The Dove Self Esteem Project Helped My Teen and I Have Hard Conversations

Speak Beautiful Dove Self Esteem Project

*The following has been shared with my daughter’s expressed permission & inspired from my experience with the Dove Self Esteem Project and #HourWithHer during Mom 2.0 Summit 2018

Friends, can I be honest with you? I often feel like I’m doing it wrong. “It” can be translated into a number of things in life. Carrer, parenting, marriage, etc, you name it. When I compare myself to the idealistic standards in my mind or on the internet,  I don’t always feel like the perfect mom, wife, or friend. Maybe you feel like that sometimes too. What helps me is being surrounded by a community of trusted mentors, friends, and colleagues that support and soundboard with me ensuring me that I am getting “it” right more times than not. They remind me of my strengths,  let me know I am valued and remind me of all the beautiful parts. As our daughters are growing up they are going through the very same things and need our encouragement. This is something we ALL need, no matter our age or stage in life. Having a mentor and being a mentor to others is so important.

Dove Self Esteem Project #HourWithHer

My Introduction To The Dove Self Esteem Project

Earlier this year at Mom 2.0 Summit, I gave an hour of my time to participate in a Dove workshop as a mentor to teen girls. At first glance, I could tell some of these girls didn’t think we had much in common. As we talked over the next sixty minutes about transformational life moments and instances that had negatively impacted my self-esteem at their age, I could see their demeanor change. They began to share their similar experiences and we talked about ways to reframe those situations. You could see in their smiles that they felt more confident and beautiful. It was proof that sharing our stories connects and uplifts us.

Encouraging authentic storytelling and uplifting the next generation to reshape how they see themselves are actinos that are relevant to our community now more than ever.

That hour showed me just how important it is to be intentional with our time and experiences. Having a teen daughter of my own entering high school this fall, I made a decision to implement the Dove #HourWithHer philosophy at home this summer having intentional conversations. It wasn’t awkward or weird. It was time that strengthened our relationship with such a small amount of effort.

Spending just one hour talking with a girl in your life about beauty, confidence, and self-esteem can make such a difference in her future development.

Some of the conversations we had were light and we laughed until our sides ached. Other conversations were harder. There were a few topics I may have otherwise avoided in an effort to shield her from hard things I’d experienced. What I realized is that as girls are forming into more mature, complete people it is important that they have a good picture of who we are as their parents and mentors. It’s important that they know we are human, imperfect, talented, and yet, still growing too.

Kaitlyn Dove Self Esteem Project

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect

Want to know something that pretty freeing? You don’t have to be perfect to be a role model or mentor. You don’t have to feel like you always have to have the right answers. In fact, as our daughters and young girls are looking up to us if we project this image of perfection it gives them an unrealistic guide to measure themselves against. Perfection isn’t the goal, confidence is. They just need our time and the knowledge that their body, personality, height, weight, hair, and heart is just exactly the correct way as long as they feel confident in it.

The hours I spent with my daughter this summer gave her an open door to ask questions about me when I was her age and other topics that she may not have known how to approach or introduce otherwise. There were several topics and stories I wouldn’t have thought to share. This time helped us see each other in a new way and we both left more uplifted and with more confidence.

About the Dove Self Esteem Project

Dove understands it can feel daunting to introduce new conversations like this and they have solutions to help you get started. They have even categorized guides to the discussions for Parents & Mentors, Teachers, and Youth Leaders. You can search for specific topics on the site as well. For those that need a different way to spend time with these topics, you’ll find other helpful resources like the short video below that you can watch together to softly introduce discussions.

Dove Real Beauty Productions recently produced this short film, directed by Debbie Allen, to show the impact just one hour with a girl can make.

Learn more about the Dove Self Esteem project on the website here or follow the #HourWithHer hashtag on social media.

Becoming The Weekend Wife

The weekend wife

To avoid any rumors or misunderstandings, things at home are just fine. Today’s post title references a tongue in cheek moniker I bestowed upon myself one Sunday evening, admittedly to get a slow eye roll response from Randall as he packed his suitcase for the following week. This is part of our new normal now and how we cope with the temporary weekday separation. Leaving your family each week, microwaving dinner for one, and waking up alone is quite a beige life (*see below) and beige just isn’t in our color palette. My contribution is to balance the beige with well-intentioned sarcasm, jokes and creative hashtags along the way as I continue to chronicle this segment of our story.

Anything can be sustained temporarily. That’s what we tell ourselves. It’s how we cope.

