YES!!

Sometimes you just need to take a breath…..as I sit back and reflect on 2016 a lot of things come to mind.  Many have left us and many more have joined this wonderful thing called life. Some of our worlds have been turned upside down and for others they are still not right side up. I know we all have a million and one things to juggle from day to day.  How do we get through it all?  Well friends this isn’t one of my normal blogs that might make you laugh, or provide tips and ticks.  

I feel it important to sometimes sit back and be reflective.  Everyday I rush from this to that and even when there is a moment of quite I am often searching my mind to find what can I do instead of just sitting here?  Well today I have decided to just sit here for a change.  I’m not going to check my watch, dig for open spots on my calendars and think of things to fill them with.

We’ve often heard of coming from a place of YES!!!!  Well, I am all over it!  I’m going to come from a place of YES every time I decide to say YES or NO.  I don’t have to pick just one side and never cross the imaginary line.  Why do we continue to fight this battle everyday with ourselves?

There are several influences that are at play, the way we were raised, our perceived perceptions, internal and external pressures and of course life experiences.  What if we all decided to just give ourselves a break.  Think about it, if we sat down and gave ourselves a little credit for all that we  accomplish we may not feel so much pressure.  Instead we often focus on the things that we didn’t get done or that we didn’t get done the way we wanted.  I’m giving myself a break folks.  As I head into 2017, I have realized we are pretty cool, trust me we all have our moments that we wish he could erase but for the most part we are killing it day to day people and we need to give ourselves credit!

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Holiday Spirit?!?!?!

I stepped out into the cool crisp fall air.  As I looked around, the ground was covered in tons of leaves varying in color.  As I drove along my normal daily route, I noticed every stores parking lot seemed to be full.  What is everyone up to I wonder?  Then I’m reminded the holidays are among us.  I guess it’s time to join in the holiday spirit. pexels-photo

One can only hope that while everyone is looking for a place to park or searching the shelves for just the right gifts, that their hearts are also filled with holiday cheer.  Part of me dares to enter the stores as I can just feel the crazy that sometimes becomes holiday shopping. But I just can’t shake the feeling that something is different this year.  Is it that it was just 75 degrees yesterday?  Could it be that I’m just tired from working over 45 hours a week?  Maybe it’s the fact that I ordered almost all of my gifts online this year.

Perhaps it’s that fact that pretty much everything my family wants, we are blessed to get through out the year.  What is blocking my holiday cheer?  A good dose of holiday music might get me going or maybe I just need to put up more decorations.  If I walk through the department store doors,  perhaps the spirit will just come over me.

Then it hits me,  my holiday spirit tank is already full!  Let’s be real, the holidays are about a lot of things for a lot of people.  For me it’s about the spirit of Peace, Love and Joy!!!  Each day we have to challenge ourselves to live this spirit in our day to day actions.  That’s the hard part living through our actions not just our thoughts and words.  red-love-heart-valentines

Now that I have gotten my life together as the kids would say….lol. About my day I will go living in action.  Let’s all challenge ourselves to find one way to live out our actions this holiday season.

Living in Action

  1. As you stop to grab your morning coffee or breakfast,  pick up the tab for the person behind you.  Or ask the cashier if your change can be applied to their tab.
  2. Let the person who is in a rush have the parking space.
  3. Mind your manners,  say please and thank you, perhaps even hold a door for the person behind you.
  4. Remember that everyone isn’t in the same mood as you and it isn’t  directed at you.
  5. If you want to help someone in need,  ask what they are truly in need of instead of providing what you think they need.

Last but not least don’t stop when the calendar flips over to 2017.  Trust me we all are going to need a lot more of the holiday spirit as we all tackle 2017.  Remember,  people won’t remember what you say or what you do but they will remember how you made them feel.

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Holiday Fun

Looking for something fun to do this holiday season.?.?  I’m sure you may have been on a lighted walking or car tour or even visited your local botanical gardens.  That might do for some of you or maybe you need a little more excitement.  If that’s case, please let me recommend Busch Gardens Christmas Town.  It is a wonderful holiday experience for the whole family.  Now to enjoy in the fun you will need to live on the east coast or be planning a trip to Florida or Virginia.

