James Kicinski-McCoy is a writer and blogger, specializing in strategic marketing and branding, is a co-founder and editor of Mother Magazine, and co-owner and creative director of Two Son. She lives with her husband and four children in Nashville, Tennessee.
Hello and a very Happy New Year to all of you. As I am sure many of you may share similar sentiments towards 2016 as I do, I welcome this new year, this fresh start, and this time for reflection and growth to inspire me and the year ahead. I have not been one for resolutions for quite some time now, but I am one for realistic goals and intention. This year I have come up with a fun way to challenge myself. A different way to approach personal growth, ideas, and objectives.
There is no fancy name or clever title, it’s just the concept of simple, obtainable challenges for myself that will keep me on the road to personal growth, which is something that I think all of us are always seeking. Each Sunday, I will choose a small goal for the week ahead of me. For this first week of January, I chose to give up alcohol. No wine, no beer, and no liquor for one solid week. Simple. Easy. Obtainable. And, I will feel good after completing it.
That’s it. That’s all she wrote. My goals will vary from week to week, based on what’s going on, my schedule and surroundings, and they can be as simple or as challenging as I choose. I plan on sharing most of them here with you. So far 2017 is looking up, and I like it.
What about you? Do you have any goals, resolutions, or challenges for the year ahead?
Stockings are one of my family’s favorite holiday traditions. As surprising as it may sound, it’s one of the first places my kids run to on Christmas morning. And, although the gifts are smaller, they usually contain some of the best treats and surprises. If you’re hung up on what to fill your stockings with this year, I’ve partnered with Target to bring you a variety of fun, festive stocking stuffer options. From tiny toys for the kiddos to higher-end electronics, this season, stockings might just become one of your favorite traditions, too.
1. For the master mixologist in your life, why not drop a few essential cocktail tools into their stocking? This way, they can shake, muddle, and pour their way through the holidays, and if you’re lucky, you might just be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
2. What are the holidays without a cup of delicious hot chocolate to warm the belly? And, to kick it up a notch, why not include a few gourmet marshmallows to enjoy alongside it. The kids will love it, and you will, too!
3. If you’re searching for a festive way to extend decorating beyond the holiday season, why not include a pom pom garland that you and your family can enjoy now and after the New Year?
4. Coasters make great gifts for anyone, not just those a little too worried about their furniture. So, if you’re looking for a universal stocking stuffer, this set might be just what you’re after!
5. Who doesn’t love a pair of comfortable socks to keep you warm and cozy throughout the chilly winter months? You may just want to purchase a set for every person in your family!
6. For the beauty lovers who want to stay hydrated all winter long, I’ve been loving the Vaseline Lip Therapy. It smells amazing and lasts all day!
7. This one’s a bit pricer, but sometimes great things come in small packages. The Apple Watch Series 2 appears to be this season’s “it” gift, so why not hop on board, and stuff your stocking with a present that offers a bit of something for everyone?
8. For when you need to stuff a stocking with something cheeky and on-theme, why not include a little Christmas tree decoration. It’s colorful and classic, so it makes the perfect addition to any gifts you may have already bought.
9. For your Star Wars loving kiddos, this Hot Wheels rendition on Darth Vader’s car will provide hours of fast-paced entertainment.
10. Birdie loves Littlest Pet Shops, and it just so happens that they make perfect stocking stuffers!
11. Another great option for the techies on your list is the Apple TV. It may be small, but it’s filled with hours of entertainment. If want to go the extra mile, why not load it up with your recipients favorite streaming services?
12. And finally, why not stuff those stockings with a fun toy that the whole family can enjoy? The receiver of the gift will score an entertaining new instant camera, and your family will have memories to last a lifetime!
Take a look at all of the Bullseye View stocking stuffers here.
Three out of four of my children were born blonde. And, I’ve always loved to let their hair grow really long. Since each of them were little, I’ve received question after question about their sunny locks—what I do to care for them, how I prevent tangles, etc. It’s no secret that I love their hair (especially my little blondies), and I encourage them to love it, too. They almost always wear it down, and we never really change or alter it besides the occasional braid or bun. Birdie has only had one haircut when she was two—I gave her bangs—that’s it! I think my kids have an organic appreciation for their strands. I love their hair, so they do, too.
It’s important to set a positive example (even for something as seemingly trivial as a child’s hair), as there can be such a narrow depiction of what makes hair beautiful. In fact, Dove found that 8 in 10 women feel pressure to wear their hair a certain way, many of these ideas beginning at an early age. That says a lot. Like me, Dove believes that having a positive role model can drastically impact a girl’s confidence. As a mother, I want nothing more than for Birdie (and Sailor, and all of my children) to love every part of themselves. So at the end of the day, whether it’s brunette or blonde, cut long or short, I just always want them to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Here are a few photos of Birdie and I (and a few of Sailor, too) talking all things hair. If you have a daughter, or a young girl in your life, don’t forget to inspire her to love her hair, too.
Let’s show our girls how beautiful their hair truly is. Add a special touch to one of your photos with Dove. Create and share your custom animated message by visiting LoveYourHair.Dove.com!
Wow, it’s been a long time since I have been able to update this space. Life has been busy, needless to say. To all of you have have commented here, on Instagram, and via email, thank you for the kind words and encouragement. I appreciate you so much. Since starting Mother and my store Two Son, my time has been slim and left me with little extra to focus on this blog, which was once my full-time gig. That said, I do love the ability to keep Bleubird as an outlet and a way to share.
So, here’s a little update on things around here. We are still in the house renovating process. We are currently working on our kitchen remodel, which we hope to have completely finished by the end of January. We get all of our new appliances this Friday and I am very excited to start cooking and hosting a little more, now that I’ll be inspired to do so. We purchased a new table (seen above) a few months ago and finally chose seating for it. I love the neutral tones in this space and can’t wait until the entire kitchen and dining room are complete, so I can share.
The kids are all doing well and loving this holiday season. We hosted Thanksgiving again this year at our house, this time for 17! It was crazy, but so much fun. We picked out our tree last weekend and started decorating for Christmas. Aubrey hung lights on the exterior of the house and we finally caved (after 16 years of having kids) and got two very small and tacky lawn ornaments—a little blow up, light up Santa and a snowman. The kids are thrilled!
Plum is just 9 days away from turning 14! It’s so crazy how times flies. The day after her birthday, the big kids are off to Florida to spend Christmas with their Dad. We plan on laying low for the holidays, spending time at home, and enjoying this slower-paced time of year. My Dad might be joining us for a few days, which would be really nice. Fingers crossed!
Two Son is about to turn ONE! We are in the middle of planning a birthday/holiday celebration for the store. Food, drinks, music, and friends. Lots of stuff happening this time of year with parties, birthdays, holidays, and trying to wrap up some end-of-year shoots, so we can enjoy a few, well-deserved days off.
This year was one of the most difficult I’ve experienced in a long time, and for many others, too, it seems. A lot of amazing things came out of it, but I am ready for what 2017 has to offer.
Thanks for hanging in there with me. I will be back here soon, promise!
It’s finally cooling off in Nashville. I’m looking forward to a restful weekend cozied up at home. The little ones have their school’s Halloween carnival on Saturday, which is always adorable. Here are this week’s ten things…