Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Brave Beauty

::From the back of the book::
What will my life be like? Who will I be? Whether girls put these concerns into words or struggle anxiously with these thoughts, during this season of change, girls have questions. Sometimes these questions also come with fears and they need a safe place to process these fears. From Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and blogger, Lynn Cowell, comes Faithgirlz Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You.For girls 8-12, Brave Beauty brings tweens 100 courage-building moments to reflect on Scripture and find confidence in God, rather than in someone, some place, or some thing, as culture will all-too-soon tell them to. Lynn will also prepare girls to:
  • Overcome confidence-defeating thoughts and stand on who Jesus says she is.
  • Shape her self-worth on Christ and overcome the temptation base it on environmental factors.
  • Build a strong foundation to face the fickle and flippant opinions of others.
  • Find approval of herself even when she lacks the acceptance of others.
  • Find security by turning to Christ as she steps through the exciting, yet scary world of growing up
Formatted as theme-based mini chapters, these moments can be read as one-a-days, one-a-weeks, or at the reader’s own pace. Simple and empowering, Lynn’s voice is relatable and conversational, making it easy for girls to feel like they’re spending time with a friend. This inspirational read will be set as a gorgeously foil decorated hardcover, with beautifully formatted pages in line with the well-known and loved Faithgirlz look, and with an easy-reference index to look up any topic.

::My Thoughts::
Let me just start by saying I am so glad that a book like this one is out there for girls. This is a fantastic read for young girls, and I would have loved having this book on my shelf when I was young. This is best suited for girls ages 8-12, but is flexible on age I think. My favorite thing about this book is there is so much advice on being able to deal with and ignore others opinions, and being more confident in yourself. It helps girls find more stability in God than through others, and teaches girls they are not alone. This is definitely an inspirational and truly moving book. It helps answer questions that many young girls have about themselves, and their future. It helps them move into their future with more confidence, and I believe can help root them deeper spiritually. It is current with today's culture, and just an all around fantastic devotional for girls. It is even a great fit for girls that are busy with sports or school as the devotionals take barely no time at all. It even has quizzes for girls to do and find out more about themselves. It would be wonderful for a mother, grandmother, aunt, older sister, etc., to read with their young tween. It gets girls thinking, and the author shares a lot of her own personal stories that are very relatable. This book deals with topics that girls face on an everyday basis, peer pressure, bullying, acceptance of others, self-esteem, etc. There is even a wonderful Table of Contents where a young girl can look up specific subjects she may need help with. The prayers contained in this book are equally as wonderful, and there isn't one thing I didn't love about this book. I definitely recommend it for any young girls out there, and really at any age. It is that wonderful. I, myself, was excited about what would come next. My cousin whom I gifted this book too loves it. She spends so much time just reading and reading it. She can read a chapter a day, more if she wishes, and even revisits some of them. In a world as we live in today I recommend this book for all young girls.

::Find this book::

::Product Details::
  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Faithgirlz
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (August 29, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310763142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310763147

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Girl in Pieces

::About the book::
   Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you. 
   Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge. 
  A deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. Kathleen Glasgow's debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

::My Thoughts::
Let me just start by saying I could not put this book down once I started reading it. In today's world many teens face many trials in their lives. It is a sad truth that often goes unlooked. This is a fantastic book that looks at the mental health of some teens, especially those that are dealt a very hard lot in life through no fault of their own. It also shows that there are always people out there that care, and that can help. That no matter how far down you think you are that you can always rise up again. This may be a hard read for some of you out there. It does deal with self harm, and goes into detail at times. But it is wonderful to see the characters grow throughout the story as well. And once you start reading it if you are liked me it will be hard to put down. I just had to keep reading to see how things worked out for Charlie, and the other characters as well. Her perserverence through the novel was really something amazing. I don't want to go into too much detail because I don't want to include any spoilers so I will just give a bit of info...
 Charlie is a teen girl put into a mental health facility. She doesn't want to speak to anyone. She has been through things she would rather not relive even in her own mind. She is abandoned, and has hurt herself in more ways than one. She has been in some dangerous situations. She hurts inside and out. There are other girls like her in ways while being different in the facility with her. She gets out of the mental health facility and has to learn to cope in the real world. She has to learn to do things on her own, and she tries her best to break her habits of self harm. She wants so badly to be normal, to be happy, but in a world full of problems she doesn't know where to begin. As much as she tries she just can't seem to get a step up...
I can't give away any more than that, but I definitely recommend you give this book a read especially if you are a fan of Thirteen Reasons Why, Girl Interrupted, etc.

