The Day Before Hurricane Irma – What it Was Like and Moments I Want to Remeber

Posted in Life, Uncategorized by
day-before-hurricane-irma

The last two days before Hurricane Irma hits are emotional and tiring. But before whatever aftermath she leaves behind, there are some moments that I want to remember. I think some lessons and perhaps some regrets. This post will be random and I will probably jump from one moment to another. So try to keep up.

It’s Saturday night and yesterday is a blur. I think I tried to work, but that was unsuccessful. Maybe I went shopping. Or was that on Thursday? Eventually, I got my act together and started to do laundry since we would most likely be without power for a while. I had a glass a wine.

The Day Before Hurricane Irma

Saturday started really early. Like 12am early. We awoke to our phone alarm going off telling us that we are now under a Hurricane Warning. That means she is for sure coming up our way. My best friend texted me around 1 something in the morning and the texts messages from my other girl friends commenced around 7am. The most beautiful coast in the United States (in my opinion) was getting hit with a major category 4 hurricane. The biggest this area has ever seen. The west coast of Florida is not only beautiful, its peaceful. My favorite place is sitting on the beach watching the sunset. How can something so beautiful be so scary.

The text messages between my girlfriends and I ranged from, how paranoid (and rightfully so ) our husbands were acting to how many bottles of wine we bought at the store. We vented and shared our anxieties. I’m so thankful to have these girls in my life.

My sister, Gianna and I left the house around 8am to make one last trip to Publix. We needed more ice so we were on the hunt for that. Thank you Walgreens and Racetrack for still having ice. As expected shelves were empty, but thankfully we did all our main shopping a few days earlier. As we pulled back into our driveway, we saw my husband boarding up our windows. He had his tool belt on which made my daughter laugh.

Daddy looks like Bob the Builder! It was pretty funny and cute at the same time. He was outside prepping our house ALL DAY. I think he sat down for like 15 minutes because our 2-year-old was yelling and crying for his Daddy. Trace joined his Dad outside and helped with the preparations.

Since my parents live across the street, I went over there and helped move some stuff inside. My sister and Mom did most of it already. My Dad was sitting in his recliner totally relaxed. Three years ago my Dad would’ve been prepping just as hard as Justin. He’s some pretty major health issues and it has affected him both mentally and physically. I started second guessing our decision to stay. My Dad uses a walker and even a wheelchair at times. We decided the day before that my parents would come to our house during the storm.

Nothing is going to happen, he says. Three years ago he would’ve been a nervous nelly and driving everyone crazy. Maybe he would’ve even made the decision to leave. Dear God I hope we made the right decision.

I see people on Facebook judge and making comments about the choice of staying or leaving. I feel so sorry for those who say something negative or snarky about either decision. I’m sorry your small mind will only allow you to see through a small lens.  

As we were prepping the house you can hear a number of skill saws going. Wood was being cut and nails were being drilled. We can already feel the wind. Neighbors driving by stopped and checked-in. Family from out-of-state called and texted us. Some where wondering why we didn’t leave. My cousin in Orlando offered her home. Funny because on Friday the hurricane was headed her way, so I offered our home. The track shifted over our direction over night so her house was now looking like a better option.

I just have to say that even if I had a one bedroom apartment, I would open up my home to all my family. Especially, with a storm as nasty as this.   I’m really touched that she offered.

I feel nauseous as I’m writing this. We skipped lunch and had overcooked shrimped for dinner. 

I said this was going to be a random rant. 

Our 2 year-old was a handful today. I probably only played with him for 30 or 45 minutes because I was “too busy” prepping things. He was driving me crazy with his hitting and throwing fits. Ugh. I feel awful and wish I had slowed down today. Tomorrow, he will get all my attention. Well, at least half. Gianna needs her Momma too.

I’ve gathered all important documents and put them in a big Ziploc, which is in a bigger plastic envelope, which is in our suitcase. The suitcase has some clothes, shoes, toiletries, medicines. Trace has his own little bag packed. There’s a big black bin that will hold valuables, pictures and maybe some more clothes. All this in case of an emergency. Thanks Mel, for the packing advice.

