Chatbooks Blog

Category: Podcast

How to Make Your Home Decor Meaningful

August 30, 2019

Your home decor is how you express yourself. So why not make it about what matters most? Every photo in your camera roll is a precious memory and we believe it’s worth it to get those memories off of your phone to a more meaningful place. We love to turn your photos into books and prints that look great in your home, so you can display them and share them with those you love most. Did we mention how great they look in your home?  Once your Chatbooks have arrived in that happy green box, you can get creative with how you put them on display. For your inspiration, here are a few beautiful ways to feature your Custom Books, Series, Monthly Minis, and Custom Prints!  Want to make a statement? Arrange your Photo Book Series in a spiral. (Also pictured: Photo Book Basket available to shop on our site!) undefined An empty surface is a blank canvas! Decorate it with a rainbow of Monthly Minis! undefined You can shop our String-O-Pics in our accessories. It’s basically a garland of your favorite faces. undefined The kind of “decorative book” you actually open. undefined Splashes of pastel never hurt a kitchen shelf. (Pictured: Rifle Paper Co. Boquet Series in softcover, Photo Book Stand) undefined Serve up beautiful simplicity on a platter and stand up a Hardcover Photo Book Series. undefined Not just a pop of color - a tower of color!  (Pictured: Rainbow Color Series in hardcover) undefined (Pictured: Rifle Paper Co. Classic Series in hardcover) undefined Modern bookends and an arrangement of Custom, Series, and Monthly Mini books is an aesthetic we can get behind.  undefined Show us how you display your family photos and precious memories with your Chatbooks! Tag us @chatbooks on Instagram! 

5 Tips for Minimizing Stress this School Year

August 30, 2019

Now that summer is officially over, it’s time to kick into gear for the coming school year. Overwhelmed? You’re not alone. But don’t worry, we’re with you! We’ve collected some tips and tricks to help relieve stress as you ride the wave of carpools, homework, lunches, and after-school activities.  undefined 1. Simplify If there’s one word we are trying to remember this school year, it’s “simplify.” Of all the extra ways you can dream up to make this school year the best one yet, the most important one is to not over-complicate things. Simplify anything from the amount of extra-curricular activities you commit to, to how many different shapes you cut your kids’ sandwiches into. 2. Celebrate small victories Yes, this includes getting everyone to school on time. On your way home from carpool, before you start making mental to-do lists or planning dinner, treat yourself by blasting tunes you love. We made our No Stress Mama and Post Carpool Karaoke playlists on Spotify just for you. undefined 3. Delegate, delegate, delegate Get your kids involved in things that need to get done, like packing lunches, after school snacks, and jobs around the house. This chore chart printable can help get them excited! undefined 4. Interactive Chatbooks If your kid is less than excited to get back into their school routine, give them some motivation with an element of personalized fun. Back to School Interactive Books let kids document their school year themselves.  undefined 5. Homework time for little kids It’s hard to keep your big kids on track with homework when the little ones are losing their minds for your attention. Try making up “homework” for your little kids and giving them a special desk or space to “work” on it and stay occupied when it’s homework time!  undefined

MomForce Podcast Episode 15: Celebrating the Strong Willed Child with Jenna Rammell

August 13, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 15: Celebrating the Strong Willed Child (And the Parenting Challenges That Accompany It) Listen Here The term “Influencer” can get a bad rap. But, we’re all influencers. It doesn’t take 100,000 followers and a pristine, perfectly lit, white living space. You can use your own influence for good, even in your own home. In today’s episode, we throw out the timer as Vanessa sits down her dear friend, a very down to earth real mom (and yes, she’s also an influencer), Jenna Rammell. Together they discuss everything from back to school, vulnerability, and maintaining your sanity as a parent. They dive deeper into learning your children’s individual personalities and parenting each child accordingly (and the many challenges that come with doing so).   There is no one size fits all parenting. Today, we have so many tools at our disposal to help us see our children individually and to help them grow as beautifully as they’re meant to be. Parenting with an eye to the individual is a gift to them. It builds self confidence, self worth, and allows the child to recognize the strength of being themselves. That doesn’t come with simply checking off a few parenting boxes. Many times, we’re still working on this as adults.  undefined Wanna follow along with Jenna? You can find her at @jennaskitchen on Instagram and at her website JennaRammell.com Don't forget to check out our MomForce Facebook group! It has thousands of like minded women, helping each other to navigate the good and the bad of life! And use code podcast20 for 20% off your next order from Chatbooks! Links below to the great books Jenna and Vanessa mentioned in this show! The Child Whisperer How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

MomForce Podcast Episode 13: Take a Picture. It'll Last Longer.