::Find this book at some of the following::
Walmart ~ Target ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~  and more...

::Product Details::
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (August 30, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1101934719
  • ISBN-13: 978-1101934715

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a Blogging For Books member in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/17/2017

Hello all! I hope you are all having a fantastic start to the week. In my area the day is wrapping up and we are going into evening time. I have been trying to get this post up all day but it has been difficult. I have had one thing or another come up, but I've stayed determined. LOL Better late than never. Just another Manic Monday I guess. I am joining in with Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. She posts a Happy Homemaker Monday every week, and you definitely don't want to miss out so head on over and check her out! If you decide to link up as well the link up will be in her post! :)

::The weather::
Hot, humid, and rainy. The weather has not been a sure thing for the last week. It has either been cloudy and cool, or sunny and humid with a sudden downpour! But it's okay. I am not ready for snow so I won't complain about the heat. LOL

::Right now I am::
Typing up this post and rushing if I must be honest. I wanted to get this done first thing in the morning, but my day just did not allow for me too. It has been one crazy hectic day for me with one thing after another. 

::On my reading pile::
Nothing just yet. I finished about five books that I need to get up for review this week. I have been reading when everyone else goes to sleep whenever I can. It's about the only reading time I get anymore unless I set an alarm and get up extra early. Although sometimes my kids hear me up early and they get up too which kind of defeats that trick. LOL

::Movies or Shows I watched this weekend::
This weekend was my birthday and we decided we would all go out together and watch a movie in theaters. I wanted to go see Transformers the Last Knight, BUT the theater we go to didn't have it playing when we were able to go since hubby had to work the next day. We had to make sure it was over early enough to eat and get to bed at a decent time since hubby gets up so early for work. SO we seen Despicable Me 3 instead which was pretty funny. The kiddo's really had a blast there so that was awesome. Other than that I have watched no TV other than catching up on some of my favorite vlogs like PhillipsFamBam, She's In Her Apron, Style Mom XO, Happily A Housewife, and a few others. Right now I'm not thinking well just because I have a lot going on in the background so I can't think of the other vlogs right off the top of my head yet. LOL I'm sure all you fellow momma's out there know just what I'm talking about. 

::On my TV::

Nothing tonight although I will be watching some more vlogs probably in the morning if I have time before everyone wakes up. Me and hubby have quite the day packed with errands tomorrow so it won't leave much time for too many shows. Wednesday, however, me and the kids are going to watch Moana on Netflix since we haven't seen it yet. If I can fit some shows in I'm finishing up season 8 on The Vampire Diaries Thursday hopefully. There are also some documentary's I wouldn't mind watching on Netflix as well.

::On the menu for this week::

Spaghetti & Homemade Garlic Cheese Bread    
Crockpot Chicken & Noodles (I need to post a recipe of it soon, it is so easy and delicious), mashed potatoes, and rolls     
Beef Stroganoff, Tater Tots, and peas
Chicken Nuggets, mac & cheese, corn (busy day this day with more errands so keeping it simple)
Pizza out (we have a busy family day planned)
Chicken Roast & Cornbread

::On my to do list::
Since it's already late I have pretty much gotten all my chores done for today other than the after dinner clean up. So I will just fill you in on what I did get done today.
Kitchen- got all the dishes caught up, swept and mopped the floors, tidied the cabinets and shelves
Living room- Vacuumed the couch, vacuumed the floor, picked up a thousand toys (probably not even exaggerating here)
Dining area- Wiped down the table and chairs which I do after every meal anyway so 3x a day since my kiddo's are some messy eaters regardless of how hard they try to be neat lol.
Laundry- washed 5 loads of clothes (we were all pretty much out of clean clothes it was sad. I'm not gonna lie I have been terrible on laundry the last couple weeks because we have been on the go nonstop).
I also washed all the bed linens, vacuumed the matresses off, and all the bedroom floors and upstairs hall.

Tomorrow I will be cleaning the bathrooms since I didn't get to them today although thankfully (and surprisingly) they are not messy at all. I tidy up and wipe the bathrooms down quickly every evening just you know which really helps keep up with the bathrooms and takes me no time at all. Tomorrow I really just want to wipe things down more in depth, sweep, mop, and change the hand towels and such.

::What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating::
I am looking for ideas on new chore charts for the kiddos, and looking to start a family command center in our house. Pinterest has tons of ideas, but if anyone has any suggestions please feel free to leave a comment below. Also I may look into zone cleaning. I seen it on She's In Her Apron and she says it has been a blessing! It's through FlyLady I guess so going to be looking into that.

