Great Tip for Infant Bath Time Fun! | Parenting Tips

Great Tip For Infant Bath Time Fun!

So today must be Beautiful Sis Tip Tuesday! Here is the most amazing idea that I wish I could take credit for that my sister Marian came across…Auntie Mern passed this great idea on that she found on Facebook. It is a fantastic, creative, and very simple design that ensures your infant will not drown or be harmed in the tub but allows them more space to move around and have fun. Of course watching your little cutie at all times when bathing is imperative but this still gives them more freedom to enjoy themselves and play with bath toys. Most of the infant tubs out on the market are constrictive, small and don’t allow for your baby to play and move around. So kudos to the inventor for solving that problem in a safe manner! And Thanks to Auntie Mern for passing along this simple, fun yet effective safety tip!

Bath Time Safety
Bath Time Safety


The 30 Day No-Fail Happiness Challenge | Loft & Learn

The 30 Day No-Fail Happiness Challenge

Happy Motivation Monday everyone. I hope you have all had an amazing holiday season thus far. December is coming to a close and for all of you who have taken the Loft & Learn December Strong Challenge I hope you stuck to your mission (whatever it was) and are in great shape, mentally, spiritually and financially. Thank you for the outpouring of participation. I heard from many of you challenging yourselves, to many fantastic things, big and small. So many goals including: losing weight, reading more, being more confident, taking more risks, quit smoking, spend more quality family time, finding your passion, starting a thank you journal, not caring so much of what others think and cooking more organically to name a few. It was touching to hear so many people joining together in the efforts of becoming stronger, better people.Whatever your mission was the goal was to set it and then achieve it with a positive outlook, dedication and a sense of community supporting you. That is what Loft & Learn is all about. Congrats Loft & Learn Village!

Now that we are in the right frame of mind to close out 2015 strong I have a new Loft & Learn Challenge for ya. I can credit this challenge to one of my favorite sites called As soon as I read this article by Emily Co I knew that I had to pass it on to my Village! So Starting January 1st I challenge all of you to join the 30 Day No-Fail Happiness Challenge!!! Click the link below to read the article from . Also in Tomorrow’s post I will have another absolute fantastic financial family year-long challenge to throw out to the Loft & Learn Village. This Challenge was presented to me by Cheryl our DIY guru (and my beautiful Sis)and it is a really good way for your family to focus as a whole on Saving. Wow, I’m so excited to share this one, Stay tuned!!!


Cheers to Happiness!


The Importance of Outdoor Winter Play! | Outdoor Activities

The Importance of Outdoor Winter Play!

Here’s a fantastic article from the National Wildlife Federation about making sure your kids are bundled up safely and the importance of going outside! Outdoor activity is vital for healthy childhood development, even in the winter. Just make sure your little one is properly clothed when enjoying the winter wonderland!

#winterfun #earlychilddevelopment #getoutside #outdoorfun #realsimple #decemberstrong #familyfun #morningslikethese


bundle up!
bundle up!


#nice and toasty
#nice and toasty






A great idea to help your child learn how to lend a helping hand! | Volunteer

A great idea to help your child learn how to lend a helping hand!

Volunteering to Shovel Snow.

Kudos to Ace Loftus, 5 yrs old, who decided to volunteer and help his neighborhood by shoveling the snow for our block. There are several older couples and people who work long hours who benefit from having the sidewalk free and clear of ice and snow.

Great idea and effort Ace!

#Boise #helpinghand #Ace
#Boise #helpinghand #Ace



Perk Up Your Living Room with A Reupholster Makeover! | DIY

Perk Up Your Living Room with A Reupholster Makeover!

Here’s a great DIY project submitted by Cheryl our DIY Mamma. Just a Quick makeover solution that can transform the entire feel of your living room. Pick one item of furniture and reupholster it to make it pop and stand out from the rest. Quick, simple, cool and refreshing.

Nice Look Cheryl!

#RSdesign #DIY #makeover

Great Tips for a Stress Free Holiday Season This Year! | Holiday Tips

Great Tips for a Stress Free Holiday Season This Year!

Take Care of your Mind, Body & Soul.

Calm yourself for at least 15 minutes of the day(more if you can, but I know how hard that can be). Treat yourself to quality time being alone and present with your innermost thoughts and happiness. If you can’t find the time to actually go to a spa or take a quick weekend vacation then you can do what I do and take time out to truly visualize doing those things or being those places in your mind. Trust me it really works! Put on your favorite cd, light your candles, close everything out and just be at peace for just 15 minutes thinking of nothing but whimsical dreams and happy thoughts.


Identify your priorities and establish boundaries.

Consider what is most important and valuable to you during the holidays and keep those as priority. This will require you to set boundaries around your priorities. Say no to “lesser” priorities, and ask for help when needed. For example, if exercising regularly is a priority, set boundaries around your time to ensure you’re able to get to the gym on a consistent basis. Similarly, if you want to spend quality time with loved ones you don’t see often, then you may have to say no to other responsibilities. This will keep you from feeling like you’re being pulled in all directions. It may also help reduce the risk of feeling resentment or disappointment once the holidays are over.


