Unofficial Discover Me Challenge: 20 Questions

My amazing bff over at 99shadows did an Unofficial Discover Me Challenge and thought I should also partake. She's always usually sometimes right. 
oh... and sorry it has taken me forever to do. I'm busy girl...

1. What’s your life motto, or philosophy you live by?
My father always taught me to take one day at a time. When things get tough, we remind each other, "one day at a time." It is so incredibly simple but we both tend to worry greatly and try to project into the future of how things are going to be. When we remind ourselves, it really helps us center and focus.


2. What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
I love that I am very passionate. Whether it is trying a new craft or tending to a relationship, I am all in. I give absolutely everything that I have.

3. Do you follow a religion or spiritual practice?
I am Catholic, newly converted just in 2013. I love my faith and though I don't attend church as much as I would like - or should - I do believe it is a vital part in who I am and how I view the world. There are parts of my that are absolutely fascinated by other faiths and spiritual practices. I love, love the ways that Buddhists practice. Religion and spirituality are beautifully complex and so personal. 

4. What was the best time of your life?
Right now is the best time of my life. I am married to the most incredible man I have ever known. I have a beautiful, sweet little girl. I've got a few friends that are true. Right now is exactly the way it should be. I am blessed beyond words.

5. What was the worst thing that ever happened to you?
There are some things that are just too ugly to share. I don't mind putting myself out there but this one is best left behind. Sorry.

6. What’s your biggest dream?
I want to find my own version of success. I love to create and if I have it my way, I would love to turn that into something bigger. Currently that is my biggest dream. 2 years ago, I would have said that my biggest dream was to have a child. Dreams evolve, as we evolve. I like to catch as many dreams as I can. 

7. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be lots of things but the one that stands out the most is a journalist. I liked to write and thought that it would be a great way to continue that hobby. As I got older, I realized that I hated writing on assignment and preferred to  only write when the moment struck me and not a word more. Hence my long breaks in-between posts. ;)

8. What was/is your biggest accomplishment?
I want to say that having my daughter is my biggest accomplishment. It may sound cliche but you have to understand that we went through a lot to have her. She is nothing short of a miracle.

9. Why do you think we’re all here?
We are here to grow. This is not a test... this is a part of a great journey. 

10. What was your best relationship?
My best relationship IS the one that I have with my husband. Very few people understand me. Even fewer people can put up with me and my crazy. He not only loves me, he loves my crazy too. He reads me, he knows me and he gets me. We support each other and drive each other to do better and do more. We are a great team.

11. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
People would have more compassion for each other. Why is kindness such a foreign idea?


12. Do you like your job? If not, what would you like to do instead?
I am a SAHM and I love it. Before this, I worked in various roles in IT - the last being Disaster Recovery. It was a fine job but this one takes the cake!

13. What are you favorite hobbies?
I love to sew, embroider, crochet, read, cook, listen to music and sleep. I really love to sleep.

14. If money was no object, what would you do in life? 
I would buy all the beautiful fabric that I see. I would have an incredible sewing room. I would just create all day long...

15. Have you ever broken someone’s heart?
I believe so but I never intended to.

16. What are you thankful for?
My life. I am thankful for every moment that I get to be here and love my family. Life is so friggin precious, people just don't even get it.

17. What do you wish people understood more about you?
I have so much going on in my head and I am often distracted and overwhelmed by it. If I go quiet for a bit, it's because I need a moment to center myself. I am not ignoring you. I just need a minute to bring it all in.

18. If you could turn back time and do anything differently, would you?
Yes. I hate the word regret but it is one I am familiar with. I would have been a better daughter to my mother. I would have told her that I loved her more often. I would have visited more. I would have thanked her endlessly. She deserved more than what I gave her.

19. What’s the craziest, or most exciting thing you’ve ever done?
I am so square. I can't think of a whole lot of crazy in my life. I was a stupid teen and did stupid teen things but I wasn't crazy or dangerous. The most exciting thing I did and the most exciting time in my life was when I lived on my own in 2012/2013. It doesn't sound like much but after never living on my own for 34+ years, it was a monumental and very exciting period in my life. It was so necessary.

20. What do you think about most often?
My family.... but other than that, the obvious, I do think a lot about starting my own business. I have ideas... lots and lots of ideas...

0

VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!


I know that this election has been rough... a bit of a circus... to some, a joke. That said, your vote is still extremely important. Even if you don't like either of the two major candidates, there are other options or write ins or you can just go with what you feel is right. I know a few of us may even leave some spaces blank. That works, too. Go with your gut instinct, if you will. 

Also, there are tons of other very important issues on the ballots this year. Your voice is important. Today is the day to make your voice heard! Go out there and get your vote on.
YOU can make a difference!

Not sure where your polling place is? Easy... Just Google "My Polling Place" and the search engine will give you a field to enter your address. Just like magic, you know where to cast your vote! Aren't the interwebs great!?

