10 Ways to Have a Better Day


1. Have your morning coffee with cartoons.  The bright colors in cartoons stimulate the mind, often evoke warm feelings, and can even take one back to the simpler years of childhood.  Watching Little Einsteins and Oswald in the morning with the little ones as we start our day always seems to alert the senses!

2. Dance like no one's watching.  Have any songs on your iPOD that make you want to dance?  Then why not have at it!  There's nothing better to get you going than moving your body to the beat. Moves like Jagger, anyone?  How about Groove is in The Heart?

3. Imagine the R&B crooner on the radio is singing that love ballad to you.  I am always delightfully flattered when I imagine that Robin Thicke is singing "Mrs Sexy" to me or that Luke James wrote "I Want You" specifically for me.  Hey, a girl can dream can't she?  

4. Pretend you're someone else.  Perhaps it's one of those days when you and one of your co-workers aren't seeing eye to eye.  Maybe your boss is coming down hard on you.  Or your clients are making you wish you could make a bee-line for the car and never return.  If you can't find it within you to handle the situation in a stress-free way, channel your inner hero[ine].  Think to yourself, "How would Olivia Pope react to this?" and act accordingly.  This may give you a boost of courage or clarity you didn't even realize you possessed!

5. Walk like someone's watching.  Enter a room with confidence. Walk with your head held high, taking long strides. And if that doesn't help, imagine that the love of your life is watching you walk away. That should put some "pep" in your step as you move throughout the day.

6. Admire your smile in the mirror and carry it with you for the rest of the day.  Even if it takes a few tries for you to believe it, turn your frown upside down in the mirror and fall in love with the view.  Seeing yourself with such a beautiful smile on your face may prompt you to wear it all the time!

7. Have a hearty laugh. Watch a funny video on YouTube in your spare time. Catch an episode of Martin or check out summer re-runs of  The Goldbergs if you love revisiting the 80s and the 90s like I do. Laughter releases endorphins, which control feelings of stress and create feelings of pleasure. Couldn't you use both?

8. Anonymously do something nice for someone else.  Place a sticky-note on a public restroom mirror that reads "you are beautiful" (see Operation Beautiful). You never know who may need to see these words. Or if you have extra money, pay for someone else's meal when you head out for lunch. Doing something nice for someone will surely brighten his or her day as well as yours.

9. Take the scenic route home. Life always looks different when we observe it from a different perspective and in another view. So why not start by looking at life's beautiful landscape instead of complaining about high gas prices?  And as an added bonus, you even get to avoid that evening traffic!

10. Send Negative Nancy to voice mail. This one is self-explanatory. Sometimes you must preserve your positivity by dismissing the negative. Besides, Negative Nancy will be there tomorrow with something new to complain about anyways. Why waste time today being drained by her pessimistic outlook on life?

What do you do to make your day brighter?
Let me know in the comments!

edited from the archives: may 2012

Ask Away Friday with DIY Mama


Hey ladies and gents! I'm back at #AskAwayFriday again this week! This Friday, I've partnered up with Shelly over at DIY Mama. And just as the name of her blog suggests, Shelly is the real deal DIY Mama. At DIY Mama, she blogs about her life with her husband and her "little bean" Soph, as well as her love of crafting and organizing. In getting to know Shelly in the blogosphere, I have since organized my nail care storage, planned my family trip to Disney, and began working on my own life planner. Seriously, you guys have to stop by and check her out. It's been so much fun getting familiar with Shelly this week!

MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter

Below are the questions Shelly asked me and my responses to them.


1. I love your 'Weekly Wishes' posts! Do they help you stay focused to accomplish your wishes by writing them down? Yes. Yes. Yes. Writing my goals down is essential in completing them. And since I am a chronic list-maker, I find myself making a list of things to do (or complete) on the daily. I usually keep my weekly goals posted on my bulletin board in my bedroom and saved in my phone so that I can keep my eyes on them. And blogging about them keeps me accountable. Checking items off my on-going lists is so gratifying, you have no idea!


