But First…Coffee

 

It has been ages since I’ve posted on here and so much has happened in that time.

We moved BACK across the country (with toddler in tow) to Texas last Spring. Work opportunities have blossomed tremendously since then, and even though this last week was enough to put me in a straight out frenzy, having the Regional Director know my name and recall that we have seen each other 3 times this week, makes it worth it.

My Little Man turned 2! We had the simplest Birthday Party known to mankind and I loved every second of it. Instead of a cake, I made a watermelon Shark! (his birthday was during Shark Week).

13445756_10209328300825501_4738838436424367521_n I’ve been enjoying every spare moment of summer with runs, pool time, and just getting outside. Its been in the 100’s this week, but we still try to get out there before or after the heat. I hope you all have been well, I can’t wait to start updating here more again!❤

Book Review – The Heart Lead Leader

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In his book, The Heart Lead Leader, Tommy Spaulding talks about the “18-inch journey from the head to the heart – from our intellect to our emotions – and shows us how to incorporate them into our careers, into how we manage and lead others, and into how we live our lives.” When you are someone who empathizes with others, it can be hard to see how to tie that into leadership without becoming too soft or getting pushed over. Often leaders hard head their way through things, instead of allowing those emotions to become part of how we drive others to greatness. If you are a leader who is empathetic or one who thinks emotions have no place in business at all, this book will help you learn to balance the two and become a more effective leader.

Holiday Gift Idea Guide 2015

It is the biggest shopping day of the year. If you are out and about today I hope that it is with friends and family and you are having fun (because that is what Holidays are about, not stressing and yelling to get something that is just… a thing) If you are anything like me you will be Celebrating Cyber Monday in your yoga pants with a warm cup of cocoa, followed by weeks of pouring over Pinterest and making as many gifts as possible.

 

Below I have complied a list of some small business, businesses that give back, made in the USA companies, and just plain old fun gift items. I hope it helps you find some creative and unique gifts that feed into the Holiday spirit of giving and less into the commercialism.🙂

 

 

10891860_1036928119670888_8865607233591300579_nIf you know a little dancer, Honey Bunny Crafts and Stitchery makes gorgeous tutus, hair pieces, and bags. Small business run by a SAHM.

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Jamberry nail wraps are made in the USA and free of the 5 most harmful chemicals in most nail wraps and polishes. They make great stocking stuffers and teacher gifts.

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31 Bits sell 100% recycled Bead products made by Ugandan women. They empower these women through earning an income enabling them to provide for their families. They care for them holistically through counseling, health education, finance training, and business mentorships. After five years in their program, the beneficiaries are ready to graduate. A graduated beneficiary has her own business and is educated, healthy, and confident. She is empowered.

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The Little Bamboo is a Florida based company specializing in all natural bamboo products. The Little Bamboo has a growing product line from Bamboo Utensils. My family loves their charcoal soap. 

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It Works has tons of great products for those in your life who want to improve their health or already lead a healthy lifestyle. Their Greens help balance your body and Alkalize your blood.

1546463_959593117431773_8682779872435900694_nTree Change Dolls are based out of Australia, but are so amazing to me. She takes old dolls and makes them something that the average kid can identify with. Great for the young girls on your shopping list.

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Do you have a Gamer or Nerd on your shopping list? Treno Nights makes gorgeous tiny clay charms of all types. Earrings, bracelets, key-chains, etc. She is a small business run out of her home in TX.

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Coffee lover in the family? Three Avocados takes their profits and provides clean drinking water and education for those in Uganda.

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Glasstic Water Bottles are great gifts for just about anyone. You can even customize them. I love mine because I know it won’t shatter when my toddler uses it, I can put essential oils in my water, and I waste less plastic cups at work.

 

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Trades of Hope is another Fashion line that helps empower women through your purchases, and they have super cute stuff🙂

 

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Inspirational Illustrations in Print or on Journals. She has new designs daily on her Facebook. Rose Hill Designs.

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Hand painted wooden signs created by a SAHM. Dezarea’s DeSigns.

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Tripp Tribe has Homemade body products created from simple, natural ingredients you can feel good about! Family Business. They are currently trying to raise enough money to bring their adopted sons home from Russia.

