It’s Summer… Almost!

Get ready fo summer. And summer bugs with Bug Guard.

It’s Summer… Almost! According to my calendar just 2 more weeks until Sunny days and beach trips.. Late nights and bonfires.. Boat time on the lake! Yep.. It’s almost Summer. 

Me and the boys are already enjoying some summer time. We been hanging at the park and preparing for some grass cutting (one of my favorite things!!). And looking forward to flip flop tans and swimsuits. 

We have lots to look forward to!! Something we normally don’t look forward to are bugs. Sand fleas and mosquitoes. Ticks. Although we don’t look forward to bugs we are always (& I mean ALWAYS) prepared for bugs. Lol

We, seriously, keep a bottle of Bug Guard in both trucks, as well as in the beach bag. 

The thing I love the most about Bug Guard is that it is DEET-free. Everybody loves bug repellants with deet… until they realize how harmful DEET is!

Now I’m on the “other side” of most of the warning labels these days. I like to keep my feet firmly on the ground. You can’t go anywhere or talk to anyone nowadays without hearing how bad EVERYTHING is for you. Seriously… everything is bad. Sugar is bad for you… but so is aspartame (fake sugar). Sunburn is bad for you.. but so is spray and lotion sunscreen. Again, everything is bad and it will drive you crazy trying to keep up with warnings!

Luckily, we all get to choose what we give or don’t give and use or don’t use with our families. I like to think of myself as a smart person. I do my research before banning an item from our lives. I like to read up before deciding what’s best (or worst) for my family. I suggest everyone do the same. 

With that being said, I do try not to use DEET anymore. My children and I suffer from breathing problems and asthma. So that is one of the main reasons I choose DEET-free. If you do research on deet you will find that it can cause rash and skin irritation, as well as nausea, headaches, and dizziness just to name a few. 

This is an actual bottle of Off! I have in my home. The most concerning warning cautions that sprayed clothing needs to be removed and washed immediately when returning indoors.

Bug Guard uses a DEET alternative called Picaridin. Picaridin has been around since the 1980’s and is most popular for being lighter than DEET (not as greasy) and less harsh. Some plaatics and synthetics can actually be dissolved by DEET. Picaridin doesn’t have this effect. Let me also say that Bug Guard is safe for pets, when used properly of course.

Also… might I add that Bug Guard is available with sunscreen? And Bug Guard has a line of actual sunscreen products, as well. 

I like this one pictured. The lotion goes on blue and disappears once rubbed in. This is HUGE for allowing my boys to be more independent and also to free up some of my time, of course while they apply their own sunscreen. One of the many things I do  the boys.. & for me. Sadly, they must learn to take care of things.

So, in short, my family has officially switched. Click here to see all of the Bug Guard products and read tons of reviews! I don’t think Skin So Soft itself has as many reviews as the Bug Guard line! 

The Bug Guard line is a little pricey so be sure to catch them on sale! Right now the whole line is on sale- Buy one, get one free. Sales usually happen pretty often but BOGO is pretty rare. So shop now 🙂

I almost forgot one of my favoritr Buv Guard products. 

The anti itch spray. I published my blog while I was out with the guys for a short drive. As soon as I got home (9:00 p.m.) and got into the house I went to medicine cabinet for this little gem. & then a lightbulb went off! I just posted about Bug Guard and I left this out. Whaaat?? Lol

 We use this almost daily! I’ve been using this anti itch for bug bites so long that I’m not even sure what other Mom’s are using these days? This takes the itch out of bites almost immediately! The hydrocortisone is pretty much obsolete around my house. 

Meditation… Sort Of. 

Meditation. Brandi style.

So recently I visited the doctor. We discussed lots of healthy things I need to start doing. Or stop doing. Lol Most of her advice was already burned into my brain from tons of research on getting healthier. I expected most of what she said. But one thing did surprise me. She advised me to spend time, every day, meditating. Or praying. Basically- time alone. 

I asked questions and we discussed this for a little while because I wasn’t expecting it. So I had questions and wanted to understand what she was asking of me. 

She gave me the name of an app that she uses daily on her drive to work. You can decide which area of your life you would like to hear some motivational and inspirational tips (for example relationships or raising children or managing stress at work). Once you click a short 20-30 minute clip plays on your phone. 

