Monday, August 31, 2015

Conquering Conflict + #MotivatingMonday Link-Up

With the 'Back To School' Grind, comes my daily commute. It's not the worst in the world, but I miss the 5-minute jaunt from my house to work days. Now I do a 35 minute commute. 15 of those minutes is just getting to the freeway.  I like my commute, when all goes well. But I've met some real characters on my commutes. The road construction doesn't help at all. For about 15 miles, cars are relegated to several extremely narrow, bumpy, lanes and the speed limit is 55 mph. Yeah, right. Try to make people follow that one. You've got some really impatient folks out there. I wonder how some of those drivers do it, though. Some of them drive as if they are the only ones on the road, not paying attention to anything around them, serenely boxing in miles of traffic and not batting an eye. I wonder if they think that they must set the safety example for the rest of us and use their cars to enforce their standards of excellence, at 50 mph. Oh the rage that it incites, though. I admit, it used to drive me absolutely nutty. But lately, I've decided that it isn't worth the stress. I now have something that calms me down.....wait for it......I massage my face. Yep, I learned from my favorite Social Media network, that there are pressure points on your face where you can use circular motions to reduce stress, increase blood flow, release toxins and !bonus! reduce the signs of aging. So I'm driving along, massaging my stress away AND looking ever younger as I go! I can't wait to see what I look like at the end of May! In the meantime, I hope I don't box in too much traffic!

 Today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating, mostly non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos!  If I happen to find a great one, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MotivatingMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Don't be shy--I'm really very supportive!  Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fduL2dhwRmY/VUhUiqqrMvI/AAAAAAAAHrk/WPpqiWXOEfI/s640/Motivating%2BMonday.jpg
 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Booties and A Belt--Easy Style!

I am a no-nonsense dresser when I go to work as an Instructional Assistant at a Remedial High School. I love the sort-of blue collar job that I have and wouldn't change it for the world. But sometimes I want to change from casual to chic in a quick minute. That's why I think that a pair of suede booties and a wide belt are so wonderful to take me there! What do you think?
I got both of these items at AMI Clubwear for less than $50 total! Not bad! Here are some other examples of wearing booties and a belt!


Disclaimer: This site accepts product samples and/or compensation. Affliliate links may be used to help support this site. All text and opinions are 100% my own and are not swayed by any sponsor affiliation.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Leaving For College And Making It Work + $300 #Giveaway

Sponsored by Staples.com
The time has finally arrived--the son is a college freshman. The days of worrying about whether or not he will actually graduate from high school are over. It was a bumpy ride and maybe I worried more than I should have, because in the end, it was he and he alone who motivated himself, made sure all his papers were in and completed, tests were passed and forms filled out. No one could have been more proud than I was when he walked out in his cap and gown and received that diploma. 

And now, he's going to college and doing the same thing! But it's a whole new arena, this college gig. There is absolutely no one to hold his hand, giving him an extra break if his paper is late or if he doesn't make class because he is just too tired to get up. Will he make it? New stats give some interesting facts. 


  • It will most likely take longer than 6 years to get that degree. Only 56% of students earn a degree within 6 years. Life takes over and adulthood is more than going to class and doing homework!
  • Tuition costs are higher than ever. And I won't even go into how much money it will take to graduate.
  • Even though it is harder than ever for college graduates to find a good job, they still out-earn those without degrees. (source)
With all the hustle and bustle of getting into classes and moving, here are some tips to make moving to a new area and living without the parents a little easier!

1.  Time to start organizing yourself! Alas, mom won't be there to wake you up, remind you of appointments and other things you took for granted in high school. A great resource is Google Calendar because you can sync it to your phone, computer, tablet, or watch (if you're fortunate enough to own a smart watch!) You can color coordinate, add alarms and notifications, and make notes. It will be a lifesaver!
2. Make a great checklist and make it over time so that when you have an idea you can jot it down. Moving is a huge job, so making that checklist will cut down on the head slaps!
3. Get sturdy moving boxes. Whether you’re schlepping or shipping your room, box it up. Staples even bundles the boxes for you. Start out with an 8 pack of SmoothMove medium sized boxes. Then pick up a wardrobe box to save you the tedium of transferring your entire closet hanger by hanger. For packing ninjas, the Bankers Box SmoothMove Kraft Moving Box doesn’t even need tape—it’s magic!
4. Get Label Crazy. Your bathroom supplies box and late-night snack box look identical. You think you’ll remember what went where, but you won’t. Cue the labels. And if you’re shipping your boxes, you can label and ship all at once at Staples.
Lastly, if you want to make your new space unique and something that reflects you, check out
Staples.com/backtoschool 
They have weekly specials and deals to make your space functional and comfortable. Also, Staples Copy and Print Center can personalize products to create one-of-a-kind decor with custom photo canvases, photo panels, phone covers and more!


