5 simple ways to decorate for Fall.

5 SIMPLE WAYS TO DECORATE FOR FALL

Im all about simplicity during the holidays y'all. I also really don't like spending much money on holiday decor since the trends come in and out and then I'm stuck with decor I won't use again! Here are a few tips on a simple , affordable way to decorate for Fall! Comment below if you have any tips to add! 

 

1. FOCUS YOUR DECORATING EFFORTS ON THE MAIN LIVING SPACES IN YOUR HOME.

When I don’t have time for big changes in our home, I concentrate on decorating a few main spaces: the fireplace mantle, front door entrance , the living room , and the kitchen. Since these are the places we spend the most time, and the places guests will see when they visit, they will have the biggest impact to make our home feel like fall.

 

2. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE PUMPKIN.

Fall is all about pumpkins so grab a few decorative ones and sprinkle them around your home. I love the white pumpkins because they will fit in with any color scheme. The small pumpkins can easily be added all over the house too. Place them around a bookcase, on a shelf, or even on a tray on your coffee table.

I sprinkled a few pumpkins on our mantle, added a couple on the coffee table in our living room , and still have a few more to play with.

 

3. USE PRINTABLES FOR INSTANT FALL DECOR or a letter board for cute sayings .

 

Printables are my favorite way to add a touch of the season without any work. I have a few rustic frames that I use all the time, I just change out the printable to match the new decor. And printables can be used anywhere you have artwork. In a frame on the mantle, in a gallery wall or even on a shelf. Letter boards are popular right now and man they are just so fun! I love changing out the sayings , and it's a great job to give your kids!

 

4. DECORATE WITH FALL FRUITS.

Decorating for fall can be as easy as adding a bowl of apples and pears to a beautiful bowl or tray along with som pretty greenery. I love to stay as simple as possible and this is my favorite way to make a centerpiece .  A bonus is the kids can easily enjoy a healthy snack from your decor ! This one with the apples was so simple and just what I wanted . The greenery was $3.00 from target and I will be able to use it all holiday season! I love using squash , artichokes and pumpkins too.

 

5. TOSS IN A COUPLE PILLOWS.

Throw pillows are the easiest way to add some seasonal decor to your home. Toss them on every sofa, bench, or even make floor pillows that can just be tossed on the floor. Pillow covers are super easy to make, or you can buy inexpensive ones for the perfect budget friendly fall decor.

 

Last but not least , throw a few pumpkins and fall flowers around your front door and you're done!

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Inspiration

 In my short life I have been through a lot of pain, mentally and physically .   I can simply say I've had a beautiful painful last few years of life. At a young age I've had a lot of loss, many gains, happiness, sadness, I have won a lot and I have lost.  

I never could have imagined having to fight for my life over and over and over. There of been many times during my illness that I have wanted to give up . There have been many times that I did not have the strength to open my eyes let alone get out of bed. There were many times when I watched my hospital monitor and thought let's just let all this go.

What I have realize more than anything is that God will never give you more than you can handle. I know some people scoff at this phrase but it is oh so true. Sometimes we are broke in order to be fixed. I am one of those people. I am grateful now that I was shattered in many different ways. I am nowthe person that God wanted me to be.  I could not get here without immense pain. I could not get here without almost losing my life to see the true beauty in life. I will never look at life the same again and for that I am so blessed. Not many people can see life the way I know I can see it now.  I do not think it is possible unless you almost lose it.  Nothing can keep me down now. Nothing. Throughout my illness prayer has been  what has kept me opening my eyes. Prayer has kept me moving. Without it I am nothing. Over the last 2 1/2 years I have collected so many different books from people bringing them to the hospital , and written journals upon journals of favorite quotes . I have hundreds of cards from strangers and loved ones and I have countless inspirational quotes  that I have been sent. Here are just a few of my favorite quotes that have really helped me. Just remember whatever your struggle may be  struggles are here to teach you something.  If you are broken it is so you can be fixed. Do not waste being broken .  Don't ever forget that there is blood involved when it comes to reaching the top of a mountain . Let the cling shape you. You always come out stronger. 

 

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that.

 

The mind is everything. What you think you become. 

 

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.

 

I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.

 

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

 

Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.

 

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.

 

Love to be real, it must cost – it must hurt – it must empty us of self.

 

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength

 

All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me.... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you

 

Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.

 

Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood – finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without

 

The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers

 

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

 

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

 

God gave us pain to remind us we are alive, so we will learn to value the joys and beauty of the world.

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Let's plan it!

I'm going to be honest, I was not born type A, nor am I naturally productive. I have always been extremely driven, but the productivity side did not come naturally .

im extremely laid back and have always had the " it will get done no matter what " mentality . I'm the type that always waits until the last minute , then will go hard until I'm finished . I've always been this way , but the last 2 years I've really had to teach myself how to live on a consistent schedule. My body has been through a lot and sometimes it's extremely hard to motivate myself. I would get very overwhelmed when looking down at what all I had to do and would just want to push it aside until I had no more time left to wait. I finally realized if I split things up and made a block schedule, I was highly productive and would hit my goals. I also had to learn how to NOT set myself up for failure. I had to learn that if I set a workout for 2 days later on a day I felt extremely energetic , I may not feel that way two days later . So instead , I learned to block out the workout time, but not to schedule in what kind until the night before or even morning of. Point is, the time was blocked out , so even if my workout meant walking , I had it scheduled and didn't set myself up for disappointment.

My hats off to the mommas who are productive so naturally. You're rockstars! 

Here are my tips . Enjoy! 

