Melissa Kaylene: April 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Teachers Change Lives

Becoming the PTSO President this past year has really opened up my eyes more about the school systems. I had never realized just how many things for classrooms and activities weren't funded by the school - meaning it's partly left up to the teachers to figure out. With small schools there's not as many fundraisers and outside money being earned, and many teachers not only spend their own money to provide things for the classes, but they do a lot of volunteer work with extra-curricular activities for the students.

There are many good teachers out there, but every once in a while you find that teacher. The one that you know teaches well, teaches in a way that the kids will understand, not simply from a text book. The teachers that teach because it is their passion, the ones that make your children feel good about themselves and want to go to school.

The teachers that encourage curiosity. 

My kids have been blessed and have had many wonderful teachers, but there has been one in particular that all of the kids in the school talked about. He is one of those teachers that have been there for multiple generations and continue to make kids smile. Every kid calls him Mr. "B", and he's the go to guy for gym rental passes. He teaches a rhythms class for the kids every week and from what I hear it is a huge music dance fest full of giggles. Every year he also hosts a Spring Showcase, and all of the kids would show off their own unique talents to friends and family - whether it is tumbling, classroom choreographed dances, jump ropes, or pretty much any other idea you could come up with. Everything and everyone is celebrated at the Spring Showcase, and select 5th graders weave ribbons around a May Pole (Anika is one of the chosen ones for this year!!) He's just one of those people that don't act as they appear. My first impression of him was that he was a strong silent type - but I must be wrong. Even with that outer shell the kids gravitate towards him. They love him.

Sadly he is retiring after a very successful career. Luckily for my girls he still comes in one or two days a week to help out and teach the rhythms class. It's people like him that help you realize that having a career you love isn't just about the money you make - it's about finding your passion and helping others along the way. Office Depot has teamed up with Adopt-a-Classroom to help raise more awareness for teachers like Mr. B. - teachers that have gone above and beyond the minimum, and you can help. You can help by either registering a classroom or donating to a teacher's classroom.

I fell in love with so many of the personal stories of teachers that Office Max has shared, but the one I've linked below is pretty amazing. This teacher takes junk and helps his students turn it into something incredible for other people.

  • How to Register Your Classroom as a Teacher
    1. Go to Teachers Change Lives website
    2. Click on the red box that says "Register Your Classroom," which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website
    3. Follow the corresponding steps from there

  • How to Donate to a Teacher
    1. Go to Teachers Change Lives website 
    2. Click on the teal "Donate to a Teacher" box on the Teachers Change Lives website, which will take you to the Adopt-A-Classroom website
    3. Follow the corresponding steps from there

Helping our teachers today is investment in our children's future. Teachers change lives
Do you know a teacher that is extra incredible? I'd love to hear your stories!


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Staying Unstoppable

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and U by Kotex but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #UbyKotex  
#UbyKotex #PMedia #ad
Picking Emma up from school
My kids are my life. Every step I take and every path that I choose - they are always what drive me to do my best.

Like every other parent out there - life is busy, but I wouldn't change a thing. Three kids right now are perfect for me though - so I have an IUD in place. I love it because it not only gives me peace of mind, but it pretty much eliminates my periods... most of the time.

The only negative thing about have an IUD is that I occasionally have irregular spotting, and since I'm running around most days and not just sitting at home, I've learned that I need to keep something standing by - just in case. 

I talk about all of the things we do on here quite frequently, but it wasn't until I laid out all of my outfits that I really realized just how many things I do and different hats I wear everyday.

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From the pajamas I wear at night, to jeans and a hoodie taking the kids to school, gym clothes, scrubs, and even on occasion when I dress up - sometimes it really baffles me how moms and dads can balance it all!

With all of my running around I've got to keeps something handy to be prepared. I've found that I really like the U by Kotex Sleek Tampons because they easily fit in all of the places where I can stash one just in case I need it, like my purse, car console, makeup bag, even my scrub pockets.

#UbyKotex #PMedia #ad
#UbyKotex #ad #PMedia
Working from home
#UbyKotex #PMedia #ad
Working outside of the house
Right now at Walmart when you buy U by Kotex products you also get another product that I know I can never have too many of...hairbands! While supplies last you will also get 3 Goody Hair Elastics with your purchase.

