12 reasons why you need a Doula

12 Reasons Why You Need a Doula

For starters..

1. She is with you every step of the way - 100% percent of the way. Aside from mutually agreed upon naps incase of long labor Doulas are ABSOLUTELY with you the whole way. If you choose to birth in a hospital or medical center that has rotating shifts, when your nurse or doctors shift ends your doula is still there by your side. You dont have to worry about meeting a completely new person the same day you are about to go through a the biggest life change you've experienced thus far. Your doula will be there for you and your partner and family. 

2. Faster labor - Studies have shown that for mothers who have doulas attend their birth that in fact their labor is 25% percent shorter than mothers who do not have doulas. The continuous non-stop support that women do need also decreases the chances of unnecessary medical interventions. 

3. Helping prepare for birth - Whether your a first time mother or your a mother of 6 preparing yourself mentally, physically and emotionally for birth is so important. Doulas help do this by reminding the mother to eat and drink well. Exercise and being sure to do things that make you happy. They also help the mother prepare herself for birth by giving her suggestions or ideas of how she may want her birth to go. The little details that can be so important like delaying cord clamping, eye ointment applied or your wishes on vaccination. Doulas are awesome and can be super helpful in times like this. 

4. Gentle reminders of your birth plan - Labor is hard. Its just the way it is. And when it gets tough and you dont have a support system there with you it can sometimes feel like you never had a chance to have the birth you wanted. When I was in labor I constantly remember doctors and nurses telling me to get an epidural when I was breathing through contractions not supporting me in my desires for a natural birth. It is so relieving to have someone there with you who can gently remind you that this is hard but it won't last forever and they breathe with you and feel your pain with you and facilitate your birth to help you have the birth you want. 

5. Informational, Emotional, Educational and Spiritual Support -  You can never have enough of support and a doula is a trained professional in doing all of these wonderful things. She knows her stuff and is always prepared to cater to the specific individuals no matter the circumstance (assuming it is not medical). Your doula is very knowledgeable about the birth process and the emotional and physical changes that you will be experiencing. Knowledge is power. 

6. She sympathizes with you - She feels your pain with you. She is willing to do whatever it takes to get you through your birth. If it means sitting behind you fully clothed in a tub full of water during your birth she will do it. She is there to give you powerful words of encouragement and remind you that your body is capable of giving birth.

7. Boosts your confidence - Giving birth is a life changing experience and you need all the confidence you can have. Your doula is there to give you positive and loving affirmations during the easier and more difficult times during labor reminding you that your body can bring a beautiful human into this world.      

8. Reduces chances of cesarean section - Studies have shown that having a doula in attendance of your birth reduces the chances of having an emergency cesarean. According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health women who have a doula at 40% less likely to have a cesarean section. In a study from Dr. Marsden Wagner - Past Director of Women's and Childrens Health - World Health Organization has said that cesarean sections have increased from 10% to 20% from 1990s to 2000s during Monday through Friday. Having a doula also helping facilitate your birth increases your chance of not having unnecessary medical interventions. 

9. She will not judge you - " The 3 B's - Not My Birth, Not My Baby, Not My Body ". One thing I learned going through my training as a doula is that leaving your ego at the door is the first thing you need to do in a birth. Your doula is not here to make decisions for you, she is there to help guide you and facilitate your birth. She wants nothing more than for you to have the birth you dream of. Whether you want an induction and epidural or a water birth at home. Your doula does not care as long as you are happy. 

10. Coping Techniques - There isn't a mother in the world that during labor wouldnt give everything she has to avoid or decrease in some way the pain she is feeling. Its difficult but its apart of labor and it will bring your baby into the world. With that being said Doulas are trained professionals knowing how to decrease pain in labor without the use of drugs. From different labor position, massage, aromatherapy, hypnobirthing and more doulas are so knowledgable in comforting and encouraging laboring mothers and their family as well during the difficult times of labor while tailoring all her support to their specific individual needs. 

11. Extra help - This is a big one. Doulas can be there for you to help you through your labor contractions by doing hip squeezes and massages or they can be there for your husband who gets nervous about birth. Perhaps you are a single mother or your partner cannot be there with you for your birth and you just need someone to hold your hand. They can also help with children, doing things around the house. 

12. She can offer a variety of services. - Doulas come from all walks of life. They can offer a variety of services like postpartum care, placenta encapsulation and placenta art, photography for maternity, labor and birth as well as newborn photos. Some Doulas are trained and can offer bereavement skills for mothers who have expected a loss of a child. There are also many doulas who trained herbalist, aromatherapist, Hypnobirthing practitioners, belly binding, lactation specialists, child birth educator, spinning babies and rebozo trainers and so much more. The list is endless and there are many doulas out there that are a jack of all trades. Its like a one stop shop doula who can offer you all things you are looking for which in the end makes thing so much easier on the mother.  

Doulas are fairly new to the birth world but in reality they have been around for centuries. They may have not been called Doulas but they certainly believe and did the same things they do today. To be a doula you must be okay with serving those around you and sometimes that comes at a cost. But to simply put it, we do what we do because we love it, we love the mothers we love their babies and we love the beauty and process of birth. We love what we do. 

 

7 Thanksgiving Traditions You need to start this year!

7 Thanksgiving Traditions You need to start this year!

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner and every year I feel like Thanksgiving is mostly made up of cooking and sitting around which is totally fine but it got me thinking. I want the kids to look back and remember the fun memories we had together. When I was a child our thanksgiving literally consisted of 20+ people squeezed into a kitchen snacking on finger foods and starving at the same time. My parents had a lot of mouths to feed plus relatives so the last thing they could do was entertain the kids and with a family of 7 kids we were kind of expected to entertain each other. Well to sum it up we all got a little bored. So this year I decided to make a time schedule for meals and prepare things ahead of time so I can spend a little more time on Thanksgiving day playing with the kids instead of getting them out of the kitchen. 

1. Movie Marathon -  Yes a movie marathon! I mean you can keep the movies playing all day long while you come and go. However there is a list of a few sentimental films that I think are thanksgiving appropriate. Obviously you know what the first one is going to be:

  •  Planes, Trains and Automobiles,
  • Rocky
  •  The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
  • Friends season 8 episode 9 - The one with the rumor
  • Son-in-Law

Thats just a few to get you started! 

2. Try a new Recipe - Scour pinterest there is 1000's of recipe on there that I know would make for the perfect dish on thanksgiving or maybe you might be interested in trying a gluten-free thanksgiving for any guest that you might have over who have allergies. 

3. Break a wishbone - Now if you haven't been doing this well... Just hop on the band wagon and get on it! This is an old time american thanksgiving tradition plus its kinda fun!

4. Holiday Wassail - I love cider and this one just tops my list. Its like drinking all your Thanksgiving and Christmas dreams in a warm mug. 

5. Create a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving meal after watching the movie!       ( Buttered toast, popcorn, pretzel twists and jelly beans! ) The kids will love it!!!

6. Let the kids help make butter while the food is cooking. - Here and there you will be in the kitchen and if you absolutely cannot get the little ones to leave have them shake heavy whipping cream in a mason jar. They'll be doing it for a while and it will keep them busy allowing you to get things done. Plus who doesn't love fresh butter on those hot thanksgiving rolls!!!