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Let me tell you about all you can experience at Busch Gardens Christmas Town in Virginia.  Upon arriving at the park you can’t help but be swept away by the beautiful lights in the park.  I have to admit, seeing the lights made me scream with excitement just like I was a child again.  Just as each country has it’s own themes during the summer months, you get to see and taste how the holidays are celebrated in each country.  There are wonderful lights and beautiful music in each country.

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I suggest starting your visit with a wonderful cup of hot chocolate.  You maybe saying, holiday lights, ok, music, ok, hot chocolate ok but what’s an amusement park without rides?  Have no fear!!!!  They have that too.  Several of the rides are open and ready for you to scream your heart out.  Not only are the rides open but there is something about riding roller coasters in the dark, under the moon light and holiday lights.

Some of you may not be excited about the idea of going out in the cold.  There is always the options to join one of the amazing shows or plan ahead to have dinner with Santa or Rudolph.  We decided to have dinner with Santa.  We arrived to reserved sitting and a full buffet with all the fixins.  As we sat down to eat we were greeted by Santa’s elves of course who invited us up to take pics with Ole’ Saint Nick.  After the photo opp, Mrs. Claus left to make us cookies while Santa read us a story.  Just as the story ended, Mrs Claus returned with cookies and desserts for everyone.  I was so excited I had to have another class of hot chocolate with my cookies.  Heres a tip give yourself enough time between the cookies and the roller coasters to ensure you don’t toss your cookies…LOL

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So get out there, have fun and take the whole family.  There is plenty to see and do.  Have a nice meal, ride a few roller coasters, toss back a beer or enjoy some wine.  There will be something for everyone in your family to enjoy.  Now I just need someone to tell me what the fun is like at the Florida location.  If you decide to check it out and hear death curdling screams, it’s just me…LOL.  Just grab me another hot chocolate and enjoy the fun!!!

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MaMa Monday

Hello MaMa…

It’s that time of the week again.  Where all the fun is coming to an end and we must prepare to head back to our weekly routine.  This is often my favorite and most dreaded day of the week.  I know, I know your attitude determines your altitude but come on, sometimes Monday’s just suck.

As a mother I have to some how wrangle everyone back in from the weekend and all the fun and relaxation.  Now I don’t know about you but in my house that is no easy task. One because I don’t want the fun to stop either but also know it’s important for my family to stay on a routine during the week or we may arrive on Friday missing a few people.  Between work, school, meals, pets and extra curricular activities.  I some times wonder how I make it through.

I’m not hear to complain because I know we all have our own stuff that makes day to day life a struggle sometimes.  Through hours and hours of reading I have tried to find tips to help me keep my family on track.  I have spent money on systems (which I can do a review on later), purchased books, asked other moms and still something is missing!!!!!!

Well Ladies let me see if I can help or at least make you laugh so you don’t cry through this motherhood journey.  Often we have the best intentions, plans and schedules but the thing that keeps messing us all up is……………….. LIFE!!!!!

See it’s not us at all.  Of course we have planned and scheduled down to the last second.

3 Tips for a Successful Week

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  1. You have prepared the most beautiful Pinterest worthy lunches for your kids.  Or made sure their lunch accounts have been reloaded with money.  Maybe even a little extra for ice cream.
  2. You have checked the weather twice and planned the best Instagram/Facebook worth outfits for the week.
  3. Pick up and drop off, have been planned for all the practices and events for the week.

After all that has been done and you have bathed the kiddies and tucked them in for a restful slumber.  You also lay down with the hope that this week will be quick and gentle. Then without fail it happens again, you awaken after realizing you have hit snooze at least three times.  You jump out of bed to see if it’s really Monday…yes it’s Monday!!!!  No one else in your house seems to have heard their alarms either.  There goes your plan to prepare a nice healthy breakfast for the family.  Also your face will be beat, not due to your perfect makeup application but the fact that you won’t have time to put a lick of make up on. Scratch the homemade breakfast and makeup, let’s just hope you can get everyone where they need to be on time.  What do you do next, what every self respecting mother does.  Start running around rushing everyone to get it together.  Grab a couple of breakfast bars, slap at least some concealer on your face and prepare to face the world.

