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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Save the thoughts....fight for change


I was looking forward to Valentine's Day just like most mom's eager to bring a little smile and sweet surprise to their little one's face. I left little boxes of chocolate on their dressers, and took them to school since it was a Wednesday. The day was like any other day. Mariam and Layla were picked up like usual. We rifled through their cards and sweets they got from school. At 3:00 pm, I loaded the little one's in the car and drove to Serena's high school. About 5 minutes away, I turn the radio on and that's where I first heard about the shooting. It didn't seem right. It didn't seem real.

 How can another school shooting have happened?! How could it have happened in Parkland 30 minutes away from us in Boca?!

No that can't be right.....They didn't know the number of casualties at the time, but later we learned the shooting claimed 17 victims. Today during mass we learned the parents of one of the victims attends our church. My heart is broken for all the people involved in this senseless violence. As a parent I can't even begin to process what the parents of the children that passed feel. It's unthinkable. I've had trouble falling asleep for the past 4 nights because every night before bed, I get so sad and angry that this has happened again. No matter where you stand on gun control, something is very very wrong in our country. I refuse to live in a world where sending our kids to school could mean we might never see them alive again. I for one am sick of the thoughts and prayers and everyone just arguing their side on the matter, and nothing gets done!

Nothing!

I encourage everyone to get involved however you can. This affects all of us. There are several organizations that you can join:


You can also contact your representatives and Facebook them. Here's another great link on more ways to get involved:


Please don't look the other way. Enough is enough. Not one more.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Valentine's Day learning with Education.com

Tomorrow is almost Valentine's Day! I don't know about you but I love Valentine's Day. Every year I try to do a little something special for the girl's and H on love day. This week is crazy though and the girl's scheduled activities are still on for tomorrow. I will have a sweet little surprise for them when they wake up though, and also make heart shaped pancakes. Tonight we'll be baking heart shaped chocolate chip cookies for the teachers and some friends. Should be fun!

Of course even with our busy schedules, homework still needs to be done and learning is an every day thing. My 6 year old is currently doing addition and subtraction in her class and this fun little Valentine's Day addition worksheet is great practice! Add more love to your learning as you practice addition with this worksheet from Education.com! If you love addition, check out these fun addition resources too.

Valentine's Day worksheets



Monday, February 12, 2018

Charming breakfast nooks including ours

I've been wanting to update all week but I feel like all of us spent the week just trying to recover from another Disney World trip. Even though we had a blast, we weren't feeling great during the trip and coming straight back to the usual chaos of weekly activities, took a lot out of us! 

I've been wanting to share another home update which is still an ongoing work in progress, because I'm super picky and like a million things come up with the family, but little by little right? I've currently got about 10 different projects I'm working on, but for now here is the state of our breakfast nook. 


It's no secret that I love a white, light and bright home with pops of blue. Our breakfast nook is small so I wanted to find a round pedastal table to go in the space. I found one on offer up last year that I've had sitting in the garage for 8 months now. In October I finally found some chairs that I loved and when I saw it in person, I ended up loving the table. It was perfect for our family size. H was out of town but I was able to bring that bad boy home by myself from 2 cities over. The best thing is I actually don't need to repaint this table. The chairs do need to be reupholsterd because they are sagging a bit and I'd like to change the fabric with one that has more color, but it's not urgent. As for the first dining room table--that's still sitting in my garage, I'm hoping to start painting it next week and then sell it. 

Crystal Pendant{Home Depot}

The french provincial mirror came with a matching dresser that I found from a thrift shop for $50. The whole set! If you know me, you know that I love finding used furniture and making it beautiful again. You don't have to spend a ton of money to have a beautiful and put together home. Just takes a little bit of patience and work. The mirror did not look like this when I got it, I had to paint it. 


A recent addition to the left hand wall are two shabby chic shelves I found at Joann's fabric store. They were 50% off when I bought them last October. A few places you wouldn't think of that have cute decor are: Michael's and Joann's. 


This is the only picture I could find from fall where you can see the shelves. Currently there is nothing on them except for one picture. 

I love charming breakfast nooks. They are cozy and an inviting place to start your day. I've always liked farmhouse style, french country and shabby chic decorating so here are a few gorgeous ideas.