staplesgw With that being said, it is time to bring on the giveaway! Mom Buzz Media bloggers have partnered with Staples to bring you this $300 gift card Multi-Winner giveaway! 5 lucky readers will each get a gift card from Staples! One will get a $100 gift card and the other 4 will get $50 gift cards!
Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media. I received promotional items to assist with my post and promotions. This giveaway is in no way associated with any social media website and is Facebook compliant. 5 winners will be chosen at random and emailed. These winners will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will have to be chosen. US Residents only please. Ends 11:59 CST on 8/27.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Creating Beauty + Motivating Monday

I decided to go back to work this year. I work at a remedial high school that gives 2nd chances to oftentimes overlooked and under served students. I am a huge believer in 2nd chances, having taken advantage of many myself over the years. If it weren't for 2nd chances, I wouldn't have the awesome life I have now. Living the dream! Ha!

I've noticed that many of the things that I thought I would weave into my life took different dips and dives and the painting I had envisioned of my life looks totally different now. That's OK, I think it's very beautiful anyway!  

I heard a great story this week about a guy who loved football. He lived and breathed it as a Jr. in high school and a lot of colleges were knocking at his door. His senior year started out with a bang. They were one game away from the state championship. That was when his world came crashing down because in that game he broke his leg and tore up his knee, resulting in major knee reconstruction surgery. It ended his football career. 

It was really rough for him and he went through all the cycles of grief--denial, anger, blame, depression. Each of these stages took months to get through and the depression was the worst. Eventually he did pick himself up and turned his life outward instead of inward towards himself. He decided to go into the medical field because of his injury and went through school to become a physician's assistant. He finally came to the last stage of grief years later, which is Acceptance. He does acknowledge that if he hadn't gone through this ordeal, he may have never met his wife, who supported him through all his years of medical training. And he also acknowledges that God and Jesus Christ helped him through it all.
He certainly doesn't regret football and all that it taught him, but he is glad for the detours his path took him. 

The image below is the second Helen Keller quote I've done this month and so well deserved. Her life was not what most people would have wanted from the very start, being born both blind and deaf. But she did transcend her difficulties in a beautiful way and despite being gone for over 45 years now, her legacy lives on and she is one of the most often quoted women in history.
 Today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating, mostly non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos!  If I happen to find a great one, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MotivatingMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Don't be shy--I'm really very supportive!  Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Extra Nutrition For Maximum Efficiency #youtheory



I have believed strongly for some years now that nutrition is one of the main factors that drives your health, energy and well-being.  After I had my daughter at 31 and then lost her, I had some real difficulty in recovering.  We lost her a few hours after birth and it was definitely unexpected and so hard. My health and well-being were floundering. Even a year after, I had no energy, and was napping all the time and would get sick regularly.  I just couldn’t get a handle on my health.  Then I was introduced to a company that had great nutritional products. And even though I wasn’t eating badly in the first place, the added nutrition was exactly what I needed to pull myself out of the funk I had gotten myself into. I found that my energy increased, my weight dropped, and my positive state of mind returned right along with it! Because of that experience I feel that even though wholesome, healthy food is definitely a must, there is even more out there, to give yourself the extra boost that you need. You just need to find what works for you.  I found one company that has some amazing products and has been given some  prestigious awards because of it. I was lucky and was given 3 of their most popular products to try. 

YouTheory, a nutritional company, is all about helping women and men age beautifully. Whether you are 35, 45, 55, or 65, there are certain things that your body needs that it can’t easily obtain-- even with adequate amounts of nutritious foods. Among these health sustaining elements are collagen, and inflammation reducing anti-oxidants called Curcuminoids, major fighters of that complex thing called aging!

