Tis’ the season to decorate our homes from head to toe with rotating holiday decor. Or maybe you decorate a little bit. Either way, we all love to see decorations for the upcoming holidays. I seriously look forward to this time of year for the first 8 months of the year, until September finally arrives. Read More
Pre-Vacation Tips & Tricks
I LOVE GOING ON VACATION. I would travel somewhere at least once a month if it were free to do so. In my world, going on vacation is the cure to all concerns and worries. It’s an opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones, eat good food, and do some fun sightseeing, all while learning about new people, places, and things. I like to tell people I travel with purpose. There are a wide range of purposesRead More
Jordyn Denise: 2 Years 3 Months
If you weren’t able to tell by the cover photo of this blog post, Jordyn Denise, is still very much so a little person filled with enormous personality. LOL. Jordyn is 2 years and 3 months old, today. Or as she likes to tell people when they ask her how old she is: “I’m five.”Read More
Happy Mother’s Day 2016!
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mothers both near and far. Today, is easily one of my favorite holidays, because we learn each year, on this day, how mothers keep the world going. It’s the simple actions, gestures, and words of our mothers and mother figures, that help keep us on track and progress through everyday life. I have an even bigger appreciation for this day since becoming a mother in June 2014. There is an indescribable unconditional love that comes with motherhood and I couldn’t imagine my life without Jordyn and this love. I wish I could spend this day with my own mother and grandmother, but unfortunately, being a military family comes with some sacrifices, and living far away from family is one of them. I hope they enjoyed their day and they know how much we love them, and how thankful we are to have them in our lives.
Today, my husband got up with Jordyn this morning, and they both brought me beautiful and hilarious Mother’s Day cards. He also marinated some chicken breasts and grilled them along with some potato veggie packets for dinner. I must say…it was DELICIOUS. As he grilled, he played reggae music and Jordyn had a mini jamming session in between playing “fetch” with Ares in the backyard. He gave Jordyn her bath (although he does this most of the time anyway because he’s that awesome) and washed her hair, after she so graciously blew out her diaper for him. We started a Harry Potter marathon on Friday night, because we both LOVE Harry Potter, and we’ve continued it on throughout the day and evening, today.
In all of my happiness today I can’t help but think of all of the people I know who are celebrating their first Mother’s Day without their mothers, mother figures, and even children. I have kept all of you in my prayers and I pray it brought you some sense of comfort and peace. There is nobody on earth who can replace our loved ones, especially our mothers, and I hope you all know my heart is with you.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my Mother’s Day and I hope you all did too. I’m so thankful God chose me to be a mother but more importantly Jordyn Denise’s mother. Although Mother’s Day is amazing, remember to be thankful for your mothers every day, because there are many people out there who wish they had the opportunity. If nothing else be sure to tell your mother you love her. One day you will be beyond grateful you took the time to do so.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Jordyn Denise: 1 Year 10 Months
Today, my little comedian, diva, loveable, sassy, and strong willed, child is 1 year and 10 months old. Only two months left until she is the big 2! I can’t believe I have an almost 2 year old already. Time is flying by way too fast, but thankfully, we’re having the time of our lives in the process.
Jordyn can say her ABC’s but not sing them. Strange, I know, it’s usually easier for kids to learn the song first lol. She can count to thirteen, she knows all of her colors, and can recognize most children’s book animals and tell you their sounds. She is beginning to piece together her words to create sentences as well. She loves looking at us and saying “HUG!” before giving us the biggest and sweetest hugs in the world. She’s a little stingy with her kisses LOL but she gives me “nose kisses” with no hesitation. Nose kisses = brushing our noses together. Oh, and she’s officially sleeping in a big girl bed!
She can say: GG, Gramma, Auntie, Taylor, Maya, Mommy, Daddy, Elmo, and Abby (our neighbor and the Sesame Street puppet) very clearly. She loves going outside to play on the playground and in the wood chips. However, her favorite part about being outside is collecting sticks and digging in the dirt. I love she’s growing up to appreciate the simple childhood most of us grew up with as well.
She still loves her big brother a.k.a “Es” more than we could have ever imagined. And she’s SO independent! I love being able to talk to her and know she’s understanding what I’m saying to her. She my little BFF who I can’t believe is growing so quickly right before my eyes. It’s the most bittersweet feeling in the world. I can’t wait to see how much more she’ll grow in the next two months. She makes me so proud to be her Mommy every single day.