So, I downloaded the app, signed up with my e-mail address, looked all of the information over one good time and haven’t clicked the app again in over a month. I haven’t listened to a single recording clip. Don’t get me wrong- I love motivational speakers like Les Brown. & I always feel empowered when I’m done listening. But the truth is my life is busy and I didn’t feel this app was how I wanted to spend my “alone time”. This “meditation method” clearly wasn’t for me. 

I thought about what the doctor had told me about spending time thinking or praying, because the truth is that stress is harmful to your health. In more than one way. I certainly understand this and I believe that minimizing stress is necessary for a healthier lifestyle. It just took me a day or two to decide how to spend my quiet time. 

I wouldn’t call myself a vain person; however, most of my blogs mention doing things for yourself (applying makeup in the morning, using face cream at night, painting your toenails) all for one main reason: to feel better. Any feeling can control your whole day if you let it. So feeling healthier or feeling happier is ultimately going to lead to being healthier and happier. What a simple concept!

So with all that being said, I decided that I would spend a few minutes each day doing something for me. I have four young boys in my home, a husband, and a dog. Most everything I do is for these guys- my family. And I don’t (usually) complain. But a few minutes each day spent on something for me has the potential to reduce stress in my life. Maybe not a ton of stress- but every little bit helps. And will eventually add up!

So I’ve been doing little, extra things lately when I have a chance or think about it. I love bubble baths. I usually get to enjoy a bubble bath once a month… or every 2 months. 

Something else I love is coconut oil. This evening, inbetween the madness that is my life, I made time to put a coconut oil mask on my hair. Now don’t misunderstand: I am NOT doing the new “natural hair” thing. I definitely would- but my hair is high-maintenance. Natural hair just isn’ta good look for me. Lol But coconut oil is really nourishing and replenishing. I’ll wash the mask out in the morning and get back to my toxin-bearing hair products. But I love the end result and ultimately, it was me time. 

My “me time’s” are generally sparatic, unplanned, & unscheduled. That’s just how it goes. Lol So the boys aren’t usually surprised to see me coming out if the bedroom with some sort of mask on my hair or face or some kind of homemade exfoliating creams on my legs. Lol

Face masks I like are firming sheet masks (yes, the royal jelly from the queen bee is true!) or black mineral masks. Again, I’m not on a schedule with these products. Scheduling is difficult at my house. Lol But I do use them. & I love them. 

Some other non-scheduled “me time’s” involve foot care. Sunny Florida is just amazing at catering to my love of flip-flops. It’s pretty great. Floridians are capable of flip-flopping in every season- all year long! My sandal collection is actually growing as well! Flip-flops and sandals are great.. except on your feet. And heels. Especially heels! So I like to pamper my feet ever so often. 

I normally go with overnight renewing foot cream. Mostly because who has time for a foot soak?! Lol Less than 5 minutes.. go to bed.. beautiful, soft feet and heels in the morning! Why can’t everything be so easy, like laundry? 5 minutes.. sleep.. done! Nice thought, huh? 

Reviving leg gel is also pretty great for “me time”. I’m not a huge peppermint fan. I don’t like creams or body washes that are minty; however, after a long day of chasing my kids around (going on bike rides with them or going skating at the skating rink) this stuff feels amazing! Yes… I really do skate with them when we go. & my lega aren’t what they were 20 years ago! Lol So aching legs are the cost. 

Perhaps one day soon I’ll set up a structured schedule that fits in with all of my other daily routines. If not, at least I get an ‘A’ for effort. Remember to get your meditation in per the doctor’s instructions… however you may spend it ♡

First Beach Trip of the Year

Read my latest blog on dealing with sunburn and avoiding skin peeling.

My family went on our first beach trip this past Sunday. We chose our favorite beach- Clearwater. We haven’t been to Clearwater in several years. We went with several friends and they all tried to talk us out of Clearwater. We wouldn’t hear of it. We were set. So we arrived to overpay for parking.. and to end up on a pretty crowded beach. It was a rough start but the waves were pretty much nonexistent  (which was wonderful for the kids) and we had the best day. Lots of friends and the kids got to play with their cousins and friends. We absolutely had a blast. 

Now it’s Wednesday and I have one word for you: Sunburned. 3 days after our beach trip I am finally able to wear regular clothes Lol I’m a bit of a professional at not peeling. Just ask my husband. Lol But this time I was thinking Sunday night I really messed up. I really got way too much sun. Going forward.. goal #1 Don’t let the summer ruin my skin.