August 13, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 13: Take a Picture - It'll Last Longer! Listen Here Long gone are the days of being bound by 24 exposure rolls of film (36 if you splurged). We aren’t lugging around giant SLRs as often anymore, and there simple alternatives if you just can’t find the time to catch up on your scrapbooks. But despite technology improving so drastically (and making things SO much more convenient) we still aren’t always capturing the moments we’ll treasure when we look back at photos. In the first part of this two episode podcast, Vanessa and her sister, Erika, chat about their tricks for taking the photos they’re going to love forever. It’s not always the perfectly posed kids in coordinating outfits that they look back on with the greatest sense of fondness. Sometimes it’s the real life moments; the piles of tiny shoes left by the back door, the child’s name written in crayon (even when it’s across the furniture), the stubbornness of a pre-teen not thrilled about having their photo taken, or the change of background that would have otherwise gone unnoticed that sparks the happiest memories.  undefined In the podcast episode, Vanessa describes this picture of her daughter, Laken. Nate took this picture as she was hustling out of the car and it made him realize how truly grateful her was for the small moments in his life. Photographing life’s everyday events can make us more mindful of what’s happening in that time, sparking a feeling of gratitude that may have otherwise escaped us. In the trenches of motherhood it’s easy to overlook the magic of the moment. Looking back on a photo allows you to see the greatness. As a rule of thumb, if it makes you smile, snap a photo of it! Click HERE to print our Photo Inspiration List. undefined Check out our team member Wayne Dahlberg's viral tweet HERE: undefined FatMumSlim's "Photo A Day" challenge HERE: She has a list for every month! It will help get your creative photographic juices flowing. "6 Tips for Better iPhone Photos" HERE: Simple tips and tricks to taking great photos on your phone. Watch our Real Mom video about getting in the photo! Click HERE: We promise you will get a good laugh! undefined

MomForce Podcast Episode 17: Make Up, Shaving and Teen Acne, Oh My!

August 13, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 17: Make Up, Shaving and Teen Acne, Oh My! - Tips & Tricks for Tackling teenage hygiene Listen Here Kids grow up. It’s a fact of life. One day we’re all gonna have teenagers (or even tween-agers) and with that comes certain rites of passage; make up, shaved legs, and pimples. Kids are self conscious, and it’s our job to make this tricky stage of life as easy on them (and and ourselves) as it can possibly be. Plus, none of us want to live in a house that smells like a locker room. That’s why today we’re talking all things kid hygiene.  Vanessa and her sister, Erika, survived their own teenage years as well as those of their children. They understand the unique challenges that come with raising teens. On today’s episode of The MomForce Podcast they tackle everything from stinky boys to girls eager to dive into their own make-up routine. They discuss the trials and tribulations of their own hygiene milestones while sharing the lessons they learned along the way.  We want to make our kids feel good about themselves while allowing them to take the lead when it comes to their personal hygiene. Sure, these conversations can be a little awkward (for everyone) but in the end, your children will be grateful you communicated with them. We all want to do our part to protect our children from the world. If you don’t tell them about the need for good hygiene, someone else may. And that could much harder.  LINKS mentioned in the episode: Hunter's NO SCENT spray for stinky shoes Thayers Facial Toner Wanna follow along with Vanessa and Erika? You can find them at @vanessaquigley and @rikkianderson on Instagram. Don't forget to check out our MomForce Facebook group! It has thousands of like minded women, helping each other to navigate the good and the bad of life! And use code podcast20 for 20% off your next order from Chatbooks!

