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My Depressed Mom Story

***Before continuing to read this story, please know that this can be a trigger for people that suffer from depression or other mental illnesses. If you are having thoughts of depression/suicide please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Around 4am this morning, my baby girl decided it was time that she needed a bottle to comfort her back to sleep because she is cutting another molar and miserable at sleeping this week. I couldn’t fall back to sleep so I decided to scroll through Facebook and saw a post in my moms group that was basically a letter to depressed moms to let them know that they are not alone. When I say depressed moms, I don’t mean sad moms or PPD moms but moms that have thoughts of no longer exsisting in their family’s lives…. that is me, I am THAT depressed mom.

It is not easy to write that because the word depression comes with a stigma attached to it. People hear depression and think she’s bat shit crazy. Which, according to my family I have my bat shit crazy moments but not the same meaning here. People think depression is just a crazy, psycho person who is either lazy and needs to snap out of it or someone who sits home plotting revenge on those that made them depressed…. I am neither of these people. I am a mom who suffers from feelings that she isn’t enough for her family and that her family would be better off without her.

The Beginning of my Journey

Let me start from the beginning because my depression isn’t something new in my life. If I truly look back at my life, my depression started when I was about 11 or 12 years old. The scary part of admitting that is that this is the same age as Danyella and I hope that she isn’t feeling how I felt at that age. I had no idea I was suffering from depression at that age or throughout high school. In High School, my guidance counselor just told me that I had anxiety when I tried to express how I felt but I knew it was more then just that. I didn’t know I was suffering from chronic depression until I was in my 30s!

When I was 25 and pregnant with Danyella, I was in a situation that made my OB believe I was going through situational depression so I was diagnosed with Zoloft. It worked at the time until the brand went generic and the pill wasn’t the same so it didn’t have the same effect on my symptoms. I went off of it and figured I would be fine. I went through my ups and downs but always told it was just that I was a single mom and stressed out. Just keep my chin up and I will be fine. I tried to get through each day but it was hard as hell! My family joked that I was the basement dweller because I never wanted to come out of the basement except to work, eat and care for Danyella. Those days/weeks/months/years that I just barely functioned and just cried all the time was the depression calling out but I didn’t know it.

In my 30s, I decided to go to college and took my first Psychology class. I have always been fascinated at how the brain worked and why people act the way they do. I loved this class. Well, I had no idea how much of an eye opener this class would be. I learned the different types of depression and how depression was different for every person…. including me! This sent me to see a psychologist and learn more about treatments for my depression.

That class was my realization that back in my tween years is when my depression started with my cutting. The type of cutting I did to myself wasn’t to feel the pain of a cut. I would take a needle, safety pin or steak knife and carve words that hurt me into my thighs. At that time in my life, I felt like the ugly duckling among the kids at school that made fun of me and my parents who were starting new families. That was my first feelings of wanting to disappear but I never it saw it as sucidal thoughts.

What If I Just Disappeared?

Over my 38 years, I couldn’t tell you how many times I have wanted to just disappear from my life. To one day just not wake up. I have never thought of ways of hurting myself or made a plan of killing myself. It is just the thoughts that one day I just wouldn’t be here anymore. Would my kids be happier without me nagging them to do things? Would my husband find a better wife and mother to care for my family? Would anyone really even miss me if I was gone?

Please don’t take this post the wrong way that I am actively trying to leave this world or my family! I am not trying to kill myself or make any of those plans. What it does mean is that I am human and suffer from depression! I am not just sad about my life! I do feel alone among my loving friends and family. I am not lazy when I feel like I can’t function beyond the basic tasks of caring for my family for the day! I am not being rude when I don’t text people back because some days/weeks a conversation is more then I can handle. I cannot just snap myself out of the pain that I feel. I cannot be shown enough love that I won’t feel like this anymore. Even medications need to be altered as life goes on because our bodies change and so do medications.

I wish people in my life and outside my life would understand my daily struggle of functioning with depression. Some days are wonderful and I don’t feel as much sadness. Other days I cry myself to sleep or sneak a cry in the bathroom. Somedays, I just lay on the couch, cuddled with Evie waiting for the day to end so I can go to bed. My children and family are my world. I couldn’t imagine my life without them but I can imagine their lives without me. Okay, my altered reality of what that would look like. No, I can’t just stop myself from thinking the way I do because damn I have tried! Yes, I have read or listened to nearly every self help, love yourself book on the market! I try these techniques all the time. Nearly everyday, I try to change my negative thoughts to positive ones until I give myself a damn headache! It doesn’t or hasn’t flipped a happy switch for me yet.