::Looking around the house::
It's clean for now although I don't expect it to last that way long. haha. Give it a day or two before my tiny tornado's destroy it. I have candle's burning which I love! Makes the home feel so cozy and relaxing. I have dinner on and it is almost done so we will be eating soon.

::What I'm wearing today::
Black jeggings and a maroon t-shirt

::One of my simple pleasures::
Laundry. I just really do not mind doing laundry at all. I'm not a big fan of ironing a lot of the time. Sometimes I don't mind it, but as far as washing clothes, drying, putting them away. I really don't mind it. 

::Inspirational Quote, Bible verse, anything you want to share::

Thursday, May 11, 2017

God's Easter Miracles

:::From the back of the book:::

In God's Easter Miracles, the sea kids learn that Easter isn't about the Easter bunny or candy. It's about Jesus Christ giving up His life for all of us, and how we are to sacrifice ourselves for others. 

Paul, who is autistic, struggles with relationships, Jimmy doesn't want to share, and Lenny clings to life due to a terrible boat accident. On Easter Sunday, the children witness the power of their prayers. Their Sunday School teacher, Miss Linda, tells the children, "Truly, God has blessed us with many Easter miracles. Lenny was healed, and Jimmy asked Jesus into his heart." Even Paul has a miraculous change of heart. A true lesson of becoming more like Jesus is learned in this beautiful Easter story of love and grace.

:::My Thoughts:::

God's Easter Miracles, written by Lee Ann Mancini, is part of the multi-award winning Adventures of the Sea Kids series. It is a fantastic book for the littles, and would make an amazing addition to any home or church library. It is a great book to teach children about Jesus's love for us. There are many different great learning messages contained within the pages of this book. From teaching the important of prayer not only for yourself or others, but also teaching about compassion and friendship. We greatly enjoyed this book. We read it as a family and my children that can read on their own read it alone as well. It is more than just a book to read. There are little symbols hidden throughout the book on the pages for children to find, which makes it very interactive as well. The story flowed nicely and is very easy for children to understand which is wonderful. This is a book that far extends beyond just Easter, but has great lessons for everyday life. The pictures are also very well illustrated. They are nicely done, colorful, and fun. It will definitely pull your kids into the pages, and transport them. I can't wait to check out more books from this wonderful author. I highly recommend it.

:::Find this book at some of the following:::
Amazon   Walmart   Barnes & Noble  

:::Product Details:::
  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: GLM PUBLISHING (February 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0997332514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0997332513

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a BookCrash member in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday 05/08/2017

Good afternoon all, hope you had a great weekend. I heard on the radio the other day how people always say they need more days in a week, but really we need more days for the weekend! LOL! How true that is! I have some exciting new ideas for the blog that I brainstormed about over the weekend. I will be doing a lot more hauls so those are coming up in the very near future.

::The weather::
Not too bad. We did have rain for 2 days straight but other than that it's been in the 50s & 60s but sunny. We at least don't need our thick winter coats.

::On my reading pile::
I finished Girl In Pieces (review will be posted this week) and I am now halfway through The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller.

::Movies or Shows I watched this weekend::
I didn't get around to watching much other than vlogs this past weekend.

::On my TV::
Catching up some missed episodes of Oak Island with hubby
Gotham with hubby tonight
Tomorrow a New show hubby found called Cooper's Treasure on Discovery. New episode comes on tomorrow at 10pm. Here is a summary:
COOPER'S TREASURE is a new documentary series that tells the incredible story of a legendary astronaut and the secret treasure map he began from space. In the 1960s, Gordon Cooper was one of NASA's original space pioneers, breaking the record for the longest space flight while completing a 122 hour mission. Sent to detect nuclear sites, it was on this mission he discovered something extraordinary that he would keep secret for over 40 years.

While in space Gordon noticed a series of anomalies around the South Caribbean and photographed over 100 of them. These anomalies were dark patches that appeared on his photographs of the earth. He believed there was only one explanation for these and thought them to be sunken ships, including the lost fleet of Christopher Columbus. Working for decades in secret, he created a map that he believed could uncover billions of pounds-worth of treasure. Before he passed away, Gordon shared his secret with his long-time friend Darrell Miklos in the hope that the exploration would continue and the mystery would finally be solved. Now, the one man Gordon trusted has the research and evidence, together with Gordon's map from space and is setting out with a team of seasoned explorers and researchers to once and for all accomplish his friend's long-held dream - to uncover the world's greatest treasures.

