Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and one of my absolute favorite Valentine’s Day desserts are chocolate covered strawberries. Chocolate plus strawberry equals a match made in heaven. It feels good not feeling too guilty about eating a dozen all by yourself. You know since it’s fruit underneath the chocolate LOL. Read More
Happy 5 year anniversary to us! On this day five years ago my husband and I said “I do”. Here we are two baby girls later and still finding ways to connection with one another. We often talk about how well we work because we’re a team. With each passing day and year we are able to go to the drawing board and be better than we were before.
This year will consist of so many changes for our family. Great changes but plenty of them. The biggest change of all: waiting for our second baby girl to make her entrance into this world. Unfortunately, this is the first wedding anniversary we will spend apart. Considering we’re a military family we should be counting our blessings that this is the first anniversary we’re spending away from one another. But it doesn’t make it any easier. Especially when I’d love to simply be in the presence of my favorite human being.Read More
Jordyn and I traveled to California last week. My husband was in California for a month and a half for work. Jordyn and I met him there towards the end of his work commitment. We flew there and road tripped back with him to Montana. Going to California is always a good time because we get to see so many of our loved ones when we’re there. My father in law even flew into town from Florida for a few days so we could spend some much-needed time with him. Although Jordyn and I ended up catching colds the last week of the trip, we had an amazing time, and can’t wait to see everyone again.Read More
Happy Black history month! This year my family and I made the decision to celebrate more Black holidays. For example Juneteenth and Kwanzaa. This also means Black history month and finding ways to honor what this month is about. I sat down and came up with a personal list of ways to celebrate Black history month this year, and realized there are more than likely many more people wondering the exact same thing. This decision lead me to do this post and share with all of my readers.
It’s also important for everyone reading this post to understand you don’t have to be Black to celebrate Black holidays. You don’t have to be Black to learn Black history because Black history is American history. It’s no different than when people of all backgrounds and ethnicities celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, etc. (Although Mexican people don’t really celebrate Cinco de Mayo like you’d think) However, when we celebrate days and/or holidays specifically dedicated to our own culture we take immense pride in it. Especially as Black people where so much of our history has been erased or silenced, it’s important for us to take this time to learn about and take pride in ourselves. Here are five ways you can celebrate Black History Month this year.
We’ve all received the very watered down white washed version of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks in grade school, but have you taken the time to really learn about these individuals and their fight in the struggle? They don’t even bother to teach us about the importance of individuals such as Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey, but this doesn’t mean we can’t learn about them on our own. I recommend each of you to learn, in detail, about a prominent black historical figure. You can even step it up a notch and challenge yourself to research the name and background of a Black historical figure you’ve never heard of before. In this day and age of technology these names are no longer hard to find. 🙂
This may seem trivial to some but there are many of us who understand the importance this simple task. It is important we support each other when we finally receive the movie roles and portrayals we deserve. It is important we see Black excellence in the form of actors, creators, directors, writers etc. Year after year we hear the argument of there not being enough roles for Black people in all areas of film so when we are in them it’s important we support them. I’m not talking about supporting any films with Black people in them (or written by them) either. Movie roles that stereotype type us or make us out to be less than who we are and what we are should never be supported in my opinion.
Look at the success of the Marvel movie, Black Panther, a year later. We were able to see ourselves as the Kings and Queens we know we are. See ourselves as the intelligent and thoughtful people we know we are. We simply saw ourselves. To continue to see ourselves we have to support Black film and film makers.
Black people may be a minority in population but we are the majority in spending. Our buying power is unbelievable but we tend to put our dollars into businesses and systems that don’t support us. Seems counter productive, right? This month, but preferably this year, buy at least one item from a Black owned business. I have a list in my phone of items I want to buy from small Black businesses and plan on buying most if not all of them by the end of this year. For my bank account and husband’s sake I won’t buy them all this month. HA! These are a few of the businesses on my “Black owned to buy” list: Hillman Bookstore, Mahogany Cheers, and African Ancestry. Go check them out!
I touched on this subject at the beginning of this piece. We need to celebrate Juneteenth the same way we celebrate the 4th of July. We need to take the time to learn about Black history the same way we learn other’s history. It is important we celebrate and remember our ancestors and their accomplishments by celebrating their lives. Which means celebrating the days that aren’t marked on the calendar. The same way we celebrate Dr. King we should celebrate brother Malcolm on his birthday. Make sure to mark your calendars for these important days and make it a tradition to so every year. It’ll pass down from generation to generation until it becomes the new norm.
We need to give back. It’s that simple yet we make it so much harder than it needs to be. You do not need to be rich to give back to your community. You need to be caring and determined. Giving back doesn’t always have monetary attachment to it. What God-given talent are you sharing in this life? If you are an artist, volunteer some time to teach children in your local community about art. If you’re good with numbers, teach someone who lacks such knowledge how to balance their finances etc. However, for those of you who prefer to donate money find local organizations that directly benefit a large number of Black people and their advancement. Even if it’s a $10 donation, it’s $10 that will directly benefit the community. I will personally be donating to one of Colin Kaepernick’s #10For10 charities.
