Top 5 Things I am DONE Doing

Top 5 Things

I am done. D. O. N. E. Now don’t go judging me, I am a good mom. I promise I am. My girls are happy, healthy, well adjusted, and polite girls. They are well behaved, and patient. Basically, they rock and since they rock, then I must have done something right. Going to pat myself on the back and give credit where it is due there. But that said, I am done doing the following things. Not only am I going to be done doing them, I am not going to feel bad any more about not doing them.

  1. Baths Every Day- I have girly girly girls. There is no playing in the mud, running through the dirt, sweating while playing baseball; going on over here. They simply do not get dirty enough every day to warrant a bath every single day. Anyone with all girls know, that it is not just the bath time that is time consuming; there is also brushing out all that hair (and all of mine have long hair), then you have to blow dry it all (cause who likes sleeping with wet hair). To get all three of them bathed, blow dried and into bed it takes a good hour to ninety minutes. There is much more that I would like to be doing with them for that length of time. If they get dirty, then yes of coarse they will get a bath; but if we are bound inside cause it is 1 million degrees outside, then I think I will let the bath slide a bit.
  2. Have The Girls Finish Their Plate- This is something that so many of us grew up with. You don’t leave the table until you finish your plate. Personally I hated that, and even spent more then one night at the kitchen table because I did not want to finish my green beans. Anyone else with those types of memories? I refuse to make my kids finish their plates. As long as they take a bite (and one easy no fuss bite) of everything on their plate that is all that is required. Now they don’t get seconds of garlic bread if they have not eaten their veggies, but I don’t think that they will starve themselves by refusing to eat. And if there is something for dinner they really like, they will choose to finish everything so they get seconds. Since this has always been our policy, our girls are very adventurous eaters. Willing to try everything, because they know that if they don’t like it then that one bite is all they had to have.
  3. Always Being Patient- I try to be patient, I try to stay calm, and I try to stay positive. But lets be honest, the fourth time your kid has asked for something in a row, that you have said no to the last three times, you are going to loose it. And that is ok. It is impossible to always be the calm serene picture of pure patience. As long as you can admit (and apologize for) losing it, then all is good.
  4. Having A Clean House- In my house there are 5 people, a dog and a cat. My house is not always white glove tested clean. On any given day, there will be dust on the shutters and dishes in the sink. There are so many other ways that I want to spend my time, and items that take a far greater priority then if my floor is mopped. It is not a hazmat zone, but I am done trying to have my house always company ready. If you don’t call ahead, then expect my house to have a live in feel, not a picture perfect house.
  5. Trying To Be Perfect- What is it with moms these days. It feels like everyone is always trying to one up each other. Now, I don’t know about you, but I do know that I am not perfect. In fact I am no where near perfection. This use to really bother me, I wanted to be the perfect mom. I wanted everyone to think that I was perfect, that I had this whole mommy life thing under control. Let me let you in on a little secret, there is no perfection. No one is perfect. Once I gave up on being perfect, life got much happier.

What about you? What are the areas that you let slide a little? Are there things that you are just done doing?

I am a Rebel Lark

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I really enjoyed this book. Lately it seems like I have been reading a lot of what I like to call “fluff”. Don’t get me wrong, I love my fluff. I love my romance stories, I love my twisted fairytales, I love a happy ending. But this kind of reading does not do anything for my mind. It does not push me to new thoughts, or make me think about life, or ponder why my husband and I are so incredibly different. This book was a great, non-fluff, made me really think; all while being presented in such a way that it was enjoyable to read. In fact, I had many “ah-ha” moments. Literally out-loud, made my husband ask me what was going on, type moments.

To sum up the book quite nicely: I am a rebel lark opener with procrastinator tendencies. Now that is a mouthful, but it totally sums me up. In a nutshell it explains that I a rebel, I don’t like having exceptions on myself. Whether those exceptions are my own or someone else put them on me. That I will fight against deadlines and resist completing tasks simply because I was told to do them. The lark, means that I am much more of a morning person then a night person; preferring an early bedtime and seeing the sunrise the next day over pulling an allnighter. I like starting projects, as opposed to finishing them (as evidence by the many and boy do I mean many, half started sewing, crocheting, or other crafty type projects in my guest closet), and I will wait to the very last moment to complete anything. If there is no way to avoid actually completing them.

