Monday, January 26, 2015

Do Everything You Can...

…because there are so many who can’t.  Two weekends ago, I watched a documentary about impoverished families in Guatemala.  It really got me thinking about the opportunities I have that so many other people don’t.  And how I turn them down.  Or let them pass me by.  Because I’m tired.  Because I’m afraid.  Because I “just can’t”.  I can’t?  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  Individuals who don’t have access to the resources, people and finances that I take for granted on daily basis, they can’t.  I can.  And I owe it them to do everything I can.

Instead of watching mind-numbing reality shows after the kids are tucked in, I should be writing.  I should be drawing.  I should be learning.  I’m trying to improve.  It takes a lot of reminding myself to push along in spite of the temptation to curl into a little ball on the couch and flood my mind with useless television that drowns out the sound of the real things that beg my attention.  Of course, light silly things have their place, but when they take precedence over hard work and commitment, they become a hinderance, nay, a detrimental act.

This week, let’s focus on those who are not only less fortunate but less capable.  Let’s think of the people who can’t and tell ourselves that we can.  Act and choose, remembering that so many others have limited choices as to their actions.

Happy Monday!

<3 n

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Very Thankful Thursday: All the Small Things

I am not content with where I am in life.  I have so much to change and so much growing to do.  I desire so much more than I have and want to give so much more to the world than I have given so far.

Lately, despite this discontentment, I’ve realized how many things I have to be thankful for.  I am a lucky girl.  I have three beautiful, healthy children.  I have the love of an amazing man with whom I laugh, cry and share a happy life.  I have amazing, supportive parents and an equally amazing family.  I have an ex who is one of my best friends and a great father and I have his fiancĂ© who is one of the kindest, sincerest people ever.  It is a privilege to know her and have her in our family.  I have a good job which allows me to work with great people including my best friend.  I have a home which while small is filled with all the love I can imagine and more.

I am not content with where I am in life.  I have so much to change and so much growing to do, but I am thankful for my current state.  Everyday that I wake and see the sun is another day for which I must be thankful.  Although I don’t have as much as some people have, I have more than a lot of people have and for that I must rejoice and be ever so careful not to take it for granted.  Because I have been given so much, I must give just as much to those who do not share my same luck and I am thankful for any opportunities to do just that.

What are you thankful for this week?  What are the small things that amount to huge gratitude?  If you’re in a place in your life where it’s hard to be thankful, don’t worry.  Everyone has felt that way at one time or another, including me.  Sometimes, however, it is those moments of darkness that shine light on the things we are fortunate to have.  Seek them out, hold them close and be thankful.

<3 always,
n

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Little Ones Wednesday: January Update

Happy Wednesday!! I was going to do a Valentine's Day outfit post today, but as I was unsuccessfully scouring online shops for heart-themed attire and accessories, I discovered it may be a little early for that. Instead, I've decided to write a little about what our little ones have been up to in the last week or so. Here goes...

Ella
Ella returned to school on Monday after weeks of winter vacation. We straightened her hair which she was so excited about and couldn't wait to show her friends. She's been really responsible lately, doing chores without any whiny moments and volunteering to help with her brother and sister. She's loving her new iPhone and although we have had to tell her a few times to unplug and rejoin the living, she's been pretty responsible with it so far. As the days start to get longer once more, I'm hoping to get her outside and active soon. J wants to put her on a local track team while I'm leaning more toward soccer. We'll see what Ella says!

Hendrix
Hendrix is growing up too fast. He's learning new things (mostly mischievous things) daily. His favorite activities are drawing, playing on his LeapPad 3, watching videos with Ella and chasing Sadie around. Speaking of his LeapPad, he has a brand new one as of tonight because he chucked his old one in the bath (he just got it for Christmas!). That was his retaliation for my allowing Sadie to bathe before him. He's been very cheeky lately and is very much in the terrible twos stage now. He's been testing boundaries and our nerves. He's still very kindhearted though. I call him our sour patch kid because the motto fits him - first he's sour then he's sweet.

