How to Create Your Dream Bucket List

How to Start a bucket list

A bucket list is something that people have been doing for years, decades even centuries. People have written books about bucket lists and movies have been made about them even one move having the title The Bucket List. (Great movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) You might even have a mental bucket list but have yet to put those things on paper.

I think I started my first bucket list when I was 5 or 6. Any girl at that age, the top of their bucket list is Disney World or Disney Land (depending on what coast you live on). Which I accomplished when I was 22. Now, I want to take my girls to Disney to experience the wonders they offer as kids. I have always had travel locations that I want to tour on my bucket list(s). I want to tour Italy which could take a lifetime with all of the history, architecture and art that I want to enjoy. Ireland, Germany, France, England and the rest of Europe are on my list. Plus, Hawaii, the different countries in the Caribbean, Bali and other exotic locations. In more recent years, I have added a cross-country road trip to the list so that I can show the girls different landmarks in the country we live in.

Beyond travel, I have things that I want on my bucket list. Like purchasing a house is on my list. I would love to stop renting and paying someone else for the house we live in and call home. Finishing my degree is an important one on my list. Hopefully, this will happen sooner than later. I want to eventually have my tattoo on my leg finished.

Some things I have marked off my bucket list: becoming a Philadelphia Horticultural Society member, seeing Pitbull and U2 in concert, going to Las Vegas, having a girls trip with my friends, learn how to crochet (turned into a business!), learn how to screen print on clothes (so much fun!)

A bucket list gives you something to look forward to in life… goals for your future.  Your bucket list just needs to start with one thing that you want to accomplish in your life.

Here are some ideas:

Camping

Traveling to different areas

Concerts to See

Events you want to attend

Eat at a favorite restaurant

Attend an art class

Learn a new Hobby

Remodel a Room in your House

Start a new Self Care routine

Learn how to Bake/Cook

and the list is endless!

This Bucket List list can help you kick start your bucket list with different areas to think about adding to your list. This is the PDF printable version: My Bucket List

My Bucket List

 

 

Thankful That I Enjoy Cooking Now

Thankfulthat I Enjoy Cooking Now

For most of my life I was intimidated by cooking because it seemed so complicated to make a meal worth eating and tasted good. So many pots and pans and other kitchen gadgets to use and I didn’t know what I was doing. Which pot was the correct one? Which utensil was correct? How did you use this gadget or that? Plus, it seemed to take me FOREVER to cook a single dinner.

For years, I have had a couple of key meals that I knew how to make and they tasted great like my chicken paprikash. Pasta was a weekly, sometimes more than once a week, staple meal in my house because it was easy and you really can’t fail at it. Add that to my breakfast for dinner like pancakes or eggs with a side meat. That was 2 simple meals that were fast and edible. The rest of the time we would eat out… we have kept our local pizza and chinese places busy for many years now.

Since I barely ate through my pregnancy with Evie because of my hyperemesis gravidarum, I wanted to eat everything in sight after I gave birth. The thing was, I no longer wanted to eat the quick meals that I was used to cooking everday. I wanted foods with more flavor. I wanted the meals that they cook on my favorite cooking show… The Chew!

All of the cooking shows that Danyella and I watch make cooking look soooo easy! So, I decided it was time to get out of my comfort zone and start cooking real meals. I have come up with some really delicious chicken and pork meals like my Mushroom Pork Chops  and Baked Lemon Chicken Printable Recipe . 

My Instant Pot has made it so easy to make delicious meals without getting completely overwhelmed. I love to experiment with different veggies and flavors. I can’t wait until my herb garden grows so I can start adding fresh herbs rather than dried herbs to my dishes. Plus, once we have our veggies grow over the Summer, I can incorporate even more fresh veggies into our meals.

Not only have we been able to put the take out menus away (ok we eat out about once every 2 weeks because somedays its just easier to let someone else cook!) but we have saved money because it costs us less to eat in then out. I try to cook at least 5 times a week with one night for leftovers (I hate wasting the food) and one free night where I don’t cook (aka find a box of cereal and be happy!).  I hope that I can continue to enjoy cooking and learn new skills to make delicious meals for my friends and family.