Cooper's Treasure airs Tuesdays 10pm on Discovery!

::On the menu for this week::

Monday 5/8
Baked Chicken & Chinese Rice w/veggies

Tuesday 5/9
Hubby's making his Chili

Wednesday 5/10
Tuna Patties, Mac & Cheese, Peas

Thursday 5/11
Spanish Rice, Fried Potatoes, Skillet bread

Friday 5/12
Crockpot BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches & Coleslaw

Saturday 5/13
Grocery shopping day for us this week

Sunday 5/14
Hubby is making me a surprise Mother's Day dinner

::On my to do list::
Monday - Laundry, general tidying up around the house today to straighten back up after the weekend.

Tuesday - rearrange kids bedrooms

Wednesday - meal planning, Make grocery list, more laundry, general household cleaning, book review to be posted

Thursday - normal chores and work on kids playhousek

Friday - errands

Saturday- Grocery shopping day

Sunday- Mother's Day. Spending time with the hubby and kids and my mom.

::What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating::
I have been working in my adult coloring books. They are so relaxing.

::Looking around the house::
Kitchen is tidy as I just cleaned counters, loaded the dishwasher, washed the dishes that couldn't got in the dishwasher, and cleaned the living room.

::What I'm wearing today::
Workout capris and a plain blue t-shirt.

::One of my simple pleasures::
Being the first to wake up on beautiful sunny mornings. I usually read, just relax in the quiet, or even just have some quiet time for my thoughts.

::Bible verse, Devotional::

I am joining in on a link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday - 04/24/2017

Good afternoon all, hope you had a great weekend. I had a busy one. It seemed like my kids were all extremely hyper this weekend! LOL
I think we are all just so excited that warmer weather and sunshine has finally reached us! It definitely boosts my mood. I'm hoping to get out in the yard this week. We are planning a little section to be a fairy garden. Have you seen them on Pinterest and Facebook? They are cute and whimsical.

::The weather::
We are back and forth in the 60s and 70s. We have some rain and thunderstorms coming this week but sunshine also.

::On my reading pile::
I am almost done with Girl In Pieces. I did not get to read any over the weekend. We were all so busy and by the time I got the kids wound down for the night each night I was more than ready for bed myself. It's an interesting read although some parts are tough to get through. This will be for review.

::Movies or Shows I watched this weekend::

I started watching some of the new TV series Riverdale. It is a television show on the CW based on the older Archie comics and cartoons. Such as Archie's Weird Mysteries which I used to love watching when I was younger. I also used to enjoy reading the comics. It is definitely different though for sure. I haven't watched enough to really say too much about it yet though.

I also watched a few vlogs. I found a family vlog I really enjoy on YouTube- PhillipsFamBam. If you haven't checked them out definitely give them a try. They do family style vlogs, cook with me's, eat with me's, Sunday sit downs, they go live, they do grocery hauls, work out videos, challenges, just a little of everything really. Plus what I love about them is they post consistently. You don't have to wait days to get new posts. One of their newest videos I plan to watch today is where they try a bunch of different Australian foods sent to them.
You can also send them recipes to be featured on their cook with me's and they will film them being made, trying them, etc.

::On my TV::
Oak Island with hubby
Catch up on some vlogs
Gotham with hubby tonight

::On the menu for this week::

Monday 17th
Homemade Mini Pizza's (The kiddos requested these again this week)

Tuesday 18th
Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, rolls

Wednesday 19th
Spanish rice, fried potatoes, skillet bread

Thursday 20th
Unsure but thinking Mongolian Beef. We are going to the store this day though so not sure. I do meal planning on Wednesdays and then we go to the store either Thursdays, Fridays, or Saturdays.

Friday 21st
See above

Saturday 22nd

Sunday 23rd

::On my to do list::
Monday - Laundry, general tidying up around the house today to straighten back up after the weekend. You know how that is.

Tuesday - going through stuff and spring cleaning some more. 5 people in a house can accumulate a lot more stuff than you would think. So much has to go. Some will be donated, some sold, and some will be trashed I'm sure.

Wednesday - meal planning, Make grocery list, more laundry, general household cleaning, book review to be posted this day also.

Thursday - Grocery shopping day. I am excited because our Aldi has been closed for remodeling and they are opening this day. Yay!
We also go to other stores depending on their sale

Friday - Chaperoning my son's field trip.