Have a great Monday!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Loving lately....Children's Edition

1) Ruffle Poncho's


Ruffle poncho (Target)

This adorable poncho was actually 50% off in store at Target, so you may want to check out your local Target store first. It's super cute, warm and has a nice weight to it. It's easy to put on and off and the ruffles are simply adorable and elegant!

2) Melissa & Doug Deluxe Star Diner Restaurant


Melissa & Doug Diner (Target)

This was a Christmas present for Mariam and everyone loves it. We all play with it taking turns being a customer, waitress, or chef! It's a wooden diner with a kitchen on one side and a two person booth on the other. The kitchen has an ectra large oven, realistic burners and dials, a two shelf refrigerator, and plenty of counter space. It comes with 25 accessories. The girls all loved their Christmas presents, but this one has definitely been used the most!

3) Made Good granola minis

Made Good granola minis (Amazon)

We finally caved and got a Costco membership even though it's a little further out, the parking is horrendous and the hours don't work for me, but these kids are eating us out of house and home. Good lord can they eat these days. I swear they just want to snack all day. I can't seem to keep the littlest ones out of the kitchen. I picked up some snacks last week on my first shopping trip there and one of them was this bag of Made Good granola minis. The girls really liked them and went through them in no time. You can find them on Amazon, but I got them at Costco for $9.99. They are organic, non GMO verified, gluten free and contain the nutrients in one full serving of vegetables from six different sources. 

4) Napen clothes stand

White clothes stand (Ikea)

This clothes stand is a great inexpensive buy! You can hang anything on it and use it as a decoration in a room. Sometimes I even use it for a few product photos, but it mainly stays in the girls room with a dress on it. It's also adjustable and easy to clean. 


Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

My Home DNA Healthy Weight Analysis & Report!


A few weeks ago I wrote about my renewed fitness goals here and mentioned I had recently taken a Home DNA weight test. I'm excited to have received my report back and eager to tell you all about it! Basically this test is a scientifically-based weight management test that identifies a person's genetic makeup and provides diet and exercise strategies uniquely tailored to the specific genotype. 

Your HomeDNA healthy weight results include:

Detailed analysis of the genetic markers that most influence your weight
Personalized recommendations for foods, nutrition, and exercise.

The kit is very easy to use. You simply have to swab the inside of your cheeks with the cotton swabs in the kit to collect the cells. You then put them in the enclosed envelopes. The kit includes an already addressed mailer so once you've filled out any information, and seal it, simply drop it in your mailbox. Results come back in just 4-6 weeks after the samples arrive at the lab. You are notified via email that your results are ready to view online. 

The report is easy to read and very informative. It really breaks down everything and provides tons of examples of what foods to eat and exercises to do based on your genetic makeup! One of my favorite parts of the report was the meal plans. As a busy mom of 4, I strive to feed my kids a balanced diet, but I neglect myself sometimes. I'm always on the go and I put myself last. 


Here's an example of the custom exercise plan


DNA Testing is constantly evolving and it is a small aspect of the whole, as far as what effects us in terms of both skin care and weight management, so use DNA testing as a starting point, not an ending point. I'm excited about reaching my fitness and healthier eating goals this year. Even though I've always been slim, slim doesn't always equal healthy. Exercise and diet is important for everybody!

The HomeDNA healthy weight kit is available at CVS and Rite Aid drugstores, or online for $119, at HomeDNA.com

Coupon Code:

If you're interested in purchasing this kit for yourself, use coupon code:HW50 to get $50 off your order until 4/30 (which makes the kit $69 instead of $119) Enjoy!




Disclosure: I was provided with the products. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Loving Lately...Fashion Edition

1) Embellished tights


I am obsessed with these gorgeous tights. I fully intend to make something similar for myself this year when I make the time. You can easily buy a pair of fishnets for cheap online and either hot glue or sew on the embellishments. Whichever route you go, you will have to hand wash them very carefully when the time comes. 

2) Embellished jeans


The same applies with the tights. You can easily do these yourself on jeans you currently own or buy. I highly recommend you buy rhinestones and embellishments that you can sew on. Jeans need to be washed obviously so they will hold up if you sew them on.