Focus:

Focus on minutes, not hours. There are 1,440 minutes in every day and there is nothing more valuable than time. You must master your minutes to master your life.

Focus only on one thing. Invest the first part of your day on meditating on your blessings then the first goal of your day, followed by the next once you have completed your first.

Throw away your to-do list; instead schedule everything on your calendar. Half the stuff written on to do list doesn't get done . Instead write your schedule on a calendar and put your day in to blocks . It sounds like a pain, but it will help you have a highly productive day. “There is always more to be done, more that should be done, always more than can be done.” know what you value in life. God, family time, exercise, giving back, a little you time . If you consciously allocate your 1,440 minutes a day to each area you value (i.e., you  put it on your calendar) and then you stick to the schedule.

Beat procrastination with time travel:

Your future self can’t be trusted. Seriously.  That’s because we are “time inconsistent.” I buy veggies today because I think we’ll eat healthy salads all week; then we throw out green rotting mush in the future. People will buy a workout series because they think they are going to start exercising vigorously and yet the box sits unopened one year later. I ask myself , what can I do now to make sure my future self does the right thing? Anticipate how you will self-sabotage in the future, and come up with a solution to defeat your future self.

Plan dinner the day of:

How many times do we get to 3:00 PM and think " man there is no way I have the energy to cook dinner ". I'm there all the time, but I've figured out if I plan dinner the day before or even that morning, I stick to the plan and don't fold. If I plan dinner days in advance I don't always stick to the plan . Life changes . I get it . Some days turn out really long and you're like, hell let's order pizza. But once again, if you devote 30 minutes of your day to planning and prepping dinner, you will end up sitting down to a home cooked meal no matter how long your day was. Plan a night off of cooking in advance.

Give yourself a break:

Seriously. Schedule in some time during the week when you can just be . Whether you're binging on a TV show or out to a long lunch with girlfriends, give yourself that break. You will feel recharged and ready to get back to a schedule the next day.

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Sweater :Vicidolls 

Sneakers:Golden Goose  

Planner: Target  

Letter board: Amazon  

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His timing

 "Enjoy your life while he works on your circumstances" .

I read this a few years ago and plastered it to my fridge. The daily reminder of that statement was such a comfort to me . It was such a great reminder that while I may have all these plans for life, I'm really not the one in control.

I had all these plans before I got sick. My husband and I made plans together .  My heart had many desires , some small and some big. From wanting to build a house, open a third business, write a book, compete in an iron man, and the biggest desire of all-wanting another child. There were many plans, but God had his plan.

When i got sick I felt that everything got taken from me. I was a strong healthy athlete , a successful medical distributor, a mother, daughter and friend . I was simply a 29 year old girl who had so much in front of her. I left the hospital at 93 lbs( went in two weeks before at a solid 130) and so weak I couldn't even lift a fork to my mouth,  I had to stop working in the OR and sold my shares to the company I started so I could take the year off. I could not even walk to the mailbox, I missed out days and days with my daughter , and I was isolated from the outside world . I wanted to be bitter and I wanted to ask God to take this from me, but I knew that wasn't his will. I had to see the light. My illness ended up giving me so much more than I ever hoped for . Suffering made me the person I am today and I am so grateful for it. I'm not saying it's been easy... but the outcome has been a blessing . Fighting for my life gave me complete dependency on God. I put my hands up and said fine, you take this lord and do what you want . My illness showed me beauty in the smallest things , and gratefulness in areas I was never grateful for( you have no idea how glorious it is to shower without a picc line right now ) and it brought me so close to the Lord. I am able to see suffering now like never before . I am able to live in the moment and be satisfied . I love harder than I have ever loved . I forgive quickly .

Through the last two and a half years of illness , I have had to repeat the saying that I had on my fridge for so long . I have had to remind myself of HIS promise . To give us all we ask for on his time if it's good for us. If it's HIS will.

After relapsing 4 times since last September , I started feeling that maye my desires in my heart and in my husbands heart would never be attained . That maybe I was just simply supposed to keep suffering . That maybe I just needed to be ok being sick. It would be a lie to say that I was happy about it. I was heartbroken when I relapsed in June of this year . I was simply shattered . I had been feeling so good and for the first time in so long I felt like we were getting close to being normal . I was getting healthy . That maybe finally God was going to let us have our time, our desires and our dreams met.

My husband and I started at a fertility clinic in may. This is something I've desired more than anything for so so long  . I always wanted more children and couldn't imagine not having anymore.  When I had my first big surgery I was told I should never try to carry a pregnancy again. That it was too risky. Additionally after the amount of radiation and treatment I've had , it seemed like a far cry. Shattered is a understatement . I then became angry and confused . When I started working in the OR again I even had to stop working in C-sections because I would leave crying every single day when cases were done. My heart would be on the floor. I was so confused as to why so many people could have something that I couldn't have .


What is funny is that I stopped remembering the phrase ... I became impatient . When I relapsed in June one month after we started at the fertility clinic , I had some words with the big man. A few days later I once again realized I had stopped remembering something so important. HIS timing . I remembered that he's always teaching us something... and that when we allow him to work on his time , it all makes sense .

Im 12 weeks out from surgery this week , and I'm picc line free still. I feel stronger every week and am slowly getting my energy back. I am anxious about relapsing since I have so many times , but I am trying to say yes to whatever his will for me is.  Instead of making an exact plan, I am enjoying my life while he takes care of my circumstances. I am waiting patiently . Nothing great comes easy!

This post in a nut shell? His timing is best. Trust him. Don't give up. Pray for patience. Drink wine.

