Welcome to Spring Soccer In The South

I’ve been at this soccer mom thing for a while. It starts out all cute with matchy matchy hair bows and then one day you’re more concerned about preventing injuries than committing a fashion faux pas or forgetting to bring the team juice boxes.

Miss C started playing soccer when she was 4 and now plays on a U12 travel team. We have logged many an hour on the sidelines. If I had a quarter for every time I’ve yelled, “Do you have your cleats?,” “Do you have your water bottle,?” or “Do you know what field you’re on?” over the years I’d be able to charter a bus to our next travel tournament, complete with a margarita fountain…you know, for the parents.

Our spring season just kicked off so I thought I’d share some truths about spring soccer in the South, where the weather changes as often as Miley Cyrus sticks out her tongue.

Truths About Spring Soccer10 Truths About Spring Soccer

  1. There will be mud, oh yes there will be mud.

  2. Opening season tournaments that boast the words “thaw” “unfreeze” or “spring” in their title will neither thaw you out or make you think of spring.

  3. Your kids will sweat just as much as they do in summer soccer, but there will be more mud to mix with it.

  4. White uniforms? Yeah, good luck with that.

  5. Get yourself some rain boots, cute ones if you’re really Southern. Oh and a parka. There’s nothing remotely cute about a parka but they come in handy.

  6. One weekend you’ll be wearing flip flops, the next weekend you’ll be wearing long underwear.

  7. It doesn’t matter if it’s spring, summer, or fall, 8 a.m. games are painful.

  8. Pack sunscreen AND handwarmers. You’ll never have enough.

  9. Bring lots of blankets, for warmth and cutting down on screen glare for bored younger siblings, and a flask for you. Just kidding…ok not really.

  10. You can never have enough coffee. One of these days Starbucks is going to figure out how to send in coffee drones to soaked and chilled to the bone soccer parents.

Spring Soccer Season

Do your kids play spring soccer?



Dear Elf on a Shelfinistas: Stop Making Me Look Like Crap

I wrote this two years ago and the sentiment for many of you fellow moms is the same, especially after reading Jon Acuff’s recent post and seeing this Dwarf in a Drawer.

Happy almost Christmas!
Originally published December 2011

We’d never had a resident Elf on a Shelf until last year.

Meet Steve.

Elf on a Pig

Steve, still at this Elf on a Shelf gig four years in a row and getting tired of the humiliating things he has to do around our house.

I assumed this Elf on a Shelf gig was pretty low maintenance, right? Like most parenting trends, however, a few overcaffeinated, overzealous overachievers can ruin simple, slacker mom fun.

The first thing my girls have done each morning these past couple of weeks, while bleary eyed and still in their pjs, is search for Steve. I’m absolutely thrilled they still hold fast to the wonder of Christmas. Steve brings a touch of magic to our day, a touch of magic that involves zero props or elf hijinks. Steve mischeviously moves every night as the girls are peacefully sleeping. Now Steve just has fun exploring our house. He doesn’t make flour snow angels in the kitchen or bring cute little gifts. Although, Steve? Feel free to bring me a bottle of wine from Santa’s private wine cellar any time, OK?

Suddenly, however, there are minions of mothers hell bent on destroying those of us who subscribe to the quaint and simple Elf on a Shelf fun. These Elf on a Shelfinistas continually set the bar higher with elaborate Elf on a Shelf pranks and portrait sessions that take longer than the Kardashians’ annual Christmas card photo shoot.

I see all you jacked up on eggnog moms posting your artsy fartsy Instagram pictures of your Elf on a Shelf. You’ve got your thrill-seeking zip lining elves, your makeshift hot tub in a coffee mug elves, and your “don’t be naughty” note writing elves.

People, our elf is doing good to just move to a new spot on a daily basis. Between this and an unexpected Christmas morning game changer (in her letter to Santa the 9-year-old asked him to wrap all the gifts he brings for the first time ever) THIS IS ALL I CAN HANDLE.

Every night, usually when I’m good and settled in under the covers with a book, I have an “OH CRAP I forgot to move Steve” moment. Then I quietly sneak down the hall to do the deed. There is not a nanosecond left in my day nor a morsel of creativity left in my brain for extraordinary feats of Elfdom. You see, we have an Elf on a Shelf, not an Elf on a Mission To Give Slacker Moms A Nervous Breakdown.