MomForce Podcast Episode 16: To Schedule or Not to Schedule Kids’ Activities

August 13, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 16: To Schedule or Not to Schedule Kids’ Activities - Tips & Tricks for Easing Back into the Reality of a Routine Listen Here It’s official! We’re back to school! It comes with some mixed emotions, but for the most part we are ready to get back on a schedule. While we’d had dreams of a laid back, chill summer, the reality was we still had so much to do! Each week was spent scrambling for something to occupy the kids (hello camps!) while we got some work done. Now that school is back in session, we have the chance to finally get back into a routine… even if we’re just starting to ease into it. Maybe your kids are homebodies who need a push to try something new. Or maybe your kids want to do anything and everything and you have to lock in their downtime on a calendar. On today’s episode of the MomForce Podcast, Vanessa and her sister, Shelly, talk about creating a schedule that will work for any family. Limiting the number and type of activity each season and remembering to schedule days off (or even family dinner!) will keep everyone - not just the kids - from burning out. Finding a way to sync the family calendar lets everyone know what’s on the horizon. While some families live by the rule that you don’t need to start activities right way, others see the benefit in exploring interests at a young age. Whatever approach you choose to take with your kids activities, it’s important that no one feels stretched too thin!  Being on the same page will help getting back into the groove this school year enjoyable for everyone.  Wanna follow along with Vanessa and Shelly? You can find them at @vanessaquigley and @shellyhyde on Instagram. Don't forget to check out our MomForce Facebook group! It has thousands of like minded women, helping each other to navigate the good and the bad of life! And use code podcast20 for 20% off your next order from Chatbooks! Link below to the great book Vanessa mentioned in this show! A Sane Woman's Guide To Raising A Family BONUS: We didn't get to talk about this free game changer app on the show, but Vanessa did some instagram stories about it and we want to link it here for you! It's called Tilt-Cam and it will make videoing your kids soccer game or dance recital a breeze! Check out one of the 5 star reviews it's received and download it today! "This app is so easy to use and makes it awesome for taking no-fuss videos! We have a dog that is really hard to take videos of because she is so fast. By the time I get my camera out and recording, it’s already over. Love that I can use this app to take quick videos and decide if they are worth saving without filling up my camera roll." undefined

MomForce Podcast Episode 14: Have 26,479 Pics in Your Camera Roll…Now What?!

August 13, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 14: Have 26,479 Pics in Your Camera Roll…Now What?! Listen Here Every now a special moment reminds us why our photos are so important (a preschooler shedding tears over treasured pictures of his class, for instance), but often times we don’t realize how much they mean to us until we don’t have them anymore. In this second part of our podcast dedicated to photos, Vanessa and Erika discuss organizing, sharing, safeguarding, and printing your photos… and why it’s so important to do so.  From deleting your blurry outtakes to make your camera roll more manageable, to taking advantage of shared albums and FREE photo storage, this episode shares simple hacks to ensure the moments you swore you’d never forget don’t get lost. Our goal is to strengthen families, and we feel there’s something powerful about putting photos in the hands of children (in fact, it’s science!). Don't forget to check out our MomForce Facebook group! It has thousands of like minded women, helping each other to navigate the good and the bad of life! And use code podcast20 for 20% off your next order from Chatbooks! Links below to all the great tips and tricks Vanessa and Erika talk about in this episode