7. Make Pilgrim and Indian photo props to take pictures with! Such fun memories to create and the kids will remember it for years to come!

 

If you have any traditions that are an absolute must let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear about them! 

The Ultimate Creative Playlist

The Ultimate Creative Playlist 

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Right now in my life I have a plethora of writing content ideas and this is one of them. Every time I sit down to paint I need music to create a space of energy to allow creativity to flow freely. Music is always number O N E on my list to help creativity to be stimulated. It allows the ideas to just pour from my mind and spill out on to the keyboard or canvas. Here are few ways that music can allow you a creative mental enviornment for you to generate and brainstorm all of your ideas. 

  Music can improve your mood 

One of the most amazing benefits of listening to music is that it can influence how you feel and can even alter your mood. As you listen to a song that you like, the brain triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin — “feel-good” neurotransmitters that flush your brain with positive emotions and enhance functioning. The power of these chemicals is sometimes so strong that they result in the sensation of a “chill” or “tingle” as you listen to a song, and interestingly, these effects can continue to have an impact even after the music has ended.

Music relaxes you

Just as music can fill us with happiness, it can also act as a tension reliever when we’re feeling stressed. Numerous studies have shown that music’s relaxing effects can be seen in almost anyone, including newborn babies. As we listen to soothing music, our muscles relax, the pace of our breathing slows, and our stress levels reduce. The more relaxed we feel, the more our minds tend to wander, and the more likely we are to come up with creative solutions.

Music Sparks Inspiration

Most of us have experienced how listening to a specific song can transport us back to a previous time, place, or emotion we’ve experienced. Sometimes, a song evokes a general recollection — memories from a period of life such as college, a particular summer, or a friendship from childhood. At other times, a song can bring to mind a specific event or moment in our lives, such as a party, or maybe a difficult break-up. If you’re in search of inspiration, music can act as a strong memory cue and a powerful catalyst for sparking ideas.

(in no particular order)

  1. The National - Fake Empire, England
  2. Bob Dylan - Lay Lady Lay, Like a rolling stone
  3. The Troggs - Love is all around 
  4. Azure Ray - Sleep
  5. John Lennon - Imagine
  6. David Bowie - Heroes
  7. Sufjan Stevens - Chicago, Romulous, UFO sighting
  8. Arcade Fire - Afterlife
  9. The Smiths - This Charming Man, Heaven knows I'm miserable now, Ask
  10. St Lucia - Call Me Up
  11. Washed Out - Soft, New Theory, All I know
  12. Beach House - Walk in the park
  13. Vampire Weekend - Ya Hey, Step
  14. Bon Iver - Michicant 
  15. Savoir Adore - Dreamers 
  16. Andrew Belle
  17. Drew Bearfoot - Enjoy The Calm
  18. William Fitzsimmons 
  19. Sigur Ros - Hoppipolla
  20. Chvrches - Down side of me
  21. Goldroom - Till Sunrise
  22. GEMS - All I Ever 
  23. Mac Demarco - Robinson Girl
  24. DWNTWN - Stood me up
  25. St. Vincent - The Strangers
  26. The Shins - Turn on me, Sleeping Lessons 
  27. The Decembrists - Shiny
  28. Copeland - Eat, Sleep, Repeat, Choose the one who loves you
  29. Tilian - (Material Me album & Future Friends album)
  30. The Helio Sequence - Back To This
  31. Connor Oberst - (Upside down mountain album)
  32. Brights Eyes - A Scale, a mirror and those indifferent clocks, At The bottom of everything , First day of my life 

 

Have a great listen :)

 

 

Finding the Calm during Election time. (how to not let elections destroy your inner peace)

Finding the Calm during Election time. 

(how to not let elections destroy your inner peace)

I will just say this bluntly. I despise the year we have to vote. It exposes the black beasts within all of us. Its unfortunate that the same month and season that we are to be grateful and to search for peace in our hearts that our country is in this emotional, physical and mental civil war with each other because of elections. Now don't get me wrong. I am proud to be apart of country where we can vote and choose our leader. But it is torturous to watch. The bitterness between a divided country, its disconcerting. This  election has been the ugliest, most horrific and discomforting election I have seen and read about in all of Americas voting history. I feel like this country is full of hostility driven human beings during election time. But especially this election. Each passing day there is a little bit of fear lingering in the back of my mind, that no matter which candidate wins that I do fear for this country. I am not going to go into who I think would be the best individual to lead this country because if I'm being honest.. O N E: Jesus should be president. Theoretically and quite literally speaking. T W O: Neither candidate I feel is good enough to be our president. But that is beside the point. The point of this blog post is how one can achieve to find the calm, the peace, the love during this time. 

 

  1. Lets get real. Do your research and choose a candidate that represents and believes in what YOU feel is right. Everyone is different but this is an important part of our countries history. It is your right to vote. Take advantage of that and vote. But leave it at that. Even though it feels this way do not allow social media to be your newspaper. 
  2. Limit your screen time. Mostly Facebook or just unfollow those who are unable to keep the peace. That means for you also to not join in and be apart of the verbal attacks. I just joined Facebook after a 10 month break and it was refreshing. I feel like I left on bad terms. I was full of anxiety as well as 9 months pregnant and knew I needed a break. It was good for me. 
  3. Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate. 

  4. Easier said than done. But so incredibly beneficial for your soul. I think its so important to make time for your daily meditation. Even if its for 5 minutes. Collect yourself and your thoughts. 
  5. Be informed not obsessed. The truth is that election time and the topics of the elections is that no matter what, it is almost always a negative oriented conversation. Just stay away from it. This does nothing but eat at your soul. Don't waste your precious time on having negative conversation that will go no where. Also remember not all blogs, websites etc. are reliable sources. If you can remember this it will save you a lot of time and pointless stress.
  6. Only reply to positive comments. (I think this one is pretty self explanatory.)
  7. No matter what we do only one person can be president. If it comes down to it that our future president is not the person you had in mind stay positive and come to terms with the fact that they weren't your first choice and probably not even your last however doing so will make the next 4 years less miserable for you.      

As time draws nearer to November I am quietly observing amongst the millions of americans who speak of this election that they are creating the president they hate. I see many of my friends who are kind and loving individuals speak of the monster the opposing presidential nominee is but in reality you are becoming the monster you speak of. Do not let this be you. Stand tall and be better than this. Feed the heart, not the trolls. You can still win this election even if your presidential nominee does not. If you only focus on the negative qualities in the opposing nominee that is all you will get. The law of attraction says: "

" I attract whatever I give my attention, energy and focus to, whether positive or negative. " 

Sophie McMahan Halloween Coloring Pages

Sophie Mcmahan Halloween Coloring Pages 

Hellooooooooo! This month has been so fun! I can't tell you how many halloween coloring pages me and the kids have printed out and colored but its been a lot! Just look at these cute boo's! My favorite are the bicycle riding pumpkin heads! Can you say adorable!!!!! Be sure to click on each photo so it can open up - right click - and save! Yay for Halloween!!! 