Collagen types  1,2 & 3 Collagen is the body’s key structural protein. Your nails, hair, tendons, bones and muscle all depend heavily on it. It is critical to the formation and on-going health of the skin, cartilage, ligaments and other bodily tissues and structures. Hydrolyzed Collagen is a highly digestible protein. Oral ingestion has shown beneficial effects on join and bone health, skin health, weight management and sports performance!
TurmericTurmeric contains one of nature’s best kept secrets – Curcuminoids, a specialized group of antioxidants known to support healthy inflammation response.  Youtheory’s Turmeric is carefully sourced with the highest level of curcumin available and enhanced with a patented black pepper extract that substantially increases the bio-availability of Curcuminoids.

Joint Collagen - This collagen is specifically for joints and gives an extra boost of type 2 collagen. It encourages cartilage repair, aids in reducing muscle and joint stiffness, promotes joint flexibility and elasticity and helps to reduce joint inflammation. This would be very good for runners!


 I am a wholehearted believer in these compounds to help keep our bodies as youthful and healthy as possible! It’s not cheating if you stave off the aging process by putting wholesome and healthy things into your body, right?  (But I’m not adverse to a tiny bit of cheating either.)

The question is, are these supplements absorbed by the body? A good way to test that is to put the supplement in question into a cup of water and wait for 24 hours. Make sure you weigh it on a kitchen scale first and record the weight.  Has the supplement broken down? How much is left in the water? Take a fine piece of cheesecloth and strain the water through it. Whatever is left in the cheesecloth is what has not been absorbed into the bloodstream.  Weigh whatever is left and you can then deduce exactly what percentage of the supplement is actually absorbed each time you take a pill. 

I did put the Collagen pill to the test and I'm happy to report that it dissolved in less than 6 hours, leaving only a cloud in the water. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't come close to weighing what the pill weighed before it was put into the water! 

I've been taking these supplements now for about 2 weeks and I'm happy with them, other than the size. They are a bit large and I actually break them in two to swallow them. Fortunately they are very easy to break. I feel a small difference in my joint health at this early stage, which is a good indication of things to come!

You can find youtheory in over 50,000 retailers and health stores nationwide, including Amazon, and their website! Follow them on Facebook and Twitter

Monday, August 17, 2015

Look Toward The Sunshine + Motivating Monday!

I love Twitter because I see some really candid things that people tweet out and then forget becuase the feed just keeps going! Two tweets I saw recently gave me pause:
1) "Why can't I just quit work and live a Pinterest life?" 
2) "So I Was Waiting For my kid's Bus & It Was Very Late. I Sat There And A Elderly Lady Had a Bucket And Was Going All Over Yard Picking Up Leaves & Misc. Twigs Etc. I Wish I Had That Kind Of Time On My Hands!!"

I think we all have those moments where we wish we were somewhere totally different than we are right now! But think about it, I'm sure these two people are glad that they are where they are right now instead of where they spontaneously and publicly wished for on Twitter! 

For the lady who wanted to quit her job and have a life like Pinterest--everything about Pinterest is fake! The pictures are contrived and set up to look as gorgeous and surreal as possible. There is no such thing as a life like Pinterest! If a genie were to appear and grant you a life like Pinterest, you would seriously have NO life! 

For the woman who thinks that she would like all that extra spare time that the elderly lady has to pick up random sticks and leaves in her yard--think again! That woman is probably wishing she had more to do, and more energy to do it! She wishes she had more people to come visit her, like her children and grandchildren, and more time left in this life to take care of past mistakes & regrets! She probably has a few things left that she'd really like to do, but can't. You, on the other hand, are in the midst of your life, with children, family, friends, and responsibilities. You have such a full life that you hardly have enough time to think about it. Use your time well. Love well and appreciate the health and energy you have while it's still abundant! Your life won't always be that busy and full. Soon enough your children will grow, your responsibilities will diminish, and you'll have plenty of time to think about the sticks and leaves in your yard. 
 Today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating, mostly non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos!  If I happen to find a great one, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MotivatingMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Don't be shy--I'm really very supportive!  Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase!
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fduL2dhwRmY/VUhUiqqrMvI/AAAAAAAAHrk/WPpqiWXOEfI/s640/Motivating%2BMonday.jpg

Friday, August 14, 2015

#Utah Events - #UpliftFamilies Parenting Conference + $5.00 Discount Code

It's been two weeks since I attended the amazing luncheon at the Utah Governor's Mansion hosted by Jeanette Herbert, the wife of esteemed Utah Governor, Gary Herbert. I felt very honored because I was one of about 40 Utah bloggers selected to attend and hear about the upcoming 'Uplift Families' Parenting Conference.

