Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Something BIG is happening...

I can feel this almost annoying pull towards something huge.  I don't know what it is and that's the annoying part.  Life would be so much easier if answers to our big life questions were spelled out for us.  Instead of letting that annoying aspect of this pull creep in, I'm focusing on the excitement of the newness it brings.  Did you ever feel that way in life, like something BIG is on the horizon, you just can't quite bring it in to focus yet?  So you keep trekking forward, knowing eventually that it will all come into focus.  It's that trekking part that exhausts us, mostly mentally and emotionally, but one of the greatest gifts of all is the feeling of accomplishment after persevering through the unknown obstacles that lie ahead.

I, by nature, am a very inward and spiritual person.  A lot of the time, I don't even notice what is happening around me because I am so much up in my own head and thoughts snowball out of control until I snap out of it and think, "Shit, what did they just say?" to the person across from me, waiting for me to speak.  This could be a bad thing, but you know me, Ms. Positive Thinker, I am choosing to focus on this as a gift.  Because of my inwardness, I have really come to know God.  These inward thoughts have turned into prayers.  And before I go any further, let me tell you, my prayer life has dramatically changed.  I've grown so much (though I still have a long way to go) in my spiritual maturity.  When you're "reborn", it's exactly like they say, it's like getting a pair of glasses for the first time, everything is surprisingly (and almost painfully) clear. The evils of the world you once knew are everywhere, and it's incredibly overwhelming.  What I struggle with a lot of the time is connecting with people I'm close with that haven't had this experience yet.    What I rejoice in, is that this is my opportunity, given by God, to live my life in such a way that His love is shown through my life, actions, words, and thoughts. 

I used to say, "I don't like to push my beliefs on anyone."  That's just not true, it's a lie.  I do like sharing my beliefs.  I do like pointing out miracles amidst tragedies, I do like giving God the glory He deserves when others don't see His hand in the workings of our lives.   These are my beliefs, and I do in fact push them.  I push them any chance I get.  For example, I was at one of those self check out stands at a grocery store and the man next to me was really struggling trying to scan a product.  He seemed to be in such a hurry and I could tell he was really getting fed up with the whole process when he said, "You've got to be kidding me," as he shook his head in frustration.  If you say something loud enough for others to hear, you should expect someone will respond.  That someone was me.  I looked at him and as genuinely as I could, I said, "It's just God's way of slowing you down."  And he chuckled and his face softened, it sort of seemed like a weight lifted and just maybe, what I said impacted his life, maybe it didn't.  But it was my opportunity to share His love, and those small opportunities lead to big feelings of gratitude.

Something that really sticks out when you become "reborn" (I still feel so weird saying that but there is no other way to explain it, since everything is new), is that you are thankful for things unseen.  Meaning, that traffic you're stuck in is probably God's way of protecting you from being in harms way.  You missed your flight?  Maybe you would have sat next to someone with a cold and you would have gotten sick.  Maybe you are sick?  Maybe that is God's way to call you to have a relationship with Him so that your life story can be a testimony to others.  You didn't get that job?  Perhaps it's because God knows you're meant for something more.  I've learned and accepted this because of what I went through and experienced with my struggle to have a baby.  It's not until I realized this that I became thankful for my struggle to conceive.  In fact, how blessed am I that God called me this way, instead of the loss of a loved one, cancer, or some other crisis.  I'm so thankful, thankful to the point that it at times moves me to tears.

See when I say something BIG is on the horizon I feel this in my bones.  I want to know just exactly what this means, but I don't.  So in the mean time, I've decided that my prayer life needs to be more disciplined.  I need to make more time for God since He is the one who will reveal the answers.  I can't do this on my own, I know that and He knows that.  He already knows what is in store for me and even though I'm not a fan of surprises, I know that His plan is better than my best dreams.  I'm staying focused on my prayer life right now because that is the only thing I know for sure that I can control.  It's my choice to either make time for Jesus or keep putting him on the back burner.  I read about a drama skit once, where a girl opened the door to her bedroom and Jesus was there, she invited him in to sit down.  She apologized profusely for not making time for Him and promising that they would spend the night together catching up, but then her friends called.  She ditched Him.  He wanted to follow her there to the party, but she said no, that He didn't belong there.  And when she left, to keep Him in His place, she nailed His hands to the cross.  I instantly felt guilt.  How many times have we done this in our lives, we did our own thing and left Jesus behind.  I don't want to do this anymore and I'm following that feeling.  I don't know where this will lead me but I know that I'm being guided by Him when I'm in prayer, and He will never lead me astray.  Trusting in Him is a choice that I at one time fought so hard.  I wanted things done in my time and lost my cool when it didn't happen.  When I say lost my cool, I mean it, I cried more days out of the week than I did smile.  I detached from friends and family, I drank a lot of beer, I spent money on things that made me temporarily happy, I disliked other people simply because I couldn't see my own blessings and was jealous of theirs.  I don't know what I was thinking and to be honest, I didn't know who I was. I felt so out of control of my emotions and my life.  I feared not knowing what the future held for me when I wanted to be a mom so badly.  The "what ifs" ruined me.  But our God is so good, he chased after me in those dark places and still loved me enough to want a relationship with me.  It's so humbling, because I know I don't deserve all that He's blessed me with and yet He continues to bless me every. Single. Day.

So, I made a commitment to myself and to Jesus.  Every morning, I'm going to wake up half an hour earlier than normal (which is mad early, like 5:00 AM early) and sit down with my cup of coffee and Jesus.  And give my heart and time to Him.  In this commitment I'll grow in ways I can't comprehend now, but I know that things I can't even put into a thought right now, will come to fruition.  Before this commitment, I would and still do pray every single morning in the car on the way to work and to and from my lunch hour and on the way home.  It was a step in the right direction, but if I'm driving, how much of my attention is being divided?  I want to give my full attention and heart over to Jesus every morning and start my day with Him.  And so it begins.  Today was my first day of sitting down on my couch, with a cup of coffee with no other intention than to pray.  I sat across from an empty couch and I picture Jesus there, so happy to see me and spend time with me.  It was a lovely feeling, and one I hope to become more comfortable with each time we meet.  It wasn't until I was done showering that I felt complete and totally ready to start my day with my only goal being to live in such a way that His love is shown through me, my actions, my thoughts, and my words.  That's all. 

I'm starting a prayer journal to keep me focused and also to document my spiritual growth.  I also think it's helpful to recognize blessings.  To look back and be wowed by God's work.  Feeling so thankful as I end this long blog post.  Thanks for sticking with me and reading my thoughts, and taking this journey with me.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Disciplining a 1 year old...

How in the world do you teach a child (in a loving manner) that biting and hitting are not appropriate.  So first let me tell you the background...Landry is only hitting and biting me.  He will push my husbands face away if he goes in for a kiss and Landry doesn't want it.  But out of nowhere, Landry and I could just be playing nicely and he goes to hit me or bite me.  He mostly does it out of no where...but if I'm near him when he's having a temper tantrum, he will possibly go to bite or hit.  What I have been doing is sternly saying "NO BITE/HIT!" and I'll place him on the "naughty step".  And after about 1 minute, if he wants to get up he has to "say" sorry by giving me a hug or kiss.  From what I have been reading, I should be showing him what is acceptable behavior versus the behavior he is doing.  I haven't come up with one for biting yet, but if he goes to hit me in the face, I'll say "No HIT!...do you want to high five?" and then I'll place my hand up and he'll high five me.  That has actually been working for us.  The biting though, that's a different story, and dude...he bites HARD.  It actually has left me bruised, and I'm surprised he has not broken skin yet. 

Do you guys have any experience with this?  Is it something they out grow?  How did you deal with it?  I am not for spanking or screaming my head off.  I want him to know that his behavior is unacceptable but that he can freely express his emotions.  For example, when he's older and can talk, I want him to feel comfortable saying "I'm mad/sad/scared/anxious" or whatever he might be feeling.  But for now, I know that he's frustrated and biting is a way of showing his frustration.  The good thing is he doesn't bite or hit other children, so I'm thankful for that. 

Let me know if you guys have any ideas for me! Thanks! xxoo

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Guilty Pleasure Names

What is a guilty pleasure name you ask?  It's a name that I love but would never use for my own child(ren) for one reason or another.  Or a guilty pleasure name could just be names that you love that you know no one else would like. Do you have any guilty pleasure names?  I would love to hear them and the reasoning as to why you wouldn't use them!

Let's start with the girls...