So just as soon as I’ve gotten all the sand off me I start my ritual. I never use less than two lotions.. and I never apply them less than 3 times a day. (My husband always thinks I’m crazy… let the gel dry and then immediately apply some lotion Lol I think after 5 years he has realized that I’m onto something!) This time it’s been a variety of lotions and gels. Normally I do this because I don’t want to peel; however, now I’m genuinely getting concerned about taking care of my skin. I’ve been working on a sun spot on my face for about a year! Trying to get it to fade and not be discolored. Hopefully I haven’t undone all that hard work.

In any case, I’ve mainly used 1 product on my face. And I really feel that it has saved the day.

At the time I purchased this Nutraeffects Radiance Day Cream I had no idea it would hydrate so well it would stop sunburned peeling. This stuff has been amazing. I use it everyday, along with some other products… normally. However, since my sunburn I have stopped using my Vitamin C Serum. The serum is wonderful and I still love it; however, when I first started using it and recommending it to me friends I noticed right away an “alcohol skin drying characteristic”. For this reason every bottle I sold- I made sure and told my friends to use a moisturizer with the Vitamin C Serum. It has never dried my face out. But I could definitely see where it would without a good moisturizer. 

So, in my current situation any products that add any drying effects are off limits. 

So for the rest of me I’ve been using several products:

This beautiful little tube of blue bliss cost me about $1.99 from Avon last year. I gave several as gifts and I held on to about 3 of them, knowing that me & my boys spends summers at beaches and lakes. Unfortunately, Avon stopped selling them after last summer. I’m looking for the 2017 replacement item to come out soon.. once summer reaches all the other parts of the country. Florida doesn’t really know spring. We know summer. Already in the 90’s around here?? Yep.. it’s summer. The $10 or so I spend on this after-sun aloe gel has paid for itself in my home about 100 times since last summer! Awesome stuff!

Now.. I’m all Avon, most of the time. I ordered this It Works! Defining gel from one of my mothers-in-law. It was $75!!! No typo… $75! They call it liquid gold. It’s pretty good. And I have used it a couple times on my shoulders (that are slightly starting to peel). It is super hydration. It has done the job for sure. But prior to this sunburn I wouldn’t hardley use it. The price I paid.. I always felt I was wasting it. Lol

I’ve been slathering up in this Radiant Moisture Body Lotion. It doesn’t make my skin greasy but it moisturizes and the scent isn’t too strong. I have this big one pictured at home, as well as a smaller size on my desk at work. I’ve never used my “office lotion” more than this last week. Lol I’m usually a germ-a-phobe, sanitizer freak. But not this week! #goals #nopeeling

This is another lotion that’s been a great friend this week. Moisture Therapy Ultra Hydration Body Lotion. My lower didn’t get as burned as my upper.. so I’ve been using this on my legs to restore some hydration. Again, non-greasy and mildly scented. This one is great.. but it isn’t as thick as the Radiant Moisture lotion. 

Once I could finally stand to take a nice, long, warm bath I did! Little trick I learned from Hubs- taking a warm shower/bath takes the sting out of the burn for us. I don’t know why and I don’t know why I tried it the first time he told me about it. But I tried it.. and he was right!! So I grabbed my bath gear and very, very carefully hopped in. Lol

I’m a huge fan of bubble bath! Baths just aren’t the same without bubbles. I will change my mind about a bath if I find out there is no bubble bath (not even in the boys bathroom!). I’m not a huge fan of vanilla scents; however, i wanted something subtle. So I chose Vanilla Cream Bubble Bath, which I think I paid $2 or $3 for. I didn’t want an overvearing scent… I had enough to deal with Lol

For obvious reasons, I decided on Supreme Nourishment Body Wash for tub time. Anything with words “supreme nourishment” are worth as shot when you’re as sunburned as I am! Lol The scent wasn’t my favorite, but still very subtle and soothing. 

Below is my “end result”. Hubby didn’t want his picture taken (he’s peeling!!) Lol I did not edit the picture in any way. And you actually can see a little bit of “peelage” on my nose. I can’t even say how happy I am that I had all of these products readily available in my home. The struggle to wear clothes had been real (as anyone who has gotten sunburned can imagine!) So it was nice to have what we all needed, kids included. Next beach trip will (hopefully) be a blog about how to avoid getting too much sun at the beach! Lol But just in case you got too much sun too, check out my web site for most of these products 🙂

Click on my picture to see all thing Bug Guard related on my web site. Bug Guard has some great SPF lotions for kids, as well as insect repellant (that even repells sand fleas) if you’re planning your first beach trip of the year! 