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Macrobiotic chicken soup

 For the stock

1 whole, small-sized chicken, (roughly 1.2-1.4kg) feet and neck included (optional) I get mine Pre roasted at Whole Foods if I'm low on time! 

2 large onions, finely chopped

1/2 tablespoon (loosely packed) finely chopped sage

1 teaspoon (loosely packed) finely chopped thyme

1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 large carrot

1 large stick of celery

For the soup

2 litres of chicken stock (extracted from stock-making recipe)

2 cups shredded chicken meat (extracted from stock making recipe)

1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery

1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrots

2 - 5 cloves garlic minced garlic (a garlic crusher works a treat)

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

1 teaspoon finely grated turmeric

1 cup (loosely packed) finely chopped parsley

1/2 cup (loosely packed) finely chopped fresh coriander

1 can green lentils, drained and rinsed (optional)

generous seasoning of sea salt or 1 cup brown rice .

 

Simmer all day! 

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The golden rule

"It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business." —Mohandas Gandhi 

Man oh man. Let me tell you what. I was really and let me emphasize REALLY tested this week when it came to loving someone who is in turn trying to hurt me and my family. I was truly tested this week on what it means to love like Jesus loves us, to exercise the golden rule.  To pray for those who hurt you and hate you. To weep for them instead of spitting on them. To choose to love them which gives you the power. 

This is a experience that those close to us know about ( thank you for your support and prayers)  but to those who do not , I am sharing these thoughts with you because of the amount of bullying that goes on especially with teens, to the hatred , jealousy , and bitterness that goes on in the lives of adults. 

Love Your Enemy is the ultimate expression of the Golden Rule. Why? How would you like it if people who tried to hurt you turned around and loved you? Great! They would no longer be your enemies! So since you would like your enemies to love you, you have to love them. If you love them, they cease being your enemies and are only one to themselves. 

Treat others the way you want to be treated and Whatever is hateful to yourself, do not do to others, are behavioral formulations of the Golden Rule. Love you enemy is the emotional formulation. If we follow the behavioral formulations, we need to consciously consider the right thing to do in each separate situation. When we follow the emotional formulation and feel love for others, we will usually treat them the right way without needing to constantly deliberate about it. I'm not saying it comes easy . It didn't come easy  for me this week. But it takes a lot more energy to hate someone back than it does to love them. 

Loving our enemies does not mean that we must let them keep hurting us. When we truly love people, we have to stop them the best we can from doing things that can harm themselves or other innocent people. But we do it from love, not hatred. We do it for the good and not to get back

The Golden Rule puts me in charge. I am going to turn you into my friend even if you treat me like an enemy. How? By consistently treating you like a friend even when you are treating me like an enemy. Before long, you will start treating me like a friend because you are biologically programmed for reciprocity–to treat me the way I am treating you. We teach this to our babies at such a young age. So the Golden Rule is the ultimate empowerment. 

Now days you see all this anti bullying social media stuff and you see the signs in schools. Instead of " take the bully by the horns " how about living by the golden rule? If just a few of us loved our enemies back, imagine the difference it would make. Love is power . Let's spread love . Let's teach love . Let's live by the golden rule.  

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Week 1 workout

As a  Busy mama there is nothing I love more than being able to get a good workout at home. I can workout in my pj's ? Sure . Drink my semi warm coffee in between sets? Even better .

100 jumping jacks  

100 crunches  

100 squats  

25 push ups  

25 burpees  

do this circuit 3 times with a two minute rest in between. You will do this daily until you get to Friday. Friday is 30 minutes of cardio. Go kill it! 

 

 

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Life is tough my darling..but so are you.

Sometimes I feel like a rock star. Other times I just feel like 💩. Some days I look in the mirror and I feel pretty. Other days , not so much. Some days I feel strong . Powerful . Other days weak. Some days I feel sexy and confident. Other days I cry when I'm getting dressed as I look at my chest. Some days Jesus and I are so tight. So close . Other days he feels far. There are days I am obsessed with my husband, other days he's got me like 😡🙅🏻. Sometimes I feel like I totally have this parenting thing down ... then some days I throw my hands up and sit in my closet with a glass of wine or 3. 

In this day and age we are  constantly sold that perfection actually exist. We are constantly shown( or at least sold )  perfect people, perfect bodies, perfect homes, perfect kids, perfect wives , at least that is what is portrayed. let's get real y'all I ain't perfect and still have yet to meet anyone who is . We must stop comparing ourselves. I can't tell you how many times a day I get messages off social media saying " I wish I was like you. Your family is goals. Your this and that is goals". People . The only goal you should ever care about is your heart being good. Your faith being number 1. Being a better version of yourself than yesterday. 

We are human. Humans are simply that. Humans. We fall. We rise . We flourish, we die. We flourish again. We fail. We win. We laugh. We cry.  

Today I challenge you to be human. To feel the emotions of being a human. I challenge you to smile, to be positive , to challenge yourself on something that needs challenging , but also to allow yourself to cry if needed, to feel. To sit in that closet with yo wine, girlfriend! Take that breather. Have a pity party. Then put on your big girl panties, count your blessings, thank God for them, and enjoy your day. See, that's human. Smiling 100 % of the time and telling your kids the word is made from happiness and skittles is not. 

Again, don't get me wrong. I am not trying to be negative. I'm simply trying to tell you to be human.  I wake up every day so thankful. I wake up grateful to be here. I try to be positive . I try to challenge myself daily . But I try to do it as a real person. Sometimes I'm grateful and cry three times that day. Just be human. Only compare yourself to yesterday's self . Be confident in the fact you want to be better than you  were yesterday. Be confident in the fact that every single person struggles . Everyone falls. Everyone has their bad days. Some hide it better than others. Just remember ... you're human. 

