Am I the only one who feels like this?

My 5 year old daughter leaves a trail of Cheerio dust, Legos and Shoppkins all over my home. Her fingerprints decorate my walls and she seems oblivious to the fact that clothes belong IN the dirty clothes hamper…not next to it or scattered down the hallway.

We moms work so hard. Stay at home moms, working moms, moms who work from home, single moms….all of us. In addition to keeping the staff in line at work, we’ve got to keep the little ones in line at home. Add laundry, cooking, cleaning….and all the BS housework in between and you’ve got a recipe for one tired Mama….(and one dirty house.)

The Lawrence Family Guide to Bedtime:
Fill her humidifier, crack the window, 2 bedtime stories (with gusto), take away 1 pillow, give her 2 sips of water, turn on the nightlight, add 1 extra blanket, spray 3 pumps of lavender mist, find her stuffed bunny, tuck them in, turn out the hallway light, promise there are no monsters, 3 kisses, run and don’t look back.

Most people don’t know  how perfect of a destination Brookfield Place is for family activities on the weekends! Overlooking the Hudson River in lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City, it’s an amazing location for luxury shopping, sightseeing and great dining. Add their fun-filled events schedule to the mix, and you have all the pieces to the perfect weekend with your family! (Plus there’s a Saks Fifth Avenue and TWO Starbucks. What more do busy moms need on the weekends?) See below for links to the schedule for The Saturday Show at Brookfield for the kids, and an itinerary for the perfect weekend day at this beautiful downtown center. We made a day of it, inviting several friends to join us for a holiday kick off event. I danced to all the latest kid’s pop tunes until my feet were sore (I should have worn flats), had a fantastic lunch sponsored by Skinny Pizza and Sprinkles cupcakes and took photos with the jolliest Santa Clause in NYC.

Last month Cam had the opportunity to model for our dear friend and editor Katie Holdefehr of Real Simple Magazine. A incredibly talented artist, stylist and crafter, Katie created the ideas for the Halloween costumes featured in their story on Literary Inspired Halloween Costumes . Below, a DIY costume for one of our favorite characters…..the mouse from If You Give  A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numerof!

There are less than 30 days left until summer is over, so make sure to take advantage of every second of these beautiful, long sunny days. We spend our weekends dining al fresco every chance we get. This is one of our favorite dates.  Habana Outpost, on Fulton Avenue in Brooklyn is always a fun time. If you haven’t been, swing by for tacos and margaritas underneath their rainbow umbrellas and brightly colored benches. Their chicken fingers never disappoint for the kiddos and the live DJ keeps the mood fresh and fun.

“It is critical right now that kids see reflections of themselves throughout their school experience. In the leaders, in the teachers, in the classrooms, in the curriculum, in the books. Not in a tokenized way, but in a real way that makes them feel included and valued and like they belong. I also think it is helpful to allow students to see windows into other worlds, communities and ways of life. It’s a balancing act of making sure that you give them enough to affirm themselves, but a window to what the rest of the world is like. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be educating them for anyway?”

—Nancy Hanks, Chief of Schools, Madison, Wisconsin

These books have been on our bookshelf since day one. Whether you’re a mom-to-be or are looking for the perfect gifts for your favorite mom friends. This list won’t disappoint! Diversity matters, and these have been some of our favorites since my daughter was just a baby. Check out the Amazon list at the end for links to buy these and more of our favorites!

The Lawrences