And yes, the shirt is one of my new favorite things from Avon. Click below to see it now!

Striped Off-the-Shoulder Top

DIY Like A Boss!

My latest obsession is DIY.

So even at 34 years old I’m still a cool mom. I still want more tattoos and I have a few piercings. But I got to be honest with you- my latest obsession is DIY! It’s like a disease. Lol Once you get started you just want more!

So I’ve been making our laundry soap for about 2 years now. It is tough enough to clean my boys’ clothes and it smells great. When I first started making it my husband actually had some comments from work about how great his uniforms smelled and inquiries about what his wife was using. I was impressed. So 2 years later- I’m still making our laundry soap and I have tweaked it a bit each time I make it (I’m sorta professional laundry soap preparer). Lol 

Collapsible Box Grater Essential for grating up the Fels Naptha soap bar for making laundry soap. 

So a few weeks ago I got into some more DIY. I tried DIY shampoo (twice), DIY shaving cream (fail), and DIY dishwashing liquid (that didn’t work). Lol It’s been a process. Word of advice to anyone thinking about any kind of DIY products for home: it’s going to be a process- Don’t give up! There are tons (& I mean TONS) of articles and recipes. I’ve found a bunch on Pinterest, of course, and a bunch just by Googling. 

It’s a nice thought to to “all natural”; however, my all natural coconut milk shampoo is just No. I’ve tried it several times and it’s just not going to work out. Lol Same with my first batch of dishwashing gel. I did all natural… ran the dishwasher about 3 times… and then finally put a dishwasher tablet in to get them clean. Lol That’s been about 3 weeks ago. I put the concoction under the sink and haven’t messed with it too much since, until today. It was time for some laundry soap.. so I busted out all my boxes and bags and got on Google. I used this gel and added some additional ingredients and I now have tablets drying in the Sunshine. Recipe and feedback to follow in the next couple of days. I’m feeling good about it, though. Below, a helpful kitchen gadget that helped me get the mixed up product into ice trays to “set”:

Batter Dispenser Yes, this is actually a 4-cup batter dispenser; however, you can see how it was perfect this job! 

While I was in productive mode I whipped up some homemade all-purpose cleaner. This was an easy product using only distilled water, 2 tablespoons of castile soap, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and about 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. SCORE!! I tried it right away, of course. Seriously impressed. Unfortunately, I don’t see my family ever giving up Clorox Wipes. We use these in bathrooms where it really counts to get extra clean and get rid of germs. But I do see wherewe will be cutting back on money spend on Clorox Wipes. This all-purpose cleaner is awesome! 
So all this time spent in the kitchen DIY-ing let me share some other handy tools I use for storage and labeling:

Metal Canister with Chalkboard Front Blue Perfect for storing amd labeling my finished dishwasher tablets. See below also White canister. 

Metal Canister White

Color Labels For labeling boxes and containers. I can’t stress the importance of labeling. Especially if you have small children. These labels are perfect. And stylish. 

I’ll be posting a separate blog for How To’s on my laundry soap, my all-purpose cleaner, and (hopefully) my dishwasher tablets.

How To Efficiently Manage a Full-Time Household

Managing a crazy household? See my 3 biggest tips to keeping it together here.

Ever prepare for a trip? And you know how to get where you are going.. but you pull up the GPS anyway… Just for the added security? This post is mainly a GPS for somewhere I know how to get to.

Matter of fact I’m already halfway there. But things have changed and are changing and I don’t want to waste time on a U-Turn. So below are some of my tips to keep from going crazy when your the CEO of a large household. I would say that managing my household is 98% my job. Not that my husband doesn’t help (Bless his heart… he tries). But keeping up with appointments and school functions seems to be mainly my job. And I don’t mind. I personally feel like this is the only job I must do. Making money at my full-time job is great. But my sole purpose at this time is to raise our children & manage their schedules. I feel this way because they didn’t choose. We chose to have children. We chose each other. They didn’t have a choice. This is the hand they got. One day they will get to choose. Many choices. But right now, they are 9, 8, 8, & 7-year-old little boys. And I feel that they are my job.