Happy Monday folks!
March Goals: Accomplished?
Hello everyone, and happy (third day of) April!
I’m sure most of you noticed it’s been well over two weeks since I have posted any content. I decided to take a last-minute break from blogging during the remainder of March due to life being pretty crazy busy. Between birthdays (happy belated blog shout out birthday to my awesome sister, Taylor!), Easter, Spring, friends visiting etc. March was a pretty crazy month. I did some serious deep Spring cleaning around the house while my husband was gone for a few days traveling for work. Even he came back home and almost didn’t recognize the house himself. Ha!
Easter sort of snuck up on me this year and I wasn’t even a little prepared for it. I wanted to make Jordyn’s Easter basket myself, but like I said before, I was completely unprepared and ended up buying her one. It came with a basketball (which she loves) and some cute head bands, so it could be worse. Our awesome friends, the Jones’, were in town this Easter, and we threw together some last-minute Easter activities for the kids and an Easter dinner for a group of our friends.
For the month of March I almost completed all of my monthly goals. I fell short by ONE goal, my cooking Periscope broadcast, but it went hand in hand with me taking a break from blogging for a bit. I will try to do two Periscope broadcasts for the month of April to make up for the missed broadcast last month, though. However, all of my other goals were completed and I’ll share them below :-):
Our babysitter was pretty busy between school and work in the month of March which means we had a family date night instead of just a date night with the hubby and I. We went one of our favorite restaurants in town, Bert & Ernie’s, and had a great time eating yummy food. Jordyn is always added entertainment when we are out and about haha.
I saw this delicious meal floating around Facebook and decided to give it a try while we had friends in town. It was SO good. The only downside was the Facebook video had no instructions or measurements besides the ingredients listed on the video. So thankfully it turned out so good!
DIY Project/Jordyn Activity:
Jordyn and I did another “joint project” for the month of March. During my Spring cleaning of the house I noticed the upstairs bathroom had too much empty space on the wall. I went to Michaels the following day and Jordyn and I bought some canvases (they were a BOGO free sale too!) and created these masterpieces. Mine is on the left, Jordyn’s on the right, and in case you’re wondering: yes, Jordyn’s looks better LOL.
As usual, I participated in the #blkcreatives Twitter chat in March, regarding multiple streams of income. Although I could not personally contribute to the conversation, I still followed along with the chat, because I’m sure it’ll be useful to me one day in the future. It never hurts to learn more before jumping into things.
Natural Hair Style:
I did bantu knots for my natural hair style in March and they did NOT turn out the way I wanted them to which is why it was put into the ponytail on the right haha. A for effort, right? I’m not sure what happened, but hopefully my April natural hair style turns out a lot better.
For March I chose my only darker green color for the theme of St. Patty’s Day. I love the sparkle of this emerald-green color. The color is called “Here Today…Aragon Tomorrow Suede” by OPI.
I finally jumped on the John Grisham bandwagon (20 years later) and LOVED this book. Talk about changing your life and perspective of everyday life for people who are fighting different battles than ours. I highly recommend this book be read by any and everyone because we as a society so easily judge those in different circumstances than ours.
I actually worked out 21 days of the 31 days in March and felt so accomplished. I’m also only 22 seconds away from my half mile goal time. Seeing results always motivates me to keep going. I believe it’s also safe to say after three consistent months of working out, 20 days plus per month, working out has officially become a habit. Yay!
The goals I don’t have pictures of for March are my husband love/Kris appreciation gift and my random act of kindness. For my kind gesture for my husband I bought him some new hookah flavors. He loves his hookah and figured I would get him a gift he wouldn’t expect me to buy for him. Needless to say: he loved it.
For my random act of kindness, while at Dairy Queen one night getting my Oreo and Heath blizzard (it is amazing) I paid for the meal of the car behind me. I hope whoever was in the car enjoyed their ice cream/meal and pay it forward to someone else out there.
I hope all of your small and large goals you aimed to accomplish for the month of March were accomplished. Sometimes it’s hard to stay on track and work towards our goals but we just have to remind ourselves why we do it in the first place. I will be back next month to update you on my prayerfully 100% accomplished goals for the month of April.
