family

The Boy Blues

Four years ago,  when I  found out we were pregnant with our first child, I was eager to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. I didn’t have a preference either way, I just knew I wanted at least one of each and it didn’t matter which came first.  We found out in the ultrasound it was a happy, healthy baby boy and I was genuinely excited and I even think I went to buy boy clothes that same day to celebrate.

Soon after Layton was born, people started asking when are you going to try for your next one? Usually followed with,  are you hoping it’s a girl someday? The answer, at first, was it doesn’t matter, but I really think this is when I started to just assume I’d have a girl as my next one. Flash forward 3 years later and I’m 20 weeks pregnant waiting for the ultrasound results. We planned a special reveal with balloons for everyone to find out. The box opens and 6 beautiful blue balloons go floating to the sky, I happily say “yay, a boy!” before starting to cry and feel a sadness I wasn’t quite sure how to explain.

For pretty much 28 years, I have wanted to be the mother of a daughter. I have spent years and years, practicing by putting my dolls in dresses, brushing and braiding their hair and painting the nails of anyone I could get my hands on. I was put on this earth to have a daughter one day (or so I thought). I have spent countless amounts of time since starting this motherhood journey hoping to have a daughter one day. I had names picked, colors for the nursery and had even bookmarked cute mommy and me outfits to purchase and wear someday. In a two second act of opening a box and seeing blue balloons, I felt this immediate sense of sadness for what I might never have. I have spent the last 3 days, crying about things that I might miss out on having two boys. I pictured myself picking out prom dresses and wedding dresses with her, being the mother of the bride one day, spending days bonding over shopping and crafts.. the list goes on. I had spent years just assuming one day, I’d get all these things.

I can’t quite explain this sadness and I’m not sure that I ever will be able to tell anyone what its like but I have found myself emotional and angry and needing to get it out. I am emotional because I feel like I have lost the chance to experience being a mom to both genders and angry at myself for even being sad about something like this. I am extremely grateful to have another healthy and perfect little boy on the way. I know that many woman do not get to experience this ever in their lives and I have been granted the opportunity to do it not once but twice so far and for that I am extremely thankful. I know that this is not necessarily the end of my childbearing journey but there is a sense of finality in it for me. My emotions are overwhelming and this has been difficult to accept.

Over the last couple days, I have heard the traditional “congrats, another boy,” almost as if they were disappointed too. I have heard the whole “boys are awesome, being a boymom is great” speech and everything in between. While this may be true, I can’t help but be a little bitter and I just return to thinking “that’s great but I don’t want to be just a boy mom.” I have read several articles relating to this gender disappointment feeling and have found comfort in knowing that I am not the only one that this has happened to.  While I don’t know what’s in store for me and if I’ll have more kids someday, I do know that the sadness I have felt is overwhelming and difficult to accept and I pray that it will get better with time.

I don’t know if anyone else has ever experienced this but I wanted to share my feelings because I have realized that being sad is okay. Life is full of sadness and happiness and I know that the second this baby boy comes into our lives, I will have forgotten all about these days, weeks or months and I will again realize my purpose in this world, boy mom or not.

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recipes

Summer Picnic Favorite

One of my favorite things about summer is picnics and get togethers. One reason I love these is the food. I am a huge fan of picnic type food.. salads, dips, bbq. I have one recipe that I usually make for these events because it is  easy and it has never let me down.  In this post, I am going to show you my  hoagie dip recipe. It’s perfect for any event and can be made in less than 10 minutes !

 

Hoagie Dip

Ingredients

1 lb Turkey Breast Chopped Finely

1/2 lb Hard Salami Chopped

1 lb Sliced Ham Chopped

1 lb Provolone Chopped

1/2 Red Onion diced

1/2 tomato diced

4 or 5 banana peppers chopped

Shredded lettuce

1/2 cup mayo

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Italian seasoning

Red Pepper Flakes

 

Instructions

1.) Chop all lunch meats and cheese and place in a bowl.

2.) Chop onion, and banana peppers and place in the same bowl.

3.) Mix dressing.  Add mayo, olive oil and vinegar – stir well. Add in red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning to taste.  Pour over lunch meat and veggies. Mix well.

4.) Lastly, add in lettuce and tomatoes. I typically do this right before I serve so the lettuce doesn’t wilt.