Am I looking to just give up on my life? No! If that was the case then I wouldn’t be writing my story for others to read. I live my life for my family, especially my kids because they are my life.

Reading that post this morning, gave me the courage to have a long needed talk with my family. They needed to know how I have been feeling lately. We made a game plan on things that need to change so that I can try and find the road to being happy again.

You Are Not Alone!

This post is for the moms and dads that suffer from depression to know that you are not alone! Please don’t feel ashamed for feeling the way you do or feel ashamed for needing/wanting to get help. You are human and everyone needs help from others or we would live in very isolated societies. If you are feeling like you are having suicidal thoughts or tendancies please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 or talk to a loved one who can help you get the help you need.

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Learning to Let Go

Happy 2019 everyone! I can’t wait to begin this year off with a bang, even if I am late to the party… so let’s learn how to let it go in 2019!

Let it go, let it go… yes I’m mentally singing the song in my head which is something I should have started doing when the song first came out. I am the opposite of a let it go person so this is my challenge to myself in 2019. I need to learn to let things go and not let them eat me alive one thought at a time.

Dwell like last weeks leftovers

Who are my fellow dwell on something until it’s all you can think about, consumes your mind, body and soul and slowly eats you alive?

For most of my 37 years, I have acted like I let things go while they  sit in my mind and stew like those leftover you forgot in the back of the fridge. Yes, those now moldy, soggy leftovers that you just want to throw away, container and all are like the bad moments that I can’t let go in my mind. It is sad that letting go has become this hard for me.

In the beginning, I could let some stuff roll off my back and let go of the negative impact it had on my life. That all changed with my divorce. I married a man and had 2 children with him and the whole time our marriage was just a huge, gigantic lie to him. Since, my older kids don’t know the whole story of our divorce, all I can say is that there was ALOT of lies and betrayal on his part that forever changed who I was, mentally and emotionally and even physically. How do you bounce back from that kind of betrayal? You learn to act like you let it go while suppressing your true feelings until you stew on them to the point that it makes you anxiety ridden and over analyze EVERYTHING! This is NOT the healthy way to do with a life changing event, which is why I am changing my thoughts and life with #mindsetreset with Mel Robbins.

Negative Thoughts On Repeat

Are you one that has the repeat button on in your mind that tells you: You are to fat, You are to old, You are stupid, No One Loves You, You are not Good Enough? I have been on the no one loves you and I am not good enough train for probably 25 years. The I am not good enough thoughts started as a child when I was reprimanded for bad grades and then escalated with family situations that occurred in my life. The no one loves you thoughts really began to shine through any positive thoughts with my divorce and just got worse with every break up there after.

As adults, our limiting or negative beliefs are ones that have either started as a child, by a parent or teacher or a traumatic event in adolescence/adulthood.  These negative beliefs can shape our lives which is not healthy for yourself and your loved ones. 

What are your limiting, negative beliefs about yourself?

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

For years, I have believed in the saying: Change your thoughts, Change your LIFE but I haven’t always executed what I believed in. It takes time and effort to recognize the bad thoughts and change them to good ones, especially when most of your thoughts are negative beliefs about yourself. As I have been consciously working on catching my negative thoughts, I have realized how much I let things stew in my mind, even the smallest of things.

For example, I know that I have used the cheating accusations dwell in my thoughts for the past year and has shaped how I treat my husband and even close friends of mine. This is not how I want to live my life. I either accept what he told and move forward or I don’t accept it and move on from my marriage. Dwelling on he/she said aspect is not healthy for anyone in my family, especially my children.

Another example: In August, I began to sell clothes that either didn’t fit me or my kids on Poshmark. Everyone I know either sells or buys on Poshmark and raves about it. As I started to gain sales, I added some of my handmade hats and other accessories. In October, the hats became a hit for Halloween. I had one buyer, after trying to haggle a lower price for weeks, complain to Poshmark about the hat until I sent her a new one. This bothered me until she gave me a 5 star review. I sat at all 5 star reviews until last week. Another buyer, who also haggled a lower price on a more expensive item, gave the sweater 4 stars and remarked about item cleanliness. This has bugged me day in and out since that review because I always make sure the items are clean and list the wear for the used items in the listing. Plus, it dropped my rating to a 4.9 which isn’t horrible but not how I want my business perceived to potential buyers.

