Monthly Archives: June 2017

Friday Finds and Favorites #68 July Progress and Goals

Hello Friends!

This week has felt super long. I think part of it is because I was waiting on the PLL finale on Tuesday and then we have the Fourth of July holiday coming up. John has a week off from work and D is going to spend a week with his Nana. We are all super excited and will definitely miss our little noisemaker while he is away.

Tomorrow is the last day of June, so it’s time for my progress report and new goals for July!

  1.  Finish cleaning out downstairs rooms
  2. Clean out closet

These two I plan to finish up this week while D is away.

3. Begin lesson planning for next school year.

I have had a slow start with this, but I was able to get started and am hoping that I’ll get even more done this week.

4. Star meal prepping on Sundays again.

This one has gone really well. I really enjoy washing our linens, prepping food, and just taking a gentle approach to our Sundays. It’s nice to have everything ready for a brand new week! 🙂

  1. Make several Goodwill trips this upcoming week as well as cleaning and organizing of each room.

I know this is a big undertaking, but I rarely have time minus D to accomplish all of these things.

2. Get our Charleston beach trip booked.

3. Begin taking yoga classes and get more information about Tai Chi classes for the family.

Since I began my new meds and am not as active now, I have been struggling with my weight. It’s not a huge thing, but I’ve gained 20 lbs much more quickly than I care to admit. I am in a mostly comfortable space in my own skin, but I just don’t feel my best. The added weight has made me more sluggish and I’m not happy about that. This is where the classes come in and pushing and encouraging myself to be more active and health conscious.

Podcast Play List

  1. Stuff You Missed in History Class, The Philadelphia MOVE Bombing

This was definitely a “stuff you missed in history class” moment for me. I’ve read many times in history that the south was not the only region that dealt with racial injustice and this is a great example. I was not aware of the MOVE Organization and this is partially due to the fact that it happened a year before I was born. (Let’s be real here. The other reasons are obvious. 1) Schools teach a very watered down version of history. It’s “convenient” to pretend that certain things didn’t happen, regarding: race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. 2) I’m a white woman who has had the privilege of not having to fight and proclaim my life matters because my country already recognizes that it does. There are areas that my country doesn’t recognize, but for the purpose of this post, this podcast is discussing race.) This whole situation was filled with many issues including many people losing their homes and belongings and having to deal with the aftermath which sounded like a hot mess to me. This is definitely worth a listen, especially if you have never heard of The Philadelphia MOVE organization and the bombing that took place.

2. Healthy Mamas Podcast, Using Naturopathic Medicine to Beat Hormone Imbalance & Nutrient Difficiencies

What can I say about this episode?! It was super informative and we have been using candles at night ever since. (More on that to come!) We also have amber glasses on our Amazon Wishlist. Are you wondering what I’m talking about? Listen to this episode. It covers so much material in such a short amount of time. If you listen to podcasts regularly and want healthy tips from another mom, you can do no wrong by subscribing to the Healthy Mamas podcast. It’s always super informative and leaves me with things to think about to improve our home and our lives as a whole. Good stuff!

3. Frontline, Povery, Politics, and Profit

This makes me so sick and angry! There are so many people out there that need help and this investigation by NPR and Frontline shows why they are not getting it.

Friendly Fill-In’s

  1. My next vacation will be this week. I’m not sure what we will do, but John will be off work and D is going to GA to spend a week with his Nana. He is so excited! We are going to miss him, but will enjoy the time of just us two and the fur babies.
  2. Fireworks are beautiful, but not everyone enjoys them. Please be mindful of other people and your pets. Keep them inside where they can feel safe.
  3. This week, I am thankful for the time that my husband and I will have together. It is so precious! <3
  4. Freedom is something that we can be thankful for each day. There are many things that I wish that could be done differently, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m able to freely express these thoughts due to living in the USA. It’s a privilege that I try not to take for granted. 

It’s your turn! Grab a button (optional) and link up your favorite posts below!

 



Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and Happy FOURTH of July! Be safe and have fun!

