Kim Adam’s Dining Room Traditions

HolidayDining copyOne of the craziest things I’ve ever said as a mother came after I found my two toddlers sitting under our formal dining room table eating crackers. I walked into the room and said in utter dismay  “No eating in the dining room!” As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I started to laugh. How ridiculous that the sight of my kids eating crackers under our fancy table would prompt such shock. But the kids knew the formal dining room was only for special occasions. The crystal and china, turkish rug, and the beautiful dining set complete with….ready for this…white, silk covered chairs!  Yes, I said white silk. Clearly a purchase made before my 5 adorable kids were part of the picture.

That was the day I decided we needed to use our dining room more. Why have a formal dining room if no one is even allowed to eat in it? I thought I would start with Sunday dinners. But a few months later, we moved into a home with no eat-in kitchen at all. The home was built in 1928 when the only people that ate in kitchen were the servants. So our beautiful dining room table, and our 6 white chairs became our everyday table.   At the time, I had 4 kids. Including 3 children under the age of 6.  So you can imagine how quickly my white chairs became multi-color with stains of every kind. And you know what?   I didn’t even care. I loved that every family meal seemed special. It was a gorgeous room that felt cozy and warm.

Family dinner is a tradition in my home. We sit down as a family at least 3 times a week.   Its when my kids talk about their day. Where we pray and come together and shut out the rest of the world. I love my dining room table. I love that my children will remember it someday. And not unlike my life, those perfect white chairs are now a bit stained and imperfect. And I love that too.

Bring those traditions home to your dining room with a new dining set. Gardner-White offers a range of dining sets to fit your family style and size! Here are just some of the options we offer!

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Plus, get same day delivery so you can have your new dining set ready for the holidays! Shop all of our dining sets here!

Halloween Decorating Ideas from Kim Adams

With sunshine and temps in the 80s for much of October, decorating for Halloween just hasn’t felt right. But now as cooler weather returns, it’s time to break out the tombstones, fake spiders, and spooky hanging ghosts. This year I wanted something a little different for my own house.  Pinterest is like an internet buffet of ideas. Which is great, but can also be overwhelming. So I narrowed it down to my Top 5 New and Unusual Ways to decorate for Halloween.

1. HEAD IN A JAR 

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Here’s what you need to make your own:

Find the instructions and other tips here!

2.  CREEPY CHICKEN WIRE HUMAN SIZE GHOSTS

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1. Cut chicken wire.

2. Form the shape of the head.

3. Form the torso.

4. Create support.

5. Form the arms.

6. Attach body forms.

7. Add shoulder support.

8. Form the legs.

9. Attach base to torso.

10. Create skirt.

11. Complete body form.

12. Cover with cheesecloth.

13. Hang half-figure ghosts.

Full instructions with pictures and supply list here! 

3. CREATE A “MONSTER” GARAGE

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This garage door has been shared all over social media! Make your own with this tutorial! 

4. PATTERN CARVING PUMPKINS 

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 See more patterns and get templates here! 

5.  MICE INFESTATION ON THE STAIRCASE

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  1. 1. Print mice template.
  2. 2. Trace the shapes onto black construction paper, and cut out.
  3. 3. Mount as desired with masking tape.

Find the mice template and other instructions here!

Hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!!!!!

Kim Adams

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Emmy award winning television and film personality and mother of 5, Kim Adams is one of metro-Detroit most recognizable faces. While most remember her as a skilled meteorologist at WXYZ (ABC-Detroit) and WDIV (NBC-Detroit), Kim has now joined the film industry appearing in “Scream 4″ starring Courtney Cox and David Arquette. Kim can also be found on national tv shows such as “Detroit 187″ and “20/20.” She’s currently a medical reporter for the Childrens Hospital of Michigan. Kim’s busy schedule also includes being a spokesperson for numerous local and national companies. Kim graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oakland University ranking 3rd in her graduating class. She received a master’s degree from Wayne State University majoring in Radio/TV & Film. In addition, she studied thermodynamics and dynamics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School in Washington, D.C., and synoptic meteorology at the Ohio State University.

Help Reduce Back-to-School Anxiety

Are your kids ready for back to school? Most of us have spent weeks shopping for new clothes, shoes, and a great backpack full of school supplies. But have you prepared your child emotionally? For some kids that first day of school is filled with anxiety.Whether it’s the first day of kindergarten or the first day of high school, not all kids are ready for the stress of a new situation. One of the biggest fears we face as humans is fear of the unknown. Remember your first day on a new job? Will my co-workers like me? Will I understand what to do or where to go? A child experiences the same feelings that first day of school. Here are few ideas to help your child (or even your teenager) cope with the anxiety of back to school.

