How to Savor the Moments With Your Kids!

Over the weekend I was reading a great article from parenting magazine and it talked about how there are only 940 Saturday from the time our kids are born until they leave for college! I never thought about it that way so basically that means if you have kids that are 5 years old you are down to 260 days OUCH! I am close to that number with my 4 year old twins!

We are all trying to find ways to make the most of the time we have with our children but after hearing that I felt like I needed to pass on the things that I’ve learned to do with my kids that helps me to solely focus on them when we are together and really make the most of our quality time. For example my husband’s birthday was on Saint Paddy’s Day so I got the kids involved right away to help make it special for them and for my husband. To make it extra special we decided to celebrate his birthday all week.

First I took my kids to Color Me Mine which is a paint-your-own-pottery store. We wanted tocreate something that would hold a precious moment in time for Jason ( my husband). What’s cuter at this age then those adorable hands and fingers? So the kids pressed their little hands in paint and our thoughtful gift was created. They couldn’t wait to pick it up and wrap it for his party! Next, we decided that we would hit the mountain slopes for some skiing and snow ball fights! One of the things we love most about living in CA is that you can be at the beach and then the mountains in just 2 hours or less! The ride up provided us with magical conversations and of course we had of fair share of mishaps, but that’s what makes it a family road trip. It was so much fun to head up to the snow and just spend the day together laughing and enjoying each other! Every day brings new growth, new milestones, and new wonderment. I find that the challenges of our adult lives sometimes get in the way and it can prevent us from fully enjoying and appreciating the delicate nuances of childhood. Not everyday will be perfect with our kids, but I have learned to fully enjoy those great day together even more and when it’s a rough day that’s okay we are all learning along the way how to juggle life.

After a great day at the snow we decided to decorate the Breakfast room together as my husband had done this for my birthday the kids LOVE it especially my daughter. So we made beautiful flower arrangements together laid out candles and the kids worked on hand made clovers, we blew up lots of green balloons and then of course made daddy’s favorite dinner and the pot of Gold Cake was everyone’s favorite!

All in all my husband had an amazing birthday and my kids and I had some special moments. It doesn’t matter if it’s a special occasion or a rainy day there are always ways to create a special moment below are some great things that you can add into your family’s routine that will help you focus more on the kids and at the same time bring the family unit together so everyone benefits.

Parenting is certainly not easy, but it’s like they say anything that is worth having and that turns out GREAT take’s time, care, and love to grow. As parents we put time into our kinds, but I’m learning that we also learn a lot about who we are, it’s a beautiful thing!

1.Parenting Meditation
This is a great way to take some time out when you are under stress take a few deep breathes and concentrate on what you want for your kids that day or maybe that moment. Think about them and try to understand them decide to be with them fully in the moment and you will see that it’s easier to handle difficult situations as they arise. You will also feel more connected to them and enjoy your time together when you take a moment out to think about it and meditate on what you want.

2.Take Pajama walks in the evening
If the weather permits once and a while you can all take a stroll before bed together down the street or even around the block. Sometimes creating a new routine is just what you need as well as what they need. Bedtime rituals are not always easy and kids LOVE getting outside especially at night. Take a slow walk with them chances are you will see bunnies and some cool little critters running around. My kids tend to open up and you can have really cool conversations. Since we have dogs this is a great way to walk the dog and instill the responsibility into your kids that they need when having a pet.

3.Create Dinner theme’s throughout the week the family can look forward too!
This is such a great idea because it will help you stay on top of what’s for dinner and your kids will having something fun to look forward to each week together that they can get involved in! I like to create a menu for the week and the way I do it is seasonally try to take advantage of what’s fresh each season. We like to hit the local farmers markets on Saturday morning’s. I want my kids to have a well-rounded palate trying new things not getting stuck in the chicken or mac and cheese mode forever! I like to make them feel a part of the entire process from the shopping to putting things away to cooking they want to help and it teaches them early on to have a love for cooking real food and family togetherness.

4.Home Improvements
Okay, this one is for the dad’s it seems like my “Honey Do List” never seems to end! It could be a pluming issue, broken toy, or possibly a car issue but I have learned if there is something broken my kids want to be a part of helping to fix it (especially my son). So I say, “let them help.” Now this is most defiantly a time for more patience because it will take twice as long with lots of questions along the way. But it’s the perfect time to talk with them share the experience and have them learn something new through you!

5.Play their Games
This one is so important because you only have so much time with your kids alone when they are not at school on a play date or at an activity to play with them. Now my kids are at the stage where they think “hide and go seek” is the best game in the world. I don’t love playing “hind and go seek,’ but I love seeing them happy. I try and get my husband involved as much as possible, because he like to pretend to be the monster which they go nuts for. It can be hard to break away from work, shopping, laundry, or whatever is on the list, but good old fashion playtime is essential. After all since we made the choice to have kids we have to take the time to engage with them even if it takes away from other things that seem more important. Your kids will thank you later on and remember what kind of mom or dad you were. This is a gift you are giving them just think of it that way. Plus there will be a day that they stop asking, because their friends are more important at the time so enjoy it while you can.

6. Movie nights
I love this tradition! You can serve frozen yogurt, homemade breads, or healthy homemade cookies, and popcorn. My goal is always to create our own magical movie night for the entire family. Get in your PJ’s and grab your favorite blanket and snuggle up together!