Esme:  I LOVE this name so much.   This name means "loved".  I love the "z" sound in this name, I love how short it is, and I love the nick name "Ez".  But I wouldn't use it because of the association it has with the ever popular "Twilight" series. 

Tallulah:  Tallulah means "jumping water".  This is just such a cute name to me, but I would never use it because it's bit "too out there" for me.  Plus, I'm not a huge fan of the nick name "Tully" or "LuLu".

Belle:  Belle means "beautiful" and that's exactly what it is, such a pretty name.  But...all I can think of is the Disney princess when I hear this name.  I wouldn't use this for a first name but I would consider it for a middle name.

Daphne:  I don't even know what it is that I love about this name...perhaps it's the uniqueness of it?  Daphne means Laurel or Bay tree.  I wouldn't use it because it reminds me of Scooby Doo...but for real, this name is so stinkin' cute.

Sutton:  Meaning "From the south farm"...I love this name for a girl or boy actually.  But I don't like or at least can't think of any nickname for this name that I like.

Laurel:  I love this name, it's just gorgeous.  And anyone I have never known to have this name has also been incredibly gorgeous!  But it goes horribly with  my last name and I'd never be able to use it.

Story:  I just think this name is super cute and though unusual, not difficult to pronounce.  Totally qualifies as a name I love, but I just don't think I'd use it.

Sparrow:  I love animal names...seriously, you'll see the trend going on here, but I just don't think I'm cool enough to pull something like that off.  It totally speaks to me though.

Winter:  I actually really enjoy the winter season.  I love snow.  I love hot chocolate and being bundled up under blankets with candles glowing. And when I think of this as a name it immediately makes me feel cozy.  I also really dig the nickname "Winnie"...so okay, maybe this isn't a GP name, maybe I'll keep this one on my list of favorites.

Here are my boy guilty pleasure names...

Bear:  Seriously this is A-freaking-dorable. But, we call my dog Bear, so that would just be weird now if I used it to name a child.

Cal:  It's origin is Hebrew meaning "Devotion."  I would 100% name my son this if my name wasn't Kyle.  It sounds like I'm saying my name with a southern accent.  Just would be too close to mine to seem different.

Fox:  Imagine meeting a little boy name Fox.  Is that not the cutest thing?!  Unfortunately, I couldn't imagine it on an adult, and so it will remain here, forever, on my GP list.

Dawson: Okay, so I once had a cat named Dawson (I named him).  And I still love that name so much.  It's English, it means Son of David.  It reminds me too much of Dawson's Creek the 90's hit TV show.  I haven't completely thrown this name out the window...it's usable.  And no one I know (besides my family) would associate with my deceased kitty.

Ethan:  I have loved this name for so long.  Unfortunately, it got a bit too popular for my taste, and though I still love it so, I wouldn't use it, in fear that my son would be Ethan L for his entire school-age life.

Haven: This name means "sanctuary/safe place" and I just love it.  I actually would love this name on either gender.  However, it sort of sounds like "Heaven" and I wouldn't to have my child having to correct everyone they meet their whole life.

Hayes: The reason I love this name so much is because of the spelling...but if someone called me on the phone and said, "Hi this is Hayes" I would think that they are saying "Hi this is Haze" and I don't like the image "haze" evokes.

Hue: I also like this name for either gender.  The definition of the word Hue is a gradiation or variety in a color or tint.  So cool right?!  But if I hear "Hue" as a name I think of "Hugh" and then  I think of "Hugh Heffner"...I definitely love the name Hugh as well, but I think everyone would think we named our kid after the starter of a porn business.  So...yeah.

Arrow:  This is name is so hipster...I love it.  However, it doesn't go well with my last name and I think I'd have a really hard time getting my hubby to agree with me on this one.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Most Popular Girl Names 100 years ago || oldies but goodies

What I find very interesting about names is how they change in popularity over time.   A lot of older names are coming back in popularity and many are not.  Let's take it back, way back, to 100 years ago and check out the 10 most popular girl names in the United States.

In 1915 here are the most popular girl names starting with #10:

10.  Evelyn - The origin of this name is mixed opinions and difficult to find one source that agrees with another.  The further I dove into the origin of this name I found that it was a diminutive form of another name, and another name, and another name.  From my research, Evelyn comes from the ancient Germanic name "Avila" which means life.  I still really like this name, and apparently so do a lot of people as it is ranked #16 in terms of the most popular names in 2014.

9. Frances - Frances is feminine for Francis and it means "Frenchman".  Though it's not my cup of tea, I do know a handful of people with Frances as their middle name.  I don't see it making a comeback anytime soon as it's ranked #602 in popularity in 2014.

8.  Elizabeth - Elizabeth is Greek and it means "my God is an oath".  This name has been popular and probably will remain popular as it's a "classic."  In 2014 this name was ranked #14 in popularity.  I think it makes a very pretty middle name.  If you don't like how common it is and most likely will remain, consider using it as a middle name, which I think is very pretty and works well with a lot of names.

7.   Anna - This name is English and as a form of Hannah, means favor or grace.  This name fell off of the top 100 list in the 1950's but steadily has hung in there and hovered around the 100's for the past 100 years.  Pretty impressive!  In 2014 Anna was the the 34th most popular baby name.

6.  Mildred - Mildred means "gentle strength" and it's origin is English.  Though I love the meaning of this name, I don't like the sound of it.  Though it was super popular 100 years ago, it started to fall soon after.  It fell off the top 100 list in 1946 and has steadily fallen since then. It's no longer even on the charts, as it was #972 in 1984.  I definitely don't see this name making a comeback for a long time, if ever. 

5.  Ruth - Ruth is a Hebrew name meaning "Friend".  This name fell off the top 100 list in 1962 and consistently kept going down in popularity.  It is now ranked at #315 in the United States.  I like Ruth as a middle name, though I probably wouldn't use it unless it was a family name that I wanted to continue on.

4.  Margaret - This name's origin is Greek, meaning "pearl".  There are quite a few nick names for Margaret, such as Maggie, Mags, Madge, Marge, Meg, Margot, Marg, May, Peg, Peggy.  I can't say I'm a fan of any of them and it's been going down in popularity since 1976.  In 2014, Margaret was ranked #169.

3. Dorothy - This name is Latin and it means "God's gift".  Though I can't say that Dorothy is one of my favorites, I think that nicknames are quite cute!  Some of the nicknames for Dorothy are Dee, Dodie, Doe, Dolly, Dory, Dot, and Dottie.  In 2014 this name was way down in popularity at # 731.

2.  Helen - This name is Greek and it means "shining light".  I actually really really like this name.  This was my grandmother's name and she passed away shortly after I was born.  Unfortunately I don't remember anything about her, but my family told me that her laugh was contagious.  I would do anything to hear that laugh, and it seems that meaning of her name was very fitting for her character.  This name fell off the top 100 list in 1959 and consistently gone down in popularity.  In 2014 this name ranked #404.

1.  Drum roll please.....The most popular name for girls 100 years ago was....
MARY!  Mary is one of those classic names that I believe will always be around.  Mary is Hebrew and means "wished for child". It only fell off the top 100 list in 2009!  It hung in there for  94 years!  It is consistently still dropping in popularity, but I don't think it will drop too far.  I think it will be a more popular middle name than first name, but only time will tell.

I hope you enjoyed this! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

❂ names inspired by summer

Hi everyone!  While we are in the midst of summer, I thought why not create a post of names that are inspired by this beautiful season.  Any of them you absolutely love?  Can you help me think of names that I left out? Comment below!

In no particular order, here we go...

June: It's Latin, meaning "Young". 

August:  It's Latin, meaning "majestic dignity" or "venerable".  Venerable means "accorded a great deal of respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character. 

Bay:  English name meaning "auburn haired" (great unisex name too!)

Leo:  English name meaning "lion", also the zodiac sign associated with this name for babies born between July 23rd and August 22nd

Pearl:  Latin meaning "precious".  Also the birthstone of those born in June.

Ruby:  Ruby is derived from the Latin rubeus meaning "reddish". Also the birthstone of those born in July.

Daisy: Derived from the name of the daisy flower, which is derived from Old English daeges eage (day's eye) in reference to it's round yellow center, resembling the sun.

Coral: Derived from the English language meaning reef formation which refers to the pinkish calcareous skeletons secreted by marine polyps which are used in jewelry making.  Coral is a beautiful bright summery pinkish-orange color.