So all you moms setting up Elf on a Shelf Cirque de Soleil tonight remember that I’m already sitting down on the couch enjoying a glass of wine while you meticulously style your elf for a new Facebook wall photo.

We are simple Elf on the Shelf folk and we mean to stay that way.

20 Tween Girl Gifts For Under $20

Tween Gift Holiday Guide

Disclosure: Amazon affiliate account links used in post.

Being a mom to two girls, one who at 11 1/2 is a full-fledged middle schooler, I know a thing or 20 about tween girl gifts. Now I may know nothing about what makes a tween girl’s brain tick, but hey I do know shopping.

If you have a middle school age girl on your shopping list this holiday season (or even need to pick up a birthday gift), here are some fun and reasonably priced gift ideas that will only set you back $20 or less.


RingStix is a fun new game that kids can play alone or against each other (two players.) We were actually sent the RingStix Lite set in the fall and my 8-year-old daughter was entertained at the soccer fields during her sister’s tournament. Although this list is all about the girls, RingStix would be a hit with boys, too.

Beanie Boo’s

If your tween is still into stuffed animals, Beanie Boo’s by Ty are super adorable. I love these little guys!

Penguin Beanie Boo


Twister is one of those universally classic games that never gets old. I’ve seen kids ages 7 to 13 love playing Twister!

Eye Mask

Pottery Barn Teen has some awesome eye masks. A girl needs her girl power sleep! Love these whimsical, colorful eye masks...

 pb teen eye mask

and these faux furry ones are too fun.

Lava Lamp

Every groovy girl needs a lava lamp in her bedroom!

Lip Balm

A girl can never have too much lip balm. I love this cool EOS lip balm gift set in festive flavors.

eos lip balmFun Scarf

My 11-year-old loves fun scarves. This one from P.S. Aeropostale has just a little bling to make it stand out. And the LOL scarf from Old Navy is totally fun.

Tween Scarf

Old Navy Scarf

Rockin’ Headphones

A girl loves her tunes and these awesome fun headphones from P.S. Aeropostale are perfect for rocking, or chilling, out.

polka dot earmuff headphonesTicket Stub Diary

Tween girls love going to concerts, sporting events, and other fun outings. This Ticket Stub Diary from Uncommon Goods is a cool way to hold on to mementos documenting those first Taylor Swift and One Direction concerts and more.

Ticket Stub Diary

Winter Olympics Swag

My girls are pumped about the upcoming winter Olympics in 2014. Love this warm and sporty beanie from P.S. Aeoropostale.

Winter Olympics HatMad Libs

Here’s a great slumber party edition of one of my childhood faves, Mad Libs. Tween girls are always up for a sleepover, even if mom can’t hang. (Cough…)

Gift Card

I know, I know, it may be generic but tween girls love receiving gift cards. Try one for their local movie theatre (pair it with movie theatre candy from a dollar store or Walgreens), favorite frozen yogurt or ice cream spot, or favorite shopping destination, such as TJ Maxx, Target, Michaels, Amazon, or Claires.


Every girl needs a special place to record her hopes and dreams. This Peanuts journal from Dayspring makes me smile and it features some inspirational Bible verses. For older tweens (and teens), I am digging this Chill & Spill Journal featured on Uncommon Goods.

Peanuts Journal Dayspring

Duct Tape Fun

For creative tween girls, duct tape crafts are hot. I love this Fashion Angels tape set.

Duct Tape Caddy

School Locker Cool

Justice has an entire online section devoted to locker accessories. Tween girls love to personalize everything, even their school locker!

Mustache Mania

Mustsache theme graphics are all the rage. Techy and trendy, this mustache tech wristlet from Justice will hold your daughter’s iPhone with style.

Mustache WristletBright accessories

Harkening back to my teen years in the 80s, neon and bright color accessories are big with tweens. I love this double wrap silicone watch from Children’s Place.


A new DVD release is always a great gift idea. Both my girls have Despicable Me 2 on their wish list this Christmas.


We just saw Catching Fire and the Hunger Games Trilogy by author Suzanne Collins is hot right now, but I’d recommend it for girls 11 and up. My daughters also love all of the American Girl books that give helpful tips and advice on all things girl, from making friends to peer pressure.

The Feelings Book American Girl

Makeup bag

Most tweens are already into makeup, from lip gloss to nail polish, and they love containers, bags, and other organizing goodies for their room. I love this fun peace sign theme cosmetic bag from Etsy.

Makeup Bag Tween


 Do you have tween girls on your holiday shopping list?

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