<3 Anna

Declan’s Capsule Wardrobe

Hello Friends!

Do you remember when I shared about my capsule wardrobe? (If not, you can find that post here!) Well, today, I’m sharing our journey of going through D’s wardrobe and selecting his new capsule wardrobe. I’ll be honest, capsule wardrobes are always a work-in-progress. The reason is because you are cycling through your clothes. There will be pieces you no longer want to wear, pieces that no longer fit, pieces that have holes or stains, etc. Also it’s important to replace those items and often we don’t have the funds to buy everything all at once. If you do, more power to you! Personally, it’s best for me not to go on a clothing retail therapy trip. I always end up with things that I don’t need or that I think I like, but never wear. I’ve learned that I’m the type of person that needs to find something I love and buy piece by piece over time. I say all of this to say, you do you, boo. (Credit to January Harshe for that awesome catch phrase. ;)) All that matters is that you have less clothing to deal with and more of the clothing that best fits your own set style.

For D, I decided to just do a spring and summer capsule wardrobe and in August I’ll go through his fall and winter stuff.

This is what D has:

4 polo shirts

2 dress shirts

7 play shirts

2 pairs of jeans

2 pairs of plaid shorts

2 pairs of athletic shorts

1 pair of pjs (possibly 2)

sneakers

flip flops

dress shoes

play shoes

7 pairs of socks

10 pairs of undies

What we still need:

7 solid colored t-shirts (This will be bought from a great website, here.)

1 pair of jeans

2 pairs of khaki shorts

1 swimsuit (He has already lost one. :/)

2-3 pairs of pjs

As you can see, I’m giving D a lot more clothing options. The main reason is because he is a growing boy and he stains EVERYTHING.  Below are a few outfits from recent outings:

I plan to share John’s capsule wardrobe soon and more details on how we decided to start this journey and even more how-to’s. Stay tuned! 😉

What items would you consider necessary for a child(ren)’s capsule wardrobe?

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #67 Father’s Day 2017

Hello Friends!

It’s been a long hard week, but we have finally made it to Friday! *happy dance* I finally feel like I’m becoming adjusted to my new meds and am feeling excited after a really good session last night with my therapist. She is truly a God send! I can’t help, but feel proud of myself for learning to take better care of me. It’s been a tough couple of years, but I’ve learned so much and being kinder to myself is helping me to better serve those around me. <3

Father’s Day is a tough holiday for me. I won’t go into all that here because I’ve done so in the past. What I will say is that others need to be mindful that not everyone has a dad they are proud of for Father’s Day. Some people have lost their dads too soon or their dad may be distant. There are many factors to consider. (The same goes for Mother’s Day!) I’m very blessed to have a wonderful husband to celebrate on that day. I also feel honored to be treated as a daughter by my father-in-law and John’s step father. There is still a hole in my heart that cannot be filled, but I am grateful for the family God has given me.

We celebrated Father’s Day by going out to lunch at Firehouse Subs, followed by frozen yogurt, and a round of mini golf. It was so fun, but HOT! (I’m so NOT a summer person!)

 

  1. A reoccurring dream I have….I don’t really have reoccurring dreams. I have had dreams in the past that have freaked me out. These were dreams about people that I didn’t know and horrible things were happening. I often wonder if the people were real and if I was unable to help them. I know, it’s weird! My dreams are especially vivid now with the meds I’m on. This doesn’t help with sleep much. I’m having to learn which ones to take at specific time to help.
  2. Turn lemons into lemonade. This is a phrase that is used often and it makes me laugh now because acid is terrible for my bladder. Lemons and lemonade would feel like battery acid to me now. I guess my phrase now would be “Turn lemons into blueberries.” 😉
  3. Meal planning has been driving me crazy! BUT I’m learning a lot from Real Plans and am excited about finding new recipes to try and the convenience of the service mostly building my shopping list for me. 🙂 More on that later!
  4. Lately, I have been watching too much tv. I fall into this pattern when I’m feeling bad/feeling depressed. I really want to get back into reading more. Last night, I turned the tv off and read for about an hour before bed. It was nice!

