Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts

A little hello (again)...

This year has been full of chaos, as we all know... and I'll be completely real with you all, I haven't handled it well. 

I've had breakdowns, I've cried til I couldn't shed another tear, I've worried myself sick, and I've focused my energy differently than I ever have before and manifested all kinds of crazy events.. and I'm sure I'm not alone in any of this. 2020 has been a "helluva" year. I'd like to think December will be perfect, but as we all know - that's unlikely this year.

One thing I didn't do in 2020, that I was really aiming to do before the pandemic came ashore, was stay consistent and involved with my blog. I partially stopped updating as much because I felt paralyzed trying to write, I had the ultimate case of writer's block and well, I think it shows. It was hard to come up with anything to say with so much facing us. I shared my opinions and stance on major events on social media, but I honestly didn't feel I had a voice in anything happening in 2020. From the virus to race riots, that's not my expertise. I listened, I learned, and I occasionally reposted on social...but felt I had no right to share too much information here.

Beyond not knowing what to write, I also devoted ALL of my creative energy into my bow business - kind of by accident. Each week I've started having a ready-to-ship release and that's been a total time suck. Amazing, so much fun, and helpful financially, but writing is my passion - hence, why I started a blog and why I'm here writing for you now.

As I sat terrified over the last few months, not knowing what to write, it was easy for me to take a pair of scissors to my materials and create whatever felt right. It was therapeutic in some ways to step away from sharing so much here and just create "art", but then again, boxing everything in and not sharing was hard and obviously didn't do me much good. So, here I am, sharing the most honest post I've shared in 2020.

It's been a hard year. I've had my heart shattered, I've been let down, I've felt a complete lack of control - but I'm still here and I'm actually feeling more ready to share with you guys than ever. This year hasn't shut me up, it just taught me to choose the life I want, to create the life I want, and that's why I'm back - I want to encourage you to create your dream life while I create mine alongside you.

So, to summarize, I'm back and feeling better than ever about sharing here on the blog. Now is the time to create the life you want and I can't wait to help you do just that, by creating the life I want and sharing it here!

Let me just go ahead and say "hello" (again)!






Staying Hydrated While Finding Balance with Nestlé Pure Life+

This post is sponsored by Nestlé® Pure Life®+ but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.





Finding balance in life can be a struggle at times, especially during this crazy time in our lives.




Whether we are trying to work from home just the right amount or adjusting back to life in the office again, while trying to devote the correct amount of time to our family, and searching for a moment of relaxation, while also occasionally reminding ourselves not to overindulge, and sometimes even just searching for motivation, etc... most of us are striving to live balanced lives in one way or another, whilealso searching for ways to help us live that ideal life.


While I don't have it all figured out and I'm also still seeking balance in many aspects of my life, I have come to realize a few things that are truly important in my life and that help me live my most balanced life and I figured I'd share them with you today:



We'll start with something simple, but so important. I personally know that I never get enough water. I mean, I only drink water (for the most part) but not always the "necessary" amount that I need so it's something I'm really working on. Making sure my body is hydrated is important to me for so many reasons, I mean, we are mainly made up of water so making sure our body has enough of it is VITAL. Some days are easier than others to get enoughin and most definitely some water is better than others, and that's why I started sipping on these amazing Nestlé® Pure Life®+ water beverages-I think they are the best drinks


These refreshing little bottles have unique minerals to help you get throughthe day and they taste pretty amazing too. With specific minerals and tasty flavor, I couldn't ask for more!

The best part is there's a Nestlé Pure Life+ made to meet your every need:



  • You can get a little pick me up with the +revive with Magnesium. It is lemon flavered and helps with the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.


  • The Nestlé Pure Life+ active has potassium, with a delicious orange flavor, that helps with normal muscle function. This is my favorite go to drink whenever I'm doing a little backyard "hot yoga". I mean, you can't beat a little cold water during a good stretch!

  • Feeling a little under the weather? Try Nestlé Pure Life+ protect, which comes with zinc-something we all could use to help maintain normal immune systemfunctioning and the blackberry flavor is pretty delicious too!

Not only are these beverages refreshing and delicious, I love that I'm able to stock up on all the delicious Nestlé Pure Life+ my heart desires while browsing Walmart.com. So go ahead and clickadd to carton a pack of Nestlé Pure Life+ while you are checking out with your summer essentials!