Drop a link to your favorite recipes for me to try in the comments below!

Finding Your Life Mantra

Finding Your Life Mantra

When I first heard the term “Life Mantra”, honestly I thought it sounded kinda weird and crazy. I mean why did I need a life mantra to remind myself that I am a wonderful person or that my life is amazing?

It took me many years to realize that I needed the life mantra because I would mentally beat myself up. Everytime something went wrong in my life, a relationship or friendship would end, I fell behind on bills…. anything that was wrong, I would tell myself hateful things. I would tell myself how stupid I am, how ugly I am, that my life sucked or that I was just not loveable.

When I wasn’t in the throes of my anxiety or depression, I could see how my life wasn’t as horrible as my mind was making it. In the midst of those throws, it was like a tape recorder on repeat where all the bad things were just ongoing in my mind. How could I feel like a wonderful person when the one person that should love…. me …. couldn’t say one nice thing to myself??

That is when I started working on my self-care and reading everything I could on helping get myself out of this repeat mode of bad thoughts. I can’t even tell how many self-help books I have read over the past 10 years but the one recurring theme was to change your bad thoughts into good thoughts. In addition to changing your thoughts, you should implement positive affirmations into your daily self care routine.

I like to take the positive affirmations one step further and created a life mantra. My life mantra is something that I like to repeat to myself when I start those bad thoughts. When life gets stressful and my instinct is to beat myself up, I repeat “I am loving and loveable” to myself over and over and over until I snap out. Some days, life gets overwhelming and I will not only repeat my mantra to myself but I will write my mantra down so that I see what I want to feel.

I know that some people use “I am Enough” or “My Life is Wonderful” as their life mantra. Your Life Mantra should feel unique to you. Think about how you wan to feel about yourself or your life…

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Do you want to feel more love? Do you want to feel like you are enough? Do you want to feel your life is going in a certain direction? Do you want to feel successful in your life?

I am Loving and Loveable

Once you come up with your life mantra, it will take some time and practice but start by saying your life mantra to yourself when you wake up and before you go to bed. Doing this in the mirror is more effective, especially in the beginning, to get your mind used to repeating this to yourself. When you begin to think those bad thoughts, turn your thoughts to your life mantra to turn yourself around to the positive side.

Yes, this takes work, time and patience but it is so worth it because self-care is important to everyone at every age. Start slow and begin to build your life mantra into your everyday thinking. When you see yourself, spiraling down, say your mantra and bring yourself up again. I believe in you and now it is time to believe in yourself!

 

 

5 Affirmations to Attract Money Into Your Life

NOT TO ACQUIRE.

I am a firm believer in the law of attraction and your thoughts attract what you do or don’t want into your life. That being said, your thought process attracts your income and abundance in your life. When you think about what you want to achieve in a positive way then positive things will happen.

Think about it… when you feel like you are drowning in debt and can’t keep up with your bills, all of your thoughts are on your debt and how you can’t pay your bills. If you think about how you make more than enough money to pay your bills or how you are able to pay your debt off with ease, you are putting a positive spin on a negative thing in your life.

Say you want to be a stay at home mom with your kids but you don’t think your family could afford. Think of a positive affirmation to say and write to yourself everyday about the situation. When your mind is thinking about this situation from a positive aspect, you open your mind and life up to other opportunities. Maybe a work at home position opens up for you. Maybe you find a way to budget and cut expenses to stay at home with the kids. The possibilities are endless when you think positively about it.

One way that I attract the things I want in my life is through affirmations. Every morning, I find or create an affirmation that aids in accomplishing my current goal(s). I will say this affirmation to myself throughout the day. When I have a negative thought come through, I need to consciously stop myself and think about my affirmation to turn myself around. Now, that part has been an ongoing work in progress because it is easy to let the negative thoughts swirl in your head before you realize you need to turn that thought process around.

Being a Work At Home Mom, I can feel the frustrations and financial burden of my household when I don’t bring in more income then we need to cover some of our bills. Suffering from depression and anxiety, I can let myself get pulled down by these feelings very easily. Affirmations have been a great way to release the negative and find the positive especially in this situation.