 

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Sassy Doe Soaps are wonderful soaps made from Goat’s milk, olive oil, and essential oils. It was the only thing I could use when pregnant on my face.

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Maple Syrup is one of my favorite Winter comfort foods. Tomapo Farms has Maple Candy as well. They will ship.

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What about the person on your list who has everything…and then some. How about the gift of Simplicity and Organization. Courtney Carver’s Project 333 has been a life saver for me. The Clutter Free Course is also an amazing book.

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Kids on your list? Or maybe that one person who LOVES purses? Abintra Designs has custom made handbags as well as Dino-sores (mini rice packs for hot or cold needs).

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If you have that Fashionista that is difficult to buy for, Chic Origins has vintage wear unique and affordable. Check out her small business on Etsy or Facebook.

 


Gifts That Keep Giving: 

  • Purchase them a class. Dance, Yoga, Zumba, Painting. Better, yet… sign yourself up too so you an spend time with them.
  • Museum passes, season tickets, State Park pass. Add a note saying that you will be joining them on one of their adventures to this place.
  • Donate to an Organization or Charity in their name.

 

Book Review – Instant Happy Journal

We all get busy, stressed, focused. Sometimes it can suck the life, energy, and happiness out of us. We don’t necessarily mean for it to, it just happens. Studies have shown that a positive attitude can improve performance and overall quality of life. So with all the stressors in life, I am excited to be doing the “Instant Happy Journal” by Karen  Salmansohen. 12106819_10207512750597880_6851931739064209330_n

Each page has a prompt, whether is be to reflect on the day, begin the day with a good intention or just a quote to get your brain on the right tract. 12109109_10207512751277897_1737405093135460480_n

I already see the improvement in my outlook of life. I realize that I need to give more positive feedback at work, instead of only commenting when they need correction. I am learning to see the good in my personal life as well, and appreciate it.
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For the next 365 days I look forward to becoming more grateful, aware, and happy! Join me on my journey of #365Happy on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review**

P333 Fall 2015 – Working Mom

As a working mom of a toddler living in a one bedroom city apartment, I don’t have room for clutter or time to try on 10 outfits before I rush out the door in the morning. That is one of the many reasons I am grateful for discovering Courtney Carver’s Project 333. (more information at her website) Minimalist living gets rid of STUFF and makes room and time for family in my life. (don’t get me wrong, I still love stuff. I am just learning what stuff is worth having and what takes away from the things that matter in my life)

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Today I am sorting through my closet and getting together my Fall 33 (It is more than 33, I use Courtney’s P333 as a guideline). I love Thrift Shops and Secondhand Stores. I have added 8 new items to my wardrobe this season for under $30. One of my favorites is this scarf I snagged for $4. It can change an outfit in a second and it is very versatile because of its colors. Copy of 12017641_525769387590740_4659812728136200054_o

I love accessories in a minimalist wardrobe. Today I was wearing some active wear around the house, when I decided to run to the library for Story Time. A scarf and some classic earrings… I was good to go (without looking too much like the mom that didn’t want to get off the couch). I’m not strict about how many accessories I have, but I do try to keep it at a reasonable level. If I haven’t worn something in the last 6-9 months…it has got to go! My worst clutter is jewelry. I wear the same 3 pairs of earrings…but I have sooo many. I’ll get there eventually. We all have room to grow.🙂

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As usual I begin by putting all of my clothes in one spot and start sorting. One pile for this season, one pile for storage (and under the bed storage bag), and one pile to be donated. Then I hang up all the clothes I want for this season and separate by type. Work, short sleeve, long sleeve, sweaters, pants, dress. Then I see if I have way too many of one type (do I really need 12 work shirts when there are only 5 work days in a week?) In the end I always feel better and more organized. It was so nice to see some of my favorite fall clothing and add it to the new items.

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A rule I stick to in every season, in with the new means old must go too! For every new deal I find while Thrift Shopping, I get rid of something that is torn, I never wear, doesn’t fit well, etc. Last month I gave over 3 trash bags of women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing to a local outreach.