These are just a few of my list and wish keepers :)



2. It's National Pollinators Week! What are your thoughts on bees? My initial thoughts on bees--- I'm afraid of them. Childhood bee stings are responsible for this fear, as those little stingers are no joke! But after reading your post about National Pollinators Week, I've started thinking beyond my fear and more about how beneficial bees are to nature. I might even plant some zinnias and sunflowers for them :)

3. When I Was Gab's Age was a stroll down memory lane for me! I'm pretty sure we had parallel childhoods! What have you re-introduced from your childhood to your kids? I've re-introduced Gabs and Core to so many things from my childhood, especially with television shows and cartoons. Gabs is able to watch some episodes of Sister Sister with me and Core has become a fan of Smart Guy recently. They both enjoy watching The Magic School Bus and they seem to be learning a lot from it. 

In the last month or so, Gabs has fallen in love with Judy Blume books and The Babysitter's Club series. I'm too hyped about that! We've actually started watching The Babysitter's Club together.

4. I just bought tickets to see one of our favorite comedians in September (Mike Birbiglia)! What comedian have you seen that you loved or who would you like to see? Wow, that's cool. Mike Birbiglia is a funny dude! I saw Rickey Smiley a few years back and he was hilarious. Earthquake is coming close by in the upcoming weeks, so I'm hoping to get some last minute tickets for that!

5. Our babies (your youngest) were born pretty close to the same day! (Oct. 5th for Soph.) What new gadget or toy have you used with Jj that you love and wish you had with the other two? The GracoBaby SweetPeace Infant Soothing Swing was the best thing ever invented for babies! Oh my goodness. That swing has been a blessing. It has four different seating positions, it vibrates, it reclines... You can even play music from your iPod on it. I don't think this swing was around when the others were babies, but I wish it was!  


6. I know you're into make-up hardcore! What is your favorite drug-store makeup that you always go back to? No matter what new cosmetic I fall in love with, I always find my way back to CVS or Walgreens to grab up some Wet n Wild stuff. It was the very first brand of makeup I ever tried. I love their liners, mascaras, lipsticks, and nail polish. I've been using their polishes longer than any other brand and I have yet to be disappointed!


This is my favorite Wet n Wild Lipstick. 
It's so pigmented and long-lasting!


7. I just finished A Fault in Our Stars and really liked it. Are you the type to stop a book if you're not into it or do you complete the book? Any recent favorites? I can't wait to get into A Fault in Our Stars. It's on my Summer Reading List. Now I will be completely honest and tell you I will stop a book at the drop of a hat. I like to read several books at the time, so if a book I'm reading isn't serving me at the moment, I will put it down. That's not to say I won't pick it back up. But if  I try to read it again and can't get into it, I will not complete it. I'm currently reading The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer and Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli and both are good reads. I can't wait to give updates on them both!

8. I saw you're grateful for Dance Central! Me too! What's your go-to jam that you always get 5 stars?
You Got It (The Right Stuff) by New Kids on the Block gets me 5 stars each time. It's my favorite song on Dance Central 3 and no one wants to battle with me when I choose that song. They know it's going down! Lol.

9. Summer time means great movies! Have you seen any yet this summer or are there any on your 'must see' list? Will you go to a drive-in with your kids this summer? I plan to take Gabs and Core to see X-Men: Days of Future Past within the next week or so. I've been wanting to see Think Like a Man Too and I hope hubby takes me on a date night to see it soon.



10. Finish this sentence: 'Sometimes, when no one's watching, I _______!' ...sing really loud and pitchy to my heart's content! I love to sing, I'm just not very good at it. So that's my favorite thing to do when no one's watching (or listening lol.)

Now with this swap, Shelly offered a bonus question. The bonus was to answer one question that I asked her. And let me tell you, I had the hardest time picking a question to answer. Where do I get these questions from that I ask? Lol. Here goes!

*** If you could start your own mom group, what you would call it? When and where would your group meet and what would you guys do in your meet-ups? If I could start my own mom group, it would either be called Rockin' Mamas or Moms' Night Out. Why, I don't know. Both names sound pretty catchy to me. We could have an initial meeting to discuss various places we'd like to have group meetings and different activities we would like to do. I would probably suggest meeting up at places like Barnes and Nobles/Starbucks, Nikki's, or the Bowling Alley. And of course I'd love to have regular meet-ups at my place to have girl-talk, host pamper parties, and do nails + makeup. This actually sounds like a lot of fun!