Now my husband is the complete and utter opposite of me. He would be a upholder owl finisher with sprinter tendencies. Basically, he will live up to any expectation. Most of them he puts on himself, and is self accountable to live up to them. He will meet all deadlines with no problem or animosity towards them. Being an owl, he gets 90% of his hard work-work done while everyone else in the house is sound asleep. Then sleep till noon the next day if you let him. He needs to finish projects. Once he starts something it will get finished. He will mark it off the “To Do” list. While he may wait a bit to get started (since starting a project is so time intensive and there is no other option other then to complete it), once he gets going he is all in.

No wonder we have time management issues. How could two married people be so completely different? I think over all we both tend to compensate and help balance out each others extreme tendencies. Yin and Yang.

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This book was a total insight into how we both process…. well life. It was incredibly eye opening and I could not get enough of it. Actually, I took this book everywhere with me. Don’t worry I am not driving and reading, just reading in the car while waiting on the girls to finish Girl Scouts.

While it gave me all this great insight, and helped uncomplicate my husbands behavior. And certainly gave a huge amount of information for me to process. It left a “and now what” type feeling when the book was over. There was no, “and now you can do X with all of this”. There was no further information as to what you can do once you see into your habits and lifestyle. Which I think that I would have liked.

Over all though, it was a fascinating read. That you certainly need to put on your must read list, if you are interested in books that sometimes makes you think.

What have you read lately that was not fluff? Did you like it? What is your favorite thinking type of book?

Fit and Fabulous

Fit And Fabulous

Lets talk about working out for a moment. This is not an area that is in my comfort zone. Even with wanting to be fit, firm and healthy; I am not a “work out” person. The idea of going to the gym stresses me out. There are all of those tiny people with no body fat. Plus I have no idea how to actually use any machines. The idea of being the soft, squishy woman there, looking lost and confused is not doing it for me. Then lets not even mention the yoga classes, with the women who are ridiculously limber. What adult person is really suppose to bend like that? Yes I realize that this is sounds very judgmental. That is not really my point, I am not actually judging them. I am more jealous then anything.

But instead of doing anything about it, I will just sit here and make excuses. Here they are:

  1. I can’t go to the gym, because I have no time. Between the kids, schooling, house work, laundry, dishes, cooking, etc; there is just not enough time to spend 60-90 minutes a day at the gym.
  2. It is to expensive. With the gym membership, childcare, plus paying for a training to show me how to use all that equipment; it is just to high every month.
  3. It is okay to be a little soft, I have three kids. There is no need to go back to zero body fat.
  4. My doc said to take things easy because of my chronic back pain. Therefore I can’t exercise.
  5. We travel to much to stick with a workout program. So why start to have it all derailed every time we leave town.

Did I miss any? Those seem to be my Top 5 Reasons Why I Don’t WorkOut. What are yours?

Well, it seems to have taken a toll on me. Now I look in the mirror and am a bit heavier then I want to be, a bit more squishy, and the straw on the camels back, my favorite pair of jeans don’t fit. Something has to be done, I am no longer happy with me. But again, I am not going to be going to the gym. All of those reasons have not magically disappeared.

Lucky for me, in the mail just last week I got this awesome book “Fit and Fabulous In 15 Minutes”. Woo Hoo!! 15 minutes I can do. Shoot the girls can do 15 minutes with me everyday and we can call it PE. Plus reading it, it claims (page 10):

  • It can be done anywhere- even on the road when you’re traveling
  • You only need four square feet of space to do it
  • There is no need to join a gym
  • You don’t have to invest in a single piece of equipment- not even a stretchy band or hand weights

Well these seem to be promises that I can live with. Do it at home, within 15 minutes and you don’t have to figure out how to use all that stuff. To be honest it has a bit of 80’s workout vibe to it. But it seems pretty straight forward and I am willing to give it a go.