Dax:  English meaning "water"

Calder: Scottish meaning "rough waters"

Genevieve: Celtic meaning "white wave"

Idalia: Greek meaning "behold the sun"

Kira/Kyra: Persian and Egyptian meaning "sun"

Nikko:  Japanese meaning "sunlight"

Ravi: Sanskrit and Hindi meaning "sun"

Rose:  A perennial flower that blooms all summer long

Soliel: A French name meaning "sun"

Monday, July 13, 2015

Obessed with Baby Names

Hi guys!  Oh I miss you all!  I haven't filmed in forever, I have been so busy this summer.  I love how busy summer is, it's when I feel I see all my friends and family the most.  It's a wonderful time of year to grill out, have a couple of cold drinks, and watch the kids romp in the yard. 

Anyway...I love learning/discovering things about myself as I get older and I think that the more I learn about myself the more I like to dive into my passions.  One of them is baby names.  I mean, names in general really intrigue me.  I honestly think it's a lot to do with my background in psychology and how we envision and relate to names.  As you know, my name is Kyle and for the beginning half of my life I HATED my name.  I hated that people thought I was a boy, I hated that people asked me do you spell it K-Y-L-E...yeah duh, I mean how else would you spell it?  And I hated correcting people after they would call me Kylie, that I would just let them call me that.  Now, I don't think I could love my name anymore than I do!  I love that I am the only female Kyle I know of (besides that famous lady from Real Housewives...I don't watch the show, but I know of her from a friend who does).  I love that my name is unique for a female, but it's not an uncommon name.  I love that it's unisex, and I'm partial to unisex names...like if I ever meet a little girl named Alex or Frankie, or a little boy named Morgan or Ashley I am in awe from the start!  I just think it adds a lot of character, more so than very common names.  Everyone loves/dislikes names for different reasons and that's the fun of it all.  Some people LOVE very common names and that's cool too!  Whatever floats your boat :)

I wanted to put up a few posts of names and I hope you find these posts interesting and fun!  But before I started putting up baby name posts I wanted to do this little background of reasoning so that you're not like "Wtf?  Where did this come from?"

So to begin this little name game shenanigan's I wanted to start off with something close to home, which is Unisex Names.  Here is some unisex names that I adore, their meaning, and where they came from.  I'll do one for each letter of the alphabet.  And I'll add the connotations that float through my head when I hear these names:

Aspen:  This name is Old English and it's meaning is "tree".  I think Aspen is such a strong name when I relate it to a male, but when I relate it to a female I think it sounds soft and very feminine.  It's such a unique name for either gender and I love that.  I love that it conjures the thought of Aspen, Colorado which is such a beautiful place. 

Blake:  This name is Scottish and it means dark or dark-haired or it could also mean the reverse, pale or fair.  The first thing that comes to mind when I think of "Blake" is Blake Lively, which come on...is the most gorgeous human being to ever grace this planet...am I right?  Total girl crush.  This name ages well on boys and girls and I when I think of young boy named Blake I think of a very sporty individual that is a natural athlete.

Charlie:  It's an English name that is diminutive of Charles, which I found has a ton of meanings such as "free man," "army," and "warrior".  The meaning of the name is pretty masculine, but Charlie envokes the image of a lively little girl with platinum blonde hair who loves animals and dance parties!  When I think of a little boy named Charlie, I think of gigglebox, someone who is a natural comedian and loves to make others laugh.

Embry:  This name is English meaning "work rule"...I have no idea what that means LOL.  I love this name on both genders and when I think of the name Embry on a boy I think of a real lover of wilderness, like someone who loves camping and outdoor activities.  When I think of a girl named Embry I think of a beautiful, tall, hippy-ish type of person who lives for art and music.

Dylan:  This name is Welsh and it means "wave" or "born by the sea".  I think Dylan is more of male name than female, but when I picture it used on a female I love the uniqueness of it.  I love that the nickname is "Dill"...it's just cute! 

Finley:  Finley is Scottish and means "fair warrior".  I don't think this name ages that well, it's totally cute on kids, but I have a hard time picturing an adult or elderly person named Finley.  Especially an elderly female.  However, that might change as times change.  When I think of a little boy named Finley I think of a little sailor, a kid that loves the beach.  When I think of it on a little girl, I think of a cute little tomboy who loves cars and motorcycles and could hang with guys.

Gray:  This is an English name it's simply means the color gray.  This name ages well on both male and female and I LOVE this name for a girl.  It's sounds more feminine and soft sounding to me.  When I picture a girl named Gray I totally see her being a bookworm and loving school.  When I think of a guy named Gray I think of a sensitive yet serious man who has a love for anything classic, like classic black and white movies, and classic music, and old classic cars.

Hollis:  I was going to choose the name Holland because I love that too, but Hollis drew me in.  It's different and I like the unique "s" sound in the ending of this name.  This name could be used on any age. It's an English name that means "near the holly"...when I think of "holly" I think of Christmas so this could be a unique choice of name if your child was born in December.  I love it for either gender and when I picture it on a male or female, I envision a total hipster, an effortless kind of cool, just for being different.

I....I couldn't think of any names that I truly loved for either gender that started with an I.  Even when I dove into my baby name books, nothing stood out to me that I really liked for both genders so instead of faking it, this is my honest opinion. 

James:  This name is Hebrew and it means "supplanter"...and if you don't know, the definition of supplanter is to trip up or overthrow.  To be honest, I don't love the meaning, it kind of sounds a bit negative.  However, the name James, on a girl...is just WOW, to me.  It's something you wouldn't forget.  I see a female named James to be an overachiever, someone who works their way to the top.  On a boy, this name is a classic and I don't think will ever get old.  Plus, I really do like the nickname Jimmy for a girl or boy, I think it's super cute.  And when I picture a little dude named Jimmy I picture him rosy cheeked and the star of the tee-ball team.  A little girl nick named Jimmy or Jimmie would be adorbs!

Kyle:  I'm using my name in this blogpost because, why not?  It's Scottish and it means "narrow".  I obviously like this name for boy or girl and it does age well b/c of it's commonality, but more so for a male.  Either way if I picture a boy or girl named Kyle I picture a blonde, because honestly, every single Kyle I ever met (including me) has been blonde!  When I picture a boy named Kyle I picture a very relaxed chill type of person.  When I picture a girl named Kyle, I think of...well...me!  LOL

Lee:  It's a surname derived from Old English (Leah) meaning "clearing".  I also really like the spelling "Leigh" for a girl or boy.  I think it's short and sweet and when I think of a little girl named Leigh I think a petite blonde hair and blue eyed sweet as pie, very girly girl.  When I think of a little boy named Lee I think of a little country boy that loves water, dirt, and very giggly.  I think this name ages well too (meaning it would work for any age)

Murphy:  It's also a surname, and derived from Ireland (it was Anglicized from the surname O'Murchadh).  Ugh, is this not the custest name for a little boy?!  I could totally see a little boy with a curly mop of hair on top of his head with big brown eyes named Murphy.  When I think of this name used on a little girl, I see long dark hair and fair skin with blue eyes.  I don't think this name ages as well as Lee does, I see it more on little kids more than I can adults, but I think it would be a kick ass name into adulthood.  When I think about an adult male I could see Murphy as a professional sports figure and when I think of an adult female named Murphy I see her being really into books in a very smart and serious profession, like a doctor of some sort.

Navy:  I had a hard time finding anything about this name.  So I'll just give you my straight up thoughts.  Navy, to me, ages well.  It also works for both genders incredibly well.  It conjures two thoughts for me almost simultaneously.  One would be the actual Navy that one would join, while the other is "navy blue" the color, which happens to be my favorite color.   That's probably why I'm quite partial to it.  In fact, when AOL started, my very first aol screen name was Navy18. 

Oakley:  It's Old English and means "meadow of oak trees".  I love this for either gender (why do I keep saying that, of course I do).  I think for a male child or adult, it's it a strong and sturdy name.  For a female kid or adult I think that it's very beachy.  I just picture a girl who worships the sun.  Maybe because it reminds me of "Oakley's" the sunglasses brand?  Either way, I think it's totally cute, and this name is one of my favorites.

Page:  Another English name and it means "attendant".  I am not really sure why but for either gender I see a total rock-n-roll persona with this name but on the contrary I could also see a very quiet individual that is very introverted with this name.  I also think it makes an incredible middle name either gender.  It ages well too. 

Quinn:  This names is from Ireland and it's from the surname "Conn", meaning "counsel".  I love the one syllable sound of this name.  That also makes it great for a middle name for either gender as well.  When I picture a female named Quinn I picture her to be very beautiful, total model material.  When I picture a guy named Quinn I could totally see him working on the ski-resort giving snowboarding lessons.