#UbyKotex #ad #Pmedia
#UbyKotex #PMedia #ad
Cooking dinner
Life keeps going, no matter what. That's why I like being prepared - because it makes me feel unstoppable.

#UbyKotex #Pmedia #ad
Heading out again to conquer the world!
Nothing can stand in my way.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Memories of Summer Simplicity

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. 
 This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.
#summergoodies #ad #CollectiveBias

There are some moments that I wish I could just slow down or put on pause. Between all of the bickering and hollering from the kids - it can wear me out. But with summertime approaching generally comes better spirits as the days are longer and there is more leisure time for their freedom.

In the summer there seems to be more moments when they are all getting along and playing nicely together. It's those moments where I have a huge sigh of relief and know that I must be doing something right. These moments are truly a mother's bliss.

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You see, every moment becomes a memory, and I want my kids to look back someday and remember all of the little things - not just the big milestones. 

Sometimes the simplest ordinary days of childhood create the biggest impact on adulthood. 

Some of my favorite memories growing up were of my sister and I exploring the great outdoors in the summer. We'd roam on our property playing pretend, jumping out of swings, laying in the sun eating warm blackberries by a tiny creek, and smelling the lilacs and wild roses blooming.

#summergoodies #CollectiveBias #ad

Occasionally we'd create little picnics in our yard and feast. It wouldn't be anything fancy or even traditional, but we'd still gather little meals and place everything on our blankets and bask in the sunshine. Our favorite parts of these little picnics of course were the #SummerGoodies we ate - and ice cream was usually our favorite.

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The funny thing is now that I'm a mom it's those same moments - the moments when my children are having picnics and exploring the great unknown - those are my new memories in the making. I'll grumble at them when I see them drag another blanket outside or pack 4 pillows out when I told them one, but inside I'm happily reliving my childhood - and longing to go back to those days of simplicity.

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#summergoodies #CollectiveBias #ad

They'll ask me to make them their favorite foods for lunch, like Jack's Pizza (which is actually quick and easy to cook right on the grill), then they will give me big puppy dog eyes because they know I've got a stash of Nestle DrumStick Crunch Dipped Cones in the freezer for a treat afterwards. You can find both of these items at Walmart in the freezer sections and they are perfect to stock up on for those special kid picnics.

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Don't always let your adult judgement create more chaos and arguments. Let them have fun sometimes. The blankets will get dirty, the clothes will be covered in ice cream, and you'll be doing extra laundry later - but trust me. These memories will outlast anything else.

These little picnics and childhood traditions are priceless.

Thanks #CollectiveBias for the wonderful opportunity! If you've never grilled a Jacks' Pizza before, you can find complete instructions HERE.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Ag Shop Adventures.

Yesterday Noah's preschool went to the high school's AG shop. It's only a couple blocks to the preschool so we just all walked. It's the third year I've gone on this field trip because Emma went both years she was in the preschool too. The kids look around and ask questions about plants, then they each get to plant their own flower. 

This year it got a little exciting. 

While at the shop we had a sudden massive downpour. It seriously was the most rain I've seen in quite a while. Luckily Wayne had drove over from work, so he gave the preschool teacher a ride back to the church so she could get the van to take the kids back. The high school students were left trying to entertain the kids in the storm. They played Simon Says and other silly games. 

By the time the van came to pick us up the rain storm stopped, but the kids still wanted a ride - because riding a van is just so cool. ;)

What was just a tiny field trip turned into a memory that these little ones won't forget for a while.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Create.Simplify.Inspire. #65

Today Emma had her first T-Ball practice. The weather didn't cooperate so it wasn't the most exciting first practice, but it went well. Even though she didn't participate a huge amount, I was proud of her to go and make an effort. Slowly but surely I hope to free her from her insecurities and fears. I will continue to praise her and give her positive attention. Do you have shy kids that have played sports before? Do you have any tips or tricks that helped them? Link up your stories if you'd like. 

This link up to to share anything and everything that inspires you, or that you've created. 