3) Embellished skirts

Asos 

As you can see I'm a bit obsessed with embellishments! I found the last two pictures on Asos, but they are out of stock. I definitely have a thing for gorgeous skirts. They always stand out to me even more than a dress these days, especially ones that flair out away from the body. A big reason why I love tulle skirts so much.

3) Hair bows...for adults


I don't think you are ever too old to wear a bow in your hair. I've seen elderly women wearing their hair gathered with a bow at the nape of their neck, and I always thought it looked elegant. Today is an easy day (as in no scheduled activities) and I'm wearing a simple ponytail with a pretty mauve ribbon. I picked up some gorgeous ribbons this week at Hobby Lobby that reminded me of Spring and I've been itching to use them! 


Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Holding myself accountable again. Let the fitness begin!


Like most of the world, I've decided to refocus on my fitness goals again. Winter break is over and it's the beginning of the year so here we go again...at least until I fall off the wagon again. Hoping not too this time, but I'm human and life happens. I'm not normally a scale checker because it's really hard for me to gain weight and I only tend to fluctuate between 2 pounds, but I was pleasantly surprised that even I gained weight during the holidays. This really only happens when I'm pregnant and no I'm not pregnant. 

The problem with these few new pounds which I'm still excited about still is that they aren't muscle. I've been eating like crap for the past month. I mean I guess my eating wasn't too bad and the kids have well balanced meals, but I've consumed a lot of sugar over the holidays and lately my stomach has been sensitive to a lot of things. I'm getting bloated constantly! The extra weight has traveled to my stomach and lower half as it tends to do. Now I'm not really complaining, I know how lucky I am that I've birthed 4 babies, can eat whatever I want and still not gain weight. However I'm still a woman who wants to feel good in her skin, have the energy to run after her kids, and live a long healthy life...and I wouldn't mind the stomach pooch going away again.

 What I found that works for me now in my mid 30's is exercising 30 minutes 5-6 days a week. 30 minutes also works with the kids. This way I'm not taking up much of their time. I usually put some dance music on Pandora and they have a little dance party next to me. I also hate gyms. I'm fully aware though that workouts at home are not going to get me all the way to my goals without the proper equipment. When the time comes--when I'll want to add in more weights, then I guess I'll reluctantly drag my ass to the gym. Until then you'll catch me at home with my resistance bands and homemade weights.

The 30 minute workouts really do work. I started this regimen late 2016 and I had the beginning of abs after 8 weeks and my backside was tighter. I will say that it doesn't take me long to get back into shape. I'm not sure if it's genetics or muscle memory because I've been in sports since I was 7 years old. Most of the time I played soccer, but I also did volleyball, track, cross country and taekwondo. I haven't been on a team since Serena my oldest was 5 years old though. I am always on my feet though and stay active.


Here is a before those 8 weeks and 11 months postpartum with baby #4


I have specific exercises that I do that work for me that I got either from Youtube or Instagram. I'll share more on those in another post. A really popular program right now is Kayla Itsines BBG (Bikini body guide) program. From my understanding it's a 12 week program consisting of 28 minute workouts. I think she sells a ebook and there's an app you can use, but you can probably find all of the info you need for free online. I just started yesterday and this morning my abs and lower half is sore. That's a good thing and it will wear off once I've been doing my regimen for a few more days.


After my workout I drank a high fiber meal replacement with almond and coconut milk. I don't always drink this after a workout, but a few times a week. I don't use it as a meal replacement since it only has 250 calories anyways, but instead for the protein and extra calories. I have a very fast metabolism which is another reason I try to stay away from too much cardio. I'll be updating more along the way over the next few months. Also I recently got to test out a new Home DNA collection kit that is said to unlock the secret to achieving a healthy weight using insights from your own genetic code.


I should be getting my personalized report back in about 4 weeks where it will tell me how my protein, fat, and carbohydrates are utilized, exercise and strength training for my body type, and much more! I tried Home DNA's skin care analysis a few months ago and it was spot on! You can read my thoughts on it here. I've been very impressed with their products so far.

Have a great Tuesday!