Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thoughts on my birthday...


Well, folks, tomorrow is my birthday. While they are not as exciting as they are for our little ones, birthdays have a way of making us pause and reflect on the past year, the future, the present.

This year flew by for me for many reasons. One reason is that my son is in school now. As soon as he started kindergarten last year (he's now finishing up 1st grade), time sped up. Add in sports and extras, and the wheels haven't stopped in our house. Gone are the endless baby and toddler days, and that's mostly a good thing. I'd rather be out, busy, enjoying life than spending time in the house warped in nap schedules and baby routines (so new mamas, take heart-- there's hope!).


Oddly enough, I found this image with the "36" (my new age) on a photo database.
A sign of...something?
Also, I wish that were my cake :).



I also took on more work this year. I tutored throughout the school year, took on a regular contributing writer/reporter position for our local newspaper, and contributed more frequently to magazines and websites. I also renewed my teaching license. 

Whew! 

I'm tired just thinking about it all, but I don't regret the extra time I carved out for these professional and personal pursuits. While taking on more work projects ate up what remained of my meager social and free time, it feels really good to have my foot back in the teaching realm as well as quite a few publications under my belt.So what goals do I have for this next year? Truthfully, I haven't had much time to think about it [see above]. I'll have to keep you posted. I suppose at this point, my motto is 'keep on keeping on!'

How about you? How do birthdays make you feel? Old? Young? Accomplished, or not so much? Do you set goals each year? If so, what are they?

There's still a lot I want to do in my life. I hope I continue to be inspired in the upcoming year. I hope to be a content wife and mother while making room for my own passions and career.

And of course, I hope to write fresh posts on my trusty Frantic Mama blog for another year!

~Julia @ Frantic Mama


Friday, June 2, 2017

Amazon Prints is REALLY worth the try! $1000 of Amazon Gift Cards to be Won!

I'm a big fan of Amazon.com. Amazon and I go way back-- I remember when they just sold books in ye olden days when I was in college. Now you can get just about anything from them, photos included.

I'm obsessed with taking photos of my family (and of nature and animals and everything else). The problem with all these digital photos is that they often add up on my phone and camera instead of being printed and organized in a nice album or photo gift we can actually enjoy.





Amazon to the rescue! 

Amazon has launched a photo printing service that allows all customers to print their memories. Prime members can upload images to their Prime Photos account, print the product of their choice, and receive free delivery. 

If you’re not a Prime member, you’ll receive 5 GB of storage free on Prime Photos and be able to print your photos. Prints start as low as $0.09, but I'm a sucker for the photo canvases and photo calendar creation (I give my husband a family photo calendar with our favorite photos each Christmas. He says it's his favorite gift.). 

Here's a fun gift card giveaway I'm a part of in collaboration with Amazon: 






I hope one of my readers wins the big cash prize (because naturally my readers are the best!). In the meantime, keep snapping those photos! If you're anything like me, you'd rather have too many than too few :).

 ~ Julia @ Frantic Mama


*Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!
**Amazon, Fire, and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Thoughts on my First Born's 7th Birthday


OMG. Omggggg you guys. My first born turned 7-- SEVEN-- last week. My longterm, loyal [amazing] readers know I reflect every year on my son's birthday, ever since I started the blog, right before he turned 2. TWO!

You know how everyone loves to inform exhausted, overwhelmed new mothers that "it goes by so fast-- enjoy every second!"? And how that 'advice' is completely annoying most of the time because if you are home all day every day with babies, toddlers, and young children the days go by anything but fast? Don't worry, I'm not one of those people. I don't have the Motherhood Amnesia so characteristic of mothers-in-law and random grocery-store shoppers.


This photo courtesy of the Mother-Son date I took him on for Mother's Day.
I treasure our rare one-one-one times and need to make them happen more often!

I can now say that okay, yes, I see how (in a way) the years do go by fast. But not the days. Definitely not the days. I've had some doozies in my life as a mom, and I have earned each one of these 7 years (~2,555 days) as a Mom Veteran. I'm a fighter, baby! And I'm still standing.

Still, I've said it before and I'll say it again this year: What my son's birthday most poignantly reminds me of is that Motherhood has brought me the greatest challenges in my life, but it has also brought me the most joy in my life. I'm forever grateful for my son. I love the person he has always been and, maybe even more, the one he is becoming.

Here's to the next 7 years of Motherhood... the challenges, the joys, the heartache, the triumphs... ALL of it.

Much love from me to all of you who have been with me since the beginning, and also to newer visitors. It truly takes a village-- and I don't care if it's online!

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

You can find more of me on Facebook.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Paperless Post Fun


Have you heard of Paperless Post? It's a handy site that helps you create beautiful online and printed stationery that reflects your style. The founders started the business to show that communication can be personal and well-designed regardless of the medium.

I love the idea because I'm pretty really bad about remembering to send snail mail cards...you know, the whole buy a card, find a stamp, put in the mail ordeal...and remembering to do all of it a couple of weeks ahead of the birthday/party/event. I end up feeling guilty all the time because I never get my act together to send cards on time!


You can send this adorable card via e-mail or snail mail through Paperless Post!

Enter Paperless Post: They have customizable designs and online tools that make it easy to communicate for any occasion-- from birthday invites to baby showers to Father's Day to fundraisers. You can send online cards and invites, yes, but here's my favorite part-- you can have Paperless Post send a printed card to your recipient directly from their site, with your own personalized message!

You simply provide the address and message (you can even upload a photo). Voila! No frantic runs to the store to pick out a card or rummaging through the house scavenging for stamps only for the card to arrive after the holiday/birthday/etc. Your loved one still receives your beautiful note via their mailbox. 

Here is a link to their cute birthday inviteshttps://www.paperlesspost.com/cards/group/birthday_invitations.The kids birthday options are especially cute, like this one:



LOVE it. 

The cost ranges from free for basic online cards to upwards of several dollars (you buy "coins" on the site to pay for their products) for a customized printed card or invite mailed for you (which includes postage).

How about you? Do you send printed or online invites and cards? Is snail mail a lost art? Have you embraced the ease of technology to communicate and celebrate?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

We adopted...a cat!


I feel remiss, readers! I have not formally introduced all of you to our newest family member.

Please forgive me, and meet Pikachu!

Isn't she pretty?


My 6 year-old son, of course, is the one who came up with the name. He's obsessed with Pokemon right now, and Pikachu is a main character in the show. Here's the original Pikachu:


Do you see the resemblance ;) ?

She's been a great addition to the family. She was a rather lonesome barn cat for years, and when I told my riding instructor we were hoping to adopt a kitty, she suggested we take Tina (now re-named Pikachu) home. We couldn't have asked for a better pet. She's calm, affectionate, and playful. We LOVE her. [Side note: if you are thinking of getting a pet, consider adopting one! It's an awesome experience.]

The fact that my kids and I convinced my dog-loving husband to give a cat a try is also a pretty huge deal. He loves her now too and can often be found petting her on his lap in the evenings.


Besides, who could resist those chunky, fluffy paws, calico fur, and green eyes?
Ancient wisdom and folklore from many cultures have believed that Calicos are magical and bring good luck. I think I agree...

Pikachu is sitting/sleeping in her favorite spot-- my lap-- as I type this. You can find more Pikachu Pics on my Instagram page (of course): www.Instagram.com/FranticMama.

How about you guys? Who has pets? Are you a dog person, a cat person, or like me, an everything-with-fur person?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama