How to Fly Singapore Suites for Free and My Time in Singapore Suites

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My recent trip to Asia became a dream come true as soon as I arrived at JFK because I knew I was about to embark on the most luxurious plan trip of my life. My husband and I had booked Singapore Suites through Singapore Airlines. If you have not heard of Singapore Suites before, prepare to be amazed. If you have heard of Singapore Suites and desperately want to enjoy them yourself, I can tell you how you can make it happen.

Why Singapore Suites Should Be On Everyone’s Bucket List

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When you are traveling across the world in a plane for several hours, the last thing you want is to be in a small cramped airplane seat. Even the standard first-class seats just aren’t enough to make a long journey enjoyable. That’s just the start of the beauty of Singapore Suites.

Singapore Suites are luxury suites in the sky – complete with privacy walls and double beds for couples. Think of the most extravagant way to fly – and that’s Singapore Suites. Each spacious suite has a comfortable, plush chair that converts into a bed. Since I traveled with my husband, we booked two suites that allowed us to form a double bed between the two suites.

In addition to the amazing sleep options, the suite is also designed for you to have everything you need to have an amazing flight. Think of the amenity kits you may have received from a different first-class trip – now up them about a hundred. Each suite has a tv with plenty of options, and you have a pair of Bose noise-canceling headphones to enjoy it. Plus, the cabin crew will make you feel like an esteemed guest. We felt like royalty as they served us Dom Perignon champagne and hot towels.

The Finest Dining Experience in the Sky

My readers already know how much I love food, so it should be no surprise that one of the main reasons I believe you should fly Singapore Suites at least once in your life is because it will allow you to eat luxuriously in the sky. A dinner table forms from the center console, which allowed us to enjoy this fine dining in the sky together. And, when I say, “fine dining,” I mean it. Caviar, lobster, and an in-flight wine-sommelier who will suggest wines that work best with your meals and the altitude. Amazing!

Yes – You Can Fly Singapore Suites for FREE

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Now I am sure some of you are reading this have already started to think this is impossible for most people. You’re wrong! You can fly Singapore Suites for free – no lie! By saving up points and miles, you can also enjoy this luxurious flight. Here are some things you need to know if you hope to one day use your points to fly Singapore Suites for free:

  • Singapore Suites are only on the Airbus A380s. In the US, JFK is the only place in the US that operates an A380. (We flew from JFK to Frankfurt to Singapore – a Singapore airline suite route.)

  • You can only use points through Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer Program. This means you cannot use Mileage Plus or Aeroplan miles to book this trip.

  • However, you CAN transfer points from the following reward programs: American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG).

  • These reward points transfer 1:1, with the chance to earn a 5000-mile bonus for transfers over 20,000.

  • Current miles needed range from 76,000 miles to 135,000 miles depending on your route.

  • Because JFK is the only place operating a flight with a Singapore Suites A380, you MUST book your trip as far in advance as possible – especially if you plan to travel with someone else and want to book the suites like ours that can be turned into a double bed.

One final note about this dream flight – We were in the “old” Singapore Suites, which as you can see were incredibly, but there are “new” ones that are even more amazing if you can believe it.

Exploring and Eating Your Way Around Singapore

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Recently, my husband and I went on the trip of a lifetime. We visited several countries in Asia over a few weeks (kid-free!), and it was an experience I will never forget. Because I know traveling abroad can seem overwhelming to some of my readers, I want to share my experience with you. Over the next few blogs, I will be telling you all about my great adventure. I’m hoping my trip will inspire you to take your own!

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We are starting with our visit to Singapore where we did the touristy things but where we mostly ate, ate, ate.

Must See Places to Visit

Singapore is an amazing place with a mesh of cultures and is a beautifully planned city with tropical temperatures year-round. While there is plenty to see and do in Singapore, I want to highlight two of the places we visited in Singapore on our trip that I believe are must-sees for other travelers.

Flower Dome and Cloud Forest

A major tourist attraction and a part of the city’s initiative to turn Singapore into “City in a Garden,” Gardens by the Bay is home to the amazing Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. The Flower Dome is the world’s largest glass greenhouse offering visitors the opportunity to view several different gardens, including an olive grove and a beautiful floral display that changes periodically. It also has a bistro where guests can sit and enjoy the beauty surrounding them. The Cloud Forest is a higher elevation offering mountain views and gardens that will traditionally be found in tropical temperatures. It also features the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Guests get to walk through the mist-filled Cloud Walk on their journey.

The New Jewel Changi Airport Expansion

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We also visited the newly opened expansion at the Changi Airport called the Jewel. It is a major lifestyle hub with outstanding shopping and dining options. On top of the shopping and dining fun, the Jewel also follows Singapore garden concepts by including a lush forest valley and a waterfall. Get your camera ready when you visit because experts are predicting this will be one of the most Instagrammed spots in the world.

Eat and Eat Some More at Singapore Hawker Centres

One of the main reasons to visit Singapore is to eat. Singapore is foodie heaven. As a tourist, you absolutely must visit the Singapore Hawker Centres, such as the popular Maxwell Food Hawker Centre Market, which are basically like food courts offering guests tons of food options at decent prices. My husband and I pretty much spent our entire time in Singapore eating and talking about food. It was wonderful!

When you visit, be sure to try:

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken - Be prepared to wait to eat here as it is Michelin star-rated. Worth the wait!

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Rojak, Popiah & Cockle – A popular stall offering popiah (fresh spring rolls) and rojak (a crazy delicious tropical fruit and vegetable salad)

Authentic Mun Chee Kee King of Pig's Organ Soup – If you choose to try one of the most popular dishes in Singapore (pig organ soup), you must get it from here!

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Nan Hwa Chang Fish Head Steamboat – One of the oldest fish head steamboat shops in Singapore is another must-visit on your eat-your-way-around-Singapore adventure.

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Kams Roast Goose – When we visited the Jewel at the Changi Airport, we tried the roast goose, and it was amazing! It is a Michelin Star restaurant for a reason!

Ah Chew Dessert – No trip to Singapore is complete without a visit to Ah Chew Dessert. Yum!

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The Must-Have Dish While Visiting Singapore

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While we ate and ate and ate, I have to say the best Singapore dish we had was the classic chili crab at Long Beach Seafood. This seafood dish is stir-fried crab coated in a delicious and savory chili sauce. I’m still thinking about it.

Have I made you hungry? Sorry! Now, I’m off to start finding NYC spots where I can find similar tasting dishes. Wish me luck!

Stay Tuned for Even More Details About My Visit to Singapore!

Have You Played Today? Why Adults Should Embrace Play

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“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”

Remember when recess was the best part of the day? Why is it that adults stop playing? Why are we always so serious? If you have been wondering why you are feeling down, consider the last time you played. I’m willing to bet it is has been a long time since you genuinely played. True play uplifts your spirits!

As a working mom, I get it. We are so busy that it is hard to find time to play. Then, when we do have time, we feel a little guilty. No more! According to psychologists, play is vital (especially for adults!). One researcher told the Washington Post, “Play is a basic human need as essential to our well-being as sleep, so when we’re low on play, our minds and bodies notice.”

To help you get past the guilt of playing, check out these five solid reasons for giving childlike play a place in your life.

Play to bond.

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Playing is fun, and if you are having fun with the ones you love, you are making memories. Play creates bonding opportunities between parents and their kids; plus, play is also a wonderful way to bond with your partner or rekindle the flames.

Play to relieve stress.

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Playing is a great way to release tension. When you play, you can escape what is worrying you. If you are facing a stressful situation, you can playful attitude can help you handle it in stride. One study found playful personality types “reported less stress in their lives and possessed better coping skills. Perhaps they have these attributes because they are better able to keep stress in perspective.”

Play to increase overall satisfaction.

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When you key into the type of play you enjoy and find ways to play this way more regularly, you will find more satisfaction in your life overall. Some companies have even embraced the idea by incorporating play into their offices or by taking employees on fun outings where they can play like kids (such as go-karting).

Play to strengthen cognitive skills.

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Numerous studies have proven that playing games improves cognitive skills, which is why older adults are encouraged to play such games. Help Guide explains, “Playing chess, completing puzzles, or pursuing other fun activities that challenge the brain can help prevent memory problems and improve brain function.” But why wait until you are elderly? Start playing puzzle games on your cell phone today!

Play to improve your health.

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According to KCHA, “Playing can boost your energy and vitality and even improve your resistance to disease, helping you feel your best.” A natural benefit of physical play is that it is good for your heart and overall health. If you loved riding your bike as a kid or enjoyed roller skating, it is time to bust them out again! Have active fun and stay healthy!

Your assignment for today

Do something you loved doing as a kid. Embrace play — comment below to tell me what you did.

Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas for the Procrastinators

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"A father carries pictures where his money used to be." - Steve Martin

Yikes! Father’s Day 2019 is THIS Sunday! Are you prepared? While we all want to do something nice to show our partner-in-parenting-crimes he is appreciated, life gets in the way. Father’s Day can sneak up on us – especially at the end of the school year and start of summer. If that sounds familiar, I’ve got you covered. Today I am highlighting some last minute Father’s Day gift ideas that you can put together in little to no time. Even better – these are all gift ideas that men love!

All Hail Gift Cards!

I know sometimes gift cards get a bad rep. And, let’s be honest, you can tell when someone just doesn’t know what to get you, so they give you a random gift card. Hear me out – I am not suggesting you give the father in your life just any ‘ole gift card. Just the opposite. Get him a gift card to his absolute favorite place. This will show him that you know him and love him.

Homemade Gifts He Will Truly Appreciate

If the dad in your life is sentimental, then it is perfectly acceptable to give him something homemade. Many men love homemade gifts because they show you took time to create something special just for them. Plus, since it is Father’s Day, your kids can get involved in the crafting process, making it something even more precious. Check out Good Housekeeping’s list of homemade Father’s Day gifts.

A Meal He Doesn’t Have to Cook

As the saying goes, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Whether the dad in your life does some of the cooking or none at all, a good meal is a great gift. Depending on his preferences and your schedule, you can choose between breakfast in bed, a backyard grill-out for lunch, or a fancy dinner.

Sign Him Up for a Subscription Box

I recently raved about my love of subscription boxes (FabFitFun and Daily Look), but subscription boxes are not just for women. There are tons of really cool masculine subscription boxes available offering everything from beard stuff to vinyl records to grilling tools. The fun thing about a subscription box is that it is the gift that keeps on giving. Rather than Dad receiving one gift on the holiday, he will get the subscription boxes throughout the year for whatever duration you select.

Note – Since it is too late to get the first box to him on Father’s Day, print out a picture and a description of the box so he can wait in excited anticipation.

A Day Off

If all else fails, give Dad a day off. While this looks different for every family, it basically means give him a day to do what he wants. This may mean lounging in a recliner with a beer watching sports all day, or it may mean heading to Lowe’s to peruse the aisles. Other men may simply want a day of fun with their family, so load up the car and head to the park or a nearby theme park.

 

Fostering Strong Bonds Between Siblings.

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“There’s no better friend than a sister.” - Mary Engelbreit

One of my big dreams for my two daughters is that they would grow up to be close friends. When I hear stories about siblings who don’t get along or don’t speak to each other as adults, it breaks my heart.

Having healthy relationships with your siblings is so important – even the research proves it! One study found “Sibling affection was positively associated with adolescents' sympathy and prosocial behavior. Sibling hostility was positively associated with adolescents' depression.” Therefore, it is important for parents to help their kids develop positive relationships and strong bonds.

With summer approaching, I know I don’t want to spend my days acting as a referee between my girls, so instead, I’m going to act like a coach. Plus, a little conflict between siblings is healthier than them ignoring one another! Here are some of the tips I found in my research that I plan to use in my home to help my girls grow closer to one another and build a lasting relationship.

Don’t Make Them Compete

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Why do parents do this? While it is easy to judge from the outside, it is easier than you may realize. You may even be doing it without noticing it. For example, have you ever commented on how one child is better at cleaning up her dishes or one child is faster to get buckled in the car? Instead, the only competition should be in the spirit of fun – and even then, be careful to avoid creating sibling rivalry.

Teach Them to Fight Fair

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Like I said earlier, it is normal and even a good thing for siblings to have conflict now and then. It can actually work as a safe place for kids to learn how to handle conflict in healthy ways. For instance, while you don’t want them giving each other black eyes, you do want them to learn how to express their frustration in the right way. Along those lines, have some clear family rules for handling conflict, such as no name calling.