It's been real answering your questions, Shelly! Now I want to go find a local comedy show, watch Smart Guy re-runs with Gabs and Core, and get my Dance Central moves together! Be sure to stop by DIY Mama to see Shelly's answers to my questions today.

Ask Away Friday with Sonya: Round Two


Happy Friday, beautiful people! Are you guys as happy about it being Friday as I am? Not only is the day going beautifully so far, I have the opportunity to pair up with my blogger friend Sonya K. of Saving Everyday with Sonya K again for #AskAwayFriday. If you guys enjoyed the first round we did back in March, you will love this one. 

TamaraLikeCamera

Below are the questions Sonya asked me and my responses to them:

Lets start with some music questions.
1. There are some songs from the 90's that I loved as a kid, but I can't stand listening to now. Do you have any songs that you loved at one time from the 90's but hate now? I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred. I can imagine I sang it loudly and mockingly for many years. But now, I hear it and cringe. Talk about overkill!


2. Listening to music can bring back memories from certain times in your life. What songs remind you of the following events:


(a) Care free childhood days- Just Kickin' It by Xscape. I can still remember singing that on the playground with my friends in elementary school. Kenya, if you're out there reading, can you remember being Kandi for this song?

(b)Freshman year of college- The College Dropout Album by Kanye West... Yes, each and every song. I bet my roommate got tired of hearing this when she got ready for classes in the A.M. Lol.

(c)When you first met your husband-Excuse Me Miss by Jay-Z. I don't recall any songs from the night we met, but when we were initially dating, this song was always on the radio when we rode out. 
               
       "everybody's like he's no item.. 
please don't like him... he don't wife 'em.. he "one nights" 'em"


3. If you could choose one guy group from the 90's to serenade you, who would you choose? Since I wouldn't be able to choose H-Town now (rest in peace to Dino), I will go with Next. If they could serenade me singing "Butta Love" that would be... well that would be love!

4. What are your top 3 favorite Prince songs? Adore, The Beautiful Ones, Erotic City, and I Wanna Be Ur Lover. Naming only three was so hard, so I had to throw an extra one in there.

Food Questions.
5. What is your favorite Southern meal to cook? Fried Chicken, Rice and Gravy, Collard Greens, Corn Bread, Lima Beans, and Baked Macaroni + Cheese. Don't worry, it's not something I make often. It's a big hearty meal, so I'd probably only make a meal like this when all my siblings come down to visit.


6. Is there any food you are afraid to try to cook? There are actually two things--and they may not be a big deal to many. But my Grandma Lou made the best biscuits in the world. And when she had old leftover biscuits, she would make biscuit pudding. If you've never heard of it, biscuit pudding is a baked delicacy made with leftover biscuits and vanilla, among other items. I've often thought about trying to make biscuits from scratch, but I never follow through. I'm afraid that they will never taste as good as grandma's. And for that reason, in all honesty, I make my biscuits with biscuit mix. 


But man, I'd love to have some of that biscuit pudding she used to make. It was so sweet and chewy. Maybe I'll try to make them both one day. 

7. What would a typical weekend breakfast be at your house? Weekend breakfasts are the best! Unless it's summertime, Saturday and Sunday mornings are the only times we have big breakfasts. Typically we will have pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs, grits, toast, orange juice, and a fruit platter. 

90's TV Questions
8. If you could invite four of your favorite 90's TV characters to a fantasy dinner party, who would you invite? Dwayne Wayne from A Different World, Denise from the Cosby Show, Kyle Barker from Living Single, and Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and The City. Gosh, that was a tough one! I think I have changed my answers about five times. Lol. 


9.The cartoons and TV shows from the 90's had very catchy theme songs. What was you favorite cartoon and TV theme song to sing? The theme songs from Tiny Toon Adventures and Step By Step instantly came to mind. I don't know if they were my absolute favorite theme songs, but I remember singing them a lot. 



10. Zach Morris vs. A.C. Slater? Who would you have chosen for your Bayside guy? A.C. Slater. That was my boo on Saturday mornings! There's something about those dimples and the way he called Jessie "mama" that always made me swoon. 



I've had a blast answering Sonya's questions and taking this beautiful trip down memory lane! To get more familiar with Sonya, make sure you click the button below and show her blog some love. She also responded to my questions as well this week, so check them out and tell her I sent you!