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How to create a dream board that will accomplish your life long goals.

How to create a dream board that will accomplish your life long goals.

Have you ever wanted to accomplish a goal or multiple goals but you really don't know where to start or to find the motivation. Maybe your not in the best place in your life or where you thought you might be by the time you were however old you are. I think at some point in all of our lives we can find ourselves stuck and needing help. 

Growing up my dad would tell me if I wanted something bad enough that I could make it happen. Envisioning your dreams, personal desires, goals is the first step in making it happen. My dad also LOVES making Vision boards. You would know if he was making one by the tiny clippings of paper, scissors, glue and magazines that were scattered around his office. My dad would be very serious about his vision boards as well. He would always make sure to leave it out in the open. Like in the kitchen or his office somewhere that he could look at his vision board several times throughout the day. 

Why have a vision board and how do they work? Firstly when you write anything down you are five times more likely to accomplish that task, goal, errand whatever you've written down. So when you can see the things you want in front of you the chances of you accomplishing that goal is even better. Vision boards are one of the minds most powerful exercises. 

Written from the book The Secret, “The law of attraction is forming your entire life experience and it is doing that through your thoughts. When you are visualizing, you are emitting a powerful frequency out into the Universe.”

Vision boards are great reminders of the successes that await you. 

What you need: 

  • poster board, cork board, dry erase board etc. (cork boards are best)
  • magazines, you can even search pinterest 
  • glue
  • scissors

Start by collecting all the things you would like to put on your board and glue or attach to your board. Be sure to label everything. The more clear your goals are the more attainable they will be.

 

I have made a Dream/Vision board here online and pinterest for you all to see as well as in my home. Remember Clear intentions will provide clear answers. 

 

Be sure to visit my Pinterest and to see more of my Pinterest vision board! 

https://www.pinterest.com/AlexaPettengill/dream-and-vision-board/

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Enjoy! I hope you make your own vision board! Be sure to visit and check out my pinterest!

 https://www.pinterest.com/AlexaPettengill/dream-and-vision-board/

7 things I wished I had known before becoming a mom

7 things I wished I had known before becoming a mom

I am a mom of three pretty adorable kids. I'm also a military wife which makes things a little more complicated than your normal mom. In the military they call anyone who is related to the actual military member a " dependent " however we " dependents " are anything but dependent. 

A little backstory. In 2010 I moved to New York City to work where I had met my husband. After a few months of dating we decided to get married. So I headed home from NYC packed up whatever I could fit into my 2002 Honda accord grabbed my BFF and we drove to Connecticut. It took us 2.5 days to do it. Looking back at my 19 year old self I do applaud myself because it was an adventure. Two girls who had never traveled to the other side of the country we were basically living on a prayer. We got there safely a few days after being there she left and I was alone. Of course I had Skyler but a few days after she had left he left for an underway (an underway is when a submarine leaves the base for whatever reason could be for testing, deployment or even for some sailors to do certain qualifications.) He left for 2 weeks. My 19 year old self alone 2,000 miles away from the only place I ever knew to be home, away from everyone I knew. And then he left. It was like this for months. If you haven't been to New England then imagine this. Driving on roads that only fit mini coopers. The roads were tiny of course they were because this is where people lived when they came over from England. A lot of New England has similar characteristics of England. 

Basically what I'm saying here is that I had no choice but to be independent. 

 

Everything that I know as an adult is the result of leaving home as a adult/teenager and learning things the hard way. The first year we were married Skyler was home 4 months. Our first daughter was born in August of 2011. A week after she was born he was gone again for a few months. It continued on like this until the next year when he deployed. So here I am a young mother not having anyone to really rely on or to turn to being so far away. I look back and just wished that someone would have told me a thing or two about being a mom. What to expect or to not expect. So first thing is first. 

  1. SURVIVE. Okay I am being completely serious. My main motto as a mom especially having more kids than I do hands is that you just need to survive. Your hair does not need to be perfect. The house does not need to be spotless and you know what? Laundry its just a mountain of a never ending pile of despair. With that being said it. IT CAN WAIT! Babies grow up and then they aren't babies anymore. The mess can wait it'll be there tomorrow. But one day those little ones won't. So if you do just that and " survive " each day to me you are the most amazing mom. You don't need to jam pack your days with park outings, lunch dates, trips to the mall. I think its safe to say that your kids would be happy playing with YOU. As a mom the older my kids get I realize how vital it really is to be attentive to their needs even if to you it seems small because to them its HUGE. 

  2. Listen to your heart. In the world of becoming a parent you will soon realize a few things. That to a lot of people its " my way or the high way ". You will meet some who think there is only one way to do things. One way to parent. Everyone is different. Some parents choose to vaccinate others choose to not some even delay vaccinations. Some parents feed their babies formula while others breastfeed until they're 2 years old. Other parents feed their kids pb&j sandwiches or macaroni and some parents feed their kids exclusively organic, non-gmo, gluten free etc. Some parents cloth diaper and some do disposable. What I'm saying here is everyone is different. There is no right or wrong way to parent AS LONG AS YOUR CHILD IS HAPPY AND KNOWS THEY ARE LOVED.  Obviously there is more to it making sure they're healthy etc. But in the world of parenting it can be twisted and distorted resulting in you feeling like you are not a good parent. A little advice I've learned in the past 5 years. If you have to question or be concerned if you are being a good mom, chances are, you are. Everyone has an off day. No one is perfect and every day we can start fresh as long as we strive to be better and focus on our kids' happiness, I would say you get an A+ in parenting.  

  3. The mommy competition. You are going to feel like you are never enough or that everything has to always be perfect. From your hair to the way your kids are dressed. You'll feel like someone is always outdoing you. Here's a little secret. WHO CARES! Guess what? They probably feel the exact same way as you! We are all struggling moms. And I think the important thing here is to remember that we all are striving to be in the same place. Go the same direction. Do the same things. We just want our kids to be happy and healthy. Can you imagine how much better the world would be if we cut out the mommy competition and all us moms just leaned on each other for help. We all have unique skills and gifts that could easily benefit everyone if we were just a little more kind and loving to each other. 

  4. Communication is key. I feel like as a mom we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. We're programmed to think we have to do it all. But that is far from true. If you need help reach out to those who love you. They will help. If you need a break take a break! Its crucial as a mom that we take care of ourselves too because if we don't how will we ever take care of our little ones? With my first daughter I had severe postpartum depression. The countless nights I would cry myself to sleep while Skyler away on the submarine it was hard. Its so important to talk to someone, have adult conversations it'll help you in more ways than you realize. 

  5. Self Love. Each time I've had a baby I've found that I forget about myself completely and focus on everyone else. Essentially forgetting to eat, shower and sometimes I would wear throw up clothes all day. You just forget about yourself. But hey! Us moms need loving too. Whether it be at the gym or grocery shopping alone which for those first time moms you will soon learn that a trip to the store or any outing without a child quickly becomes a short lived vacation. Funny thing is that after 1 hour you start to feel like your missing a limb and come back to the chaos that was driving you crazy but at the same time you missed. Remember you are important.