If you're wanting to try just one flavor first, I personally found an adoration for the Lemon flavor... but honestly, they all are amazing and have unique minerals for normal body functioning and each flavor is extra refreshing in it's own way, so you can't go wrong! Go ahead, add to your cart, and try Nestlé Pure Life+ today!



Beyond constantly trying to stay hydrated, I'm also constantly reminding myself that I need to try to stay present to truly find balance in my life. Playing with my daughter, on her level, and actually engaging is so important right now, to both of us. If you're a parent, I'm sure you understand how important it is to give our kiddos our undivided attention right now, more than ever. The time spent truly "playing" with our kids isn't just for fun, it helps them learn, cope, and feel at peace... and frankly, it helps me do the same.


Today we did a quick little project and I figured I'd share our results. These fun "paintings" were so easy to make and we had a blast making them! I'll be sharing the directions on how we made them tomorrow.


Another way I'm trying to achieve balance in my lifeis by intentionally practicing self-care. I've not always been the nicest to myself, I've been known to bash my looks, point out my flaws, and frankly, I've neglected what my body needs at times. But I feel like I've matured, I'm done with bashing this body, I'm taking the necessary actions to make sure I feel loved and pampered. I'm making sure I take the time to read, do yoga, design, and create, and it feels so good. I'm also finding joy in doing my makeup and just overall feeling more "me" again. It may sound simple, but this step is truly helping me find an inner balance I haven't felt in a long time.



So tell me how do you try and find balance in your life? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

The BEST Way to Make Homemade Bubbles




This year we've spent a ton of time at home, like many people. That means we've been trying to find ways to keep our little wild child occupied... and that involves lots of time spent outdoors, chasing bubbles through our backyard and sometimes even having competitions to see who can make the biggest bubbles.


We used to be the type to buy bubbles from the store...then we experimented and started making our own. Want to make your own...? Here's how:


Learn How to Eat After 7 & Still Lose Weight with 'Always Eat After 7PM'!

Tracking PixelThis post is brought to you by, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. Regardless, the opinions expressed below are my own.


Over my lifetime I've always kind of struggled with my weight, I've fluctuated up and felt uncomfortable in my own skin, I've lost a ton of weight, then gained it all back again during pregnancy, I've slowly worked my way back down to a comfortable number now, but I'm still struggling to lose this last little bit. Honestly, I was growing a bit weary trying all of these different ways to lose with hardly any results.

http://bit.ly/2TefhPs






But, luckily I was offered an advanced copy of, Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion , and I'm so excited to see how this book changes things for me and my weight loss journey, so far, it's been a delightful read thus far - so I thought I'd share here and I plan to continue to share how always eating after 7 is working for me and why I think it may work for you too.

You may be thinking, it sounds like always being able to eat After 7 is too good to be true...doesn't it? What makes this "diet" different from all of the others?

Well, this quote from the beginning of the book sums it up clear as day - "If it looks like I’m handing you another restrictive diet, let me be clear: Always Eat After 7 pm is totally unlike other programs. It defies the most common dietary rules (like “no snacking” and “no carbs”) and it is specifically designed to work with your body’s natural hormonal systems, instead of working against them."

http://bit.ly/2TefhPs



That means you can eat what your body wants, you can snack, you can even have the 'forbidden' carbs most popular diets don't allow, but the best part is, gaining the ability to eat after 7 will renew you each and every day. I love that I'm able to keep up with my sweet girl better and it's because I've found a new way to live...

Honestly, who doesn't want to feel refreshed, like their foodie desires are satisfied, and that they can eat later at night without gaining weight? It pretty much sounds like perfection to me.

http://bit.ly/2TefhPs



 I can't wait to share my results while I continue learning more from this book and trying the supplements Joel recommends, I look forward to hearing your input too!

Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase. Get your copy here.