Practice makes perfect

If this is your child’s first time away from you, try a few trial separations. This is especially true for children of stay at home moms. If your child isn’t used to spending the day away, try a few hours at a grandparents’ house, or even a summer day camp. If your child is starting pre-school and will be gone for 3 hours, try spending a few hours apart before school starts.

Never let them see you cry

I’m sooooo guilty of this one. I cried the first day of pre-school for both my two oldest children. And what happened? They cried too. In part because it was all new for them and it’s scary. But i have to admit, seeing mommy upset didn’t help. So when it was time for #3 to go to school, it was a quick hug and kiss goodbye and off i went… (back to my car to cry my eyes out instead).

Set up play dates

If you’ve had an orientation, try and find the names of one or two classmates before school starts and set up a play date. We all feel better when we walk into a new situation and see a friendly face. Or if your child had already started school, tell the teacher if your child is anxious. My daughter was very shy, so i asked the teacher to sit her next to a very outgoing child that could help her along socially. Ten years later, my daughter and that little girl are still best friends.

Do not be late the first day

Sounds simple, but being rushed can really add to the stress. Make sure outfits are picked out the night before, lunches are made and do not hit the snooze! Clock-AnimationThis is especially true for teenagers. Getting up a few minutes early and being able to take their time can help with the pressure (getting a teenager up early however is another blog).

Know when it’s a real problem

Having jitters the first day, or even a few weeks after school begins is normal. Young children might be clingier or whiny. Older kids might have a few sleepless nights, or be a bit moody. But if your child suddenly starts complaining about physical symptoms such as headaches, upset stomachs, or other ailments it’s time to ask an expert. A very small percentage of children simply can’t handle the stress of new situations. Some will even refuse to go to school, or repeatedly ask to stay home. This is when professional help might be needed. But for the vast majority of kids, the anxiety of back-to-school quickly subsides, and the complaints of homework and getting up early take over once again.

Finally, the first week of school can be overwhelming for moms too. I joke that I can’t wait for school to start again. Then when it does, I find myself missing my little chickens. A few extra hugs or cuddles, and carving out time to talk each night really helps both me and my kids that first week of school.

Have a safe and happy school year!

Healthy Meals for a Working Mom by Kim Adams

mom-cooking-dinner-with-son_eobtfh“What’s for dinner mom?”  Its the question all moms, especially working moms dread.   With sporting activities, household chores, plus the regular workload, cooking dinner can be one of the most challenging parts of the day.  But it doesn’t have to be if you follow a few simple rules, and a little bit of discipline.

PLAN IT OUT

1.  Try and cook a full meal at least 2-3 times a week.   Keep it simple!   A protein, vegetable and maybe rice. Don’t worry about complicated recipes. I’ve spent all day cooking a meal only to have my kids turn their noses up.  But the 30 minute baked chicken with steamed veggies gets gobbled up in minutes. In our house we also sit down at the table as a family at least 3 times a week. I learn more about my kids during dinner than I could ever imagine.

2.  Brinner!  Once a week we have breakfast for dinner. Eggs,  homemade waffles, bacon are all perfectly fine choices. This is usually my “the meeting ran over and I’m running late”  weeknight meals. It’s also my kids favorite night.

3.   The other one or two nights a week we either do pizza with salad, or a family night out.    As a mom you have to be kind to yourself. As long as you’re providing healthy, home cooked meals at least a few times a week I say bravo!!!

4.  Many of my mom friends spend their Sundays planning meals and doing food prep for the week ahead. I do this on occasion and it really does make the weekday meals so much easier. However, sometimes our weekends are busier than the weekdays.   If it works for your family, I say try it.  If not, the crock pot is always a viable option for fast, easy meals!

FORGET THE MICROWAVE

Warming up leftovers can’t be avoided. But you can take a few extra minutes and reheat food in the oven. Food reheated this way simply tastes more like when it was first cooked.

HEALTHY FOOD IN A BOX

If you really don’t have time to get to the grocery store each week, there is another option.  Companies like Blue Apron, or Hello Fresh will deliver all the ingredients you need for healthy meals straight to your front door. Typically you get enough fresh food for 3 meals that feed 2-4 people. I will be honest, I haven’t tried this option yet. But a few of my friends have and they love it. The food is very fresh, but it will cost a bit more than your local grocery store. However, knowing your children are getting healthy meals and not having to frantically gather ingredients at the grocery store, might just be worth it!