That being said- it is a crazy job! It  hectic and chaotic. It’s a dirty job.. but somebody’s got to do it! Lol 

First of all, I recommend recruiting and delegating. Yes, I’m one of THOSE Mommy’s. My boys help me with tasks at home for 2 main reasons: For me and for them. Definitely I need the help. I cannot do it all by myself. And just as importantly, I want to raise good men. Men who can fend for themselves if they need to. Men that know how to do laundry and dishes (or, at least load the dishwasher.. Lol). This isn’t the 1930’s. It’s no longer a given that they will  find women that will SURELY take care of all these household chores for them. And if they do, it will be nice that they have a good understanding of what is required in the home and at the very least, will help out. Especially if they have big families like we do in our home now.

Next up- Calendar. 

Sadly, I’ve fallen into the category that smartphones have made me dumb… somewhat. We have a calendar on the wall at home. It’s cute. And pretty. Unfortunately, it’s useless. Mama phone calendar is the most important calendar in our lives! Recently, my phone crashed. I had cell phone issues for about a month. And although I missed some things like Pinterest (I love, LOVE Pinterest).. I didn’t miss anything more than my calendar. The same could be said for my Husband. He missed my calendar. We were all a little blind without it. Lol In light of this new information, I plan to use the pretty calendar on the wall much more. Additionally, I think instead of chore charts and behavior charts- I’m probably going to give each of my boys their own calendar. I’ll be sure to list what their monthly chores are, of course, as well as any upcoming appointments they have. Shouldn’t they be “in the know”? Lol This will hopefully (fingers crossed) eliminate about 10 questions per month. “Mom, when is my dentist appointment?” “Mom, when do I go to Grandma’s?” “Mom, when is my Birthday?” Yes.. I think this is a brilliant idea. It will also be used to track “good days and bad days”. Smiley faces and sad faces. Days that allowance is earned or lost. 
My last big tip for managing your household (this is for any parent that is trying to raise children): Meal Prepping.

I’m new to this concept and I am in Love with ideas I’ve found on Pinterest. I’m still getting into my groove, as I do have a full-time (or mostly part-time) job. But even as a stay-at-home parent- having your meals planned and prepped for dinner will save you tons of time! My first meal-prep happened about 2 weeks ago. I cooked and prepared my lunches for work, in addition to preparing healthy snacks and infused fruit water I like to drink after my coffee for a boost of energy to keep me going. This was amazing! Check out the flavor infuser pitcher here that is perfect for making fruit water. My husband was a little jealous that I didn’t prep his meals for the week. So I’ve got to get on a bigger scale next time I prep my lunches and begin my journey in dinner meal prepping. I started by purchasing some plastic containers that are microwave/dishwasher/freezer safe  (they sound amazing, right?) They aren’t hard to find. Then I baked seasoned chicken and vegetables, just like I would for dinner. Portion out and ready to go! Huge time-saver! Click here for some handy kitchen items that can help you meal prep like a boss!! And this Salad Container keeps you eating healthy on the go. 

My last thought for this post is probably the most important. There are days I’m sure I can’t do this job. I’m ready to throw in the towel and Fail. But I read something very inspiring about Thomas Edison. 1000 times he tried to create the light bulb. Who would have given up before 1000 tries? Meee! I would have! But what an inspiration. And when questioned about his failed attempts he made a correction to his interviewer. “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.” Not everything we try is going to fit our lives. And even when we do find something that works for our families- we are evolving and this is an ever-changing life we are living. Keep in mind that this is a 1000-step invention. 

5 of My Simple Ideas to Be in a Better Mood

5 easy, simple, controllable, cheap ways to feel happy and smile more often.

So we’ve all seen those Memes that say something like “Today, I choose to smile” or “The most important decision you can make today is the decision to be in a good mood”. 

Now.. some days choosing a good mood is easy. I sail right through all the storms (more like hurricanes & tornadoes) that make up my life most mornings. & I make it to work with a light-hearted smile on my face. Realistically these days happen about once every 2 or 3 months. Not all of us have the luxury to “choose” a good mood. I’m outnumbered in my house in several ways. Not only am I the only female (even our dog is a male), but I am 1 out of 2 grown-ups that live in my home. We have 4 children. & most often than not they get the luxury of choosing my mood for the day. When they don’t feel like getting up or getting dressed.. or they just can’t go to the car because they can’t find their favorite jacket or belt or they wake up on the wrong side of the bed- and they start us all off with a big, fat dose of “Jerk-Face” first thing in the morning! You can see where this is going. Lol 

So, recently, I thought of 5 things. 5 simple, cheap, affordable things that I CAN control that CAN or do make me feel wonderful. And of course, Goal #1 is to start doing these things much more in the future.