The only way to learn to let go of the negativity and negative thoughts is by releasing them from your mind. I have had to consciously recognize when I am having negative thoughts or dwelling on situations, and tell myself that I am good enough, I am loved, I am a wonderful woman and mother. This is the only way to begin to let things go.

Let It Go and Have a Happy Life

I want that happy life that I see other people have or portray having happy lives. I know that in order to truly be happy in my own life, my own body and my own mind is to make changes within myself. To start off these changes, I need to learn to let go of the past, let go of the stupid shit that bothers me, let go of the negative thoughts and let go my self destructive behaviors that fester all of the negativity and leaves no room for positivity in my life. It is time to shine with happiness and positivity, even if those around me are negative. It is time to let it go, let it go while I wait out the storm for sunny days. 

If you want to join Mel Robbins #mindsetreset and change your thoughts for 2019 follow this link: #mindsetreset 

 

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A Reset for 2019

Where do I even begin this post? 2018 was both the best year and worst year of my life…

Let’s start with the good before getting to the bad and how I plan on changing things up for 2019…

The Great Moments

Baby Evelynne

What can be better then adding our baby girl Evelynne into our family! She is the happiest, easy going baby that lights up the room with her smiles and giggles. Every morning I look forward to my good morning kisses and snuggles with my baby girl. This was one of the 4 best moments of my life when she was born at 2am on January 1st.

A New Car

For years, I have been driving beater cars because I couldn’t afford to finance a car plus my credit score was crap. Doug’s credit wasn’t much better but we need to improve his score so we can purchase a family home for our kids. After many attempts at purchasing a new truck for Doug, he decided a safer car for the kids and I would be better for everyone. The timing was perfect because we have been dealing with tire issues, motor mount issues and other issues with the car which seemed to increase by the week lately. A Facebook ad popped up an older Lexus, fully loaded, in amazing condition with low mileage which intrigued Doug to put in an application to finance the car. 10 days before Christmas, I drove home my Christmas gift! She’s a beauty and I love my new car aka Roxy! (Who else names their cars?)

Cricut Maker and Easy Press 2

Another early Christmas gift that my husband gave me was the new Cricut Maker and Easy Press 2 so that I could start my shirt and bag portion of my business. I have been wanting/asking for a cricut for years and this new cricut maker is AMAZING! I mean there is nothing this machine can’t make though I am still learning how to work many of its features. Plus, the Easy Press 2 has made making dancers and dance mom shirts and bags SOOOO much easier!

Now for the bad..

Did He Cheat?

Evelynne was 2 weeks old when I received a random Facebook message from someone I didn’t know. This wasn’t uncommon since I am always selling things on Marketplace so I assumed it was someone looking to purchase something. The first line flipped my whole world upside down and changed who I am forever. This random girl with a made up Facebook name told me in the span of 7 messages that my husband was having sex with her, not wearing his wedding ring and she paid our recent cellphone bill. I confronted my husband who denied cheating and says he didn’t know who this girl even was but suspected it had to do with his ex. His excuse was that this girl was setup by his ex that he gave me a little girl that he didn’t give her. I sat in my bed, holding my newborn baby girl and just cried. The past year has been a blur of depression and anxiety because I just function the best I can until I end up in tears or having a panic attack.

As for this random girl, Sunshine as a first name is more then likely made up to hide her true identity though I later found out her real name and where she lives. My husband doesn’t know how much I found out about this person.

Writing this has the tears flowing like it happened minutes ago. I don’t know if the pain of this will ever go away which whether he did cheat or not, Doug doesn’t understand why I can’t just let it go and move on. How do you just let something like this go when it is a he said/she said situation but certain details scream out at me that this random girl shouldn’t know!

Yes, I chose to stay in my marriage and keep my family intact for the time being to give my husband the benefit of the doubt. It has NOT been an easy task when some days I want to scratch his eyes out and somedays I want to hide from the world and just cry. We are supposed to be working on our marriage which seems to be a lot of hot air from him but this will be part of my blog in 2019.

My Mom’s Diagnosis

For as long as I can remember, my Mom hasn’t felt good. She has seen many doctors and received different diagnosis as to what it could be but they just didn’t seem to fit all of her symptoms. Finally, this year we received the answers that have been sought after for over 20 years… she has an autoimmune liver disease called PBC. This disease will eventually require her to have a liver transplant. My mom having it makes the females in our family highly susceptible to ending up with it as well. I did some testing and I have the markers but so far my liver bloodwork has come back as normal. This is will be a future post that I will explain more about the disease and squash the assumptions because people hear liver and think alcohol.