We have a safe room, lanterns, flashlights and enough water and food for at least 2 weeks. I just want my 8-year old to feel safe. We prayed hard tonight. I can tell she’s a little apprehensive. She too will get all my attention tomorrow.

Throughout the day I kept thinking about our law enforcement, nurses, first responders, the drivers delivering gas and the guys at Publix restocking the bread. THANK YOU. 

Children are sleeping, patio furniture is in the kids playroom, phones are charging, our dog Mia is acting strange and Daddy and I are still up. It’s time to go to bed.

Be kind everyone. Take care of each other. It’s 1am and tomorrow is going to be a long day.

 

 

September 10, 2017
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Teaching Kids To Be Grateful – Guest Post at Delicately Balancing Life

Posted in Family, Parenting by
Tips-for-teaching-kids-gratitude

Hello Momma’s!

This week I’m over at Delicately Balancing Life talking about GRATITUDE. Specifically, Teaching Kids to Be Grateful. While I’m not dishing out advice, I simply discussed what worked for us.

Before sending you off to read the article I would love to tell you a little about Lindsey. She is the creator behind Delicately Balancing Life.  Her blog touches on so many topics that we Womenlive through everyday. She talks about marriage, parenting, food/wine and career. Lindsey and her husband just welcomed a beautiful baby girl! She graciously asked me to be a guest blogger on her site and after seeing her site and reading what she’s about, I jumped on the opportunity.

Here’s a little snippet : 

” How can I un-spoil my child? No lie – this is EXACTLY what I entered into the Google search bar. This search led me to many articles about instilling gratitude in our children. While there are many parenting articles about teaching children the art of gratitude – this is not one of them.

Where did the gratitude go?

I’m not really sure it was ever there. To put it bluntly, my husband and I pretty much bought our daughter whatever she wanted. I rationalized it by indirectly blaming my parents. My 10-year old self will tell you that I grew up hearing “no” all the time. Of course, this was not true. I just didn’t get everything I wanted and it was mainly due to financial constraints. ” …… continue reading.

As I was writing this post I couldn’t help but think, this can and should apply to us, the parents.  It was a gut check for me. If I’m being honest, My behavior wasn’t in congruence with what I was trying to instill in my daughter. Teaching kids gratitude isn’t just about  instilling it in them, we need to display thankfulness and gratitude ourselves. Check out my post on how I found my joy and gratitude.

There are many studies that show the benefits of living with gratitude. Apparently gratitude is the key to joy. That’s a strong and interesting statement to think about. Joy isn’t found in fancy cars, money or a big house. Joy is the outcome of being grateful for the things, people and opportunities we presently have – RIGHT NOW. In this moment.

Read,  Instilling Gratitude In Our Children – What Worked For Our Family 

August 25, 2017
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Skincare In Your 30s – The 3 Products I Can’t Live Without

Skincare-in-your-30s

Skincare in your 30s looks completely different than when in your 20s. At least I think it is. Thankfully, I’ve found some products that allow me to feel OK when going sans foundation.

These isn’t a sponsored post nor am I getting paid by any of these companies.  However, there are some affiliate links which Rebel Soul Mom makes a small commission. Thanks for reading and supporting this stay at home momma! 

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now.  Part of me struggles with writing about things I love that come in tangible forms (ie.plastic), verses in the shape of my two little humans. Writing about gratitude, my kids and mom life in general, come natural to me. This type of post requires a little more effort from my writing brain. If I really want to twist the meaning and find my redemption of this post, not having to wear foundation every day and still feel decent enough to stroll through Publix, bring me joy and gratitude. There! Connection made.

In my 20’s, I never thought about wrinkles or characteristics such as uneven skin tone.  Wearing sunscreen on my face was weird and unnecessary.  There were many nights where I would go to bed without washing my face and I still had clear skin.

Luck and genetics, I thought. Silly 20-something girl.

 Snapchat’s face swap opened my eyes to my 30- something skin

While playing around with the different filters in Snapchat,  When I did my first face-swap with her, I was like….whoa. I know this sounds a little weird, then again I’m self-proclaimed wierdo. Seeing her baby smooth skin “swapped” on mind was a little dishearting and so began my search for good face products.