5.) Serve with crackers or bread  and enjoy !

 

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home

Patriotic DIY

If you are looking for a great DIY for the summer, I’ve got just the thing for you! This idea is cheap and easy and makes for a great porch or yard decoration.

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The very first thing you will need is an old window. My mom happens to have a lot of these but you can usually find them at sales, or sometimes people have them out for the trash. You may be able to snag some on Craigslist or in the newspaper when people renovate. After you clean the window, the next step is to tape off the stripes and stars box. For this, we first measured the square part to be even on all sides. These measurements will vary depending on your window size but for mine it was about 8″ x 8″. After we measured the square, we measured and taped for the stripes. Again, this will vary depending on the size of the window but for mine each stripe is about 1.75″. We taped off every other stripe to allow for alternating colors.

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Next we took Waverly Chalk Paints in red, white and blue. These were found at Walmart. We used foam brushes to apply the paint to the back side of the window. (Remember this when taping so you don’t end up with a backwards flag.) First we painted the blue square, and then the red stripes. After the first coat dries, apply a second and third coat as needed.

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When completely dry, remove the tape and carefully paint the white stripes. Again, apply a second and third coat as necessary.  After all of your painting is done, spray with a top coat to protect against rain and sun damage.

 

Lastly, we purchased a gold star garland or wreath. Ours was from Amazon and can be found HERE. One garland was enough to make both wreaths. Using a staple gun, we fastened to the top of the window. You could also hot glue but I’m not sure how it would hold up in the rain.

 

Here are the final projects ! Perfect for the 4th of July and Labor Day.

 

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planning

How I Plan My Life

Some people ask me what I include in my planner and how I figure out what needs to go where. So in today’s post I figured I would walk you through how I figure out my weekly plans and layout.

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The very first thing I do is look at my blank spread for the week and decide on a color or theme. I have several books of stickers that I use to guide my theme for the week. This week happens to be my best friends wedding on Saturday so I planned my weekly theme to match her wedding colors.

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After deciding on a color and theme for the week, I place the basic stickers and boxes on the page. Usually for this part, I place the boxes wherever I think looks good. I also place some quote stickers and checklists where I feel like they look the best.

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My next step then is to place more specific stickers for meetings, clients I need to see, appt’s and things I need to do. Right now I also place a weekly sticker for our Disney countdown. This week I also placed some wedding theme stickers on Saturday for the wedding.

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The very last thing I do is fill in my plans with pen. I typically write on a post it note for the week everything that needs to get done on each day so I can have a better idea. I then transfer those notes to the planner and add in any extra things. I also fill in my weekly to do’s and any special occasions.

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The main things that I include each week are:

  • Appointments
  • Birthdays
  • Meals
  • Work Meetings/Clients
  • To Do’s
  • Events
  • Chores
  • Calls I need to make
  • Blog Post Schedule, Usborne Post Schedule

 

Some weeks, I put a lot in and other weeks I limit it. It just depends what I have going on for the week and how busy we are. I am the type of person that needs lists to remind me so this is my all in one way of keeping track of our life.  For more info about the planner I use, Click Here !

 

recipes

Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Today’s recipe is a Bailey family favorite. I have literally been eating these cupcakes for as long as I can remember and let me tell you something, they are DELICIOUS! My mom has always been an awesome baker. She can make all kinds of desserts and they always taste amazing. These cupcakes, just happen to be one of our family’s favorites. When she makes a batch (24 cupcakes) they can easily be gone in 2 days !! Crazy right, but once you make them for yourself you will understand why !

Ingredients:

1 (8oz) package cream cheese

1 egg

1/3 cup sugar

6 oz. bag of chocolate chips


1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 TBSP. vinegar

1 tsp. vanilla

 

Directions:

1.) Mix first 3 ingredients together in a bowl until smooth, fold in chocolate chips.

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2.) Mix remainder of the ingredients until smooth for chocolate cupcake mix.

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3.) Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (2 pans), preheat oven to 350*.

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4.) Fill cupcake liners 1/3 full with chocolate mixture.

5.) Top each cupcake with a heaping spoonful of cream cheese mixture.

6.) Bake for 12-15 minutes. I typically put them in for 12 minutes then check to see if they need another minute or two.

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Now that I have a house and family of my own, I make these a lot. Cole and Layton both love them and they are gone in just a few days !