Roux:  This name is French and means Red or in English, Rue, means herb.  This name is so sweet.  I just love the short sound it makes when rolling off the tongue.  I honestly think of the baby kangaroo from Winnie the Pooh when I hear this name.  I love either form of the spelling Roux or Rue but if it were for a female I would most likely use Rue.  Another phenomenal middle name in my opinion as well for either gender. 

Sloan:  This name's origin is Irish and it means "expedition".  This name definitely ages well and I can totally see it on a young child and adult.  It conjures up thoughts of a very serious student to me.  I see it as a name on a very successful person in the professional business world.

Taylor:  This is a more common unisex name.  It's origin is English it simply means "the one who tailors clothing".  What I like most about this name the nick name Tay.  Super cute!  I could easily see this on a little girl or boy and the name definitely ages well.  Because of the commonality of this name, it doesn't really envoke any images for me.  I know a bunch of Taylor's, male and female and they are all so different. 

U - Again, I couldn't think of a name starting with a U that I loved for both genders.

Waverly:  I honestly don't even know what it is about this name that I love SO much.  Maybe because it could be shortened to "Wave" which is such a cool name.  And that obviously conjures thoughts of the beach.  And who doesn't love the beach?!  This name is English and it means "from the brushwood field".  It's a unique name so I have a hard time picturing the name on an elderly person, but I could totally see it on a little surfer dude or dudette!

X - Again, I couldn't think of a name starting with an X that I loved for both genders.

Yardley:  What a cute name!  The origin of Yardley is English, meaning "of the yard" or I also found that means "from the wood were spars were got".  I totally see this name on younger kids than I do adults, but I think if I was introduced to a Yardley as an adult it would be a name I'd be hard-pressed to forget.  It definitely stands out and I love that. When I think of a little boy named Yardley I think of a very outgoing character that loves people.  When I think of a little girl named Yardley I think of another kid that loves people and loves to talk!

Zale:  Zale is  Polish name and it's meaning is unknown.  The sound of this name is just cool.  I love that and I think it ages well, but it's very trendy.  It's not something I would consider to be a "classic" name.  I see this name to be more masculine then feminine.  And when I picture this name on an adult, I see a very macho type of man that's into fitness.  When I think of it on a adult female, I see someone that's really into fashion, a clothes designer perhaps?

I hope you found this post to be fun and interesting as well!  Can't wait for my next names post!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Traveling with a 1 year old

We survived! 

I'm not going to sugar coat anything...this "vacation" was more exhausting and a lot less fun that we had hoped.  Cris and I booked a trip to Florida.  Originally, Cris and I were going to go to Florida with Landry, and also bring my one of my best friends down with us.  She's amazing with Landry and she had plans to move across the country in August so this would have been one of the last times we spent together in a long time.  Things changed, she was offered a job in California with a start date too close to our vacation that she had to back out of our trip last minute.  I totally understood, and thought that we could still swing it if we went down by ourselves.  It was fine...fine, but not really fun.  We learned a lot though, and for that I'm so thankful!

First and biggest lesson I learned was when flying with a kid that still pees/poops in a diaper.  Don't just bring a change of clothes for them in the carry on, bring a change of clothes for yourself and whoever you're traveling with (hubby).  Landry pooped on me.  It leaked out of his diaper while he was sitting on my lap eating McDonalds breakfast in the terminal.  Dude.  Lesson learned.  I had to travel in my tanktop and put my sweater into the stroller and zip it up b/c all I could smell was crap.  That SUCKED.  I was smart enough to pack a plastic bag so that if there was an accident that we could put his soiled clothes into the bag and wash it once we got to our destination.  Point for me for doing at least that.

Second biggest lesson I learned:  Fly as early as possible.  Cris and I woke up at 3:45AM and left our house by 4:15AM to get to the airport (we flew out of Philadelphia which is a little over an hour from where we live).  First of all, we hit ZERO traffic.  Second of all, Landry was in the BEST mood.  And third of all, if you leave super early, chances are your kid will nap.  We were lucky, and Landry fell asleep on the tarmac before the plane even took off.  It couldn't have been more perfect.  With that being said...we flew home on a late flight.  BIG MISTAKE.  Landry was overtired and overstimulated.  He screamed and cried for a gut wrenching 20 minutes after we were up in the air.  We were experiencing some turbulence so the seatbelt signs did not come off for a looooooong time.  So I couldn't get up with him and walk up and down or anything.  Honestly, it was painful.  Literally.  I have scratch marks and bruises from his flailing limbs.  The nice thing about it was that people were SO understanding.  And to anyone that isn't, let me be the first to you remind you that you should pack headphones.  You can't control a baby, and to the people that think you can, they probably don't have kids.  So whatever, it was EXHAUSTING.  And we packed Tylonel in the carryon, and after the 15 minutes of screaming, we gave in and gave him tylonel, a little bit after that he quieted down and finally...FINALLY fell asleep.  Which wasn't a peaceful sleep.  He would wake up and toss and turn which meant, flop on my lap like a fish out of water and he'd cry while he'd try to get comfortable again.  I felt so bad for him knowing he wasn't rested.

Third lesson and one I should have thought of, was to pack toys.  In fact...I wish I would have dedicated one full bag to just toys.  We stayed at a rental house and it was awesome, but it wasn't child proof which means with no toys around, Landry was interested in plug outlets and drawers in the kitchen full of sharp utensils or cleaners and what not.  We constantly had to be on our toes...which on vacation, isn't something you really want to have to do.  He was bored, so I don't blame him for wanting to explore his new surroundings, but when those surroundings put him in harms way, he would be picked up and put into our lap or redirected to the television or we'd take him outside, which by the way was WAY TOO HOT.  Florida was having a heat wave while we were there and to be honest it was unbearable at times.

Fourth lesson was to travel with others.  I truly feel that our vacation would have been so much more enjoyable with others with us.  I loved spending time with my little family of three.  But we never got a break, and Landry never got a break from us.  We couldn't do things like go watch the sunset because Landry goes to bed around 7:00-7:30PM and the sunset was almost and hour later than that.  It would have been nice if we had others with us that we could take turns doing things with.  Like one night the girls go out, the next the guys, and then we could do couple nights or all stay in together and play card games or something once the kids were in bed.  I am so thankful that we were introduced to a lovely couple while we were there and was able to hang out with them as much as possible during the daytime.
Last few lessons, but this will be different for everyone.  Out of all the crap I packed for Landry to use a distraction on the plane (portable dvd player, sticker book, regular books, candy, snacks, ipad, etc) his favorite thing to do and it kept him so content was watching videos of himself that I had taken on my iphone. He LOVES watching himself!  Just a trick I learned the along the way, your kiddo might enjoy that too.  He seemed fascinated with it.  With that being said, I thought candy would be a huge hit.  In fact everyone recommended lollipops to help with the ear pain they might experience while changing altitudes.  However, unless your kid is in a carseat and they can't reach other things/people around them, lollipops with a 1 year old is a huge sticky icky mess.  I don't recommend it.  Landry did enjoy the gummibears we packed and I think that those were a lot less of a mess than the ring pops.  And if your kid is still taking a bottle, have one on hand at all times, even if you don't think they'll need one.  Especially for the flight.  The swallowing motion helped with any ear pain if he was experiencing anyway and I think it's what soothed him to sleep.  Don't forget any teddy bears or blankies they might sleep with too, without those, it wouldn't have been as easy to make him feel comfortable in his new sleeping arrangement at the rental house.  Last but not least, even if you don't like giving your kid tylonel or anything, just bring it.  When they aren't able to voice if their ears hurt, and they are screaming, chances are they are in pain.  With out the tylonel I think his meltdown would have lasted a lot longer.

I hope you found this helpful and realize it's not the same for every family/child and that I just wanted to share what helped and didn't work for us.  Hope your upcoming travel plans with your little one is relaxing and fun!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How to make Roller Bottles with Essential Oils

In my opinion, the most convenient way to apply essential oils is in a roller bottle.  Most oils do not come in roller bottles.  They come in 5mL or 15mL glass bottles with stoppers so that they pour out one drop at a time.   However, if you want to dilute or mix a few different oils together to create a unique and customized blend, then roller bottles are the way to go.  Here are some helpful steps to create your very own roller bottle.

1.  Make sure the roller bottles are glass.  The oils are in their most potent form and will eat away at plastic containers.  Tinted glass gives your more protection from sunlight, but it's not necessary if you plan on keeping your roller bottles out of direct light.