Check out the tweet right after my face swap discovery:

skincare after 30

 

The 3 Facial Products That Made a Huge Difference In My Skin

Mia 2® Facial Cleansing Brush

If there was only product you could buy, make it this one. With a $169 price-point, consider it an investment in your skin. Better yet,  put in on your Christmas list like I did. When researching this product I found that people had varying timeframes when it came to seeing results. For me, it wasn’t until month 3 before I started noticing a difference.

Mia-Clarisonic removes six times more makeup than manual cleansing, cleansing so well that products absorb better       – Clarisonic.com

I’m not getting paid to promote this. It’s just that good! The Clarisonic website has tons of information on the different products they have, but you can also get it at Sephora or Amazon.


Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

I received a sample of this cleanser either through Influenster or Sephora. Since then, I haven’t bought anything else. It comes in two different price points, $15 & $38. Seriously, this stuff is amazing and it smells like no other facial cleanser I’ve tried.

These stats are found on thier website:

    •  97% reported more supple skin
    • 93% said it soothed and softened their skin
    • 90% said their skin was balanced and healthy-looking
    • 86% felt it visibly improved the appearance of the skin
    • 86% felt it left their skin toned and radiant * in vivo

I can personal say that I agree with these 100%.  This cleanser has ingredients like soy-proteins, rosewater (amazing smell), cucumber extract and borage seed oil. Aside from the fact that they use natural ingredients, everything about this brand is woth loving.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra™ Intensive Hydration Gel

Remember that uneven skin tone I was talking about earlier? Well, my 30-something skin has some serious uneven texture issues. Basically the lady at Sephora told me this is what I needed. Who was I to argue?  One of the claims is that it specifically, improves the appearance of face texture and tone. This is a bit pricey at $52, so if there’s something else comporable that you’ve tried, please let me know.

Keep in mind that you won’t find silicones, chemical screens, sensitizing colorants, perfumes, or fragrant essential oils of any kind in any Drunk Elephant product. Other nasties such as parabens, sulfates and phthalates are also left out of this product.

There it is. My three gaming changing products for skincare in your 30s. You will notice that a facial moisturizer isn’t on this list, but I’m still testing some out. Right now, I’m using Origins GinZing. I’m liking it so far.

Skincare-in-your-30s

Skincare In Your 30s – What are you currently using that you love?

 

Skincare in your 30s

 

 

August 17, 2017
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Trace’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 2nd Birthday Party

Posted in Home/DIY by
Mickey_mouse_party_cake ideas

It’s hard to believe that my little monkey is now officially a toddler!  Trace turned two last week and we celebrated his birthday with a Mickey Mouse Birthday Party. I love all things Disney so this was definitely a fun party to plan.  Since we were just coming back from our vacation, I needed to plan something that was simple but perfect for my little man.  This was probably one of my most simple but favorite parties that I’ve done for the kids. Thanks to Pinterest, I found some really cute and fun Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Ideas!

I wish I had a blog back when Gianna was younger so I could document what she was into. I may just have to pull those pictures together and create a separate post for each theme. I just remember being sad when the princess phase was over.

When it comes to parties, I tend to completely fall down the dark rabbit hole, commonly known as Pinterest. My daughters first 3 or 4 birthdays were a crazy but beautiful testimony of that. The pressure to have the best looking or unique party favors has (somewhat) subsided. Truth is, I love to do these for my kids. Some may think they are too young to understand. I don’t believe that. They are too young to remember, but my son completely understood the Mickey Mouse decorations and amazing layered cake.

His eyes lit up when he first walked into the room. Which was then followed by him shouting a cluster of words that I couldn’t quite fully understand. I did hear, Mickey some where in there!  His party was perfect and while I felt completely flustered for a couple of hours leading up to it, I would totally do it all over again.

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission.                            

 

Shop all these cute Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Ideas:

This is an easy and inexpensive  theme to do.  I think I spent under $100 and this includes balloons, table covers (3), Mickey Mouse cookie cutter, happy birthday banner, Mickey Mouse silicone mold and supplies for my DIY decorations.