My current goal: pay off my medical bills from my pregnancy and birth. Since I had a high risk pregnancy and lost my insurance for a portion of that pregnancy, finally got insurance with a huge deductible ($7500) and gave birth on January 1st (new deductible kicked in), my medical bills are about $20k with some bills still trickling in 4 months later. This has been a huge hit on my credit report because I was on bed rest and couldn’t just pay the bills out of pocket and we want to buy a house next year. So it is time to clean up my credit and pay off these bills.

Here are my top 5 Affirmations that I use to help my mindset attract more money:

  1. Money Flows To Me From Multiple Sources Money Flows To Me From Multiple Sources

  2. I Feel Excited To Pay My Bills OffI Feel Excited To Pay My Bills Off

  3. I Now Attract An Abundance Of Money Into My LifeI Now Attract An Abundance Of Money

  4. Money Comes To Me Easily and EffortlesslyMoney Comes To Me Easily and Effortlessly

  5. I Am A Money MagnetI Am A Money Magnet

Since starting this journey, I have made a game plan of how I am paying off those bills (this is big for me because just looking at the bills made me want to run the other way), how I can cut down some of our excess spending to pay towards the debt and have seen more sales come in from business orders and yard sale sites. When I was dwelling on the negativity of the debt, I wasn’t getting anything accomplished but when I turned my thoughts into how I am paying off my debt, the good has flowed into my life.

 

Hobby Your Way To Happiness

Hobby Your Way to Happiness

Hobbies are a great way to lose oneself in something that they enjoy while relaxing their stresses and mind.

Starting in high school, people and jobs would ask me if I had any hobbies but I had no idea if I had any hobbies or really what a hobby was. My idea of a hobby was collecting things like baseball cards (which as a kid I had binders full of baseball cards) or making model cars. As a kid, hobbies seemed like something boys did not girls.

hobby

Little did I know, I had a hobby since I could read…. reading books. As soon as I could walk to the library, I spent so many hours reading books at the library and then taking books home and reading until the wee hours of the morning. My mom loves to tell the story that I loved to read so much that while walking down the street, I was reading and walked into a pole….

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Yes I found my hobby but I didn’t know it. In my 20s, my hobby evolved to crocheting which has turned into my handmade business. In the past few years, my hobby is gardening because I love to see what I can grow and my family can eat. I still love to read but I don’t have the time to always read so I listen to a lot of audio books. My stress release that I found in crocheting was lost for a while because the business aspect replaced the fun aspect. Now that I have Evie to crochet fun things for, crocheting has become fun again.

Without my hobbies, I wouldn’t have been able to make it through some of the most stressful situations in my life. My hobbies are what brought me happiness and released the stress that my mind and body were feeling at the time.

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Reasons to have a hobby: 

  1. Helps to relieve the stress your mind and body feels on a daily basis
  2. Helps to encourage you to challenge your mind with different tasks
  3. Helps you take a break from your daily tasks
  4. Helps you to explore new hobbies and evolve as a person
  5. Helps with anxiety and depression

Helps to relieve the stress your mind and body feels on a daily basis: 

The body and mind need time to destress everyday. Without this destressing time, the body fills with negative feelings and thoughts which is not healthy. A hobby naturally boosts your positivity about yourself and life which releases the stress brought on by the negative.

Helps to encourage you to challenge your mind with different tasks:

A hobby challenges a person to find new ways to accomplish their hobby. For example, a knitter will finish one project and will search for a new, more difficult pattern to accomplish next. The brain wants to be challenged and learn new things which a hobby aids in accomplishing.

Helps you take a break from your daily tasks:

Everyone needs a break from their daily routine or life becomes mundane and dull. When life becomes dull, a person becomes bored and can become depressed. Even a 5 minute break enjoying your hobby can aid in changing things up and keep your day fresh.