Hall of Chatbooks

July 19, 2019

In celebration of Chatbooks’ 5th birthday this year, our HQ came to life with our first ever “Hall of Chatbooks.” We turned the office into a pop-up art exhibit featuring 4 fun photo-op rooms! Here are just a few photos to let you in on some of the fun!  The Mini Room undefined undefined The Monochrome Room undefined undefined Want to try it yourself? All you need is paint, patience, and a consignment store! We found making a monochrome room time-consuming, but FUN! And the result is worth it -- lots of oohs, aahs, and awesome pictures!  We started by picking a color (we chose Chatbooks green of course)! Then we picked a blank wall in our office to paint. For the floor, we went to Home Depot and bought ⅛ in x 4 ft x 8 ft sheets of hardboard. After painting our “flooring” and setting up the framework of our room we got busy collecting old furniture and miscellaneous objects from consignment stores! The more details you can add to your room, the more fun it will be to look at! Some of our favorite details from our room: an old record player, a collection of trophies, Jenga, and a mini cat figurine! Pro tip: when painting things that are a little more intricate i.e. fake plants, etc., use spray paint! You can get your water-based paint put in aerosol cans (most paint stores will do this) or look for spray paint that matches your room color! There are endless ways to make your monochrome room unique! Let your imagination run wild and have fun! The Confetti Room  undefined undefined Do it yourself!  It’s easy and quick to put together, and makes such a fun photo-op at any party! What you’ll need: 1 or 2 seamless paper rolls (depending on size), tape, and confetti. Tape one end of the paper roll to the top of the wall and roll it out as far as you want! Make sure to secure the back of the paper to the wall as well as the floor so it doesn't move or rip when people step on it! Dump as much confetti as your heart desires and have fun making it rain! Pro-tip: if you don’t want to worry about timing the photo exactly right, take photos in “burst mode” to make sure you capture maximum FUN! The Balloon Room undefined undefined undefined Do it yourself! If you ever need to entertain kids at a birthday party, find a small empty room and fill it with tons of balloons! Your room size will determine how many balloons you use, but the more the merrier! Hint: we bought an electric balloon pump to save our lungs and cheeks! Pro-tip: we built a wall out of giant legos to keep the balloons from escaping to the next room!  We would love to see your re-creations of these fun rooms! Tag us in your posts @chatbooks! Photos this fun are photobook worthy, so head over to the Chatbooks app to make the easiest photo album ever!

MomForce Podcast Episode 9: Why We NEED Mom Friends

July 16, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 9: Listen Here Growing up with sisters meant a lot of fights. But it also meant you had a tight knit group of built in best friends. While not everyone grows up in such a big family, friendships of any sort are important. Moving away from family and transitioning into different phases of life has reinforced the importance of creating and maintaining meaningful relationships as adults. We threw out the timer for this All-Sissy episode of The MomForce Podcast. Vanessa, Leah, Erika, Kara, and Shelly are together to chat about the value of friendship, the importance of girl time, and meeting people in this busy phase of life. Between playgrounds, play dates, and preschool, it was a little easier when the kids were young. As the kids get older, making friends and fostering relationships takes more effort. Whether you’re looking for a way to meet new people, advice on recharging with your gal pals, or need help staying connected, it’s good for us to be a friend and have a friend. No one wants to feel like the girl at the party with no one to talk to! Even if you “married your best friend,” girl time is important!  Don’t forget to join us over on the MomForce Facebook Group where we’ve committed to creating MomForce Meet-Ups!  Marco Polo App Shasta Nelson - Friendship Expert MOPS - "Here at MOPS, we gather and support moms. We believe in the simple but revolutionary idea that remarkable things happen when moms come together, face to face." Connect with us: Vanessa Quigley @vanessaquigely Erika Anderson @rikkianderson Rachelle Hyde @shellyhyde Kara Haught @karahaught Leah Ward @leahrward And use code POD20 to get 20% off your Chatbooks order! undefined Check out the Raising Wild Chatbooks Vanessa made for her sisters about their experience on Shark Tank.

MomForce Podcast Episode 10: Picky Eaters . . .Mom is NOT a Short Order Cook

July 16, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 10: Listen Here It never fails. You prepare a home-cooked meal and your “starving” child is suddenly too full to eat. Getting kids - especially those picky eaters - to eat healthy can be a challenge. Every parent has faced one obstacle or another when it comes to feeding their families, but we can’t be expected to be short order cooks. You can’t cater to everyone individually, children have to discover the wide, wonderful world of flavors! All of us can benefit from more fruits and veggies, but it’s hard to get those on to kids’ plates. In today’s episode, Vanessa and Kara tackle picky eaters. Maybe you have a non-eater. Or perhaps your kid is turning the color of their favorite food (true story!). Getting over the hump of disliking certain foods is key to helping your family gain variation in their diet.  It’s not all about eating, though. While it can be so satisfying for a mother to see her child eat all their dinner, we’re not talking about the clean plate club here. We want to teach children to listen to their bodies, to be open to new foods, and ultimately, to take the pressure off mom! Baked Potato Bar Recipe download here: Hawaiian Haystacks Recipe download here: Eat the Rainbow coloring page here: Connect with us: Vanessa Quigley @vanessaquigely Kara Haught @karahaught And use code POD20 to get 20% off your Chatbooks order!