Sadie
Last week, Sadie learned how to climb my and J's bed. While she does know how to get down as well (she learned by watching her big bro), she's extremely reckless when she's up there. She bumps into walls and launches herself from side to side. I can just see her flying off the bed or into a wall. Other than that, she's just been following Hendrix around and learning a lot from him. She's also learned something very cool recently. She can catch her Nemo stuffed animal when J throws it to her. We start her from across the room, she runs toward him and then he throws Nemo. She laughs as she catches him each time.

Well that's all for tonight! Sweet dreams everyone! It's Thursday tomorrow so I'll see you here to talk about all things thankful. :) Until then...

<3 n

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Early to Bed Tuesday

Tonight’s blog will be short and sweet since I am determined to get to bed at a decent hour.  For the past few weeks, my sleep schedule has been a mess.  I've been going to bed as late as 3am some nights (or mornings!).  In the morning, I'm dragging and I can't wait to climb into bed in the evening.  When bedtime does roll around however, I find myself unable to sleep.  Most nights, I just can’t seem to shut my brain off.  I often come up with really great ideas around midnight so choosing between staying up and getting some sleep is difficult.  Should I really sacrifice my moments of epiphany for some extra shut-eye?  I am also guilty of snuggling up with my iPhone in bed which I know is a huge no-no if you’d like to get some quality Zzz’s.  Although, if I peruse Pinterest long enough, I usually drift off.

In the last few days, nothing has really helped.  I've tried reading various things, swallowing valerian root tablets, taking a hot shower and drinking chamomile tea.  Where's the sandman when you need him??  Is anyone else having this issue?

Tonight, I'm talking NyQuil to combat the headache and some lingering congestion I'm experiencing.  Hopefully, it will also help me get some much-needed sleep.  Sweet dreams!

<3 n

Monday, January 12, 2015

Drink More Water!!

Beginning last Monday, I am participating in a month-long water challenge during which I will be drinking one gallon of water each day.  That's A LOT of water and about 75% more water than I have been consuming on my best water-drinking days.  It's going to be a challenge for sure, but with the added accountability from the others involved, I think I'm up for it.

Here are my half-gallon containers.  They make drinking water easier because they're pink!

Since I'm one of those weird people who doesn't care for the "taste" of water, I'm drinking a lot of infused water.  One of my favorite combos is orange and mint.

Here's the end result!  I've seen (and want to try) water bottles made specifically for creating infused water, but these bottles work fine for me.  I've yet to experience any interruption in water flow due to ingredients getting stuck in the nozzle.


Below I've listed six of the wonderful benefits of water along with notes on how I'm currently feeling in regards to each of these categories.  At the end of the month, I'll be back to talk about my updated feelings and results.

Fights Fatigue
Dehydration is a total energy killer and I am and have been dehydrated for quite some time.  I never drink enough water and - big surprise - I often feel tired.

Improves Cognitive Function
Lately, I've been extremely scatter-brained and my memory has been very poor.  As the brain is about 75% water, chances are I've been thinking with a raisin. 

Eliminates Headaches
Headaches can be caused by dehydration and I do suffer from headaches maybe two or three times per week.

Supports Immunity
I've often joked that I have the immune system of a sponge, but it isn't funny (I just had the flu last week!).  My body soaks up any sickness to which it comes close and colds usually hit me pretty hard.  The benefits of water in regards to immunity and overall body system functions are a huge plus.

Promotes Weight Loss
I could lie and say all the other benefits are super important and weight loss is just one more check box on my list, but I won't.  Losing weight is a big focus for me right now.  After having Sadie, I haven't gotten back to my pre-baby body (which I wasn't 100% happy with anyway) and it's been a huge confidence crusher.  I am certain that I've been feeding my body when really it's begging to be hydrated so drinking more water will definitely help.

Creates Healthy Skin
I suffer from adult acne which is a cruel trick of nature indeed.  I’m not 15 anymore!!  Hopefully, the increase in my water intake will help clear my skin and leave me with a healthy, smooth complexion.

Well, wish me luck on my water quest!  I hope you had a great week and a happy Monday!

