Author Archives: Anna

The Luck of the Irish!

Hello Friends!

I’m still working out the kinks of only blogging once a week, but I’m feeling happier with my decision. It has freed me up to do so many projects and I feel more eager to post here each week. This is a feeling that hasn’t been with me for a very long time! It’s good to enjoy blogging again. 🙂

This week I have a nice hodge podge of things to check out and lovely memories. Enjoy! <3

The Abide app is a lovely treasure shared with me by one of the wonderful ladies in my life group from church. I’m so thankful that God has answered our prayers in finding a life group that our whole family loves so much and enjoys attending each Wednesday night. It has been such a blessing in our lives. The abide app is an awesome collection of meditations with scripture that is so comforting and great for any time. You can choose to do longer more in depth sessions or you could do one that is only a minute or three. This is one major perk!

We recently met up with my father in law, step mother in law, and grandmother in law for an early dinner. We managed to get a few pics while making new memories too. 😉

Pure Declan

Blowing bubbles with Mama Doris.

We also had a lovely St. Patrick’s Day! We had our traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast of bacon, hashbrowns, and I made green eggs with naturally made food coloring from baby spinach leaves. Boom! #mommywin D watched Minnie’s Rainbow from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and loved leprechaun Pete. 😉

I’m festive in one of my outfits from my capsule wardrobe! <3

We decided D’s leprechaun got in a fight. 😉

Lastly, I have to recommend This is Us, because it’s amazing and they are currently on break before Season 2. It’s the perfect time to catch up or get started if you’ve been living under a rock. 😉

Well, that’s all for this week! Comment below with your favorite find or memory of the week. 

<3 Anna

Introducing Charis Blooms!

Hello Friends!

I hope you all had a great week! It’s been a pretty long one here. The weather has been pretty intense! We have had crazy storms, freeze warnings, and extreme temps. It’s hard to know how to dress Declan each day because we never know what the weather will do. It’s March, so I’m ready for the weather to decide to stick with spring. Here’s hoping that it will level out soon.

Sale is pending on this beauty!

Today, I wanted to introduce my blog to my newest project, Charis Blooms! I’ve mentioned here before, but I guess this is my official intro post. 😉 I am currently making diffuser necklaces, pendants, and teething necklaces. You can stay up to date with what is available in the shop via my new shop account on IG.

This necklace has been sold, but I’m working on a similar piece this weekend.

On March 2, we celebrated Dr Seuss’ birthday and  National Read Across America Day. Literacy is so important and can change the course of a person’s life. I’m so glad that so many people see the importance of encouraging a love of reading early on.

D made a fox from Fox in Socks.

 

D and I worked on the art project above and read some of our favorite Dr. Seuss books. D’s favorite Dr. Seuss book is The Cat in the Hat. What is yours? 🙂

D’s fantastic fox <3

We also watched the Lorax and later that day I updated D’s book baskets. Book baskets are exactly what they sound like.

I added several spring titles and books that are relevant to issues Declan is dealing with right now, such as remembering not to whine, being kind to others, being afraid of storms, etc. We currently have a book basket set up in his room and one set up in our living room. I’m hoping to set up a few more very soon!

Hope your weekend is super sweet! Be safe out there and be sure to take some time to appreciate all the little things. 🙂

<3 Anna

We’re Seeing Stars!

Hello Friends!

Signs of Spring!

It’s hard to believe that it is March and yet the weather here feels like April! I hope everyone did well with their goals for February. (I’ll be sharing about my capsule wardrobe later on in this post!) Next up! Pictures from the Astronomy Day or BOBfest at our local Science Center. 🙂

We began our day at the Astronomy Day event. This included lectures, presentations, and (thankfully!) a family room of astronomy related activities for kids. (I look forward to checking out lectures and presentations with D when he is older.) Declan loved playing with the rockets and astronauts pictured above. This day was perfect for him because he is very interested in the solar system. Thanks to Little Einsteins, he knows the order of the planets and sings a super cute song while sharing this info with others. <3

Space man!

Another awesome perk of the day was receiving three FREE tickets to the Science Center. This was really nice since we hadn’t been since last year and there was a new exhibit on nocturnal animals there through June.

Heart Attack alert!

So funny story with this guy. I was waiting around to get a picture of him on my phone and John kept telling me, “He is too busy swimming around. He doesn’t want attention from us.” Just after he said this, this guy jumps up and splashes me and John. I scream—thinking it’s a sound only audible to dogs, but alas, one of the staff there comes up and checks on us. We all had a good laugh about it after realizing that I wasn’t going to die. 😉

We are friends now. He let me pet him. <3

After the Science Center, we headed to the theatre to see The Lego Batman Movie. It was pretty funny, but a bit long. If you have squirmy kids, I advise waiting this one out and seeing it at home. We definitely need to add this one to our collection though!

