Category Archives: Inspiration

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

Smoothie Time!

Hello Friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend. Yesterday, felt like Monday. It was one incident after another, including Sophie rolling around in her own poo, which resulted in a bath for her. She was super stubborn and refused to get washed off. It was a lengthy battle of wills. I’ll share with you more on our Memorial Day weekend in an upcoming post, but for now…It’s that time!

It’s time to announce the winner of the Mandisa Out Of The Dark CD Giveaway…Drumroll…

Brandi! Congrats, girl! You won! 

A BIG thank you to everyone who entered and took the time to like, share, and comment on that post.

Now, I’ll be switching gears and talking smoothies and soccer. 😉 Summer is coming very soon and believe it or not, it’s not my favorite season. I’m one of those people who hates getting hot and it’s as my GG ALWAYS says “You can always put more clothes on when it’s cold, but there is a limit to how much you can take off when it’s hot” 😉 She cracks me up! One thing, that I really appreciate about warmer weather is…smoothies! They are cool, refreshing, and perfect for any meal!

I’ll be honest, I’m limited on what I can use in my smoothies, but these recipes are super tasty!

Blueberry Smoothie

You’ll need:

1 cup milk (I use almond/coconut or almond and coconut)

1 cup of blueberries

1 scoop protein powder (This is the kind I use!) 

a handful of spinach (Gotta get those veggies in!)

and sometimes I add a little cinnamon and/or turmeric creamer

I blend this all up in my magic bullet and I’m good to go!

PB2 Smoothie

You’ll need:

1 scoop PB2

1 cup of milk (almond/coconut or almond and coconut)

1 handful of spinach

Sometimes I add cinnamon/carob chips/turmeric creamer!

I blend all of these ingredients in my magic bullet.

Podcast Play List

1) and 2) Stuff You Missed in History Class, Abbott and Costello pt. 1 and pt.2

I love Abbott and Costello so I had to listen to these episodes. It was really interesting learning more background information on these guys. It really made me want to get some of their movies for our own personal collection. 🙂

3) Radiolab, Funky Hand Jive

This episode was so fun to nerd out on. 😉 I am fascinated with the microbiome!  So it was no surprise that an episode about how handshakes can literally stick with you was a perfect listen for me.

4) Stuff You Missed in History Class, 6 Impossible Episodes: Soldiers, Snipers, and Spies

These are stories that couldn’t fit into a full length episode and so the ladies chose 6 interesting stories on soldiers, snipers, and spies. It was wonderful learning about women in history that I had never heard of before.

5) Code Switch, The LA Unrest (Or Riots), 25 Years Later

This is a powerful episode. I could go off on a tangent with this one, but I won’t. I’ll just say that this is definitely worth your time. <3

I’ll end today’s post with soccer pics!

 

Today, is D’s last soccer game. (These seasons go by so quickly!) We are all looking forward to watching him play one last time for the spring season. <3

What’s your favorite smoothie recipe(s)? Thoughts on podcast selections. Sound off below!

<3 Anna

My Capsule Wardrobe

Hello Friends!

Today, I’m excited to share with you all my capsule wardrobe. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m so proud of how far I’ve come! I decided to create a capsule wardrobe for efficiency and let’s be honest—the less clothing to wash, the better! There are no rules when creating a capsule wardrobe.  You make your own rules and it’s really a process of learning as you go along.

These are a few of the rules/guidelines I created for my wardrobe:

7 t-shirts

5 dresses

2 blouses

2 tank tops

I have 3 seasonal shirts that I’m hanging on to and am undecided on whether I’ll keep them or not.

1 denim over shirt

1 collared shirt

1 black cardigan

1 brown cardigan

Outer wear-

4 pairs of leggings

2 pairs of jeans

1 grey skirt

1 jean skirt

1 black skirt

1 white skirt

1 polka dot skirt

Shoes

1 brown boots (I need to make sure these fit.)