Staying Safe & Rejuvenating Your Soul This Summer with Alba Botanica

 This post is sponsored by Alba Botanica but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

https://ooh.li/02227e2


Life has been extra interesting lately, adjusting to the new normal in Florida has been a whirlwind. I'm sure it feels somewhat similarly everywhere, in some ways. We all are learning and adapting. Here in Clearwater, Florida, now that beaches and many businesses are opening up again, it really feels as though life is "starting again", which is so refreshing and almost inspiring.

https://ooh.li/02227e2



Don't get me wrong, we've still been practicing social distancing and embracing the convenience of Walmart grocery delivery. It's a werid, in-between stage for us Floridians right now - it's all so new, yet all very much still the same... and that's so nice and oddly comforting.

https://ooh.li/02227e2


As we were in the midst of the chaos, other than our dear family, one of the things I looked forward to seeing again the most was the ocean. So we knew we had to take a little drive to the beach once it opened and we finally had the chance to sneak away earlier this week.




https://ooh.li/02227e2

It was beyond rejuvenating to feel the salty air and let the cool ocean water hit our feet. I embraced every second playing tag and giggling with my sweet baby girl as we soaked up the sun... it truly was just what my soul needed and it was done safely, with plenty of space for everyone to share a little slice of tropical paradise. This is what life is all about, in my opinion. Life is meant for moments with your people, in a place of peace and contentment.

https://ooh.li/02227e2










Which got me thinking, we should probably be spending more time outdoors, cherishing the time with each other, and less time tuned in - not just in this strange time of ending quarantine, but for the rest of our lives.

https://ooh.li/02227e2


I mean, since Delainey came into our lives, we've always kind of had this type of mindset anyways, but this time spent in reflection over the last few months was a good reminder that we truly need to cherish our time together and embrace life and the great outdoors.

https://ooh.li/02227e2

With that said, spending time outdoors means we are exposed to some harmful stuff... and I'm not talking about germs or viruses, either. As we all know, the sun is so powerful and in some ways can be beautifully healing, but it also is super strong down here in Florida. Our UV index is usually through the roof, and in turn, I'm constantly applying sunscreen to my little family to try and keep our bodies and our skin as healthy as possible.


https://ooh.li/02227e2


This likely isn't a surprise, but I don't just buy and apply any sunscreen... because frankly, they aren't all made the same. I'm truly pretty dang picky since sunscreen is a product we use ALL THE TIME. We've always preferred all-natural sunscreen, but once we tried Alba Botanica there truly is nothing that compared.


https://ooh.li/02227e2

I mean, it's hard to compete with a sunscreen that is all-natural, organic, vegetarian, reef-safe, and affordable... and did I mention, I just stocked up on all our favorite Alba Botanica Sunscreens via Walmart.com?

https://ooh.li/02227e2


It was so easy to order -  I decided we needed to go to the beach, then realized we were running low on sunscreen, so I clicked on over to Walmart, did a few click-a-roos, added the Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Clear Spray Sunscreen to my cart, as well as 4 other amazing Alba Botanica sunscreens, submitted my order, and drifted off to sleep. Shockingly, my order arrived the very next morning. I'm talking less than 12 hours after I placed my order, either Walmart.com has upped their delivery capabilities or the Sun Gods were looking out, because fate was on my side and we had the most epic stash of sunscreen to prove it.

https://ooh.li/02227e2


Why do I love Alba Botanica so much? Let's look past the obvious, I adore the fact that it's all natural and environmentally friendly... and we'll start with the amazing smell. From the fruity amazing-ness of the Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunscreen for Kids to the delicious scent of coconut from the Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Clear Spray Sunscreen, I'm just gaga over their sunscreen.



https://ooh.li/02227e2

Not only does it smell amazing, I also love the fact that it goes on smooth - which is HUGE when trying to apply sunscreen to a wiggly, excited kiddo. The lotions are creamy and rub in quickly and the spray sunscreens like the Alba Botanica Sensitive Fragrance Free Clear Spray Sunscreen go on easily and evenly, just what we need for sun-soaked beach days.


https://ooh.li/02227e2

We don't just use Alba Botanica at the beach, though... it's something I always have in our "adventuring" satchel and we usually apply a quick layer before heading out to explore anywhere. Whether we are hiking in the nature parks or trekking into "the great unknown" that is our backyard, I love knowing that I'm keeping our skin healthy and protected with Alba Botanica. Want to try it for yourself? Add Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Clear Spray Sunscreen SPF 50 or maybe the Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunscreen Kids SPF 45 to your next Walmart order!


https://ooh.li/02227e2

Beyond sunscreen, this summer I'll be trying to keep our family safe and healthy, while still exploring and learning together. How do you plan to spend your summer?

