will look at you as a loner.” I want to get over this fear of trying new experiences, and start living life!

4.Treat myself to a spa day
Self-care, self-care, self-care! I can not stress how important self-care is! In the past I struggled with this, but I have come to realize that it is a necessity. I have always been one to take of everyone around me and put myself last. If I am not A1 then everything around me will fail, including my relationship with my husband and kids and also my performance at work. The last I got a massage was over 5 years ago, and I LOVED IT!

5.Workout at least 3x a week (I’m trying to look like a snack, not like I ate all the snacks, “INSERT CARDI B” : OKkKUURR!)
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with exercise. It’s not that I don’t like it, I don’t like having to wait for results. I’m one of those people who are like, ok I’ve worked for a week, I should be looking like Beyoncé by now. In the past, I had a workout regimen and I know it takes at least 4 weeks to see a change, but once I reach my goals, I stop, and then gain all the weight back. For the remainder of the year I want to focus on remaining consistent with going to the gym.

6.Revamp my wardrobe (MUCH NEEDED)
Ok, so like I mentioned in goal #4, I will put myself last in everything. As far as my wardrobe, my family and friends will tell you that I will wear some shoes and clothes until they have holes in them, and not the small snag holes, I mean large visible holes. It’s so frustrating to me when my husband and I have a night to ourselves and I’m standing in my closet and I have absolutely nothing to wear. I promised myself that I would work on refreshing my closet with new clothes, and throw out items that are ruined and no longer fit.

7.Read 6 motivational books
Like they say, reading is fundamental, and really it is. There are all kinds of books I can read, however I want to focus on motivational books. I mean who doesn’t want to achieve greatness? Reading motivational books, makes you want to go out and conquer the world, which I want to do!

8.Drink more water (Put the wine down girl and drank that water!)
Water, ECK! I have a very hard time drinking water, especially the amount that is recommended daily! This goal is major for me and I know water is the healthiest drink out there, but its sooo plain and boring lol. But, I’m going to change that! I’ve been researching some recipes for infused waters that I can’t wait to try.

9.Put more $ in savings (CHA-CHING)
Now, I believe this should be a personal goal for everyone, but I know how hard it is to save, TRUST ME I DO! With kids you never know when something unexpected might happen, so it’s always best to have some money set aside. My issue is actually moving the money over to my savings account. I plan on looking into apps like Digit, that helps save money without even thinking about it.

10.Curse less
Hmmm I think this one is self-explainable.

11.Improve Self-Esteem (We are our biggest enemy & majority of the time to hard on ourselves. You are the sh*t girl, OWN IT)
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always looked down on myself. When going out with friends I’ve always felt less than. And in today’s society its very easy to feel les than, especially with the impact of social media. We often compare ourselves to what we see. Instead of being down and out about myself, I want to focus on creating a positive outlook and believe that I AM ENOUGH, and that I am a total BADASS!

12.Call family more often
Between everything we have going on, it’s understandable that we get busy. Sometimes I realize that I haven’t talked to certain family members in months. And yes, the phone works both ways but why wait on them. Everyone likes to be checked on, even if it’s a quick 5-minute phone call.
13. Spend more quality time with hubby
Now who doesn’t love spending time with their significant other? With kids, work, and ALLLL the other crazy things life throws at us, it can be difficult to get that time in. Quality, alone time is definitely needed, whether it’s a romantic dinner, board game, cuddle on the couch for a movie, or even a engaging conversation.

14.Travel to a 3 new cities
I love to travel and basically a necessity for me! Whether it’s with the kids or just hubby and I, its needed. Traveling provides with a break from day-to-day responsibilities. It allows me to take a break and get a fresh breath of air.

15.Pray more (Without God, nothing is possible)
While I do pray every night, I want to star

16.Create a routine hair care regimen
Hair… something I hate doing. And with two girls, I hate it even more. The washing, and drying and styling… AAAHHH it’s too much for me to handle and I get easily frustrated when I have to do it. I hate to admit it but if I could stretch a hair-washing day for three weeks, I will (I know, horrible right) I dread hair day but I’ve got to do better!