Now get out there and make a difference!!
Vote!


0

Happy Boo Day!!


Happy Halloween Everyone! 

I am so looking forward to dressing up the little one (and the pup) for her first Halloween, not to mention seeing all the adorable costumes that visit our house tonight!! 
Be safe and eat lots of candy! Your dentist will thank you!
...and if you must, you can send your extra 3 Musketeers this way!! 

xoxo
0

Friday Favorites 10/28

TGIF!!! I don't know about you but I am ready for this weekend. What a busy week!! Actually, I started my Friday wrap up post and realized that I had too much going on to share in the same post as my Friday Favorites. I've decided to just save that for the weekend. Lots going on over here and lots to share!

So here we are. In no particular order, this week I am really loving...

I am so in love with Sandra Boynton books and so is my daughter. The illustrations keep the little ones very interested and the stories are always simple and fun to read. At just 11 months, mini me doesn't really understand the storylines but she does love every Sandra Boynton book we own. So for Halloween, I picked up Eek! Halloween and it has been a HUGE hit!!! We have read this book at least a few dozen times already and I am sure we will continue reading this one long after the ghosts and goblins go home!!

we love a good story!

Eek! Halloween!


With the weather being cold and a bit miserable lately, I have been making lots of chili and stews. I was on the lookout for something big and versatile because I really love to cook and I tend to do so in large amounts. Well, I am a lucky gal because my mother-in-law gifted me one of my new most favorite things ever for a kitchen. She gifted to me the most gorgeous Le Creuset Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It's important to her that I cook great meals for her baby! Seriously, if you like to cook but don't have one of these already then this needs to go on your Christmas wish list because I can say that this dutch oven is pretty flippin awesome. Aaaand... she got it for me in a gorgeous Palm color. It's a beautiful thing. Really.

Le Creuset 9qt Cast Iron Dutch Oven in Palm


In my beauty bag I have a ton of eye makeup. Wait... who am I kidding? I have storage bins full of makeup. I seem to collect more than I could ever possibly wear but I do have a few things that are forever a part of my daily routine. Over the last few months, I have been using Cover Girl's Roses TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette and I just love it. I got turned on to this goodie just in the beginning of the year through Influenster. I've been using it regularly since. The colors are fantastic. Earthy, warm, some shimmer, highly pigmented and lasts all day. I would rate this palette up there with some of the more high end ones and it's a great find for under 10!!

CoverGirl TruNaked ~ Roses


Ok... This is something that I have only just started getting into but I am already addicted to dry brushing. I ordered the Wholesome Dry Skin Body Brush after watching a beauty vlogger swear by it to remedy dry skin. The price was really great, the reviews were stellar, so I gave it a go. It totally works. Using the dry brush not only feels like heaven but my skin is also way smoother, softer and all the yucky dry stuff is brushed right off. If you want to amp up your skin regimen and you don't do it already, I highly recommend dry brushing. The Mr. has even picked up on it!

Wholesome Dry Skin Body Brush


That does it for this week! Happy Friday & Happy Weekend!!


In the spirit of full disclosure, this post does use affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from the affiliate companies or campaigns from the links provided. 
Please know that I will only recommend products that I have tested and love. 
All products listed were bought and paid for by me. My opinions are in no way influenced and are always 100% my own.
0

Wordless Wednesday 10/26

crafts, party planning, puppies who don't feel so great and an amazing little girl...

I found a new hobby... maybe I am on to something?

ouchies... spider bites are the worst

taking good care of her puppy

this is love

1

Friday Wrap-up & Friday Favorites

It's incredible how everything seems to zip by lately. I can barely keep track of the days and have come to the conclusion that mom life moves at abnormal speeds.

My little one turning 1 year old in less than 3 weeks. I am not ready for this! But... I have to be. So, I've been spending the past week going over invites, RSVPs, calling caterers, making decorations, buying party favors for children and trying to find the perfect outfit for my princess. I think I am almost there... almost.

The last week has been a mixed bag of "eureka!" moments and "oh, snap!" realizations. I've got some pretty cool ideas up my sleeves and if these come into fruition, I will be sharing them over the next couple of weeks! Let's just say... I get bored easily and I am always looking for a side project...

more projects than you can shake a stick at!

Moving on...

Nap time has been a blast. No, really. It has been worlds different than two weeks ago. I could have sworn I was losing my noodle a couple weeks ago. Stressed, tired, and mini me refused to nap. We decided that maybe she would just fare better with 1 nap per day and so we tried. This actually worked very well for 3 or 4 days. Then we started struggling to stay awake when morning naps usually occurred. So... back to 2 naps a day and she goes down just fine. I am chalking this episode off to growth spurts and wonder weeks.