MomForce Podcast Episode 8: Mom-hacks for Your Smartphone

July 16, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 8: Listen Here As moms, wives, and working women there is a certain expectation that we’re always reachable. Having a phone is not only important, it’s almost required! But that doesn’t mean we have to be addicted to our phones. The trick is getting them to work for us in a way that allows us to be more productive, less stressed, and happier!  In today’s episode Vanessa visits with her sister Leah, who shares all the brilliant ways she uses apps to maximize her phone’s potential. Setting alarms (to wake up in the morning or remember to get your kid from school), using reminders to create checklists (so satisfying!) and shopping lists that automatically pop up when you arrive at the store, adding images to your calendars and record keeping right in the app, shared notes and keeping important information handy - Vanessa and Leah have hacks for each of your native apps that will blow your mind (we’re talking way more than the basic functions here!).  Your phone can be a tool to make you more cheerful, you just have to know how to use it! Our goal is to always be present. Using technology to organize our lives gives us the opportunity to enjoy the good stuff. Thank you to our friend Jordan Page for sharing her story of how her son almost drowned while she was distracted on her phone at the pool. Such a great reminder of when it is important to put our phones down! Vanessa’s most used 3rd party apps: Evernote: I’ve been using this for years to save and organize all my logins and passwords and other important info like SS#s, frequent flier #s, copies of passports, driver’s licenses, birth certificates. But now that I know about “locked” Notes, I may start using that more! Telegram: My husband and I use this app to have “private” conversations. 😉 Great Clips: We have a Great Clips around the corner from us where my kids get their hair cut. No more waiting in lines with this app! Audible: I love books but fall asleep if I sit down to read! So I listen to all of my books and always have a couple of good ones cued up in my account. Amazon    Target Asos Nordstrom: I HATE going shopping so I do almost all of it online. And through the app is even easier for quick purchases! Delta: We mostly fly Delta here out of SLC, but whatever airline you fly, you should try their app. It makes the whole trip smoother! Nest: I love our doorbell camera and automated thermostats. Remote: We use AppleTV but can never find the remote. This app saves the day!  Breathe (no link for this one)--This is actually an Apple Watch app, but I have to include it here. I have it set to remind me 3x a day to mindfully breathe. It leads me through 6 deep breaths and It helps me so much! Chatbooks: Every mom needs this app! Chatbooks is the absolute easiest and most affordable to get your photos off of your phone and into the hands of your family. And with the code POD20 all podcast listeners get 20% off their purchase.  Connect with us: Vanessa @vanessaquigely Leah Ward @leahrward And use code POD20 to get 20% off your Chatbooks order! Get more tips and tricks about allowance on our #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page.

MomForce Podcast Episode 12: Kids Parties Without the Pressure

July 16, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 12: Listen Here Parties are a fun chance to explore your creative, crafty side. But they can also bring the pressure to create this once in a lifetime experience that doesn’t always go as planned.  On today’s episode, Vanessa and Leah sit down to talk about birthday parties. Maybe you’re prepared to make throwing a Pinterest-worthy party a part time job. Or perhaps you don’t possess the time, money, or mental capacity to host 20 kids at your house. Doing what works best for you will result in everyone being much happier! And the same holds true for your kids. While one child may plan their next party all year long, a movie and ice cream date may be the other child’s speed. Do you!  Today’s MomForce Podcast covers everything from party favors and picking out birthday presents (taking my kid on an open-ended Target run in the toy aisle? No thank you), to combining parties and what to do when you simply can’t invite the entire class. It’s filled with creative ideas, smart solutions, and helpful advice on making things run as smoothly as possible. Whether you’re in the market for a birthday blowout, or want to stick with just a few meaningful traditions, the goal is to make everyone feel happy and appreciated.  Check out Kristen Andrus' awesome Snack Board Printable HERE: undefined Print Vanessa's easy Party Planning Printable HERE: undefined Connect with us: Vanessa Quigley @vanessaquigely Leah Ward @leahrward And use code POD20 to get 20% off your Chatbooks order!

