Reminiscing about our Wedding Journey

Reminiscing about our Wedding Journey

Hubby and I recently celebrated our 9th anniversary. It kind of is amazing to think so much time has passed already, but isn’t that life when you look at it in reverse? I thought it would be interesting to reminisce about the journey, especially after I saw that interesting infographic, below. So here we go, let’s embark on the memory journey. Hubby and I met our senior year of high school. So yes, we are high school sweethearts. We dated through college (where we ultimately went together – he started at a junior college and transferred to our university after). I switched majors so he graduated a couple of quarters before me, even though he delayed starting by a quarter because he attended Army basic training. Hubby proposed the weekend after Valentine’s day when I went home to visit for the weekend. I got to do my graduation photos while wearing my shiny new ring. Okay, so you can’t see it in this photo, but … We were engaged for a year and a half. I graduated and went to work (interestingly, at the same company I am still with 10 years later), and he worked a little (as a security officer) before leaving for another Army training, this time as an Army officer. We had to plan our wedding separated by the entire country since we were on opposite coasts. On his return drive back when he completed training, hubby-to-be stopped by the Houston area and looked at houses that we had selected. Then we spent the next few months purchasing the house we picked, and finalizing wedding plans. We got married in Hawaii! Because this is me we’re talking about. Where else are you going to take photos like this? We picked a package from a Hawaiian bridal company […]

Posted July 27, 2016 by Julie in Bridal / 2 Comments
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7 Essential Items You Need for Travel with Babies, Guest Post

7 Essential Items You Need for Travel with Babies, Guest Post

I have a guest post today from the lovely Evelyn from Mommy Stroller. Traveling with babies and young kids is certainly a point of stress for many parents, so she is sharing some useful tips to help make these trips easier and more enjoyable. Traveling and exploring different states and countries can be considered one of the things I ALWAYS enjoy. It doesn’t matter where we’re going as a family, if it’s somewhere new, I’m always pumped. However, this was not always the case. In fact, I often had feelings of anxiety whenever I had to travel around with my kids. If you feel similar, know that you are not alone! Many parents find that traveling with their little ones suck up so much of their energy that they forget that they should actually be enjoying themselves! For me, I believe these feelings come to the surface not only because it’s a lot of responsibility always to have to keep an eye out for my kids, but also, it can be daunting just having to plan what to bring and what not to bring. Most parents are aware of the typical essential items – diapers, baby formula, changing pad – you need when traveling with kids. However, there are certain things that are not so obvious, or the importance of these items might be underestimated. 7 Essential Items You Need when You Travel with Your Little Ones In today’s post, I will be sharing seven items that I think are KEY to making traveling with your kids much more convenient (and fun). Item 1: Lightweight stroller Lightweight strollers, any , are definitely the type of stroller you want to get if you’ll be traveling. These strollers are designed for parents who are always on the go and for traveling purposes. […]

Posted July 25, 2016 by Julie in Guest Posts, Parenting / 4 Comments
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Why Branding is Vital to Earning Income with your Blog

Why Branding is Vital to Earning Income with your Blog

The naming of blogs is a difficult matter. Blogs are like cats, you see. Sometimes in their lifespan, they may have three different names. Alright, enough of this theater geek moment and let’s get serious. And if you know the reference, we can be besties. Why I Rebranded my Blog in the first place I rebranded my blog at the beginning of the year from a cutesy and maybe whimsical name I selected back in 2004. Over time the name ended up being associated with, well, not family-friendly things when Googled, and so it had to go. I needed to get serious with my blog. I wanted this blog to be more than just a silly personal blog of a silly girl – since I was no longer that silly girl. It was time for my blog to become professional in name and behavior, time to embark on a rebranding journey. My new brand represents the content I was already writing. Yes, I had this blog since 2004 and had kept my history of posting through college and my early years of marriage and my career. Those posts were sporadic and of a more personal, rambly nature. Those posts are now private so they don’t get in the way of my blog’s current purpose. Then I became serious in my blogging and saw I could make a difference, an impact, and turn my blog into something more than just a “web log” of rambles. This seriousness came about shortly after I got pregnant and completely shifted the blogging I was doing. I started following other blogs run by moms and saw potential in my blog that I never saw before. How I Rebranded my Blog It wasn’t until I returned to work from maternity leave that it clicked, and I realized I was […]

Posted July 22, 2016 by Julie in Website and Blogging / 12 Comments
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140 Simple and Amazing Learning Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