Then there is the teething. Oh. My. Goodness. It's horrible and my heart breaks every time she wakes up in the middle of the night crying and rubbing her ears. The uppers are coming in and all I can say is that I hope they hurry the hell up. These guys are far worse than the first two bottom teeth. Are they all like this going forward? We have been using Dr. Talbots All Natural Teething Gel and it seems to be doing a great job at keeping her comfortable. Between that and gently brushing her teeth, which she loves, we are doing all we can to ease this teething process. Of course, I am definitely open to advice or suggestions!!

I thought I'd end the week with a couple of Friday Favorites!! I did this a couple weeks back and really enjoyed putting together my list. So, in no particular order, this week I am really loving...

If I don't write it down, it just ain't happening... I have tried hundreds of planners and organizers. I have wasted so much money on stuff I won't even use because it just didn't have all I wanted or just had so many options that it overwhelmed me. The ONLY planners that I have ever successfully used from start to end has been the Molang Planners and Molang Diaries. Seriously. Now, these little books are a bit on the cutesie side but I like that! I also love that they are not dated and you can use them as you like. The one pictured below is the exact planner I am using this year and it is laid out a bit different than previous years but I love it. The pages are substantial and can handle my heavier ink pens. There is room for me to add notes for future blogs, projects and the many lists I like to make. More importantly, for me, is that this is a clean layout. There isn't too much "stuff" which allows me to use this book any way I like to.
Molang Planner


I usually go for body washes that have a sweet, feminine scent but I recently found this Kiss My Face Anti-Stress Body Wash and I really like it a lot! The scent is very clean and light. It does have a bit of a woodsy and natural hint to it but the scent doesn't overwhelm you at all. I love that this wash is free from parabens and sls and it contains aloe and other natural oils. This wash is very calming for my extremely sensitive skin! Oh, and the Mr likes it a lot, too!

Kiss My Face Body Wash



Of course, I have to include Dr. Talbots All Natural Teething Gel. This little tube goes a long way and only a pea-sized dot is necessary. We use it just at nap time and bed time - seldom in-between. The flavor seems to be ok, though it did take some getting used to. Now she opens her mouth right up as soon as she sees the tube! She knows that relief is on the way!!
Dr. Talbots All Natural Teething Gel & Teether


Last, but certainly not least, is the Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Hydrating Hand Cream. This stuff is every bit amazing. My hands are forever cracking, splitting, bleeding and dry. I wash my hands constantly and I wash all my dishes by hand, so my hands are always in water. The summer months are just a little bit more kind to my hands but not much - they are forever cracking. This stuff... this stuff is amazing. I don't have any adjective better, sorry!! It just is. I use the hand cream a few times throughout the day and my hands not only feel so much relief and look better but they smell great. The blood orange is my favorite scent!!
Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Hydrating Hand Cream



Happy Friday and Happy weekend!!!


In the spirit of full disclosure, this post does use affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from the affiliate companies or campaigns from the links provided. 
Please know that I will only recommend products that I have tested and love. 
All products listed were bought and paid for by me. My opinions are in no way influenced and are always 100% my own.
0

Discover Me Challenge: 4 - Words To Live By



I know, I know... DMC prompts are supposed to be posted on Thursdays, not late in the day on a Friday. I am a day behind on pretty much everything right now!! You know, this reminds me of a famous saying... How does it go? A day late and a dollar short? What can I say? Life happens.

Speaking of sayings and the sort - this DMC is all about words. Of course, we aren't looking for just any words, rather we want to know what words do you live by? What is your code, your mantra, your living quote, the words that are strung together so perfectly that they drive you through life?

Some of us may have a couple of these fantastic phrases or may have just one that is the pure definition of life. Whatever it may be, what are those words and why do they speak to you? Who said them first? When did they become so important?


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ 
Join the fun and discover more about yourself!! Be sure to add your links in the comments section so we can read your awesome responses, too!
1

DMC 3 - If I could travel through time...



If I could travel through time... Boy, this one was actually pretty tough!! I thought that I had an easy response at first but the more I thought on it, I second guessed myself. Should I travel to the future to help prepare my daughter for the world to come? Should I go back and spend more time with my mother when she was happy and healthy? I ended up taking a rather selfish and much different approach to the challenge... I am o'kay with that. I think...!!!

Let me first begin by saying that I have always had a strong connection to the years between the 1920's and the 1940's. I am incredibly fascinated by this time. Everything from the radio shows, theatre, music and to the fashion - the entertainment and stylings have always pulled at me in. Even the family unit seems to be so much stronger and important. I have often said that I was born in the wrong era because I would much rather listen to Glenn Miller or Billie Holiday than what's out there now. ...um what IS out there now?? Those who know me will also say that I am a bit old fashioned in some of my thinking. Just a bit...

Of course, it also goes without saying that these were also very difficult times, which is why I would not want to stay. A quick visit to soak up the much romanticized pieces of these times and I'll gladly slip back to now. With issues around around the political climate (because, we have none of that today!), the Great Depression, prohibition, women's rights (still kinda a thing...), wars (ummm... yeah, that too)... Ok. So, some things have improved and other things are newer versions of the same problems. But still... I like my wine and I'm not cut out to be a bootlegger, so here we are.