17.Commit to Kahla Jas. at least 10 hours a week
My goal is have a very successful blog that can inspire other moms to life their best lives and that they too are important. But without hard work and dedication, I wont ever achieve that goal. With juggling everything for my family, I plan on committing all of my extra time to writing, creating and branding.

18.Spend less time on social media
While social media is entertaining its also a distraction. Before I know it I’ve been scrolling for 30 minutes looking at other peoples lives instead of investing in my own.

19.Be patient with myself and others
Like I mentioned above, I’m one of those people who anticipate results fast. But I need to learn that everything will come together at the right time and not to worry or rush certain things in my life.

20.LOVE MYSELF MORE! Which is actually my mantra for this year!(No one will EVER love you as much as you)
This is a MAJOR one for me! And damn it I mean it! I have to learn to love myself more and not be so judgmental towards myself. If I cant love me, then how do I expect for anyone around me to?

– XOXO Kahla Jas.

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5 Sunday Preps to Make The Week Less Hectic

Man, the weekends don’t ever seem long enough, it feels like Friday just ended and we are probably asking ourselves can we just hit the reset button please? I know, we all dread Monday mornings, but whether we like it or not Monday will come, and it’s nothing worse than a hectic Monday morning, especially with kids.  Imagine running around the house finding the other pink sock for Lyric to put on, Skylar rummaging through her room looking for her library book that’s due at school, trying to pack lunches only to realize there is no more cheese for the sandwiches all while trying to be out the house no later than 7 a.m.. It’s a disaster!  Who wants to deal with all of that craziness on a Monday morning? Girl, not me! The only way I avoid all this craziness is if I prep on Sundays. Without prepping I am basically setting myself up for failure!

I know, I know, spending the last day of your weekend preparing for the week to come doesn’t sound enjoyable, but believe with a few adjustments, your Monday’s will be a breeze and may actually become one your favorite days of the week instead of it the worst. My lists of things are long, but definitely make a difference in our household.

GROCERY SHOPPING

I go through my refrigerator and shells to see what meals I can prepare for the week. I have absolutely fallen in love with grocery delivery/pick up services! It has become a complete lifesaver. I don’t know about you but I always hated lugging the kids to the grocery store, because I would 1. Either leaves with a headache from arguing with the kids about which cereal or fruit snacks we were getting this week or 2. Overspend because of instead of arguing let both kids get the flavor cereal or fruit snacks they wanted. With the online app, it is so easy to order the items that you need. And since I shop frequently, the app knows which items are my favorite and will usually ask me if I would like to add them without having to browse for them on the site. Once my shopping is complete I have the option to either pick them up for free of have them delivered later that day for a small nominal fee.  Either way my shopping is done for the week and I don’t have to worry about running back and forth to the store

MEAL PREP

At first glance meal prepping may seem overwhelming but once you get the hang of it, its pretty simple. I have to prepare meals in which ingredients can overlap. After cooking, I portion out the food in plastic container, and WHALA, food is ready for the week and easily grab-able from the fridge on the way out the door.

PICK OUT CLOTHES

Picking out outfits has not only been a lifesaver for me but also for my kids. After washing clothes I separate them into outfits. I include everything for one outfit, underclothes, shirt, tops, and whatever else would need to be put on. My kids’ bed has a drawer underneath that I put all of the clothes. It has helped a ton; especially those days when we are running late, the kids hop up, wash face and brush teeth, open the drawer and pull out their clothes for the day.

CHECK CALENDAR

With a busy week, it can be easy to forget things. In order to keep clear communication on events during the week, we like to jot them down on the calendar.

CLEAN OUT BOOK BAGS / WORK BAG

I don’t know about you but by the end of the week my kid’s book bags are a mess! Random papers, snack wrappers, abundant amount of pens and pencils that they cant ever seem to find. Why take all of that into the new week? Through it out and start fresh.

GET GAS

I know this may seem odd, but yes get gas before the week starts. You don’t know how many times I’ve said, “oo I will get gas tomorrow morning on my way to work.” HA GIRL FAILURE! When I usually wait till the morning of, it happens to be the craziest morning and we are usually running late, so I am a firm believer at getting it beforehand.

Believe me, Monday mornings are never really exciting, but at least with prepping it wont be hectic!

Happy prepping day girl,

– XOXO Kahla Jas.

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