I cannot be the only one whose kiddos have a few too many run of the mill toys. Although I am sure Santa will be bringing a few more, I hope he also brings some of these high quality, unique, small shops goods. With every item being hand crafted or designed, you know an extreme amount of care and detail has gone into creating each little bow, book, or item of clothing. By shopping small, you are directly supporting a family or a dream for a mama to be at home with her babies, al while knowing exactly where your goodies came from!
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Live Vicariously Through Your Kids Craft
It's the day after Thanksgiving and you know what that means! Christmas! Christmas music, Christmas shopping, Christmas decor...everywhere. I always like to keep a little style in my decor, so alas, enter Buffalo Plaid. I walked into the amazing trap that Hobby Lobby is and saw of course, everything was marked down. "Why not make a new wreath this year?" And then, there it was, the light bulb moment where the scarf caught my eye. I could envision it draped on the wreath with a little fluff added in and here you go. My first contribution to Christmas this year and it's going to be hard to beat.
I love to bake, but these days with all my littles, this is the way things usually work around here. Oh, look at that pretty bag of bright green apples, what can I make with those? I rummage through the pantry to see what else I can use to conjour up to make something delish. Just so happened to be one of those very rare fall nights in Florida that there was chill in the air and I had to reach into the back of my closet for a jacket- Yes, I do own one of those things! Because me and the cold weather are not BFFs, I wanted to whip up something warm.
After I made this dessert off the cuff and totally without looking at Pinterest I might add( gasp, I know!), I ended up on there anyways. What to call this thing? Apples on the bottom+cake mix+caramel is what I searched. The ever so amazing search returned many pins with Apple Upside Down Cake. Here I was thinking I was being all original, agh. So out of my going-against-the-grain mentality, I left the cake after it cooled and didn't flip it. So take that Pinterest! Ok, I didn't mean it, I couldn't live life without it. So here you go, the perfect fall holiday dessert: Unflipped Apple Upside Down Cake.
In honor of World Prematurity Day a few days ago (which I missed because let's face it, life as momma is just crazy sometimes), I thought I'd take a moment to share how prematurity has been a part of our lives in more ways than one. Yes, we have twins so that could be counted as two ways *wink*, but also because I was a NICU nurse at the time.
To do due diligence to the wonderful miracles that are our twins, I feel like I have to give a little backstory. To read all the details, feel free to read my post, A Twin Mommy, but here is a summary. My oldest who is five now, was a twin. The word "was" still hurts to state like that, but fetal loss happened to us.
Five months along, one of our sweet girls gained her angel wings. I felt her kick and wiggle, and I loved her so boldly. After struggling with infertility, hearing that we were pregnant with twins made the fight and treatments extra worth it. The hardest part was having no control and that her little body was perfectly formed. An amniotic band broke away and caught her ankle and ultimately her cord, the very thing that gave her life flow. I couldn't do a thing about it, couldn't hold her, couldn't fix it. Yep, there comes the tears.
A month ago, I was shopping at Whole Foods with the kids and Zoe, my 13 year old daughter said, "Hey, mom look at this water, it's the new trend!"
First of all, I want to point out that being a mom of 5 kids, comes with all the "benefits" of being enlightened with every single new trend on the planet. So, with that being said, I went ahead and put on my "OMG-I'm-So-Excited-About-Another-Trend-That-I-Have-To-Pay-For" face and joined her in the specialty water section of Whole Foods.
She handed me the water, but to my surprise I was really allured to the fact that it was a box of water and it was literally called Boxed Water! It was cleverly cute. Being a graphic designer and my company specializing in marketing and branding, I immediately fell in love with the product because I recognized the marketing approach that they achieved.
Do you have a dream? One that you have kept locked in your heart? A dream that is so personal that you are afraid that if you shared it, friends and family would say, "it’s impossible." A dream that drives you to your knees saying, "when is it going to happen God?" A dream that seems so impossible, so, if only.
Young women, listen to a voice about a dream that is older than many of you. My dream was ignited in college. I wanted so badly to be a member of the State Department. Early in my 20’s, I applied, but was rejected. I proceeded on with life, but my dream remained prominent in my heart.
Then in 2003, I again decided to pursue my dream and this time, I was accepted into the Foreign Service. I was ecstatic, but the "peace that surpasses all understanding" was not present. Even while I was packing our bags, there was a gnawing unsettled feeling that it was not time.
Weight, alright, health in general, can be a hard subject for ladies. If you are anything like me, you think about food and gain weight while your husband can work out for a week and lose 10 pounds. So not fair! I live an extremely active live and work out at least 5 times a week. I feel so much better mentally and physically when I can take that time out of my day to work out or go for a long walk (chat time with my husband or friend). But I can’t seem to loose that extra fluff.
My husband was told about this “10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse” by J.J. Smith that he wanted to give a try so I told him that I would join him for moral support because let’s face it, I was sure that it would not do anything for me so I could at least join along to make it easier for him. So here we go. He ordered the book from Amazon and we went to the grocery store to gather the ingredients. I am
not going to lie, I was pretty “hangry” by day 2 because we were still cooking meals for our kids and the smell of their food was way more enticing than the look of my green smoothie, which by the way were all delicious. You can't go wrong with ingredients like mango, spinach and flax seed!
I weighed myself on day 3 and saw that I had lost 2 pounds. Surely the scale was wrong. This was really working, for me?!?! We made it all the way to day 10! I lost 7 pounds and my husband lost 13 pounds. I was sure this would not happen to me, results like this come from some weight loss show or something. The best part is I feel so much better and have more energy.
I believe that we need to have a healthy mind, body, and soul. This cleanse has inspired us to shift our thinking and the way we cook for our family. I am still going strong and having a green smoothie for breakfast and lunch with a healthy dinner. If you're ready to give the cleanse a try, visit the link below:
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