Create.Simplify.Inspire. #65

Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Life Lately in Photos

Melissa Kaylene // Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
Melissa Kaylene // Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
Melissa Kaylene // Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
Melissa Kaylene // Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
Melissa Kaylene // Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
Melissa Kaylene // Willamette Valley Wonder Woman

I'm seeing a coffee theme over the past has been much needed! (Some of these photos are from my Instagram.) I'm feeling slightly better today, but not ready to just back into everything full force just yet. Anika has had a science project she's been working on for a science fair this Thursday, and Emma starts T-Ball practice tomorrow. Noah also has a field trip to the Ag shop at the high school Thursday and then Saturday we have our last soccer games and then I'm heading into Macy's to view their Spring Fashion Show! If you live in the Portland area its free! Stop by and join me :) I'm also busy working on some great posts to share with you over the next couple of weeks. 

Stay tuned.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Time.

This Easter we kept things pretty low key. I knew I was going to be working evening shift on Easter and none of our family was coming up, so we didn't really plan a big meal or anything. We decided to have a little Easter egg hunt and BBQ at our friends house Saturday afternoon after everyone's soccer games were finished. It poured during Anika's morning game, but luckily the weather cleared up long enough late afternoon to let the kids run around and gather their plastic prizes. 

They ran around and had tons of fun. Afterwards we all ate BBQ chicken, pasta salad and baked beans followed by an array of desserts. We then let the kids color eggs and we all visited for a couple of hours. 

We left and put the tired kiddos to bed. The next morning we got up and I took the kids to Easter service while Wayne went into town to pick up his mom. I woke up feeling really dizzy and off balance, and just chalked it up to allergies messing with my ears.

The service went well and I was surprised to see one of my great uncles that live close to me, yet I don't know that well. The funny thing is - during the service and the week leading up to Easter, I had been feeling bad that I wasn't going to be able to have a family get together. All of my family lives four hours away from me now, and while I try to keep my spirits up, I can't help but feel jealous sometimes of some of the close knit families that my friends have. 

Well, here I was sitting there during service feeling sorry for myself, and then communion began, and I felt a tap on my shoulder, and it was my great uncle passing one of the communion plates. We talked after church for a while and I introduced him to my children. You see, I didn't grow up in this area, and I never really knew them well - 

well this is the second time in the past 6 months that I have ran into him, and he has given me an open invitation to come out to his property and let the kids see his baby lambs and show us around and catch up.

Just as I was feeling lonely and missing that family feeling, I was reminded that I'm not alone.

 After my eye opening service, we ate lunch with Wayne's mom and I got ready for work. My head was still dizzy and I wasn't feeling well, but I couldn't call in on Easter. I went into work and quickly realized that it wasn't a good idea. I was passing medication and have to look up and down frequently. I got incredibly dizzy, broke out into a cold sweat and became very nauseous. I literally sat down at the nurse's station and was afraid to move my head. 

Thank God for my amazing co-workers. The other nurse I was working with offered to cover me and do my work in addition to his. I felt so terribly bad having him do this - especially on Easter, but there was absolutely no way I could finish my shift. 

Thankfully Wayne and the kids came and brought me home around dinner time and I headed into bed and slept the rest of the evening away. Today I still felt dizzy and exhausted - I think perhaps its a middle ear infection or something. I've been drinking lots of hot tea and using lots of hot packs. 

Easter weekend certainly didn't go as I imagined, but I was amazed in the kindness and generosity in people around me. 

I am grateful, because I am blessed.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Living Locally: Macy's Spring Fashion Show

If you are in the Portland area next Saturday you should join me at Macy's! They have a fun free event happening at the Washington Square Mall - their Spring Fashion Show! I am so excited to start dressing for the spring weather and their stylists will show off the latest spring essentials for our wardrobes! I don't know about you, but sometimes I get stuck in a fashion rut so I love coming to these events for some new inspiration.

The show will be hosted by Lawrence Zarian (who is from Live! with Kelly and Michael ) and there will be snacks and drinks, a live DJ, cosmetic and fragrance samples and even mini makeovers! Also for everyone who spends $75 in the Women's Department will receive a copy of Lawrence's new book, 10 Commandments for a Perfect Wardrobe and will get to meet Lawrence after the show!

Here's the details for the show and be sure to RSVP online to reserve your spot! The events that Macy's has are always fun - and you can't beat free! 

