Friday, January 29, 2016

Awesome Aunties Unite!

Hi Awesome Aunties,

Now that you are all qualified for awesomeness, I would like you to know that people are finally acknowledging the Awesomeness of the Aunty.  All over the internet you can find quotes, prints, tee shirts, short stories, blog posts and articles celebrating the Amazingness of the Aunty in all her glory!

Let's take a look. 

Psychology Today published an article by, Savvy Auntie, Melanie Notkin, where she explains the positive influences aunties have on the children in their lives.  You can read it here.  By the way, Savvy Auntie is an online community that us awesome aunts can join.  Melanie posts some great articles and resources.  There are also forums for Aunties to share ideas, discuss their annoying siblings and boast about their n & n's. 

There is now, an Aunties' Day!!  It's not quite as huge as Mothers' and Fathers' Day.... yet! Just wait, sometime in the not-too-distant future, the fourth Sunday in July will be marked on everyone's calendars as the official Aunties' Day.  I'm getting my wishlist ready! ;)

The Huffington Post has several articles about the phenomenon of the wonderful women in this world who don't have any of their own children and instead spend much of their time and resources on other people's children.  However, the best article I have found was written by a mother.  She writes about the awesome aunty in her life: her sister-in-law.  Check it out here

No round up of Internet Magic would be complete without something I found on Pinterest!  Here are some great images that I have seen on several boards (click on the caption of each image to see the original Pin).

That's That Then, Awesome Aunties! Have a Great week with your N&N's. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

6 Signs your Teacher Friend is Back to School (plus teacher Freebies)

The Aussie Teachers are all back to school this week.  Here are some signs that your teacher friends might need some help with the transition (or at least a little compassion) from the rest of the world. 

How to Know your Teacher Friend is Back to School!

  1. That twitch under her eye, which you haven’t seen in 6 weeks, is back!
  2. You go shopping for clothes and she drags you to the discount spot for stationery supplies!
  3. She asks you over for coffee and you end up labelling classroom items.
    Click here to get these FREE printable labels from 1+1+1=1
  4. Her freezer is full of pre-cooked meals ready to microwave at a moment’s notice.
    Click here to see these 20 recipes from Stockpiling
  5. She keeps practicing her attention-getting signal on you… e.g. “I’m on the talking spot!”   “Give me eyes and ears everyone!”  “Hocus Pocus -- everybody focus!" 
    Click Here to get this FREE poster  from Mrs Heeren's Happenings
  6. She bought 3 new pairs of comfortable shoes.

There you have it.  The Bonus Post for this quarter.  Be nice to your teacher friends this week, everyone. They are super busy (which is like regular busy but they’re wearing a cape under their work clothes). 

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Secret of Awesome Auntiness (Lesson #4 of our How to be an Awesome Aunty Series)

Welcome all  you awesome Aunties in Training.  It won't be long until you can call yourself a fully fledged Awesome Aunty.  You only have this lesson to go. 

For our final lesson, I am going to reveal to all of you the true secret of my success as Most Awesome Aunty in the World!  While all the other lessons are very important, if you try to do any of those without this one, you won't get far at all.  Are you ready? I'm about to drop some serious science on you here, people.  Brace Yourselves....

Be Yourself!
Be Honest!
Be There!

Both children and animals have the unique ability to spot when an adult is 'faking it'!  Don't pretend to care about their dinosaur facts, if you don't care about them!  They will know.  Don't fake a laugh at their silly jokes... they will know.  Don't say you will do something and let them down... they will remember it.  Don't try to be something or someone you are not... they will sense it.  Don't try to be happy, serious, fun or motherly if you are not any of those things.  Be you.  Don't miss birthdays, holidays, soccer games, school plays, concerts or even family get togethers... this is when they see that you care about them.  Be you.  Be yourself!  Be Honest!  Be There! 

Awesome Aunties love their nieces and nephews for the special little people they are, just as they are.  Aunties know everything about the n&n's because the dear mother in this scenario shares everything these kids do with Aunty... remember lesson 1.  Awesome Aunties know the good, the bad, the adorable, the gross and the ugly! Despite this overwhelming knowledge, they love their little buddies more than they can say.  Kids want to know everything about you too. 