  6. The melt downs and guilt. All I ever heard was that parenting would be a breeze and that to not worry. While they were right on the not worrying part they were not so much on the breeze part. More like stormy hurricane winds. Being a mom is REALLY FLIPPING HARD. You can totally do it. But it is the hardest job in the world. And as kids grow sometimes some swears will be thrown down. Or you'll scream into a pillow because you have to tell them something for the thousandth time. And right as you've clean up the sea of toys in their room and you walk away to clean the spilled milk you'll hear the 3 year old pouring out the toys again. Just remember this. Next time Just part that red sea. Make a walk way. I've decided that the 3 year old dumps out all the toys because well.. Its just easier finding what she needs when everything is right where she can find it. Make things easier on you and just roll with the punches. If they're having a melt down in public get on their level and look them in the eye and just hug them. I think at this point all they want is for someone to understand them. And please remember to not feel guilty. The countless nights I lay wide awake staring at the ceiling going over the day feeling I wished the day went differently just remember tomorrow is a new day. A clean slate. A fresh start. And no matter what.. they will always love you. 

  7.  Always Say I love you. We often forget that kids are so impressionable. Their little brains are still developing at rapid rates. In a moments time things can get out of hand and anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Just stay calm. They watch your every move. I'm not even kidding you. The older my children have gotten I have witnessed with my own two eyes they watch you. Recently I noticed my 3 year old quietly fold her arms during our routine family prayer each night after we read stories. She is with me all day everyday. You can bet that she learned that from home. Each time I've been frustrated or upset with one of my kids no matter what I look them in the eyes and say I love you. At the end of each day I always tell them " I love you " there is nothing more important in the world than for a child to know and feel that they are safe and loved. 

 

These are just a few things that have helped me from time to time because really being a parent is the most wonderful, joyful, incredibly scary journey that you will ever take in your lifetime. Its so intimidating to think that we are solely responsible for the life of another human being(s). But at the same time how lucky we are to be able to have that opportunity. I am reminded constantly the blessings of being a mom. If you take anything away from this list then let it be just this and that is that the days you feel like you are not enough remember each moment you are taking care of your child you are doing God's work. You have been trusted with angels. Its incredible to think of it in a such a way that God could entrust us with his angels. When you feel like you are not enough remember God thought you were more than enough and just perfect to be the mother of his Heavenly children he sent into your life. 

The easiest DIY Tufted Ottoman EVER!

Do-it-yourself Tufted Ottoman

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 It was a hard decision choosing between these two fabrics!!!

It was a hard decision choosing between these two fabrics!!!

So this was seriously the easiest project I've ever attempted. I cannot emphasize the simplicity of it. Honestly it was harder to find what I needed because the ideas are endless of how you really want to customize your ottoman. But first I need to tell you how much luck I came into building this project. I started Monday so it went kinda like this

  • Monday - We went to the good will Monday morning. Saw some potential coffee tables (one of the items needed for this project) that I could use but decided to hold off and look at the other thrift store. So we go after school and I find seriously " the perfect " coffee table. Its' priced at   $24.00 bucks! Then I find out that anything with a green tag is HALF OFF! WHAT!? $12.00 dollars!? Yes please! So we're scrambling to the register chasing kids around. We get in line and this lady in front of me starts baby talking with Artis (the baby) and she asks is 3 kids hard? I was like yea but you adjust and eventually you dont know how you ever lived without them. We then go on to talking about Sky being in the military and she says thank you for his service it was all really sweet. So we're waiting and she walks up to the register and she turns around and waives to me and she says can I buy your table? WHAT!?!!! HECK YES YOU CAN! Of course I was modest about it and said are you sure but I was totally doing a dance in my mind! It was so awesome because things like that never happen to me! So then we load up the table and go home to tell Sky the awesome news!
  • Tuesday - We set out for Hobby Lobby and Joann's for fabric, foam, quilt batting, nail trim, paint and I also picked up a upholstery stapler as well as heavy duty staples. So we're at the register in hobby lobby and I ask if I can use the online 40% off coupon for the foam and the lady looks at me then looks over everything I have then counts me and all 3 of my kids she says " How about we do this. We ring up your 4 most expensive items separately and because there is 4 of you we use the 40% off coupon for all 4 of those items."  WWHAAAAATTTTT!!!!!?? I was like wait are you serious? She was like of course! So everything would have come up to 120 dollars but it came down to 62 dollars!!! Can you believe that?! The luck is unbelievable! So then we go to Joann's to pick up upholstery buttons and to check and see if there was other fabric I liked there. Well you can guess that there was definitely more fabric I loved. I ended up buying this pretty black and gray plaid and black gem like buttons. We get up to the register and of course the fabric was half off and so were the buttons. Definitely another lucky day for me! 
  • Wednesday - I started on the table and tufting. However! I want to add that Abbie from M is for Mama came up with this amazing tutorial so I'm going to give it over to her to explain in better detail for this seriously easy DIY tufted ottoman.                         

http://misformama.net/2011/07/diy-tufted-ottoman.html

I will say that an ottoman really makes your house feel so much cozier plus its pretty and I do love pretty things! Next I want to add a fur accent blanket with velvet backing but thats for another day :) 

 

Enjoy!

Gilmore Girls Revival - Luke's Dinner Pop up Shop List - October 5, 2016

Luke's Diner Pop-up Shop List

If you're out on the road
Feelin' lonely and so cold
All you have to do is call my name
And I'll be there
On the next train

Where You Lead
I will follow
Any-Anywhere that you tell me to
If you need-If you need me to be with you
I will follow
Where you lead

You guys!!! I can't even believe this! This is so exciting! Seriously my childhood to teenage-hood all packed into this brilliant idea of Luke's Diner pop-up shops all over the country! My heart is too excited! You have no idea! I have memories of racing home from school and waiting for Gilmore Girls on The WB! Even in high school I would totally sneak away at lunch everyday instead of going to lunch with friends I would go home to watch Gilmore Girls reruns! And I'm not even ashamed to say that I have watched all the seasons of Gilmore Girls a handful of times since Netflix had the great idea to put on all the seasons!  Skyler doesn't understand me but he also doesn't understand Gilmore Girls either its really unfortunate! But it won't stop me! I am on season 7 for the 5th times soaking up each episode to last me till November! I cannot wait!!! 

Which means!!!!! November 25, 2016 Be ready! Grab your international cuisine from Al's pancake world or have your poptarts ready! Even better November 25th is Friday night dinner!!!!!! We are all going back to Stars Hollow and finally we will have the much need closure for all our unanswered Gilmore Girls questions! 

CALLING ALL GILMORE GIRLS FANS!

Tomorrow 7 a.m. the magic begins!

October 5, 2016

200 coffee shops nation wide are hosting Luke's Diner Pop-up shops! YES! If you love coffee or your a gilmore girls fan then this is must!  Below is the complete list so hurry up clear your schedule and figure out a way to get there! 

Alabama

Crestwood Coffee Co.