 

❤️ 

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Skin cleanse

  1. There is nothing I love more than a dewy fresh face! It's so hard now says to find the right skin care .  Everything is being thrown at you left and right and it's hard to make the right decision.  I finally sat down and truly started educating myself on skin. It is such a complex subject. After lots of reading and research I finally realized that my skin needed what the rest of my body needs. Nutrients. Not Band-Aids.  I realized that the best thing for my skin was nutrients we can find on this earth. Also my skin soaks up everything I put on it. Why would I want to put chemicals in to my body? I love able to use products that I know we're not harming my body.  After two years of so much medication and treatment my skin really had a fit. I have truly had to work so hard to find the right combination of nutrients for my skin. Bottom line natural products have proven best.  I don't have time for a long retain and so I wanted to find products that works great and kept my skin routine quick. I have been using a vitamin C serum and a HA acid for the past three months and I love what it's done for my skin. I wanted to add a little more nutrients though. I discovered  Beauty oils a few months ago and I cannot say enough amazing things about them. Inhad never used a oil cleanser and my gosh I was missing out! This SW apricot cleanser is simply perfect. I also discovered honey, apple cider vinegar, and many other products I could find in my fridge that were so great for my skin. SW basics products are exactly what I was looking for. They incorporate in the ingredients that I know work.  I cannot wait to try every single product they have and can't wait to share it with you!  Below is a skin cleanse that I did ( sharing from SW) and I urge you to try it! Let me know if you have any questions!

Skin cleanse : Take your makeup off really, really well the night before you start the cleanse. We’re going to be washing our faces with water for two whole days. So I’m gonna need you to do some deep cleaning before we start. Exfoliate. Cleanse. Do three rounds with your favorite makeup remover. Get really really shiny clean. Find ONE ingredient or ONE product as your emergency crutch. For me, it’s Tea tree oil . That’s because it’s antibacterial and moisturizing. So if I’m feeling suddenly gross or dry, I can massage some of it on and feel better instantly. Other options: olive oil, apple cider vinegar diluted in some water, plain water, coconut oil, honey (apply then rinse). Again, these are all emergency ingredients. Ideally, you are giving your skin a complete and total break so it has some time to clean and heal itself. But if you’re stressing, wash your face with water over and over. Dab coconut oil hear and there. Whatever you need, as long as it’s simple and [for real] natural. Get your hands off your face. I’m serious. I should have put this as #1 but I know it’s going to cause a full-blown anxiety attack, and I wanted you to get through the post first. I should have dedicated an entire chapter in Skin Cleanse to how much we wreck our faces by touching/picking/scratching/popping and whatever else those little creepster hands are doing all day. RESIST. The more you do this the better the results will be. Find something else to do.

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Where does suffering bring us?

When I first became sick, my heart ached for Sophia. She had to see so much suffering at such a young age. She had to worry about losing her Mom. She had to see me in a way little kids should never have to see their parent. She has had to say goodbye to me many times . Shes had to be separated from me a total of 12 weeks from hospitalizations . She's had to sit through dozens and dozens of doctor appointments without complaining. Its those times though that we have bonded so strongly. It's the times she's sat next to me in my hospital bed holding my hand when I can't even talk I'm in so much pain. My precious step children have taken on the burden as well and have had to be so strong .

 

My Mom calmed my fears about what my kids have had to see , and told me that you can't teach kids suffering, you can't teach them the lessons They would learn . I look back now over the last 2 1/2 years of being sick and I see that my mom was right. In this day and age so many kids think the world revolves around them. They think life is a carnival . They aren't use to sacrifice. As I look back now , I am grateful for the lessons suffering has taught. 

 There is one very obvious benefit of pain. It keeps us from seriously hurting ourselves. When you touch something hot, you instantly pull away because of pain. If you did not feel the pain, you might burn yourself seriously without realizing it. Pain tells us when we have an illness or injury that needs to be treated. Pain can save our lives in this way.

There are benefits of pain and suffering. The way suffering can cultivate a heart is incredible.

Pain and suffering can help us to learn important lessons in life.

Pain and suffering can bring about creativiy, resourcefulness and courage. Artists and composers sometimes do their greatest work during times of pain or loss.

Pain and suffering can help us to comfort others who are going through similar pain.

 Pain and suffering can help to shape our character.

Pain and suffering can test us to show what we are made of.

Pain and suffering can lead to repentance and salvation.

Sometimes it takes pain and suffering to turn a person's life around and head it in the right direction.

Pain and suffering can sometimes help us to trust God.

Perhaps we are forced to turn to God because we have no other place to turn.

Bearing pain and suffering well can be an inspiration to others.

 Pain and suffering can prevent us from becoming dangerously proud.

 Sometimes pain and suffering in the life of one person can result in the advancement of the gospel in the life of another person. 

 Pain and suffering can allow us to be like Jesus. We are allowed to share in Christ's suffering as we serve the one who suffered on our behalf.

 

And so you see ... suffering is a gift.  

 

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A happier me

Give yourself a 5 minute glam and throw something cute on. I don't care if you have littles, it's 5 minutes! 5. Stuff them in the bathroom with you. A quick skin routine, throwing your hair up in a cute pony tail, and a little lip gloss and mascara can make you feel like a million bucks . Throw on that easy dress and boom. Momma feeling good! Do this for yourself. I promise it's worth it. 