I've been guilty of trying a little bit too hard with my Nieces and Nephews in the past and it didn't go well.  They don't care if your present is the biggest or most expensive.  They don't care if you have wipes in your handbag.  They don't even care if you know how to paint their face, make dress up costumes, build cubby houses or play soccer.  They care that you are a grown up who loves them.  That's all. 

I could go on about this one for days and I could back up my opinion with words from many other great philosophers but I won't.  All I will say is...

CONGRATULATIONS!! You have Finally completed the AWESOME AUNTY 2016 Course on AGT.  If you would like your FREE certificate, please leave a comment below, telling me:
1. Something you have learned about your N&N's this month.
2. The easiest or most difficult (you decide) lesson in the series!

Now.... do the Hokey Pokey! 
See you next week, Love

PS. This post is the 4th in a series.  If you are interested in viewing the other lessons in this series, click here

Friday, January 15, 2016

4 items every Awesome Aunty Owns: How to be an Awesome Aunty (Lesson 3)

Welcome back Aunties.  You are getting closer to awesome everyday. 

If you haven't checked out Lesson 1 and Lesson 2, click on them to see what else you need to be an Awesome Aunty.

Today, we are looking at 4 items that every Awesome Aunty Owns.  I would even say that the most Awesome Aunties (ahem, that's me) would probably carry these items in their handbag at one time or another.  

#1 Art Supplies
If you have a box of crayons and some paper you pass.  However, any sort of art and craft supplies will delight your little mates (the nephews & nieces or the n&n's).  Items you could include in your Awesome Aunty Art Kit may include but are not limited to:
  • water based paint
  • coloured pencils
  • coloured pens/ markers
  • coloured felt
  • plain and coloured paper
  • scissors
  • sticky tape and or glue
  • stickers
  • stamps
  • craft sticks
  • pipe cleaners and pom poms
  • yarn or wool
  • chalk
  • anything you can think of!
#2 Chocolate or Lollies!

Even if you aren't an Awesome Aunty, you have to be the giver of candy.  It's in the job description.  If you visit the n&n's when they are born the nurses will actually tell you that's part of your job.  This is especially important when your sister / sis in law (the poor kids' mother) goes on some sort of health kick and starts restricting the n&n's diet to foods that come out of the ground.  I would just bury a few chocolate bars so the kids can say the chocolate came out of the ground.  Hehehe.

#3 Little Toys
Anything from spinning tops, matchbox cars, finger puppets, small dolls, to magnets, straws, bouncy balls or pom poms can count here.  Yes, pom poms count as tiny toys as well as art supplies.  In fact, Pom Poms could have their own category as an item that every Aunty should have in the bottom of their handbag!

# 4 Wet Wipes
I don't care how old my n & n's are, I will always have a small packet of wet wipes in my bag.  It doesn't matter if you have an 18 month old diving into a tub of yogurt or a 16 year old eating fried chicken, even the most 'mess free' activity with kids can end up in a disaster.  Trust me, there will come a time when you wish you had some wet wipes in your pocket!  A packet of tissues will get you by in a pinch, but I would rather have wet wipes!
The purse pack of wipes is the perfect size
for Aunties who are only on duty part-time.

There you have it.  Four must-have items for the Awesome Aunty Survival Kit. 

If you don't have all these things at home, see if you can improvise... if not, get out there and go shopping.  Like you need an excuse to go shopping.  ;)

By the way, if you're interested, Awesome Aunt Handbags (like the one pictured above) are available on Etsy.

DFTBA- Aunties

Friday, January 8, 2016

6 Things Every Awesome Aunty Knows (How to be an Awesome Aunty Lesson 2)

Hey Awesome Aunties,

Today I'm going to share some valuable knowledge that every Aunty must know... it is the only way to do the job.


1. Live like an adult and think like a child

It's the best way to do it.  Be a grown up, unless you are with your coolest little relatives, in which case it is your job to be fun!  Think like a kid!  Play like a kid!  Have fun and they will too!