Now, onto the things that draw me to this time...


Radio shows, entertainment, vaudeville comedy, silent movies and George!!!! I would LOVE to visit the late 20's and experience George Burns and Gracie Allen starting off in vaudeville theatres. I have adored George Burns for as long as I can remember (thanks to 18 Again!) and I have listed to the radio shows with him and Gracie. They had an unmistakeable love and chemistry.

The music of the 1920's -1940's just makes me smile and think and feel. Now, I am not usually a fan of jazz and especially modern jazz but the jazz of this time is pure perfection. The Big Band, Swing, those crooning voices, that bluesy style... music has been and will always be an experience and an emotion. The music of the 30's, especially the 30's, is where my listening heart belongs.

The clothes. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the cloche hat from the 1920's!? I happen to have one and I lurve it!! I would wear it every day, except it just doesn't work with my yoga pants and sweatshirts that mom-life has designated as my new uniform. But really... the clothing of the 1920's all the way through the 40's is so much more "me". Clothing, at that time, was going through a big transformation to more comfortable and "modern" styles. Yet, there was something very feminine, modest (in comparison to today's standards), and fun about the clothing. After 1925, you see the shift dresses becoming a thing. Can I wear those, please? Just allow me to summon the gorgeous Doris Hill and steal her style!

I suppose I could always just wear these things today. It's not like styles of various kinds are not accepted all over. Fashion is a strange celebration of so many things, so why not!? The mood. The mood is what is essential and the mood of those times was different. The mood was part of the makeup.

Ahh, this all sounds just too good! Maybe, this weekend I will put on The Great Gatsby, sip a French 75 and get cozy with my fella... Let's see if I can capture the mood for just a moment.

1

How I Met My BFF


I am one of those people who believes that some people come in and out of your life for very specific reasons. While some things are left to chance, there are some things that are just meant to be. I feel that way about my husband and I feel that way about some of my very good friends.

The story of how my husband and I came to be is something that can be made into a romantic comedy and is completely worth a tell... but that's for later. What I want to share today is how I met my bff. I think it's a story that is worth sharing.

Next month marks 6 years that I have known "Skaty". I met her in the most unconventional way and our friendship has remained just that - unconventional. Beautifully unconventional and incredibly real.

There was a time in my life where I was heavily addicted to an online game called Second Life. It's important to understand that I was in a place in my life where I was unhappy, bored, frustrated and disconnected. I am sure some of it had to do with my relationships at the time and the sadness of losing my mother two years prior. Whatever the case, I was lost and I was reaching for something, someone, anything to fill the void in my life.

On Valentine's Day in 2008, I created my first "avi". I played SL off and on and even made some friends. It certainly gave me something to do and the voids became smaller and smaller, though everything was very artificial. However, there was a creative element in game that I was extremely fascinated with and before long, I was consumed by this virtual world. I would spend ridiculous stretches in game. Hours and days and months and years.... I was truly "living" online when I wasn't working.

Now, I won't say that all my time in game was completely wasted because I did have the opportunity to meet many people from different cultures all around the globe. It was an interesting period in my life - but that is also another story from another time.

In November of 2010 I met Skaty through a mutual acquaintance online. We met in game and our friendship in game seemed to bloom at record speed. An important thing to understand is that when you meet people online - all you have is conversation. You can learn about that other person pretty quickly. Because of this, relationships move at a seemingly unnatural speed - for the good and for the bad. I've experienced both. My friendship with Skaty moved quickly and for the good (obviously!).

Our avitars: "Skaty" & "Kel"

Rather than typing convos all the time, we Skyped often while our avitars explored the worlds in game. We spent many late nights talking and laughing to the point of tears. Our friendship outlived that of the mutual acquaintance that we once shared. People came in and out of our very exclusive circle. Some lasted and others did not. We talked nearly every single day and appointed each other "BFF" status in world and in real life (IRL), even though we had yet to meet IRL.

A year and some months into our very close friendship I went through a very personal and very real event. I needed to talk to someone. I needed my BFF. One of the first things I did was go to Skype to tell Skaty what was happening in my life. I cried to her, I shared my fears, I showed my weaknesses - I left myself completely vulnerable to this person that I learned to love as a sister without ever meeting in person.

It was through this that Skaty and I decided it was time to meet. She knew I needed someone and so Skaty was going to drive across states to come visit me at my house and give me the company that I so needed because this is what a true friend does.

I can still recall hearing her car pull up into my driveway and "meeting" her for the first time. I remember crying as I hugged her for the first time. This was my soul sister! There was nothing virtual about our friendship. I felt it in my bones.