Kim Adams

Back To School Bedtimes with Kim Adams

I have a confession. Total honesty here.   As much as I love my 5 kids, there are days I cannot wait for them to go to bed. There I said it…..and if you’re a parent I guarantee you’re nodding your head in agreement.  Long summer days are fantastic and filled with so much fun. But at 9pm when the sun is still shining, the last thing my little ones want todo is go to bed. If the sun is awake, so are they.

But now that summer is quickly coming to an end, so are those late nights catching fireflies until 10 o’clock. If you want your kids back on a sleep schedule before school starts, now is the time. About 2-3 weeks before school begins, I start putting my kids to bed 5-10 minutes earlier each night.   By the first week of school, my kids are in bed by 8:30pm (well usually). Here are a few more ideas that have worked for my family and hopefully will yours too!bedtime

1.  BEDTIME ROUTINES

This is a non-negotiable in my house. Bath, story, song, bed….in that order nearly every night (ok sometimes we skip the bath).  But I do find that if my children know the order we do things, it helps them prepare mentally for going to bed. Although some nights we have to push back bed times because of various commitments, I do my best to keep a consistent bedtime. Perhaps an hour later on the weekends, but no more than that if possible.

2. NO SCREEN TIME 30 MINS BEFORE BED

My kids fight me on this tooth and nail. But all electronics must be turned off at least 30 minutes before bed. I go one step further and make my older children bring their cell phones into my room to be charged at night. That removes the temptation of checking social media or those quick midnight snapchats (I know I know, mean mommy).

3. CREATE A QUIET ENVIRONMENT 

A child’s bedroom should be a quiet, comfortable place to relax.  If there’s one thing I recommend investing in, its a great mattress. You know how you feel after a night on a horrible hotel mattress?  A child is no different.  A comfortable, high quality mattress can make your child sleep better and in turn do better at school. Several studies have shown a direct correlation between a lack of sleep and lower test scores. The National Sleep Foundation suggests 5-12 year olds need 10-11 hours of sleep every day.

Kim Adams

Top 5 Moving Lessons from Kim Adams

ONE MOM AND A TRUCK

Moving… as a former military mom, I’m no stranger to moving. 14 times in 12 years. I thought I had it all down to a science. So this past December I decided moving 5 days before Christmas would be perfectly fine. Boy was I wrong. One mom, 5 kids, a cat and a hundred mistakes later, we are finally moved into the new digs. I learned a lot this time. Let me narrow it down to the Top 5 lessons.

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1. ORGANIZE, DONATE AND THROW AWAY BEFORE YOU MOVE

Most moving companies charge by weight and/or by the hour. Why pay to move things you don’t need or want in the new home? You will save on moving boxes and the headache of having to pack unwanted items. This includes furniture. I decided to upgrade my kids’ beds to better quality “big boy” bedroom sets from Gardner-White. Instead of moving the old beds, I decided to donate them and take the tax deduction. Their new beds were delivered to our new home. Plus, the beds were all assembled and ready to be slept in the very same day! Truly this was the easiest part of my move!

2. MEASURE FURNITURE BEFORE YOU PAY TO MOVE IT

That huge sofa in the old house might not fit in the new house. Or perhaps you’ve been thinking about upgrading from a queen to a king? NOW is the time to decide if your furniture works in the new home. Because as I said before, it makes no sense to move furniture only to sell or donate it later. Check out the handy “Will It Fit” guide on the Gardner-White website here: http://www.gardner-white.com/customer-service/will-it-fit

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3. TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR CORDS

This sounds funny, but trust me it will save you so many headaches. Take a quick picture of the back of your TV of all the cables BEFORE the movers unplug everything. I can’t tell you how much time and effort it took figuring out cable cords, PS4, Xbox and Wii connections! A photo of where things were when everything worked would have been very helpful.

4. MAKE A MOVING SUPPLY BOX

If I had to search for a Sharpie or the tape roll one more time I thought my head would come off. A little plastic bin with all the items in one spot would have saved me time and headaches when I was packing. It sounds simple but packing takes hours and hours no matter how organized you think you are. It never failed I would pack a room only to open a cabinet or closet filled with more stuff!

5. PACK AN OVERNIGHT BOX

Moving day is stressful. No matter how you try and prevent it, you will be an exhausted mess by the end of the day. Even with a good moving company there are still things you have to do yourself. Make sure you have a box with toiletries, sheets, a pillow, change of clothes etc. In fact, I pack an overnight bag for each member of the family. Its much less stressful than searching through 15 boxes to find your toothbrush!

Decorate your furniture for Halloween in 4 easy steps!