Declan’s Constellation

We recently checked out the new(ish) park in downtown Hickory. Here are a few pics from that day:

D loved making music there!

Monkey!

This spinny thing was his favorite.

 

Remember last month when I told you guys that I would be cleaning out my closet?! Well, I did!

BEFORE

I began by emptying out my closet and dresser drawers. I went through everything! This is why it took me so long to get to where I am now.

AFTER

I can now close drawers and pick out outfits in a matter of minutes. I’m still working on a list of all of my items and have a few things that I need to add to my wardrobe. I probably have fewer pairs of shoes than most women. :/ I’m thinking 3 and 1 doesn’t fit. So that’s definitely a problem. (I want to have 4-5.) So you’re probably wondering, What is a capsule wardrobe? It’s pretty simple! You can make your own rules, but it’s all about wearing only what you love and keeping your wardrobe fresh with looks that are timeless. It’s your job to decide what you love. This is very popular with minimalists because they already see the importance of living with less in the pursuit of truly having more. It’s a lovely idea and I’m thrilled to be pursuing it now. I’ll update you all again soon! <3

1) Commit to working out 3-5 times a week.

This one is huge for me because I’ve only been doing stretches for years now due to so much pain. Thankfully, some of that pain is more manageable and I believe that I’m ready to create a workout program that works for me. Prayers and good thoughts are always appreciated! <3

2) Get Declan signed up for Spring Soccer.

Tis the season! Soccer season that is! 😉 We have decided to check out the rec. department this year and see how that goes! I’ll have plenty of pics to share soon!

3) Introducing Charis Blooms! My new Etsy store going live!

I put up the announcement on Wednesday, but wanted to share here that one of the other changes of the blog is that now you’ll be able to purchase lovely diffuser necklaces to diffuse your favorite oils on the go and fashionable teething necklaces for you and your little teether! 😉 Stay tuned next week and via my social media platforms for more info!

Whew…That was a lot of information! Hopefully, soon I’ll master this only blogging once a week thing without reaching nearly 800 in word count. :/

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! Be safe out there!

<3 Anna

Hearts, Hugs, and Hedgies!

Hello Friends!

We recently had that holiday, you know the one, the one that induces a few feelings/reactions…dread, nausea, excitement, love, etc. St. Valentine’s Day, whether you love it or hate it; It comes each year without fail. We here in the Leviner household are not HUGE on Valentine’s Day. I think our celebrating has gotten less and less each passing year. I’m not one of those anti-valentine’s people, but you also won’t see me making a Valentine’s wreath. (God, bless you beautiful and talented people who do that!) So our Valentine’s Day was very low key and we were actually able to go on a date, thanks to Nana! <3

These two had a blast! (Ps. I try to keep pants on this child…agh!)

Nana also came bearing a gift. (When does she not?! ;))

During this time, John and I were both on an antibiotic for a sinus infection which stuck around for two weeks. Yuck! So our date was brief and we did not get pictures. We had dinner at O’Charley’s and then headed to Barne and Nobles so I could pick up a copy of Hidden Figures. We then decided to head home because we were both feeling lousy. Fun times! BUT it’s life and I love doing life with John Leviner. <3 We had a great visit with my mom and Aunt Brandi and enjoyed having them here with us. We look forward to seeing them again in April for our big trip to TN!

hedgehog love

On Valentine’s Day, John surprised me with a beautiful card. I picked out a beautiful outfit from Lularoe along with an extra dress. I’m kinda burnt out on all these sell party things, but I must admit that the leggings do feel like butter and are so comfy! It’s nice to feel cute and be comfortable, especially with bladder and other regular pains! John got a few collections of Calvin and Hobbes at Barnes and Noble and that made him one happy fellow. 😉 Later that day, I read D Hedgehugswhich is quite possibly the cutest book ever! I’m obsessed with hedgies and D loves them now as well. <3 We had our annual steak dinner with garlic parmesan fries, brussel sprouts with bacon, and butterscotch mug cakes for dessert. I was initially going to make butterscotch bars, but our stove decided that it was done heating things up on the bottom burner. (Gee, thanks stove. You shouldn’t have. You really shouldn’t have.) John and I ended the night with This is Us. John held me while I ugly cried over Randall’s last scene. The End.

How was your Valentine’s Day? What are your feelings towards the holiday?

<3 Anna

I’m still here!

Hello Friends!