1 cowgirl boots

1 slip on shoes

1 sandals

1 flip flops

Items to buy:

1 hoodie

1 black boots

1 rain jacket

1 tennis shoes

1 flannel shirt

One thing I’ve found is that there are a few shirts that I’m not completely in love with. (I replaced 1 t-shirt with the one pictured below.) My main goal now is to finish getting the items I want as I go and also create fun new looks with my “new” wardrobe. 😉

“Cats Against Cat Calls”

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

This wardrobe idea worked so well for me that I decided to do it for Declan and John. I have just finished D’s and am still in the process of convincing John of how awesome it is. 😉 If anyone is interested in capsule wardrobes, I’m happy to talk with you. I’m still a newbie, but I love to learn and help educate others. I’ve found that jewelry, scarves, and headbands have made this even more fun. I’ve become a big accessory person to add a different personality to each outfit I wear. My advice for anyone starting out is to keep it fun and lots of trial and error. You will learn your own sense of style through this process and it helps you to not hang on to excess. Also don’t be afraid to let things go. If it’s a perfectly nice sweater, then someone else can find beauty and use in it. It doesn’t have to be yours. <3 If you spent the money on it and have worn it, you have already made it worth the expense. You will save money by wearing the things you own and love until they have worn out. Stay tuned for my next capsule wardrobe posts in the coming weeks.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for the Mandisa Out Of The Dark CD. Deadline for entries is Monday!

<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

New Year. New Word. January Goals 2017.

Hello Friends!

This year I thought that choosing a word for the year would be a tough decision, but it wasn’t really that difficult. This is a word that I need to give myself more of in the new year. Grace. Grace is such a beautiful word. My favorite song has always been Amazing Grace. I want to do better at giving myself grace and extending grace to others. I have high hopes for the new year, but I’ll need a lot of grace to accomplish and push forward on the hard days. My health will present challenges and will try to push me down, but I will always remember to get up because of Grace. Each day I pray for grace to parent my son and grace to get through the day ahead. Some days that looks like me accomplishing so many things and others it looks like me accomplishing one or two small things and then curling up in the bed with my heating pad. Regardless of what each day looks like, I’ll have grace to accomplish what I can and I’ll learn to find joy in each day no matter what my to-do list looks like.

  1. Do the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017.

I heard about the Read Harder Challenge at the tail end of 2016 and was bummed that I hadn’t heard about it sooner. I knew that I must participate for the 2017 year. This challenge is so great because it encourages readers to choose books in different categories that you wouldn’t otherwise read. Once the challenge is posted I’ll add the graphic here and I hope you all will join me! 🙂

2. Begin volunteering with local retirement community.

I began correspondence with a retirement facility near my home. I’m hoping to hear back from the volunteer coordinator soon. (This goal is part of a much bigger goal that I’m really excited to share about very soon!)

3.  Begin incorporating yin yoga and other stretches into my lifestyle as I work towards solutions to help with my muscle tension.

I was very happy to discover a set of stretches that I can do every day (even on my bad days). I’m now ready to add exercise back to my life and have heard wonderful things about Yin Yoga. I also recently discovered a kid friendly yoga channel that I’m very eager to try with D. He loves watching me do my stretches and often tries to imitate, so I know he is ready for this! 😉

4. I think I’ve mentioned this one before, but I’ll be revealing a new addition to the blog very soon. I don’t want to give too much away, but Etsy Shop is a clue. 😉 I’m looking forward to going LIVE with this later this month. 

So those are my goals for the new year. I hope that your final days of 2016 were filled with wonderful memories and that you are pumped for the new year! I’ll be sharing our Christmas post on Wednesday so stay tuned!

What is your word for 2017? What are your goals for January? How will you achieve your goals? Do you feel that having a word makes things less overwhelming?

<3 Anna

Remembering to Give Back during this Season and Beyond! :)

Hello Friends!

This is such a wonderful time of the year! It’s a time of gratitude and remembering to give back. This is one of my favorite posts to write each year because I think it’s so very important to get our kiddo(s) involved as early as possible. Each year that passes, D is able to participate even more than the previous year and it’s exciting to watch him learn and understand the importance of giving to others.