MomForce Podcast Episode 11: Keeping the Kids Clean(ish) - Shower, Rinse, Brush, Repeat.

July 16, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 11: Listen Here For a lot of us, summer is already wrapping up and the days of counting the pool as a bath are coming to an end. Getting kids to practice good hygiene can be a battle, but none of us wants to send our kids off to school with dirty nails or “teeth sweaters.”  This episode of the MomForce Podcast is dedicated to kids and hygiene. Vanessa chats with her sister, Shelly, on what’s worked, what hasn’t, and the experiments that have gone awry. There are a LOT of confessionals on this episode. The truth comes out about personal hygiene shortcomings growing up (do germs really boost your immune system?) and the unusual methods we’ve resorted to to clean our kids up in a pinch. And once again, the MomForce comes through with some great hacks that will hopefully save you some dental bills down the line.  Heck, sometimes it’s just easier to get in there and do the work for them. Truth is, we’re all trying our best. The trick is consistency! Share your tips and tricks in the MomForce Facebook group. We can use all the help we can get! Print our fun toothbrushing chart the kids will love HERE: undefined Connect with us: Vanessa Quigley @vanessaquigely Shelly Hyde @shellyhyde And use code POD20 to get 20% off your Chatbooks order!

MomForce Podcast Episode 7: Allowance?..."You get to live here!"

July 9, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 7: Listen Here It’s a Privilege to be My Kid… But You May Need a Few Bucks, Too…  Managing Allowance and Teaching Kids the Value of a Dollar With 11 siblings and 7 children of her own, it’s safe to say Vanessa has experimented with a range of possibilities when it comes to allowance. Whether it’s getting paid for simple household chores, getting a job, or being paid for good grades, teaching kids the value of a dollar is hard!  Let’s face it… we may feel like it’s privilege enough to live in our homes, but kids need money - especially as they get older! In a follow up last week’s Chores episode, Vanessa and her sister, Erika, sit down to discuss the challenge of wanting their kids to have fun without handing out money for nothing.   In our allowance episode, Vanessa and Erika chat about the different allowances (and reasons for them) they received as kids, and how they’ve used money to reward (and sometimes penalize) their children as they’ve grown up. From splitting the costs of non-essentials, to emphasizing the importance of money making skills, we’ll cover what’s worked, what hasn’t, and all the reality checks along the way (you’ll want to hear about the time Erika’s son, Jett, hit the jackpot with his Lemonade Stand).  There’s always more conversation on the MomForce Facebook Group Page. Follow us there as we continue the discussion by talking about ways to teach value to younger children and those not motivated by money. Read more about Richard and Linda Eyre’s “Family Economy” here and in their book The Entitlement Trap Before her kids are 13 and can get their own bank account, Vanessa uses First Kids Bank to manage her kids allowance.  Jett and his \u0024100 undefined A “Summer Job List” from Vanessa’s childhood: undefined Notice the white stickers on this chore chart from Vanessa’s childhood? There may not have been regular allowance, but her mom rewarded good behavior with money. undefined The Bank of Quigland, designed and painted by the Quigley family. undefined Vanessa’s Penalty Chart from 2007 undefined Connect with us: Vanessa @vanessaquigely Erika Anderson @rikkianderson And use code POD20 to get 20% off your Chatbooks order! Get more tips and tricks about allowance on our #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page.

MomForce Podcast Episode 6: When Your Chore Chart Bombs...