But first things first! My choice of apparel for the event was this hi-lo dip dye dress by Karen Kane.

It was so amazing to walk into and tour the premises of this historic building. Although there are guided tours given of this historic mansion built in the 1800's, it seemed a little bit more intimate and private because we were all bloggers and were all there for a common purpose, to support Mrs. Herbert with her initiative, Uplift Families.


Mrs. Herbert has chosen to do everything she can to provide tools to help strengthen or uplift Utah families during her tenure as Utah's First Lady. I think it is a wonderful initiative and I wholeheartedly agree with her--the family is the cornerstone that makes our country great. When the country's families are strong, so is the country.

After the meet and greet, where I was able to speak with Mrs. Herbert and get a picture with her, we had an amazing luncheon, with the most delicious salads and breadsticks, and eclairs that were light, delectable and very popular!


We heard from the organizers of the event--Mrs. Herbert's Executive Director, Steve James, Nicole Carpenter--a Utah blogger, Brooke Walker from Studio5, and Mrs. Herbert.
All of the talks were very inspirational! I was most interested in Mrs. Herbert's address because it is through her that this event is taking place!

The Address
Mrs. Herbert explained some of the reasons why she had chosen to focus on families for her initiative. She talked about how when she was a young mom, she realized that her children didn't come with instructions and that she wasn't as prepared as she thought, even though she came from a great family. Acknowledging that, she looked for wisdom she didn't yet have--through books, other parents, and even classes. She found that when she tried the suggestions that they did indeed help her with raising her kids.

She explained that in life when we buy something new from the store, it usually comes with instructions. But children don't. They are all different, yet some things about them are very similar. She illustrated her point with this quote, "Buying a piano no more makes you a pianist than having a child makes you a great parent."

She talked about how the state of Utah is relatively low in some crime statistics, and that it may give some of us a false sense of security. In actuality it is very sad what happens to many children, the same ones who gave us such high hopes. Too many children are lost as teenagers to drugs, alcohol and suicide.  

I loved that she didn't approach the problem with any sense of judgement or condescension, having been there herself. She believes that parenting is so complex and no one can be a perfect parent. "But", she asks, "what can we do to increase the odds of that child being the best they can be?"
  
Her goal is to give tools to parents so they can nurture their children and increase their odds of being a successful adult. She feels that it is critical that parents understand how their actions and reactions to their children is so imperative because it molds them into the adults they will become. Parents should have every opportunity while children are young to nurture them so that when they become teens and adults, they will have the tools to be successful.

She reiterated that it starts with the family and is really all about the family when it comes to a child's feeling of safety and support. The strength that they feel in the home will sustain them when they get out on their own in the world because they have a safe loving environment to come home to.  After that most important cornerstone, you can then add different methodology, behavior modification, proven techniques and other valuable tools. And there are so many!

The upcoming Uplift Families Conference on Saturday, September 19th will be a great opportunity to catch the vision of Mrs. Herbert's initiative, be guided to some great resources, hear some great speakers and have a wonderful dinner. Tickets will be quickly sold out, so if you have the chance to register, do so quickly! Use the code NEEDS2015 to get an additional $5.00 off, which would make it a great deal, only $20.00 per couple or $10.00 for an individual. You can read about the evening agenda and register here!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Support Not Condescension + Motivating Monday

Last week I helped my sister, who is expecting her 4th child in February, do a fundraiser at her house. It's called 'The Apple Tree' Project. Basically it's almost like the Christmas Angel Project except it's in the Summer. You can pick an apple off the tree and provide back-to-school items for underprivileged kids. There was a lemonade stand, with Rice Krispy Treats, chocolate chip cookies and 2 kinds of lemonade too!  Many of the neighborhood moms stopped by, with kids in tow, to choose an apple, have some treats, and visit.

One of the moms who stopped by is quite well-heeled, to say the least. Her husband is the CEO of a huge company. She is basically done with having her kids and the youngest is probably 7.  Of course I had no idea about that when she stopped by with her 4 kids. 

