I’m not pregnant. Now that we have that out of the way, I can get right to it. So, if you’ve been following along with me and have read about my long days, my shortcomings as a mom, and my overall struggles with life, you know that I work too much, have a ghastly commute, and barely see my family during the week. Well, all of that is about to change.

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One of my biggest headaches when I first started breastfeeding and pumping was about breastmilk storage. It felt like everything I saw online and everything veteran mamas told me was in contradiction with each other and I ended up having to figure it out for myself.

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Confession: I’m not a Pinterest mom. Okay, you most likely already knew that. Between working, blogging, and general life responsibilities all moms have, I just don’t have a ton of time any on my hands. Well, that lack of time magnifies around Christmas; there’s just so much to do. But in spite of that, yes – we do Elf on the Shelf and yes, my kids love it. Our elf’s name is Francisco (inspired by a scene from “Elf” – bonus points if you can guess which one!). But see, Francisco isn’t a creative or mischievous elf. And, he’s not a huge snitch either. We use him for fun and magic but not really as something to scare my children (but we’ve tried in desperation, at times). Francisco moves at night but that’s the extent of his shenanigans. My kids don’t wake up to some crazy scene; they find joy in simply trying to find him, and that works for me because trying to keep up with Pinterest Mom is a level of commitment that I just can’t accept; I don’t need that kind of stress in my life. That said, even with the very limited amount of work involved with our Elf on the Shelf situation, I confess that I sometimes often forget to move him. Sometimes I can fly out of bed in the morning and make it happen before my 4 year old comes downstairs; other times I have to bite the bullet and leave him in place… and then think on my feet for an excuse.

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When I was in school, my favorite subject was lunch. Seriously. Learning was for the birds! It wasn’t until I met my husband that I realized I had some basic knowledge gaps with stuff I should know, such as US presidents and state capitals. I would like to think it’s because I lived in Canada until the 5th grade but it might be a combination of that, bad public schools, and my lack of desire or care (mostly this, I’m sure). Now, as an adult I wish I knew some of these things to keep up with my husband. Well, I’m seriously beyond thrilled to have found a product that combines my favorite subject (food) with learning!

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Is your family like the McCallisters who always take a family vacation over Christmas (without leaving some one behind, of course)? Are you headed to the beach, perhaps? Maybe on a cruise? A hotel with a nice, heated indoor pool? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the above then keep reading, my friend! You’re not going to want to forget these 5 things.

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