July 2, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. When Your Chore Chart Bombs... Making the Chore Chart Doesn’t Mean the Work Will Get Done  Listen Here Sisters Vanessa and Erika discuss tactics to get kids involved in household chores.  Let’s face it, your house isn’t going to clean itself. As families grow, so do their messes. If you want to keep your home from looking like a tornado struck, you’re going to need everyone to do their part. But that is easier said than done.  When it comes to kids and chores, we all get “the WHY,” but “the HOW” is another story. In today’s episode, Host Vanessa Quigley sits down with her sister Erika (aka Rikki), to discuss how kids can help with household chores. Between the two of them they’re raising 14 children and have tried lots of different things--from chore charts and assigned zones, to party style family clean ups--they dish on what has worked and what has failed miserably and share some hacks from members of the MomForce that are worth giving a go.  The bottom line is that these are important life skills to teach (sometimes for the sake of their future roommates and partners) and it’s not a one size fits all plan. Your 5 year old may love being rewarded with high-fives, but that may not work in their teenage years… trust us! But in the end, a job done by a kid is better than a job not done at all. We continue the conversation about never ending laundry over in a Facebook live in the MomForce Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/288060834871331/ Vanessa’s Childhood Chore Charts: undefined undefined Some of Vanessa’s different chore charts through the years: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yzdg9y9ur1kbkfr/AAA8UzvU6OG2O9b84GxR6thGa?dl=0 Print this quick and easy Chore Chart here: undefined Many of Vanessa’s ideas about kid chores came from parenting gurus Linda and Richard Eyre https://valuesparenting.com/  Join us on the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. We'd love to connect with you: Vanessa @vanessaquigley Erika @rikkianderson And use code POD20 for 20% off your Chatbooks order!

MomForce Podcast Episode 5: Meal Planning... or Not!

June 25, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 5: Listen Here Meal Planning...or Not! Everyone seems hungrier in summer, and the hectic schedule certainly throws new challenges into meal planning. A little preparation can go a long way!  There’s something about summer that seems to make kids hungrier. And with kids home all day, there’s an added challenge when it comes to meal planning. Gone are the days where you can send the kids off to school with a slice of toast in their hand then swing by the store to grab groceries for that night’s dinner. Now you’re responsible for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (not to mention the snacks in between) all while juggling a hectic summer schedule.  In today’s episode, Vanessa and her sister Shelly discuss little steps you can take to make summer meal planning easier. Summer is a wonderful time of year, but brings added obstacles when it comes to the daily routine. Sometimes simply getting (and keeping!) food in the house is half the battle!  You don’t always have to prepare a big, fancy dinner. You know what your people like! Use these tips to be ready on the go, learn to cut corners, and use your resources. Make summer meal planning easy on yourself!  Quick and easy ways to cut a watermelon: Vanessa's Watermelon Hack Video Shelly's Watermelon Hack Video Vanessa and Shelly both just bought a summertime healthy meal plan guide from Clean Simple Eats Vanessa's favorite meal delivery service (with limited delivery in Utah) The Family Chef Shelly's baby is taking mealtime matters into his own hands! undefined undefined Share your recipes and pick up some new ones on the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. We'd love to hear from you: Vanessa at @vanessaquigley Shelly at @shellyhyde And use code POD20 for 20% off your Chatbooks order! Print this simple Weekly Meal Planner here: undefined Taco Soup Printable here: undefined Creamy Chicken on Rice Printable here: undefined

MomForce Podcast Episode 4: BONUS - Who & Why

June 19, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 4: BONUS - Who & Why Bringing Moms Together to Help Strengthen Families  Listen Here If you just discovered our podcast, you might be asking yourself, “Who are these people and why another mom podcast?” Well, let us tell you!  In this episode, we introduce Vanessa Quigley, entrepreneur and mom of 7 kids ranging from ages 24-11 (plus a new daughter-in-law!). Along with her sisters (and co-hosts) they have 30 kids… YES! 30! That’s a lot of mommin’!  Together with her husband, Nate, Vanessa runs a company called Chatbooks. In the early days of their business, Nate and Vanessa would work late into the night personally responding to customer emails. As the company grew, so did their need for helping hands. They hired remote, part-time employees to jump in and help with the workload, all of whom just happened to be moms! And with this, the MomForce was born! A group was created, and friends and family were invited to join. What started as a team of women using Facebook as valuable parenting tool became a growing community where moms could find advice on everything from getting their kids to sleep in their own beds to sneaking veggies into the dinner menu. Today, The MomForce Facebook Group is a sisterhood of over 6,000 women sharing their best parenting hacks.  There was just too much good stuff to keep trapped on Facebook. So, with the goal of strengthening families, we introduce to you the MomForce Podcast! Quickie 15 minute episodes that cover all the crazy ins-and-outs of mom life and get you on your way!  Print your Summer Bucket List here: undefined Stay on the same page with a Calendar Printable here: undefined Join us on the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. As always would love to hear from you: Vanessa at @vanessaquigley And use code POD20 for 20% off your Chatbooks order!