140 Simple and Amazing Learning Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

As a busy working mom, I just don’t have the time to come up with intricate and exciting learning activities for my toddler. It is one of my sources of mom guilt, but there is just not enough time in the day, nor do I have the energy left by the time the weekend rolls around. Many stay at home moms take their sweet babies to children’s museums and playgrounds and libraries for toddler time to get their learning on and have the toddlers practice fine motor skills. Us working moms, though, we just do the best we can on weekends – when most of these fun toddler-friendly activities are not going on. So what do we do? We search Pinterest or read blogs and find fun ideas for things we can try at home. We pin, bookmark, and have every intention of doing all the fun stuff we scroll through on our phone in between meetings, but in reality, we just don’t get around to it. Learning Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers That’s why this specific book (DISCOVER + PLAY + ENGAGE + LEARN) caught my attention. It grabbed me so hard I actually bought it.   I so rarely actually buy stuff, because I don’t want them to just sit around in my virtual folders and never get used. But this one? I printed it out. And we’ve started doing some of these activities! The DISCOVER + PLAY + ENGAGE + LEARN eBooks have a combined 20 weeks of activities that are perfect for the early years. Fun ways to get kids moving, work on fine motor, do arts and craft projects and have fun as a family! Each weekly plan includes a handy supply list and activities broken down to know exactly what to do in a simple sentence or two. This right […]

Posted July 18, 2016 by Julie in Parenting, TopPosts / 35 Comments
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Save Your Floor From Pets [Infographic]

Save Your Floor From Pets [Infographic]

I have two dogs and a cat – so my house takes a beating! One of my dogs is even nicknamed house eater (couches, baseboards, and window sills). And the cat? Well, she destroys carpets. We had to replace the carpet in our old house when we listed it for sale, partially because she clawed bald spots in the stairs. I thought this infographic was on point and wanted to share it. Save your floor from your pet infographic by The Rug Seller

Posted July 15, 2016 by Julie in Pets / 0 Comments
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15-Minute Family Favorite Dinner: Salsafied Chicken and Rice

15-Minute Family Favorite Dinner: Salsafied Chicken and Rice

I was hired by The Women Bloggers/Megaphone Influence on behalf of Riceland Foods to participate in this #ProntoPerfectRice campaign. Opinions are mine. Your stomach growls and you can almost taste a yummy meal as you drive home after a long day at the office. Dinner is definitely on your mind as you sit in traffic. The end of the day means hungry mouths to feed, including your own, and patience for cooking a complicated meal is just nonexistent. You check the fridge for leftovers, but then remember you packed those for your lunches. What do you do now? This is when having some quick and tasty family favorite meals in your recipe toolbelt is vital. Rice is a staple at our house – we love it and use it in most meals. I love to add it to my tacos or burritos, and I love even more to use it as a bed for a delicious meat dish. One of my toolbelt family favorite meals is salsafied chicken and rice (a perfect meal for a Texan). Rice and chicken, as well as salsa, are the backbones, but we can tweak any other ingredients as we wish to make a fun spin on one of our classics. A huge reason why I love the “salsafied chicken and rice” dish is the time it takes to prepare it. How long does it take? Very little time at all! This busy working mom doesn’t have the ability to create complicated dishes that take forever to prepare – I go for the quick win and make easy meals for us to enjoy. Plus, my toddler loves rice dishes, and I know this is something he will actually eat (as opposed to, you know, tossing it on the floor). That is why I love the Riceland Boil-in-Bag Rice. It […]

Posted July 11, 2016 by Julie in Food, Influencer, TopPosts / 42 Comments
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Diaper Bag Contents: differences between infant and toddler needs

Diaper Bag Contents: differences between infant and toddler needs

You see her, purse slung over one shoulder and an overstuffed tote slung over another. A squirming child in her arms. Then you realize: you’re seeing a reflection of yourself. Why does the new title of Mom seem to be synonymous with “bag lady” these days?  Babies require a lot of stuff just to get out of the house for a quick grocery run or (if you’re brave) restaurant meal. Juggling a teeny tiny baby and car seat and stroller and bags is an interesting initiation into parenthood. And really, why do we even call it a diaper bag? It is more like a suitcase of essential emergency preparedness supplies in case zombies attack, or babies poop. We should just refer to it as a mom bag, am I right? We ended up with two “diaper bags”, mainly because my husband refused to use the “monkey bag” that was gifted to me by his own mother! So he used a instead – which ended up being the main diaper bag because seriously, keeping two bags stocked at all times got old. Since hubby had Fridays off and was taking Baby H to his weekly physical therapy and DOC Band appointments while I didn’t have any time off after returning to work, he won the diaper bag debate. Newborn Diaper Bag Itty bitty babies require so much stuff! Here’s a list of the type of things I carried around with me when Baby H was a newborn/infant. Several diapers. And extra diapers. Wipes. Little for diaper disposal. Changing pad. Bibs. Extra baby clothes. Lots of extra clothes. What is it about spit up or poonamies? Extra clothes for me, too, since the poonamies typically happen on me. Formula, pre-measured in the . Baby bottles. Water bottles. For making formula but also for […]

Posted July 6, 2016 by Julie in Parenting / 32 Comments
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Gratitude and Goals July 1, 2016 #GratitudeGoals