The following are just a few ideas of how you and your family can give back this holiday season:

  1. Operation Christmas Child (This has already happened, but there is always next year!)
  2. Donate to your local library.
  3. Donate to your local Humane Society.
  4. Make cookies for your neighbors and mail man.
  5. Put money in the red kettle for the Salvation Army bucket.
  6. Sing Christmas carols at your local retirement home.
  7. Leave $ in Dollar Tree toy aisle to brighten a kiddo(s) day!
  8. Buy new coloring books and crayons for hospital or doctor’s waiting room.
  9. Pick up litter in your neighborhood.
  10. Serve at a soup kitchen at Christmas.

This is all wonderful, but what about the other days of the year? Why limit this to one specific time of year. D and I found this wonderful idea and it’s a great reminder to remember others throughout the year!

We decorated a box on St. Nicholas Day. This box is to remind D to remember to be giving no matter what day of the year it is. It really touched my heart when he immediately ran to his room and added his Chic-fil-a cow to the box. <3

What are you doing to remind your little(s) that it is better to give than it is to receive?

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #54 (December Goals)

Hello Friends!

I can’t believe we are at the end of the year. It seems time continues to fly! I’m happy to report that most of my goals were accomplished for the month of November. Let’s check out my progress first and then it’s on to December goals!

Last Month's

1) Finish purchasing gifts for GA Christmas.

Check!

We celebrated Christmas with our GA family over the long Thanksgiving weekend. All presents were accounted for! 😉

2) Get Christmas pics done.

Check!

We also took care of this over the Thanksgiving break.

3) Get Cards ordered and sent out by the first week of December.

My plan was to get these pics done and have cards ordered. (I’m writing this on November 22.) So I know the pics will be done, but I’m not sure what we have worked out for the cards yet.

Half Credit! 😉

4) Plan Thanksgiving menu.

Check!

I decided to have a White Lazy Day Lasagna on Thanksgiving Eve. 😉 D and I had a baking day earlier that day and made apple pie, pumpkin pie, and gingerbread cookies. Yum!

5) Develop and implement self care plans.

Check!

I don’t always stick to everything on the list, but I’m using it as a guide and learning to take better care of myself. 🙂

December Goals

1) I’m hoping to finish my Christmas shopping by December 11. (The sooner the better!)

I truly want to just enjoy the holiday season and be able to remember what the true meaning is behind it.

2) Read The Mistletoe Promise

I started a tradition back in 2015 of choosing a fun Christmasy read for December. I like to find a warm fuzzy cheesy read or a lovely Christmas mystery. I’m looking forward to diving into this book. <3

 3) Complete and Share Christmas Countdown list!

You can follow our journey on Instagram

Day 1 Make cards for Grandparents.

Day 2 Gather food to donate to Food Bank at Church.

Day 3 Put $$ in Salvation Army Bucket.

Day 4 Free hugs!

Dec 5 Make Christmas Centerpiece(s). (I’m not sure we will do this exact thing, but great link for inspiration.)

Dec 6 Learn about St. Nicholas

Dec 7 Make colored ice sculptures.

Dec 8 Make gifts for church friends.

Dec 9 Donate meals to No Kid Hungry.

Dec 10 Gather and donate books to the library.

Dec 11 Gather clothes for donation to those in need.

Dec 12 Buy socks, beanies, mittens for the homeless.

Dec 13 Make blessing bags for the homeless.

Dec 14 Buy new coloring books and crayons for doctor’s waiting room area.

Dec 15 Make gingerbread house.

Dec 16 Make salt dough ornaments.

Dec 17 Pick up litter in neighborhood.

Dec 18 Leave $1 bills in Dollar Tree toy section.

Dec 19 Make cookies for neighbors and mailmen.

Dec 20 Make bags for people who work on Christmas.

Dec 21 Go see Christmas lights.

Dec 22 Have a dinner picnic next to the Christmas tree.

Dec 23 Gather and donate toys.

Dec 24 Let’s shop for homeless puppies and kitties.

*Bonus* Bake cookies and read Twas the Night Before Christmas.

4) Plan Christmas menu and items to bring to VA Christmas.

I’m super excited about Christmas food planning. I’m a total foodie, so I enjoy watching the Food Network and scrolling Pinterest for great recipes. This will be fun! 🙂

So what are you working on this month? How does the holidays effect your goal setting? Don’t forget to grab a button (optional) and link up below!

 


 

 



<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #53

Hello Friends!