No Health Answers for Myself

What’s so frustrating is that my mom got her answers finally and what I thought was my answer, anemia, was not my answer at all. With my pregnancy, my iron and ferritan levels were so low that I had to see a hematologist and start on infusions. The hematologist told me that all the symptoms that I have been living with for years was due to undiagnosised anemia that my body was reacting to like my arms and legs randomly going numb, the spots in my eye, the fatigue, the pure weakness I feel all day, everyday etc. With our new insurance, I had to see a new PCP which ran an extensive amount of bloodwork, only to find out that now my iron levels are fine and just see her back in 3 months. 3 more months of pain and exhaustion while caring for a toddler and running a business? UMM HELL NO! I need and want answers not just live with all of this and see her again in a few month. WTF why don’t doctors care enough to try and find answers anymore?

The Bad parts of 2018 could go on and on with our being forced out of house we had been renting for a few years because someone else bought it and didn’t know the laws in our state for buying a rental property to the mounting medical bills to the slow restart to my handmade business. I don’t want to be a total Negatve Nelly so I am going to stop here with the bad

Reset for 2019

I am a self admitted, self help book Audible junkie and fell in love with Mel Robbins book “The 5 Second Rule” this year. It really has helped motivate me to try new things and even push past the pain I am in to get things done. I was super duper excited to see that Mel is starting a new program in 2019 called #mindsetreset which will help get your mind out of the gutter its been in and reset into something you want your mind and life to be. I need this to get out of my funk and depression.

I want so much more out of 2019 like a successful business, a healthy body, loving marriage and happy family. Even if these things don’t turn out the way I want, at least I can say that I tried. I can’t wait to get back into blogging and track my progress in my life. My blog will be more about chatting about my life as a mom, an entrapreuner, a wife and a woman. I would have loved to continue showing off my cooking/baking/crafty side but when something becomes so overwhelming that you shut down, it is not a right fit for the moment. I love talking and relating to other women that could be going through the same struggles that I am going through because we are never alone.

If you want to join in on Mel Robbins’ #mindsetreset check out her website: Mel Robbins Mindset Reset

I look forward to chatting with all of you in 2019!

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5 Things To Be Thankful For In August

summer deals!.png

August is my birthday month and my husband’s birthday month so there are lots to be thankful for in August. Besides our birthdays here are 5 August related things I am grateful for:

1. Thankful for NO snow!

I am not a cold weather person at all so I soak up the heat as much as I can while it lasts. I would rather be sweating then freezing cold plus nothing beats the feeling of the sun shining down on you.

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2. Thankful for living near the shore!

Yes, I am from Jersey so I don’t call the beach the beach but I call it the Shore. Before you even get the image in your mind, I don’t mean the Jersey shore as seen on MTV because families don’t party and get drunk on the beach. We have only had the chance to have one shore trip this summer but we had a great time until our sunblock failed and suffered through a week of sunbun. (Maybe I should do a review of sunblocks that fail for super pale skinned peeps like my family??!)

3. Sunday Family Hiking Days

To help ease my body back into working out, we started a family hiking day almost every Sunday since Father’s Day. In addition to helping my body work out, it is a chance for us to bond as family since we are dealing with the stepdaughter/stepfather resentment situation right now. It has been great to get into nature and explore our surroundings. I always feel at ease being outdoors just hate the bugs and bug bites. Evie loves being in the carrier and looking at everything that passes her by.

Photo Jul 08, 8 56 16 AM.jpg

4. Getting Ready For Back To School

This year is even more exciting…. for me at least because Danyella is going back to public school! She is not a happy camper to stop homeschooling but I just can’t do it mentally, physically or emotionally anymore. At least she is going back to a school that she attended in the past (not the school I pulled her from!) and will have her best friend to enjoy her 6th grade year. (This will be a more in-depth post in the future)

schoolSupplies.jpg

5. Pumpkin Everything is Coming Soon!

Yes! Yes! Yes! I am one of the crazy pumpkin loving people who if the world would let me, I would enjoy pumpkin everything all year round! Typically, the end of August brings back my much-loved Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. My local DD, next the dance studio, will sneak pumpkin flavoring from other locations just for me and “Christina” to enjoy as much as we can. Pumpkin season here I come!!

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What are you thankful for in August?

 

 

 

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Crunchy Mom in the Works

am I a Crunchy Mom_

It is my first official post back since my hiatus and so much has changed in my mom world that I need to catch you all up on! From starting Evie on foods to changing to cloth diapers to Danyella going back to public school! Not all of these will be talked about today but I can’t wait to talk about Evie’s World (singing Elmo’s World in my head because it is on repeat in our house!) with this first post.