It feels like since I made the decision to blog once a week that I haven’t blogged at all. This is mostly due to a sinus infection that stuck around for two weeks. Yuck! I’m happy to say that I’m on my last days of my antibiotic and doing better. I think some of my pain now is due to the early pollen count. Thank you allergies! :/ Anyway, it’s good to be back and I have plenty of things to share!

Last month, I visited my friend, Whit for a weekend in Atlanta! It was so fun! My first night there we ordered Chinese for dinner. (If you are fighting a cold, I highly suggest ordering some wonton soup. It’s perfect for the sore throat and pained sinuses!) We watched SNL skits and Pineapple Express because that movie is ridiculous!

The next morning,  we visited the Etowah Indian Mounds and had quite a climb up to this view!

It was hella cold though. We were all bundled up with hoods and hats. What the mess? This is Georgia, people!

Donkeys eat pine cones?!

On our walk back from the mounds, we saw two donkeys beyond a fence of a nearby farmer. We (of course!) had to stop to see if they were tame and chat with them. 😉

After the mounds, we learned about a nearby Science Center and decided to check it out. We headed there and stopped by an awesome Greek Cafe on our way.  If you are ever in Cartersville, definitely check out Cartersville Cafe! It’s conveniently located right next to the Tellus Science Musuem. 🙂

This exhibit had a Tim Burton vibe, maybe that’s where he gets his inspiration…?

That evening we went to see Hidden Figures. I’m pretty sure most of you have heard about this book/movie. All I can say is that I can’t remember the last time I went to the theater and had zero regrets about paying for a movie ticket. It’s worth so much more than that. This is a piece of history that does not get the attention it deserves. What these women did is so important for science, our country, and this world. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to see it and I recommend everyone go out and see it now if you haven’t already! 😉

The next day, I met back up with my guys and we celebrated my niece, Miya’s fourth birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. It was fun playing games and spending time with our GA family.

Birthday girl!

John vs. The Raging Ape

After the party, we joined my mom, Aunt Brandi, Aunt Jessica, Uncle Ty-Ty, and Karson for a late lunch at Cheddars. After Cheddars, we visited with the Smith family and celebrated Levi turning 1. All our babies are growing up! I’m so thankful for family and good friends. It’s never long enough! <3

I’ve read 3 books for the Read Harder Challenge.

(Below you can click on the categories and see which books I read for each one!)

Read a book about sports.

Read an all-ages comic.

Read a superhero comic with a female lead.

I’m currently reading The Girls and Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix for read a debut novel and read a fantasy novel. I’m well on my way to completing this challenge! 😉

The other goals I had last month made a slight shift due to unforeseen circumstances. So my one and only goal this month will be to complete sorting and donating my clothes for my capsule wardrobe. (More on that later!)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be safe out there! Share book recommendations and any other comments below!

<3 Anna

 

I’m going to give you a Bear Hug! Book Review

Hello Friends!

I received this book from #Flyby to read and review. I received no further compensation. As always, these are my honest thoughts and opinions. <3

I was bummed out when I discovered on Thursday that my website server was down. It took the whole weekend to get through to tech support because (apparently) I wasn’t the only one having issues. :/ Thankfully, Katherine from the Bluehost tech support group was super helpful and solved my problem in a matter of minutes!

Do any of you remember Caroline B. Cooney? She is a very accomplished young adult author. I remember reading The Face on the Milk Carton series and how that story really stuck with me. (It makes me want to go back and re-read them.;)) So you can imagine that I was super excited to learn that she also writes children’s books!

Nothing better than a bedtime story and snack!

Declan loved this story of different types of hugs. The book flows well and the illustrations are beautiful and fun! It’s the perfect story for bedtime or any time really! I would recommend this book for kiddos age 4-8.

Just one example of the beautiful illustrations!

Grand Rapids, MI– – December 27, 2016– -I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug!, written by bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney, is a playful and comforting bedtime book that imagines all the wonderful ways a child might give and receive a hug. Whether it’s a big bear, gasp for air, knock over a chair hug or a wet and drippy, slimy, slippy fish hug, children will giggle their way through all the imaginative examples. Cooney’s sweet and simple rhymes encourage playful interaction between parent and child and ultimately help them wind down before they snuggle into bed and drift off to sleep. I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is a sweet loving bedtime story book that is also sure to become a Valentine’s Day favorite for little ones who enjoy celebrating a day full of hugs and kisses from loved ones. I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug will be available in hardcover for $16.99 in retail stores nationwide and online on December 27, 2016. Pre-order opportunities will begin on September 28th .