2.  Order quality glass roller bottles.  I order my glass roller bottles from Amazon.  Type in "glass roller bottles" and you will find an array of them to choose from.  They come in different sizes.  I opt for the 5mL but I know many people that prefer the 10mL size.

3.  Choose a quality carrier oil.  A carrier oil is an oil used to dilute the essential oils.  I also order my carrier oil from Amazon.  I choose organic fractionated coconut oil.  However, there are many different options and I encourage you to research one that would work best for you based on your needs.  Just to name a few there is Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil, Sesame Oil, and Olive Oil.  They all have different beneficial properties.  Here is a great article for more information about which oils are better for certain skin types.

4.  Find a recipe that you are interested in making.  For example, a common roller bottle that I sell is the "Anti-Allergy Blend".  The recipe calls for 10 drops Lavender, 10 drops Lemon, 10 drops peppermint, and then top off with carrier oil (this is for the 5mL size, you would want to double that if making a 10mL size).  You can google these types of recipes, or check out Pinterest for some unique and creative blends that people have tried.

5.  Label your blend once you're finished so you know what's in it. 

**Based on my experience, it's super helpful to have a teeny tiny little funnel to use to pour the carrier oil into the glass roller bottle.  I bought one at my local craft store for less than $0.50. 

I hope you found this helpful!
Enjoy coming up with unique and customized blends.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Influenster Bella VoxBox | Not Your Mother's Déjà Vu'Do Style Extender

     Influenster sent me a product called "Not Your Mother's Déjà Vu'Do Style Extender.  It is a lightweight cream that is said to ward off any bed hair and keep your hair clean until the next wash.  It blocks humidity and repels dirt and oil all the while adding body and flexible hold.  It's made with conditioners for long lasting frizz control and improved shine.  Basically, it's a primer for your hair, the way you would use a primer before applying your make-up.  I love the concept of this because as a mom of a one year old, I rarely wash my hair (because of having to blow dry and style it afterwards).  I'm not kidding, I usually go 3 days between washing my hair if not longer. 

     This was the last product in the Influenster Bella VoxBox that I tried out and I wanted to make sure I really gave it a true test in terms of how long I could go without using my beloved dry shampoo. 
     First of all, this product smells so good, it's actually infused with red apples and berries and smells light and fruity.  It's not over powering, but if you don't like fruity scents, you probably won't like the smell of this cream.  When they say it's light weight, it definitely is.  It doesn't weigh your hair down at all.  I followed the instructions and used a nickel size amount and applied it from my roots to ends while my hair was damp, and concentrated mostly on my roots since that is where my hair gets the greasiest after a few days of not washing.  And then I combed through my hair with a wide tooth comb to distribute the product evenly.

    As far as it warding off bed head, ha!  Good try.  I toss and turn A LOT when I "sleep", my hair is crazy in the morning.  Like for real, CRAZY.  It didn't really ward off bed head.  It did however hold true to most of it's other promises.  It definitely has repelled dirt and oil while adding body and a flexible hold.  And I also have to say it controlled frizz, though I don't really have "frizzy" hair to begin with.  Not sure how it hold up for you super curly girls.  But I did not notice my hair to be any more or less shiny than if I hadn't used this product. 

     I don't have long hair by any means, it's shoulder length, and I don't have super thick hair but it's also not super thin.  I don't think nickel size is enough product for my hair to get the desired outcome.  I noticed that if I used more, the product worked better.  However, after day two, I still reached for my dry shampoo.  I didn't need nearly as much dry shampoo as I usually use, but still, I reached for it. 

     Overall, I really like the concept of this product, I love the scent, and I will continue to use it.  However, I won't be giving up my dry shampoo any time soon. I think that it's a great product to try out for the upcoming summer season when our heads are more likely to get sweaty from being outside in the sun.  If you're a busy person like me, I think that the product is worth a try, but combined with a dry shampoo, I bet I could go about 4 days without washing my locks.  That's pretty good!

     If I were to rate this product on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best style extender ever in the history of everdom, I would give it a 6.  Will I repurchase? Maybe, though I'm more inclined to want to try out more of this brands product line.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Daycare Guilt or any kind of Mom-Guilt...read this.

The guilt a parent feels, though it probably doesn't have an expiration date, it might feel heavier or lighter some days.  Something I struggle with a lot lately is daycare guilt.  It's a thing, trust me.  Sometimes (today) I feel like, I'm in a complete cloud of it and it's fogging up my ability to see things clearly.  All kinds of shit starts racing through my head...the main thought being, am I doing the right thing?  Should I be working full time and providing Landry with a stable future financially, but consequently be away from him 40 hours a week during the most influential times of his life?  Or should I give up my career, live strapped for cash, but be home with him 24/7?

Look, I hate money, okay...like hate it.  It means NOTHING to me, but unfortunately you need some to get by in the world.  And apparently, the more you have, the easier it is to do a lot of things that will benefit you in life, like go to college...education is huge to me, especially this day and age.  And I can't tell you how important it is to me that Landry (and future children of mine) get to experience college, if they want to.  It was one of the best experiences of my life, it helped shape and mold me, and I learned so much there, not just from the classes and professors, but true life lessons that are still important in the present time.  So, I don't want to look back and re-read this blog post and think, wow, it really sounds like I have chosen having money over spending time with Landry, because that just ain't it.

I don't work for myself...I work so that we can take Landry on vacations where we can create memories as a family that will last longer than a lifetime.  I work so that Landry's future is as stable as it can be given what we have.  I work for him, not for anything or anyone else.  So I can provide my very best for him.  I bet you reading this is thinking, "I get it, you don't have to explain why you have to work"...but for me, sometimes I need to talk (pray) about things, and/or write about things to make things clear in my vision again.

If I had more stability for his future financially with just one of us working in our home, I'd gladly give up my career to be a stay-at-home-mom.  Not because they have it easier, not because they don't really work, cuz that's bullshit, they do just as much if not more work in a span of 8 hours than I do coming into an office-type setting, but because they don't miss their children on a daily basis.  They don't have to say goodbye every morning.  They don't have to entrust someone else to give their best care to their children.  They don't have to worry about what germy kids will be playing with their kid every, single, day.  It's hard...and don't get me started on missing milestones, whew, I just can't mentally handle that right now.  But do you see where the guilt comes from? 

So, when I'm feeling this way...which is guilty, ashamed, anxious...I turn to the One that can rid me of these terrible feelings.  Whether it's quotes taken from scripture and rewritten on pretty backgrounds, floating around on Pinterest, or it's actually grabbing the bible and hunting down the scripture that I know will help you cope with the feelings I am experiencing.  I do both, except, I have a bible app on my phone that I use instead.  Oh and I cry, sometimes even weep, and I just let myself feel those things because God is close to the broken hearted. 

If you're ever feeling this way, maybe these will help you liked they help comfort me:

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Isaiah 44:22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you
Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power, love, and self-control
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Psalm 94:19 When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 3:5 I lay down and slept; and woke again, for the Lord sustained me.

That last one I hold dear to my heart for sure, because anytime I lie awake letting guilt, anxiety, fear, or worry overcome me, I remember that the Lord always wakes me feeling lighter.  He takes it all away and I can start the day completely free of the burdened I carried the day before.  So just stop wasting time, confess your sins, and cast your cares to God, there is nothing bigger than Him.  I am just so thankful for His unconditional, unfailing love.  

Influenster Bella VoxBox | ecotools 1219 Mattifying Brush

Influenster sent me a gem...a complete gem.  I LOVE this brush.  It's the 1219 Mattifying Finish face brush by ecotools.  The brush is so beautiful guys...like for real, look at how cute this thing is.

It's so soft and it applied my pressed powder beautifully.  I love so many things about this brush. One is that it's made with soft, cruelty-free bristles, recycled aluminum ferrules (the part that holds the bristles to the brush handle), and bamboo handles.  I just can't get over the colorful and patterned ferrule, love!  It's packaging is also reusable and made with natural materials. 

The shape of the brush unique, it is not a dense robust brush, it's a flat brush and it works to contour or highlight as well as brushing loose or pressed powder all over your face.  I like that it's versatile in that manner and that you can decide what you want to use it for, it's nice to have options. 

So the thing that is a deal breaker for me with brushes is shedding.  If I'm applying make up, it's at mach speed, before running out of the house, and I don't have time to stop and pick make up bristles off my face.  This brush does not shed.  Even after washing (though be careful to wash your brushes correctly or you could compromise the life of the brush), it didn't shed.  LOVE THAT.  I can definitely see myself reaching for this brush, and in fact, I'm going to stalk the stores to see what other brushes they offer. 