What is a Crunchy Mom?

Have you heard of the term Crunchy Mom? I heard it about a year ago when I decided to start blogging more consistently and was surprised at the meaning. In my mind, a Crunchy Mom was some who wasn’t always nice, told it how it was and didn’t hold back. Boy was I wrong!!!

By social definition, a Crunchy Mom is a mom who loves to baby wear, uses cloth diapers, breastfeeds, makes everything from scratch (think soaps, sprays and anything else that you can buy at Walmart!), co-sleeps, feeds her family all-natural and organic everything and no electronics for kids. Its is pretty determined kinda mama. What I thought was a Crunchy Mom is actually a Salty Mom!

I give those Moms so many kuddos for being able to do all of that and keep their sanity! It is definitely a committment to a Mom’s kids and family to be a Crunchy Mom. That kinda dedication is one that I wish I could say that I want to have for my family but the reality is completely different.

I have started to walk down the path of the Crunchy Mom but not yet ready to get in the car and drive down the Crunchy Mom highway…

Here is what I do that counts as a Crunchy Mom:

I kinda breastfeed…. well Evie wouldn’t latch correctly so I have been pumping everyday, every 3 hours since she was 2 weeks old.

Both Doug and I baby wear and are proud baby wearers! I started off with the K’Tan wrap and then we have moved to an Infantino soft carrier. My goal is to one day own a Tula or Lillebaby carrier! We take Evie everywhere in her carrier but she loves our Sunday morning nature walks the most.

About a month ago, our diaper supply started to dwindle down to 2 packs left. We are super grateful for the diapers that we received as gifts that lasted us the first 6 months of Evie’s life but the cost of diapers is just too much for my blood and wallet. In my mom’s group, there are some cloth diaper moms that show off these cute baby bums with their diapers. I decided to try a 4 pack of the pocket diapers and inserts and have loved it. Yes, it is a learning process of where the snaps work the best and when to double up on inserts for overnights. I can’t wait to start buying more cute designs to cover my Evie’s little bum!

Co-sleeping…. yes Evie and I co-sleep because this is the only way I would get any sleep and survive the day. Since Evie outgrew her Rock N Play, she won’t sleep in her Pack N Play and would cry all night until she was sleeping next to us. Add to the fact that Doug works overnight, so it is all me at night. Life is easier when she sleeps with me. I did this with Danyella and I plan on moving Evie to a regular crib one day but right now this works for us.

All natural Mama right here! I was doing this before the term Crunchy Mom was a thing because Danyella had severe skin allergies. I learned how to make my own soaps and lotions from scratch (no melt and pour soaps here) to know exactly what was going onto Danyella’s skin. This is where my body product line was born. With Evie, I have been steaming and pureeing all of her foods. We a slowly starting to eat little pieces of food that I make her like pancakes and other yummy foods. Evie is my little foodie!

What I am not doing as a Crunchy Mom:

If it is on sale or a good deal, then I will buy organic but if it’s not then my family gets what they get for food to eat. I am definitely not going down the organic road because it doesn’t fit into my budget.

As I said early, Sesame Street plays on our TV all day because Evie loves Ernie and Elmo. Yes, I am one of those moms that lets her kids watch TV so that I can get something done during the day. Having a husband that works at night and most days works before he goes to his night job and finds a couple of hours to sleep, I am home with the kids 24/7 which can be so hard to get things done. Danyella is a big help with Evie but she will be going back to school in a couple of week. Then it will be Evie and I all day which if Elmo helps her stay occupied for a few minutes so I can wash dishes and clothes or write this blog post then I will take it until she wants to play with Mama again.

I kinda laugh because I am more than just a Crunchy Mom but I am a Dance Mom, a Salty Mom, a Baby Mom, an embarrassing Mom (according to the tween daughter!) and a million other names to call me as a Mom. What kinda mom are you?

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My Mental Vacation From Blogging

I can’t tell you how many times I have started and deleted this blog post, both physically on the computer or mentally while I am trying to get my brain to settle down to sleep. When I decided I needed a mental, emotional and physical break from blogging, it was going to be for just a couple of weeks while we got through the end of dance season and recital. Well those couple of weeks turned into over a month and now nearly 2 months…. Even now I am not sure that I am completely ready to come back to blogging at a full-time capacity.