Maybe your week isn’t like this at all.  Perhaps you awake on time to prepare breakfast, get dressed and apply your make up all before your family rises.  If that’s the case then congrats to you and keep up the good work.  If your week starts like mine does, then that’s ok too.  Why?  Because either way it’s not our fault.  As a mother I have done my part to prepare, plan and schedule accordingly.  Now it’s up to life to get it’s act together!!!  I mean really aren’t your tired of life getting in the way and throwing a wrench in everything.?.?.?.?  I know I am!!!!

For all the MaMa’s out there who are tired of having their plans and schedules ruined by life here is the plan..

Life Getting In The Way.?.?.?

  1. As I was once told, plans are like writing in the sand on a windy day.  So just hold on because the wind will turn in your favor soon.
  2.  Some of the best things happen when you throw caution and plans to the wind!!
  3.  Don’t be afraid to show life whose boss,  sometimes you just have to look fear dead in the eye and keep pushing forward.chess-pieces
  4. Scream for HELP!!!!!  Sometimes you just need someone to step in and help.  Don’t be afraid to ask.  We’ve often been told it takes a village, so get your village building on.
  5. Get over yourself, is it important that your kid eats or that the meal looks social media worthy?
  6. Try to find the joy in every moment.  Trust me I know it’s a tall order but we at least have to try.

MaMa’s let’s put on our Mom Jeans and show Life whose BOSS!!!!  Hope you have a wonderful week!!

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Holiday Huddle Series – Final Edition

Family Tradition Friday

Now that we have Thanksgiving out of the way, let the Christmas fun begin.  Your family may or may not have traditions  that they share doing the holiday season.  Today I am going to share two that we love.

12 Days of Christmas – If you have family that lives out of town or you won’t get to see during the holiday’s this may help.  Find twelve simple gifts that you can mail directly to them.  Plan it so one gift arrives daily with the 12 days leading up to Christmas.  Here is a list of the twelve things I will be sending this year.  Socks, cookie mix, hot chocolate, candy, cakes or pies, hats, gloves, Christmas coffee mug, warm blanket, tin of popcorn, Christmas pajamas or board game.  Now I’m sure you are saying how am I suppose to get this to them.  There are two options.  First you could purchase boxes and package everything up and drop one of each day at the post office.  Second you can do what I do, take advantage of your Amazon Prime membership.  Each night I scour Amazon for goodies to be sent to my family add their address or have them shipped to an Amazon Locker near them.  It’s so great to hear from them each day when they receive their treat.  It gets to be more exciting when more family members get involved.  Remember it’s better to give than receive!!

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Image Credit

Christmas Eve Package – This I reserve for the kids in the family but you can add the adults too if you like.  Many of us are blessed to spend Christmas Eve with our families.  During this time each kid gets a special package full of treats for that night.  Start buy finding a cute holiday box at your local craft store.  This yeholiday-boxar I found this amazing magnetic boxes at my local craft store.  Now for the good stuff.  I picked up matching pjs for all the kids, individual hot coco, small coffee mug, fun holiday themed toys, pop corn and holiday socks.  Each kid will also get a cool holiday craft to be completed with their siblings, cousins or friends. You can also throw in a holiday movie for them to watch while they eat popcorn and sip on hot coco.  If you have kids with allergies make sure you are checking your labels.  As most hot cocos may contain nuts, you can substitute chocolate milk.  Just make sure you keep it cold and place it in their box right before delivery.  Not sure what else can be placed in your box, select from any of your 12 Days of Christmas finds and save them all up to be used in the box. Now brace yourself, it’s going to get really hard now.  I know, I know, I usually try to share quick, easy and time saving tips.  Well once you have your box and have all your goodies.  Open the box place them in nicely and Violá!!!!! you are done.  It may look a little like this

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I would love to hear some of the traditions you and your family share.  Remember in this holiday season to be nice to each other.  And hey Santa is watching!!!

Holiday Huddle Series

Turkey to Be Thursday

Hopefully if you haven’t already, you are about to enjoy your thanksgiving dinner.  Turkey will be the center piece of many of our tables.  Well this year I am happy to say my honey volunteered to cook the turkey.  So to prepare a lot of research was done.  As he is or should I say was a #turkeyvirgin.  After eating the delicious turkey I was able to sneak a few tips to help you. brine-turkey

  1. Brine It:  In a large pot bring to boil the following ingredients.  Brown sugar, salt, lemon zest, tangerine zest, 8 cloves of garlic, green peppers, yellow peppers and red peppers in 13 cups of water.  After it boils, cool it down using ice.  Once it is cooled submerge your turkey and let it sit for at least 1 day.
  2. Season and Bag It:  Rub the turkey with oregano, sazon, butter and adobo. Fill the cavity with any peppers you like and onions.  Place your seasoned turkey in side an oven roasting bag and place it back in the fridge for another day.