Helps you to explore new hobbies and evolve as a person:

Over the years, your hobbies can stay the same or they can evolve into a new hobby. Someone that loves to paint, may learn a new painting technique or a new type of art. Learning new hobbies or techniques helps a person evolve mentally and physically (depending on the type of hobby).

Helps with anxiety and depression:

As someone who has suffered from both anxiety and depression since I was a teen, having a hobby that I enjoyed has helped relieve both of these. Keeping yourself busy with a hobby helps to calm your nerves and anxiety by having your mind distracted with the current task you are enjoying. When you are involved mentally and physically, there leaves little room for your depression to creep in at that moment. Over time, your mind will learn to release the anxiety and depression while you are involved with your hobby.

There are so many different hobbies that people can have that have so many healthy and happiness benefits. You can practice yoga or meditation. You can work out at a gym or walk around your neighborhood. You can read books or draw/paint pictures. You can build model cars or rebuild classic cars. You can crochet, knit or sew special things for people in your life. The possibilities are endless and here is a list of 40 hobbies you can try today! Here is a PDF printable of the list: 50 Hobbies To Try

50 Hobbies To Try

A Letter To My Friends From an Infant’s Mom

Letter to My Friends

To All of My Friends,

Thank you for the support you have given me before I had this precious little baby that makes my whole world go round. Some of you are moms and some of you are not which means some of you understand what I am going through right now. My day, everyday, consists of taking care of this little person that relies solely on me to take care of their needs. This means lots of feedings, diaper changes and snuggles throughout the day and very little sleep.

I am sorry for not returning your calls or texts. I do see them and intend of getting back to you but I am usually in the throes of a baby related activity that I forget. When I remember again, it’s usually when I am awake for the 4am feeding which is not ideal to text someone to have a conversation. Then days go by and I remember again but feel guilty that I forgot so I don’t text or call you back because I have become a bad friend. I know many of you have given up on waiting for that text back and I am sorry. I am sorry that I have become a bad friend.

I see your fun times on Instagram and Facebook and wish I could be out having fun with you. My fun times are seeing my baby smile and giggle, to see their first roll over, being there for their first steps and when they speak their first word. My bottles are now filled with special booby juice instead of special grape juice. So when you have a drink, please have an extra one for me!

I don’t know when I can return to being a good friend again but I hope that when I am ready, you are willing to be my friend again. I look forward to have fun friend times again but right now my friend times are taken over with baby times. For those of you that are not mom’s yet, I will be there to support you when you are in the throes of Mommyhood. For my friends that are already mommies, I can’t wait to have playdates in the future.

I know that I am not a good friend right now but I am being the best Mommy that I can be. I am raising a precious child that will shape this world into a good world for all people. One day we will go out and have that glass of wine that I am dying for girly filled talking but until then enjoy your life and fun times.

Love,

Your Friend that is the Mommy to an Infant

To My Friends, I am sorry I am a bad friend but one day the baby will let me come out and play again.

Thankful For Starting My Day with Baby Smiles

Thankful for starting my day with baby smiles

Wow that title is a mouthful!! When I a thinking about what to write about today, all I could focus on was the smiles that Evie was giving me as she was waiting for me to finish pumping. That is the perfect topic for Thankful Thursday!

smile

 

Did you know that the first facial expression a baby has is a smile. Usually they start in the womb and have no meaning. Once a baby smiles because they are happy that is the best feeling in the world.

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The best way to start my day is seeing my baby girl look at me and smile. Evie and I start our day with singing a special good morning song that I made up for her. As soon as I start singing it, the smile on her face is just amazing. That smile is as big as her face and just beautiful. Who knew that someone would smile at the sound of my crappy singing voice?!

Smiles are contagious. Actually, smiles are more contagious than the flu! When someone, young or old, smiles you can’t help but to smile back at them. It takes more effort to not smile back.

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Looking for a promotion at work? Smile more! Studies show that smiling more at work makes an employer more likely to promote you over someone who rarely smiles. This shows that you love what you do and that you have passion for the company you work for. Smiling makes you look more successful at work and in life.

Try to force yourself to smile when you are upset and watch your mood elevate. When you smile it can feel like all your problems melt away for that moment. Use up to 53 muscles to smile so you can bring your mood up, exercise your face and reduce your blood pressure all at the same time!