This past couple of months have been overwhelming and exhausting for every part of my life. Physically, I have been dealing with my body reacting to my lack of iron because I need a new set of infusions. In order to get the infusions that I need requires finding a new specialist. Anyone that has dealt with needing a specialist, knows that this is no easy feat and can’t be accomplished overnight. And before you even want to suggest it, no my type of anemia can’t just be cured by taking iron pills or eating more iron rich foods. Those things are like a band-aid that only helps for a few moments of energy. This type of anemia causes my body to literally be so exhausted that it I am weak most of my waking hours. My arms and legs feel heavy and go numb quite often (pins and needles feeling that hurts so bad). No amount of sleep helps to stave off the exhaustion which doesn’t help when you have a teething infant who has trouble sleeping some nights. This will be a future, in-depth post soon. (Which this is the tip of the medical issues going on)

Continuing with the medical issues, my mom was diagnosed with an autoimmune liver disease called PBC and will need a liver transplant. After 2 years of testing and misdiagnosis, we finally have answers to why her body has been acting the way it does but at the same time its a bittersweet result. This disease could be genetic which means, my siblings and I should be tested for it. Plus, to see what my mom will need to go through in order live a comfortable life is heartbreaking. We still have a long road ahead of us…

Next on the stress train…

If you have read some of my previous posts from earlier this year, you know that we had moved from the house we called a home for 2 years into an apartment. Our parting with that house was not our choice but one that forced on us because of our previous and then new landlords not following the laws of the state. We have had to go back and forth in court with the new owner/landlord of the old property.  Which the Judge taught him some lessons in breaking the laws and thinking he was above the law. Fingers crossed that the situation is over now because that took a huge mental toll on me. Which contributed to the rise in my anxiety and depression.

In my time away from blogging, I thought long and hard about my blogging. I love creating things, like crafts, gifts and food that I can share with others BUT that wasn’t the point of starting my blog. When I started my blog, it was to talk about my life as a mom and everything that goes with it. At that point I was a single mom, so it focused on that but since then I have gotten married and had a baby. My blog became a source of stress as I tried to figure out what I was going to write about each day…. this is not what I wanted in my blog.

Taking this break, has allowed me to assess what I want to see in my blog and social media accounts PLUS refocus my attention on my handmade business. My business and blog are a passion of mine that I love to share with others. Now, I want to get back to sharing things that I love and enhance my readers and customers lives.

With my blog, you are going to see me go back to my roots and talk about life as a mom, an entraprenuer and my family. This is my ideas on my blog schedule without killing myself mentally:

Savings Sunday: Yes, we will be getting back into the swing of savings since I fell off the bandwagon and then got ran over by the wagon…. LOL! I am going to focus on different ways to save money for the upcoming back to school and holidays.

Mom Monday: This is my big post of the week because this is where Moms can know they are not alone with dealing with family situations, babies, tweens and more!

Teach Me Tuesday: I am going to post Teach Me Tuesday posts, focusing on upcoming holidays twice a month (1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month) which will be geared more towards adult crafts rather then kid crafts.

Wednesdays: Take a break from week and have a nice drink or glass of wine!

Thankful Thursday: During this break of mine, I have gotten back into Yoga and practicing my self love techniques. I will be sharing tips on self love, positive living and how to enjoy your life because that is the most important part of living…. enjoying your life.

Feed Me Friday: Don’t fret, you will still see some of my delish recipes because I really do get enjoyment out of it. On the Fridays that I don’t have my own, original recipe then I will share recipes that you, my readers will enjoy.

Saturday: This is dance day in my mom life which starting the end of August, Danyella dances from 9 in the morning until we don’t know when this year…. no time for blogging when dancing is to be done!

I am contemplating starting a series about my handmade business, not so much business tips but featuring some of my creations that will make great gifts for the upcoming holidays. On my Facebook page, I will be featuring a product a day, at a sale price which is a great thing to look forward to!

You will see more interaction on my Facebook page and Instagram page which will feature more of things that I am making like my very first Crochet A Long. I have always missed out on the timing to partcipate in one or didn’t like the project but I made sure to take the time this year. This CAL is going to be creating a textured afgan which is a first for me! Each week (on week 3 now) we get another “clue” or instructions for another section of the pattern. It has been so much fun getting the clue and seeing the afgan take shape which I will update on my Facebook Page each week.

Another fun thing we are doing this summer is a family camping trip. Currently, we are scouting out new locations because our trip to Hershey park got flooded and most of the rides will be closed for the next couple of weeks plus the campground is severly damaged and the rain is expected to continue this week. We are looking at the shore (yes I am from Jersey so I don’t call it a beach) or staying at a local campground.  Wherever we end up going, you know that my social media will be featuring lots of fun photos!