5512 Crestwood Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35212

Get Directions

Lucy's Coffee and Tea

2007 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35233

Get Directions

The Abbey

131A 41st St S, Birmingham, AL 35222

Get Directions

Satori Coffee House

5460 Old Shell Rd, Mobile, AL 36608

Get Directions

Carpe Diem Coffee & Tea Company

4072 Old Shell Rd, Mobile, AL 36608

Get Directions

Alaska

Kobuk Coffee Co.

504 W 5th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

Get Directions

Arizona

Octane Cafe

9107 E Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85209

Get Directions

Comoncy

4343 N Scottsdale Road #135, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Get Directions

Ike's Coffee & Tea

100 N Stone Ave, #111, Tucson, AZ 85701

Get Directions

Arkansas

Andina Café & Coffee Roastery

433 E 3rd St, Little Rock, AR 72201

Get Directions

California

Pappy's Coffee Shop

10595 Rosedale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93312

Get Directions

Caffeine Supreme

2000 F St, Bakersfield, CA 93301

Get Directions

Yellow Mug Coffee Co.

1137 Champlain Dr, Fresno, CA 93720

Get Directions

Fox Coffee House

437 W Willow St, Long Beach, CA 90806

Get Directions

Comoncy

12265 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Get Directions

Comoncy

413 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Get Directions

Hive, the Place to Bee

2139 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94602

Get Directions

Awaken Cafe

1429 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

Get Directions

Chocolate Fish Coffee

400 P St, #1203, Sacramento, CA 95814

Get Directions

The Trade Coffee & Coworking

2220 K Street Sacramento, CA 95816

Get Directions

Industrial Grind Coffee

3922 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103

Get Directions

Cafe Virtuoso

1616 National Ave, San Diego, CA 92113

Get Directions

Palio Cafe

505 Montgomery St #1, San Francisco, CA 94111

Get Directions

Caffe Frascati

315 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113

Get Directions

Roy's Station Coffee & Tea

197 Jackson St, San Jose, CA 95112

Get Directions

Colorado

Solid Grounds

6504 S Broadway, Centennial, CO 80121

Get Directions

Coffee Place European Cafe

5580 S Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80015

Get Directions

Story Coffee Company

120 E Bijou St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Get Directions

Urban Steam Coffee

1025 S Sierra Madre St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Get Directions

Kawa Coffee

2427 N Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80909

Get Directions

Purple Door Coffee

2962 Welton St, Denver, CO 80205

Get Directions

Connecticut

Metro Cafe

580 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105

Get Directions

Peter B's Espresso

300 Summit St, Hartford, CT 06106

Get Directions

Delaware

Loma Coffee

239 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801

Get Directions

Florida

Brew Urban Cafe

537 NW 1st Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311

Get Directions

Sip Java Co.

638 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304

Get Directions

The Flower Bar

1003 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Get Directions

Breezy Coffee Shop Café

235 8th Ave S, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Get Directions

Southern Grounds Coffee

200 1st St, Neptune Beach, FL 32266

Get Directions

Sippers Coffehouse

7643 Gate Parkway, Suite 101, Jacksonville, FL 32256

Get Directions

Chamblin's Uptown Cafe

215 N Laura St, Jacksonville, FL 32256

Get Directions

Alaska Coffee Roasting Co

13130 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami, FL 33181

Get Directions

DIRT

232 5th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

Get Directions

Panther Coffee

3407 Main Highway, Miami, FL 33133

Get Directions

The Coffee Garden

1817 S Ferncreek Ave, Orlando, FL 32806

Get Directions

Holy Grain Coffee

6735 Conroy Rd, Ste 109, Orlando, FL 32835

Get Directions

Felicitous Coffee & Tea House

11706 N 51st St, Temple Terrace, FL 33617

Get Directions

The Blind Tiger Cafe

1901 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605

Get Directions

The Blind Tiger Cafe

6500 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33604

Get Directions

The Lab

1703 W State St, Tampa, FL 33606

Get Directions

Subculture Coffee

509 Clematis St, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Get Directions

Harold's Coffee Lounge

509 Northwood Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33407

Get Directions

Georgia

JavaVino

579 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30307

Get Directions

Land of A Thousand Hills Coffee Co

232 19th St NW, #7100, Atlanta, GA 30363

Get Directions

Land of A Thousand Hills Coffee - The Warehouse

5095 Post Road Cumming GA 30040

Get Directions

Corso Coffee

3065 Peachtree Rd NE, #210, Atlanta, GA 30305

Get Directions

Hawaii

Island Brew Coffeehouse

377 Keahole St, Honolulu, HI 96825

Get Directions

Island Brew Coffeehouse

1137 11th Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Get Directions

Idaho

Flying M Coffee House

500 W Idaho St #100, Boise, ID 83702

Get Directions

Illinois

Osmium Coffee Bar

1117 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Get Directions

Elaine's Coffee Call

1816 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

Get Directions

Indiana

Bee Coffee Roasters--Downtown Cafe

201 S Capitol Ave, Suite #110, Indianapolis, IN 46225

Get Directions

Bee Coffee Roasters-Roastery

5510 Lafayette Rd, Suite #140, Indianapolis, IN 46032

Get Directions

Iowa

Davenport Coffee Hound

2642 Brady St, Davenport, IA 52803

Get Directions

Kansas

Reverie Coffee Roasters

2611 E Douglas Ave, Wichita, KS 67211

Get Directions

Kentucky

Please & Thank You

800 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40206

Get Directions

Please & Thank You

2341 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206

Get Directions

Southland Perk

472 Southland Dr, Lexington, KY 40503

Get Directions

Coffee Times Coffee House

2571 Regency Rd, Lexington, KY 40503

Get Directions

Louisiana

Brew Ha Ha

711 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Get Directions

Fair Grinds Coffeehouse

3133 Ponce De Leon St, New Orleans, LA 70119

Get Directions

Maine

Coffee By Design

1 Diamond St, Portland, ME 04101

Get Directions

Maryland

3 Bean Coffee

209 Key Hwy (William Street), Baltimore, MD 21230

Get Directions

Charmington’s

2601 N Howard St, Baltimore, MD 21218

Get Directions

The Bun Shop

22 Light St, Baltimore, MD 21202

Get Directions

The Bun Shop

239 W Read St, Baltimore, MD 21201

Get Directions

The Daily Grind

1720 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD 21231

Get Directions

Bump 'n Grind

1200 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Get Directions

Massachusetts

Cafenation

380 Washington St, Brighton, MA 02135

Get Directions

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee

61 Munroe Street, Lynn MA 01901

Get Directions

Michigan

Chazzano Coffee Roasters

1737 E Nine Mile Rd, Ferndale, Michigan 48220

Get Directions

Avalon International Breads

422 W Willis St, Detroit, MI 48201

Get Directions

Always Brewing Detroit

19180 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48223

Get Directions

Urban Bean Co.