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At 11p.m. I was all set to sit down in my peaceful house (which is rare) and write my first Halloween blog. I flipped on the TV for some background noise and what’s the first thing I hear? Jingle bells! A Christmas commercial with Santa announcing a layaway sale. I’m sorry… are we not celebrating Halloween this year? We’ve already seemed to skip over Thanksgiving, but now Halloween? Well not in my house. At my house it’s pumpkins, turkeys and then Santa. In that order with no exceptions. So, here are a few ideas to get your home ready for a spooky good time!

Steps to make your furniture look creepy, old and even scary:

1. Cover your couches, chairs and other pieces of furniture with white sheets. Try and make the home look abandoned by tattering the sheets a bit with a few holes.

2. Cover end tables with old, black table cloths or take an old black sheet and cut jagged edges on it.

3. Drape your bookshelves or entertainment units with fake spiderwebs.

4. Fake skulls are not my personal favorite, but they really do add a very spooky effect to any piece of furniture.

Now while you’re covering up that old sofa with a sheet, think about this. As the last trick or treater leaves your house and you turn off the porch light, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season officially gets underway. The countdown to Christmas begins and for many of us, the stress levels instantly start to rise. Why not get a jump on the things, by shopping for new furniture now. Order that sofa early so it’s in place and ready for holiday entertaining in your home. Or, invest in a new mattress so at the end of a busy day of Christmas shopping you can fall into your nice, cozy bed and relax.

 

 

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

Today was the day.   It happens every year,  and it never gets old.   As I passed our local nursery, I noticed the wilted impatiens and dried out geraniums had been suddenly replaced with mums!  Beautiful mums in the rich fall colors of orange, burgundy and gold.   It was a wonderful reminder that my favorite time of year is right around the corner.   Although I love the warm weather and the lazy days of summer, nothing beats the fall season in Michigan.

Later I had yet another reminder.  I went shopping with my daughter and smelled the most wonderful fall scent.   It was in an unusual place.  Nestled among the windex and toilet bowl cleaner, was a display of Glade fall candles.   Now I don’t mean to be a candle snob, but every year I buy a few fall candles at a popular candle store.   I usually spend about $30 a candle.   But this year, I picked up that Glade pumpkin candle for $2.99 and sniffed it all the way to the register.   I then ended up going back and buying 2 more!   I’m telling you that Glade candle rivals any fancy expensive one!

Unfortunately, when I got home, I looked around and realized how my “lazy days of summer” translated into a house that needed a little TLC.   Who wants to stay inside and organize closets and deep clean the bathrooms when it’s sunny and 80 degrees outside?   But now that the kids are going back to school and the days will soon be turning colder, its time to transition to fall.  We change our wardrobes from season to season and your home is no different.   It doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. Simple changes of texture and color and can make a big difference.

1) The Living Room – This is where you can get a lot of bang for your buck.   Pillows and blankets are the easiest way to bring warmth to your furniture.   If you purchased a light color sofa that fit perfectly during the summer months, change the throw pillows. Add warm textures like velvet or chenille in rich brown, orange or even jewel tones. Trade out the light weight throws for heavier blankets like faux fur, or soft wool.   If you have a solid color rug, try layering it with a smaller zebra or other patterned rug.

2) The Bedroom – Your bed is perhaps one of the easiest things to change with the seasons.    Put away the white duvets and linens and bring out the cozier fabrics and textures.   Darker sheets and perhaps a fall floral duvet can make a big difference.   As the nights turn much colder, flannel can add so much warmth along with a faux fur blanket and throw pillows (though keep in mind ladies most men will never understand the need for decorative pillows on the bed)

3) Home accents – Bundle candles together on a decorative tray with small pumpkins and gourds.    Wrought iron laterns are very inexpensive and can really add a sense of warmth and coziness to an entryway or dining room table.   Don’t forget the fall flowers like mums and hydrangeas inside as well as outside.

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If you have other fall decorating ideas I’d love hear them.  Better yet, send us a photo of your before and after transition from summer to fall!

 

Read Kim’s bio here.

Back To School – Kids need ZZZZ’s.

Kim-Adams-150_headshotKids love to countdown to the last day of school. By this time of year, moms are counting down to the first. I’m not saying I do it, but I happen to know there are 57 days, 8 hours and 36 minutes until my kids go back to school. Roughly….off the top of my head. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer vacation just as much as the kids. No lunches to pack, no homework and bedtimes can be much more relaxed. The problem is come September, it can be very challenging to get back on a sleep schedule. And when it comes to learning, a good night’s sleep is critical.