So here are the starting stats (don’t laugh at me)-

  • Weight- 130 (even though she says not to focus on weight. Since muscle weighs more then fat, it is possible to gain weight on this program while losing fat.)
  • Bust- 35 inches
  • Waist- 29 inches
  • Hips- 38 inches
  • Upper Arms- 11 inches
  • Size- 6

Be sure to check back in two weeks and see if I have lost the inches and clothing sizes that she promises.

Full Skincare Routine Or Simple MakeUp Wipes

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*I received a trial of the Neutrogena Naturals from Influencer at no charge.
I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are mine.*

Are you a full skincare routine kinda gal, or are you a wipe everything off with a makeup wipe, slap on some kind of moisturizer and call it good kinda gal?

I fall somewhere in between, most days. If we are going to be completely honest though, at night I am never a full routine girl. By the time that bedtime rolls around, I am done. And the lure of just climbing into bed is far to great to pull out all the stops. Yes I realize that at night, would be the best time to get a really good routine; then your skin can absorb it throughout the night. You would get a greater benefit from sleeping with the serums and moisturizer on your skin. However, that is not going to happen. (Now in the morning is a different story. I like my full skin routine when I am getting out of the shower.)

Knowing that I am a makeup wipe kinda girl, I am assure you that I have tried a lot of different brands. You name it and I have most likely tried it. Some have been decent, some have been ok, some have been down right horrible. The main issue that I have with most of them is their ability to remove mascara. It seems that no matter what I do, I wake up with  raccoon eyes. It is not a pretty look, plus it seems to stain my skin making it appear that I have dark circles under my eyes, even once I remove it. Not exactly what I am going for.

Neutrogena though was a brand that I have not tried. It is a drug store brand, but it is kind of expensive when you are looking at a bunch of them in the store aisle. When there are so many options, and this on the higher price point, it was one of the few that I have not tried. Holy cow, was I surprised.

The wipes themselves are not as moist as many of the others. I thought that this would be an issue, however it wasn’t. In fact, with the lower amount of “solution” it does not dry out my skin as many of the other ones do. The material it is made out of is more of a cotton like material, then a paper towel material. And is very soft on my face, without any threads coming out. My skin looks great; it is completely blemish free, every trace of dirt is removed, and even that pesky mascara is completely gone. From now on, these will be my go to makeup wipe. I actually went to to Target today and purchased another pack of them.

How about you? Are you a makeup wipe girl, or do you cringe at the thought? What are your favorite brands? Do you get them at the drugstore or always from Sephora?

 

Lover Divine

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Do you ever read a book, a book that is out of your normal read, that just devours you? This was one for me. Though, to be upfront, I am a sucker for the Greek Gods. I spent a good part of my (brief) college education on them. There is just something about them; their stories, the passion, the revenge, the magic that surrounds them, really everything fascinates me. And it happens that Apollo is one of my favorites.

From The Back Of The Book-
“For the fans of the Oracle of Delphi series… and for those who aren’t….

Born into one of the wealthiest families in Ireland, Siobhan Law has status, privilege and a secret: The Greek gods of Olympus and their kingdom in the clouds are real, and her family acts as one of their agents on Earth.

When the beautiful immortal celeste Liam Argyros shows up claiming to have come to Earth to deal in the affairs of the divine, Siobhan finds herself unable to resist his charms. New to the game of passion and seduction, she quickly ends up in over her head, sinking deeper with every attempt Liam makes to win her over.

But Liam’s divine mission is far more complex than she ever imagined and nothing is truly as it seems. Because Liam has a secret of his own: He is Apollo, Olympian god of the Sun, and his mission will never be complete until he has claimed Siobhan’s heart forever.”

I have not read the Oracle of Delphi series (although now that I have read this one, they will be on my must read list), but that did not interfere with this story line. It stands completely apart. This is one of those rare books, that I am so happy is the start of a series. Once the book was over, I was not ready. The story (while leaves you on a cliff hanger, not dangling over a cliff barely holding on type of cliff hanger) wraps up quite nicely. But I was not ready to be done with the characters. Her portrayal of Apollo is spot on and Siobhan is a girl that you just want to sit down with for a while. Please come out with book 2 very soon!!!