*Here’s an added bonus for celebrating Black History Month*
If you have not gotten the opportunity to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. I highly recommend you do. It is such a transformative emotional rollercoaster that leaves you with the idea of exactly how magical we are as a people. The things we have been through as a people yet how we continue to fight and come out on top is nothing short of the magic that is Black people. The museum is 7 floors so be sure you wear your walking shoes and dedicate an entire day to seeing all of the exhibits. We can’t wait to go back and visit ourselves!
It is so important to recycle. One of my personal goals this year is to recycle. Yes, this may seem like a minor goal, but it’s an important one. It’s also a more than attainable goal because recycle centers are not hard to find. Obviously, this will take a little more effort of consciousness on my part, but it’s an effort which helps our planet and will teach my children to do the same. When we moved into our house on base we never received a cycle bin. They had apparently ran out of recycle bins for any new residents moving in. Long story short, recycle bins are an easy way to keep recycling items organized. I thought to myself “why not make your own recycle bins?”
I wish I could say there was a lot of thought that went into this project but I was honestly going for easy and simple. Easy because the bins need to be functional for easy transportation to and from the recycle center. Simple because the bins need to not be an eye sore in my dining room/kitchen area. Oh, and I forgot to mention I wanted something frugal which means I naturally thought of the clear storage bins at Wal-Mart. They cost less than $5 each and can be reused for storage purposes when we move. (Being a military family means you’re always thinking about the future a.k.a. moving)
First, I looked up what categories recycling centers separate their items by. This helped me figure out how many containers I needed to buy and how they would fit into my kitchen area. My recycle bins are for: glass, metal, paper, and plastic. My glass recycle bin container is the smallest because we don’t use many glass products to recycle. To create my recycle bins I bought my 4 containers, a large black poster board paper, and a pack of metallic sharpie markers. I already had both tape and a hot glue gun at home to paste the designs on the containers. I took my items home and got to work! To create your own recycle bins you will need:
– Four 58 quart containers
– One 22×28 poster board
– tape and/or glue gun
– 2-3 marker colors
Once you have you necessary items for your project you will:
1) Measure and cut your poster board paper into what ever design or shape you want displayed on the front of your bins.
2) Write your recycle bin category on each of the poster board cut outs using your bold marker colors. (Try using marker colors that will stand out on whatever color poster board you are using)
3) Using your hot glue gun and/or tape, individually attach your poster board cut out label to the front of each of your containers.
4) Place your containers in whatever section of your home you want them and you’re finished!
If you would like to take the project up a notch: line your containers with a plastic or paper that can be recycled as well for easy clean up. You can also decorate the containers themselves with additional colors and designs if they are too plain for your personal liking.
I told you guys this is an easy project! Not only is it easy to do, but we get to help play an important role in saving the planet too. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. If you make your own DIY recycle bins please drop a picture in the comment section below!
We brought Ares home August 19th, 2013 and had to say goodbye to him August 1st, 2017. We got to spend 3 years, 11 months, and 13 days with him. The time was way too short, but we have so many beautiful and hilarious memories. I could say it was by luck, but it wasn’t, it was destiny that Ares became a Jamieson. He was just as silly and crazy as everyone else in this household haha.
Kris and I had been talking about getting a dog once we moved into our home on base. I was at work when I received a text from, Krissy (my military BFF a.k.a Sister Wife), about a Facebook post she had recently tagged me in. The post was of a three month old German Shepherd named, Bentley, at the time. I couldn’t get over his adorable little face, and one big ole floppy ear. LOL. I sent the information to Kris and asked him to meet me at the guy’s house to meet the pup. No sooner than I walked across the street to greet him, he ran straight into my arms.
The guy told us we were the second couple interested in the pup, but after seeing Ares’ instant attachment to us, he knew Ares was meant to be ours. By 6 p.m. that evening we were the proud dog parents of a beautiful German Shepherd puppy. I remember so many of these details because Ares was our first baby. Before Jordyn, Ares was our fur baby, or our practice baby as we liked to call him.
It’s been exactly one week since we said goodbye to our fur-baby. I still haven’t found the perfect words to describe the type of sadness you feel after losing a furry family member. But it hurts more than I could ever expect. Even though we’ve known for months that the cancer would eventually come back, it completely catches you off guard when it does. Especially since Ares’ cancer came back SO soon after ending treatments and so aggressively.
There’s a strange silence that always follows me around the house. I never paid attention to how simple things like his breathing pattern while he slept was standard background noise for me while I watched t.v. on the couch or blogged late at night. Or how many every day habits revolved around him. Like, making sure the back door is locked at night, keeping his water bowl full, expecting his face to be in mine while I napped on the couch, etc. The silence and daily habits are constant reminders of how much the littlest of things count.
The hardest part of it all has been Jordyn not understanding that he’s gone. She’s only three years old and doesn’t understand the concept of death. Although it’s tough to hear her ask “is Ares at the doctor?” or “are we going to see Ares?” I’m thankful she’s young enough to not understand the sadness of death. Jordyn is an only child and Ares was her best friend. Whether they were playing fetch in the hallway or making each other crazy, she loved having her big fur brother around.