Happy Sunday everyone and I pray you have a great upcoming week!
Valentine’s Day 2016
Happy Monday everyone! It is the day after Valentine’s Day, and I hope this past weekend was a great start to your week. If you’re one of the lucky folks, you have today off for, President’s Day. We had a very simple but perfect Valentine’s Day weekend. We decided to go to dinner on Saturday evening to avoid the crowd on the actual day, and not only was the food good, but a couple we met while in line waiting for our food paid for our meal. I’m still smiling due to their enormously sweet gesture towards two strangers. We bought them a bottle of wine to thank them for their generousity. They insisted it wasn’t necessary but we wanted to let them know how much we appreciated what they did for our little family. They shared and spread more love to others and that is what Valentine’s Day is all about.
On Sunday we decided to hang out and relax as a family. One of my husband’s favorite foods is cinnamon rolls so I decided to make him some, from scratch, using a recipe I found on Pinterest. They turned out super yummy and took SO long to make! But he was happy and that made me happy. He bought Jordyn a teddy bear and a pink soccer ball for her Valentine’s Day gifts and she LOVED them. When she saw her ball in his hands, her face lit up, and she yelled “BALL”! It was absolutely adorable. Jordyn made her Dad a beautiful canvas painting with her hand prints and message saying “I <3 DAD” for his gift. Dad loved it. 🙂
Later that evening we went to the community center on base to play some basketball, and run around the gym with Jordyn, before we came back home to make/eat a homemade heart shaped pizza, and watch a movie together.
I got my Valentine’s Day gift from the hubby earlier this morning when I went to a local spa/salon to have a two hour, Caribbean Spa Treatment, done. I can’t think of a word strong enough to explain how amazing this treatment was so I’ll just use GLORIOUS. It was a much needed and much appreciated Valentine’s Day gift from the hubby. He is the best.
Whether you spent the holiday with a significant other, friends, family, or even by yourself, I hope you felt and shared love in the process. Valentine’s Day is all about love and there is more than one way to love, show love, and spread love. I hope you are all recharged and enjoying your evening. Have a happy rest of your day and even though it still isn’t Valentine’s Day, tell someone you love them, today.
January Goals Accomplished!
At the beginning of the year I shared a post outlining 12 goals I am striving to accomplish every month of 2016. Click here to read the post if you haven’t already. As of earlier today, I have accomplished all 12 of my goals for the month of January with one day to spare! Yeah, go me! I will share a picture of each goal for the month of January below.
While my Mother in law was in town the husband and I went on a few date nights this month so that was a lot of fun. Here is a picture of us at a stop light on our way to see the Hateful Eight for a day time date. 🙂
I follow the Tasty page on Facebook and decided to make the shepherds pie stuffed baked potatoes for my new recipe to try for dinner. It was an instant hit and I’ve made it twice this month for dinner!
I actually almost forgot to do my DIY for this month, but thankfully earlier today I was bored and decided to do one anyway. How about that timing? I re-purposed an old t-shirt I never wear into a workout shirt.
Thanks to a good friend who is a social media strategist I learned about the “My Creative Connection” monthly twitter chat. Not only did I love the Q&A but I learned so much from the first chat to help better my blog and brand. They do this #BlkCreatives chat on the second Monday of every month. It’s safe to say they have a loyal monthly chat customer now. 🙂
Natural Hair Style:
This month I did a nice and easy, wash n’ go, natural hair style but it looked great! It has been my favorite wash n’ go result thus far. Talk about a selfie worthy hair style. 😉
Periscope Cooking Broadcast:
I did my first ever Periscope broadcast (@BrienneJamieson) for cooking. The first meal I shared on Periscope was my yummy Potato Corn & Bacon Chowder. I know it’s yummy because my family loves it and I have gotten some excellent reviews from fellow followers and readers who have tried it out. Thanks again to those of you who watched and tried the recipe!
I have a drawer filled with nail polishes I haven’t worn in over a yea,r or ever, for that matter. I decided to try one of the colors I have never worn before. It’s called Russian Navy by OPI and I loooove it! I had to show it off with my lovely workout gloves while at the gym haha.