I look forward to a fresh start and look at my blog and to chatting with all of you!

Take the time to give yourself a mental vacation from life. It will recharge your mental, emotional and physical juices for a fresh outlook on life.

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Do You Need A Lifestyle Audit?

Have you Audited Your Life Lately_

I am sure most everyone has heard how you will repeat the same bad habits or cycle until you do something to change it. How do you change those habits or the cycle of life you are in? You need to evaluate and audit your lifestyle!

What is working in your life?

  • Do you love your job and it brings you happiness?
  • Do you love being a mom and taking care of your kids?
  • Do you love the hobby you participate in?
  • Do you love taking a walk everyday?
  • Do you love to take the time to read?

What isn’t working in your life?

  • Do you love your job but not your hours?
  • Do you love being a parent but need other adult interaction?
  • Do you dread going to play basketball with your league?
  • Do you look for excuses to get out of something you used to enjoy?
  • Do you avoid doing things because you know you won’t enjoy them?

These are all questions to ask yourself when you are doing a lifestyle audit!

For myself, I am a creative person so I am having the same routine everyday feels like it kills my creative brain cells. I do not thrive in that situation and end up never finding the time to be creative because I lose that drive from focusing on my routine. Its a fine line to be a creative work at home mom and have the same daily routine with kids. Evie loves having a routine where she is fed, takes her naps, baths and bedtime at the same time everyday. With holidays and summer parties, there are days where her schedule is messed with and boy do we pay for it with a baby that refuses to sleep.  With Danyella being homeschooled, she has to have a routine or she will try to get out of doing her schoolwork (common occurence with a sassy tween). So what’s a creative mom to do when her kids need a routine? Find little ways to break up my routine so I don’t get into that blah feeling and avoid my creative side like changing up how I do my day each day. Plus, I tend to end up staying awake way to late after the girls are asleep to accomplish some of those mundane chores on my list that I avoided earlier in the day.

Now it is your turn! Print out the Lifestyle Audit PDF that I created for you to take a look at what is good and bad in your life. This will help determine what you need to change and what can stay the same to make your life the best it can be for today.

Lifestyle Audit

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Thankful For Our Armed Forced and How We Support Them Throughout the Year

Thankful For Our Armed Forces

This is not my typical Mom Monday post but more of a combination Mom Monday and Thankful Thursday combination post. Why am I doing this type of post today? It is Memorial Day which means we honor our veteran soldier and every soldier is the son or daughter of a Mom.

In our family, we are thankful for all that the soldiers have done to protect our rights and freedom that we enjoy everyday. I have many friends that went into the service after high school or after 9/11. I am grateful for the time and service they have committed to every single person in this country. 8cad8f35e8c3b88dbced403f30505fc4

As a way of giving back to the soldiers and to teach my children to support others, we joined Soldier’s Angels. Soldier’s Angels is an organization that supports our troops, veterans and their families. A few years ago, I was looking at ways to teach Danyella the importance of volunteering plus incorporate other skills, like letter writing, into her homeschooling. After doing a lot of Googling and research for organizations that write letters to soldier, I found Soldier’s Angels. This was exactly what I was looking for plus more.

Soldier’s Angels not only supports our troops through letter writing but many other ways. The way Soldier’s Angels works is there are different teams set up that a person can join. The different teams help different aspects of our soldiers and their families such as the Deployed Angel Team, the Letter Writing Team, Angel Bakers, Chaplain Support Team, Ladies of Liberty Team (exclusively for female deployed soldiers), Operation Top Knot (virtual baby showers for soldier families), Adopt A Family (holiday support), Sewing and Craft Support Team, Cards Plus Team (holiday and birthday cards), Living Legends (for families of fallen soldiers), and the Special Operations Team (for special forces soldiers). Plus there are programs for veterans and Wounded Soldiers. There really is so many ways to support our troops through this organization.

Along with volunteer opportunities through the teams, there are local ways to help plus donations of money are accepted. In addition, there are many different drives throughout the year, like a blanket drive for soldiers and vets in the hospital. There is even a special beer that when sold 100% off the profit is donated back to Soldier’s Angels for our soldiers. The beer is called Homefront IPA and you can click here to find out more.

