Balance · Boredom · Enjoying life · Experience · Family · Fighting · Friendship · Hokey Pokey · Life · Making it all work · Making time · Moms · Money · Relationships · Take a deep breathe · Taking time · To do · Uncategorized · Youth

The Hokey Pokey Conundrum

You put your left hand in, you put your left hand out, you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around…

We all know the song, but is that really what it’s all about? 

Life is beautiful and beautifully difficult. It’s graceful and clumsy, unique and monotonous. Life is generous and a thief, memorable and forgettable. Life is a story.  Handcrafted, raw, and exclusive. Some parts we write, others are written for us, but when the hard cover exterior closes at the end will you be satisfied with the outcome?

As I am getting older I’m trying to find the meaning of it all. If the hokey pokey is what it’s all about, shouldn’t we follow the lead, put our head in and shake it all about? Literally, I picture myself pinching a nerve in my neck while I shake it all around (spoken from experience with the one time I tried to head bang as a teenager).  Figuratively , I’m trying to think logically about what I want in life. We spend so much of our life making money to pay for the things we need (or think we need) and not enough time doing the things our soul craves. The meaning of life has become so misguided and strangled by monetary holds. Smiles, laughter, willingness, creativity, family, friends, support, and experiences are what we need. Endless hours of work, housework, errands, obligations, and commitments are what we all too often get. I don’t know about you, but my to do list is a self rotating one of laundry, emptying the dishwasher, work, organizing, food shopping, and all of the other weekly chores. On the low end, for the last 15 years at 5 hours a week of just house chores (and let’s be honest 5 hours is laughable when we all know how much time goes into it all) I have spent close to 4,000 hours – over 160 total days – on things that give me no real long term reward. Now I’m not saying that we should all stop cleaning, cooking, etc., but doesn’t that put time into perspective a little?

Time. As children we spend a good portion of our life wishing it away and even as adults we continue the tradition, especially Monday to Thursday. The problem is, if we live weekend to weekend, are we short changing ourselves of all the extra good stuff?  I am desperately trying to hold onto time. Grasping onto the moments while they somehow slip through my unmanicured fingers. 

Reminder: I need to add that to my to do list 😉

Let’s get serious (now would be a good point to cue the sappy music). 
Today is the only today you will get, so instead of wishing it away for tomorrow, why not fill your lungs fully with air and grab onto the next 24 hours rather than lock them away without the key? Furthermore, if all the worlds a stage, then why are we not Meredith and Cristina dancing it out when things get boring, mundane, or rough?  If dancing it out has a purpose in life, then perhaps the hokey pokey has it right. 

If there is anything that I have learned from that old familiar childhood song, it is to put yourself as a priority in your life. Live your life fully, not partially.  Set goals and achieve them, hold yourself accountable and believe them. Be in the moment, don’t live it behind a screen or covered by the dollar bill. We get one chance, one opportunity so put your whole self in, shake it all around, dance it out on your stage, and experience what it’s all about. 

Until next time,

One Cool Nerd Mommy

Copyright One Cool Nerd Mommy 2017

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Activities · Art · Balance · Boredom · Enjoying life · Fairs · Family · Festivals · Kids · Life · Making it all work · Making time · Moms · Recipes · Smell the flowers · Summer · Take a deep breathe · Taking time · Uncategorized · Walking · Water · Wine

Summer Boredom Blasters


With the summer season finally here, I began thinking of different things to do with my kiddos and as a family. I couldn’t keep the list just to myself, so I had to share it with my One Cool Nerd Mommy followers. Some are for kids, some for adults, some for families and all fun. Please feel free to add your own ideas in the comments and come back to share your thoughts, ideas, and pictures of your summer adventures.

Visit a local fair

Buy locally grown fruits and veggies at the farmers market or stand

Visit local museums or historical societies

Go out for ice cream (I always say yes to this one)

Do chalk art outside


Hopscotch

Jump rope

Bean bag toss

Freeze dance

Have a dance party

Go to local gymnastics place for open gym

Bubbles (We picked some super fun bubble makers at the dollar store. They even make bubbles inside of bubbles!)


Attend story hour at your local library

Visit your local hardware store if they offer kids crafts. They usually cost you no more than $10 each

Attend music classes

Watch your kids play, they will only be that age for this summer. Take it all in. 

Find music in the park events. A lot of these are free and give kids the chance to move, play, and dance 

Grow your own herbs and reap the benefits. I grew fresh basil for the first time this year and paired it with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic dressing. I had some leftover bacon from a Sunday breakfast and put it on toasted sourdough with a little bit of mayo and the salad and it was AMAZING!


Go out to eat where there is outdoor seating, preferably by water. It instantly calms and relaxes you.

Check with your local movie theatre to see if they offer summer children’s movies. One of ours has the movie, popcorn, and drink for less than $5 each and its in the late morning before naps. 

Fill a large bucket or bin with water and give your kids different things to play in the water with. We bring a lot of our bath toys out or kitchen strainers and gadgets. 