The book I read this month was The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I love Jodi as an author so it shouldn’t come as a surprise how much I enjoyed this book, but I was still impressed and emotionally drawn in. If you are looking for a tragic yet relatable book to read I highly recommend this one.
Although Jordyn and I play and have fun all day everyday, I made it a point to do something each month that we’ve never done before. This month we built our first “fort” and we both had a great time eating snacks and watching TV/movies. It was the perfect cold and snowy day to do so too. 🙂
I made a commitment of having to workout at least 20 days of each month in order to reach my post baby body goals AND buy myself a reward of $25 or less to keep me motivated. As of Friday night I hit my goal which gives me two off days before starting again on Monday for the month of February. I was happy to achieve this goal!
The last two goals of the month were performing a random act of kindness and doing something nice for my husband. I didn’t take pictures of either of these “acts” because 1) I didn’t even remember to do so at the time and 2) some things don’t have to be shared through pictures. However, I will share what I did for each. While out running errands, and buying dinner for the family, I randomly decided to stop and buy some pizzas for the cops who guard the gate on base. It put smiles on their faces which made me super happy. For my husband, while out running those same errands, he had accidentally broken one of his PS4 controllers earlier that day. I bought him a card that very sweetly said “I love you” in mushy card ways and I put a Game Stop gift card in it. It made him smile and tell me how much he appreciates me so I think he loved it. Making people smile always makes me smile and that’s what it’s all about.
What goals did you set for yourself in the month of January? Did you accomplish them? If so, congratulations and I hope you have a great February as well. If not, what can you do to make sure you adjust and execute for the month of February? Feel free to share below.
Have a great Saturday evening and rest of your weekend everyone!
16 Goals For 2016
Now that we’re in the year 2016 I wanted to make a list consisting of 16 goals to accomplish this year. I chose sixteen goals because who’s really going to write out two thousand and sixteen goals? Exactly. But in all seriousness I like to brainstorm things I would like to accomplish or improve, write them down, and hold myself accountable to these goals. I refuse to call them resolutions because goals that are taken seriously and strategically planned out tend to drive me more than the cliche new year resolutions ever will.
These are the sixteen goals I wish to accomplish in 2016:
1) Bi-Monthly Food Box
Now that I am getting into couponing I want to be able to bless others as well. I would like to put together a food box at the very least every other month to donate to a local family in need. It’s not major, but it’s a step in the right direction towards helping others beyond volunteer work in 2016.
2) Potty Train Jordyn
I’m pretty sure this is pretty understandable to those who have and don’t have children. However, we would like to talk about another child in 2017 (yes a whole year from now) but the conversation won’t even begin until Jordyn is fully potty trained.
3) Pay Off (A) Major Debt
As your average millennial buried in wonderful college loans, I would like to eliminate some, if not all, debt unrelated to my college loans. I’m aiming for financial freedom as soon as possible.
4) Visit 3 States BESIDES Illinois
My husband and I both are from the surrounding Chicago suburbs. Which means we always to IL for vacations to see family. However, in 2016 I want to explore and travel more than around/to IL.
5) Squat 150+ lbs
Because we all know strong is the new skinny. 2015 has shown us being fit and in shape is more important than being skinny. I plan to work on conditioning and strength this year.
6) More Base Activities
Now that pretty much all of my close friends have moved to new bases and states I need to find more friends. Haha j/k (sort of) I want to be more involved in base activities in general because I believe as a military community it’s important to be an important part of the community.
7) Visit 1 New Montana City
I’ve lived in Montana for almost 4 years and there are many large/popular cities I have never been to yet. Since we live here we need to take advantage of the places around us this year.
8) Visit The White House
We are planning another trip to Washington D.C. to see friends this year since we did not make it there last year. I want to reschedule a White House tour because this is the last year President Obama will be in office.
9) Spend <$100 On Grocery Trip
I’m officially one of those crazy coupon people trying to learn the ways of the couponing professionals. A major goal of mine is to spend less than $100 on a usual two week grocery shopping trip. I believe in me!
10) Take A Cooking Class
I’ve always wanted to take a cooking class. It has always looked like so much fun and would be a perfect date night idea. The husband and I have to make this happen this year.
11) Grow Blog Subscribers By 100+
I currently have 75 subscribers to my blog and would like to grow this list by at least 100 more this year. This is a huge challenge, but it’s one I am up for!