 

Start your day with a prayer . Even if it's just two minutes start your day by thanking the one who gave you this day. Ask for the things you need spiritually , physically , mentally . Pray throughout the day. Seriously. Like, all the day long . the second you feel sad, anxious, worried, overwhelmed, or just in need of a pick me up, use your direct line to the big guy upstairs. he hears you, knows you, loves you, and wants to hear from you! lay it all out for him, and let him carry those feelings with you. Remember , God is a gentlemen , he will carry the load.

 

Look for the simple joys. this, for a busy mom, might be a shower, a Starbucks, or a quiet naptime. focus on the joyous moments in your day. There are so many if you stop and notice them. Allowing yourself to savor a moment of sheer tranquility has the ability to get you through a long day. Pay attention to the little things, and replay those moments over and over when your day gets busy or hard. Smile up at the sun. 

 

Counting your blessings. Sometimes life gets really hard. Really really hard . Then we only start seeing the negative. We are all guilty of it. If we stop and think about the blessings that we do have, the negativity vanishes! This girl has had to really get good at counting the blessings let me tell you, but when you start to look for them, for even the smallest blessings, everything becomes positive. Remember...even our mom duties could be taken away from us at any moment. cherish them. Getting out of bed every day is a blessing. 

 

Find time to workout, meditate , read, flip through a magazine, or just something to unwind and focus on yourself. With  all our lists, busy schedules, and daily obstacles we need to make sure we take a moment to focus on us. Us time revives us. Be it the mind, body, soul, or all three make sure to make time for you. 

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You are perfectly flawed

 "You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful".

 There is nothing more rare, nor more       beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty. But it's hard right? It's damn hard. Especially in this day and age . 

I say we say  goodbye to our inner critic, and take this pledge to be kinder to ourselves and others. Confidence is all in your head . You either talk yourself in to being confident or you compare yourself to others and feel awful about yourself . There is nothing worse than not feeling confident in your own skin and nothing better then not thinking twice about putting on that swim suite .  Believe me. I've been on both ends . 

In this day and age we compare ourselves to everythibg that is not real. We do it to ourselves without even thinking twice about it. Do you know what screams confidence ? Someone who IS confident . Someone who knows they have flaws but is proud of where they are . Someone who loves the body God has given them and promises to take care of it . That's confidence .  

How do I know this? Because once upon a time a long time ago i made my living as a fitness model. I was paid to look a certain way. My worth was in my looks. If I didn't have a perfect six pack or perfect glutes I was failing. I had to be perfect all the time. I put so much in to my appearance that I forgot about the inside. I forgot that the inside needs the most cultivating. Having the perfect body was all that mattered. It's what I was paid to do.

6 years later I have 24 scars covering my chest , stomach and sides of my body. My breast have been gutted and my six pack is no more.  I will never forget when I got home from my first major surgery. I had been in the hospital for two weeks and had not been myself.  I remember looking at myself in the mirror and sobbing for hours. Not only was I 90 pounds but my skin was white, my eyes were sunken, and I literally looked like an eight-year-old boy.  I almost did not even recognize myself. But you see, this ended up being a beautiful experience for me. It taught me so much. My scars are reminders of something beautiful. A journey . A very long journey that changed every ounce of me for the best. Something that broke me but I didnt stay broken. Something that tries to hurt me but i didn't let it take me.  It's a memory of something beautiful, traumatic, and victorious all at the same time . 

So let's embrace our scars . Our stretch marks. Our beauriful imperfections. Lets remember that our bodies have given life. That they have overcome obstacles. Lets remember we are powerhouses. That we are as strong as we let ourselves be. Let's take care of the body God gave us.  


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This thing called life

This last week a precious man who was bigger than life and so incredibly loved went to be with Jesus . He was my husbands best friend and let me tell you, everyone should model after the kind of friend Matt was. 

When someone passes you start to tell stories . You hear hundreds of stories . You cry and laugh and cry some more . Little things that maybe you never realized you noticed about that person come to light. Friday night my husband and the guys all close to Matt had a get together at our house in honor of him. At the end of the night my husband  came in with tears in his eyes and said " someone left their cooler ... would Matt not always leave his cooler at our house after being over ?! " Little things and big things are noticed once someone is gone . Even something like Matt leaving a cooler . He was the life of the party, always had a smile on his face , was kind to everyone and never judged anyone .  All of this prompted so many thoughts in my head . What will we be remembered for ? 

Fighting for my life the past 2 years has been exhausting . Its been agonizing . It's been overwhelming . Sometimes it's felt very lonely . Matt was the one person in our life who truly knew what it felt like . He would say it all the time to Dee and I. He would say only I know what she's going through and I don't know how she's doing it . He was that guy.. that guy who truly cared. That friend who ached for you. That friend who came around during recoveries just to have some FaceTime . He comforted , he supported , he sympathized , and he made you laugh. 

Matt will be remembered for so many amazing things . It makes you take a step back and think , am I living well enough? When I go, are people going to say I was great ? That I loved hard? That I was a good spouse, parent , daughter, and friend ? Did I let life get in the way of truly living ? Did I care more about things that are fleeting? Did I go the extra mile to be a person everyone knew they could count on? Did I love big ? Was I two faced? Did I hold anger ? Was I real?  It's hard to be real in this day and age... people hide behind their phones , behind social media . I've got people who follow my blog or who like my photos but if I was to see them in Whole Foods they would just keep walking .

Was I jealous of other people or did I count my blessings and relish what I have? Did I let insecurities make me a bitter or caddy person or did I work on myself while being in awe of others? Did I let clothes, bags, shoes, cars, or my house define me or did my actions and my heart define me? 

Did I use my hall passes on selfish things or did I pick up the phone and call that girlfriend who is going through a break up and ask her if she would like to go to dinner? Was I there for those who were there for me? 