<3 n

Saturday, January 10, 2015

I'm Back!!

To the detriment of my weekly blogging dream, my sick day turned into a sick week.  I was in bed Sunday through Wednesday feeling horrible.  Thursday, I returned to work feeling still a bit under the weather.  Yesterday was much better and today I’m feeling almost myself.  If anyone is following my blog, I’m sorry.  I’ll try to see to it that this does not happen again (at least not for so many consecutive days).  I probably could have used some posts I have partially written, but my mental capacity wasn’t really down for it and, out of respect for my job, I thought it would be wrong of me to be present on my blog but not present for work.

So, we’re starting fresh!  Come Monday, things will be business as usual here.  If weather permits, I have a couple fun things I’d like to do this weekend which will show up on my blog this coming week.  Looking out our patio doors, it is a gloomy mess.  The green of the trees is sharply contrasted by an almost white sky.  Everything is still.  No light breeze.  No puffy clouds in motion on their way to who knows where.  Earlier in the week and last weekend, we had some beautiful California weather that I didn’t get enjoy being sick and all.  Just my luck I guess.

I hope you’re having a fabulous weekend filled with lots of fun!!  Once again, I apologize for my absence and hope to make up for it in the coming week.  I have to go straighten my hair, paint my nails and groom my brows a bit now as Ella’s dad Danny and I have a business-y meeting later this evening.  Thanks for reading!

<3 n

P.S. It’s starting to rain!  I’m going to have to purchase another umbrella because Hendrix and/or Sadie destroyed my nice, pricy one J bought me. :(  Why, babies, why??

Friday, January 2, 2015

We're Getting Married?!

Let the pinning begin!  As I stated in my Gifts from J post, we are officially engaged and planning to marry. After a bit of consideration of whether or not to just save money and elope, we've set a tentative date for an actual wedding.  In the end, it came down to our desire to have our family and friends be present when we exchange our vows.

I am excited, scared and anxious all at once.  I have a thousand ideas bouncing around in my mind like a pinball machine on the fritz.  It's only been a matter of days and already I've subjected J to more wedding-related conversations than any man should ever have to hear.  I've also asked him at least ten times if he's sure he wants to marry me.  Finally, he responded, "If you ask me that again, I'm not going to marry you."  I haven't asked again.  Yet.

So far I've downloaded two apps from TheKnot.com and I've been on Pinterest everyday (although I'm trying to be very conservative and not pin everything I come across).  I have a couple dresses that I'm in love with but as my taste is rather fickle, I won't be making a decision for quite a while.  And not before I try on at least a couple dozen dresses of course.

I will most likely be writing more pre-nuptial posts in the months to come, so check back if you're interested to see how it's all going.  Thanks for reading!!

<3 n

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Weekly Blogging in 2015 :)

Yesterday marked the end of my daily blogging in December.  Since I did miss two days (Christmas Day and the day after) I'm not completely satisfied with myself but I am happy that I became more consistent and committed.

It took a few days for me to decide whether to carry on blogging each day throughout 2015 or return to a less demanding (read: more sporadic) schedule.  What I really loved about posting daily was the feeling that I had to do it.  I didn't allow myself to think that not posting was an option.  The downside was the limited time in which I had to churn out another post.  I wasn't proud of some of my posts because I was simply too tired and too rushed while writing them.

The year 2015 will see a happy medium on my blog.  I've decided (this was actually J's idea) to post each weekday and take the weekends off to experience, write and photograph the things about which I will be blogging.  Having a schedule that consists of consecutive days but still allows for some downtime sounds perfect to me.  This also leaves room for something neat I'd like to do in the future.

In addition to consistent weekly blogging, I want to start doing monthly favorites posts.  I love watching these types of videos on YouTube so I think the topic would make for great blog posts.  Since I'm not a beauty guru and I have kids, a job, a fiancĂ© and loads of other things to juggle, my monthly favorites will be a big blend of products, places and whatever else I'm loving at the moment.

Well I work tomorrow so it's best I head off to bed now.  Sweet dreams and happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful New Year's Eve and Day.

<3 n