A little warning, this book not for the weak of heart and certainly only for those over 18. Proceed with caution.

What are your favorite topics to learn about? Do you like fiction books written about the same topics? Do you like to mix religion and fiction or keep them apart?

Top 5 Reading Apps

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Is it just my kids, or do most kids spend a lot of time on the computer, tablet, phone? My girls spend so much time on their computers. Yes this has a great deal to do with the fact that they go to an online school, it makes most of their day online. But it feels like they are always plugged into something. My two youngest girls, love their tablets. Once they are done with school for the day, the run and grab the tablets.

They use to play a lot of games and it got me thinking. If they are going to be spending so much on these devices, there has to be a way for them to also be learning. On the hunt I went. I picked reading (stay tuned for the best math apps too) and started to search the apps. To say there are a lot of reading apps, is not anywhere close to what I found. There are hundreds of reading apps. Now not all apps are created equal. Some are really great, some are lacking; some are free and some cost as much as $12 a month. It was crazy the variety that was out there.

Below are my top 5 apps. They had to be affordable (no $12 a month here, thank you very much), they had to have lots of books to choose from, they had to reach a broad reading range, and last but certainly most important, the girls had to want to play them without my prompting. Good criteria I think. Thoughts? Did I miss any? (These are in no order)

raz-kidsRaz-Kids-

This is my favorite one. The girls love it, you can pick the level that they are reading at based on the common core levels. (Yes some of you will hate it just because of that, but it really makes finding the right level and the rest of the books in that level super easy to find. Even the girls can find their own books). You can read the stories, it can read them to you, and it even has a quiz at the end of each book to make sure that not only can they read it but your kid can UNDERSTAND what they read. Plus it is totally free. The only downside is it has to be through your school, so all you homeschool mama’s call and complain about it.

 

far fariaFar Faria

This one is the girls favorite. It opens to a Neverland type map, and you select the location that you want to go to; Bedtime Buffs, Fairytale Falls, Mt Make Believe and a lot more. Everything is very colorful and detailed. Like Raz-Kids, you can read the story or have it read it to you. It has two versions of the app, a free app and a paid. The free app, you can read one book a day; with the paid you get unlimited.

 

homerHomer

We all love Homer. There is no free version, so that is a bummer. But it is only $7.99 a month, not to terribly expensive. It has a ton of activities: it can read you the story, you can read them, you can record you reading them, it has exercises that work with sounds of letters, and so much more. Baby (age 3) would spend all day on this app if you let her. She loves playing with it and listening to the engaging stories. Plus her reading ability is growing by leaps and bounds, since she spends a good deal of time with the pre-reading activities. Saying that she is doing “school”. Anything that gives a positive spin to school work is good in my book.

reading rainbowReading Rainbow

Was any other parent excited to have Reading Rainbow back? I know that I was. Growing up I loved this show, and I was thrilled that the app was coming out. My girls would see how great it was too. They liked it, but for the free version they were only allowed to pick 5 books. After a day, they were done with it. It is a really great start up app, that being said, it is $10 a month. With all the money that they raised, it seems like they could have offered this at a much lower price point.

Bob BooksBob Books

What a great app, even the free version is robust. What I like about this particular app, and what separates it from the other reading apps, it starts spelling. It has lots of activities that will say the word “CAT” and give you the letters. Then you have to put the letters in the correct order. While it is very easy, it certainly helps with letter sounds and the visual letter.

So those are my top 5 reading apps. Do you let your kids use a tablet, phone, laptop? What apps do you like?

A Look Inside A Writter’s Office

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Have you ever wondered what people’s personal offices look like? I know that I do. I get this idea in my head about what a person might be like, in particular authors. Often times the only window into their world is the books they write. You have to put together an image in your head. Are they neat, are they messy (like me), do they have everything all cutesy in color coordinated folders?

Cynthia Mock Burroughs, author of Remember Della, (be sure to check out my review of her AMAZING book here) was amazing enough to give us a glimpse into her world. Not only that, but she is so awesome, that she even wrote up a post just for us. Check out what she has to say about her office space.