If I were to rate this brush on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best brush ever in the history of everdom, I'm going to give it a 9...I would give it a 10 but I'm so loyal to my Sigma E25 blending brush and I think it will always be my favey.  But, with that being said, this brush is amazeballs and I highly recommend it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Influenster Bella VoxBox | Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs

Influenster has also graciously let me try what I consider to me my new FAVORITE product.  I am so excited to tell you guys about this one.  But before I do, I have to let you in on a little secret.  I hate sounding so insecure about my body, because truth be told, I have a great body!  It also housed a HUGE healthy baby...for real guys, I had almost 9lb baby!!!  Anyway, I'm a little thinner than I would hope to be, but my body is healthy and strong and I am proud of that.  However, I'm insecure about my legs.  For one, they are toothpicks.  But who really cares, I can deal with that. What I can't stand is that they are glow-in-the-dark white.  My legs (because of my career) never see the light of day.  I'm always wearing work pants, and on the rare occasion that I wear a skirt or dress I am very self conscious of how pale my skin is, and how you can see the pores on my legs, especially right after I shave.  In attempt to cover the pores, I use self-tanner.  You know what happens after you use self-tanner after you shave?  You fill your little pores with self-tanner and it looks even worse because now there are dark little spots all over your legs.  Ugh, how annoying.  Well, I think that I just found my summer must-have product and I see a lot more dresses/skirts in my future.

Influenster sent me Sally Hansen's Airbrush Legs "Leg Make Up" in the shade "Medium" to test out, and seriously I'm SO glad they did.  As soon as I saw it was like, "Whoa, wait, I though this only came in an aerosol can."  I've seen it at my local drugstore in the aerosol, but I have not seen it liquid form before.  The directions state to squeeze a quarter size of the product into your hand and smooth on evenly to your legs and feet, to rub it in completely and use sparingly around knees and ankles.  Allow to set before dressing.  And it washes of easily with soap, water, and a wash cloth. 

I was a bit nervous that it was in the shade "Medium", as I stated previously, I have white legs, whiter than white.  I thought medium might be too dark, but to be honest, I think it's perfect.  It gave my legs some color.  It also pretty much covered up those unsightly pores.  They are still visable, but because of the even tone it created, they are definitely less noticeable. I  seriously don't think I have anything negative to say about this product, except for one, and I'm not 100% sure about this.  And I'll get to that one after I'm done raving about it first. 

Like I said, it added a bit of color to my legs, and they don't look orange or streaky.  Huge plus.  It also washes off at the end of the day (which can be a good or bad thing depending on where you are going).  You obviously wouldn't be able to wear this swimming and expect it to stay on, even though it does claim it's water resistant.  I believe that it would wear off after swimming though I haven't tried it because it's 37F here...at the end of April.  <---Not kidding, wtf Mother Nature.  It also rubbed in easily so there were no streaks.  It has a pleasant scent, it's not perfumey at all, or have a nasty tanner smell, just a fresh scent.  There are no sparkles or anything, so if I can compare it to anything, it's like foundation for your legs.  Which is a pretty neat concept.  We use foundation on our faces to hide flaws, redness, etc, why not use it on your legs to hide the same? 

Okay so the only thing I have an issue with is that I find contradicting information on the internet as to weather Sally Hansen products, this product in particular is tested on animals.  I've found sites that say they absolutely do not, and the next site I find says that they do.  It does not say anything on the packaging that they do not test animals, which a lot of the times, means that they do.  I do not support products that are tested on animals, so if this one is, I will be so highly disappointed as I do happen to really love this product.    So if anyone reading this has factual information whether or not this product is tested on animals, please let me know.

If I were to rate this product on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best leg make up ever in the history of everdom, I would rate it a 10.  I'm really excited to continue to use this product for summer for flawless looking legs.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Influenster Bella VoxBox | Rimmel London Scandaleyes Mascara by Kate Moss

     I'm just going to get this out in the open and admit it.  I, Kyle Lara, am a mascara hoarder.  I have over 10 (I didn't count but I know it's over 10) mascaras in my make up drawer and 2 in my purse.  I just have yet to find the perfect, holy grail, mascara that I have been yearning for.  So anytime I get a chance to sample a new mascara, I'm beyond grateful because it means I'm one step closer to finding my holy grail mascara or that I'm able to decide that this one is as stupid as the others I've tried and can be given away or tossed.

     Influenester sent me Kate Moss's new mascara called, "Scandaleyes Mascara by Kate Moss" by Rimmel London in the shade 004 Eye Rock Jet Black.  Off the bat, the packaging is nice.  It's gun metal gray with red print that gives it a sharp look, again, I'm loving Kate's signature with the heart...cute/girly touch.  Another thing that I noticed right of the bat was how light in weight the product felt in my hands.  Now, not that a tube of mascara should ever feel heavy, but this just felt extremely light in comparison to the other 3 million mascaras I have.

     The most unique feature of this mascara is the brush.  It's called a "Broken Heart Brush" and it's shaped like 1/2 a heart, and as it tapers to the end, the brush gets smaller in width.  I have never used a brush like this before and was intrigued by it's shape.  It's also quite a large brush, so if you like tiny brushes, this is not the mascara for you.  If you like big brushes, you might want to give this one a try.

     The formula of the mascara is pretty perfect in terms of dryness/wetness.  I can't stand putting on a mascara that is so wet that it gets everywhere or so that dry that it feels like I'm pulling at my lashes just to get a coat on them.  I went on nicely, however, I can't say much for it adding length to my lashes.  I feel that at most, it added the darkness I had hoped for (I have pretty light lashes) and some fullness.  I wasn't blown away with the mascara, like "HOLY MOLY LOOK AT THESE BAD BOYS", but it did emphasize the fact that I do have some lashes. 

     What I do really like about the mascara, and this is a huge thing for me, is that it doesn't transfer or flake.  That's the biggest deal breaker for me when it comes to mascaras.  I can not deal with mascaras that leave me with black freckles all over my cheeks or raccoon eyes.  What I also don't like about some mascaras is that they leave my lashes feeling stiff.  This mascara left my lashes feeling flexible and soft.  It also doesn't clump, which I can't stand either.  I don't want to walk around with black balls of goop on the ends of my lashes, ya heard?

  Below, you will see photos of my before and after.  Over all, I'm impressed with the formula.  I don't think I will repurchase the mascara in the future since I'm still searching for the mascara that I can't live without.  Though, I will be reaching for this mascara as it's still worth using because of the fact that I won't have to worry about smudges or flakes. 

  If I were to rate this mascara from 1 to 10, 10 being the best mascara ever in history of everdom, I'm going to give it a solid 7 out of 10.  If it added more length, I think the number would be a bit higher.  With that being said, I still like it, a lot. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Influenester Bella VoxBox | Dove Chocolate Covered Whole Blueberries

     I bet your wondering why I didn't grab this product to try first...cuz, duh, CHOCOLATE!  But hey, it was 6:00 AM when I opened my Bella VoxBox and I just didn't think it was a good choice for a breakfast food.  With that being said, I may have opened this bag of deliciousness before nine o'clock in the morning.  I'll never tell.

     Thank you Influenster for including this treat in April's Bella VoxBox.  What can I say, it's chocolate covered blueberries...what's there not to like?  I can honestly say that I did enjoy these.  However, I do want to compare them to the Brookside brand that has a similar product. 

      FYI - My most favorite brand of chocolate is Dove, hands down.  If ever I want a sweet treat, and I happen to meander down the candy aisle at the market, I will grab a bag of the silky smooth Dove Milk Chocolate and Caramel Promises.   I was really excited to try these chocolate covered blueberries by Dove because of how much I do enjoy their chocolate. However, if I'm being honest, the Brookside Açai with Blueberry dark chocolates are better.  There are two reasons I think that they are better.  One reason is the texture. With the Dove, you are getting exactly what it says, a chocolate covered blueberry.  And it's yummy!  There is no doubt about that. But with the Brookside you are getting more of a Açai/blueberry flavored gel ball covered in chocolate.  I don't know if that makes any sense, but you just have to see for yourself what I mean. And I actually prefer the texture of the gel-like berry flavored thingy in the Brookside chocolate over the texture of Dove's chocolate covered blueberry.  But before you write me off as a total weirdo, I have one other qualm with the Dove chocolate covered blueberries.  The blueberry flavor in the Dove chocolate was a bit muffled, it's VERY chocolaty and I have a hard time even tasting the blueberry unless I suck off all the chocolate and then chew the actual blueberry separately.  With the Brookside brand, I feel the fruit flavor is very detectable and makes the chocolate taste even better.