About the Author: Caroline B. Cooney was born in New York, grew up in Connecticut, and now lives in South Carolina. Caroline is the author of 90 Young Adult novels in many genres, and her books have sold over fifteen million copies. I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is her first picture book. It’s based on a verse she wrote for her own children, Louisa, Sayre and Harold, who are grown now.

About the Illustrator: Tim Warnes has been illustrating childrens books for twenty years. He lives in Dorset, England, with his wife, children’s illustrator Jane Chapman, and their two sons. When he is not drawing little critters, Tim loves to write, watch birds and play his banjo.  Visit Tim at www.ChapmanandWarnes.com

Zonderkidz™, the children’s division of Zondervan, inspires young lives through imagination and innovation. As the leader in Christian children’s communications, it creates products that awaken the hearts and touch the souls of kids under 14. Zonderkidz is also publisher of the NIrV (New International Reader’s Version) Bible translation, the third grade reading level edition of the NIV. For additional information,please visit www.zondervan.com.

Zondervan is a world-leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. Zondervan, as a part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., delivers transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, MI. For additional information, please visit www.zondervan.com.

What is your child’s favorite bedtime story?

<3 Anna

Women’s March 2017!

Hello Friends!

Today, I wanted to share with you a different perspective on the Women’s March. Believe it or not, I attended one in my state and it was a very peaceful, organized, and loving event. The number of people who came out in solidarity to stand up for the rights of so many was breath-taking! There was no violence or looting of stores. People passed officers on duty and thanked them for assisting with keeping the peace. As far as I know, no one left piles of signs on the streets. It was all about sharing our voices and support.

This whole experience has reminded me that we can love one another and not agree with everything the other person has to say. This world is a beautiful and diverse place. We need to learn to listen to one another and stop trying to change each other’s minds. It only causes further division. Just stop and listen. You might learn something or at least get a better grasp on that person’s perspective.

Kid President has some great words of wisdom on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghk-nDJB3Tk

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #58

Hello Friends!

It’s been tough to get posts up lately. There is (of course) the winter doldrums, but also I’ve been super focused on getting organized and decluttering. I’ll be sharing more on that soon along with a few other projects in the works. It’s tough to fit so much into my schedule as well as make plenty of time for D, but I know it will all be worth it. Today, I’m sharing a few pics from our recent Snow Days and a fun super hero party we attended last weekend!

D’s snow angel

Now it’s your turn! Share your favorite moment and/or finds of the week! Also be sure to stop by and say hi to my co-host, Camille!

 

 



Before I end this post, I want to encourage those who feel strongly about the incoming administration to check out this link. It will give you information on a march in your area and if you can’t march here is a link for ways you can still make a difference! <3

<3 Anna

Quick Tips for Surviving the Holidays with IC!

Hello Friends!

Before we began our trek to VA, I was feeling pretty horrible. I’ve mentioned before that I wasn’t feeling very sure about traveling this year. I’m very thankful that I was able to calm my body enough to not have to make that decision. So how did I push through the holidays with as little pain possible?

Here are a few tips to keep your bladder happy:

  1. I made sure to take my meds and supplements every day! 

This is very important! If you miss a dose you are increasing your chances of pain and a major flare. Nobody wants that!

2. Take maintenance precautions!

Every day I took Prelief with every meal. I also began the day with a tsp. of baking soda mixed in water. (Caution: If you are on a low salt diet, this is not a good option for you!) I’m now using Clear Tract (D-Mannose) at the beginning of each day. IF you feel an increase in frequency, you can use this multiple times a day.

3. Dress and pack comfortably.

When I was at my in-laws homes, I would wear leggings or pj bottoms. Loose clothing is very important! If clothing is too tight it can cause a flare.

4. I was careful with my diet.

I mostly stuck to the IC diet with a few exceptions, but because I used a lot of precautions—I didn’t pay for it later. Thankfully!

5. I did all I could to keep stress and anxiety low.

I shopped for Christmas gifts early (throughout the year). I planned my food preparations ahead of time.

What do you do to prep for a big trip or the holidays to insure no flares?

<3 Anna

Homeschooling Happenings! Lesson 11: Fire, Whales, and a Whole Lotta Jesus!

Hello Friends!

Today, I’m sharing the last HH post of 2016. I’m combining the last three lessons into one condensed post! This way I won’t be behind on sharing each week. 😉

This lesson covers:

F is for Fire, W is for Whale, and J is for Jesus.

We reviewed the numbers 6-9.

Here are just a few activities that we did for these lessons:

Fire truck snack

Fire experiment

Making Shepherd’s soup!

A multi-purpose activity!

What are you working on this week?

<3 Anna