Andrea Levoff Thanksgiving, grateful, what I am grateful for, 2018 reflections, chicago blogger, mom blogger, mom styleAndrea Levoff, ALC Dope Ass Mom Grateful, Andrea Levoff Thanksgiving, grateful, what I am grateful for, 2018 reflections, chicago blogger, mom blogger, mom style

Andrea Levoff, Dope Ass Mom, Andrea Levoff Thanksgiving, grateful, what I am grateful for, 2018 reflections, chicago blogger, mom blogger, mom style

Andrea Levoff, Thanksgiving, Andrea Levoff Thanksgiving, grateful, what I am grateful for, 2018 reflections, chicago blogger, mom blogger, mom styleOne thing I’ve noticed in my life, when I am sincerely thankful, life is easier. Taking the time to notice the things in our life that our good, truly makes room for more good. I’ve contemplated best practices to teach my children gratitude and what seems to work the best is to actually be grateful and let them see that. It’s easy to rattle off a perfunctory list at the Thanksgiving table, but to really feel it in your heart is a magnet for more miracles.

So here is my non-perfunctory list of what I am grateful for:

The challenges this year has brought. These growth opportunities, even though they were a bitch to go through, without them I would have remained the same. Change is scary but to me the scariest thing is not growing. I’m grateful for every coach and mentor I’ve had along the way because they always pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things, even if it was just a different way of looking at something.

My family. They truly give my life meaning and support me everyday. They also provide me ample opportunities to heal on a deeper level when they trigger my hot spots.  My kids make me laugh and remind me to never take life too seriously.

My friends. The ones that I talk to everyday and the ones that I barely have contact with but are in my heart. I’m even grateful for the ones that taught me boundaries and the ones that I don’t talk to anymore.

My passions and dreams. Part of what drives me forward when I’m feeling like I’m making no impact is the idea of reaching more and people. I’m so thankful for my unique gifts and opportunities to help other people along their journey. I am so thankful to God for guiding me to live even deeper into my purpose.

Lastly,  I’m thankful for my readers and the blogging community! Without you guys I’d be talking to myself and writing with no one to read anything! A big thanks to everyone who has ever read a blog post, liked an instagram post or showed up to one of my events!

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Tips for creating a more positive relationship with social media, mom tips, how to manage screen time, positive social media tips, advice from a blogger on tips to using social media

I never realized how addicting social media could be until I started to blog more and more. I can’t count the number of times I’ve found myself mindlessly scrolling and comparing myself to other peoples highlight reels. As the year wraps up, I’ve made it one of my goals to be more intentional with my time. This includes one social media free weekend a month that I intend to complete next weekend!  One way that I have cultivated a healthier social media relationship is to make sure that I am showing a fuller picture of myself and not just the happy times to my audience. I’ve found that setting boundaries with social media helps me keep a healthier outlook on something I feel so lucky to call my job!

One of the big things I’ve been doing lately is that if I feel a judgment creeping up on my part, I silently say to myself,  “don’t’ be a hater” and poof it’s released! It always makes me giggle and releases the weight of the judgment.  You see, how people want to live their life on social media is really none of my business. What is my business is what I choose to create and what I choose to consume. Here are some tips to help you get to a healthier relationship with social media :

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1. As soon as you find yourself comparing, stop scrolling.

2. If there’s a certain account that causes you massive anxiety or Fomo, unfollow!

3. If there’s someone you love and that inspires you, comment and show them a lot of love!

4. If you find yourself mindlessly scrolling, you’ve lost focus. Throw on your favorite song and have a dance party or go for a walk!

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5. Use that handy feature on the new iPhone and set limits to have downtime.

6. Every time you mindlessly reach for your cell phone set it down and pick up your water bottle, take a big drink.

7. Keep your phone on silent or turn off social media alerts! Do you really need to see the moment your friend from high school’s cousin posts about her trip to Santorini?

8. Take your real camera with you on trips! Your pictures will look better and you’ll be less tempted to get out of the moment by getting sucked into social media

9. Set a bedtime for your phone. Treat it like your kids and make sure it’s down before you are. Then don’t pick it up. Just like you wouldn’t wake your kids up!