Keeping Kids Busy with Some of The Best Boredom Busters

This post is full of Boredom Busters and is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.





We all know what's been going on, it's no surprise to hear we are staying home and maybe getting a little more one-on-one time than usual. It's been weird, sometimes tough- especially those of us who thrive on social time with our friends, like Miss Delainey. But we are adjusting, we're all learning what it's like to thrive in this "new normal" and while we are cooped up I've been doing my best to find ways to keep this little smarty-pants entertained!


She's beyond her years in knowledge so it's not always easy to keep her occupied. She's been so much fun to learn with though, it's just constantly keeping her entertained can be challenging... until we got this box. It was literally FULL of activities and we haven't stopped playing and learning together since it came in! I finally wanted to sit down and share what we've been up to with all of this fun stuff!


We've always been big fans of Disney and our Alexa... so it comes as no surprise that we instantly plugged our new Alexa in, set up a little group, and blasted Disney Hits over our "group" of Alexas! Whether we're jamming out while finishing up a craft or simply having a dance party - using our Alexa to play our favorite and quiet possibly 'the happiest playest on Earth' using the Disney Hits playlist is something we all love doing.





Something I learned recently, is that we have access to even more Disney Hits Playlists - like Disney Lullaby, Disney Piano, and Disney Junior! We have been checking them all out and I'm a huge fan of each one for different reasons! Go ahead - tell your Alexa to download and play Disney Hits, check out all the Disney Music and download it on Shopify, find the station on your Pandora, or add all the Disney Hits to your library on Apple Music! Just start jamming and be happy listening to all your favorite tunes!


If you have kids, you know they all are handling this 'virus' stuff differently. I suppose our little ones are learning to cope in ways we never had to, which is both amazing and tough to fathom at the same time. Regardless of how bewildering all of this must be for them, we all know kids can be emotional too. D is 100% a walking ball of drama, sass, and emotions so having Action for Healthy Kids remind us to begin exploring our Feelings through Color was a real blessing.


Delainey always likes to get artsy, just like most healthy, happy kids,  so she was totally game for getting our hands messy and painting. We created art that made us feel good, with no real "goal" in mind - Delainey made a cute rainbow to send to family  she said "it's going to make them feel happy", then I decided to let her help me paint my work desk... and that may very well be one of the sweetest little pieces of art she's made with so much spirit and love behind it. I'm obsessed with having a huge "mural" of her work right where I can see it, everyday I'm working, all day!

I'm over here just bragging about her art, but I love that Action for Healthy Kids is encouraging us to express Feelings in Color and they also have SO many other activities to keep us all entertained - I'm excited to pick another activity to test out with D!



Speaking of activities I'm loving trying out with D, exploring the "night sky" is something we've done more since this whole thing started than we ever had before and we both are cherishing that time together. She's always loved 'space', so it's been fun embracing that and looking at all the stars and chatting about the moon, but when we got the book, A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky: The Story of the Stars, Planets, and Constellations--and How You Can Find Them in the Sky, we both loved watching the sky even more!


With a star finder wheel, glow in the dark stickers, and a STEM aligned concept that teaches us both about constellations and inspires several activities, we're 100% excited about this Astronomy book for kids and look forward to learning more from it.



Speaking of learning, another item in the Babbleboxx that Delainey and I are just obsessed with is the Magic Sketch. I don't know if you've seen these things but its literally the coolest little electronic art kit. She has been learning her ABC's, practicing writing her name, making lists, coloring, playing tic tac toe religiously, and even attempting puzzles with this new little gadget.


Did I mention the screen is made to withstand the likes of a kiddo who writes and plays tough? Well, it is... and this boogie board also has a GORGEOUS mix of colors that Delainey can't get enough of. She likes just drawing to reveal a color and discussing her findings and that's pretty much the coolest.