     Either way, it's chocolate covered fruit and I'm thankful for getting the opportunity to try these.  They were good, but I've had better. 

     On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best chocolate treat ever in the history of everdom, I give Dove's Chocolate Covered Blueberries a 5 out 10. 

Influenster Bella VoxBox | Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick

Hey guys!  Influenster was so kind to send me their April Bella VoxBox to review and I'm honored to get the opportunity to test out the products that they sent.  First off, can I just say that I'm a product junkie and more often than not I'm suckered into buying something because I heard someone (usually on YouTube) talking about it, then I bought it and it totally wasn't what I thought it was going to be.  So I PROMISE...I pinky swear, that I will give you my complete honest opinion of everything that I test out. 

     The first product that I grabbed from the box was the Rimmel London lipstick by Kate Moss.  The shade is number 33.  The plastic black packaging is sleek and  I love the little detail of Kate's signature on the cap (*weird fact* I feel connected with anyone that signs with a heart in their signature because I do the same).  My favorite part about the packaging (minus the cute heart) is that the cap clicks closed.  I know this isn't a big a deal to some people, but for me, I personally carry lipstick in my purse for the most part.  I have tried a few lipsticks that didn't have a tight closure and I ended up getting lipstick everywhere and that does not tickle my fancy.

     This is my very first Rimmel lipstick ever.  I was interested in seeing what the color pay off would be like, how it wore through out the day, and what the formulation would be like.  We will start with the color.  In my opinion it's a bright bubble-gum pink. It's not completely matte, it's less than what I would consider a satin finish, though it has a soft and subtle sheen.  It's definitely a color I would use more in the spring and summer due to it's brightness and cheery tone.  It's not opaque on it's first swipe, I did go over my lips 3x to get the color pay off that I thought looked best.  I think the color pay off with this lipstick is very good.

The first picture is swatched without a flash, the second is with a flash. 

     When I first applied the lipstick I noticed a lovely scent.  It has a subtle strawberry scent to it.  For some reason, it conjures up my memories of when I was very young and had a dolly who had a similar scent.  I can't lie, I loved that.  I can't lie about this either, I wasn't really expecting to like the formulation of the lipstick.  I associated Rimmel products to be lower-end drugstore product and have never heard anything extraordinary about them.  I am honestly very pleasantly surprised with the formulation of this lipstick.  I thought it would be chalky or drying. The lipstick feels great on my lips.  It doesn't feel sticky on my lips, and it doesn't go on thick and goopy.  I am not having to grab a napkin to blot the excess off.  It's a no-fuss product and I love that.  I did have to go over my lips more than once to get the color pay off I thought looked best, but I think that if I were going for a very natural look, that one swipe would give you just enough tint to brighten you up.

    I should mention to y'all that I have the driest lips EVER.  Ugh, it's a real issue when applying lipsticks that the lipstick doesn't accentuate the dry skin flakes on my lips.  I'm happy to say that this lipstick did not stick to my flakey disgusting dry patches (I'm painting such a pretty picture of myself aren't I?).  It glided right over them, and in fact, kinda camouflaged them so that they weren't that noticeable. Major PLUS.

     I applied the lipstick at 6:30AM.  Since then I have drank coffee, water, ate breakfast, and drank more water.  I didn't have to reapply the lipstick until after I ate lunch when I noticed that most of it has worn off.  I would say that I got good five hours out of that first application, which to me, is also pretty impressive.   

     On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best lipstick I ever used in the history of everdom, I'm giving this Rimmel London Lipstick a 7 out of 10.  I'm very impressed with it over all and I already see myself checking out the other shades next time I hit up the drugstore. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Anxiety and how I deal...

     Anxiety is something I've dealt with most of my adult life.  Sometimes I wonder if I experienced it as a child and just didn't recognize it until I was older.  The way I explain my anxiety is that I feel it creep over me like a dark cloud.  It feels like happiness and calmness is no longer a natural feeling, I feel like they slip away from my grasp.  And I can feel the anxiety building up slowly, stronger and stronger until I either cry (which usually happens first) or I have a full blown panic attack.  I haven't had an attack in a very long time (4 or 5 years ago). 
     Back ground of my anxiety and where it really stems from:
      When I was in college I had come home for the weekend because my dog passed away.  I was so sad, he was a family member, but we are the type of family that NEEDS a dog in the home, it doesn't feel like a home without a 4-Legged Family Member.  So I wanted to be there when my family said good bye to our beloved Sparkey and be there when we welcomed a new dog into the family.  While I was home, my best friend that grew up with me had a horrible, tragic freak accident and died.  The fact that I was home when this happened was a blessing.  I can't imagine what it would have been like to get news like that being away at college and having to make a 2 1/2 hour drive home.  My world was rocked, and twelve years later, hear I am, and I have not been the same since.  Fast forward two years after the death of my friend, I met someone.  I fell in love.  HARD.  I was definitely head over heels for this guy and though were not together very long, I was hoping he was the one that I'd spend the rest of my life with.  We dated for 8 or 9 months when our relationship came to a very abrupt end (on his part).  It was just one day, over.  He stopped returning my calls/texts.  Retrospect, it's because I found out that he was with another girl practically the entire time that we were together.  And in fact, his new girlfriend picked up his phone once and told me to stop calling, that her boyfriend thought of me as a joke and that I was a lost little puppy.  Even typing  those words out still hurt my feelings...girls can be awful and mean creatures.  Okay, so can you imagine my state of mind?  I was devastated.  Beyond devastated.  I would wake up in the morning and cry while I showered, cried while I tried to apply make up, cried while I tried to chew some cheerios.  I'd cry on my way into work and then I'd reapply my make up and put on a fake smile for eight excruciating hours.  The minute I'd get in my car to go home I'd break, and start crying again, harder, hot tears burning my cheeks.  When I'd get home, I would run past my parents or siblings so I wouldn't have to face them and go into my bedroom, close the door, and cry until I fell asleep.  I felt broken and I didn't think the pieces of my heart would ever find their way back together again.  Mom's know when something is wrong. Mom's know okay? So she busted in my room and sat down on my bed and begged me to tell her what I was going through.  And when I told her she said she wanted me to see a counselor/psycholgist.  I was apprehensive, I thought that made me seem "crazy", but at this point, I knew I wasn't okay. 
     I met with a psychiatrist, and within an hour of us talking about my past he suggested that I might be dealing with separation anxiety from my best friends death and that the feelings I experienced with his death were reoccurring with the break up I had just gone through.  I was put on a low dose of Lexapro.  I felt "better" within a few weeks and my life started to not feel so empty anymore.  I started to feel more like myself.  I found myself reaching out to friends again and going out with them.  I was more social at work and didn't find it exhausting to strike up conversations with people.   Overall, being happy didn't feel so far away, I was smiling, genuinely smiling again.  I was eventually able to wean off of any medication and I've been medication free for the past four years.
     A couple of months had gone by and I met Cris, my husband.  Cris and I met at my place of employment, by the fax machine actually.  I still laugh over how we met.  It wasn't romantic or anything, it was just God's timing and I love that.  Cris's outlook on life, energy, sense of humor, and personality was magnetic.  He just pulled me in and we fell in love.  Almost three years later, we were married and spent everyday since then supporting each other, even through the hardest of times.
     Okay so back to today, present time.  Cris was laid off from his job at the end of January this year and has spent the last few weeks with Landry at home.  "Daddy day-care" if you will.  And it's been amazing.  I would come home from lunch, and there, both my boys would greet me with smiles, hugs, and kisses.  Cris was recently just hired at a new company, a great company, with a very good salary.  We have been blessed and our prayers have been answered.  But this meant that Landry was going to go back to daycare.   I was sad, sad for Landry, sad for Cris that he didn't get to spend his days with Landry anymore, and sad for me, because I loved seeing Landry on my lunch break and he's been healthy the entire time he's been home.  I woke up yesterday morning feeling "the cloud" creep in.  This was our last full day with Landry before Cris started his job today.  Well, I woke up not wanting to go to church, in fact, I just wanted to stay home and cry, and as loser-ish as that sounds, that is what I felt like doing.  I was called by God to go to church to hear the message and so I did, and it was meant for me to hear. 
     The message was all about letting go of fears and anxieties and giving them to God.  The pastor was preaching to me.  I was engulfed by God's love for me and I left church feeling so free, so comforted by His peace, and over all, confident in the Lord that my problems, worries, fears, and anxieties are not bigger than Him, and that God is in control of it all.  I'm so thankful for His love for me and so thankful for the peace He lays upon our hearts when we need it most. 
     If this blog post is anything, please let it me a reminder that no matter what we are facing today, tomorrow, or in the future, that God is with us, right there with us going through it and that He will never leave our side.  He will provide whatever it is that we need to make it through. 