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3.  Cook It:  The next morning pop it in the oven for 4 hours at 350.

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Now  it’s a late to start this as Thanksgiving is more than half done and this process takes about 2 days prep time.  So remember you saw this blog and come back and read it again if you are having turkey for Christmas!!!  Alright already, stop reading and go eat or have a piece of pie!!!!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Holiday Huddle Series

Wreaths The Easy Way Wednesday

Holiday Wreath in 5 Easy Steps

I know many of you have seen the many and beautiful holiday wreaths.  As we approach the  season of winter, we all want to make sure he have just the right wreath.  Now you can take the easy way out and just purchase a pre-made wreath or with these 5 quick steps you can create you own custom wreath.

  1.  Decide on your wreath style, burlap and garland seem to be very popular this year.   A very cute idea is the reindeer burlap wreath

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Image Credit

  2. Go to your local arts and crafts store and purchase a plain burlap wreath with nothing           added.

3.  Go to your local dollar store and purchase a set of antlers and a pre-made holiday bow         and a red nose if you can find one.  Then rush home and stick the bow and nose in the           middle, throw the antlers on top and you are done.

4. Now if it’s the garland style you like, you can also purchase a plain garland wreath at              your local arts and crafts store.

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5.  Now run out to your back yard grab a few pin cones, leaves or branches.  Spray them             any color you like and just hot glue them on.

Now I know I made that sound really easy but trust me it is.  The key is starting with a blank wreath from the craft store.  Then just have fun using things you find in your yard, left over arts and crafts or things you find in the clearance section at your favorite store.  The holidays are all about spending time with family.  So if you want to save a little time,  grab a blank wreath!!  Just remember if all else fails you can always purchase a wreath.

 

Holiday Huddle Series

Tree to Be Tuesday

It’s that time for some of us to start planning our holiday trees.  As for me if my family would let me, I would have a Christmas Tree up in every room.  But what do you do when you will be traveling for the holidays?  Now for those of you who put up an artificial tree you don’t have to worry quite as much.  First you try to convince yourself that you can still put up your tree up and it will be just fine while you are gone.  Then as you soundly sleep, you wake up to all the fears of burning your house down and some type of major damage while you are away from home.  Also who wants to come home from a nice holiday trip and still have to deal with taking the Christmas Tree down.

Ever since I was a child, we have always had live Christmas Trees in our home.  One year they decided to convince me that an artificial tree would be just as nice and they could even spray it to help bring that nostalgic smell of a live Christmas Tree.  Of course being the ever so clever child that I was.  I posed the following question to my family.  Wasn’t the cross that Jesus died on made of real wood?  Then why would we ever have a plastic tree, the cross wasn’t plastic….LOL  Don’t worry folks I have red-ornamentof course gotten the store of Christmas all straightened out now.  Please don’t get me wrong, I have seen some of the most beautiful artificial Christmas Trees but they just not for me.  So we will have to agree to disagree on that point.

Don’t panic if you plan on traveling this holiday season, I have a tip that you may find helpful.  A way for you to have your live Christmas Tree and still travel for the holidays with our worrying about fire or damage to your home.

So here is my plan for this holiday season.  I have already taken out my tree stand and all my other holiday decorations.  For this tip you will need a front porch to make it all happen.  Normally we have at least two Christmas Trees each year.  One in our family room by the fire place that we place all our gifts around.  The other tree is in our front foyer which allows me to fulfill all my Christmas Tree dreams!!!  In the foyer I can fit an 8″-12″ tree.  It is a great way to welcome our guest into our winter wonderland.  foyer-tree
We also use this tree to place any gifts for friends, family or others that will not be with us on Christmas morning.  There is no way I could travel away from home and not worry that my tree had fallen over or dried up and caused a spark.