The best part about her new little Magic Sketch is that it's completely paperless, she just pushes a button to erase her scribbles and on to the next masterpiece! It's endless fun and amazingly, it's pretty educational too! Want to try out a Magic Sketch? Use the code WMBBX2BQDSZZH and save 10% off any purchase at www.myboogieboard.com, good through October 2nd, 2020.


Beyond the magic board, more magic actually came in our Boredom Busters Babbleboxx - The Feel Better Box from Open the Joy literally was just what we needed during this time. With 100+ ways to keep us occupied all in one tiny box, we both are overjoyed to have something new to do each and every day and it's been just the fix we needed to cure our cabin fever. From painting to conversation starting cards, I'm so excited to explore all of this with her.


She instantly fell in love with her unicorn, which made my heart melt a little. Letting her know she could share her secrets and thoughts with him was just what she needed. She held him like a baby for a bit and then insisted he rock out to Disney Hits with us while we colored on her Boogie Board... and then worked in the little workbook included in the box.



Today's activity, and the first one in the book, included drawing feelings. D is quite the artist and we had a lot of fun discussing what each addition to her creation meant. From happy to sad, she drew a range of emotions and I'm not sure if she realizes it, but she drew exactly how most of us are feeling as of late.


I love taking the time to bond during all of this closeness, there truly is nothing better than connecting over something meaningful and this little "get well kit" is one that has made our family feel a bit better during all this... crazy.


I was so thrilled to learn this little box of goodies is actually designed by child therapists to promote conversation and healing through play, something we all need right now - but especially our youth! I also was blown away to learn that Open the Joy partners with the Spread the Joy Foundation, to distribute joy boxes to hospitalized children across America. Want to get your hands on a box? Now through June 1st you can save with the code "boredombuster".

Beyond feelings, we've been trying to challenge Delainey's mind in other ways. We all love a good puzzle, am I right? The Smart Farmer and Jump In are two SmartGames that we both can't get enough of. The other afternoon, I was able to complete a quick project for work while she played a round of Jump In next to me. It was fun to hear her debate where the pieces should go and she loved telling me about each piece, this STEM game may be among one of her new favorites.


We also had a blast playing with another STEM game, The Smart Farmer. It's a similar type of game and she loved it as well. We played these by practicing counting to each spot and recreating the patterns from the little books they include, but then we kind of got into imaginative play too and that's been perfect for us!


It's so fun getting to see her learn planning, problem-solving, spatial insight, and more. These are seriously HUGE milestones... and she doesn't even realize she's doing anything more than playing because they are such fun animal themes and inventive family games!


Want to try any of the SmartGames? Use the code 10SMART2020 on Amazon.com to save!




The last items I'm going to share today are possibly the most played with so far - the KidiGo™ Walkie Talkies + LeapFrog® LeapStart® 3D Learning System from VTech®!



Both items have been so much fun for all of us! Delainey cherishes time spent chatting on her KidiGo walkie-talkie and it's been fun watching her learn to use this fancy one with messaging, games, and more!


I can see us playing with these for years and years to come, plus I can send one with her when she decides to play in her room and we can chat while I'm wrapping up chores... it's been fun having a new way of communicating with each other and I think we both agree! You can get these Walkies at either Target or Walmart - check both for the best deal!



The LeapFrog LeapStart 3D Learning System is also something we will get YEARS of use out of... with so many activities and ways for her to learn just by pressing a button, I'm seriously having trouble not GUSHING about this gadget!




With the combination of real books and the touch and talk activities, this system seemed to make learning fun for her and the first two books (sold seperately) we received had some of her favorite Characters in them so doing, "Math in Action", was super fun for her and the Toys Save the Day book with Toy Story characters had her jumping for joy!


I'm already browsing the LeapFrog site for another set of books, I know she's going to be so excited to learn more from them... and, well, that's just amazing and I'm eager to watch her learn and grow!


Get your hands on a LeapFrog LeapStart 3D Learning System at Target, Walmart, or Amazon!




Beyond all that she's gained from her new 3D Learning System, I was stoked to hear VTech & LeapFrog are helping parents and teachers and children as much as they can with a website dedicated to offering resources for learning at home, get more information at LearnThroughThis.com


It's definitely a weird time in our lives right now but we are beating the time spent indoors with all of these amazing items included in our Boredom Buster Babbleboxx, how are you passing the time in your home lately? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below!