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No matter where in the world you go, a smile is intercultural. You can look at someone and say hello with a smile, no language interpreter needed! This is because a smile means happiness…. everywhere in the world!

smile (1)

Smiling Fun Facts:

  1. The average woman smiles 62 times a day
  2. The average man smiles 8 times a day
  3. 63% of women say they look best in photos where their teeth are showing
  4. 99.7% of people say that an attractive smile is an important personal asset
  5. 74% of people believe a bad smile can hurt their chances for a successful career
  6. A dog smiles by wagging their tail
  7. There are 19 different types of smiles!

Take the time to smile today!

 

Worth It Wednesday

Worth It Wednesday

In my life right now, I am focused on my self-care and working towards a positive life which means eliminating the negativity in my life. Part of that negativity are my Wednesday rant posts. As nice as it is to vent my feeling but when I started to let the venting and negativity take over my life, it was time to work taking the bad out and bring the good in. So, instead of focusing on venting on Wednesdays I am going to focus on ways to bring good things into my life and your life with Worth It Wednesday!

What does Worth It Wednesday mean?

Worth It Wednesday is all about living the life you are worth living. Finding positivity in every aspect of your life. Being grateful for what you have and what you will receive in the future. Holding yourself accountable for what how your thinking, feeling and living your life. Making the necessary changes to make your life the one you want.

My goal for my new Wednesday series is to post ways that help you live your best life. This will include different activities that could help in your journey. As well, I will feature products that will aid in your positive life journey. I am a quote lover, so there will be posts that feature quotes that will enhance your life. I am sure as my journey continues, I will have different themes and posts that I haven’t thought of yet.

I am excited to share my journey with all of you and I hope that these future posts will encourage you to live the life you are worth living because it is worth it to live your best life. Life is too short to belived counting the years.Enjoy the ride and makeamazing memories.Have a great birthday!

Struggling With My Gratitude

Struggling with My Gratitude

With everything that has occurred this year, I have been struggling with my gratitude and thankfulness, hence the many missing Thankful Thursday posts. It has become difficult to be grateful when I am so angry at so many people and at the Universe.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my kids and supportive family and friends through these difficult times. The problem is that I draw a blank when I think about what I am grateful for in my life. I will find something I am grateful for and then think about what I don’t have or how I got screwed out of something related to this grateful thing, and I am back to being angry again.

This mindset of anger has effected every aspect of my life where I am not striving to be the best I can be. My business has been slow going because I feel like I just run out of time to do anything. Instead of doing what I need to do, my mind wanders and before I know it I have been thinking and engrossing myself for over an hour. Poof that time I had while the baby is sleeping is now gone and I can’t get it back. The rift in my already damaged marriage is just increasing in size because if I can’t control my anger towards things then I can’t be in a good place to work on bridging the gap. Even my poor supportive friends are being neglected because I know that when I speak, all I do is spew negativity so I have just stopped talking at all. The only ones that I have tried to protect from my ungratefulness is my children because no matter what they are my main priority in life and I don’t want them to feel my anger.

This all means that I need to go back to the beginning and work on myself. I need to make working on my self care and self love a priority because dwelling on my anger is only bringing myself and everyone around me down.

My top 5 things to help me work on my self care:

  1. Write and recite daily affirmations
  2. Write 5 things I am grateful for every night, even when I am not feeling grateful
  3. Listen to/Read the Secret and my other go to self care books
  4. Write out my feelings in my journal, even if it is multiple times a day
  5. Give myself time to love myself

In the past, I have gone through these periods which were triggered by a stress factor and in the past few months since Evelynne was born there has been multiple stressors. I know I can’t beat myself up for needing to start over in my self care journey (trust me I have been beating myself up for months now) because I am only human. As humans, we will go forward and have our setbacks but that is what makes us grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

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Do you have any tips to get out of your funk and back to self care?