Losing someone always puts these questions in your head I feel like . But does it change you? Sometimes we go through life feeling invincible. I probably used to. When you life can potentially be  taken from you it changes you. You stop feeling invincible and you start cherishing every single day . You get a real wake up slap in the face. We are saying goodbye to someone who has left a hole in so many hearts . Rooms will never be the same without him in them. What will rooms be like without you in them? As we say are goodbyes to someone so loved it hit me so hard that my husband and family could have been in this position the last two years with me  . It broke me to pieces in a way I can't describe . I somehow  went to bed this weekend loving my husband harder than I have ever loved him. It made me want to pull my kids even tighter . I messaged friends who I haven't been able to see in a while . I begged God to show me how I can grow . Times like this are heartbreaking but they also have a purpose . They can teach you many things and they can gift you with a even better life . Life is what you put in to it. Live today like it's the only day you have . Reach out to someone today. Say hello to someone in your workout class who you have never made the effort to say hello to. Message your husband someone sweet. Kiss your kids extra. At the end of the day thank God you're here and ask him to show you areas in your life that you can work on to be a even better person. That's when life starts getting really good ... when God is able to mold you . 

Don't  waste your time and energy trying to compete with others. Be you.  Sometimes you're ahead , sometimes you're behind . The race is long and in the end it's only with yourself . Be happy. You never know how much time you have left.

 

 

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Dear daughter

To my daughter:

I dreamt of you since I was a little girl . 

Since I was a little girl toting around a baby doll, I have been practicing to be your mommy. I have dreamed about reading you bedtime stories and tucking you in. Your perfect eyes and warm smile, I’ve pictured them in my mind countless times. I’ve hoped for the special connection that would bond us together, unshakably. That we find the perfect balance between parent and someone who you see as your greatest friend . 

I want to be the one who knows your secrets, and your dreams, and your fears.

I worry about the rough times, when you learn everyone isn’t your friend and some people are unnecessarily cruel.

I want to protect you from the evil in the world, but also prepare you for it.

I hope I can be the mother who teaches you kindness, patience, and forgiveness. 

I hope you never feel the sting of being different, but rather embrace it, knowing that our differences are what make us beautiful and allow us to grow.

Do not let bad experiences harden you. Use them to gain insight and empathy; you will learn compassion as a result. You have already seen so much at such an early age while I have been sick. You had to see me dying at such a young age . You had to see so much suffering . I see now that it only made you more amazing . 

I hope your tongue is not irreversibly sharp when you are angry. I have been like that in the last. Words have been my dagger . Please do not let your emotions overpower your ability to remain kind. I have had to learn to harness my emotions and not let them ruin my chance at peace . 

I want you to be strong and stay grounded in what you know is right. You will get so much farther .  If you must stray from the crowd to remain true to your values, I hope you are courageous enough to do so. I believe in you. 

I hope your heart is open, and you are able to trust. Please don’t let your insecurities impede your path, the way I did. Always remember YOU ARE WORTH IT. 

Don’t cling to the comforts of what you know. Be bold and explore your curiosities. Embrace failure as a necessity of growth. Do not fear it; it will teach you the greatest lessons of all.

I know you will find your way, as I have found mine. I wish it were possible that you never experience pain or sorrow, but you must. It will shape you in a positive way, if you let it. 

You will stumble and fall and, no doubt, be discouraged. But you will stand up, dust yourself off, and take another step, because you are strong. Because you are my daughter and that's what I've taught you to do.

It is your path to walk. I can’t do it for you, and I don’t want to. Oh the places you will go my darling . Always remember ,  I will support you every step of the way, because…

 

You are strong, you are beautiful, you are worth it and you are a kings daughter .  Never settle . Never settle . 

 

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Blueberry peach crumble

Happy #humpday ! There is a new recipe on the blog . Y'all. This is hands down a guest favorite as well my my husbands . Every time I make it I'm asked for the recipe. This is the easiest dessert ever . It screams southern summer! Enjoy!

 

#blog #blogger #mommyblogger #memphismoms #memphisblogger #recipe #recipes #southern #healthyfood #healthyeating #family #kids #momlife #moments #ontheblog

 

For the Fruit:

2 pounds organic frozen peaches

1 lb frozen blueberries ( or you can change to more blueberries etc )

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup organic cane sugar

¼ cup all-purpose gluten free flour

 

For the Crumble:

1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour

1/3 cup organic granulated sugar

¼ cup living brown organic sugar, lightly packed

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees OR choose to place this on a grill! I love placing a dish on the grill and letting the heat do the work! Gives it the best taste and it only takes about 10 minutes ! 

 

Allow peaches and blueberries to thaw for a few hours ( instead of microwaving them)  Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the fruit . Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.  Spoon the mixture into ramekins or custard cups.

 

For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in a bowl. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it’s in big crumbles, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or sales caramel ice cream or simply omit for less calories .

 

If you want to make these early, store the unbaked crumbles in the refrigerator and bake before dinner.

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Fake it till you make it

As a kid growing up, my mom would always have me make my bed. It didn't seem logical to me, because I was just going to mess it up anyway when I got back in bed that night. 