 

Cute Mickey_Mouse_Birthday_Party Ideas

 

 Cookie Cutter: Amazon, $8.90  | Kitchen Tongs: Amazon | Black & White Polka Dot Table Cover: Amazon, $5.15

Brown Party Favor Bags: Amazon, $14.99 | Polka Dot Straws & Black Vinyl Mickey’s: Amazon, $12.99

  Happy Birthday Sign: Etsy, $15 | Streamers & Balloons: Amazon, $11.90

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRACE MICHAEL! 

Mickey_Mouse_Birthday_Party

Favorite Foods:
Blueberries
Popsicles
My moms’ rice & beans (and sometimes mine)
Dried cranberries
Annie’s fruit snacks

Silly things:
Hides in a corner to do his business,
If you’re not listening or looking to him then he will take his hands and put them on your check, turning your head towards his

Makes funny noises with his mouth to make us laugh
LOVES a good Happy Birthday song

Favorite things:
Pacifier
Soft plush blankets
Mickey Mouse
Any tools (but prefers the real deal)
Loves to be outside
Water Hose
Bubbles

Recent Milestones:
Makes 3-word sentences
Can now climb on our dining room chairs (yay)
Brings his shoes to us when he wants to go outside
Trys to puts our shoes on when he wants to go outside

mickey-mouse-party-ideas-cheap

Getting a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter is an inexpensive way to carryout the theme in different areas.  I got this one from Amazon. Get it here.

Do you have any other cute Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Ideas to share?

Read:  My Family of Four is Now Complete

August 6, 2017
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5 Ways Moms Can Fight Blah Days

fight-blah-days

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel zero energy. Days when mentally you feel like your emotions have flatlined? For me, going to work at the office usually helped that blah feeling.  However, now that I’m working at home with two little humans who I don’t have to fake it for,  its been much harder to get out of my mental funk. Thankfully, I have 5 ways  that Moms can fight blah days. This list could definitely be longer, but sometimes my attention span gets in the way of my writing.

5 Ways Moms (or anyone!) Can Fight Blah Days

Get showered and dressed.

If you know its going to be one of those days, don’t marinate in it! It’s much harder to pull yourself out of a funk when it’s 1pm and you’ve accomplished absolutely zero while lounging in your pjs. On these days, at the very least, take a shower and put some cute clothes on.

Play uplift music or listen to a podcast. 

I can’t say that this always does the trick, but it helps in conjunction with other things. My music choices that get me moving range from Hillsong to Britney to Little Wayne. Lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts that are specifically geared towards women, entrepreneurs and overall personal development.

Play with the kids or do some silly dances. 

There are times when playing with the kiddos seems like a tiring and daunting effort. Acting silly with them or playing their favorite game, often times lifts me out of my mental slump. My daughter who is 8, knows when I’m in one of my moods and bless her heart, she is the sweetest little thing when she tries to lift my spirits.

Watch YouTube – yes, you read that right. 

Getting someTHING accomplished is a start to a better mood.  Somedays I’ll settle for the dishes and cleaning the floors. Call me crazy but watching other people clean or organize their home really works. YouTube is filled with fun organizing and cleaning motivational videos. Based on the hundreds of thousand of views, there are obviously many of us who enjoy watching these videos.

Notice I said YouTube only. Jumping on Facebook or Instagram and seeing the perfect pictures and suspecting, my life is perfect posts… is the last thing you should do.

Shop, shop or shopping cart.

I’m not saying to self-medicate  by spending hundreds of dollars every time you’re feeling depressed. But there is something to be said about an impromptu shopping trip with a friend. Not only does it get you out of the house but it occupies your mind. On days when I don’t want to deal with strollers and tantrums, I’ll settle for online shopping trips. I’m known to add stuff to the shopping cart and walking away. It’s almost like shopping, just without the monetary commitment.

There it is – 5 ways you can fight blah days. As I’m finishing this post up I realized that I missed one very important thing – sunshine! If all out fails, take a walk outside for 10 minutes.

Busy Moms want to know – What am I missing that has worked for you?

 

 

5_waysto_fight_blah_days

 

OTHER POSTS YOU MAY LIKE:

My First Month as a Stay-at-Home Mom 

 

June 26, 2017
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