To our SoldiersPast, Present and FutureThank You and God Bless You

One of the teams we have joined is the Deployed Angel Team which sends letters and gift packages to our deployed soldiers. We have adopted different soldiers from different services through the years. Sometimes we get letters back from our soldiers and sometimes we don’t because of how busy or the location the soldier is in. We love coming up with different themed packages every month to send our soldier.

The other main group we belong to is the Letter Writing Team which has been a great thing for Danyella to work on her letter writing skills and handwriting while support our troops. This is fun because we will have the system randomly choose our soldier so we have gotten all the different services and recently received our first female. We always include our address and my email so if the soldier chooses, they can write us back. We have received cards, letters and emails from different soldiers which always gets us excited. Something crafty and unique is that we take pages from adult coloring books to make into envelopes with washi tape so they can use the picture to brighten their day.

We have been part of the Operation Top Knots team which is really fun when I make things for other people’s babies. Danyella loves to shop for little gifts for the siblings. Plus the Cards Plus team is a fun way to send cards to others and sometimes we will get cardstock and make the cards.

We would love to join all of the teams but there isn’t enough time or money in our budget to do them all. We support as much as we can and have taken breaks from supporting when life has been a roller coaster for us. Then we let our team leader know that we are ready to rejoin and we are good to go.

If you are looking to support our troops in little or big ways this is a great organization to help with that. If you are looking for support for a soldier or soldier’s family you know they always accept soldiers with open arms. For $1 a month which helps keep the organization running, you can help our soldiers while they keep us free and safe. I hope that you consider helping our troops today. Our troops spend their time and put their lives on the line for our comforts and freedom so cherish those soldiers and what you have in your life. f88ed0df7d85767390146686dfdc6764

Click the photo or any of the links to go to the Soldier’s Angels website and find out more for yourself or a soldier you care about.

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100 Act Of Kindness Days

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Danyella has been dealing with bullying and mean girls the past year so as her mother, I have been working on her self-care routine through her school work. She doesn’t realize that when I have her write a positive sentance everyday… its self care. She doesn’t realize that when I have her take 15 minutes before bed to write down her feelings…. its self care. There are many way I have incorporated self care into her homeschooling routine but self care isn’t just about what we do for ourselves.

Self care is doing things for other because it is good for our soul. It doesn’t mean you need to go all Oprah and giveaway cars, electronics or other awesome gifts (unless you can afford it). You have heard the stories of the people who start the giving lines at Starbucks where the car in front of them purchases their order for them and then it keeps on going. Or the person that surprises a child with a new bike that their parents can’t afford to buy them.

These little acts of kindness make us feel good about helping others and to see the smile on someone else’s face makes those acts completely worth it. Yes, we do need to make sure we are happy and secure in ourselves but doing things for others when they don’t know it’s coming or asking for it adds to the happiness we feel in our lives.

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It is small things like:

Giving a friend a hug when they are down

Holding a door open for a mom with kids in each arm and on each leg

Writing a letter to a soldier serving our country

Leaving a cold bottle of water for the mailman in the summer

Making a meal for someone who is ill

Donating food to a food bank

The possibilities are endless….

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Danyella and I are starting our 100 Act of Kindness Days challenge today. Each day we will find something nice to do for someone else. We will record what we did and how it helped someone else. I want to teach Danyella that among all the mean people in the world, be one of the nice people. Who wants to join us in this challenge?

Here is the pdf printable of chart we will use to keep track of our days: 100 Act of kindness Days PDF

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ABC Your Positive Life with this Gratitude Starter List

SpringInspiration

If you are anything like me, you can fall into a funk with keep a positive life all of the time. Things happen that can cause stress in your life which can lead to negative thoughts. It can be easy for your mind to get distracted by negative thoughts and forget everything we should be grateful for.

The other funk I fall into is being grateful for the same things over and over. Yes, I am thankful for my house, my children, my husband, my family etc… you get where I am going with this. Now, it is time to find the details of those general things that I am grateful for not just my kids, etc.

One way that helps me sort through these funks is to use my ABC list. This allows my brain to open up and think outside of the box for the things that I am grateful for in my life. Some of the letters make me get very creative which helps in exercising my brain as well.

Such as… A: I am grateful for apples and that my baby girl is big enough to start eating applesauce now.

You can start off with one letter a day or a few at a time. You can go in order or skip around. In the end all that matters is that you are working on your positive life and gratitude towards what is in your life.

I created the sheets in yellow and purple to brighten your day while you write, the first link is the pdf to download, the second is a jpg:

Yellow ABC’s of Gratitude

ABC's of Gratitude

Purple ABC’s of Gratitude

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