Saving Everyday With Sonya K

Review | Sammydress Bodycon Bandage Dress

sammydress.com sheath dress
As you guys know, I just celebrated a birthday a few weeks ago. And for my usual birthday lunch date with hubby, I was on the search for a cute, affordable dress to wear. So when I was contacted by Sammydress.com to review an item from their site, I was elated! The timing couldn't have been more perfect! 

In case you aren't familiar, Sammydress.com is an online supplier of on-trend fashion and accessories based out of China. They ship internationally and have tons of items (lingerie, dresses, cosplay costumes, you name it!) for very affordable prices.

In my browsing of the site, I opted for this stylish round collar sleeveless bodycon knit bandage dress. It seemed conservative enough, as I didn't want to show too much cleavage or thigh. And I was hoping the fabric and cut of the dress would be forgiving, as my post-baby body is still a work in progress :-)

When the dress arrived, I must say I was pleased with my choice. The dress was identical to the photo on the site. And from using the handy sizing chart on the site, I would say my dress was very true to size. I was reluctant to try it on, as it is a bodycon dress and I was afraid it would be super tight-fitting. Much to my surprise, it wasn't. The cotton and polyester material of the dress was very breathable, and comfortable to move around in. I was winning, so far!



bodycon dress

Now I don't know about you ladies, but when I'm trying on dresses in stores, I always "sit" or strike a sitting pose in the dress if there is no seating available. I stay going out to eat somewhere or on a movie date, so I wanted to make sure that the dress was comfortable while sitting as well as standing. 

bodycon dress

Another win for Dre! And since hubby loved the dress as well, it looks like this baby was a winner all around! What do you guys think?

Overall, I loved how well the dress fit. The site's information was very accurate, as the dress was true to color, silhouette, and size. I was also very impressed with the quality of the dress, especially for the low price point. One thing that I will point out about this dress, is that it can be tricky for women who have an ample chest. I think the black banding of the dress is supposed to fall right under your breasts, but mine clearly does not. So ladies, please keep in mind that your overall body shape will affect the way the dress fits your frame. It may not look the same on every body, but it is quite flattering, if I say so myself.

Will you be stopping by Sammydress.com to score yourself a dress? Right now, they're running a special promotion that allows new sign-ups to get 10% off their orders. Isn't that awesome? Head over to the site and let me know if you see anything you like in the comments. And tell me what you think of this dress too, as I'd love to know!

Thank you to Sammydress.com for considering me to do this product review. They sent me this cute little number for review and I'm so glad they gave me the opportunity to share about their products with you guys here! 

Summer Book Challenge 2014 | Preliminary List + Month 1


When is the last time you participated in a book challenge? Let me tell you guys, when I was blog surfing this week and came across this one on Megan Stroup's blog (Semi-Charmed Kind of Life), I knew I wanted in. Never mind the fact that I'm about a month late into the challenge. Since one of my current goals is to read more, I felt I could still participate and catch up eventually. Check out the cool  challenge categories and the books I chose to fit each requirement below. Each book read in the challenge must be at least 200 pages long. 

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 200 pages long.
— The Untethered Soul , Michael A. Singer (200 pages)
10 points: Read a book that was written before you were born.
— Go Tell It On The Mountain , James Baldwin (256 pages) [1953]
10 points: Finish reading a book you couldn't finish the first time around.
— Life Overflowing , T. D. Jakes (427 pages/300+ pages remaining)
10 points: Read a book from the children’s section of the library or bookstore.
— Stargirl , Jerry Spinelli (200 pages)
15 points: Read a book that is on The New York Times' Best Sellers List when you begin reading it.
 #GIRLBOSS , Sophia Amorouso (232 pages) [No. 6 on the Advice, How-to list]
15 points: Read a historical fiction book that does not take place in Europe.
— Song of Solomon , Toni Morrison (337 pages) [set in the United States]
15 points: Read a book another blogger has already read for the challenge.
— TBD :)
20 points: Read a book with “son(s),” “daughter(s)” or “child(ren)” in the title.
— Daughters of the Dust , Julia Dash (310 pages)
20 points: Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014.
— The Fault in Our Stars , John Green (337 pages)
25 points: Read a book written by a blogger.
— Happier at Home , Gretchen Rubin (320 pages) [gretchenrubin.com]
25 points: Read a biography, autobiography or memoir. 
— I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings , Maya Angelou (291 pages)
30 points: Read a pair of books with antonyms in the titles.
Rock My Soul , bell hooks (240 pages)  
— Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self , Danielle Evans (229 pages)


Thankfully, I just read a book that fit one of the categories:

✓ 25 points: Read a biography, autobiography or memoir. 
— I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou (291 pages, 5 stars)

Are you participating in the Summer Book Challenge

What books are you reading this summer?

