Holiday gift guide: Best WAHM gifts

Chances are, you know a work at home mom: Almost a third of moms in the US do not work outside the home, and if the number of mom friends selling leggings, face wash and children’s books is any indication, a good chunk of these work at home (including me!). And I can guarantee these mamas could use a thoughtful present this holiday—that’s why I pulled together a list of the best WAHM gifts to spoil the working moms on your Christmas list.

Shopping for a work at home mom? This gift guide with the 10 best WAHM gifts has working mother-tested ideas and products. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

DIY kids holiday gift: Glitter handprint craft

Y’all know how much I love glitter. So when I went to make a present for my mom, aka the girls’ grandmother and a Nana who has just about everything, I knew I wanted it to sparkle. So Peeper and I made this: a glitter handprint craft that will be a gorgeous, special and one-of-a-kind Christmas gift.

(Sorry, Mom, to spoil the surprise!)

We still have a few weeks until Christmas and other December holidays, but if you’re looking for a DIY kids craft to give as a gift, look no further than this fun, simple—and yes, sparkly—glitter handprint craft!

Glitter handprints are a beautiful - but easy - handmade holiday gift kids will love to make. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Network with bloggers—without feeling skeezy

The internet gets a bad rap these days, with hateful trolls mobbing people’s Twitter feeds and cyberbullies toppling kids’ confidence like a tower of stacking blocks. But online I’ve found a welcoming, encouraging and supportive community of bloggers. It’s no wonder I’ve been wanting to network with bloggers in person, face-to-face, in real life.

Giving online high-fives, hugs and fist bumps is all well and good but, as I’ve written about before, meeting up with internet friends—and yes, even network with bloggers (it’s not a dirty word!)—off the computer feels even better. Plus, meeting up IRL is a wonderful chance to share ideas, collaborate, give advice and learn from each other.

It can feel awkward or even intimidating to meet other bloggers face to face, though, especially if you don’t know them well. So here’s a little advice to help you feel confident, prepared and excited to network with bloggers in real life.

So you want to network with bloggers—but you hate networking. Here's how to meet up with online friends and colleagues IRL without feeling skeezy. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Why I give: Helping children and reuniting families in Syria

Our Thanksgiving was a little bit crazy, a little bit mellow, and a little bit oh my gosh I can’t believe I ate pie at three meals today. The entire Ryan clan convened at my parents’ house, so we did a lot of game playing, taking walks in the rain (so Oregon!), eating (obvi) and snuggling.

All that together time made me a whole lot of grateful. And as I gave my girls extra hugs, played with my baby niece, had actual face-to-face conversations with family members who live across the country and took ridiculous photos to commemorate our time together, I gave thanks for our good fortune to spend time together.

I’m still riding the high of our rare days all together, especially since the last time we all gathered was at my brother’s wedding three years ago. I’m also remembering that many families—way too many—don’t have the privilege of coming together at home. So today, on Giving Tuesday, this is why I give to a cause close to my heart: to support families who have left their homes to escape danger, poverty or war.

On Giving Tuesday, this is why I give: to support kids and families who want to build a better future. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

(See my post from yesterday on more about Giving Tuesday and donating on any budget.)  Read more

Stretch your holiday charitable giving: Donate on any budget

My family isn’t unlike yours, I bet: Our budget is always tight, especially during the holidays, when we face extra expenses like Christmas presents, travel and OH MY GOSH CANDY CANE JOE-JOES. (Don’t deny it; you stock up, too.) But that doesn’t mean we scrimp on our holiday charitable giving.

Generosity and a commitment to helping others are central family values in this house. For us, that means giving to nonprofits throughout the year, but we always increase our donations during the holidays. (The giving spirit is in the air—or wait, maybe that’s pumpkin spice and evergreen scent!)

When it comes to our holiday charitable giving this year, I want to get the most bang for my buck. I’m betting you do, too. So no matter if your budget is super tight or as expansive as Bill and Melinda Gates’, here’s how to make the biggest change with your money.

This Christmas, make sure every dollar makes the biggest impact with your holiday charitable giving. 10 tips to make generosity and charity possible for any budget. Read more

On my first pump and dump (and crying in a public bathroom)

I was holding back tears in the airport restroom so, yeah, I suppose I looked as if I needed a friend.

The lady at the sink next to me smiled. “That’s liquid gold,” she said, nodding to the still-warm bottles of milk I had just pumped. “Don’t lose it!”

I tried to smile back as I tipped the bottles and watched the milk swirl down the drain. She looked aghast—and I felt like I was going to throw up. It was the first time I had to pump and dump in my almost three years of breastfeeding my two kids, and it felt awful.

I hadn’t been drinking in the airport (though on second thought, maybe I should have been.) I explained to the woman next to me that I’m traveling for work, and I decided not to save the milk I pump.

Deciding to pump and dump brought an avalanche of mommy guilt. Then I decided to forgive myself. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Holiday gift guide: Books for babies

Halloween has come and gone, which means Christmas is right around the corner—at least if you’re listening to radio commercials and shopping, um, anywhere. (I swear the Christmas displays were up before I could stalk the aisles for discounted Halloween candy.)

But with all the tasks I’m juggling, I’m a big fan of getting holiday shopping done early. You too? Well, good news: here’s our baby-tested holiday gift guide, books for babies edition.

The 10 best books for babies: This gift guide makes your Christmas shopping list easy for kids in the family! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

(This post contains affiliate links, which means clicking and buying gets me a few pennies.) Read more