Enjoy and try not to eat too many ! 🙂

 

 

 

family

Life Lessons: 50 ways to Yay !

A few months ago I shared a picture of a book I was starting to read. That book was 50 ways to yay! The book is written by Alexi Panos and is a self help book of sorts for improving your life and creating happiness for yourself. Since posting that first picture, I have managed to read all of the book and I am completely blown away by how much I liked it. I am not usually a self help book kind of gal but this one was really awesome.
Each chapter in the book has a theme or a goal to accomplish. There are 50 chapters total, none of which are more than 4-6 pages in length.  At the end of each chapter, there are several questions where you actually have the opportunity to write in your answers sort of like a diary. I found this to be great because it was almost like your written plan for how to utilize what you learned in the chapter.

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The first chapter was a big chapter for me ! It breaks your life down into parts and asks you to decide which part you are most unhappy with. For me this is finances. We have credit card debt that I hate and we always seem to have just enough to cover necessities with very limited extra money. The written part of this chapter asks you then how can you change that, what can you do personally to make that better. This was simple for me. The type of job that I do allows me to pick up extra clients and extra clients mean extra money. The second thing for me is paying off debt and we have started within the last few months to work extremely hard at paying this down !

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Another chapter that I really enjoyed was “It’s all FOR you.” This chapter talks about how things don’t happen TO you , they happen FOR you. Everything that has happened is essential in your evolution in life. This is a big one for me when something bad happens. I always think why did this have to happen to me, on this day, etc. and the truth is that it happened because it was a lesson or a reason to change paths to something better.

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The last chapter in the book is also one that I really loved. It talks about what will you leave behind. Now this is hard for me to think about because I don’t do well with death. I don’t like to think about it and I get upset when I do but for me this theme was more than dying, it was about something to leave behind. Spend your life being a better person and it will show. You want people to remember how you made them feel long after you can give them those feelings anymore. I have come across a lot  of people in my life that will be remembered for things they owned or how they treated others,  not for how they made me feel when I was around them. I want to spend more time doing things for people who will one day say “do you remember how she could make us laugh” or “she gave the best hugs.” If I can be remembered that way by at least 10 people, I’ll be happy !
Overall, I highly recommend the book. It is easy reading and it really gives you somethings to think about. I enjoyed her style of writing and found all of these topics great for someone who wants to achieve a happier more positive life ! There really wasn’t any chapters or topics that I didn’t enjoy thinking or reading about.
Anyone who decides to read this book, let me know how you like it ! Or if anyone has already read it, tell me some of your favorite parts !

makeup

DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner

Today was brush cleaning day in my house! I got all my gross, disgusting makeup brushes together and got my special cleaning solution ready to work. The reason I love this cleaner is because it is safe, sensitive for skin and smells great.

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To start, I take a small dish and mix baby soap and/or shampoo with a few drops of tea tree oil and a few drops of lavender oil. The baby soap is great because it is gentle and sensitive. The tree tree oil is a good addition because of its natural antibacterial components which keeps your brushes cleaner and in return your skin healthier. I also add the lavender oil for the scent and its soothing properties.

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After I mix this in the dish, I swirl my brushes in the soap mixture. Usually, after a few swirls you can see the soap change color from your makeup products. Immediately after I swirl my brush in the soap, I swirl it in a bowl of warm water to rinse. I usually do this a couple times to make sure all the soap and products are out of the brush. When I am finished rinsing, I dry my brushes on a towel and leave them there for several hours ! The bristles are extremely soft and smell like lavender. After they are completely dry, I usually give them a good fluff and they are ready to go ! I also do this same process with my makeup sponges and beauty blenders.


I would suggest doing this on a day when you don’t plan on using them or in the evening just to allow enough time to dry. This simple, inexpensive cleaner works great and keeps my brushes looking better than ever. I typically wash my brushes twice a month ( I probably should do it more) but I always forget ! Enjoy this easy DIY  and let me know how it works for you !

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recipes

Easter Dessert

Hi everyone !

I hope you had a great Easter yesterday ! I wanted to share with you the dessert I made for our family lunch  ! It was easy and inexpensive. I got the idea from Facebook and wasn’t sure how it would turn out but I thought it was cute and appropriate. You could also make this dessert for springtime in general with some minor changes.