To deal with my anxiety on a real level, in the moment this is what I do step by step.

1.  Recognize what I'm feeling and voice it out loud to either yourself or a "safe" person that will listen and not judge.  Example) I'm feeling scared and sad that Landry going back to daycare might make him sad or scared because he is away from Mommy and Daddy.

2.  Rationalize what is the absolute WORST case scenario:  Example) Will Landry die if he's scared or sad?  Absolutely not. 

3.  Think about what good will come out of the situation:  Example) Landry will actively be learning through out the day, making friends, becoming more social and independent.

4.  Pray.  Pray.  Pray.  I do not think that there is anything more calming then when I am in prayer.  I am actively giving my worries and anxieties over to God and trusting in Him that he will carry us through.  Example) God, I thank you for always being with Landry every second of his life.  I pray that you keep him healthy, safe, and in good and trusted hands of the daycare staff.  I pray that your provide Cris and I with peace that only You can. 

I hope you found this helpful.  This is just what I do to cope in a healthy way.  Everyone of us is different I hope that you have a healthy coping mechanism for when anxiety creeps in. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Happy Easter!

I seriously think Easter is probably one of my favorite holidays.  I think my list goes, Easter, Fourth of July, Christmas, St. Patrick's Day?  Yeah that sounds good.  I LOVE Easter and everything it stands for.  I love that it "usually" is warmer out, and you can breathe in fresh spring air.  I love that almost everywhere you look there are fresh flowers (tulips) displayed.  I love that people post cute/funny pictures of their families with the Easter Bunny.  I love getting a small basket full of goodies together for Landry.  And I love love love going to church on Easter Sunday.

Easter wasn't always this special to me.  Don't get me wrong, as a kid, I LOVED it.  I loved dying and finding Easter eggs hidden throughout the yard, and getting a basket full of goodies, and I loved the food we all ate for Easter dinner (usually ham, YUM!).  But as of recently, two years ago actually, is when I accepted God into my life and became a "reborn Christian" and this time of year will always be incredibly special for me.  I'm about to get real in this blog post, about myself, and who I was before this phenomenal day.  And being honest with you, I don't really like to talk about who I was before I knew Christ because I didn't really like myself then.  However, to fully understand the goodness of God and how He works miracles, it's good to start from the beginning. 

Two years ago, I was in a bad place (mentally and emotionally).  I was in year three of trying to have a baby.  My first IVF had JUST failed, like just a few weeks prior to this moment.  I was fragile, discouraged, heartbroken, depressed, scared, anxious, and incredibly jealous of other couples that could conceive so easily.  So when my sister-in-law who was married just six months earlier told her family on Easter that she was pregnant, I was selfishly devastated.  I came home from spending all day with my family, plopped down on the couch, where my husband proceeded to tell me that his sister let the family know that she's pregnant.  She knew I was struggling with conceiving so thought it would be better not to "surprise" me with the news and let Cris tell me privately.  Which in retrospect, was so kind and thoughtful of her.  However, in the moment of finding out, I only thought of myself and my situation.  Simultaneously, on the television, and basketball player broke his leg so severely that his bone popped out of his flesh.  It made my stomach turn (*side note, I broke my arm very severely in the 10th grade and my bone came through the skin as well and ever since then I can NOT watch anything like that).  So I ran up to my bedroom and threw myself on my bed and sobbed.  I wept.  Uncontrollably. 

In that moment I never felt so abandoned by God before.  I couldn't understand how he could bless everyone around me with a child and not me.  I felt unworthy, unloved.  It was then I truly thought about what would make me happy if I wasn't going to have kids, what would it take for me to be to okay with life.  So I prayed through my tears, "God, if you won't bless me with a child, then please allow to me to be genuinely happy when other people tell me they are pregnant.  I can't fake it anymore and live with this hate in my heart."  After that prayer, I felt the tears starting to slow down and I felt like I could breathe easier, that the elephant sitting on my chest disappeared.  But overall, I felt drained and so I went to bed that night not knowing what the future held and trying to be okay with that.

The next morning, on my way into work, I was driving near the airport and the sun spilled into my window so intensely that it instantly warmed my bones.  In that moment, on that road, is when I felt God.  My heart didn't feel like it weighed 500lbs anymore.  I felt lighter, less depressed, less scared about my future.  I felt that I had to text my SIL and congratulate her, genuinely.  And so my hand moved across my phone keyboard without me even thinking about what I was going to say.  I just typed out, "Congratulations, I'm happy for you and I'm really excited about becoming an aunt again." Little did I know how close her and I would become in the following months. 

Four months later, I was pregnant.

I can tell you, that it is not an easy journey becoming a reborn Christian.  Once I felt God that day, I became almost obsessive about learning more about His word, and what it's truly like to follow after Jesus.  I submerged myself in daily devotionals and reading the bible.  I prayed prayers of thanks, for things I never once said thank you for before.  I found myself praying for EVERYONE (I'm not kidding, I would drive pass someone on the street and pray for them as I drove by).  It's like once I became aware of how close God is to us, I felt like I needed to pray every minute of everyday because obviously prayer works.  Since then I've become a little more well-versed in the relationship I have with God and I think we have an understanding that as long as I have a thankful heart and I can see my blessings, help others in my community, and share His love with others, that I'm on the right path.  I don't need to drown myself in the bible to the point that it's overwhelming.   Learning more about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit is supposed to be enlightening, enjoyable, and fun, not overwhelming.  So I take things one day at a time.  I attend church every Sunday, not because it's the right thing to do, but because I want to.  Because church makes me feel closer to the unconditional love that is God, and it's probably the most amazing feeling there is, to feel close to Him.  I feel fulfilled by His love. 

I literally thank God every day for my life now, for blessing me with my family, my friends, my home, my pets, my job/boss/coworkers, food, etc.  And I see things so clearly now.  A friend once told me, "If anything tragic ever happened to my husband and kids I would question my faith in God." It broke my heart but my response was, "If anything tragic ever happened to my husband and son, I would CLING to God."  And my response surprised her and she said that my outlook is so positive.  And yes, I do think I have a positive attitude, but I have a positive attitude because I have faith in God. 

Each person you know, everyone around you, everyone on your facebook feed, EVERYONE has a history, a story of where they are came from and what their journey is.  Each person has a choice to either believe or not believe.  I pray that everyone I know and love chooses to believe.  We are given free will so that our choice is our responsibility and that we can take pride in choosing to be believers. We can take responsibility in our lifestyles with our choices.  We can have hope in the midst of tragedy. We can attribute that everything in our life is for a divine reason and that one day we will be with our Lord and Savior...because He Is Risen.  Thanks be to God.

Happy Easter everyone.  Thank you for taking the time out to read about my personal testimony.  I love you all so much, you all are a part of my life, no matter how big or small a part you play.  I appreciate your kindness and support. 

Landry is ONE!

We celebrated Landry's birthday on his actual birthday March 28th.  I can't believe he is one year old.  I know every parent says that about their child on every single birthday they have, but it's true.  I think it's a bit sad how fast a year a goes, but at the same time, completely amazing!  To see an infant that is completely helpless go from a sleeping/pooping/eating machine to an independent explorer is incredible.  Watching a baby turn into a little person that has so much personality is such a gift.  It's truly indescribable how much joy Landry has brought into our lives.  I walk into my house after work to see Landry in his highchair finishing up dinner and the smile that appears on his face when he sees his mommy is the highlight of my life.  We just love each other so much it sometimes feels like my heart could explode. 

Landry had a "camping" themed birthday this year.  Complete with a tent, a fishing game, and a "Make your own Trail Mix" take home bar.  I really think everyone enjoyed themselves.  It was just family, very small, quaint, laid-back type of party.  And until Landry has "friends" of his own from school and what not, I think that his parties will continue to be this way.  He was able to spend quality time with family that he doesn't see very often because we are all so spread out. 

Here are a few pictures from the very special day that we are so blessed to celebrate.