Our friendship has supported plenty of highs and lows in each other's personal lives. We definitely do not agree on everything and we couldn't be any more opposite than we are. But... that is what makes our friendship so perfect. We balance each other. She gets me and I get her. Skaty goes along with my crazy ideas and I try to convince her to run after her dreams. do it...write your Harry Potter!

After we met in person, I started going online less and less. I think I felt that I had outgrown that virtual space or maybe I realized that I found what I was looking for from that world. Whatever the case, I didn't need to be there anymore and haven't looked back.

Life moves quickly still. Though we don't get to Skype every day, we are still very connected. I'll text her if I need a laugh or to vent or just because... We visit each other and she is very much a part of my family now. She was the matron of honor in my wedding and is "auntie" to my daughter. All the big things in life include her in some way - as they should. And I still cry when I get to see her or have to hug her "goodbye".

I am not a gaming type and never really was. I truly do believe that there are some things that just happen because they are supposed to. There is no other way that I would have had the chance opportunity to connect with my bff, my soul sister otherwise.

...and that is how I met my BFF. xo
1

TBT: Turnip Chips! Yes, Really!

An oldie but a goodie, dug up from the archives...

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

When I am watching a movie or I get bored late at night, I like to snack. I like to pick on foods that are terrible for me. Cookies, candy, Ruffle Chips! RUFFLES. I simply am unable to have Ruffles in my house because if I did, I would eat them all in one sitting. True story.

While snacking on so banana chips (not Ruffles), something occurred to me. I had a huge bag of turnips in the fridge and I had to do something with them. I wondered how they would be seasoned and dehydrated!? Only one way to find out!


Easy Peasy Turnip Chips:


  • I washed a couple of turnips and sliced them evenly with my mandolin.
  • Next I tossed them around in a bowl with a very small amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Then I placed the pieces on the dehydrator racks and sprinkled a little of my favorite seasonings on them.
  • I let them go for about 8 hours or so... but if you are making these, you really want to check on them because the time will vary depending upon how thin you slice them.


That's it! And for the record, they turned out so good!! Not pretty, but still yummy!

easy, peasy, done!

Did you know....
Turnips are a great source of calcium!
Turnips are high in fiber!
Turnips promote a healthy metabolism which helps in weight loss!
Turnips are high in antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E, manganese, and beta-carotene!
Turnips are excellent for digestive health!
Turnips are cruciferous meaning the fight the effects of carcinogens and can inhibit tumors!
Turnips are fabulous for heart health because the have anti-inflammatory properties which help prevent heart attacks and heart disease!
Turnips can help lower cholesterol!
Turnips are great for bone health because of all the potassium and calcium!!

The more you know...!!!

1

Discover Me Challenge: 3 - If I Could Travel Through Time...


Imagine, if you will, that you have a time machine. This time machine can take you to any period in time - past or future. You can only use your time machine once, to get to your destination and to return (if you so choose to return!).

What period in time would you visit? What would you do there? Why does this period in time call to you?

Would you return?

“Shh! Listen! Someone’s coming! I think — I think it might be us!” ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

next prompt will be posted Oct. 13th


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
To participate, just write a post on your personal blog/site and linkup below!!

1

Wordless Wednesday 9/28



Wordless Wednesday... the sweet things...

Vegan, GF, Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Toys, toys everywhere but the box is just so much more fun!

It's all about these two ladies (bff's in the making!)

Moral Support


p.s. The recipe for those AMAZING pumpkin spice waffles above can be found over at: Delightful Adventures. Enjoy!! xo
1

DMC 2 - When I Grow Up


Once upon a time, I was a relentless dreamer. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was going to be a famous journalist, a children's book writer, a poet, and I was going to marry Christian Slater. Yup, I did say that I was a dreamer.

Though some of my plans fell through, I am not yet done with my dreams. They have changed slightly but I do still have a love for creative writing. Christian Slater, however, will have to understand that I've moved on. Sorry, Chris...

Today, I still do a lot of exploring and learning. You'd think at 39, I would already have the big question figured out but the truth is, I don't. I know that being a SAHM and wife are incredible blessings and I can't imagine putting anything else before being at home, teaching and eventually homeschooling my child. So, I guess you could just say that I want to be a teacher when I grow up. But I also want to be a few other things.

I have long considered studying massage and holistic medicine. This is something I bring up to my husband at least a few times a month. I've thought of going to classes, getting certifications, and possibly opening my own practice so I would still be able to "mom" full time. This is a huge dream but so darn interesting and exciting.

Anything is possible.

Then there are days where I want to study nutrition. Now, this is something very personal to me, as I've adopted a mostly plant based diet and have seen incredible improvements in my overall health. Because of my personal struggles with food (and there were very many), I want to learn more and share with others. Food doesn't have to be complicated. I am finally getting this. So many people have yet to. That's where I want to help.

Anything is possible.

I am pretty sure that I've made my final dream pretty obvious... I'd love to be a creative writer when I grow up. I want to write those children's books. My love for writing poetry remains. I enjoy creating the scene, the characters, the story and especially the mood. I love books and I would love to see my name on the cover of one, one day.