200 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

Get Directions

Strange Matter Coffee

2001 E. Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912

Get Directions

BIGGBY Coffee

725 W Grand River Ave, Suite 2 Williamston MI 48895

Get Directions

Minnesota

Dogwood Coffee Bar

825 Carleton St, St Paul, MN 55114

Get Directions

Swede Hollow Cafe

725 Seventh Street E St, Paul, MN 55106

Get Directions

Mississippi

Deep South Pops

1800 N State St, Jackson, MS 39202

Get Directions

Missouri

Roasterie Cafe

6223 Brookside Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64113

Get Directions

Roasterie Cafe

4511 W 119th St, Leawood, KS 66209

Get Directions

Roasterie Cafe

1204 W 27th St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Get Directions

Coma Coffee Roasters

1024 South Brentwood, St. Louis, MO 63117

Get Directions

Shameless Grounds

1901 Withnell Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118

Get Directions

The Coffee Cartel

2 Maryland Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63108

Get Directions

Montana

Ebon Coffee Collective

2712 2nd Ave N, Billings, MT 59101

Get Directions

Nebraska

Karma Koffee

587 N 155 Plaza, Omaha, NE 68154

Get Directions

Aromas Coffeehouse

1033 Jones St, Omaha, NE 68102

Get Directions

Nevada

Bronze Café at The Market

611 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101

Get Directions

Holley's Cuppa

9265 S Cimarron Rd, #115, Las Vegas, NV 89113

Get Directions

Sambalatte Torrefazione Jones

6555 S. Jones Blvd, #100, Las Vegas, NV 89118

Get Directions

Sambalatte Torrefazione Boca Park

750 S Rampart Blvd #9, Las Vegas, NV 89145

Get Directions

New Hampshire

Cafe LaReine

915 Elm St, Manchester, NH 03101

Get Directions

A&E Coffee and Tea

1000 Elm St, Manchester, NH 03010

Get Directions

New Jersey

Short Grain

183 Montgomery St, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Get Directions

New Mexico

Epiphany Espresso

3600 Cutler Ave NE, Suite 2, Albuquerque, NM 87110

Get Directions

New York

The Bean

101 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Get Directions

Sir D's Lounge

837 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Get Directions

Brooklyn Roasting Company

200 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Get Directions

Mon Amour Coffee and Wine

234 W 238th St, Bronx, NY 10463

Get Directions

Spot Coffee

765 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222

Get Directions

Sweet_ness 7 Café

220 Grant Street, Buffalo, NY 14213

Get Directions

Ground Central Coffee Co.

155 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022

Get Directions

Ground Central Coffee Co.

800 Second Ave, New York, NY 10017

Get Directions

Ground Central Coffee Co.

