I was chosen as a Beacon Hill Press blogger to read/review books and share my honest opinion.

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I recently read A Story Unfinished: 99 Days with Eliot by Matt Mooney.  I knew from the title this would be a hard read, but I was pleasantly surprised by Matt’s sense of humor and the way that he looked at their situation.

Before his son was born, Eliot was diagnosed with Trisomy 18.  This meant that if he survived the birth, every moment would be uncertain.  Instead of saying, “we only had 99 days with Eliot” Matt says, “we were blessed to have 99 days with Eliot”.

How awesome is that?  He was able to look at their situation as a gift and a blessing and not a tragedy.  Matt and his wife put their faith in God, and were able to see what they had been given as this amazing gift day after day, for 99 days.  After all they went through, they started a non-profit called 99 Balloons.

The story was captivating.  Even knowing how the story would end, I still wanted to see what happened next.  It is obvious that Matt shows his heart and wants his readers to truly experience how he felt.

Each year, I have had HJ’s picture taken right before his birthday.  With the pictures, I add some of his favorite things and have the picture printed into a 16×20 canvas (this year, my lovely readers helped pick it out).  I love being able to look back at his favorite things, and see how they have changed.  This year, I feel like he looks like a big kid.  The baby-ness has gone away and been replaced with a handsome little kid.

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The canvas wall is one of my favorite decorations in the house.  It is so fun to see how much HJ has grown throughout the years.  The bad part?

The wall is officially full.

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I always pictured the canvas’ lining a stairway wall.  Only problem is, we don’t have a stairway.  And it seems a bit silly to move because of some pictures.  Silly, but not totally out of the question.

You may remember my other photo project was to complete a yearbook for 2013 instead of filling photo albums.

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I will definitely be continuing this tradition.  I love it, and it is so much easier than having numerous albums lying around.

Do you have photo traditions?  Any advice on what to do with the next canvas?

 

You know one of those moments where your head is overwhelmed with thought but you can’t quite get it onto paper?  Tonight is one of those.

I received some news tonight regarding a friend, and haven’t had time to process it.  I thought writing would help, but after I had a post all written, I hit delete.

Without trying to cause drama, there are some people I wish I could have helped.

There are people I should have been kinder to.  People I should have helped more.  People that I should not have held my tongue for.

On the flip side, there are some people I have been too kind to.  Some that I have let repeatedly break my heart.  And some that I gave too much.

You never know what is actually going through another person’s head.  You never know what they are feeling.

And then you wonder.  What if I had said something?  What if instead of joking about it with friends, we actually voiced our concerns?  What if I had been a better friend?

I didn’t realize that another’s stupid mistake could make another friend so visibly shaken over the phone.  I didn’t realize that her actions could make my friends and I feel guilty when we did nothing.  Or maybe that is why I am feeling guilty?

Heavy words to start a weekend with, I know.

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I had a few questions on one of my photo projects from February.  I didn’t clearly describe what I was doing, so here it goes…

Kids come home with a lot of art work.  A lot.  As parents, we would love to save and treasure it all, but there’s a lot of it (have I mentioned that?).

As HJ brings his masterpieces home, I set them in a pile on my counter.  Leaving it in a place that will drive you crazy is key to curing procrastination.  Since I hate piles, I quickly like to eliminate the art work.

To do this, I take a picture of it.  Then throw it out.  GASP.  I throw out the art work.  I save it all to a file on my computer, and edit and crop in picmonkey.  Then, I uploaded the masterpieces to snapfish and created a photo book.

All of HJ’s art work from 2010-2013 created volume 1 of his art books.  Being in school now, I know the books might fill more quickly, so I am hoping to stay on top of it a bit more this time around.

I think it’s a fun way for HJ to show off his work and progress.  And, it saves a lot of storage trouble for me!

 

Guess what?  I FINALLY won the monthly contest with Courtney.  That’s right.  I lost more weight.  It’s about time, really.  I was sick of sending her gifts

I lost another 2.92% and am only half a pound away from my goal weight!  HALF A POUND!  Overall, I have lost 12.5% since January.  Sorry while I brag, but daaaaannnngg am I proud of myself.  Not to mention, I am currently wearing jeans that didn’t fit a few months ago.  And they are too big.

And since I gloated over beating Courtney, I should mention that she is 6 pounds UNDER her goal weight.  She even went bikini shopping.  Skinny little punk.

I am still using my fitness pal, but not nearly as much as I use too.  I am still working on my couch to 5K program.  Everyone kept saying once I get in the habit, I will love running.

Those people are nuts.  I do not love it, I don’t even like it.  Running should really only be done when being chased.  But I am still determined to do a 5K.  I am currently able to run almost 2 miles without stopping.  I have been running on an indoor track, and it is so BORING.  If it wasn’t for my Pandora pop and hip hop power work-out station, I think I would collapse out of pure boredom.  Pitbull jamming out makes it a bit better.

I am hoping to be able to keep this motivation going as it gets nicer out.  I fear I won’t want to go to the gym, but want to come home to play outside.

I am also joining in with Living in Yellow and her #1800minute challenge.  So far, I am 200 minutes in.  I am hoping this helps with my motivation a bit.

I was starting to feel frustrated that you couldn’t actually see a physical difference in my appearance, so I took a picture from Christmas and a selfie form last week.  Here is the comparison:

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Sorry for the poor photo quality, but you shouldn’t expect more from me by this point :).  I think the difference shows!  Also, I should consider wearing make-up when I go to work.  A little under eye oncealer would have worked wonders.

Work-out people: Is it better to have a cardio day and then a separate weight day?  Or do some cardio and some weights each day?