Ingredients: 

Box of brownie mix

Oil, eggs and water to make brownies

Oreos

Can of chocolate frosting

White chocolate chips

Orange food coloring

Strawberries

Robins eggs candy

Directions: 

1.) Prepare boxed brownie mix, place in pan and bake as directed.

2.) While the brownies are cooking, begin to prepare strawberries. Melt white chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth, add food coloring to create an orange color.

3.) Dip strawberries into chocolate and place on cookie pan to cool. I placed mine in the refrigerator to harden.

4.) Place about 15-20 Oreo cookies in a ziploc bag and crush. This will be the “dirt topping”.

5.) When brownies are finished, let them cool and then begin assembling.

6.) Place chocolate frosting on top of brownies. I did a thin layer. Then top with chrushed Oreos. Finally place chocolate covered strawberries and robins egg candies on top !

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Your completed desert should look like a carrot patch ! I placed a small bunny in the dish to add something extra !

The dessert turned out cute and everyone enjoyed the taste ! You could also do other chocolate covered fruit to creat different veggies to make it look like a garden for the spring/summer !
Enjoy !

family

Life Update

I have been so incredibly busy lately and I have definitely been slacking on blog writing. I thought I would pop on here to give you guys a little life update!

So the first big thing that’s changed in the last month or two is that I took a new job ! This is not a switch from my usual school job, I just added some extra work to my schedule. I have recently started with an early intervention company working with about 4 extra clients per week. For those of you who don’t know a ton about Occupational Therapy, early intervention is kiddos ages 0-3 who need OT services within their home. Its an awesome job and the opportunity to work with babies and toddlers is so rewarding. So anyway, I have been seeing a couple kids after I am done at school for the day making my evenings a little busier, but the job and the extra money is great !

Another big thing going on right now, is my Easter Angels project ! I talked about this in a past blog post a few weeks ago so I won’t go into too much detail. My mom and I have been busy getting ready to deliver all the goodies to the hospital. We have spent a lot of weekends shopping and attending events to raise money for the cause. We are nearing the end and are going to be able to donate $3,000+ in supplies and baskets to the children this week !

Every Thursday after school, I have also been helping with Girls on the Run at Kutztown Elementary. This is a program for the girls to participate in for self esteem, confidence and girl power all while helping them train to run a 5k. This has been such an awesome experience so far and I am looking forward to the rest of the program ! We have about 5 more weeks to go before the 5k !

So between all of these things, I have added some extra busyness into my schedule ! I am excited to have all of these different things going on and am so thankful to be able to do so much. I promise to get back into my blog writing soon and I’ve got a bunch of new stuff coming for you guys in the next few weeks ! Check back later this week for an Easter dessert recipe that I think you guys will love !

planning

Erin Condren vs. Happy Planner

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Most of you know that I purchased the Erin Condren Planner last year and I purchased another one for this year. I really enjoyed the EC Life Planner all the months I used it and I felt that it had everything I wanted/needed. I also purchased the Happy Planner by Me and My Big Ideas a few weeks ago so I could compare the two ! I used the EC for the month of January and have been using the Happy Planner for the month of February and beginning of March. I really enjoy each of the planners! I wanted to give you a little comparison in case you were looking to purchase one.

This biggest difference in these two planners is the price. The Erin Condren life planner is typically $55.00. They do run a lot of specials, free shipping, etc which can make is less than that but you also have to purchase from a website and shipping can take 1-2 weeks. The Happy Planner costs $29.95 but you can almost always find them for between $15-$20 with coupons and sales. You can get them at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and the Happy Planner website. Both planners have lots of accessories to add onto them.

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The first main difference between the two is the binding. The EC life planner is coil bound, mine happens to be silver but you can get in gold and rose gold if you wish. The Happy Planner is bound with discs. The one I purchased came with gold disks, but you can purchase various other colors and sizes to increase the amount of papers you can add into it. The disc binding allows you to easily remove and insert papers as you need to. The EC life planner does not allow you to remove pages as easily.

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The other main difference for me is the divider pages and monthly notes pages. In the EC life planner, you have a blank notes pages. You can easily decorate these pages how you want and make it your own style. In the Happy Planner, the pages have a lot of spots to write different info and notes. The happy planner page has a 3 month calendar, a birthdays sections, goals for the month, important dates/holidays and a currently section which includes what you are currently watching, listening to, etc.