Color outside of the lines and in a box


Visit a local winery

Sign up for a paint class (wine optional)

Read a book

Ride a bike

Sit outside at some point every day

Breath the fresh air

Go for a walk

Leave rock art on a trail for the next person


Find some form of beauty every day in the summer and post it to Instagram account

Volunteer at an animal shelter

Find a food truck festival and have a day of eating

Take a day trip to a town you’ve never visited

Fill a kids pool and let’s your kiddos have fun – soak your feet too

Attend festivals and try something new

Visit the zoo


Give your dog a bath and don’t be afraid to get wet

Play in the sprinkler with your kids

Visit a pool

Create a scavenger hunt and go out as a family to find everything

Visit a splash pad 

Take your favorite canine(s) for an early morning or evening walk (when it’s not so hot and the pavement is cooled down – don’t forget water for them too)


Attend a local sporting event 

Have breakfast outside

Watch the clouds pass by, find shapes within

Barbecue – don’t forget to grill your veggies too

Create an amazing fresh salad with the goodies from the Farmers Market

Bake muffins with your kids


Have a water gun fight

Collect rocks, paint them, display them outside in a rock garden

See if any local parks are hosting a movie after dark

Visit a drive in movie theatre 

Go out for happy hour

Watch the sunset


Go to the beach

Play in the sand

Pay for someone’s coffee on line behind you at the drive through 

Visit an arcade

Play a game on the boardwalk or at a carnival and try to win a prize

Freeze coffee to make coffee ice cubes for iced coffee

Visit a botanical garden


Do yoga at the park or the beach

Make a fort

Play mini golf

Play an outdoor game with your kids

Freeze blended yogurt and fruits in popsicle molds for a yummy treat

Spend time with those that mean the most

Take time to relax


Buy a few beers or wine you have never had and have a sampling at home

Stay in a B&B, even if it’s down the road from you

Visit a waterfall

Swim in the ocean

Go kayaking

Have a hula hooping contest 

Create an obstacle course

Have a movie night

Enjoy an ice cream sundae night at home – don’t forget the toppings!

Enjoy every day. You won’t ever get that day again. Take it all in, take photos to remember, and have an awesome summer!
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Copyright One Cool Nerd Mommy 2017

All photos are Copyright of One Cool Nerd Mommy 

Balance · Enjoying life · Life · Making it all work · Making time · Parenting · Smell the flowers · Take a deep breathe · Taking time · Uncategorized

Stop and Smell the Flowers…and then take a Benadryl


I used to see the world in color. Vibrant, brilliant colors, but somewhere between nights out dancing with friends and nights in with a cup of tea, my view faded from bright to dull.  The pink hue of my childhood was stripped of it’s red and I was left with white. The white bounced off of black and in crowded gray. It wasn’t until I had my children that I realized just how much gray had been a staple in my life.  From my opinion of people and humanity, to the drab dark colored clothes I wore.  It surrounded me. I was happy, but so many layers of me had been stripped away from experiences and choices I had made.  I teach and guide my children everyday, but the real educators are them. They have not only given me bright sparkly colors, but they have taught me to stop and smell the flowers…and then take a Benadryl.

My children are wild. Wildly fun, wildly humorous, wildly entertaining, curious, exquisite, and miraculous. They are also at times, as children can be, wildly frustrating.  I find myself (more often than I like) getting caught up in the hustle of daily life tasks.  Feeling like we are always running late and getting frustrated when my beautiful wild little get frustrated at my errands or expectations. Trying to fit it all in becomes exhausting and sometimes overwhelming. After caring for my family, preparing meals, getting to school and activities, exercising, eating those prepared meals, cleaning the clothes after the eating, playing with my kiddos, work, spending time as a couple, and the rest of the list of tasks to do; I feel cheated on time. Precious time. My heart often aches because when my head finally sinks into my memory foam pillow, we are all one more day older and while the pillow has a good memory, I feel like a claw machine trying to grab onto everything so I can file it away.  For so long I felt like I was missing out and rushing through my days like my backside would ignite in flames if I stopped.

Recently, my oldest and I planted flowers together. Which really turned into we did three flowers as a potting duet and I did the rest while she played with a bucket of rocks.  I was shoveling and patting quickly to just get the job done when I looked up at her precious face nuzzling a marigold with her perfect little nose. It was in that moment that my gaze yearned longingly to  live in the moment and just take in the beauty of the bounty before us. So I stopped. I moved over, sat in a pile of dirt and smelled the flowers with my big little.  The smell was sweet and if you closed your eyes, it was like you could taste spring. I felt yellow.  I became yellow. My heart sang in that 13.5 second window of time and it ached to feel more. Somewhere in the hustle of every day, I had lost the ability to find the good. To feel the colors.  

Now like most things, my action created a reaction and my flower sniffing euphoria of emotions collided with my allergies.  In the coin toss of the football game in my sinuses, allergies won and the kick off commenced as they bounded to the end zone.  The thing is , I wouldn’t change the course of my actions despite the puffy eyes and impressive bouts of sneezing.  In life we have choices, opportunities each day.  We can play it safe in the gray area, or get out and experience life around us.  Our life, this life has an expiration date. Tomorrow is not a given nor is the day after.  Find time every day to just stop.  Take in the smell of the coffee beans before you wake your soul in the morning.  Eat foods that keep you good, but also treat yourself to the ones that taste like a little slice of heaven. Play with your children, the dishes can wait. Spend time with your loved ones, that time is a gift. Hold your pets, because to them, you are their entire world.  Continue to learn.  Exercise.  Dance it out.  Doing something for yourself is doing sometching for those you love. Taking care of yourself first enables you to care for others not only whole heartedly, but also uninterrupted and completely.  Life is hard, but it doesn’t have to always be difficult.  Don’t let the minutes grow wings and take flight.  Just stop.  Stop and smell the flowers….and then take a Benadryl. 

Until next time,

One Cool Nerd Mommy

Copyright 2017 One Cool Nerd Mommy