Have Gratitude

Don’t focus on all of the things that you don’t have this holiday season or what you can or can’t buy. I know this is very hard to do especially this time of year but it is so important and helpful to constantly write down all of the many things that you are grateful for instead. You will find that you are in a constant state of thanks and joy that you have no room in your heart or day to covet what you don’t have or cannot buy.


Below I have included a good article from Real Simple on 7 money-saving, stress-less holiday shopping tips.


Wishing you Holiday Joy,



What a Great Photo from the Village!! Fun times in Atlanta | Family Photos

Thanks to two of my Besties (Tawa & Danielle) the Mitchell Family of Chicago and Suchdevs of Atlanta for teaming up to submit this beautiful joint family picture while meeting up in Atlanta recently.

Happy Holidays!

#A photo from the village #Atl #besties
#A photo from the village
#Atl #besties

Loft & Learn Thanksgiving Recipes | Recipes

The Blended Kitchen Thanksgiving Recipes Featuring Irish and Soul Food Dishes

Hello All,

I hope everyone has recovered from your Turkey Hangovers.

I have received several requests for recipes for a few of our dishes from yesterday so here they are:

Big M and lil m’s (Mern and Malaika) Fried Chicken Recipe 

#Big M & Lil' M's Fried Chicken #Delicious
#Big M & Lil’ M’s Fried Chicken #Delicious



  • In a shallow dish or bowl combine the egg and seasoning salt and mix together. Dip chicken in mixture and turn to coat completely. Set aside.
  • In a resealable plastic bag mix together the flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. One at a time, place chicken pieces in bag, seal and shake to coat. Add more flour and/or cornstarch as necessary, but add them in equal parts (there should be an equal amount of each in the mixture).
  • Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Be sure to use enough oil to cover chicken pieces.
  • Place coated chicken on a platter and allow to sit until it becomes doughy (this is critical, to ensure crispiness when fried) Trust me I found out the hard way with my first 3 pieces. Once chicken is doughy, test oil by dropping a piece of the “dough” into it; the oil is ready when it starts to fry immediately.
  • Fry chicken pieces in oil for about 7 to 10 minutes each, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Drain on paper towels and serve


Betty's Slammin Mac 'n Cheese
Betty’s Slammin Mac ‘n Cheese

4 T unsalted butter (plus more for baking dish)
3 C elbow macaroni
2 12-oz. cans evaporated milk
1/3 C skim milk
2 large eggs
½ t seasoned salt
¼ t garlic powder
1 t salt (plus more for pasta water)
½ t pepper
2 8-oz. packages sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 8-0z. package Monterey jack cheese, shredded
paprika, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Generously butter a 9 x 13 glass baking dish; set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and macaroni. Cook al dente according to package directions. Drain, and return to pot. Add butter, and toss until pasta is coated and butter has melted; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together evaporated milk, skim milk, and eggs. Add seasoned salt, garlic, 1t salt and ½t pepper; set aside. In another medium bowl, combine cheeses; set aside.

Place ½ of macaroni in an even layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish; cover evenly with ½ of shredded cheese. Repeat with remaining macaroni and cheese mixture. Pour milk mixture evenly over contents of baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake until top layer is lightly browned, 35 – 45 minutes. Let stand 10 – 15 minutes before serving.

Tunnie’s Crazy Good Cabbage

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of  salt
  • 2  tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 onion
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 1½- 2 cups chicken broth (I substituted chicken broth instead of  Tunnie’s turkey necks or smoked hocks) Either way is yummy!
  1.  Cut cabbage into quarters, removing the hard stem. Slice each quarter into 1-inch wide strips.
  2. Cut onion into small pieces
  3.  In a large pot, add butter, olive oil, salt, pepper,onion & cabbage.
  4.  Add in chicken broth and toss.
  5.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium low.
  6.  Simmer for 15 minutes, stir occasionally


Banana Pudding Cheesecake Delight by Christin

Banana Pudding Cheesecake
Banana Pudding Cheesecake

Amazing Irish Mashed Potatoes by Natalie

#irish-champ mashed potatoes #recipes
#irish-champ mashed potatoes #recipes

Again thanks to all who helped make our meal special and please send in any thoughts, ideas and recipes for our Christmas Dinner. The theme will be Irish, Soul food and Hawaiian!

#onelove #happiness #family
#onelove #happiness #family

Amy’s Piano Studio Grand Opening! | Music Education

Amy’s Piano Studio Grand Opening!

In keeping with the thought of the day on the importance of Music Education, I am so proud to announce the Grand Opening of Amy’s Piano Studio in Tinley Park, IL!!! Amy is not only an amazing teacher and music instructor but also a member of my personal village as she is my sis in law and friend. She truly understands the importance of music and other extra curricular activities when it comes to early child development. It is evident in the way she and her Husband Sean are raising two of the smartest and adorable boys Jack and Dylan.

I encourage all of you to make music apart of your lives and if you are in the Chicago area make sure to add Amy’s Piano Studio into your family routine.

Kudos Amy!



Fun Day at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta Georgia (Village Photo) | Village Photos

High Museum of Art in Atlanta Georgia

Here are some cool pics from the Village!

Paco (Dominique) had a blast hanging out with Darwin’s Daughters at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta!

Looks like you ladies had a great day. Fun yet educational, I love it! village photo high museuam atl