Angela Amman

Pause button

Spring in Michigan

Life is made of Listen To Your Mother, dance competitions, t-ball games, writing events at elementary school, to-do lists, deadlines, commitments, schedules. I will gather those together and start them tomorrow.

Today, I pressed pause and walked around the neighborhood with little ones on scooters and bikes. Unwilling to relinquish the sunshine, we continued to the school…

looked for worms…

met a puppy playing frisbee…

wondered why the model rocket launch didn’t work…

pumped our legs and closed our eyes and let the sun beat dazzling rainbows through our closed lids.

I forget, so many times, that I’m the one with my finger firmly on ‘play.’ I forget the power of pause, but today I remembered and we relished the day.

When was the last time you pressed pause?

Five things

  • five favorite thingsNaked Basics from Urban Decay is my new morning makeup obsession. In a life that never seems to have enough hours for sleep, makeup makes me feel a little more put-together, even if the bags under my eyes don’t completely disappear. The simple palette from Urban Decay contains neutral shadows, and only one of them is a shimmer. They blend flawlessly, which means even quick, mistake-proof application — perfect for a five-minute fix before I’m rushing out the door.
  • Rebel Heart makes me dance. I’m an unapologetic Madonna fan, no matter what she says about Michigan or how many times she makes appearances in her grillz and sparks yet another conversation about her struggle to stay relevant. Some music seeps into your blood at an age where any subsequent music from an artist becomes more potent, more powerful. Madonna is that artist for me, and I can’t wait to see her in concert again this fall.
  • Damselfly Inn released this week, a Thornton Vermont novel by Cameron D. Garriepy. Cam’s a friend and a business partner, and I’ve read Damselfly in several stages and watched it grow into something more than a novel. Damselfly Inn is an invitation and a key for the door leading into the world of Thornton. Taking its inspiration from Garriepy’s own college town, Damselfly Inn is an intimate reminder that places and people weave together to make life tangible and meaningful, and that dreams can ramble along detoured routes before coming true.
  • Cass Community Social Services is the Listen To Your Mother Metro Detroit local cause this year, and I can’t rave enough about the wonderful things CCSS does in the city of Detroit. Some of our cast spent a Saturday afternoon helping make mud mats, one of two products made using the tires discarded illegally in the city by the thousands. Purchase a mud mat or a pair of their Detroit Treads sandals; even if you don’t live in Detroit, the state of the city has a direct effect on the entire Metro Detroit area, and it’s inspiring to see the individual lives being changed through CCSS.
  • Avery & Austin brings the #PerfectPlaydate right to your home. Started by a friend of mine, the company combines creativity, play and convenience — ingredients for the type of playdates I love my kids to have. I reviewed our experience with a #PerfectPlaydate box earlier this week — check it out! Interested in trying Avery & Austin for yourself? Use the code ANGELAAMMAN15OFF for 15% off, through July 30.

What are you loving right now?


Experimenting with a #PerfectPlaydate

#PerfectPlaydateThe box arrived, and they were immediately interested in the contents.

“You’re taking it to Grandma’s,” I reminded them. The promise of a sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa added a layer of magic to the box.

A late April anniversary combined with an early April spring break for the kids meant Ryan and I were able to sneak in a few days to Traverse City, leaving the kids in the capable hands of my mom and dad. Armed with the knowledge that bumpers are now built directly into bowling lanes and the stamina to take two kids to play Skee-ball and other headache-inducing games, we thought the #PerfectPlaydate nestled inside the Avery & Austin subscription box might be a welcome, quiet alternative for an afternoon of fun.

Deterred for a few minutes by my reminder, they wandered off to pack their suitcases — I’ve learned to check their work and adjust for more clothes and fewer stuffed animals. As I prepared dinner, though, small fingers traced the letters, and my curiosity mingled with theirs until we just had to peek.

Avery & Austin

Each Avery & Austin box comes with everything you need for a fun afternoon — or morning, evening, or any time of day you prefer! — with two of your favorite little ones. There are materials for an activity, a healthy and simple snack, a little treat for mom, and easy-to-follow instructions for the activity.

Avery & Austin

Something I really appreciated about the activity instructions was how simply they were written — and that real-life photographs were used directly on the card. Abbey and Dylan did this craft together, but if she were to do the activity with one of her friends, I think they would love working it out on their own. At seven, I think she and a friend could navigate the activity on their own, as long as I took a few minutes to set up placemats, water for cleaning brushes, and a handy roll of paper towels.


This month’s theme was “Rock Your Garden,” though the kids focused on the rocks for the garden and not the adorable carrot seeds and biodegradable starter pots. The starter pots were perfect, but we are still weather wary after our ridiculously cold winter, and the kids would have tried to plant the seeds the minute they sprouted instead of waiting for warm enough weather!

Rock your garden

Cozy and comfy in their jammies, the kids painted frogs and a deer to decorate our yet-to-be-started garden. They are absolutely in love with their little rocks, though, so I have a feeling it might be tough to get them to go outside!

The #PerfectPlaydate is, indeed, a fun way to entertain your child and a friend, but it’s also a fabulous way for grandparents to participate in a fun activity with their grandchildren. Grandmas don’t always have a stocked craft cabinet or might not want to pick up activity supplies, like paint, for infrequent craft activities. Avery & Austin take the guesswork out of the entire activity — in case you couldn’t see them in the photo, the kit even included the brushes used for painting.

Avery & Austin

Consider sending one with your kids the next time they’re spending the day with grandma — I know Abbey and Dylan would be thrilled to pack one every time they visit — or grandparents, consider a subscription for your favorite grandkids! #PerfectPlaydate is a lovely gift your grandchild will be sure to use each month.


If you’re interested in trying Avery & Austin’s #Perfect Playdate, you can receive 15% off (through July 30th) with the code ANGELAAMMAN15OFF

*Disclosure* I received a complimentary Avery & Austin Perfect Playdate box for consideration for review. All opinions are my own, and all of the kids’ artistic vision is theirs. 


Frozen on Ice


My planner sits next to me, and there’s no way I’m looking at it again tonight. Some days, the fullness of my heart and my brain converge into complete contentment. Words normally help me shift my thoughts into place, but tonight? Tonight I want to rest with the threads of this weekend, the echoes of this feeling.

The LEGO Movie with the kids and my parents.

Laughter with Ryan in the dark of the night.

Frozen on Ice with a dear friend and her daughter.

Our Listen To Your Mother Metro Detroit table read, where stories are shared and heard and felt for the first time.

Happy Sunday, friends, and good-night.

Listen To Your Mother Metro Detroit

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