Macy’s Spring Fashion Show

Saturday, April 26, 2014
 2:00 pm 
Macy’s at Washington Square Mall – Women’s Department, Level 1
Portland, OR 

Can't wait to 'meet' you there!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Macy’s, and the photo included in this post is courtesy of Macy’s. All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Never Take Life for Granted.

never take life for granted

I have to talk about something that has been heavy on my heart for a few days now. My husband's boss lost his son. I've never met my husband's boss nor his son, but my husband knew both of them. I believe he was 8 years old.

I as a parent cannot even imagine going through the pain of loosing one of my children. Especially not at that age. Not that young. From what I heard he had just died in his sleep. Unexpectedly. I feel for my husband's boss even more because not only did his only son just die, but he himself is a doctor. As a nurse I can only empathize how much he feels like there must have been something that he could of done - a sign or symptom that he could and should have paid attention to more.

It brings tears to my eyes. 

I've been hugging my children a little tighter the past few days. It seems as if every time I finally forget about the hurt and pain that death brings to people it pops in again just to remind me that it's always there. But when it happens to children it brings me the heaviest heart of all, for they had barely begun to live their life.

It makes me wonder how much the little things matter. Like the times I said I had to clean the house instead of making a fort with my children. The times that I should have slowed down more to let them help me make dinner. The mornings that we should spend cuddling in bed reading stories instead of rushing around.

The one thing I can say about death is it makes me appreciate life more.

My family more. 

Don't live your life thinking that what is now will always be. Live your life appreciating the now and experiencing the moment - for you never know when you won't have that opportunity again.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Create.Simplify.Inspire. #64

This week has been eventful, that's for sure. The facility I work at is in the process of moving to a new building - not a common task for an acute care facility. I've also been working on the kid's grade school Family Fun Fair which is happening May 9th. Being the PTSO President I'm kind of sort of in charge of everything. Let's just say its been a tad overwhelming this week. Tomorrow I plan on finally taking the day and relaxing with the kids and coloring our Easter eggs together. I'd love to see what amazing things you've been up to this week though! 

This link up to to share anything and everything that inspires you, or that you've created. 

Create.Simplify.Inspire. #64

Willamette Valley Wonder Woman
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Plan a Poker Night Together

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Scandinavian Tobacco Group Lane, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CuberoLuxury
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As you know by now, I firmly believe that life should be celebrated on a regular basis. Whether it is a big party or an intimate evening for two - day to day life should never go unacknowledged. 

I try to have a date night in every so often because it's an important thing to do. Occasionally we will have a couples date night too, where we invite two of our friends over for the evening. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does I always try and plan the evening out. Sometimes we will all make a meal together or watch a funny movie and catch up on everyone's life, but sometimes I like to change it up a bit - so we did a game and poker night last week! My husband thought I was slightly crazy as I lit candles for a poker night - but I wanted to mesh the best of both worlds! Cubero Cigars and beer for him - wine and candles for me!

As with all gatherings, I always have a plan - even if it's just loosely followed. These are a few things I always think of beforehand:

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1. How big is the get together going to be? Is it a date night for two, or a party of ten? I figure out who I'm going to invite, taking in mind friends personalities if it's a smaller intimate evening. For last minute shindigs a simple phone call, text, or email will do. 

2. Decide on colors. Obviously for a poker nights black, red and green are the most common color choices - but you could always change it up a bit if you want. I would recommend keeping it to 3 colors or less.

3. What's the menu? Am I going to cook a meal first? Am I going to make appetizers, or keep it simple with chips and dip? If the evening is put together really last minute I'll usually set out some spreadable cheeses and crackers along with some olives and nuts - things that we usually always have on hand at our house. Even if I am making dinner first, I always have finger foods available to nibble on throughout the evening.

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4. The extras - I've got the friends, the food, and the decorations, but I don't like to forget about the other small touches that make a poker night authentic - such as my husband and friends favorite beverages and cigars (I like to buy the Cubero Cigars that can be found at Walmart) because what's a poker night without them, right? I also made funny little "Poker Face" props for the evening simply by cutting out black card stock and taping it to 3/8" dowels. When you plan your poker night you could also consider take home gifts or prizes to the winners if you aren't playing "for real".

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#ad #pmedia #cuberoluxury

No matter how big or small a gathering is that I have, I want to make it memorable - so the last thing I always do it take photographs of it all. 

Are you a poker pro? What tips do you have for this newbie? ;)

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