I’d like to briefly pause offering a bit more context and a congratulatory moment of accolades to Randall on his new job. Earlier this year he accepted a position reentering the chamber world as Executive Director of the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce.  It is a wonderful career opportunity in a field where he greatly excels and will allow our entire family to be embedded in community.  We’ve already found a new home and have been interviewing at schools in the area for next fall. Knowing that moving in the middle of a school year is never easy and that Sebastian would be making a transition to middle school this fall anyway, we decided things would be easiest if we waited and moved the children at the end of the school year. Thus, I became the Weekend Wife.

“Ya know, Marriage is the best sleepover of your entire life.”

As expected with our new lifestyle, we’ve both been fielding lots of inquiries and quizzical glances as we explain our chosen weekday separation. Maybe that’s why we haven’t made it super public as we figure out our new routines. We are given lots of “absence makes the heart grow fonder” winks, unsolicited advice, and a few quips about being grateful for alone time. I don’t think either of us is fond of the alone time. It feels more like everyone has just been picked up from the sleepover you hosted.

When we were newlyweds people would ask us “So what’s it like now? Being married and all?” I thought carefully about my response, how I felt each day as I woke up and replied “Ya know, Marriage is the best sleepover of your entire life!” I still believe that to be truest description of a good marriage. You only invite your best friends over to spend the night, to do your favorite things until the stars come out and you are fully aware that the later it gets the mischievousness and disagreements will come. Still, whatever happened the night before is forgotten as you wake up in a pile of blankets, sunshine on your face to someone making breakfast in the kitchen. See what I mean? A good marriage is the best sleepover you’ll ever have.

The house seems quieter and the bed seems bigger. Sometimes I sleep on his side instead.

The transition isn’t easy to navigate. My weekday hours have remained relatively the same. Weeknights are a heavier workload as I am solo project manager for homework, dinner, laundry, errand running, double checking teeth brushing, and lunch packing supervisor. This is the “ordinary” part of the day when we miss each other most. The time of day when brushing by each other in the kitchen holds the potential to transform into a smile and few minutes of  slow dancing or watching a documentary on Netflix leads to a in-depth commentary on the state of society at large. The house seems quieter and the bed seems bigger. Those nights, when I miss him the most, I sleep on his side instead. 

It’s not all bad I tell myself. The house is marginally more tidy. The entire stock of protein bars are mine for the choosing. There will be four entire days in which I won’t have to rush to get in the shower first or worry about drying off with a damp towel. We’re making the most of technology to stay connected. We find hidden moments in the day to send silly texts as if we were passing notes in class the way school children do.

He drives home every Friday evening battling rush hour and commuter traffic through two of Texas’s largest cities to see us for a little more than 48 hours. We cram as much into those hours as possible pretending everything is the same but an invisible hourglass consistently reminds us time is shorter than we like.

Sunday nights are the worst. That’s when the small suitcase is pulled out of the closet to be repacked with the freshly done laundry again. We tell the children goodnight and I watch him kiss each one on the forehead and tell them goodbye because he’ll be gone by the time they wake up for school. After that, we crawl into bed and hold each other tightly. In a few hours he will quietly silence the alarm doing his best not to wake me. He’ll dim the bathroom light and crack the door getting dressed in the shadows. Quietly he walks to my side of the bed, leans over to kiss my cheek and wakes me just enough to make sure I heard him whisper goodbye.

Anything can be sustained temporarily. That’s what we tell ourselves. It’s how we cope.

 

(a”beige life” is like a biscuit without jelly. Colorless and really, what’s the point??)

 

 

10 Best Labor and Delivery Memes

This week has been an emotional roller coaster of pregnancy, labor and delivery experiences. Today especially. I have no behavior left. For your amusement ( and mostly to keep me occupied) while we anxiously await the arrival of baby girl, Here are the best memes to help you laugh your way along.

10 BEST Labor and Delivery Memes

waiting on labor

dad in labor meme

sex to bring on labor

waiting on the homies labor

still waiting labor meme

waiting on labor to be over

bloggers giving birth labor

labor delivery meme

inducing labor

gorilla Labor meme

 

4 Perfect Gifts for the Girl on the Go

Gifts for the Girl on the Go

Finding the perfect gift for the girl you can hardly pin down is a tough feat. She’s someone who likes nice things but doesn’t have time to be weighed down. The things in her life have to be multi-functional, chic and bring joy. This can be complicated to sort out but with just a few shopping days left I’ve teamed up with Verizon to test out a few of these and offer you some of the best suggestions of the season!