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Another great way to change up your look is by doing your nails! I love Jamberry. They are durable, cute, and chemical free. A manicure takes about 15 min to apply, costs about $5, and lasts up to 2 weeks. Check them out! Jamberry.com (if you like what you see, don’t forget to tell them I sent you🙂

THESE HANDS

I love the look of awesome nails, I don’t love paying $40 for a manicure. (honestly I am horrible at doing my own nails) My friend Jacky sells Jamberry Nails. I had the opportunity to Host a Jamberry Party, so I thought, “Why not?” and gave it a whirl. I am in LOVE!

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Just for signing up as a Hostess, I received this amazing sample pack in the mail. 11227645_10206922047150663_8300555169075386803_n

I couldn’t wait a single moment, since Little Man was napping, I got right to work on my new manicure. It took me 30 min start to finish (I had to remove old chipped polish and put on a new coat and let dry). Application was pretty simple. I messed up a little on the first two nails, now I  know to press from bottom to top, and middle to sides. I also forgot to heat some of the wraps before applying.

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I am super happy at how it turned out. I began with only a half sheet, as you can see in the picture below there are still some wraps left. So my entire manicure was about $5!

I am having an online party July 19th-26th. You can order here: https://jarrow.jamberry.com/shop/?partyUid=30ca027c-edec-4864-afe8-77fa9eca995a

Or you can order from Jacky anytime at jarrow.jamberry.com

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Less for 24hrs later my dish washer called out and I ended up with my hands in soapy hot water for most of the day (on top of everything else I do at work). All day I kept thinking, “How are these going to hold up to everything I do with my hands?”. That led me to think about all the things these hands do!

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These hands:

  • Manage a Restaurant
  • Wash Dishes
  • Playing in the dirt
  • Comfort a teething baby at 2 am
  • Serve a customer having a rough day
  • Hold my Husband’s hand
  • Take my dog for a walk
  • Scrub the house
  • Pry open things
  • Feed my family

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Wow, I do a lot. These hands go through a lot. I feel good about treating myself and looking good. 20150718_183422

Book Review – Trim Healthy Mama Plan

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to be reviewing this book! “Trim Healthy Mama Plan” by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison is the easy-does-it approach to vibrant health and a slim waist line. Their motto, “Keep it simple, keep it sane”. Diets don’t work for me. Exercise plans and groups haven’t worked for me, but this Plan blows all that away and makes room for success!

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My friend Sarah has read and tired their previous book, “Trim Healthy Mama” and loves it! She said, “I’ve already lost 5 lbs… It’s really not that hard once you get going [and] it’s easy to do on a budget.”

Sarah is no a mother, but the great thing about this Plan is that it is for Women of all ages and stages of life.

If you have read their previous book, you will notice this one is much more concise and not so bulky.

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FOOD FREEDOM! They guarantee 0 pounds lost in the first month. Why? Because if you focus on food freedom instead of pounds, you will be so much more successful and less likely to loose your joy and become discouraged. It is also designed to be unique to YOU, that is why it WORKS! If you’re looking for a list of rules and lists, this isn’t for you. BUT, if you are like me and looking for real information on how to properly fuel your body for its specific needs to become healthier in a realistic way…read on!

First Chapter: Getting to Know You. They take the time to help you see where you are in the world of food and eating.

Second Chapter: The Basics. They break down “how this thing works”, and help you decide if you want to 1.) loose weight, or 2.) maintain your healthy weight, They explain the two primary fuel sources: Fat and Glucose, and how your body uses them.

Chapters 3-6: Explain how to build meals based on what your body needs. Satisfaction, energy, fuel pulls, etc.

Part Two of the book puts the plan into action and tackles snacking, drinks, sweets, fast food, and incorporating this into a family setting. It also dives into affordable superfoods, eating well on a budget.

Part Three is my favorite. Here is where they break it down for different “types” of mamas. I fall into a few of the categories (working, nursing, fast food Mama). It gives you a 7 day idea menu to get you jump started into the Plan as well as some great snack ideas. Recipe suggestions are from the new “Healthy Mama Cook Book” (which my MIL has!!!)

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Part Four ends the book on a great note, talking about exercise, attitude, hormones,skin care and balance.

If you are ready for a Plan that fits you, is affordable on a budget, family friendly, and explains the science behind why it works… Trim Healthy Mama Plan is for you!

www.trimhealthymama.com

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review**