12) Do More Volunteer Work
As most of you know I am a (now level 1 certified) basketball coach for Special Olympics Montana. However, I would like to spend more of my down time helping others vs. doing things selfishly for myself. Selfless vs. selfish is the motto.
13) Eat Cleaner
This goes right back to fit being the new skinny. I want to eat cleaner for my health and my appearance. 70% of losing weight and getting in shape is what we put in our bodies so I need to do better this year.
14) Monetize Blog
I haven’t gotten a lot more serious about blogging. Writing is something I love to do and I would love to merge my passion with my purpose and create a job from it. Who doesn’t want to make money doing what they love?
15) Take A Dance Class
I’m not just talking about any dance class, I want to take a professional ballroom dance class. Learn to salsa, foxtrot, merengue, swing dance…anything!
16) Go To A Concert
Unfortunately living in Montana means we don’t have many diverse, main stream artists come here to perform. This year I would love to go to a popular artist’s concert even if it means traveling to a bordering state to do so. Especially if the artist is worth the hype.
You have officially read my goals (and reasoning) for 2016. I will try my hardest to accomplish all of them this year. What are your personal goals this year? Share in the comments below!
Happy New Year!
Happy 2016 everybody! I hope you all brought in the New Year surrounded by love and people you want to bring closer to you in 2016. We spent the evening at dinner with family and bringing in the New Year, at our home, playing games and having tons of laughs. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend the evening.
2015 had it’s ups and many downs (especially towards the end of the year). With losing multiple family members to various health issues, the end of 2015 took a toll on my loved ones and those closest to us. However, as always, we try our best to come back up swinging, because we know joy will come in the morning. In November of 2015 I decided to take a blogging hiatus because to put it simply: I needed a break. Not from blogging itself, but just a break to collect my thoughts and come up with ways to improve myself, which in turn, includes my blog.
As you all know I enjoy watching the daytime talk show “The Real” during the week. The last few weeks, Tamar Braxton, who is one of the regular co-hosts had been out sick, and to keep things interesting the show had been inviting other celebrities to guest host the show with them. My favorite co-host by far this season was Tisha Campbell-Martin. Apparently the other viewers really enjoyed her as well, because she was invited back to guest host a second time only a few weeks later. I’ve been a Tisha Campbell-Martin fan since the “House Party” and “Martin” days, but she particularly brought insight to the girl chat discussion I think most women can benefit from. In my case, specifically: married-mothers. Tisha has been with her husband, Duane Martin, for twenty plus years, and this information was shared when Tisha was asked by the ladies at the table how she has managed to have a successful relationship. She stated they have a house rule her husband came up with called “You, Us, We” that has kept them going and successful. She broke it down for everyone to understand: the “you” is Tisha. She has to take care of herself first because as she stated “you can’t pour from an empty cup”, which means she can’t benefit her husband or her children without taking care of herself first. The “us” is Tisha and her husband Duane. If they aren’t taking care of their marriage it will fall apart and cause issues that trickle down to their children in the long run. They want their kids to see the best image of a successful marriage through themselves. The “we” is in regards to the children and the entire family. If Tisha is taking care of herself, and enjoying her marriage, she will then share the abundance of love and happiness she feels with her entire family. We are able to take better care of others when we are truly happy in all aspects of our lives.
I knew right away I was going to write a post about these “household rules” because I already understand how important they are (due to the lack of following this model) and I’ve only been married for close to three years. About a week prior to watching Tisha on The Real I had noticed how drained and run down I was beginning to feel. I was trying so hard to take care of everyone else and everything else in the house I was leaving myself last in the equation…it doesn’t work. So although I don’t care for resolutions I told myself I was going to actively do better in 2016. I wrote out a detailed guide of how I will do better each month by concentrating on a closer relationship with God, taking care of myself, my marriage, and my family, in that order. There will be a blog post to follow this weekend explaining the detailed changes, how I plan to implement them, and hold myself accountable.
2015 taught me to love my loved ones while they’re here, love myself as much as I love others, and find a way to bring my plans to life through organization and planning. I hope 2015 was great to you and your loved ones. I hope 2016 brings you all of the positive love and prosperity your heart can handle, and I pray you do His will above all else.
Happy New Year from my family to yours!