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The Lollypop Incentive

16 Jan

Back in the late-summer I started a new incentive program with Jack and it’s been working so well I wanted to share it with you. I call it the Lollypop Incentive… and it all started with a bag of old lollypops we had left over from potty training.

Every morning when I would go in Jack’s room to wake him up for school, he was THE WORST. There was so much whining and complaining that I would totally dread it each day. Inevitably in the midst of his whining, he would lie on the floor like a wet noodle and whine at me to get him dressed because he was too tiiiiiiiirrrrrreeeeed.

Sigh.
Rolls Eyes.
Another Sigh.

If I was super late for work, I’d do it. I’d just grab him like a baby and dress him so I could get out the door on time. Okay, who are we kidding… even ‘on time’ is still like 15 minutes late.

One morning I told him that if he got himself dressed, used the potty and brushed his teeth with NO help then he would earn a lollypop.

And it worked.

And it continued working for the next few days…until one morning he started with his limp noodle whining again and I said, “Sure, I’ll get you dressed! I’d love to have a lollypop today!” And BOOM he’d get up and earn that lollypop.

After he accumulated a bunch of lollypops I asked him if he wanted to trade them in. I made up a trade-in plan: 10 lollypops can be traded for a small toy, 15 lollypops can be traded for a medium toy and 20 lollypops can be traded for a large toy. Generally each lollypop is equal to about a dollar of spending money.

You guys, this may be the BEST idea I ever had!

It’s been about 5 months now and every single day Jack will get himself up and dressed for school with NO WHINING. I walk in his room to feed the fish (remind me why I’m the one who does everything for these stupid fish I didn’t want…?) and tell him it’s time to wake up. Then I go downstairs to make his breakfast, start my coffee, walk the dog and blend my shake without fighting with him.

Let me tell you how great it is to NOT have to scream and yell first thing in the morning!

He keeps his stash of earned lollypops in our car cup holder and is in charge of whether he wants to eat a lollypop or save it up to trade in. Sometimes he even shares lollypops with his daddy or friends, knowing that it will take him longer to save up.

And me? Well I’m happy to pay $15 a month for mornings without whining. Bonus points for being only slightly late to work and teaching Jack the value of saving/spending something he values.

Do you have an incentive plan for your kid to get moving in the morning?

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Revisiting 2017: Top Family Posts

26 Dec

With the year coming to a close, I thought I’d take this last week of 2017 to revisit some of my most popular posts from the last 12 months. So join me in checking out my most popular Family posts… maybe you missed them the first time around so it’s all new to you!

This Morning
The one where Jack made me late to work because he couldn’t decide which pair of underpants to wear.

Losing our Last PopPop
My last grandparent passed away this year, so this was a goodbye to my last PopPop.

Nap Time is My Favorite
Jack stopped napping in the fall, so I already miss those days of family naps.

The Day I Forgot Jack’s Coat
Call me a bad mommy if you want, but he survived.

We Couldn’t Have Done it Without Mimi & Dippy
My mom and dad (or Mimi and Dippy, according to Jack) have been there every step of the way!

I hope you enjoyed looking back at some of my favorite posts. Tomorrow I’ll be posting my Top Fashion posts and then on Thursday you’ll get my Top Random posts of 2017!

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My Pocketful of Joules 2017 Handy Holiday Gift Guide: Something for Everyone

7 Dec

This isn’t your typical blogger gift guide where someone pins a bunch of expensive items they don’t even have so that they can make money off your clicks.

{Bloggers…did you feel that BURN?!}

I do my gift guides a little different. I go through all my blog posts from the last few years and pick out those things that I loved and I still love! When possible, I’ll include links to my initial reviews so you can read all my thoughts about the product and decide for yourself if it would be a good fit for you.

So, let’s get to it!

For the Gal who Likes Surprises: The FabFitFun Subscription Box {Find it here}
I’ve tried a bunch of different subscription boxes, but one of the only ones that I’ve stuck with is the quarterly box from FabFitFun. This box consistently surprises me with the most interesting mix of full-size, high-value items. If you have someone that is really difficult to buy for, get them a gift subscription (and maybe one for yourself too…). You can check out all my FabFit Fun reviews here. Quickie link for a promo code: Click through here to get $10 off your first box order.

For the Clotheshorse: Trunk Club {Find them here}
Did you know that Trunk Club has gift cards? You can buy them here: Trunk Club Gift Cards. You can choose the amount that you want to give ($50 and up, or you can do your own custom amount) and send a gift card by mail or email. It is a great chance to give someone the gift of a personal stylist – whether it be for a specific event or just a wardrobe refresh. You can check out all of my Trunk Club reviews here.

For the Jewelry lover (or Francophile): Emma & Chloe box {Find them here}
Emma&Chloé works with small, independent artisans to bring subscribers the latest design trends from Paris. All their jewelry pieces are handmade with brass, plated with 24k gold or dip-coated in a silver bath and feature semi-precious stones. Gift subscriptions are available for 1 box, 3 boxes, 6 boxes or 12 boxes (find them here). You can find my Emma&Chloe box reviews here.

For the Chick Who Puts on her Jammies As Soon as She Gets Home: Soma Pajamas {find them here}
Basically the moment I get home, I take off my fancy clothes and put on my comfortable pajamas. I upgraded all my old pj’s last year with some from Soma and they are my absolute favorite. You can read the post here. I especially love their Cool Night’s pajamas that keep you from overheating while you sleep.