Remind Them They’ll Always Have Each Other for Support

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Make a point to teach your kids that they have each other for support. Remind them to support one another and cheer one another on. Explain that, as they grow, their siblings will be their secret keepers and the only other people who get their family’s inside jokes and know their family’s history.

Encourage Them to Play Together

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The more often siblings play together, the more memories they make. Depending on your kid's ages, this can be tricky. For instance, LEGO Movie 2 reminded audiences about how play becomes separated as the age gap appears wider. While your ten-year-old probably won’t always want to play with your five-year-old, you should still encourage them to play together – even if it is something as simple as a game of hide and seek.

Find Things They Enjoy Doing Together

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Speaking of play, you may have to create moments for your kids – especially if their ages do not make it easy. For instance, encourage them to go on walks, bake cookies, or watch America’s Funniest Home Videos together.

All the 👏 👏 👏 for the FabFitFun Summer Box!

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I am all about a good subscription box – especially one as fabulous as FabFitFun! By this point, you have surely heard of subscription boxes, and I am betting you have been tempted to go ahead and order one.

As busy working women (and moms), it is super important to find ways to practice self-care. A carefully curated subscription box, such as the FabFitFun Summer Box, is one of the best ways to do so. Someone else puts together all the self-care items you need!

I recently received my FabFitFun Summer Box, and it is to die for. Today, I’m telling you all about and explaining why it is such a great deal. I have no doubt that after reading about it today, you will be ready to order your own.

What Came Inside

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Each season, FabFitFun puts together a box filled with the most desirable items for women. Their boxes are packed to the brim with fun. For example, as soon as I saw the pretty box, I was excited. Once I opened my Summer Box, I was giddy. It contained great things for my face, including facial masks, facial spray mists, and a makeup setting spray. There were also items to help with my travel like a portable blow dryer and fun jewelry! Plus, as a working mom, I was delighted to discover there was also a gift card for HelloFresh, which is definitely what I need when I want to make quick lunches and dinners for the family!

Why It is a Great Deal

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Now, while most of us can get behind something as fun as a delivery of must-have items, we can all appreciate a good deal. And, that is why FabFitFun is so popular! I get over $200 in products for just $50 per season box, and it's filled with beauty, wellness, fitness, and even tech. It's a little bit of everything, and it fits every part of my working mom lifestyle! Plus, FabFitFun even lets you customize your box. You can either let them surprise or choose products and add-ons.

How You Can Get an Even Better Deal

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Here’s where it gets really good. Inside each box is a mini-magazine that details each product in your box as well as exclusive coupons for brands you find inside the box. But, wait, there’s more! You can use my code to get your first FabFitFun box for even less money! Simply use CHOY10 coupon for $10 off your first box at fabfitfun.com. And, when you do, be sure to tag me in your FabFitFun unboxing pics on Instagram! I can’t wait to see the joy these products bring you.

How NYC Families Can Save Money This Summer

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During summer, there is nothing worse than hearing your kids whine that they are “sooo bored!” But, if you spend money trying to keep them entertained each day of summer break, your wallet will start to hurt. And, if you are like me, I would rather spend my hard-earned money on a fabulous vacation than spending it doing a bunch of little things around the city. Fortunately, it is easier than ever to save money and have fun in NYC.

Free Library Fun

If you don’t already have a library card, now is the time to get one. Today’s libraries aren’t the stuffy old places you might remember from childhood. They offer tons of free materials you can borrow – including DVDs. Plus, the New York Public Library Summer Reading offers some pretty great kids programs that go beyond the standard story times, such as a DJ Dance Party.

Free Outdoor Movies

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During the summer, families can take their pick of free outdoor movies once the sun goes down. The most popular outdoor movies are hosted by NYC parks, are all PG-13 and under, and feature movies such as The Incredibles 2 and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Check out Time Out New York’s guide to what is showing where and when here.  

Free Outdoor Concerts

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Families can also take their pick of free outdoor summer concerts taking place all around New York City. For instance, there are the New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Park series (with all performances beginning at 8 pm) and Make Music New York on June 21st from 10 am – 10 pm.