When I was a young girl there weren’t a lot of great memories that I had of my parents. Now that I can create my family the way I want to I really try to make it as magical as possible. It’s not always easy and I am so far from perfect, but that’s okay. My kids need to see me mess up too and learn that we all make mistakes. Most importantly, they also need to see me try and that’s what this blog is all about not being the perfect parent just doing your best! Here’s to you and your family creating magical memories together!

Tara Brooke


Happy Anniversary to “Us”

To Celebrating 14 Years of Marriage!

Today is my husband and I’s 14th wedding anniversary

This morning when I woke up I had this beautiful feeling come over me of love and gratitude. You see my life growing up I wasn’t always a happy life, instead life provided me with lessons that would challenge me. In fact, at the tender age of 7 I had to decide to either “sink or swim.”

As I look back at my wedding pictures I am reminded of the leap of faith we took not knowing each other for very long and actually only dating for about a month, that’s right, you heard me right one month. We became an item in January when I was just about to turn 23 years old and on the eve of Valentine’s Day (not even a month later) he popped the question and I of course said “YES”! And if you thought that was quick imagine a black tie wedding at the Ritz Carleton just two weeks later. You can actually pull off a dream wedding that fast with the right help. I’m still grateful for everyone that helped make our day special!

I am sharing this with you for two reason’s the first is that no matter what challenges you were raised with or born into you can overcome obstacles at any age and have your dreams come true! Finding “the man of my dreams” is a perfect example. Even though, life was hard during my childhood and teen years I always had hope.

My greatest piece of advice is to never give up HOPE on LOVE. It’s out there for each and every one of us. Don’t listen to the skeptics and if you have tried and tried with love and still haven’t found Prince Charming keep trying, keep hoping. Love will find you and it’s your job to be aware of it once it arrives.

I just came back from my beautiful cousins wedding and the advice that I gave her after 14 years of marriage and two kids later was above all things put your marriage first! Make time for each other, share your thoughts, your passions, your dreams, and be honest. Have amazing SEX and always carve out time for it no matter what!

Lastly, never stop celebrating your love. One of the my favorite ways to do this is by being grateful daily for all the little things in my relationship. And by all the little things I mean, Jason pouring me coffee in the mornings, taking out the trash, and watching the kids so I can take a relaxing shower/ bubble bath… the little things really mean the world on a day-to-day basis. It’s a nice habit that helps me celebrate my marriage!

As the years of my marriage have gone by we have grown our relationship from a seedling to a beautiful tall tree with deep roots. Our marriage can withstand the “stormy weather” life sometimes presents, because the roots grown with love are always there grounding us.

My wish for you is that you will celebrate the love you have now and if you are still waiting for Prince Charming start dreaming NOW again of your fairytale and never let anyone take that dream away from you.



Valentines Day

I don’t know a woman out there that doesn’t adore Valentine’s Day.

For me it meant everything because my husband proposed the day before so I woke up on Valentine ’s Day back in 1998 the happiest girl in the world.

Now with each passing year for us it still holds such magic. We both go out of our way to make the other ones feel like the most loved person on earth!

Ladies this is your chance to make your husband feel like a king. It does take a little planning, the baby sitter is coming and unfortunately it falls on a Tuesday but that’s okay dinner reservations are made at our favorite spot. By the time we get home my little ones will be fast asleep and we can turn on the fire in our bedroom light some scented candles turn on some mood music and well you know what comes next!

So what are you doing this year for your hubby or boyfriend? If you are interested in cooking a great meal in I have some incredible recipes that you will love on my site including desserts that will get you everything you want!

A Happy Relationship

Let’s not forget the kids. This year I am baking cupcakes and heading over to their school for the class Valentine’s day party. My kids will have fun helping me bake them of course and I made up special Valentines bags filled with love!

Whatever you decide, it’s certainly not about spending money. Just use your imagination to guide you and remember it only comes once a year! Make this day one that you and your loved ones will remember!

Tara Brooke


Feeling the Love on My birthday!

It seems like every birthday comes a little faster than we would like. But since we certainly can’t change it I decided a long time ago never to allow it to bother me. After all as long as you are happy, healthy and have love in your life becoming another year older shouldn’t matter!

Frankly I am really proud of my age and I try to take these moments to allow myself to feel good about my accomplishments. We are always working hard to reach our goals and sometimes we just don’t celebrate what we accomplish so birthdays are really the perfect time to give yourself a pat on the back!

My day started out with early morning cuddles from my two favorite people on earth, my kids.

Birthday Party

My husband had taken me over the weekend away to our favorite resort for a much needed couples getaway were we spent the day at the spa and by the pool relaxing and enjoying!

The night of my birthday Jason and the kids surprised me with decorating our breakfast room in all pink, mine and my daughters favorite color. He made a beautiful dinner and the cake was stunning!

Then they surprised me with breakfast with a little help from my handsome husband of course

Needless to say I was feeling the love. Jason made a special video for me of the kids sharing what they loved most about mommy wow you can’t put a price tag on that gift! All in all it was a magical birthday!

Here’s wishing that your special day and every day that follows be filled with Love, Health, hugs, kisses and happiness!

Tara Brooke