Today, I want to share with you all a few links to some of my favorite finds this week!

One of my favorite Facebook pages is A Mighty Girl. It excites me to learn about all the amazing women who made history and who are making history! This week , A Mighty Girl shared this wonderful post about love, hope, and support from many children’s book illustrators. These images are so beautiful and very worthy of being shared. <3 You can learn more about this awesome Safety Pin movement here!

If you need a good laugh, go check out this album. It doesn’t matter what your political affiliation is… You will love these! 😉

Now it’s your turn! Share your favorite memories and finds this week! Leave a comment below. Add your blog to our linky and don’t forget to visit my amazing co-host, Camille! Feel free to grab a button it’s optional! ?


 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!!!

<3 Anna

Rise!

Dearest Readers,

I don’t write posts like these often. I try to keep things positive and share the beauty I find in our lives, but I can’t be silent on this. I am completely devastated by the results of this election. I won’t go into details on who I voted for because it doesn’t matter. This is about who got voted in. This is about the fact that I have great difficulty in saying “our president.” I’ve never had these feelings before. I’ve always been able to accept each president as they stepped into office. Why is this president so different?

Before I go on, I will warn that this post will likely not be as eloquent and written as well as I would like, but I’m no longer worried about that. My voice will be out there. It’s here for anyone who needs comfort during this very shaky time. It’s here for anyone who can relate to the words I’ll be sharing or for those who I, myself, will never fully understand their plight. So hang on tight, dear ones!

BIG SIGHS

As a child, I grew up with my biological father leaving me at four years old. I never had a strong male presence in my life other than my great-grandfather. (I miss you, Paw Paw!) I think because of this I never really trusted adult males. Out of respect for others and because I do not want to reveal too many details here, I had some negative experiences in my childhood. I’m going to therapy now and I’m becoming a stronger person. I’m getting the help that I need, but the election set me back greatly. I felt like I was reliving past trauma. These memories haunted me the entire day and the feelings of safety that were being built up were ripped down and all that was left was complete and utter devastation. I’m writing this the day after and I have more composure, but my body is completely rigid. My muscles are tied up in knots and I feel as though I’ll be fighting off acid reflux and panic attacks for a very long time. I will come to a place of healing again, but I find that I can relate to the words of  Lecrae, “I know that God is in control, But so did Jesus when he wept after the death of Lazarus.” The words of President-elect Trump supporters were often read as “God is in control.” “This is God’s plan.” and it goes on and on…I’m not sorry that I can’t and won’t rejoice with you over this “victory.” My heart is not there.

rise

Credit A Mighty Girl’s Facebook page. (http://www.amightygirl.com/)

My heart is with the broken ones right now. My heart is praying over all of my friends…People of color, the LGBTQ community, women (especially those who have experienced sexual abuse), those who are disabled and concerned about how this change will effect their medical care and all those who are living in fear of being deported and separated from their families. You are not alone. I stand with you. I can’t do much, I know, but I can write. I can share important information. I can do many acts of kindness. I can make this world a better place, by not embracing the hate.

Important Resources and Ways to Make This World a Better Place:

Suicide Prevention Line

The Trevor Project

RAINN

Black Lives Matter

Boys and Girls Club of America

Campaign Zero

EarthJustice

The Mazzoni Center

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

10 Simple Ways to Make the World a Better Place

For even more resources go here!

Please consider giving or volunteering with one of these charities/organizations. We can make this world a better place! There is still hope. I’m here for anyone that needs to talk or if anyone needs someone to just listen. Be safe out there! <3

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #52

Hello Friends!

I’m going to keep today’s post brief, but I wanted to share a link to First 15. This is a wonderful devotional that includes scripture, a devotion, guided prayer, and a worship song. It has been a wonderful tool in my morning devotional time and I’m very thankful that I checked it out. I got the suggestion from the God Centered Mom podcast. This is a podcast that I would also definitely recommend. It helps the chores to go by more quickly! 🙂

Now it’s your turn! Share your favorite memories and finds this week! Leave a comment below. Add your blog to our linky and don’t forget to visit my amazing co-host, Camille! Feel free to grab a button it’s optional! 😉

 


 

 



Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!!!

<3 Anna