Gratitude and Goals July 1, 2016 #GratitudeGoals

Gratitude and Goals My Gratitude last month: My child is nearly 20 months old, and I am amazed at all the skills he has learned and everything he can do at such a tiny little age. I enjoyed our first beach adventure! The little guy had a good time and only had a few fits, so that’s kind of a win for us. I’ve been very happy with the growth I’m seeing with this blog 🙂 Progress in the right direction is wonderful. I’m seeing great progress on my health goals and weight loss as well. Now I just need to work on the fit part of it. Hubby and I have been married 9 years, wow. Maybe next year we’ll get to celebrate together haha. Looking ahead to one gratitude item, I’m gonna enjoy spending time with lots of family this 4th of July weekend. My Goals for the upcoming month: Continue my progress with the Nutrisystem diet. 26 pounds down!!! Get back into walking several times a week. Weather permitting – the joys of living in Texas. Continue to drink a lot of water. A gallon a day is a good goal. I’m doing this also by drinking Zeal. Keep working on my blog content calendar. Stop biting my nails! Go to bed before midnight! I’m always so tired and that isn’t helping me get over this bug that keeps coming back. Read, physically, not just audiobooks. I’m failing this since I spend all my free time blogging until midnight. Continue to work with Baby H on his fits and be consistent in correcting him. Survive an airplane ride by myself with a Toddler. Wish me luck. What are you thankful for this month? What are your goals for the month ahead? Share your posts with us! Welcome […]

Posted July 1, 2016 by Julie in Gratitude Goals Linky / 11 Comments
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Goals for 2016 – mid-year check-up

Goals for 2016 – mid-year check-up

Just when you thought you were getting used to writing 2016 on things, you blink and half of the year has gone by. I suppose it is time to check in with our 2016 goals, though I admit I’m nervous to look at my original goals I set at the beginning of 2016. So much has changed, and my plans have gotten derailed by life, so I know I’m not where I wanted to be in my goals. But let’s do a check-in anyway and see where changes need to be made. My Goals for 2016 Life Maintain Balance and live in the moment. Here is what I wanted to get done: I will play with my child and find ways to include him in my hobbies now that he is mobile and interacting with the world around him. I will keep positive and not allow myself to get too overwhelmed with my responsibilities and endless to-do lists. Most importantly, I will maintain sanity while my husband is away for his training. I survived a full deployment on my own; I should be able to handle a few months with a toddler. June Update: Well, I do play with my son, and I’ve taken him to parks and play dates when they happened on weekends or days that I had off. I do my best to keep positive, but it sure is hard! I have so many responsibilities while solo parenting and working full time and blogging and everything else. I don’t know how I function sometimes, and there are times when I just don’t want to adult anymore. I find it interesting how I mentioned the full deployment since this training turned into a full mobilization for an additional year once the training was up. I’m handling it, not always very gracefully, […]

Posted June 30, 2016 by Julie in Family, Health, Parenting / 18 Comments
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15+ Recipes that Boost Lactation for Breastfeeding Moms

15+ Recipes that Boost Lactation for Breastfeeding Moms

Breastfeeding your baby is very rewarding, but can be difficult. Despite our struggles, I look back fondly at my breastfeeding relationship with Baby H. Since we plan on having another child eventually, I know I will try to breastfeed again. While I breastfed, I made sure to add breastfeeding-friendly foods to my diet (such as steel cut oats, , drink , add or cook with , and take a ) to help my supply.  Since my post about my overnight oatmeal for lactation continues to be such a hit, I thought I would find other wonderful recipe ideas for foods that help boost breastmilk supply. This roundup will help me in the future, and can help some of my readers now. Enjoy! Recipes that boost lactation to help increase breastmilk supply Desserts and snacks that boost lactation Make these yummy looking fenugreek lactation bites to help increase your milk supply. From Handmade in the Heartland. I love the idea of a baby shower gift of lactation cookie mix in a jar.  Bake when ready. From One Part Sunshine. You can even make lactation brownies. Yum! From Rio Grande Valley Moms Blog. But you really can’t go wrong with homemade chocolate chip lactation cookies, can you? From Third Stop on the Right. Drink to a boost in milk supply Try the ultimate lactation smoothie, because smoothies are always awesome. From Feed Me Mama. There’s also another boosting breastmilk smoothie recipe. From Cassadiva. Have you heard of leaky lactation lemonade? When life hands you lemons, right? From The Leaky Boob. Check out this banana and cinnamon lactation smoothie. From Sarah Lampley. How about a lactation boosting milkshake? From We’re Parents. Alright, one more smoothie feature. Smoothies sure are popular. From Purely Diligent. While you’re at it, make sure you’re consuming your green veggies in this green smoothie. From Much Most Darling. Start your day […]

Posted June 27, 2016 by Julie in Parenting, TopPosts / 12 Comments
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