10. Pick a Social Media Free weekend and marvel in all the stuff you get done!

These tips have been really helping me maintain my sanity while living my life on social media lately. I’d love to hear from you guys! What are you doing to keep a healthy relationship with social media?

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Andrea Levoff Dope Ass Mom

I can’t believe 2018 is coming to an end. This year has been a rollercoaster ride for me but jam-packed with so much learning, growth, and FUN.  This year, I made a promise to myself that I’m not waiting until January 2019 to get my new goals and intentions started. The last 3 months of the year can be very powerful. I’ve found that goals are so much easier to tackle when they are concise and specific and they have a big WHY attached to them, meaning there is a compelling reason to achieve them. While I do have a lot of things I want to accomplish, I chose three bigger goals that will actually kick start and lay a good foundation for the bigger things I want to achieve. Here is my list in hopes that it might inspire one for yourself:

1. Social Media Free Weekends  

There’s something about this season where everything is speeding up that makes me want to slow down. What can I say, I’ve always been rebellious like that. Social media is complicated for me. It’s part of my business for one and I also really enjoy the connections and friendships it brings. It can also leave me feeling drained and keeps me from being present with the ones I love. This month I’m starting with one social free media weekend once a month. I’m starting with once a month because that feels doable, but I’m also open that growing into social media free weekends period. I’m excited to see what I accomplish, whether it be tasks or just closer relationships with the ones that matter the most to me. I will keep you updated!

Andrea Levoff Goals

 

2. Take back my time

This season can be so busy with events and social commitments outside the home. I really want to make sure when I do go out and leave my kids with a sitter that’s it’s serving me in some way. Whether it be for my business or true connections with friends, I know I need to check in with myself and ask those important questions. As much as I love people, I need my alone time and feel fully recharged when I spend time alone or with small groups. I’ve found myself slipping into my old habits of over committing lately and it’s no longer working for me. I know I can be a better person to everyone that needs me when I am taking care of myself.

3. Healthy Mind and Body 

When I meditate my life is easier. It’s that simple. I go through stages of this quiet time for myself and my plan of action is to get back into it as we close out the year. I can’t think of a better ( or more needed) season to start.  I am starting with 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon.  If you are interested in making a meditation practice for yourself one of my favorite apps to use is Headspace. Another one of my goals in this category is to eat at home more often. I often go out or order out so I’m committing to 5 meals a week home cooked. Frozen pizza counts of course!

That’s it! Short and simple and totally achievable! Another interesting thing about goals is that when we set them up so they are easy to achieve it builds trust with ourselves and makes it easier to achieve bigger things. I would love to hear from you guys what you are looking to cultivate in these last 3 months of 2018!

Andrea Levoff, Dope Ass Mom

 

 

 

 

Dope Ass Mom, sibling rivalry

I consider myself a pretty easy going person but when my kids fight IT DRIVES ME INSANE. Sibling rivalry is the name experts have given it but pure hell is a more accurate description to me.  It’s enough when they are being difficult on their own but when they argue and wine it’s a special kind of annoying sauce that seems like it was made just to hit my buttons. ORDER UP! I know this is familiar to anyone who has kids that are close in age. When I got pregnant with Max I was so excited to give Anna a sibling.

“They will be the best of friends,” I thought to myself as I daydreamed about them playing quietly while I cooked dinner. The second I started dilating I knew that wasn’t going to be the case. Anna was jealous that she no longer had my undivided attention and in her mind, obviously, Max was the reason. I am no parenting expert but my exhaustive research and common sense have led me to the following conclusions.

The main key that I have found is prevention. This involves strengthening your relationship with each child, their relationship but not in obvious team building way because they will see right through that shit! Here are some things that have worked for our family :

Dope Ass mom sibling rivalry

Spend individual time with each child

Kids don’t want to share you because let’s face it, you’re amazing. You are their favorite toy! Spending time alone with each child lets them know that they are special to you and gives you time to connect. I try to do to this every week even if I’m busy. A quick errand just the two of us can turn into a mini “date.” Once a month I try to make it more special like a movie or a meal out.