2. There is no such thing as "mess-free craft"

I have written about this before in a post about babysitting.  The long and the short of it is that craft is supposed to be messy.  Actually, play is supposed to be messy!  Aunties know that "when da kids are in da house there gonna be mess".  (I got the street talk down! Totes!  Drop it like it's hot. Yeah) They don't get stressed about mess and they don't argue with their little buddies about clean up.  Remember, Aunties are fun!  Aunties help make the mess and they help clean it up!

3.  Silly Jokes are Funny

Depending on the age of your nieces and nephews, the jokes they find funny will be very different.  Awesome Aunties, know silly jokes and know when to tell them.  When kids are really little, funny = silly adults, people falling over (as long as they aren't hurt), or words like poop and burp.  Word puns are great for eight to 12 year olds (as long as their language development is on track).  Knock Knock Jokes are good for this age group too.  Teenagers can be a bit hit and miss, but the latest internet meme will usually get you a laugh if you share it with them via MMS or other technology. 

4. Mary Poppins knew her stuff!


5. Nobody's Perfect!

While you can take a leaf out of Mary Poppins' book, you are not Mary Poppins.  I don't want to be either.  (Although there are photos somewhere of a nine year old version of myself, dressed up as Mary Poppins, holding an umbrella high and jumping off the front steps).  You won't always get it right and sometimes the darling little treasures will want Mummy/ Daddy/ Grandma more than they want you.  But, there comes a time in a kid's life when they realise that you are an Awesome Aunty and they will decide that you are their favourite relative.  Enjoy that moment of shining glory! 

6. No other adult is like you. 

There is no need to compete.  It takes a village to raise a child and as an Aunty you have a unique role to play in the lives of your littlest loved ones.  You are fun, wise, exciting, quiet, cuddly and more.  You are not grandma or grandpa, mum or dad, the teacher or the babysitter.  You are their Aunty and no one else can be like you. 

The greatest secret to being an Awesome Aunty is this...

When you are a strong and confident woman in the life of a child and you love them unconditionally, you are awesome in their eyes! 

I have more advice coming for you and some tips on what the best Aunties have under the bed and in their handbags.  If you want to check out lesson 1, click here

Your Homework this week...

Have some fun with your nieces and nephews. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

How to be an Awesome Aunty: Lesson 1

Last year, the BFF got her self a BF, that is... she got herself a boyfriend! ... BFF and BFF's BF sitting in a tree.... K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

This boyfriend of hers happens to have a nephew and a niece.  Lucky man! So, this sort of makes her an Aunty.  Eventually, we all assume, she will officially be an aunty when she makes an honest man of this bloke and meets him at the end of the aisle.  Until then, she is an Aunty in training and I'm writing this month's series "How to be an Awesome Aunty" just for her!!

I'm really excited about sharing my 15 years of experience in this area of Awesome Aunty-ness so that more of  you parent's sisters can be awesome too.  You won't ever be the MOST Awesome Aunty in the world, (unless I die) however, by the end of these 4 lessons you will certainly be able to nominate for the title. 

Lesson 1: Learn How to Listen

Aunties are great because they are genuinely interested in what their nephews and nieces have to say.  They listen to stories, lists of school friends, retold dreams, Christmas wishlists, playtime activities and secrets.  Aunties are also great listeners when it comes to Mums.  You see, all Awesome Aunties are not just great with kids, they are great with mothers too.  They listen when Mum is tired, cranky and overwhelmed.  They listen and share in the joy when mum calls to share a proud Mum moment... "You won't believe what Jack did last night.."

The carefully honed listening skills of the Awesome Aunty allows her to gather information about her little mates (the nephews and nieces) which has a flow on effect when she is gift shopping, helping to plan birthday parties or just hanging out with her favourite kids. 

Spend some time with your nephews/ nieces and find out everything you can about them.  Don't just learn their age.  Find out: their middle name/s, favourite food, favourite dessert, favourite TV show (and why), sporting groups/ teams, are they a mama's boy/girl or a daddy's little girl/boy.  What do they want to be when they grow up? who is their hero? what do they eat for breakfast? if they had $100 what would they spend it on? Find out if they like to draw/ paint/ sew/ spit/ run? Find out everything you can about them.  If they aren't much of a talker, just hang out with them and pay attention... kids have a way of getting the message across, often without words. 

See ya Later Awesome Aunties in Training...

PS. Check out lesson 2 here and the other lessons here.