Now it’s your turn, friends! Link up your favorite posts of the week below! Please feel free to comment with your answers to the Friendly Fill-in’s. I would love to hear from you. Grab a button! (Optional) Also don’t forget that we are still looking for ONE more co-host to join our team! If interested, be sure to contact one of the hosts!

 



Wishing everyone a safe and fun weekend! Stay cool! 😉

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #66

Hello Friends!

Last weekend, we had a quick GA visit to celebrate Karson’s birthday. We arrived at the tail end of the party thanks to some very bad directions, but we made it! It was fun telling Karson that he had one more present to open. 😉

My TWO Year old nephew and his beautiful momma!

After the party festivities ended, we decided to take a trip to the lake for an afternoon of water fun!

My little fish. I’m proud of how well he did. He is much braver with water than he was last year.

Karson saw some people “burying” each other in the sand and he decided he wanted to try it too. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mermaid Miya! <3

This week I have some really awesome episodes for my podcast play list. Be sure to check them out in the links below!

Podcast Play List

These four podcast episodes are all from the NEW season of Invisibilia. If you don’t currently listen to Invisibilia this is a great season to start. They are doing a new project this season and it’s unlike anything they’ve down before!

The first episode of the season is Emotions pt. 1, this episode will pull at your heart strings as it shares the story of a family who was in a car accident. The family loses their child and ends up being sued by the truck driver who was also involved in the incident.

Emotions pt. 2 shares the discovery of a new emotion and how a young woman learns about her emotions on a first date.

Reality pt. 1 This episode deals with perception. In the small town of Eagle’s Nest Township, some of the locals believe that black bears are gentle and even feed bears from their own mouths, while others are fearful. Should the locals be afraid or are they overreacting?

Reality pt. 2 In this episode, a man name Max creates an intriguing app that allows him to learn about local events from random locations. This experiment helps him to get out of his own bubble.

Friendly Fill-In’s

1)I challenge everyone to step out of your bubble this week. Shake up your routine and meet new people with interests different than your own. We can learn so much from one another.

2) I regret disposing of nothing. Maybe it’s because I’m on a minimalist/downsizing kick, but I only feel freer when I get rid of stuff.

3)I have a difficult time admitting when I need others to lean on. Usually, if I get quiet and begin isolating myself—I’m dealing with hard stuff and need others to step in. The problem is that I’m not brave enough to say that I need my friends in those times. I usually end up inadvertently pushing people away because I don’t want to be a burden. :/

4) If I were given a psychic power, I would like it to be more trusting of my own inner intuition as well. I’ve always felt sensitive to people and situations.

That’s all, folks! It’s your turn! Link up your favorite memories and finds this week. Grab a button (optional!) and check out the Friendly Fill-In’s Hop as well. Also don’t forget that we are looking for one more amazing co-host to join our team. ❤ Contact one of the hosts for more info!



Final Thought:
This weekend is Father’s Day. I’m looking forward to spending this day with my amazing husband who is a wonderful father to our son. I don’t have a father to celebrate and my great grandfather (who is the closest person I had to a father passed away August 1, 2012), this leaves me with a hurting heart for those of us who don’t have fathers to celebrate. I think things are a little easier because I have the joy and privilege of seeing my husband with our son, but my heart still longs for a Dad that cares. I will never know the love of being a daddy’s girl. All this to say that, I understand the pain of this day. Sometimes certain holidays can be a painful reminder of what we don’t have, but I hope that those like me can find a way to enjoy the day even if that means staying away from social media. Self care is so important. Maybe this year can be the year that you create a new tradition. ❤ ❤ ❤

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!
❤ Anna

Appointment with Dr. Evans

Hello friends!