So first on my list is something simple & complicated- something I love & hate… but something I 100% can control & something that has the ability to immediately put a smile on my face: The Bathroom Scale.

Yes, I went there. The scale hasn’t been nice to me lately, but seriously- when it’s good it is great!! The number on this scale can ensure I have an amazing day, despite arguments in the morning, rainy drives to school & work, a crazy Monday… all mean nothing when the scale has been nice to me. & guess what? I control how nice it is. Of course it isn’t easy or fun.. but totally controllable happy mood here.

Second on my list (& much less complicated as the bathroom scale) is: Sunshine. 

So simple. I love the Sunshine. I realize it isn’t that great for me. But our relationship is far beyond that point. One afternoon by the pool or at the beach or on the lake – even with my family in tow- does wonders for me. I actually prefer to have my kids along. I don’t need a weekend getaway by myself. I love enjoying the sunshine with my family. & the effects of Sunshine for me qualify as therapeutic. 

Maybe I am a little solar powered. & spending time in the Sunshine “recharges” me. I may not control when the Sun will be out but I can control how much time I spend in the Sun when it does show up. & it’s totally free!! Of course, hauling my family to the beach for the day isn’t free. Neither is taking the boat out to the lake for the day. But it’s totally worth it! I love the Sun so much & my family & I spend so much time in the Sunshine that I’ve made a silent vow with myself to buy my a new bathing suit every summer. I’ve been doing this for about 3 years now. Again… what I get from spending time in the Sun is more than worth the money I spend. 

Click here to see some products from my eStore that are perfect for enjoying the Sunshine.

Next up on my simple, happy list is: Pedicures. 

Okay… so these aren’t free. Lol & they aren’t always in the budget at my house. But definitely, definitely worth it! My favorite thing about pedicures is wearing flip flops and sandals. Yes… the scrubbing and pampering and lotioning is amazing. I do enjoy the actual pedicure. But for me, the most valuable part of a pedicure is sliding on flip flops or sandals and not worrying because my toes “aren’t done”. What a simple concept. Lol Of course I could paint my toes myself, but I could never make them as cute as they are when I leave the nail salon. I don’t spend a ton of money on pedicures.. but I have recently accepted that this is a simple, mostly inexpensive thing that I can do for myself and something that makes me feel good. So make time for this and squeeze in into your budget every now and then. It’s worth it.

If a pedicure just isn’t in the budget, click here shop my eStore to create your spa at home! Grab some girlfriends & a bottle of wine & treat each other at home! *Leave the kids & pets with Hubs to truly enjoy at-home pampering!*

Don’t forget to stock up on shades

Fourth on my list can be pricey, but certainly worth feeling good & much, much more: Eating healthy.

I seriously feel better when I eat better. I’m pretty certain that most people do. You get out what you put in, right? The more expensive gas makes your car run like a champ. Same with our bodies. I definitely have a long way to go with this one. But the simple, easy fact of the matter is that when I eat healthier foods I feel better. It’s all about feeling better, right? Feeling fantastic! There are many benefits to cleaning up one’s diet; however, in the future, I plan to only think of cleaning up my diet to change how I feel. Eating nuts  for an afternoon snack instead of potato chips, for example, will actually make me feel better. It’s not about less sodium to help control my impending high cholesterol. Or hoping to buy smaller jeans because my waistline is smaller. It’s all about feeling good. & the nuts are packed with protein to give me a little afternoon “pick-me-up” and hopefully give me enough energy to tackle my chores when I get home. Again, what a simple concept to feeling good. 

Click here to see handy kitchen gadgets that are sure to help you on this venture in the kitchen! Check back for summer blogs for some really exciting products coming soon that will surely get you on the healthy eating path!
Last on my listof things that make me feel good is: Getting Pretty. 

Pretty simple. It seems I’m a pretty simple person. “Putting my face on” is sometimes a chore. Some days I do good to put on face cream with SPF. But in all seriousness- looking pretty makes me feel pretty, which helps me “choose” that happy mood I was talking about. There is something about taking these extra few minutes in the mornings on Me that makes my mood better. It’s never picture-perfect, meaning I don’t sit down to a fancy vanity in the corner of my bedroom. And spend 20 minutes making my face look amazing. Usually I do my make up in the car (no… not while I’m driving). I use the opportunity of getting stopped at all seven redlights on the way to the school and all seven of them on the way back from school to my job, and I usually finish in my parking space at work. Lol What a mess most of my mornings are. But the truth is I feel better during my day by doing something so easy. So doable. My hair is another story. It isn’t easy by any means. But when I do spend the time it is worth feeling fabulous. 