Ask Away Friday with One Hoolie Mama


Hey ladies and gents! I'm back at #AskAwayFriday again this week! For today's installment of Ask Away Friday, I've partnered up with Suzanna over at One Hoolie Mama. Cool blog name, right? Suzanna calls herself the "hoolie mama," as she is the mother of a baby boy and a few fur children-- whom she affectionately call her hooligans, or hoolies. At One Hoolie Mama, she blogs about her life with her husband and the hoolies, as well as her love of running and crafting. It was so cool to check out her blog and get to know her better this week.

MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter

Below are the questions Suzanna asked me and my responses to them.

How do you like to take time for yourself during the day - do you prefer to read, do your nails, exercise, craft, write - what's your preference? My favorite way to take time for myself at home would definitely be indulging in a great read or two. Usually at night when the kiddies are fast asleep and all of my day's work is done, you can find me curled up with a good book. I probably have my journal somewhere close so that I can get some writing in, too. And maybe, just maybe, if sleep doesn't come soon, I'll pull that polish out and get my nails together. Lol.

If your husband were to describe you in one word, what word do you think he would pick and why? I asked him this last night before he left for work, and he asked me if it was a trick question. Ha! But I believe if he had to describe me in only one word, he would choose compassionate. He always says I see the best in others and try to make everyone around me smile.

As you have been taking steps to live fearlessly, what is one on the most rewarding things that has happened to you? The most rewarding thing that has happened since trying to move past my fears, is that my overall approach to life is changing. Usually, when presented with a new opportunity or situation, I'll over-analyze it a million times in my head. I'll question myself as to whether I should do it or not, I'll wonder if I'm doing the right thing for way too long. So much internal dialogue goes on that I will usually talk myself out of a situation before I am even truly involved. Does that ever happen to you? 

Nowadays, I'll say "why not?" and try something new without a second thought. Well, most of the time! 

What has been the most exciting perk you've received because of your blog? I believe the most exciting perk I've received because of my blog is knowing that people actually read it and enjoy what I write. Finding out my mom reads my blog blew me away! Encouragement from my aunt, my best friend, and other people I know personally really make me feel like I am doing something worthwhile---especially when there were times I've considered quitting. 

What are your top three must-haves when you are spending a day at the beach? That's a good question! Now I carry quite a few things in my beach bag, but three things I absolutely have to have when spending the day at the beach would be: a) cute sunnies b) sunscreen c) my camera or phone

What is your favorite part of blogging? My favorite part of blogging is connecting with others out here in the blogosphere and discovering others I can relate to.

What do you find the most challenging about blogging? The things I find the most challenging about blogging are finding a balance between real life and blog life-- if I could maintain more balance, I could be more consistent and actually stick to my editorial calendar lol! Another thing would be making sure I am blogging about something that is actually contributing to the blogosphere-- I always hope that what I'm sharing is something that may help someone in some way.  

If you had to eat one food every day for the rest of your life, what would you pick to eat? That's a tough one. If I chose foods I absolutely love, I would hate them if I ate them every day. But I will say that I eat a Payday candy bar at least 3-4 times a week. Hubby usually brings one home for me every time he leaves out. So I guess I'll go with that :)

What is one thing that always makes you laugh? Reruns of Martin. I can watch Martin when I'm having a bad day, and my spirits are instantly lifted. I could watch this show every day without growing tired of it.




If you had to pick just one thing, what is your favorite thing about your Hubby? It's so hard to pick one thing. He has so many great qualities! I think one of the things I love most about J is how grounded he is. He always keeps a cool head and rarely lets anything bother him. He keeps a cool demeanor, is a man of few words, but stands firm in what he says. It's a rare thing for anything or anyone make him act out of character. His personality really compliments mine, as I'm known to show my emotions and really react when provoked. He keeps me grounded and often reminds me not to tell others tailor my emotions.