2 Coenties Slip, New York, NY 10004

Get Directions

The Bean

147 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003

Get Directions

The Bean

824 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Get Directions

The Bean

54 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Get Directions

Local

144 Sullivan Street New York, NY 10012

Get Directions

Everything Goes BookCafe

208 Bay St Staten Island, NY 10301

Get Directions

Ugly Duck Coffee

89 Charlotte St, Rochester, NY 14607

Get Directions

New Roots Coffeehouse

1273 Long Pond Rd, Rochester, NY 14626

Get Directions

North Carolina

Biltmore Coffee Traders

518 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville, NC 28803

Get Directions

Double D's Coffee and Desserts

41 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

Get Directions

Mugs Coffee

5126 Park Rd, #1d, Charlotte, NC 28209

Get Directions

Not Just Coffee

224 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC 28202

Get Directions

Not Just Coffee

2140 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203

Get Directions

Sola Coffee Cafe

7705 Lead Mine Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615

Get Directions

42 & Lawrence

134 E Martin St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Get Directions

Benelux Coffee

402 Oberlin Rd #118, Raleigh, NC 27605

Get Directions

North Dakota

The Red Raven Espresso Parlor

916 Main Ave, Fargo, ND 58103

Get Directions

Twenty Below Coffee

14 Roberts St N, Fargo, ND 58102

Get Directions

Ohio

Pour Cleveland

530 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115

Get Directions

Vintage Tea and Coffee

1816 E 12th St, Cleveland, OH 44114

Get Directions

Dewey's Coffee House

13201 Shaker Square, Cleveland, OH 44120

Get Directions

Upper Cup Coffee

79 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH 43215

Get Directions

Short North Coffee

1203 N High St, Columbus, OH 43201

Get Directions

Ghostlight Coffee

1201 Wayne Ave, Dayton, OH 45410

Get Directions

The 86 Coffee Bar

2820 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45219

Get Directions

Oklahoma

Cuppies and Joe

727 NW 23rd St, Oklahoma City, OK, 73103

Get Directions

The Underground

1621 S Douglas Ste B, Midwest City, OK 73110

Get Directions

The Coffee House on Cherry St

1502 E 15th St, Tulsa, OK 74120

Get Directions

918 Coffee

2446 W 11th St, Tulsa, OK 74104

Get Directions

Oregon

Oblique Coffee Roasters

3039 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97214

Get Directions

Pennsylvania

Tomato Pie Café

3950 Tecport Dr, Harrisburg, PA 17111

Get Directions

Brew Crumberland's Best

1903 Bridge St, New Cumberland, PA 17070

Get Directions

Hubbub Coffee

1717 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Get Directions

Hubbub Coffee

3736 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Get Directions

Hubbub Coffee

232 N. Radnor Chester Rd, Radnor, PA 19087

Get Directions

Big Dog Coffee

2717 Sarah St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Get Directions

Bookshelf Cafe

1806 Chislett St, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Get Directions

Rhode Island

LaSalle Bakery

993 Smith St, Providence, RI 02908

Get Directions

Vanuatu Coffee Roasters

294 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

Get Directions

South Carolina

The Wired Goat Cafe

709 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201

Get Directions

South Dakota

Alternative Fuel

512 Main St, Rapid City, SD 57701

Get Directions

Tennessee

The Golden Roast

825 Melrose Pl, Knoxville, TN 37916

Get Directions

Tamp & Tap

122 Gayoso Ave, Memphis, TN 38103

Get Directions

Tamp & Tap

6070 Poplar Ave, Suite #110 Memphis, TN 38119

Get Directions

City&State

2625 Broad Ave, Memphis, TN 38112

Get Directions

387 Pantry

387 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103

Get Directions

ZolliKoffee

701 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

Get Directions

Bond Coffee Company

602 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

Get Directions

Sam & Zoes

525 Heather Pl, Nashville, TN 37204

Get Directions

Texas

Buon Giorno

915 Florence St, Fort Worth, TX 76102

Get Directions

Savor Coffee Bar & Eatery

1101 E Bardin Rd #101, Arlington, TX 76018

Get Directions

Vintage Heart Coffee

1405 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702

Get Directions

Summer Moon Coffee Bar

3115 South 1st St, Suite 1B Austin, TX 78704

Get Directions

Caffe Medici

200 Congress Ave, Suite 2B, Austin, TX 78701

Get Directions

Caffe Medici

804 Congress Ave, No. 101, Austin, TX 78701

Get Directions

Coffee House Café

6150 Frankford Rd, Dallas, TX 75252

Get Directions

i Java & Chai

1820 Coit Road #138, Plano, TX 75075

Get Directions

Method Coffee

1623 N Hall St. Ste 101, Dallas, TX 75204

Get Directions

Kinley's House Coffee & Tea

2231 N Mesa St, El Paso, TX 79902

Get Directions

The Nook Café

4701 Calhoun Rd, Houston, TX 77004

Get Directions

Honeymoon

300 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

Get Directions

Bosta

1801 Binz St, STE 115 Houston, TX 77004

Get Directions

White Elephant Coffee Company

1415 S Presa St #107, San Antonio, TX 78210

Get Directions

Utah

Higher Ground Coffee

2005 E 3300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84109

Get Directions

Mestizo Coffee House

631 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116

Get Directions

Vermont

Uncommon Grounds

42 Church St, Burlington, VT 05401

Get Directions

Virginia

Grounded Coffee Shop

6919 Telegraph Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310

Get Directions

Borjo Coffeehouse

4416 Monarch Way Norfolk, VA 23508

Get Directions

The Lab by Alchemy Coffee

814 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220

Get Directions

Captain Buzzy's Beanery

2623 E Broad St, Richmond, VA 23223

Get Directions

American Brew

3700 Shore Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23455

Get Directions

Lynnhaven Coffee Co

2945 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Get Directions

Washington

Drip City Coffee Co

2929 1st Ave, Suite B, Seattle, WA 98121

Get Directions

Stone Way Cafe

3510 Stone Way N Seattle, WA 98103

Get Directions

Makeda Coffee

153 N 78th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Get Directions

Indaba Coffee

210 N Howard St, Spokane, WA 99201

Get Directions

Indaba Coffee

1425 W Broadway, Spokane, WA 99201

Get Directions

West Virginia

Moxxee Coffee

301 Morris St, Charleston, WV 25301

Get Directions

Wisconsin

Luna Cafe

330 Main Ave, De Pere, WI 54115

Get Directions

Kavarna

143 N Broadway, Green Bay, WI 54303

Get Directions

Sherman Perk Coffee Shop

4924 W Roosevelt Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53216

Get Directions

Fuel Cafe

818 E Center St, Milwaukee, WI 53212

Get Directions

Moka

2910 E. Washington Avenue, Madison 53704

Get Directions

Moka

5227 University Avenue, Madison 53705

Get Directions

Wyoming

Coffee Depot

500 W 15th St, Ste 200, Cheyenne, WY 82001

Get Directions

D.C.

Flying Fish Coffee & Tea

3064 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Get Directions

Qualia Coffee

3917 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20011

Get Directions

Three Fifty Bakery and Coffee Bar

1926 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Get Directions

Canada

The Rolling Pin

3429 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4N 2N1, Canada

Get Directions

Infuse Cafe

354 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1S5, Canada

Get Directions

Infuse Cafe

Gerrard Sq Mall, 1000 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 3G6, Canada

Get Directions

Milano Espresso Bar

266 Adelaide Street W., Unit 2, Toronto ON, M4K 3E6

Get Directions

Trafiq Cafe & Bakery

4216 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P9, Canada

Get

Until then ....

In Omnia Paratus

Ready For Anything!

The Ultimate Fall Movie Playlist

The Ultimate Fall Movie Playlist

The most wonderful season of the year is here. My favorite at least. As the days become shorter and you find yourself inside hiding from the crisp autumn air, snuggling in your favorite spot,  watching movies is always the perfect way to end the day. I for one love to watch a good film. Just the other day I for the first time watched American Beauty. It was an interesting film to say the least but at the same time there were so many parts that I felt myself being drawn into. Overall it was incredibly well written. I found myself thinking of all the films that I want to watch this season and the list I came up with is a good one. Each film reminding you why this season is the most beautiful. I do have to admit, watching some of them takes me back to my days living in New York. If I'm being honest New York plus New England have some of those most beautiful climate changes in the whole country. There is something so fascinating and yet intimate about being in a city that never sleeps to stop and see the changes of the season. And New England. Trees for miles and miles and miles.

With that being said having a good movie list is essentially vital. Be sure to have pumpkin spice anything on hand plus tea. You'll thank me later.

 

  1. Autumn in New York
  2. Dead Poets Society
  3. You've Got Mail
  4. Practical Magic
  5. Fantastic Mr. Fox
  6. St. Elmo's Fire
  7. Planes Trains & Automobiles
  8. When Harry Met Sally
  9. To Kill a Mocking Bird
  10. Time Travelers Wife
  11. Away We Go
  12. Rushmore
  13. Little Shop of Horrors
  14. Garden State
  15. The Worst Witch
  16. The Halloween Tree
  17. The Others
  18. Frankenstein
  19. Beetlejuice
  20. Hocus Pocus
  21. The Witches
  22. Lost in Transition
  23. Halloween Town
  24. Love Story
  25. It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

 

And a few of spooky films because its a must.

 

Happy Autumnal Equinox

Autumn Tea + learning how to make your soul happy

Autumn Tea  

+ learning to make your soul happy

  1. Hot Apple Cider Tea 

  2. Pumpkin Spice

  3. Red Velvet Chocolate 

  4. Peppermint Chocolate

IMG_0214.jpg

These are my favorite teas to drink all year long but especially during Autumn.  They're delicious to drink with or without adding anything to them. My personal favorite is adding Amaretto creamer just a teaspoon to the red velvet chocolate or peppermint chocolate. The pumpkin spice is amazing with a hint of anise or eating it with a piece of caramel black licorice. And of course the apple cider adding a sprinkle of cinnamon or even teaspoon of caramel creamer. The possibilities are endless. 

And although I don't get to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea like I could pre-motherhood, sitting in my favorite spot with a good book and a journal to doodle or jot down a thought in a moments time is still one of my favorite things. 

I think when you become a mother you tend to put yourself last always. At least for myself if I cannot get all my chores done then sometimes I feel as though the things I want to do the most get put on the back shelf so to speak. When in reality at some point in the day we all really need to stop and just be one with the universe and take time to just live. To just enjoy each second. 

In a world where time never stops somehow

we must find the will to just make the time to make our souls happy 

I think humans are really just the robots of everyday life. When do we ever we stop? Do we just keep going and going and going until the fire within ourselves slowly turns into a small flicker of light then eventually burns out?

We need to force ourselves to slow down and enjoy life. One day we will look back and realize the little things were big things.

" The faster we live, the less emotion is left in the world. The slower we live, the deeper we feel the world around us. "

I think we owe it to ourselves to be able to indulge in all of life's mysterious and wonderous moments. Starting with doing the things we love the most. That is why I am making a list of all the things I want to do, things that make my soul happy. A simple list that I can go to pick a few things to do when I'm having a crazy moment something that will calm my soul.

  • painting
  • reading
  • writing
  • photography
  • running
  • yoga
  • listen to music
  • meditate
  • take a nature walk
  • unplug from the world
  • drink tea
  • pray
  • write a book
  • enjoy silence
  •  learn the act of not caring. Really it is freeing. 

The list is endless but this is my list. Life is too short to not treasure each minute because really whether it be good or bad each second we are alive its all a learning experience. Look for the good in all things. 

" She who is brave is free "

 

Pumpkin Spice Macarons

Pumpkin Spice Macarons

I'll just start out that these were delicious. They may have not been super pretty but they were delicious! And Yes... Skyler approved of these as well so they get that Sky Stamp of approval!