Saturday- We are going to visit my dad during the day and probably going to the park if its nice. Movie Night with the kiddos.

::What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating::
I have been playing around in my planner a bit working on layouts.

::Looking around the house::
Breakfast and lunch dishes are all on the counter. We were in a rush this morning and then I had a couple quick errands. We just got back for lunch and finished up so I have to scrape them all and give them a wash. Clean the kitchen, Gizmo needs a good bath and brushing so doing that today.

::What I'm wearing today::

Jeggings as usual a plain teal t-shirt.

::One of my simple pleasures::
Cooking and Baking. I LOVE baking! It's relaxing and rewarding. I love cooking for my family and seeing them enjoy their meals. It brings me a lot of joy.

::Bible verse, Devotional::

If you would like to join in on the Happy Homemaker Monday link up head on over to Sandra's blog Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. :)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday 04/17/2017

Good afternoon all, hope you all had a great Easter weekend and are ready for the week ahead.

I had a fun weekend, but a busy one. We had a lot of family over off and on all weekend and we also hosted Easter Dinner for the family.
While I love having family over and doing giant get togethers I'm exhausted. Haha
Photo Courtesy of Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
So without further ado let's dive in shall we?

::The weather::
Getting more spring like weather finally. Warm jacket weather and some days no jacket needed. Rain and sunshine off and on. This week temps will h in the 70s mostly with some days in the 60s and one day in the 50s.

::On my reading pile::
I am still reading Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow. With the holidays and everything I haven't got much time to read, but I expect to finish it sometime this week. I will be posting a review of it as soon as I am finished.

::Movies or Shows I watched this weekend::

I actually didn't get to watch anything as far as movies or shows. I watched a vlog or two but other than that it has just been too hectic.

::On my TV::
Oak Island with hubby
Catch up on missed episodes of Jane the Virgin
Catch up on some vlogs

::On the menu for this week::

Monday 17th

Tuesday 18th
Beef Pasta, Sauteed Green beans, Baked potatoes

Wednesday 19th
Cheeseburgers on the grill, salad

Thursday 20th
Homemade Mini Pizza's

Friday 21st

Saturday 22nd
Baked Chicken, Basmati Rice, Peas

Sunday 23rd
Crockpot Mac & Cheese, Broccoli

::On my to do list::
Monday - Laundry, general tidying up around the house today to straighten back up after the holidays.

Tuesday - going through stuff and spring cleaning

Wednesday - going out of town for the morning and afternoon. Also have to Make new meal plan and grocery list most which will probably be done on the road. Doggy bath day as well for Gizmo.

Thursday - 2 doctor appointments and grocery shopping this day. Yikes.

Friday - Game Night with the kiddos

Saturday- Deep cleaning my car. Movie Night with the kiddos.

::What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating::
Nothing creative this week or next although I probably will try to get some adult coloring time in.

::Looking around the house::
Mostly everything looks fine. I have been doing stuff here and there throughout the day. My youngest is taking a nap as I type this post, and  there are some dishes in the sink that needs washed from our lunch.

::What I'm wearing today::

Black Jeggings and a coral long comfy t-shirt I usually wear when I will just be around the house doing chores.

::One of my simple pleasures::

Taking a walk! This is something I should do more of, but I love just taking a walk without having a tight time limit and just gazing around. Taking a look around at even the littlest things like flowers blooming or birds in trees can be so rewarding. It is honestly good for the soul. I always feel better after taking a walk and taking a walk with your kids is even better as they usually point out stuff to you that you may not have even seen before.

::Bible verse, Devotional::

If you want to join in on the Happy Homemaker Monday link up head on over to Sandra's blog at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. Read her post and others that have linked up. :)
Have a great week!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday - 04/10/2017

Picture Credit: Picture is from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Good afternoon all, hope you all had a great weekend and are ready for the week ahead.

I had a fun weekend, but a busy one. We took the kids to an Easter Egg Hunt and that was really fun. They all did really good and all had fun. They all won an Easter basket in the raffle too!

I am glad to be back to the Happy Homemaker Monday link up hosted by Sandra and I can't wait to read everyone else's HHM Post. So let's dive in shall we?

::The weather::
Weird. We had rain for about 3 days straight, then a bitter cold day, followed by nice sunny weather. It's off and on right now, but at least no snow so I can't complain.

::On my reading pile::
Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

I am reading this book for an upcoming review. I am a little late on it as I misplaced it a few weeks ago and hubby found it in his trunk! That has never happened to me before. I probably put it in there when we took his car out of town and I was unloading bags from the trunk.