It's been so much fun answering Suzanne's questions! To get more familiar with the Hoolie Mama herself, click the button below and show her blog some love. Her answers to my questions go live today as well, so make sure you check them out and tell her I sent ya!

One Hoolia Mama

Five Simple Ways To Start Living Fearlessly




If you are that risk-taking, challenge-accepting, daredevil who boldly embraces change and takes life by the horns, let me be the first to say I applaud you! I tip my hat to you all. However, this post may or may not be for you.

This post, is however, for folks like me. You know, those of us who may be just a little afraid to take that next big step. Those of us who are shaken by the thought of trying something new. Those of us who could be getting a lot further in life if we only had the nerve. Though I'm no cowardly lion, and I'm sure you're not either, it's probably evident that we both could use a push when it comes to living fearlessly. And since my main focus in 2014 is being fearless, I've decided to share with you guys my personal list-- the five ways in which I have began my fearless way of living. These are indeed small, yet very measurable tasks. Though I'm only a few months in, I'm already seeing a change in my way of living. Read on to catch the deets and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments!


1. Say yes. How many times have you prayed feverishly for better opportunities--only to turn them down once they come? I, for one, have been guilty of this on several occasions in the past. I've dismissed ideas of golden opportunities being mine, letting excuses and fear get in my way more times than I'm willing to admit. The fear of not being "prepared" had become my chief excuse. Even when asked out to social events and networking opportunities, I've given reasons such as not having a sitter or not being able to get there. But once those opportunities and invitations began running few and far in between, I wondered why I didn't get them more often. I was practically giving them away! So lately, I've been GOING. And trust me, when you want to get out and go somewhere you will find a way!

2. Go alone. This is a hard one for me. And I can imagine it may be a hard one for others as well. There's just something about braving uncharted territory alone that scares me. There's no familiar faces to share knowing smiles across the room with. There's no one to spark a quick conversation with to break the ice. Or is there?

After going to a few events solo, I can't believe I didn't start sooner! I was able to network with new people and it was much easier doing so alone. Always depending on someone to be my "wing man" can make me a bit too comfortable-- too comfortable to start conversations with others, too comfortable to speak out in the crowd during ice-breakers, and too comfortable to fully engage in the company of others around me. I will admit, it's still a task to get out there and go to events by myself. But it's a rewarding experience each time I do so, because I'm able to prove to myself that it can be done! It really helps to diminish the fear of being alone as well as the fear of the "unknown."

3. Meet new people  (or interact with the people we know in different ways). Now for me, this is one of the harder tasks. While I believe myself to be a rather friendly person, I find it hard to approach people I don't know. So I started by reaching out to people that I come in contact with on an everyday basis. I would compliment another woman attending the same event I was. I would ask other parents about possible extra-curricular activities I could sign my children up for. And since I'm a "new" parent in my children's school system, asking questions about the school, the area, and ways to get involved have really helped spark conversations among new people. I can even see a couple of new friendships forming between myself and other moms. And remember, even if you are a bit too shy to spark up a conversation with someone you don't know, a smile can go a long way. Simply smiling at a seemingly friendly person in the workplace, in class, or other place I frequented has been the start of many of my relationships to this day!

4. Do new things (or do everyday things differently). Now for the easy part--this may be the easiest task on the entire list. For this particular task, I sat down at my desk and created a neat little list. Well, what was supposed to be a little list, but became a lengthy master-list. I wrote down new restaurants I would like to dine at. Then I wrote down my favorite restaurants, along with items I had not tried on their menus. I wrote down places in my neighborhood I have yet to visit. I also wrote down three trades I want to master (which are also on my 30 by 30 list), and I added to that list three passions I have that I would love to perfect.  And just before I got carried away with creating this list (as I am a chronic list-maker), I gave myself a timeline to accomplish these things by. And ladies and gents, these are simple things that require little effort. They are large in the greater realm of things to me, because it shows me that I am capable of living outside of this proverbial box I keep cornering myself into.