Reward the pleasant behavior with PRAISE 

I mean lay it on THICK. I’ve read this in multiple parenting books and I know why! It works! With older kids, you need to be careful because they can call bullshit if you aren’t being sincere. Just make sure you are sincerely liking their behavior and don’t hesitate to leave out any moment that even resembles a good sibling relationship.   A positive side effect of this practice is that you will actually start to see more of this because you are looking for it! You really do get what you look for!

Plan a day of YES

I learned this from a friend of mine when my daughter was in preschool and guys this is brilliant. We have a day every once in a while called the day of ” yes.” So everything they ask for ( within reason of course) is a YES! Ice cream for breakfast?! SURE, stay up late? OF COURSE! I was so afraid to start this but honestly, they rarely ask for something that I can’t let slide for one day. They also feel united in their front to come up with crazy requests together. Try it and please let me know how it goes. The stories can be rather entertaining!

Choose love 

When our children are fighting, it’s easy to get caught up in the right and wrong and start screaming. Truth be told often our own stuff gets triggered when we are caught up in heated moments and it’s very hard to control our own emotions about the situations. Anytime I’m able to take a step back and take a breath and choose love, it always ends more peaceful. Choosing this way doesn’t mean not setting limits, it simply means not getting caught up in emotions and trying to understand my kid’s perspectives. More kids = more perspectives = more work,  but also MORE LOVE.

Dope Ass mom sibling rivalry

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The mother/son relationship is so special. Sometimes I joke with him that he is welcome to live with me forever. As much I would love to cuddle and kiss him for the rest of his life, I know I need to prepare him to be a conscious man that will eventually have an important role in society and his family. I think we haven’t done enough for our boys and it’s time to change that.

When I look around at our current climate, it makes my heart hurt. I do think we as a society has contributed to this toxic masculinity that I see so rampant today and in the news so often. I treasure this little boy and his heart so much and I have been thinking lately about what I can do to make sure he grows up to be a healthy example of the masculine. Here are some steps I’m taking in hopes of raising a conscious man :

Crying is not a weakness – In fact, it’s the exact opposite! Nothing good comes from suppressing our emotions but somehow we have given our boys the message that it’s not OK to cry or be upset. Too often we say things like ” be a man! ” or ” deal with it.” In my opinion, this is absolutely crazy and giving them the wrong message. You can still be tough and cry. You can still be masculine and have sadness. How can we expect our boys to be sensitive to other’s needs if they can’t even recognize their own? If I can teach him to be with himself through the dark times, I know he will be able to hold space for others to do the same.

Be able to cook and clean –  This is much for my son as it is my future daughter in law. How sexy is it when a man can take care of himself? Maybe not something I thought much about when I was younger, but now. … hubba hubba

Confidence and Ego are not the same – True confidence is an inside job. It’s knowing that you are worthy, capable and loved no matter what. Confidence is hella sexy. Ego is only concerned with appearance, how things look vs. how things really are. Ego is easily affected by outside opinion and mostly concerned with being popular.  Ego is fragile. Confidence is steadfast. I want my boy to be confident and soul based. Not ego driven and cocky.

Laugh at your mistakes – Making mistakes is part of the human experience. Being able to laugh at yourself and be quick to learn from them is a skill that can be developed. I think one of my greatest gifts is that I don’t take anything too seriously. I’m hoping I can pass that down to my boy. Once we can laugh at them, we can own them. Being able to say, I’m sorry I hurt you, what can I do to repair this is the mark of a really strong man.

Attitude is everything – You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react. Managing your attitude and responses is one of the best things to learn as an adult. I’ve always been a glass half full person and I know that mindset is almost always the missing link when people are struggling. There’s always what happened and then the story we tell ourselves about what happened. Controlling what we say to ourselves about what happened is sometimes our only choice!

I see it everywhere now where men are being asked to stand forward and be better versions of themselves. I think it starts at home with our boys. Teaching them and loving them and allowing them to express without feeling judged for being weak. I think it’s up to the awakened mom’s like us to do our part to shepherd them into the healthy masculine so that one day they can hold space for the beautiful feminine. What do you guys think? Is there anything you are doing for your boys that feels different from the way you’ve noticed boys being raised in the past?

Andrea Levoff, son dope ass mom son

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