Why make my bed when all I was going to do was sleep in it? I still can't tell you why she had me make it, but I can tell you that having to make it everyday from the age of three to eighteen, I learned that a clean house is a happy one.
Walking into my room with my bed made gave me this "ah, I'm home" feeling. I totally understand it even better now. As a mom of three , my house always seems to be off in one or two areas. That's life with kids anyone will tell you, and I know it's okay to let a mess be here and there while my kids play, but still nothing beats a clean house. So, sure the kitchen and living room might look like a bomb went off, but at least my bed is made.... sometimes. Sorry mom.
I dream of a maid who comes everyday and cleans, but that's not reality. I do have a little magic that shows up to my house twice a week though. Yep I said it, I have a house keeper that comes twice a week. I would starve before I ever lived my weeks without her. No seriously I ate lentil soup for a week one time when I was a single mom and just starting off as a medical rep. I was on a low Salary while training and I didn't have time to train clients like I used to. I thought I will seriously starve before I let her go! 

So yeah. I have her twice a week. This is one of this moments where I am like" man you sound like a spiked brat ". Here's the thing.  When I was working full time as a medical rep and in surgery every day all day, I didn't have time to clean my house . I would get home at night and I just wanted to spend time with my family . Not fold 10 loads of laundry . When I got sick, I needed help even more . My house keeper has been with me 6 years and as I said , she is pure magic. She knows what I like and how to make me feel like my world is going round , even on the most chaotic days. I finally realized one day that sometimes you just have to let it go. I figured if I was a good housekeeper I didn't need help. Right? Funny I know. Sounds like I needed a humility lesson. what's even better is I thought her coming twice a week would mean I didn't have to clean. WRONG. I still have piles of dishes daily, 3 dogs to clean up after daily ( I'm psycho about my floors so I mop and swiffer them daily ) and mounds of laundry . I still have the daily chores. It's the deep cleaning stuff I can't ever get to! 

I finally realized I just couldn't do it all. No one can. So you gotta cut your losses . You gotta sit down and say what's going to give me a better quality of life? If I was to have some humility for a minute, what would change? 

As a mother , I think we are our biggest critics. We are our biggest competition. We see other moms doing more than us and we judge ourselves. Oh you bakes those beautiful muffins for the school snack today ? I went to Whole Foods and stuffed a bunch of muffins in a bag. You cut out the sandwich with cookie cutters to make perfect hearts? Now I really feel like a failure! LOL! 

Heres the thing Mommies...someone is always going to be ahead of us. But here's why. No one walks in your shoes every day. Some people have more time then others . Some mommas kids are easier than others. Some mommas just have a little extra drive in the morning . That's ok! We all have our special things about us! I can guarantee your child could write down a hundred special things that you do for them right now .  

Figuring out what helps gave me a better quality of life made me so much happier. I can't tell you the feeling I have when I have been gone a straight 7 hours and I walk in the house with the kids and groceries and my house is perfect. I used to feel guilty,  now I'm just a damn winner.  

Give yourself a break! Find out what makes your life go round. Cut your losses and take a breather! Stop competing against yourself! When you get in to bed at night, are you really going to lose sleep if you took the easy way out on something? When I get in to my freshly washed sheets that smell of lavender at night, and my bedroom is perfectly together because Maritza came today,  I just sing that song in my head " all I do is win win win" .  

It's a messy life, but it's my life, and it sure is a dang good one. 

M

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Meal plan # 1

This is a easy quick meal plan for busy families who want to eat clean and yummy all week! One of my biggest hurdles right now is not getting home until 8:00 PM because of the kids sports . I have learned that planning out meals for the week and starting them late afternoon has made such a difference! 

All the meals below take less than 20 minutes to prepare and are healthy, full of protein, healthy fats , and vegetables . 

Let me know if you have any questions!  

 

 

Day 1. 

Taco salad  

90% lean ground turkey ( 2 lbs) 

1 onion chopped  

lettuce 

Tomatoes  

corn  

avocado  

jack cheese  ( leave off if you're wanting to eat a little cleaner ) 

spicy black beans  

Brown rice or Red hot blue chips  

fat free plain Greek yogurt ( in place of sour cream )  

 

I opt out for taco seasoning because of all the sodium. I use onion powder , chili powered , garlic, salt, pepper, and one cooked onion in. 

 

Enjoy!  

 

Day 2. 

Shrimp and Couscous with veggies  

3 lbs peeled shrimp  

2 boxes of 5 minute couscous of your choice ( I use herb and garlic usually )  

Chopped pineapple  

Zucchini  

asparagus  

 

i sautee the shrimp while the couscous sets . Once the shrimp is cooked I  sautee the vegetables in coconut oil or olive oil. Salt and paper to taste . I then place the couscous , shrimp and veggies in a large serving dish. Done! 

 

Day 3.  

Baked chicken, rosemary potatoes and Brussels .  

Seaon your chicken the night before and place in a dish or plastic bag and set in the fridge . Chop your brussels and potatoes the night before as well.  This cuts down majorly on time! 

When you're ready to cook dinner place your chicken in the oven and throw your potatoes on a baking sheet and let them bake at the same time . I season my potatoes with Olive  oil , fresh rosemary ,course salt and pepper . 

I season my brussels with olive oil , salt , pepper , and honey . 

This is a quick fix , y'all!  

 

Day 4.

Turkey Spaghetti with gluten free noodles and fresh or frozen green beans . 

I love making meatballs but sometimes don't have time for it. When the time doesn't permit , i just cook my ground turkey in a pan with garlic , Italian seasoning, salt , pepper, and the herbs I might have around . 

I use Whole Foods organic pasta sauce ( garlic and herb ) for the times I don't have time to make homemade sauce.  

I use several kinds of brands when it comes to gluten free noodles . The lighter the noodle the better is seems to cook!  

I sautee my green beans with ghee butter, salt , pepper and fresh pressed garlic .  

 

Day 5.  

Grilled Yellow fin tuna steaks ( frozen and cheap at Whole Foods ) with sautéed vegetables of your choice .  