My nephew was playing with a cool remote control car he got at a yardsale for 9 dollars. He was thrilled with it and was making it go every which way, rolling it over toes, bumping into the lemonade stand, and generally making a nuisance of himself, albeit a cute one. One of the kids of the well-heeled mom, after watching for awhile, stated that he also had a remote control car, but so much better, it cost over $300. All of a sudden my nephews car didn't seem as annoying and, being the out-spoken and over-the-top teaser that I am sometimes, stated that not only was my nephew's car probably better, but that someone was smarter because they got it at such a great price. According to me, someone had definitely over-paid for the $300 car. I was just seeing what kind of reaction I would get from the kid. He seemed a little confused at first, not expecting to be challenged with an obviously cheaper car than his. I might not have been able to do that if said car was actually on premises, but since it wasn't, why not play around a bit?

Meanwhile my sister was talking to the mom. She was seeking some friendly support from someone who had several kids herself, probably the last one right around the same age as she is now--wondering if her last one was a bit more difficult than the first one, since she is about 9 years older now and feeling every bit of it. Sadly, there was no support forthcoming from this neighborhood corporate mom. Instead she was told that all her pregnancies were very easy, no problem, short labors, recovered quickly, no weight gain, no difference between the first and last pregnancies in terms of difficulty. She offered no comforting words of advice, no encouragement, nothing.  She didn't mention or admit to the fact that she probably had 24/7 nanny care and maid service during all her pregnancies.

After the fundraiser we were comparing notes and I found out that it was so similar--like mother, like son. Both were alluding, if not outright stating, that they were superior in both material possessions (kid) and physical health (mom), very happy to emphasize that point. I'm amazed at how quickly kids pick up even complicated social cues from their parents, like condescension....
Today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating, mostly non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos!  If I happen to find a great one, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MotivatingMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Don't be shy--I'm really very supportive!  Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase!
 http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fduL2dhwRmY/VUhUiqqrMvI/AAAAAAAAHrk/WPpqiWXOEfI/s640/Motivating%2BMonday.jpg

Friday, August 7, 2015

A Great T-Shirt! Easy Style For On-The-Go Moms

 The t-shirt is the undisputed comfort top! Jennifer Lopez nailed the look with a skirt and shows that it can be worn for a casual or dressier occasion!
Loved and worn by moms everywhere, the t-shirt is usually paired with yoga pants, jeans, or sweats. I say keep the comfort factor when aiming for a slightly dressier look! The t-shirt can be paired with a cute skirt, and some great espadrilles like my sassy friend, Andrea, below! She's got 4 kids, teenagers' included! It's instant style and proven comfort!



Teeshirt
Espadrilles
Skirt 


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Fashion Icon + Motivating Monday (Or Tuesday)

This week I took some time to learn about a woman who was and is groundbreaking for women. Her career is still going at 83 year's old. She is a fashion icon and has much wisdom for those who are interested in succeeding in fashion, acting, art, or just living in a big city! Her name is Carmen Dell'Orefice. 



I thought if anyone could talk to us about a career in fashion, it would be her! The definition of living has changed since when she began her career--for instance, it was safe for a young girl of 10 to go by herself on the subway in the city and be alone all day, and since she was one of the first fashion models, not much competition but everything was groundbreaking. She has a lot of things to share that are wise and pertinent to today's world because she is still very much relevant with her ongoing career, made necessary because of Bernie Madoff and his huge panze scheme that affected millions of people, robbing them of their total life savings. She was taught by many of the European expatriates, like Alexander Lieberman, and Erwin Blumenfeld, who immigrated to America after WWII. She had a chance to pick up their sense of style. She talks about how today's young models don't get the chance to be educated and tutored in the art of modeling because now, there are so many of them, and companies can just throw them away at will after they are finished with them, unless they can find someone who is really knowledgeable and willing to mentor them. She talks about learning how to deal with a changing body and the choice to take care of it! I learned that age doesn't have to hold you back! You just need to re-invent yourself! See her full interview here. It was very interesting to me as someone who is interested in fashion and the history of fashion. Her story is something I pursued because I wanted to know more. I had to leave some other things, hence this post on Tuesday rather than Monday! But...

I definitely stopped and enjoyed the journey! Time to get started again!
Today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating, mostly non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos!  If I happen to find a great one, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MotivatingMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Don't be shy--I'm really very supportive!  Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase!
 http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fduL2dhwRmY/VUhUiqqrMvI/AAAAAAAAHrk/WPpqiWXOEfI/s640/Motivating%2BMonday.jpg