Anything is possible.

I guess you could say that I am still a bit of a relentless dreamer...

0

4 Fab Faves for Friday

This week I am really loving...

I can't even wrap my head around how much "stuff" we have scattered all over the place with the little one! Lucky me, I was able to get my hands on these fabulous Jute Storage Totes from Ziggy Baby. They are completely different from my other totes, as they aren't just fabric covered cardboard sides and bottom. These are actually made from jute (burlap) with a waxy interior that makes them easy to clean and waterproof. They are super sturdy and they look pretty darn good, too!
Ziggy Baby Jute Storage Totes


OK... I'm kinda in love with my Skechers Memory Foam Slip On shoes. I needed something that was comfy and versatile and in brown. I am on my feet A LOT and so my shoes need to be able to provide support for this busy momma. I honestly wasn't expecting to love these so much (because I am ridiculously picky) but... YES. I love these and they are cute!
Skechers Memory Foam Slip On Moccasins 

Ok, so when I was pregnant with my little one, I needed a hospital bag for all my stuff. I knew I would be staying a few nights, so a bigger bag was necessary. I carry a lot of stuff on the regular but this is special occasion stuff, right?! Anyway, I searched high and low before I settled on a very inexpensive weekender bag from Wild Pair. This bag is pretty darn big (HUGE) but it's also super cute. I can't help myself - I loved it so much that now I use it as a crossbody, everyday type bag. It's perfect for all the "mom stuff" I tote around. Just throw a wristlet in it for quick runs inside a store and anything else you can think of. My husband calls it the Mary Poppins bag. Yup. It's big. Oh, and it gets compliments allll the time. I love this bag.
Wild Pair Canvas Weekender

It finally happened! We got our first tooth on the 21st! Of course, now I am all about mini me's dental hygiene. You gotta start them straight away!!! I went with Dr. Brown's Infant to Toddler Toothbrush and Toothpaste Combo because we seem to do so well with the Dr. Brown bottles and nipples. It's a brand we really trust. Well, it was a good pick. My little one seems to really like the sensation of the brush on her sensitive gums and new sparkly tooth and the flavor of the paste isn't bad either! What I love is that the brush isn't just fun to look at but it is also practical and made well. The little elephant brush stands upright on its own and has soft bristles. This is a great first toothbrush set!
Dr. Brown's Infant to Toddler Combo


I can't believe how quickly the week flew by... a late TGIF to you. Happy Weekend!! 


In the spirit of full disclosure, this post does use affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything from the affiliate companies or campaigns from the links provided. 
Please know that I will only recommend products that I have tested and love. 
Ziggy Baby provided the Jute Storage Totes at no charge for an honest review. All other products listed were bought and paid for by me. My opinions are in no way influenced and are always 100% my own.


0

Road Trippin' - Rhode Island

We FINALLY had our first little family vacation just last weekend and it was so lovely. Short, sweet and absolutely wonderful!

We all piled in the car and drove north to visit my bestie, whom I hadn't seen since my baby shower last September! Needless to say, this was her first time meeting mini me, so it was a pretty special time.

As far as car trips go, the little one really seemed to enjoy herself. Very little fussing and a whole lotta singing! We were (mostly) all smiles from the time we left, to the time we came back home. My only advice to mommas traveling with little ones is this - coffee. And music. But, mostly just coffee. Car rides are long for everyone but as long as you have the energy to sing The Wheels On The Bus several hundred times, you should be just fine! ;)

Seriously, though... It's incredible how quickly a weekend can go by on an average weekend but when you are spending time with the ones you love - it zooms by. Take tons of pictures and give/get lots of hugs. I wouldn't mind going back to snag a few extra from S. I miss those hugs already.

Here are some pics from our trip and visit to beautiful Newport, RI where we got to do a tour of the Breakers Mansion and town. Exquisite.










Thank you for more wonderful memories. I miss you. I love you.

p.s. I am making a vow that we don't wait a full year in between visits. A girl needs time with her bestie. <3
1

Discover Me Challenge: 2 - When I grow up...


Remember how your younger self had big dreams? You knew in your heart of hearts that you would be an astronaut or famous writer or detective or you would stop crime, wearing your favorite blanket cape... Your younger self was free to dream big, without any limitations. Rules didn't apply to our dreams back then.

For this challenge, let's go back to those days where we weren't afraid to dream big, without the limitations. Anything is possible. There are no rules. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?

next prompt will be posted Sept. 29th


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I welcome anyone who would like to join in on the fun. 


0

DMC 1 - Teachers Who Inspire


For this Discover Me Challenge, I had to really think long and hard about the one teacher who left me the most inspired. At first, I thought it would be pretty simple. I had some great teachers but one stood out almost right away. Then I really started to mull it over and I realized that I had a couple teachers that more than stood out - they gave me something lasting. All in all, I wasn't quite sure where this journey would lead me.