Free Public Pools and Splash Pads

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There are several options for cooling off during the hot summer in the city. Families can visit one of the free outdoor swimming pools in NYC (opening on June 27, 2019). A bonus for pool visitors is that NYC parks offer free swimming classes and free sunscreen. If taking the kids to the pool seems like too much, then head to one of the many local splash parks. Mommy Poppins has a list of the Best Water Playgrounds and Sprinklers for Kids in NYC.

Free Museum Days

Photo:  NYCGo

Photo: NYCGo

Visiting the fantastic museums can add up – unless you are smart enough to take advantage of the free museum days offered this summer. For example, Brooklyn Children’s Museum offers “pay as you wish on Thursdays from 2–6 pm and Sundays from 4–7 pm” and the Staten Island Zoo offers “free Tuesdays after 2 pm.”

Free Festivals

Another great way to keep the whole family entertained is to head to an outdoor festival. Many outdoor festivals are free to enter and explore – but you may wind up spending money to enjoy food, purchase arts and crafts, or participate in activities. One popular outdoor festival taking place in June is the Museum Mile Festival happening June 11, 2019, from 6 pm – 9 pm.

Now you have plenty of ways to save money and keep the kids busy and entertained this summer, leaving you money to take the vacation of your dreams.

Deets on How to Score FREE Donuts This Week!

How we feel about free donuts!

How we feel about free donuts!

You guys, June is quickly becoming one of my favorite months of the year. Not only is it the official start to summer, but it is also the month that hosts National Donut Day! Why have we not been making a bigger deal of this holiday? Carbs plus sugar = so wrong its right!

What is National Donut Day?

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If you think I am just messing around, I can assure you National Donut Day is a real thing with real historical merit. The holiday is always celebrated on the first Friday of June, so this year we will celebrate it on June 7, 2019. The holiday officially began in 1938 as a way to honor the Salvation Army workers who served donuts to soldiers during the war. These “donut lassies” uplifted spirits during a difficult time.

When the Great Depression hit, the holiday was created as to fundraise by giving people paper donuts in exchange for a donation. Today, we celebrate with the real thing. While not every donut shop will give back to the Salvation Army, many will give a percentage of the profits they earn on National Donut Day to the Salvation Army.  

Major Franchises That are Participating

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Two of the most popular national donut franchises have already announced they are participating in National Donut Day and will be giving out free donuts this Friday.

Dunkin (formerly Dunkin’ Donuts) is participating. Customers will get a free donut with the purchase of a beverage. You can RSVP to the event on their Facebook page.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is giving customers one free doughnut – no purchase necessary! Plus, to sweeten the day, they are encouraging people to tell everyone they know so they can give away 1 million doughnuts. If they hit a million, then they will do another donut giveaway this month!

Don’t Forget to Check Out Your Favorite NYC Donut Shops

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While franchises are great, don’t fret if you don’t have a Krispy Kreme or Dunkin near you. Many local donut shops will likely participate. The best way to find out if your favorite NYC donut shop is participating is to follow the shop on social media. Local businesses frequently post their best deals and promotions on social media before they post them elsewhere.

Speaking of your favorite NYC donut shops, I’m always on the hunt for a new place to visit. Let me know in the comments which donut shop I should take my girls to first – bonus points for free donuts on National Donut Day!

Don’t Worries, Bagels; We Haven’t Forgotten You

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Being a New Yorker means embracing the more savory circular breakfast food – the bagel. Fortunately, we don’t have to leave bagels out of all the holiday fun! Bagels have their own special day! National Bagel Day is celebrated February 9th. Just like National Donut Day, when this special breakfast food holiday rolls around, you can expect to find deals celebrating this festive occasion. Check out this past year’s National Bagel Day Deals.

Only Wearing White Between Memorial Day and Labor Day? Toss that Old Idea.

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If you have lived in the US long enough, you have surely heard that the fashion rule that you should only wear white after Memorial Day and before Labor Day. Well, now that I am officially “allowed” to wear white, it has me thinking about whether or not I want to put all my white clothes, shoes, and bags away come Labor Day. I’m thinking that’ll be a NO.

Some of the Possible Reasons This Rule Existed in the First Place

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Now, if this is a new idea to you or one you’ve bee taught your whole life, you probably don’t know why this fashion rule started in the first place. I didn’t! So, I did some digging and found some interesting tidbits I thought I’d share.