5. Go new places (or see familiar places with fresh eyes). I will admit to you guys now that I've used the excuse of not having the resources, the funds, and/or the connections to travel too many times in the past. Little did I know that MY affirmation with MY words that I was unable to travel put a message out into the world. Therefore, I made myself unable to go out and see new things because I professed it. So one day, I decided to stop using my words to limit myself. Back when I first started making vision boards and planning vacations (whether I knew I could actually take them or not) I felt the power to believe. I began to envision myself visiting new places that I read about in books or magazines. And before long, I was taking flights and packing bathing suits! Though fear of the unknown threatened to "shut the party down" on more than a few occasions, I said my prayers, repeated 2 Timothy 1:7, and trusted that the Lord would take care of me wherever I ventured to. And he did!

Nowadays, however,  I don't get to travel too often---especially with the new baby. But I dare not speak that I CAN'T travel. I simply refer to that list I spoke of in #4 and find a new place to check out in my town or the next town over. Once I stepped out of the box and created new experiences for myself, I realized how confining it was to limit myself all this time!

In what ways do you practice living fearlessly? 
I would love to hear about them in the comments. 
Ideas, experiences, and words of encouragement 
are welcomed and greatly appreciated!

Weekly Wishes #3


Hello, everyone! Are you excited that June is finally here? I must say that I'm excited for the new month, but so sad that May is officially over. Over the last few weeks, I've celebrated my birthday (my 29th to be exact) and my oldest son's birthday. I've also stepped out of my comfort zone quite a bit to visit new places, try new things, and I'm so proud of myself! I made a commitment to myself last month to try something new as often as I could and it has really been an eye-opening experience. Have you guys tried anything new lately? If so, I would love to hear all about it in the comments! 

A great tool I've been utilizing is mapping out my weekly wishes and daily intentions. I am able to keep my goals and aspirations in perspective by making note of them and charting my progress on a daily and weekly basis. Have you ever made resolutions for yourself at the beginning of the year only to find you have forgotten half of the resolutions by the summer? With creating a small, attainable list of to-do items each day or each week, I've found myself staying the course with much more ease than in the past. 

Here are my wishes for this week:

1. Unplug for a day. Taking a break from social media does have its rewards. I've done this in the past and I must admit, unplugging really does keep distractions to a minimum for me.
2. Read one book. I am actually reading two books, but I hope to have at least one of them finished by the end of the week. I am re-reading I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and just started The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer a few nights ago.
3. Exercise. This always seems like the hardest task to do. I can never seem to stick to a routine. My hope is to get some cardio in at least three days this week. Let's cross our fingers!
4. Reach out to an old friend. I read this article by Marie over at GoodLooknOut and felt inspired to reach out to an old friend. So instead of looking through someone's pictures via Facebook and Instagram, I will actually hit them up and see how they've been doing.
5. Write something daily. This one seems easy enough, right? I even have some inspiration from here, here, and here. Thanks for the NaBloPoMo info, Brittnei!

Let's see how I did with last month's wishes:

1. Do something special for my birthday. Mission accomplished! My birthday was awesome! 
2. Work on fitness as a family unit. This was a fail. I have no clue where to begin with this one. I'm going back to the drawing board (aka Pinterest or Google).
3. Have a girl's night each week with Gabs. This has been a success. We've had quite a few "girl talks," movie nights, mani + pedi nights, and crossing off activities from her Just Mom & Me book. My hope is to definitely keep this going.
4. Spend quality time with my girlfriends. I'm pleased to say I've had lots of quality time with my girls last month. It feels great to have a few girls you can call up to catch up, vent, have fun, and share support. My girls are the best--- especially my bestie!
5. Make "more" pretty things. This has been fun! I've made a habit to make something new each week and I can't wait to share my results with you guys. With careful planning and consideration,  I'm almost ready to share my pretty things with you all. 
6. Plan a vacation. I simply made a list of places I would like to visit over the summer. I have yet to make any plans or preparations, though.
7. Create a self-care plan. I created a self-care plan that is very simple, yet effective. I made an ultimate list of things I love to do and vowed to do at least three of them each week. Have you ever tried doing this? What do you do for self-care? 

What are some things you wish to accomplish this week? 
This month?
Tell me all about them in the comments! 

The Nectar Collective
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