If you want to help your kids bring home straight A’s, experts say help them get more ZZZZ’s!

shutterstock_262383347Numerous new studies show lost sleep causes impaired learning and diminished academic success. In fact, did you know kids actually learn in their sleep? Researchers at Michigan State University found that when children are sleeping their brains integrate new information and memories. Also, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine shows that kids who get a a good night’s sleep perform better on tests. One of the best ways things to get your child ready for back to school isn’t a new backpack or notebook, its a new mattress!

As adults, we know that sleeping on a cheap or old mattress can be incredibly uncomfortable and it can lead to a disturbed nights sleep. We often wake up feeling, groggy, tired and sore in the morning. Its the same for kids, only with added risBedtimeks. Children are constantly growing, and while their bones are growing its important to sleep on a mattress that provides the correct degree of support for their spines. While latex and memory foam are great for adults, they aren’t really suitable for toddlers and children. When choosing a good mattress for your child, a box spring support system is really recommended. It’s worth the investment to help your child sleep better. Once you have a great mattress there are other things you can do to help your child get ready for back to school sleep.

Here are a few things that work in my home:

1) Starting now, adjust your childs bedtime back by 15 minutes per night­.  This will gradually get them returned to their normal sleep schedule.

2) Set an electronics curfew. It takes kids about an hour to wind down at night. But with smartphones, and other electronic games it can take a little longer. Take away anything with a screen at least an hour before bed.

3) Make bedtime fun­! I read stories to my kids every single night. Its a tradition I look forward to just as much as they do. There is also a new glow in the dark paint that you can use to write a secret message on your child’s ceiling that they will see when the lights go out.

If you have tips that help get your children sleep better, let us know!

Read Kim’s bio here.

Sleep like a baby? How to make the most of limited rest as a new parent.

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“People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.” -Leo J. Burke

It was December 23, 2002. On this cold winters night, I crawled into bed and slept a solid, blissful, uninterrupted 8 hours. Why do I remember the exact date? Because it would be the very last time I slept 8 hours straight. The next night, Christmas Eve, my beautiful daughter Ava was born. And I haven’t slept the same since!

I’m now the mother of five kids, ages 12, 11, 6, 3 and not quite 2. You would think by #5 I would be a professional baby whisper. The mere touch of my hand would make a child fall instantly into deep slumber for at least 8 magical hours. Instead, my own darling little tot still wakes up at 3am screaming for a bottle. By the time I get him back to sleep, I usually return to my bed to find a 3 year old sleeping sideways. He’s often joined by at least 2 more of my baby bears that have tested all the beds in the house and decided Mamas is “just right.” Its a King size bed filled with love. But not a lot of quality sleep.

If you’re a new mom, I guarantee you’ve purchased at least one (or five) books on sleep. The only problem is you’re so sleep deprived you can’t seem to get past the first page. Despite my current situation, I have found a few things that worked for me when it comes to getting more sleep as a new parent.

1. SLEEP WHEN YOUR BABY SLEEPS
I have mixed emotions about this one. Yes we all know we should sleep when the baby sleeps. But there are certain things we need to get done and this is our only opportunity. My advice? Sleep when your baby sleeps as much as you can. It really is important. Accept your house is a bit messy and give yourself a break. I spent way too much time trying to keep the perfect home. At the end of the day, you will never get these moments back. Sleep so that when your baby is awake you will be ready to play!

2. ASK FOR HELP
This was the most challenging for me. I felt guilty if someone else watched my baby while I took a nap. But sleep is not a luxury, its a medical requirement. Friends and family love nothing more than holding a sweet newborn baby. Trust me, you can take a 2 hour nap and still be a great mom!

3. ONE NIGHT ON, ONE NIGHT OFF
You and your spouse take turns getting up with the baby. This works very well for women who are not breastfeeding. Pumping can help for those who do breastfeed and don’t mind their baby drinking from a bottle. Even if your husband will only do it one or two days a week, it can be fantastic. You will be amazed at how you feel after 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep!

4. MIDNIGHT POWER SNACKS
While heating up a baby bottle, or getting ready to nurse, have a power snack. Crackers, peanut butter or a glass of milk can give you the boost you need without keeping you up after a late night feeding. You will feel much better in the morning and have more energy.

5. THIS TOO SHALL PASS
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember you will sleep again. Babies grow up and the problems you’re trying so hard to solve now, will disappear in time. I promise you won’t need to let your 5th grader “cry it out” or break them of a binky. You will sleep again!! The question is with five kids… will I?

Let us know what worked for you as a new mom when it comes to getting a better nights sleep!

Read Kim’s bio here.