  • According to Reader’s Digest, “Social acceptance for wealthy women was based very much on what you wore—and when you wore it. If you were “on-trend,” you only wore white during the warmer months, since you could probably afford to wear leisurely lightweight clothing—and afford to buy new clothes if you sweat through them.”

  • Then, fashion magazines started promoting and reinforcing the rule in the 1950s.

  • According to the Emily Post Institute, white signified summer resort wear, so there was a distinct shift in seasonal dress for work and play.

Basically, wearing white only during the summer became a way to show you were wealthier than your peers because you could afford to purchase different wardrobes for the seasons. Another fun fact for those of us who live in the Northern US, the rule actually shifts from Memorial Day to Easter in the Southern US.  

Why I Wear White All Year Long

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Have you heard the saying, “Life is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Eat the cake.”? Well, I think the same way when it comes to my fashion choices. Who wants to be told when they can and cannot wear something they love? Life is too short! Plus, white has proven to be classy and chic year-round. If that wasn’t true, then why are American wedding dresses white?

Why You Should Too

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Not only am I encouraging you to wear white all year, but so are the fashion and etiquette experts! The Emily Post Institute says, “Of course you can wear white after Labor Day, and it makes perfect sense to do so in climates where September’s temperatures are hardly fall-like. It’s more about fabric choice today than color. Even in the dead of winter in northern New England the fashionable wear white wools, cashmeres, jeans, and down-filled parkas.” Plus, Coco Chanel famously wore white year-round.

But, There are Still Some Times When White Is Not Right

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Now, I’m not saying to go crazy and show up wearing white to your BFF's wedding. That would definitely be the wrong fashion choice. When you choose to wear white after Labor Day, make sure the fabric choice is right (such as not wearing linen in winter) and an appropriate setting (preferably one where you won’t get dirty easily). And, if this is too rebellious for the rule-followers in the room, opt for off-white in the off-season.

Surviving the End of the School Year Freefall

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Dear Mom,

Hang tight. The last few weeks of school is the second toughest time of the year (after December). Between the dance recitals, end of the year banquets, end of course testing, teacher gifts, and warm weather excitement, our kids are going crazy. They are not following the rules. They are more hyper than usual. They are done.

And, you are likely done too. The good mom you were in September is long gone. The mom improvement goal you made in January lasted until Valentine’s Day. The mom who volunteered to bring fancy treats for school parties is now rushing to be the first one to sign up for paper plates. We are over it. We have used up all of our fun and shiny goodness, and now we are done.

But, school is not over yet! We have a few more weeks to get the kids out the door on time with homework done and lunches packed. We may not do it perfectly, but we can do it. We can make it to the finish line without losing our minds.

Here’s how we can get it done.

Stick to the Routine

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The routine has gotten you this far – don’t throw it out now. Keep doing what works. For example, the sun is up a little later, but school starts at the same time in the morning. So, keep bedtime as close to the same time as you have all year.

But Expect a Little Less

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If you feel done, just imagine how your little people feel! When you are tired, it is hard to do everything with the same energy as usual. So, yes, stick to your routine, but extend the kids some grace when they don’t act exactly the way you wish they would. Show a little more patience.

Write Every Important Date Down

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Like December, the end of the school year calendar is jam-packed. In order to stay on top of everything and not forget when your kids need to take this test or be at this banquet, you need to write everything down as soon as you receive a notification.

Purchase the Teachers the End of the Year Gift They Deserve

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With all the busyness of this time of year, don’t forget to purchase a gift for your child’s teacher. These men and women go above and beyond (and aren’t paid nearly enough). Give them something that shows you’ve seen all the hard work they’ve done this year and how much you appreciate them. Go ahead and buy it now before you end up rushing out the night before the last day of school.

Have a Family Countdown

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If your kids are clearly ready for school to end and summer to begin, make a family countdown. Count down the days left while encouraging them to stay strong to the finish. Make it a whole family affair and then celebrate when summer officially begins.

Take Time to Breathe

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Finally, take time to breathe. Look for little pockets of time where you can rest and relax. Remind yourself that this busyness is just for a season. Summer is coming soon.