::Movies or Shows I watched this weekend::
I actually didn't get to watch anything as far as movies or shows. I did get to catch up on some vlogs though. I still have more to catch up on so maybe later today.

::On my TV::
Vampire Diaries (I recently just started watching this. Very late I know)
60 Days In

::On the menu for this week::

Monday 10th
Crispy Oven Fried Chicken, Rice, Peas

Tuesday 11th
Crockpot Beef & Noodles, mashed potatoes, rolls

Wednesday 12th
Taco Night

Thursday 13th
Spaghetti with meat sauce and triple threat brownies for dessert

Friday 14th
Hamburger Helper, green beans

Saturday 15th
Baked Chicken, Rice, Carrots

Sunday 16th
Easter Dinner: We have the whole family coming for dinner and we are doing a little Easter Egg Hunt for all of the kids.
Dinner will be:
Ham, mashed potatoes, corn, deviled eggs, Mac and cheese, rolls, stuffing
Cherry Pie and Apple Pie

::On my to do list::
Monday - 2 appointments, laundry, Change Bed Linens, Re- Organize kitchen and bathroom cabinets (they need fixed up now and again from everyone in and out of them and things not always getting put back in place)

Tuesday - Hopefully our new dishwasher will be delivered. We have been without one for months and while I don't mind hand washing dishes it does get time consuming as our family has 5 people in it and we often have other family over for dinner a couple times a week as well. Needless to say I do miss having a dishwasher. LOL

Wednesday - Spring Cleaning downstairs, Make new meal plan and grocery list

Thursday - pay bills and work on blog

Friday - Grocery shopping and Last minute Easter shopping (I have just a few things to get for the kids Easter baskets and I will be done)

Saturday - we have a church event this day then we are doing a family movie night.

::What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating::
Working on some planner clips for my Happy Planner.

::Looking around the house::
Usual Monday morning mess. I always think of the song Manic Monday on Mondays. You know: "Just another manic monday". LOL
No matter what or how early we get up we always seemed rushed on Monday mornings. Things always get hectic. This makes for things being left out where they dont belong, and leaves the living room, dining area, bedrooms, and bathrooms definitely in need of tidying up. It didn't help that I had a couple appointments this morning so I am just now getting things picked up and cleaned. A very late start indeed.

::What I'm wearing today::
Jeggings and a long comfy shirt with a tank top underneath perfect for cleaning today. Just a simple, comfy, outfit.

::One of my simple pleasures::
Playing board games with hubby and with the kids. It's great family time and so fun! Plus we are all creating great memories.

::Bible verse, Devotional::

If you would like to link up to this Happy Homemaker Monday post just head on over to Sandra's blog Diary of a Stay at Home Mom and join in. Her blog is excellent so make sure you give it a follow as well! You won't be disappointed. Have a great week! :)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Being checked for Lupus and other news...

Hello all! Long time no talk. So much has happened I have just not been able to keep up with the blog like I love to. Everything has been put on the back burner due to so much happening lately. So let's take a dive right in and I will give you all an update...