Click here to shop makeup on my eStore! Quality products for the large-family budget and fabulous frugal mom’s. 
Life really is too short to not feel wonderful. And if feeling wonderful is easy and controllable then why are we not all spending a little more time and a few extea dollars for this feeling? It is also true that one must take care of themselves before taking care of everyone else. In the coming weeks I intend to do more of this- finding simple, easy ways to feel better about me and my life & hopefully this will be visible with much more than a smile or mood. I hope this is evident also in my husband and children. 

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me.

Read my blog to learn 10 things you probably don’t know about me.

1. I’m a Capricorn. Right down to the ‘T’. Very serious (with a funny side). Mostly orgnaized (in a disorganized way). Capricorns like family and traditions. And words like responsible, disciplined, and self-control are ised to describe Capricorns. These words couldn’t be more true about my overall personality. 

2. My favorite color is Green. Any shade of Green. Bright Green & Dark Green.. & everything in between. I can’t give any specific reason as to why I love it so much… other than my Grandfather used to tell us kids that his favorite color was Green… because it meant “GO!”. Ah yes.. and my eyes are Green.

3. I’m not “from” Florida. I was born in Tennessee, so close to the Georgia line that for about 19 years I thought I was born in Georgia. Turns out.. I’m a Tennessee-an. Very pretty country. The picture below was taken in the town where I was born. 

4. I’m a “Boy Mom”… and I love it!! Sometimes I get a little sad thinking about how my daughter and I could have gone and gotten our nails done together.. & I could have dressed her ao cute… If I’d had a daughter. But then we visit with friends or relatives who HAVE daughters. & I love my boys a little more every time. (I’m allowed to say this, by the way… I AM a girl… and I’m a handful!!). I never considered myself disappointed with each pregnancy when I found out it was 2 boys… then another boy 22 months later. They complete me.

5. I used to write poetry when I was about 13. Good poetry. Sometimes dark.. but good. It was a stress-reliever for me (yes… stress at 13!) I’m now in my thirties and to save my life I cannot wrote a poem. It’s the strangest thing…

6. I’m married to my best friend. Of course… he is a 5th child. And he makes me crazy at times. But the truth is: he is my very best friend. I have trouble keeping secrets from him and unfortunately for him, I tell him everything! Lol 

7. I love the beach and the lake in the summer. Water is my happy place & ai love to fish. And I usually don’t the even get into the water!! Lol Laying on the pontoon boat on the lake, in the sun or layong on the beach in the sun is as close to Heaven as I’ve ever been. Boating and beach days without the sun doesn’t make me happy at all. So all this Heavenliness credit is issued to the Sun.

8. My dream job (like if I won the lotto & I can do whatever I wanna do) has always been and still is owning a pig farm. I did a pig for FFA (Future Farmers of America) when I was in high school (I was 17). I loved every minute and it was such a great learning experience- putting in hard work, building a pin, caring for my pig, spending money on food and supplies, & at the end, showing and selling her at an auction- writing a “Thank you” letter to my buyer and comparing expenses and sale price to determine my profit. Such an awesome experience. I’ve always wanted to breed pigs and sell them to high school students to give back this experience.

9. My girl crush is June Carter Cash. I love that she wasn’t perfect. She admitted to not being able to sing (in her opinion). She was married 3 times.. & divorced twice. I love the imperfection about her; however, to her husband she was absolutely perfect. At June’s funeral, her stepdaughter, Rosanne Cash, stated “If being a wife were a corporation, June would have been a CEO. It was her most treasured role.” Two things about this that put stars in my eyes: First of all it is uncommon nowadays to find women who take pride in being someone’s wife. Secondly- having stepchildren is one of the most challenges parts of life, in my opinion. The fact that she has this big of an impression on another woman’s child is amazing! I hope my stepson feels this way about me one day.

10. Lastly.. now that I’ve mentioned June Carter Cash, who obviously sings country music, the last thing I want to tell you about me is that I’m a music lover. Period. I love all music. I love country, alternative, classic rock, heavy metal, oldies, Reggaeton, Latin Music… Everything! Going through my music play list feels like visiting a new state and new country every 10 minutes or so! Lol