I ended up going back to the teacher that I originally selected. It was 6th grade and Mrs. M taught Science.

What you really need to understand is that Science really didn't awe me like it did for other kids. I was much more interested in Reading. Honestly, Science kinda bored me. It seemed too rigid. But, Mrs. M... she anything but rigid. She really was special.

I remember Mrs. M would talk to us kids as if we were her own. Some classmates called her "mom" in jest just because she was that kinda person (I may be guilty of that). She was so incredibly kind and full of affection. 

In Mrs. M's class, we had field trips to the recycle yard, which was a huge deal in the 1980's. Not everyone recycled back then. Some of my favorite "trips" were when we just went outside to inspect the fallen leaves and try to identify the trees that they came from.

Perhaps the biggest and most influential moment that I had in my sixth grade year, or of my entire early education, came from a very unexpected class lesson.

I remember walking in to Mrs. M's class and finding my seat. I noticed that at the front of the room was a record player. Immediately, I tried to guess what the lesson would be. We all did. The whole class was buzzing. Why would we need a record player in Science class?

Mrs. M waited for us to all pile in and take our seats. She then went on to explain that we would be listening to music today in class. We would hear all types of music. Some would be happy fast songs while some would be slower and a bit more moody. 

Then Mrs. M passed out blank pages and some drawing or coloring instruments (honestly, I can't remember which). 

Our lesson was simple. As each song played, we were to allow ourselves to draw with the music. Whatever we created, we created. We could have our eyes opened or closed. The music was meant to inspire the hand and our minds would were to let go. 

I had never heard of anything so fascinating. My love for music was already very deep, as I grew up in a home where music was a key part of communication. To introduce a visual component to the music, more importantly, a component that was a mirror of my mind - well, that was new territory. This was an all new experience.

I suppose to some, this may sound a bit silly but I believe it was that moment that my love for art truly took form. I started to see a deeper meaning in what people created. I began to question the artist's intention and mood. What music did he or she listen to as they drew, painted, sculpted, photographed, created? Everything around me had to have a soundtrack. 

27 years later and I am still inspired by Mrs. M and that unexpected lesson from a sixth grade Science class. 

0

DIY - Whipped Vanilla Body Scrub

We are back with another recipe for a body scrub. This one is a little different, as it is much creamier than my other scrubs. It moisturizes while you are in the shower and it leaves a delicious scent. My new favorite - this scrub is the miracle cure for those postpartum stretch marks and other pesky skin annoyances. 

DIY scrubs are not only great for pampering yourself after a long day but also to give as an inexpensive but thoughtful gift. All you need are a few simple ingredients and 10 minutes!

What you need:
 White Granulated Sugar ~3/4 cup
 Coconut Oil ~ 1/4 cup
 Shea Butter ~ 1/4 cup
 Vitamin E  ~ 3 gel tabs (pierce and sqeeze the liquid into your mix)
 Jojoba Oil ~ 10 drops
your favorite vanilla essential oils or extract ~ 5-8 drops oil or 1 tsp of extract (this is personal preference... and remember that the more oil you use, the stronger the scent)

Mix!! I recommend a hand mixer to get a nice "whipped" effect. 
Store in a waterproof container. This time, I opted for an upcycled candle jar that I cleaned and sterilized.
For scent, I used my favorite Vanilla Orange oil. 

This recipe calls for Coconut and Jojoba Oils, which have so many great health benefits. To learn more about these oils, please check out the links below:
As always, be cautious using essential oils while pregnant. Always check with a healthcare professional if you are uncertain if there are a risks associated with a specific essential oil prior to use.

Please let me know if you try this recipe and what you think! What type of essential oil did you use?

2

Mom-Life Moves Fast

You know how everyone tells you that your children will grow up too quickly and you should hold tight because you might miss something? It's true.

My little one is only 10 months old but that doesn't mean that the last ten months didn't fly by too quickly. Seriously, she was still struggling to hold her head up on her own just two days ago!? Or so it seems... 

Even with the warnings, I haven't been at all prepared to hear my daughter call out to "mama" or give me kisses or learn peek-a-boo or stand on her own or eat solids or any of this! It is happening and it's scary. I can't keep up! Where is that pause button? I need to hold my baby and make time stop.

I say this as here we are now planning for her first birthday and discussing her education. Yet, I am still pinching myself and reminding myself that I have a baby! I have a daughter. Yes, she's mine! Unreal. Wonderfully, unreal.

I know that I can't stop time and I know that the days, weeks, months and years are going to continue to barrel down at me. Really, all I can do is document, take a zillion pictures and videos and do my best to make each moment count. If I can't pause time, the least I can do is capture as much of it as possible and create special memories for the both of us. I'd like to think that one day, she and I will look back on these recorded moments and giggle together.

Mom-life is amazing but boy does it move fast!