Let's start with the illness...
For about a year now I have been losing weight, which don't get me wrong, I have been thrilled about! I didn't think much of it because I'm a momma of 3 kiddos, I'm always busy, we moved to a place with stairs so a lot more up and down, I breastfeed, and I've just been more active than ever. Not only that but we started eating healthier (most of the time), and I eat less at meals than I used to.
Then I started getting weird rashes on my face. It usually appeared on my cheeks and bridge of my nose. I didn't think much of that either because I had been trying new facial cleansers and thought I was just having an allergic reaction. It would seem to come and go now and again so I didn't pay it much attention.
Well, the last 6 months I have been extremely tired now and again. Some days are harder than others. I again thought it was just my hectic schedule, life with 3 kids, etc. I also started experiencing extreme anxiety. Some days again are harder than others, but while I have always had a bit of anxiety it has worsened so much.
Then over the last few months I noticed a huge change in my hair. I have always had a thick head of hair. So thick that when I go to the salon to get a haircut or style they thin it out a little due to how much of it there is. That was the final straw in my symptoms. I started putting them all together.
Symptoms: weight loss, rash across cheeks and bridge of nose, off and on extreme fatigue, anxiety increase, thinning of hair.
I set up an appointment with the doctor who ran all sorts of tests. I honestly had googled my symptoms beforehand so I was going to request to be checked for a few things anyway. One being my thyroid, one being lupus, and then a few other menial issues.
When my blood work came back everything was mostly fine except for my ANA test which is what they run to check for autoimmune diseases (one being lupus). My ANA test was positive. The doctor talked with me a bit about my symptoms and said she highly suspects lupus, however, now it is just to figure out what KIND of lupus it is. So I go to a Rheumatologist in two weeks where they will again go over my symptoms and order more tests no doubt.
Thankfully I have some pictures of my rash and have been keeping track of my symptoms lately. I want to make sure I'm prepared.
Many people wonder what Lupus is. I wondered the same thing. In a short answer it is an autoimmune disease in which your body basically attacks itself. Instead of attacking the bad cells your body attacks the healthy cells. You can have flare ups which can really put you down, and then there are times the disease can go into remission and you will feel fine. People with Lupus often look very healthy on the outside, but appearances aren't everything because you can feel terrible on the inside. My mom has it so I'm not 100% clueless on it. But I was mostly clueless until I started researching it on google. The doctor gave limited information to me about it.  I will come back and update on this after my visit with the Rheumatologist, and after they get back the rest of my test results. I just wanted to keep you all up to date. I have come to terms with things though and if that IS in fact what is going on I cannot change it. I can only try to manage it. That is what I keep saying to myself to keep my stress over it down. I also joined a support group which has been so helpful with all of my questions, they have given me tips, and just been there. My husband and mom have been my rocks and they listen when I need to vent, or when I'm scared. But it's hard for them so I don't want to burden them too much. They would say I'm not of course, but I still feel like I am.

In other news...
We have reconnected with family members that we had lost touch with, and that has been very nice. We have been having more family get togethers, and just talking to each other more which has been great for everyone. We have been helping others a lot more as well which has kept us pretty busy, but it feels so great to help someone and know that you made things a little easier on them. You know that feeling? So good for the soul.

Hectic Schedules & Chores...
With everything going on lately our schedules have just been insane. We cannot seem to manage our time very well and I feel like I am doing chores or errands every second of the day, and we haven't been getting as much time just us and the kids as we need. I love spending time with other family members and it has been great having more get togethers, but every little family still needs that time of just them now and again as well.
It really comes down to poor chore/time management and trying to do too much in one day. So we are currently working on a plan of how to remedy that. I am actually going to be looking into the flylady method. Have any of you heard of it? Here is the website if you would like to check it out:
I have heard a little, but am excited to learn more. Especially with zone cleaning. Now that my boys are a bit older I really think that can be helpful. They have chores currently, but most of the time they don't get them done like they need to and then I end up doing everyone's chores for them just because I want them done. Not good, I know, but it's a struggle. I'm sure all you fellow momma's out there know just what I'm talking about. Do any of you have any tips on getting your kiddos to do their chores? Or do any of you do zone cleaning? If so comment below and give me any advice, or tell me how the zone cleaning has affected your life. I would love to hear from you.

So I have been really into watching vlogs lately. It has not only really motivated me on some stuff like cleaning (I am obsessed with the clean with me, speed cleanings, power hours, etc), but it is just so nice to see other moms and families out there. I have made lots of new friends, and found a lot of favorite channels. I won't be doing vlogs personally at this time. I am considering it possibly in the future, but I am thinking of posting the occasional video now and again starting soon. The videos will be posted here as well as on youtube. Especially of grocery hauls, dollar tree hauls, clearance hauls, that kind of thing. I love watching those, and it gives me a lot of ideas on meal planning and stuff too!
I will also be switching around the look of my blog and adding a list of favorite YouTubers, and list of favorite bloggers I follow. That way if you would like to check out what I watch or read you can. :)

A new normal...
And now I'm hoping to settle in to a new normal for our family. I will be working on schedule changes, cleaning routine changes, and blog routine changes. I have missed it here, and I don't want to go so long without posting again. I want to get back to my reviews, posts, and I plan to include a lot more pictures. My new camera finally came so I'm trying to get used to it.

Until next time readers! Have a great week!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

What to Pack In Your Diaper Bag When Traveling

Road travel

Spring and Summer is right around the corner, and with that comes...vacation time! Woohoo! So much time and planning goes into vacations, but when we get to the diaper bag we often find ourselves at a roadblock of what to pack. I know I do.
I'm hoping this post will help some of you parents out there pack a great diaper bag for travel!