For the Bookworm: Kindle Unlimited {Find it here}
I started my Kindle Unlimited subscription in May 2015 and it is still going strong. For the reader in your life, nothing is more exciting than UNLIMITED books for their Kindle. {swoon} You can read my review here.

For the Road Warrior: Laptop Backpack {find it here}
I travel from location to location for my work, so a great laptop back is a total necessity. I’ve been using this one since March and it is super cute and really durable. If you have a road warrior in your life, this might be exactly what they need! You can read my full review here.

For the Furry (or not so Furry) Dude or Lady: Dollar Shave Club {find it here}
I’ve been using Dollar Shave Club for over three years now and I love it! You can read my full review here. It is super convenient to have razors (and lotion) delivered right to your door and you can easily pause the service if you want to take a break. You can gift either a gift card, or pick one of their gift sets and add on a monthly razor subscription. They can even do gift wrapping for you! If you get a subscription for yourself, they will give you a special referral link where you can earn $5 for every friend who signs up, so you can actually shave for free. (If you’d like to use mine, it’s here).

For the Cool Dude or Dudette sock lover: BlueQ socks {find them here}
I’ve been wearing my BlueQ socks nonstop for the last few weeks and they put a little extra pep in my step. My current favorite pair says “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss!” You can read my full review here.  If you have that hard-to-buy for person, you can totally find a funny pair of socks (or three) on the BlueQ website!

For the Amateur Chef: Hello Fresh {Find them here}
We’ve been using Hello Fresh’s food delivery service for a few years we still love it! You can check out my first review here. We end up ordering a box about once a month or so, based on our availability and the recipes (you can check them out before your box ships to decide if you want to skip that week’s order). Here are some of my favorite tips for getting the most out of your subscription. You can purchase a gift card off their website for either a Classic Box, Veggie Box, or Family Plan. Quickie link for a promo code: use ETXYKD at the checkout to get $40 off your first box.

For the Kid Who Loves Getting Mail: Koala Crate & Kiwi Crate Subscription Box {Find it here}
Koala Crate and Kiwi Crate are craft subscription box especially designed for kids by age. We got Koala Crate for a couple years and Jack LOVED it. Each month the crate has a different theme with 3 different projects for your child to do. Click through for the August “Gardening” Crate review and the September “Reptiles” Crate review. A subscription costs $19.95 per month, or if you purchase a 6 or 12 month subscription the price goes down a bit. Quickie link for a promo code: use this link to get $10 off.

When in Doubt, Buy LEGOS! {Find some here and here}
Jack is totally obsessed with LEGOs, especially ones that have bank heists with money! Whenever you don’t know what to get a kid, LEGOs are a pretty safe bet and there are tons to pick from (at lots of different price ranges). They also have them everywhere – Walmart, Target, Amazon, and even Costco! Jack recently got this Spiderman ATM Heist set and it is pretty awesome!

Super Hero Clothes for Your Super Hero  {Find them here}
If you are planning to buy kid clothes for the holidays, make sure to get them something that the will actually like… like Super Hero clothes! Jack loves The Flash, Batman and Spiderman… so we snapped this Flash hoodie up a few months ago and he loves it!

Is there something on the list that you’ll be adding to your wishlist?

 

Disclosure: I didn’t receive any of these items for free and decided to recommend them because I actually like them all. There are some ShopStyle links, referral codes and promo codes in this post where I could earn a (very) small amount of money for referring someone. This is TOTALLY NOT why I recommended them, but a nice little benefit to me if you decide to click through.

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The 2017 Baltimore Running Festival & Jack’s 1st Race!

23 Oct

After years of doing the Baltimore Running Festival – whether it be the 5k or the Team Relay Marathon with my siblings – this year was super special. Jack had been asking to do a fun run race for a couple months and we decided that this would be a great first race for him. The races for the Baltimore Running Festival tend to be towards the more expensive side, but the Kids Fun Run was actually quite a deal. For $15, Jack received an Under Armour running shirt, his own crab medal and snacks at the finish line.

It was a super early morning and we got to see the sun rise over the Baltimore Inner Harbor on our way to the start line.

I ran the 5k first with Travis and Jack cheering me on. It was an okay race for me and I finished 3117 out of 5344 participants. This was also my first time running as a 40 year old, and I placed 162 out of 314 in my new category of Females 40 – 44. Here’s a look at how incredibly crowded it was at the start of the race:

After I wiped the sweat off me, we made our way over to the other side of the Inner Harbor with plenty of time to spare for the kid’s run. Kids 8 – 12 ran the longer .38 mile course and age 7 and under ran the .14 mile course. There were a ton of kids there, so Jack decided that he wanted to hold my hand and run the race together.

It was a total mess at the beginning with kids running every which way. One kid decided a few steps in that she hated running (I hear you girl…) and collapsed to the ground crying for her mom to pick her up. Once we broke free of some of the pack, I asked Jack if he wanted to go faster… which he did. So, we kept going faster and faster until he was basically flying at the end of it. He was super proud of himself and VERY happy to have his own medal like mommy’s!

And of course, I needed a photo of the two of us to celebrate the moment!

Jack has already asked when he can do another race, so I think it’s safe to say he will be doing the Baltimore Running Festival again with me next year. Race season in Maryland is coming to a close, but I will definitely keep my eyes open for some more fun run’s in the spring!

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