 
Billy Coffey is celebrating his new book, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway.

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One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 5th. Winner will be announced April  7th on Billy’s blog. Watch Billy give the backstory of the book here.

 


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Billy’s blog on April 7th to see if you won.

March: Get Organized

February: Picture Projects

January: Get Healthy

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March was one of those months where I felt like I was going non-stop to try to accomplish my goal.  Therefore, I declare April as my “hopefully easy” month.  Also, it seems petty.  And dull.  So, don’t worry, I won’t bore you with updates throughout the month.

Get Pretty Fingernails.

What?  I know.  It seems dumb.  Buttttt…I use to have a routine where I would file and paint and moisturize.  My nails didn’t use to be brittle.  And then, I just didn’t care.  Until now.

About 6 week ago, I slammed my thumb in a drawer.  It broke the nail halfway down the nail-bed, and I haven’t been able to get it to grow back.  Not only that, but it hurts.  And looks like it hurts.

I went out and bought some miracle grow nail drops that I am supposed to rub into my nails each day.  I also started taking biotin (it is supposed to be fabulous for hair and nails).  I am actually going to take time to file them…clip them…paint them…whatever it may be, until they are healthy again.

True Story that is also an April Fools trick I pulled off ..

One time, I told my gullible friend Matt that I met a guy at a casino and got married.  I explained we had a bit to drink, which led to us being crazy and getting married.  I went into lots more details and even filled in a friend that I knew he would call (which he did).  At the time I didn’t realize he bought it hook, line and sinker.

A few weeks later, I discovered my story had spread around his entire company.

Moral of the story: Always remember to tell people you were “just joking”.

Which brings me to introducing you to Dominic Swanson who can help you with those nights at the casino where you just might marry a stranger…

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Dress codes are an important part of society. While they may not be needed at virtual sites like online casinos; they do provide guidelines for people to know what to wear when visiting certain land based places. The last thing anybody wants is to go out looking like they are about to play pokies sat at home. The online sites can also be helpful to provide some guidance to those when really aren’t sure what to wear when visiting a certain location. For those going to the casino this can be quite helpful. Many women when preparing to go out for a casino evening will use this information to decide what to wear. Usually casinos will expect women to wear clothing that is within the smart casual style.

For many, smart casual clothing can mean many different things. To ensure that one is properly dressed for a night in the casino, it is important to understand what it means exactly. It actually gives women a lot of options in regards to what they can wear to the casino. Smart casual would be less formal than business wear but a bit dressier than the typical casual outfit. To put together an outfit of this style, women would pair dressier items with a casual one. Given this formula, it is easy to see why so many outfits can be created. When going to the casino for the evening, most women would be hard pressed to not find something appropriate to wear. This can be quite helpful especially when deciding to go to the casino at the last-minute.
Trousers or skirts can be worn to the casino in the evening. Women may opt for a dressier pair of trousers or those with more casual cuts including chinos and corduroys. Jeans are always a possibility with this style. However, to really pull them off, the other garments must be a bit dressier. The same is true to skirts. Just about any skirt will work so long as the length is decent.

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I love trying out new skin care products.  I am a creature of habit, if I find something I like, I am unlikely to change brands.  Unless, it is given to me.  Then I embrace change like a giddy kid on Christmas morning.

My current skin care routine consists of my homemade wash, and drug store brand lotions.  I am cheap, and wish I could splurge, but haven’t seen enough of a difference to justify spending money on pricey brands.

Until now.

I was asked to try out Radical Skincare Exfoliating Pads and Radical skincare Instant Revitalizing Mask.

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I started using the exfoliating pads every other day, and I LOVE them.  They instantly make my face brighter.  I use them at night and in the morning, my skin is still soft.  I was a bit nervous about the anti-aging being harsh on my sensitive skin, but I have had no problems.

The instant revitalizing mask is a product I used at night, about twice a week.  This also worked well on my sensitive skin, but unlike the exfoliating pads, I don’t know if this is worth the price tag.  I didn’t notice a huge difference adding this into my routine, and for the price, I might stick with something a little more budget friendly.

What products do you let yourself splurge on?  What products am I better sticking to drug store brands?

*Congrats to Sabrina, winner of the sexy little giveaway.  I will be contacting you via email.

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My goal for March was to GET ORGANIZED.  Anyone with a child can tell you that attempting to do this is like shoveling in a snow storm.  I think I am making progress in one area, and walk to the living room and see a whole new mess to pick up.

The above picture is what HJ managed to do while I was washing my face.  Seriously.  My face.  All of 2 minutes.  I have no idea how he moved all the chairs, stools and the coffee table, but he did.  He even tipped the coffee table on its side.  When I asked him what he had done it for, he explained it was to keep Tyson from getting on the couch.  That way I wouldn’t have to clean the couch.

Sweet, huh?  Trying to make my life easier, while making it messier.  After the barricade proved to not be dog proof, I suggested picking it up.  HJ’s response?

“But MOM!  That was a lot of work!”

That is kind of how I feel about March’s getting organized attempt.  I spent a lot of time digging through closets for them to look great, only…no one sees my closets.  Sure, I was able to get rid of a lot of stuff and make things look nice and pretty, but dannnngg was it boring.

Also, I want more closet space.  And a basement.  And if I’m asking for stuff, a sexy shirt less guy to hang some shelves and cook me dinner.

So yes, March’s resolution was met.  I could show you pictures, but let’s face it…linen closets are boring.  Bathroom cabinets are dull.  My organized junk drawer probably only excites me.

And that way there is no proof when it’s a mess 2 months from now.

Have you entered my fun little giveaway?  Winner will be picked on Sunday!