These steaks take 15 minutes to thaw if you put them in hot water . They are so flavorful and easy! I like seasoning ours with black pepper , pink salt , and laying lemons on them while they cook.  

 

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Get comfortable with the uncomfortable .

I just completed my second week of cardio barre! Today as I watched  myself in the mirror for a second I almost didn't recognize myself. For the past two years I've been staring back at a almost lifeless skeleton. It was so incredible today to see a tiny bit of muscle coming back into my body. A year ago at this time I could only walk a few feet without being exhausted. I couldn't put on my own clothes .

 

This is why it is so important to remember how far you have come . Journaling and writing have been my sanity as well as my way of watching my journey . Today as I completed my morning class I kept hearing the words from the instructor " get comfortable with the uncomfortable ". That's a great lesson.... just because something is uncomfortable doesn't mean we should stop . Make the uncomfortable the new comfortable. Push yourself . Believe in yourself . Don't ever give up! What's something that you want to conquer ? Something that is uncomfortable today? Take a dare... step out of your comfort zone and get comfortable with the uncomfortable! You will be glad you did ❤️. 

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That can wait ...

You never know when and how people are going to come into your life. You never know the imprints that they will leave on your heart. I truly believe that God sends the right people into your life at just the right time. During treatment this year I had many ups and downs. There are many times that I stopped believing in myself and even stop believing that maybe I would make it. Once you've been fighting for your life for so long you kind of just get tired of doing it. It was  those times that God truly sent angels to my side. I had a home nurse for several months and I feel like each one of my nurses  gave me something so special. I had the cheerful funny nurses the weeks that I was sad. I had the hard-core stern nurses for the week that I felt OK but was  doing too much and needed a swift kick in the ass . I had the maternal nurses he would just put their arm around me when I was so sick from treatment and just wanted my mom. God truly knows  what we need and if we give him the control he will send us just the right thing at the right time.

My last home nurse gave me this one valuable lesson. I will remember it forever and I always tell this to my mommy friends when they get overwhelmed and try to do too much. I remember we had just moved into our new house. There are boxes everywhere and Christmas with just a few days away. My nurse looked up at me and said "honey child, these boxes will be here tomorrow". She was right. They WERE  there tomorrow. And the next day and the next day and the next day. The point that she was trying to make was that I had time. She was trying to show me that I couldn't do it all in one day. She told me to unpack one box today and that's what I did. I still have some boxes here and they're hidden and nooks and crannies but I'll always remember the lessons she taught me. Slowdown. No matter how many dishes you clean there will always be dishes tomorrow. No matter how many loads of laundry you do there will be dirty clothes at the end of the day. You truly can never catch up. But you can sit back and say yourself it will be here tomorrow.

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Why do I blog?

Being a Mom, all I want to do is be good at it. To me being good at it is enjoying the moments, all of them. It's moving mountains for my kids when they need me to. It's holding them when they cry, kissing their tears away, and always being someone they can depend on. All I ever wanted to be was a mom. 

I know just how much my kids love me, and I hope that as they grow, I can make them feel loved and appreciated always. I want them to know I see them, hear them, and that they are truly wonderful little beams of light in my world. 

 

As a mommy blogger, even though I'm new to this , I get to see the world of being a mom from both sides. I am both a follower of mommy bloggers and a creator. I see behind the curtain so many people are curious to see behind. What lies behind the mysterious curtain of beautiful pictures, straight-out-of-magazine homes, perfectly styled outfits, and the ever so wonderfully-worded caption? The truth is, I'm no different than you. 

I'm a mother with struggles, tears, bad days, ugly days, etc. I just want to look back on these pictures one day and say" gosh I loved being a mom... and what a beautiful life we had".  

As a mommy blogger, I choose to take pictures of my house when it's clean and not messy. I take pictures of my outfits just to share, and change back into my sweats or leggings half the time . I don't shoot my face half the time because I havent even looked in the mirror yet that day, nor have I brushed my hair . I love to cook and share what I'm cooking. I love sharing holistic remedies that have been a part of me my whole life that my mom passed down. I simply like to share. 

I have heard people say that mommy bloggers portray a fake life about being a mom. I've heard people say why don't bloggers ever take a bad picture of themselves looking like hell? Well I'm here to tell you this momma is here to share truth. The ups , downs , the good the bad and tr ugly. I originally started this blog when I got sick two years ago. I writing helped me in many way. Writing also

recorded my months of complete agony and blur . I needed to inspire myself . I needed to be able to look back at how far I had come.

I had no idea I would start having the amount of readers I had. I will never forgot opening my first email from a reader, telling me I had changed their life . How could I change someone's life? I was not worthy of that. I did however want to inspire others to keep going. I wanted to be a brave warrior mom. I wanted to be that blog that showed mostly the bad . I wanted complete vulnerability . I took the bad pictures . I shared the times when I wanted to stop fighting for my life.

2 years later and 6 surgeries later I now am stable and have some happy things to write about . I want to remember motherhood and life it for the random, rare moments, where I took a picture because I love photography and my kid was doing something so dang sweet, my husband did something so sweet, or where I got dressed because I saw an outfit that inspired me. 

Motherhood is one of the most selfless things any of us will do, and I hope that by sharing maybe I can inspire someone else (like so many of you  inspire me). We are moms, and yes, there is so much for us to do, but we have thoughts, opinions, hobbies and interests. 

What is my message with all of this?  The point is no one is perfect, and we all have our things to deal with. 

So hug those kids. Love yourself . Love the ones you have . Don't be too serious. Laugh at yourself . Realize everyone is fighting some kind of battle . Smile. It's just life(: 

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