“I always wonder, do professional writers have neat and clean professional offices? I did not start out to be a writer so my office is multi-purposeful. It is a 10 X 10 space tucked into the corner of our TV/family room upstairs. The side with the “doorway” is made up by the back side of my daughter’s computer desk and unorganized, unaddressed papers. On the opposing wall, tucked under the window, is the desk for “business purposes.” It is lined with electrical supply books and references. Being the bookkeeper for my husband’s electrical business is the number one priority. To the left on the desk, I have my pile of “personal-want-to-keep” stuff. On the right, is my pile of “book-in-progress” items. Somewhere in the middle lie the pens, the calculator, the stapler, and all the yellow sticky notes designed to keep my overloaded brain from forgetting some important “to do” task. If the task does not appear on the little yellow blocks, it is lost in the recesses of a scrambled brain.

The third wall is obliterated by filing cabinets, my computer, and the two very necessary copy, fax, scan, and print machines. Packed around all of this and stuffed into cubicles above it, are the stacks of blank paper, trips-to-go-on, trips-done-gone-on, college information for daughter, and more stacks of book writing and publishing paraphernalia. I forgot, there is also a place for the personal bills and the business bills. I guess this is what they call an organized mess. But then, my office matches my life – an organized mess. The last wall is obliterated by various licensing documents, phone numbers, and need-to-know-fast information.

Sometimes, under my feet is a dog who thinks life is all about play. She bumps my arm with her nose so I know I am not attending to her desires. During the days I am not working at my paying job as a nurse anesthetist, I play music while I work in my office. In the evening, my husband sits in his favorite chair and watches TV just outside my “door.” This makes for a very cozy family environment.”

It is nice to see someone else’s office as an “organized mess” too. What about yours? Do you need to keep everything organized to be productive, or do you like a bit of chaos rolling around? What does your office look like?

Are You- Tamed?

Tamed

Anyone who like quick easy romances will enjoy this one.

From the back of the book-

“Porter Marshall has nearly achieved his goal of becoming a Club Sin Master, but his new sub poses a much bigger challenge than he anticipated. Despite their mutual attraction and red-hot dungeon sessions, Kenzie Hart plays her own games. Her bratty, you-can€™t-break-me attitude masks terrible personal hurt and €”pain that only the exquisite touch of a skilled Dom can release. But when Porter suggests taking their connection to the outside world, Kenzie denies him . . . which only makes him want her more.

Kenzie can€™t ignore the raw, fierce bond she has with Porter. But she can’€™t give in to his dangerous demands, either. Is the passion they share real, or is he using her to solidify his status at Club Sin? And yet, who else can she trust with the shattering secrets she holds within? As Porter expertly brings her to the point of no return, Kenzie surrenders her body and, piece by piece, her heart.”

While this does have BDSM theme, it is not as rough or hard as 50 Shades. In the beginning of the book, Kenzie seems to like that. But the author only alludes to what she has does with other males. There are no detailed description scenes. It was a very nice change.

I LOVED this story line. Kenzie makes a great female lead. Strong, sassy, and a little in your face; but that is all a cover, a face. As Porter starts to push, she starts to open up letting in a completely new side to her. I love how timid she is about opening up; how hard she works to keep those walls up. It is a nice twist, normally the girl falls in love right away and wants him to open up. While she is working on him, this book he is working on figuring our her.

Yes, it is a love story, making the ending easy to see coming. But lets be real, one of the reasons to read romance books is for that happily ever after ending. Personally, I like seeing the characters end up together. I like the happy endings. Over all, this book would be high on my fluff, romance to read list.

What about you guys, do you like reading books where you can see the ending coming? Or do you stay away from romance books, since they all end the same?

Enchanted Rose

EnchantedRose

To say I loved this book from the first sentence would be a stretch. To be honest, I had issues with the first sentence. It took a few reads to get past it. But once I did, it was awesome!