Of course your list may vary depending on age of your children, your needs, individual baby needs, etc., but these are the things I never leave without. There are some items that stay in my diaper bag everywhere I go, and then you will see the things that come especially useful while traveling. Because let's face it while we are on a plane or in a car we can't have a big suitcase sitting right there packed to the rim with all of our needs (even if your like me and you would like to). The most we have room for is our diaper bag. So let's dive into it shall we?

  • Diapers or Pull-ups (amount varies on length of travel time so use your own judgement here)
  • A pack of Wipes (using a pack over a box will save space and you won't have to worry about the box somehow getting smashed)
  • Diaper Rash Cream
  • Two spare sippy cups or bottles. (I would say just one would be fine, but there have been plenty of instances where I have been glad to have a back-up to the back-up. Babies and toddlers like to throw stuff.)
  • A bit of coconut oil if your breastfeeding. (This is in case of dry or cracked nipples and a lactation consultant told me about this after I delivered. It is completely safe for the baby and you, has natural antibacterial and healing properties, and works wonders. I was very skeptical until I tried it. I just put some in a travel size bottle the same size you would use for shampoo. These can usually be found in a 3 pack at any dollar store, department store, or major retailer for under a few dollars.)

  • A spare outfit
  • A changing pad if your child will still fit on one.
  • An extra pair of socks
  • A small blanket (one that won't take up too much room in your bag)
  • Some baby books! We love board books and never leave without at least 2. The interactive ones that are touch and feel, lift the flap, etc are often the most entertaining.
  • A couple of little toys. For us this is a play Elmo phone, and a musical set of pretend keys).
  • A favorite stuffed animal. (Traveling can be overwhelming for your little one and they like the comfort of holding onto a favorite stuffed toy).
  • Small first aid kit (mine just has Neosporin, character bandaids, like 2 alcohol wipes, and some guaze). This is mainly for toddlers, older kids, or even yourself.
  • Disposable little trash bags for soiled diapers. They usually even carry these in little clip on tubes that just clip on the diaper bag.
  • A gallon of bigger size Ziploc bag. This takes up almost no space at all, fits in the bottom of the bag, and is great for soiled clothes or bibs.
  • Bibs if your baby is still wearing them. (Disposable ones are our favorite for travel. Simply soil and toss)
  • Disposable place mats. (These are fantastic for stopping at a restuarant).
  • Burp cloths
  • Travel infant/toddler spoons and forks if baby is eating table food. (Don't use these in the car obviously and use them supervised of course, but if you stop at a restaurant You will need these. I take at least 5 of each because my daughter is in the throwing at stage right now. That's usually enough for at least 2-3 stops.)
  • Infant fever reducer like infant Tylenol or infant ibuprofen.
  • Thermometer
  • A book for you to enjoy during any nap time for baby.
  • Your cell phone charger. I keep mine in a side zipper pocket.
  • Snacks (cheerios, goldfish, Puffs, Yogurt Melts, Applesauce or other little squeeze pouches, stuff like that)
  • A bottle of water
  • Nail clippers
  • Your wallet
  • Your keys

I usually throw in a couple extra things as well for my older kiddos too. Like an extra baggie of snacks for them too, a book for them and a travel activity pack for them, etc).

Traveling with kids on an airplane

Now for airplane travel some of these items may not be allowed. It's important to check with your preferred airline on their rules. Here is an interesting article about carry on bags though that may be helpful if you choose to go the flying route.

There may be some of you out there that are already panicking because maybe you have never had to pack a diaper bag before or packing for a trip just intimidates you. Don't be alarmed, we have all been there! Here is a handy how-to.

Now let's talk about types of diaper bags. We currently use a backpack styled diaper bag for travel because my husband carries it a lot and he prefers the backpack style.
Travel diaper bag

 I do have to say it is a lot more easier to manage in some cases. It also frees up the extra space under our stroller for anything we purchase like souvenirs, items from shopping, etc.

Any style can work, it just depends on what you pack, who will be doing most of the carrying of your diaper bag, your preferences, etc. Like I said everyone's needs and likes differ. Just don't go too crazy. Make sure your zippers aren't bursting or anything. It's important to pick a diaper bag with a lot of compartments and space. But not something so big you are going to struggle carrying it. Make sure you find your match. I have been guilty of those things myself time and again. :)

Once you find your right fit for a travel diaper bag make sure you have a handy checklist of items you want to pack. Make your list and check it twice! That way you have less to worry about, and will feel more certain you packed everything you wanted to pack.

Is there anything you must have for your travel diaper bag? And feel free to comment down below with any tips you would like to add to this list. We would be happy to hear them.

Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Nakturnal. All opinions expressed are solely my own. 
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