It seems like I had to wait forever for this appointment, but the date finally came and passed. I really loved everyone at Wake Forest Baptist-Urology. Dr. Evans was very patient with me and answered my questions. I’m thankful to have someone with his level of expertise on my team. I had a bladder scan done and it showed that I did pretty well, but that I do have more urine than usual for a person who just went to the restroom. Dr. Evans gave me a pelvic exam and further confirmed my diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.

I’m now better treating my symptoms. He prescribed a higher dose of Amitriptyline, added Elmiron 3 times per day, took me off Mybetric, and added Baclofen. So far the meds seem to be working, but they make me very tired and loopy. I’m hoping my body will adjust soon. Please pray that these meds will help. I don’t want to have to attempt either of the other options.

Thanks,

Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #65

Hello Friends!

Today, I’ll be sharing with you all some of my favorite shower/bath time products. I’ve recently become more minimalist and natural with my routine. I also wanted to mention that my appointment on Wednesday went well. (I’ll have a full update on that on next Wednesday. Stay tuned!)

Renpure Rosemary Mint cleansing conditioner is what I use on my hair. I no longer use regular shampoo and conditioner. I was so annoyed by my hair that I decided to take a risk and I’m so glad I did. So how does this work? You wet your hair in shower like normal and then you add 10-12 squirts of the conditioner. You can add a tiny bit of water to help it cover all of your hair. You then let it sit for 5 minutes and finally rinse. One more thing to note is that you should use this product 6 times and then shampoo regularly once. (This works for me because I have plenty of shampoo that I need to use up! ;)) And then start the cycle over again! I would recommend finding a good natural shampoo from a health store to keep things as natural as possible. I currently have one I need to use up as well as some commercial bottles. Once those are gone, I’ll replace them with natural shampoo.

Once upon a time I was obsessed with shower gels and then my dreams were crushed when I discovered that loofahs are crawling with bacteria and it could become crazy having to replace them so often. So I switched to bar soap and didn’t like it at all. You can imagine I was super happy when I found out that Dove had developed a foaming body wash. If I’m remembering correctly there is an original, aloe and cucumber, and sensitive skin. Due to my chronic pain, I chose sensitive skin to be on the safe side and I absolutely love it! It’s not quite a gel and not a bar soap…It’s the perfect compromise!

I use Dr. Bronner’s Lavender soap for my face. I love the scent and the fact that it keeps my face silky smooth. I bought some rose hip oil to use as moisturizer, but it’s hard to remember to use it because it must be refridgerated. I want to give it a go though because I’ve heard good things about it. My face gets scaly and dry and a good moisturizer would work wonders.

Podcast Play List

  1. The Healthy Moms Podcast, Minimalism with a Family to Decrease Stress and Clutter

This episode was so great! We are downsizing right now for this very reason and so this was like a much needed gift. It’s a wonderful discussion on how to get started and specifically includes one of the big hurdles…children! 😉

2. Code Switch, Talking Black-ish

On this episode of Code Switch, Gene and Shereen talk with the creator of Blackish, Kenya Barris and star, Yara Shahidi. It’s a sort of behind the scenes look of how they work through the creative process and happenings on the show. I was particularly interested in this episode because I had just recently started watching it. John and I are usually drawn to more dramatic shows, so we are trying to add more laughter to our lives. This show contains that, but also I heard that the episode on police brutality is very eye opening. (We haven’t reached that point yet.)

Friendly Fill-ins

1. A prop from a tv show or film I would like to own is Wow! Another tough, but good question. I’m a huge Audrey Hepburn fan so something from her would be amazing! I also love Julia Child, so something from her kitchen. If I were to go more modern, I would say something from the Grimm set or Pretty Little Liars. (They have amazing clothes! ;))

2.  My oldest friendship is Amanda B. we’ve been friends since elementary school. We don’t talk as often now, but still keep up with each other.

3. Whenever I have a bad flare, I grab my body pillow, heating pad, Deep Blue, plenty of water and get my tv on in my room to chill out. I also take my Smurf pills (blue pills;)) If I’m well enough, I’ll do a Pilates DVD specifically geared towards people with chronic pelvic pain.