What are some of the things you are doing or have done to hold tight to memories of your little one(s)? I'd love some ideas!




4

Research

There is something beautiful about getting older. Not everyone gets to do it. My mother's motto regarding age was, "As long as the years keep coming." She was only 49 when she passed away suddenly, not to sound depressing or morbid or anything of that nature. Actually, my mother handled aging gracefully. She embraced each birthday and celebrated like she was a kid. Birthdays are special. 

On Friday I turned 39. The last of my 30's! It's odd because writing the number makes the age look so much older than it feels. Saying 39 doesn't phase me but typing it out here - wow, it just looks weird. Honestly, I don't feel older but I do feel more grounded with each year. I suppose that is getting older.

When I look back on 29 going on 30, I was very confused in life everything. Still reeling from the loss of my mother (I was 28 when she passed), I struggled with happiness. I had some guilt, a lot of pain and no real plan for my future. My relationships were suffering, my confidence was empty and I was a stranger to myself. It was more than the loss of my mother. I simply had no direction or clue.

Now that I am getting ready to exit my 30's, life makes a whole lot more sense. I like myself quite a lot. I have a family that I am so in love with. I don't carry the burden of guilt and while the pain of my mother's death is always something that will be there - I have more control of that. The future is something I get excited for because now I am a mother. I get to be a part of something so much bigger than I ever imagined! 

My 30's have been an exceptional learning period. All the ups, all the downs, and all of the exciting in-betweens have prepared me for the next phase of my life. 

Carl G. Jung said, "Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research." Makes a whole lot of sense, if you were to ask me. 

2

Discover Me Challenge: 1 - Teachers Who Inspire



Welcome to the very first Discover Me Challenge!

In the spirit of Back to School, I thought it would be fitting to kick off the DMC with something school related - Teachers Who Inspire!

No matter what our experiences may have been in school, I am willing to bet that every single person has had at least one teacher who has inspired them. These special teachers may have pushed us to work harder, believe ourselves more, gave us the nod that allowed us to just be us, or gave us someone to look up to when there was no one else. Whatever the reason, I am sure we all have an teacher who inspired us. 

In this first challenge, lets call out those inspiring teachers. Who are they, what did they mean to you and how have they inspired you as an adult?

next prompt will be posted Sept. 15

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I welcome anyone who would like to join in on the fun. 



0

Influenster VoxBox - Endless Summer


I am super excited because today I received another Vox Box from Influenster! I've received some fun boxes in the past but this is definitely one of my favorite ones! 

Gosh... where to begin?!

This box is full of great goodies from Max Factor to Numi tea and everything in between! Each item will help you keep those summer vibes going even as we creep into September. So, cue up the Jimmy Buffet, put on your straw hats and sip a mojito with me while we dig through this treasure chest of fabulous endless summer loot!




~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

What's in the box?? (bonus pts if you get the movie reference)


Max Factor Masterpiece High Precision Liquid Eyeliner
Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara

Numi Organic Teas
    Turmeric
    Jasmine Gree
   ❤ Pu-erh
Not your Mother's Way to Grow Leave-in Conditioner
Seche Vite Mini (top coat polish)
Seche Premier Colour - Intrepid
Iron-Tek Essential Protein (powder)



Personally, I can't wait to dig in and start using these products. I can't say which I am most excited for. Maybe it's the leave in conditioner or the teas... or the eye liner! Of course, I will be providing you guys with my feedback on how they rate. Just be sure you are following along on my other social media channels so you don't miss out on any of those updates.

Oh, and if you aren't already a part of the Influenster Nation, then what are you waiting for?! It's completely free to join! Sign up, post some reviews of your favorite things, link up your social networks and before you know it, you may be eligible for a box of goodies in exchange for an honest review! It really is that easy. If you want to sign up, my referral link is: www.influenster.com/r/1415192 and yes, I do receive referral points. ;)

If you are already a member of Influenster, what has been your favorite Voxbox, so far? I'd love to hear from you! Till then, enjoy the rest of your summer!! 



*items were received at no cost for testing purposes
0

Discover Me Challenge



Once upon a time, not too long ago, my bestie (Skaty) and I used to have writing challenges that truly honed in on our deeper selves. They made us think, reflect, and share. We called these challenges "Discover Me Challenges". I loved these challenges because not only did I have to dig deep and learn more about myself but I learned so much about my bff. 

As if you didn't already know where this is going... I am happy to say that we are going to resurrect the DMCs (Discover Me Challenges). YAY! I've been wanting to do this for so long!!

Every two weeks, starting this Thursday, I will be posting a prompt/topic for the challenge. In the past, these topics ranged from: Childhood Memories, Letters to Your 13 Year Old Self, Charitable Organizations / Causes You Believe In, etc. There are no hard rules - just to write your post before the next prompt is up. Easy enough!

I welcome anyone who would like to join in on the fun!! Linkup and discover more about yourself!!
0
Back to Top