Loathe Thy Neighbor

Yes, I know that the correct quote from the Bible is Love Thy Neighbor but if you lived near my current neighbor you would loathe them as well… if you continue to read please be prepared for A LOT of swearing because it is What the What Wednesday aka my weekly rant post!

Loathe Thy Neighbor

When you live in an apartment, you have to deal and adjust to living around other people. I have lived in tons of apartments and dealt with all kinds of people. None of them acted like our current downstairs neighbor. This man is off his rocker crazy, weird and attempts to be domineering towards women. (He met the wrong woman to try to dictate anything to, just ask my husband haha!)

When we signed our lease, we made sure that our dog was included because Max is as much a part of our family as the girls are our children. We knew that we would have some adjustment with Max going from living in a single house to an upstairs apartment next to a main road. We bought a bark collar (big waste of over $100!!) to help with the transition because Max LOVES to bark at everything because he is a Plott Hound mix.

First of all,  everytime I see this man, instead of saying hello back to me he starts to bitch about something which usually is about the dog or noise. Doug will walk by him and he is polite and says hello. He sees me and basically gives me shit that our dog barks too much, our dog shits (mind you in the abandoned house next door’s yard) to much, we have to lock the front door (so no one can hear someone knock and we can’t have visitors?!) or an array of other shit. The one that topped them all… he tried to tell me that I have to stay home with the dog more because the dog barking and running around when I am not home is just annoying to them. Oh fucking well dude you live on the first floor of an apartment! Plus, do you think I am happy that your kids are running through the house screaming at midnight waking my 3 month old baby up?? Do I say anything, no because we live in an apartment and we adjust to our surroundings!

When we were doing the walk through of the apartment, our realtor told us that the family downstairs is home all day because they are a homeschooling family. Oh that is cool because so are we and don’t meet many homeschooling families. Well, the kids only go out to play when its getting dark or is dark already and they are unsupervised. Plus, he allows his unsupervised kids to play in the yard next door which is full of crap like wood, shingles, nails and other stuff from the owners trying to fix up the abandoned house. First, if your kids are homeschooled then why are you having them play when its dark and only have an outdoor light to see (or not see) instead of during the day? Second, why are you allowing your kids to play unsupervised next to an intersection of 2 major roads in our area? Third, why in the hell do you allow your kids to play in a yard that is filled with dangerous building materials and then bitch at me that we let our dog poop where your kids play?? Duh, you don’t let your kids play in that yard? (which the owners of the other house know that we walk our dog over there and don’t care)

Next, the yard is supposed to be a shared yard which I was planning on putting a garden in soon. Well that is not going to happen because our yard is the neighbor’s junk heap! I swear this man goes around and collects other people’s shit and dumps it in the yard. There are 3 grills, a rusted out open fire pit (totally illegal in jersey, especially when you have houses only feet from each other, a ton of different chairs (some of them dining room chairs), plus other things that I don’t even know what they are. Oh and the kids have their toys all over the yard (how about teaching them to clean up all the little water balloons they have EVERYWHERE?!) which drives me nuts trying to navigate to just walk to my car. Now I have to figure out creating an indoor herb garden and then create the rest of my garden from pots that I sent on our back steps so that I can have Danyella’s supply of summer tomatoes. So much for “shared” yard….

Brace yourself for this last part… This man loves to stand in his back door and smoke his pot aka marijuana. Having a little brother that struggled with drugs and ultimately lost his life to his struggle, I do NOT want my kids exposed to drugs of any kind. Now, we can’t even walk from my house to my car (or visa versa) without them being exposed to this drug. Now, in New Jersey medical marijuana is legal but this is in a pill or oil form not to smoke so he can’t try to pull the “I have a medical marijuana card” out to justify it. Plus, there are times that I walk into my house and that is all I can smell so I have a candle always burning to mask the smell. I don’t want to be exposed to this and I don’t want my kids to be exposed to this. If he wants to smoke his crap then go do it in his car or in the garage or somewhere we my family doesn’t get affected by his illegal hobby!

This rant is over for now but with 10 months left on our lease, there is no saying what else will happen and what other rant I may need to write out of my system. Thanks for listening to this week’s rant!