I’m thankful I’m the typical crazy picture taking Mom, because I have so many awesome pictures and videos of Ares over the years. Even some hilarious videos as recent as a week before his death of him and Jordyn having the time of their lives together. Pictures truly are worth a thousand words, and I’m SO thankful to have them.
Ares’ personality was as big as his heart. You never knew what type of emotion or dog talking you were going to get each day haha. It’s what made him so unique. He was this huge monster of a dog with the sweetest personality. A personality that is deeply missed and will never be forgotten. I’m sure one day in the future we will get another dog to join our family. But for now, we’re going to spend the next few months remembering him, and how special he was and always will be to this family.
Rest in peace, bud. We miss you oh so much. <3
Happy Tuesday everyone! The youth center, on base, had a special for summer swim lessons this year. The lessons cost $25 per session. Each session is four weeks long with classes twice a week. We signed Jordyn up for the evening classes to be sure her Dad would be able to go with us most of the time. Although this was Jordyn’s first time taking official swim classes, by the second class, she looked like a natural. With only the help of floaties she was whizzing around the pool collecting toys, and taking “breaks” on the stairs. Read More
Halo Top Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake
Today is officially the first day of Summer. For those of you looking for a delicious and non-guilty dessert to cool you off this summer, try out this easy and yummy Halo Top Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake.
I've recently discovered how much I enjoy Halo Top ice cream. Not only is it delicious, but it's guilt free! Most pints are 300 calories or less. Yes, the entire pint is only 300 calories! It's like finding a small piece of heaven on earth. They have so many delicious flavors and my new life goal is to try them all. Ha! But in all seriousness, it's so nice to finally have an ice cream us clean eaters can enjoy, without the guilt that usually comes with it.
This recipe is perfect for a quick sweet tooth fix. You can even pour the milkshake into popsicle trays and make healthy popsicles for little ones. If you're wanting even more nutrients in this dessert, add a small banana to the ingredients list. I promise it's just as delicious!
- 1 pint Halo Top Chocolate Ice Cream
- 1 cup Almond Milk
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 2 Tbsp PB2
Pour your Halo Top ice cream, almond milk, honey, and PB2 into a blender.
Use the "milkshake" option and blend for 2-3 minutes.
Pour your milkshake into your glass and enjoy!
*If you want it with more ice, you can either add ice cubes to the blender, or place a freezer safe cup with your shake in the freezer for 10 minutes, or until ice chunks form.*
*WARNING* Previous season spoiler alerts!
Today is June 9th, 201,7 otherwise known as the, “Orange is the New Black” season 5 premiere on Netflix, day. The way last season ended left all of us feeling quite heartbroken with the senseless loss of Poussey. However, what is a great show without a roller coaster of emotions? I’m currently watching the new season as I type this. So far I’m not sure how I feel about season 5. I’m only three episodes in so I won’t be sharing any spoilers. I also need more time to assess how I feel about this season. The excitement for OITNB made me think about the rest of my June Netflix/TV Show Season Premieres.. This month, in addition to OITNB, Queen Sugar, and Power all return too.
For those of you who easily forget the season premiere dates like myself, I figured a blog post sharing the dates in writing would be a goof reference, for those of you who forgot yourselves, or didn’t know about them at all. In case you all can’t tell by now, I’m somewhat of a Netflix/TV show junkie. We’re enjoying a time where there are an overload of quality shows to watch on both platforms. I remember a few years ago it was hard to find anything on TV that wasn’t a “reality” show. Ugh, what a terrible time for television. Thankfully we now have Netflix added to the mix of choices for quality shows too.
Queen Sugar: Season 2 airs Tuesday and Wednesday, June 20th and 21st, at 10pm EST. This is a two night premiere! I’m so excited about this show returning. If you remember how last season ended, Ralph Angel read the note his father wrote before his death stating he wanted Ralph Angel to run the farm. As we all know, Charlie was the last one “running” the show even though all three of the siblings equally share legal ownership.
Power: Season 4 airs Sunday, June 25th, at 9pm EST. This is honestly the show I’m most excited to watch this month. If you watch Power then you already know why this show is so damn good! If you recall, last season ended with Ghost in handcuffs. Angela showed up to his club and arrested him for the murder of Greg. Oh man, it’s about to get good!
What June Netflix/TV show premieres are you looking forward to this month? Or this summer for that matter? I’ll be back in a few weeks with more Netflix/TV premiere dates for the months of July and August. Until then, happy watching! If you find yourself missing me before then, follow me on Twitter for live play-by-play tweets of these shows in the mean time ;-).
Summer may be over a month away, but here in Montana, we’ve already had a few days of summer-like temperatures, and there couldn’t be a better time to eat a delicious, Berry Smoothie Pop! I take my little one to the park every day to run some of her energy off, and we always find ourselves coming back home looking for a delicious, quick, and more importantly, cold snack to eat. One of her favorite post park snacks is a fresh strawberry and blueberry mix. Have I mentioned how blessed I am to have a toddler who loves and eats fresh fruit like it’s candy? Read More