My friend from church told me that she uses a little cheat sheet with drawn circles on parchment paper under another sheet of parchment paper that is used so she can make perfectly circle macarons. Her macarons are gorgeous. This is my 3rd attempt at macarons so I say these are okay..

Obviously not gorgeous but they did turn out delicious and I only had to impress the family so it worked! 

I have used this recipe in other variations and it is a reliable recipe as long as you remember to whip the crap out of your egg whites. I'm talking STIFF PEAKS. My last blog post on Lavender macarons I had several people tell me their cookies turned into a runny mess. Your egg whites must be thick like whip cream consistency. Use a kitchen aid, hand mixer whatever you have that isn't your own hand or you will be sitting there forever. 

Pumpkin Spice Macarons

Ingredients:

  • 275 g. ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 250 g. confectioners' sugar
  • 6 egg whites + half egg white (separated as indicated in instructions)
  • 210 g. caster sugar
  • a few drops food coloring or food coloring gel
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 

Filling:

  • 8 ounce cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp clove

Materials:

  • Parchment Paper
  • Baking Sheets
  • Piping bag fitted with 1/2 inch round tip (you can also use a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off.)

Sift almond flour & confectioners’ sugar together in a bowl to remove any lumps, set aside. In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the 6 egg whites to a foam (or soft peak stage). Once they are foamy, add a third of the granulated sugar, whip for another minute until sugar is dissolved; add another third of the sugar, whip for another minute; finally add the remainder of the sugar and whip for one more minute. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the sifted mixture of almond flour & confectioners’ sugar into the egg whites. Add a few drops of food coloring as desired; keep in mind that the color fades a bit while baking. In a separate small bowl, whisk the remaining ½ egg white until frothy; then add to the final mixture, folding gently to slightly loosen the batter.

Transfer the mixture to the piping bag fitted with the round tip. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pipe macaron rounds 1 ¼-1 ½ inches. Lightly tap the sheets so the macarons spread fully.

Preheat oven to 300° Fahrenheit. Allow the macarons to sit uncovered until they form a thin shell on the outside (so you can lightly touch the macarons without the batter sticking to your fingers). This will take anywhere from 10 minutes up to an hour on very humid days. Bake for 15-17 minutes until they form a slight crust.

Allow to cool completely on baking sheet. Remove carefully & sandwich your favorite jam, frosting, or filling between two cookies—a little filling goes a long way. These should be stored covered in the refrigerator. If you can practice enough self-control, wait to eat these until they’ve spent the night in the fridge. I don’t know what it is, but something magical happens to these bad boys overnight & they taste twice as good the next day!

25 things to do before summer ends

25 things to do before summer ends!

Its July People! The year is more than half way over! Can you hardly believe it!? All of July we are vacationing most of July which means I have a long list of things that I would like to do before summer ends! 

  1. Go Camping
  2. Have a bonfire on the beach
  3. Eat a S'more
  4. Swim in the ocean
  5. Go to the drive-in
  6. Sleep on the trampoline
  7. Take a road trip
  8. Watch live music
  9. Make a summer cream pie (coconut & pistachio are my fave!)
  10. Stargaze
  11. Plant a garden
  12. Read all your favorite books
  13. Go to a Cat Cafe and get your favorite drink and pet kitties!
  14. Host a BBQ
  15. Bake a cake for someones birthday
  16. Eat shaved ice
  17. Drive with the windows down and the music up
  18. Take a class for something you've always wanted to learn
  19. Pick berries
  20. Walk through an Arboretum 
  21. Have a picnic
  22. Run a 5k
  23. Watch fireworks with someone 
  24. Attach a lock to a love bridge 
  25. Have an unforgettable summer

 

Its only the beginning of July so hurry before the fall is here! 

6 must have FREE apps for Bloggers and Small Businesses

6 Must-Have FREE Apps for Bloggers

& Small Businesses 

  • Instagram - Because every blogger knows that instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms out there and is actually growing faster than Facebook is. With its ability to connect bloggers and small businesses while growing your followers and increasing traffic to your social platforms your business can thrive off hashtags alone. The best time to post on Instagram is really any time of the day but I find that between 8 and 10 a.m. when people are getting up for the day and and between 6 and 9 p.m. when people are coming home and settling in for the evening you are more likely to connect with others during those times.

 

  • Pinterest - Pinterest is HUGE! I remember way back when I started that you needed to be added to a waiting list to have an account with them as it was growing rapidly. Pinterest is amazing when it comes to helping grow your business.  Every time I publish a Blog post my website automatically sends it to my Pinterest account to pin my blog post. Also there is no rule when it comes to pinning your personal pins to more than one board. Doing this increases your chances of your pins being seen by other pinners. This helps tremendously in creating traffic to your website. With attractive photos that essentially lure in your followers, you can't really go wrong with this social platform.        

 

  • Adsense - Firstly Adsenseis a free, simple way to earn money by displaying targeted ads next to your online content. With AdSense, you can show relevant and engaging ads to your site visitors and even customize the look and feel of ads to match your website.  Basically Google AdSense provides a way for website owners to earn money from their online content. AdSense works by matching text and display ads to your site based on your content and visitors. The ads are created and paid for by advertisers who want to promote their products. Since these advertisers pay different prices for different ads the amount you earn will vary. Now I have heard multiple stories of different businesses and bloggers applying for Google Adsense and being rejected when they have high traffic volume to their websites. I have also heard stories where websites have to have so many articles, words, pictures etc to qualify for Adsense but then there are some who qualify when they have very little on their websites. What this means is if you are interested you need to take a chance you may or may not be rejected. What if you are? Try again in a few months. Build up your content and make sure your website is attractive and appealing to your visitors. 

 

  • Crowdfire - This is a really cool app. As I organically grow all of my Instagram followers I am constantly having people follow me who have mass amounts of followers. I always think wow! They want to follow me? Do they really think I have good enough content to follow me? And then I also see a lot of people who follow me to unfollow me. If I am being honest I think it may just be how growing followers organically works unfortunately. People follow you to gain you as a follower not for you content which has really made me careful who I follow. I have seen on multiple occasions Instagrammers who have mass followers who follow to gain the follow and unfollow you. I've been followed by the same people 3-4 times to follow them back to be unfollowed. With Crowdfire you are able to see who follows you and who unfollows you. 

 

  • Google Drive - I love google drive as a way to back things up. Wherever I am all of my files are within reach through google drive whether I am at home on my computer or out and about on my phone I am able to access them easily. You can invite others to view, edit or leave comments on files as well as enable the viewing of files offline. You can view documents, PDFs, photos, videos and more. Files are easily searchable by name and content. 

 

  • Studio Design - We all know that as a community of bloggers and small businesses that attractive photography and photos with charming graphics and design are one of the most for sure ways to help grow traffic to our social platforms. With Studio design it is perfect for doing just that. I would describe it as very similar to Instagram. What Instagram did for photography the Studio app will do for design. Allowing to add captivating layers of graphics to your photos you are able to share your creativity. 

 

 

 

These are some of my favorite apps that I use frequently if not at least multiple times daily. And since I have been blogging I have seen a jump in my traffic volume. If you have any questions I would more than happy to help you! Be sure to leave a comment and let me know how they work for you!