Perfect Gifts for the Girl on the Go

Google Pixel

google Pixel

With this new phone by Google, she can be sure to document precious moments everywhere life takes her with the highest rated smartphone camera, a battery that lasts all day (through countless selfies and emails) and a charger that gets seven hours of battery life in 15 minutes. Couple that with UNLIMITED cloud photo storage and Verizon’s fastest LTE Advanced network. The girl on the go needs a network that works just as fast as she does.

FitBit Charge 2

Do you even walk bro? If you didn’t track your steps how do we know?! The Fit Bit Charge 2 tracks everything. Maximize workouts, automatically track all-day activity, exercise and sleep. Plus, make the most of your routine with smartphone notifications, Reminders to Move and personalized guided breathing sessions. Add interchangeable bands and it’s the motivation you need to push yourself further.

Cork Globe

Gift guide cork globe

Help your loved ones track previous and future adventures with this contemporary globe. Colored pins keep track of bucket-list destinations and favorite vacations, while the stainless-steel and cork design gives it a fresh, grown-up look.

Travel Blanket Scarf

gift guide blanket scarf

This is one item she can’t afford to be without. Whether it’s a trek across the country or across town, this is a MUST HAVE item in her bag. Planes are always cold and nothing is cozier on a long roadtrip in the car than the blanket scarf. Wrap it, drape it, twist it or belt it, with so many versatile styling options it is a gift any girl will love!

I hope these ideas spurred you on for one more gift under the tree or even a little something to surprise her with New Year’s day. Any of these gifts are sure to surprise and delight! Thanks again to Verizon for providing the lifestyle tech items to review for this gift guide.

For shopping and price info:

Google Pixel :Price $649.99 (retail); $27 per month (two-year contract)
Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate and Fitness Wristband:  Price $149.00 (retail)
Cork Globe:  uncommongoods.com Price: $48.00-$105.00 depending on size
Travel Blanket Scarf : check out several great options here

 

 

Gevalia Iced Coffee with Almond Milk : Easy Iced Coffee for More Summer Fun

I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Gevalia Iced Coffee with Almond Milk. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation

Gevalia Iced Coffee with Almond Milk

I am a firm believer that everything about summer should be carefree, enjoyable and easy. No rushing. No pressure. No homework to help with (Can I get an “Amen”?!). I am also a firm believer in good coffee. During the school year right after morning drop off, I often stop to pick up a steaming cup of java and chat with a friend at a local coffee shop.

(Note: “Often” as used above can also be substituted for Every. Single. Day….. truth. We are an honest blog.)

The thing is our summer schedule looks a lot different from the way it does during the school year. We’ve designed it that way. The kids sleep in. I let them. No packing lunches or prepping for the school week. We stay up later and swim at all hours of the day and evening. We go on vacations in the middle of the week and I drink my coffee in the middle of afternoon. Afternoon coffee is best served cold. Iced, in fact. I have recently discovered an iced coffee that is perfect for summer!

Gevalia Iced Coffee with Almond Milk has made more time in my schedule for summer fun.

Gevalia Iced Coffee with almond milk 3 flavors

First off , it is available in three flavors: Mocha, Vanilla and Caramel. I loved the flavors on these none of them had an aftertaste or were overly sweet. Just perfect for pouring straight into an ice filled glass on a warm summer day.

Cool Gevalia Iced Coffee with Almond Milk

Gevalia Iced Coffee with Almond Milk has nine grams of protein per single serve carton. Combined with creamy almond milk and just enough sweetness, it is a delicious iced coffee I can feel good about.

A photo posted by alice chase (@alicechase) on

The other thing I lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvee about is this packaging. Remember how I said we are at the pool swimming all hours of the day & night?? Gevalia Iced Coffee with Almond Milk is so easy to grab from the fridge, throw in the pool bag and we are out the door! I can recycle the single serve container before we leave. No dishes to wash…. See, this is the way summer was meant to be lived!

My husband loves to grab one of these on his way to the office too! No judging, somebody’s gotta work, right?! Whether you are poolside or at the office, EVERYONE deserves great coffee!

Happy Summer Y’all!!

For more info on Gevalia Iced Coffee with Almond Milk be sure to check out the website and follow on Facebook & Twitter.

What flavor of Gevalia Iced Coffee with Almond Milk are you most excited to try? 

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