Tree to be Tip:

If you have a front porch, let’s take the tree outside!!!  Not to mention the clean up will be a lot easier.  So this year me and my tree will be on the front porch.  Placing your tree outside will not only help with peace of mind but in some cases it will allow you to get a bigger tree than normal.   This year I’m planning for a 10″ tree on my front porch.  I will place a large bow at the top that goes all the way down to the bottom.  Not only will we have lights but we will also be using a sparkle light projector to light up the front of our entire house.  So this week after you are stuffed with turkey, head out to your favorite Christmas tree farm and find the biggest tree you can find.  Add a bow, a few lights and any decorations that you don’t mind being exposed to the elements.  If you are feeling really crafty, you could spray paint your tree white and add a top hat and scarf to make your very own snowman.  Have fun and get creative.  Let the whole neighborhood enjoy your Christmas Tree this year.

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Holiday Huddle Series

Mistletoe Moment

Whether you plan to spend this holiday season alone or cuddled up with you bae, you must be prepared for that Mistletoe Moment.  We all hope to find ourselves swept away in a magical moment.  You may find yourself at the awkward holiday work party or visiting old friends.

Let’s just say you have put on your best pair of winter boots and find your self out celebrating the holiday’s.  Often there is one important bit of maintenance we all forget. To ensure we have our magical mistletoe moment……Lip Prep!!!  Yes ladies we have to have our lips soft and breath ready to be kissed under the mistletoe.

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Here are a few tips to help ensure your lips are soft and kissable and your breath doesn’t send anyone running.

Often we spend  a lot of time and money buying beauty mask and eye pads.  We have face soap, special face brushes.  Some beauty-treatment-girlof us are even drinking special mixes to help keep our skin clean and glowing.  Lately I have seen lots of people ranting and raving about the latest beauty mask and how they will unclog every pore.  They promise to clean out all the impurities and leave you with baby soft skin.  As I look at all the advertisements and video reviews, something always stands out to me.  None of these mask ever address your lips.  Now I’m sure with my limited beauty knowledge there are probably a million and one products designed to address your lips.  Now some of you say well the mask don’t help with our eyes either.  You would be 100% right but go to any beauty, grocery or drug store and there a million eye pads, eye serums and eye creams.  Now maybe I’m not looking in the right place or I could have over looked it all together but do not see as many choices when it comes to lip.  But of course I have come across something that does wonders on my lips.

I recommend a simple little tube of MaryKay Satin Lips LipMask.  This $10 beauty will do wonders to help get your lips ready for that mistletoe moment.  First you start with clean dry limarykay-satinlipsps.  You then apply the mask and let it sit for a couple of minutes.  It will appear white and feel a little rough.  Removing the mask will also remove any dry or chapped skin from your lips.  I have to say the first time I was asked to try it, I was like these makeup people will try to sell you anything.  But after trying it I have to admit I was completely impressed with how smooth and soft my lips were.  Ever since that day I use this weekly to ensure I keep my lips nice and soft.  Anytime I feel like I am fighting with my lip liner or my lipstick just looks a mess.  I take 5 minutes to apply the lip mask.

After you have completed your lip mask, face mask and applied your eye pads.  It is time to line those lips and put on your favorite winter shade.  Now after you have spent time making sure your lips are ready you can’t forget about your breath.  As you pull each other close under the mistletoe nothing says run like a case of malo aliento!!!!!!  Yes folks bad breath will ruin the moment every time.  It might be best to carry a small bottle of mouth wash and one of the many mini teeth cleaning products.  If you suffer with frequent bad breath, try the old trick of scraping your tongue with the side of medal spoon.

Alright let’s wrap this huddle up.  Take a few of these tips and tricks to ensure when your moment arrives you are ready to be kissed under the mistletoe.  Until tomorrow enjoy and make every moment count.

 

Holiday Huddle

Next week I will start a new blog series all about the Holidays!!!  It is truly my favorite time of the year.  We often get to spend more time with family, travel, cook, eat, shop, drink and sleep.  Each day I will cover a random idea, tip or craftchristmas-tree to help us all get through the holiday season.

So come back each day and join me for a Holiday Huddle!!  We will circle up, share tips and ideas and then break back to our every day lives to divide and conquer this thing called the Holidays.

Holiday Huddle Schedule

Mistletoe Monday

Tree To Be Tuesday

Wreaths The Easy Way Wednesday

Turkey The Other Way Thursday

Family Traditions Friday