4. The best thing anyone can learn is to love themselves. You may be the most compassionate person ever, but that can multiply once you accept yourself. <3

 

It’s now time to share your finds and favorites! Grab a button(optional) and be sure to link up your favorite posts from this week below! Also don’t forget that we are still looking for one more co-host to join our team. If you are interested, please email me!

 



Wishing you all a safe and wonderful weekend!

<3 Anna

D’s Rainbow Koala Krate

Hey guys!

Today, I’m excited to share with you all D’s latest Koala Krate! D loves getting mail, so a monthly subscription box from Nana was a wonderful idea. He gets so excited when these packages come and if I let him he would do each project all in one day! 😉

This month, D’s Koala Krate was Rainbow themed. Each crate includes materials for three projects (with instructions on how to complete each), and a magazine to expand on these projects. D and I have one last project to complete on this box. Later, today, we will make rainbow crayons. Stay tuned for pics!

In this box we made:

Stained “Glass” Art

This is proof mama isn’t getting enough sleep. He is holding the art work upside down and he put the shapes on the wrong side. :/

And there’s always time for a silly face pic!

Rainbow Dyed Tote Bag

He loved pretending to put out fires on the squares with the water dripper.

The finished bag!

Rainbow Cloud Pillow

As you can see, all of the projects are geared towards 3 to 4 year olds. (D will be 5 in September, so we won’t have too much longer with this age bracket.) The projects required minimal adult supervision.

Switching gears, You probably noticed in the background of these pics our ginormous and outdated entertainment system. I’m happy to say that over the weekend we got rid of it and re-purposed a book shelf we were no longer using.  I’m so much happier with the new look and sometimes less really is more! <3

New living room set up! (We got rid of old entertainment center–it was ginormous! And re-purposed this old book shelf.We switched tvs and big tv is in our room and smaller is downstairs now.) We need to wrangle the cords and get a couple of dvd holders, but I’m loving the new look! Less is more! <3

Do you get subscription services for your kiddo(s)? What are you currently using? What is a small change that you can make in your home today to bring some happiness there?

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #64 June Goals and May Progress

Hello Friends!

I’m in the throes of a flare so it’s been difficult to sit at the computer and type out my thoughts. Sometimes I feel so frustrated at how much my life has changed since this diagnosis and how I truly didn’t appreciate my health until now. I’ve lost so much. I’m gaining a lot too though. I can’t deny that.

June is now upon us and a new month means a fresh start and new goals to tackle! But first, let’s recap May’s goals and progress!

So the first two goals I mentioned for this are still in progress because the husband finally got time to tackle his paper piles. This is a victory in and of itself!

The last goal was to make more time for reading and I’ve definitely done that. I’m watching only 1-2 hours of tv per day on Monday-Thursdays and the weekends I watch as much or as little as I like. This system is working well for me. 🙂

  1. Finish cleaning out downstairs room.
  2. Clean out closet.
  3. Begin working on lesson plans for next school year.
  4. Start meal prepping on Sundays again.

What are your goals for June?

Friendly Fill-in’s

  1. A law I would like to see passed This one is a toughie, because there are so many issues that I am passionate about. I definitely agree that there needs to be a mandatory registry for all animal abusers.
  2. My favorite card game is Capitalism or President. It’s an interesting game, but shows how the system usually benefits the person with the most power.
  3. With summer unofficially here I’m longing for autumn. It’s my favorite season. I don’t enjoy winter as much with my chronic pain, but it’s second on my list. As my GG always says, “You can put more clothes on, but there is only so much you can take off.” She cracks me up. 😀
  4. A favorite summer memory is going to a wedding in NC and then making an impromptu trip to Charleston, SC. It was so fun! I look forward to the day we can visit again!

That’s all for this weekend! Now it’s your turn! Link up your favorite posts of the week below! Remember to keep them family friendly and if you want, grab a button! (Optional) We are also still searching for our last host/hostess to join our team. Please pm one of us for more info! 

 

 



Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful weekend!

<3 Anna