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In both the EC and the Happy Planner, the monthly calendar is relatively the same. Both have the calendar blocks ( the EC is slightly larger) and they both also have a notes section at the side. The weekly views are also very much the same. They have a side notes section where you can put any additional info for the week. The boxes for the happy planner are slightly larger but they do not have a bottom section where you can write additional info.

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The other difference between the two is that the Happy Planner allows you to add additional extension packs. The Happy Planner has several including a budget expansion pack and a fitness extension pack. I purchased the budget pack and added it into the back of my planner. I don’t believe that the EC has anything like this available. Both planners have the option to switch out covers and change them as often as you would like. This is nice for someone like me who enjoys switching things up.

IMG_3276After using each for several weeks , I have to say that my pick is the Happy Planner ! I love the versatility of it and how easy it is to add and remove things. I also love the monthly page where I can write my goals, birthdays, etc. I never thought that I would switch from the EC life planner, but after using this one for the last few weeks, I have totally changed my mind. I love the affordability of the happy planner and being that Michael’s carries all the accessories and add on things it is so much easier to buy things when I see them.

 

To read more about my planning click HERE!

Life Planner

Happy Planner

makeup

New ELF Makeup Products

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I’ve got some new make up products I’m loving and I wanted to share them with all of you ! A few weeks ago I went on elfcosmetics.com and took a look their new arrivals section ! I was surprised to find lots of great products and after trying all of them out these past few weeks, I have to say I am really impressed.
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The first product I purchased is the illuminating moisturizer with SPF15. This product is much smaller than I thought it would be however it is an awesome product. It’s a lotion with an SPF component and vitamin E. The lotion itself is very moisturizing and cooling and melts well into the skin. I also like the illuminating factor.  It creates nice glowy skin for those days when you don’t wear makeup. I  have used it under my foundation as well and like the look it gives. A little bit goes a long way !
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The next product is the Beautifully Bare Face Palette. This 4 in 1 compact is beautiful with a giant mirror in the lid. This palette has 2 blushes,  a bronzer and a highlight shade. Each is pretty decent in size. I like the highlight and bronzer and find that they are super pretty on the skin. The blushes are nice colors however they don’t have a lot of pigment and they don’t show up that well on my skin.  They are also hard to blend out when put over foundation which was a bummer because I really loved the colors.

 

I also purchased the aqua beauty mousse foundation in fair/light. I believe they had 2 other shades for this foundation so finding a shade may be difficult for some of you. I feel like the fair/light is fine for me right now but as I get a summer tan it probably will not work. It’s a lightweight foundation with medium coverage and it is definitely buildable. Prior to purchasing, I read reviews to apply the product with your fingers. When I tried it with my beauty blender it soaked up most of the product and became patchy. When I smoothed it on with my fingers, I got a much better result ! This is a nice foundation for summer when you need light/medium coverage. It’s probably not something I will wear everyday but I really like it for those no makeup-makeup days or for this summer !
The beautifully bare lightweight concealer stick is probably one of my favorite things I purchased. It is a stick concealer in fair/light. I like the coverage it provides for under eye concealing. I again do not like to use with my beauty blender and find that patting it out with my fingers gives me a better result. It’s smoothing and also feels good on the skin.
The next product I purchased is the tinted lip oil in nude kiss. I was really looking forward to this product and was going it would give me a nice glossy lip without being too much. It does that however, I found it too be drying and made my lips chapped after wearing for an hour or two ! I have tried it two times this week and got the same result. I am going to try again with a lip mask underneath to see if it’s not as drying.  UPDATE: if I wear over a chapstick or lip mask it wears much better but still does not last long.
The last product I got was the nude rose gold eyeshadow palette. I love the colors in this palette and was pleased with the amount of shades. There are 10 shades ranging from light to dark with matte and shimmer shades. The eye shadows can be a little patchy but with some blending they are very pretty !
I also received some products as a free gift! I have yet to try any of these but will keep you guys updated. I’m looking forward to the baked eyeshadow and eye shadow brush !
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Most of these products cost between $3-$10 so they are affordable. I like most of them and will continue to use them throughout the summer. I feel like they provide a good light makeup look for those hot sunny days.