From The Back Of The Book-

“When Vivian’s mother dies in a tragic accident, Vivian’s world is turned upside down. Her life, as she knows it, is over. A new life, full of her mother’s secrets, begins…

Sent away by her father to live with two eccentric aunts on the mysterious Tremaine Estate, Vivian comes to learn that a powerful curse lurks over her family – one that only she may have the power to break. With each day she spends in Misty Hills, Vivian uncovers more unsettling discoveries about the town, her reclusive family, and herself.

Can Vivian let go of every truth she’s ever believed and discover who she really is, before the dark secrets hidden within the supernatural town threaten to consume her and those she loves?”

This story starts after (I think a year after) Vivian’s mother dies. Her father is running out of ways to parent a teenage daughter and sends her to live with aunts that she never knew existed. As Vivian is getting to know the small town that she is living in, she learns more about her mother and the family she never knew she had.

The story of magic, curses, and small town rumors comes right to your front page. It starts slow and builds without you realizing it. Before you know it, you are up well past mid-night trying to finish the book. With as much as I loved this book, it was wonderful to see Tink get so involved in a book.

She is not a big reader. In fact getting her to read “for fun” is like pulling teeth. Actually, she would much rather go to the dentist and really get some teeth pulled then be forced to read a book. She just does not enjoy reading in any form. I got huge eye rolling and even a huff when I asked her to read this. She was not pleased with me, not even a little bit. Then she started it.

I caught her up well past bedtime, hiding in the closet, with a flashlight to finish this book. Then got the eye rolling and huffing when I told her she had to put the book down and go to bed. This happened more then once, or even twice. Until she was finished reading this was the nightly routine with her.

Then one night, while my husband and I were watching tv, we heard her yell from her room. Then a door slam. After racing down, and asking her what was going on, she informed us that she had just finished the book. She was not a fan of the ending, and even less of a fan of having to wait for the next one to come out. Please come out with Book 2 soon!!!

Do your kids like to read? What do you do to get your middle schooler to read more?

 

Skin Need a Pick Me Up

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**I was supplied samples for this post at no cost. All opinions are my own.
Post does contain affiliate links**

After a long winter, and the change of seasons, I know that my skin could use a little pick me up. A little TLC. While I love my No7 line and am very loyal to it, I feel like I needed to try something new; in the name of science, for all of you. In case you are not as in love with No7 as I am. Yea, that is why I wanted to try a new product. Strictly to help you all out. Hehehe.

Well I happened to get an awesome (full sized) sample to try just for that purpose. Radhad Beauty was able to send over their Vitamin C Serum, their Retinol Moisturizer, and their Eye Gel. I think the best way to tell you about each product will be to explain them, in the order that you would apply them.

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Vitamin C Serum-
It seems like Vitamin C Serums are all the rage at the moment. Just about all the lines have one. I have tried others in the past, and I do notice a difference in my skin on the days that I wear them. This one is quite nice, and slightly different then the others. There in no color (most of the others have a yellow to orange color to them) and it has no scent (again others have an orange scent to them). However, it is almost water like, so when you pump the bottle it can spill out if you are not careful, making it a bit harder to apply. Overall though, it is a great serum if you are sensitive to color and scents. It absorbs very quickly into the skin.

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Eye Gel-
It claims to provide intensive eye care; focusing on dark circles, wrinkles, and puffiness. This is a plant based gel and applies a lot like an aloe gel, same slightly sticky formula, very cooling and you can feel it working. Personally I don’t see a lot of help in the way of dark circles. But it gets rid of all puffiness and fills in the little wrinkles. If you are ok with using a concealer for dark circles, then this would be a great eye gel.

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Retinol Moisturizer-
From the bottle it claims to immediately and long term release to promote radiate skin. I really like the way that this feels on my skin, and the way that my skin looks when I use it. Radiate skin is going a bit far, but my skin looks better then normal. If you have more wrinkles or fine lines, this would be a great product! Something to keep in mind with this, it is on the thicker side. As the temps are warming up here in AZ, it might become to much to wear year round. It might get moved to a nighttime routine product, but it will stay in the rotation.

Overall I am very impressed with how these products work. Below are the links to Amazon, that way if you are interested in giving them a try you can find them.


What are your thoughts? Do you like to give new skin care products a try? Or if you found something that works, do you stick with it? What brand/line/products are you using?