MomForce Podcast Episode 2: Babysitting: Part II

June 17, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page! Episode 2: Listen Here! All Things Babysitters: Part II Part II: Setting realistic expectations and what to do when things don’t go as planned Babysitters are the lifeline of a Mother’s sanity. But let’s be honest, there are several tiers of babysitters. In the first part of this two-part episode, we discussed the many roles a babysitter can fill. In today’s episode, Vanessa and Leah break down what happens when things don’t go quite as planned, how to get past the awkwardness of the pay conversation, and what you can realistically expect when you invite someone into your home. Hiring babysitters is all about allowing yourself to be a better mother! Whether you returned to a tornado of a house or your (likely well paid) sitter made it possible for you to come home and slip straight into bed, you’ve got to ask yourself two questions: 1. Is everyone alive and happy 2. Was it worth it. We’re continuing the conversation on our #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page, where we’ll be chatting about older sibling babysitters! Listen to the episode, and join us there! You can also connect with us here: Vanessa @vanessaquigley Leah @leahrward Download the printable here. undefined

MomForce Podcast Episode 3: Camping with Kids

June 17, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Episode 3: Listen Here Camping with Kids Whether you’re looking for a true outdoor survivalist experience or your idea of roughing it involves piling the family into a single hotel room, these tips will strengthen relationships and leave you with fond family memories. Our MomForce has spoken and one thing on many summer bucket lists is camping! Whether your idea of camping involves being deserted in the wilderness or you consider a hotel room full of kids roughing it, family camp-outs are a great way to foster memories. In this episode, host Vanessa Quigley is joined by her sister, Kara, co-founder of Raising Wild Swimwear and mother of 4, to discuss the highs and lows of braving the great outdoors. While they agree that camping may not be for everyone, there are ways to recreate the experiences they so fondly remember without requiring expert survivalist skills. And hey, everything tastes better by a campfire, right? Vanessa and Kara discuss tips for the hotel camper and the nature lover alike. One thing holds true: when it comes to camping with family, compromise is key. While it may not be the most relaxing or rejuvenating trip, that’s not why you do it. Just remember… one night won’t kill you. Happy Camping!   Awesome blog post about camping with littles by one of our MomForce moms,Tiffany Delangie Camping with Toddlers Kara and Shelly's swimsuit company Raising Wild Our family's airboat and gator park in Orlando, FL Wild Florida Pictures of Kara's family on their beloved "Campfire Island" undefined undefined Get more tips and tricks about camping on our #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. We'd love to connect with you: Vanessa @vanessaquigely Kara @karahaught And use code POD20 to get 20% off your Chatbooks order! Print your packing list here: undefined Click here for your camping list printable!

MomForce Podcast Episode 1: Babysitting: Part I

June 17, 2019

Welcome to the MomForce Podcast! Vanessa Quigley, mother of 7, entrepreneur and co-founder of Chatbooks, hosts this refreshing take on all things mom. Along with her 4 sisters, they’ll get into the nitty-gritty of real life parenting together, bringing you some tried and true tips and tricks to help make mom-life a little easier. And check out the #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page! Episode 1: Listen Here! All Things Babysitters: Part I Part I: Finding the perfect style sitter to fit your everyday needs There’s no one size fits all when it comes to babysitters. Whether you’re looking for a mini camp director or are simply in need of a warm body that can dial 911 in case of emergency, babysitters are a crucial tool for remaining a sane mother. In Part 1 of this 2 part episode, host Vanessa Quigley is joined by her sister, Leah, as they discuss the different (and creative) roles a babysitter can fill. From the Mother’s Helper who is in charge of cleaning up the Slime mess and touching the yucky stuff at the aquarium to the sitter who can handle “witching hour” while you enjoy a much needed Early Date with your spouse, the right babysitter will keep you from losing your mother-loving mind this summer. Join us as we discuss tips and tricks for keeping the “television babysitter” at bay and answer all of your babysitting questions on our #momforce by Chatbooks Facebook page. Download the printable here. undefined

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