Tuesday, September 27, 2016

On Purpose

So this past Sunday was "Vision Sunday" at our church.
We got to be witness to our friend's Baptisms and we served at the Fall Festival.
We were given these awesome "On Purpose" T-shirts.
During Sunday service we received the message that
we were created on purpose with a purpose. 
This was welcomed by me as lately, I have been struggling with "finding my purpose".
Sometimes my days are long,
and sometimes I blink- the day is gone and nothing was accomplished.
This brought me back keeping up with my Bullet journal
and I wrote down a 17 before 2017 list.
I set out to accomplish these things on purpose,
not just let think about and hope I get around to it but actually do  it.
I made this list on Friday and I'm happy to report
that I have already crossed 3 things off my list!

So let me ask you this: what's your driving purpose?
and how are your new year's resolutions coming along?

There are 95 days left in 2016- make them count!
Photo credit to an awesome volunteer at out church: Douglas Jacobs

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Mental & Emotional tracking

Hello again!

So I was going though Pinterest looking for stuff- printables, layout ideas, stickers, trackers etc and I came across this:

and it blew my mind!

Since Winter of 2013 I have been struggling with anxiety and depression.
Every time I went to my doctors office for a follow up I was asked to evaluate my past 2 weeks and average out how I had been feeling.
People! I couldn't even recall how I got out of bed that morning or if I had had breakfast but I was supposed to produce analysis on my mental & emotional status on demand?

I'm not sure how accurately I answered. My "numbers" were improving according to my doctor's interpretations of my answers even though I felt like I was devolving and spiraling deeper into darkness... I was prescribed the wrong medication for me and I took it for nearly a year.

I desperately wanted a way to show them, diagram my emotions, make a pie chart of some sort to visually explain the torturous turmoil inside me... but I didn't know how or what to do to help myself.
Winter of 14 I discovered this whole "BuJo" idea, and found support to start my journey in a Facebook group.
It was there that I discovered ways to use my personal bullet journal for more than just productivity. Thanks to this method I was able to better explain myself to my doctors and I was put on a different prescription and it made such a HUGE difference towards my progress towards feeling like myself again. 

I've made monthly mood trackers before which are fun and nice to see but to be able to see the whole year... that's just incredible. I wanted to make sure that if anyone else who saw it- liked it- then they too could start doing it right away so I made a PDF form of it but with more defined "moods" or feelings that I personally roller coaster through. You can go ahead and: right click- save image as to your computer and print it off!

.::Click here to download::.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

5 key things that make my marriage work

This past weekend was quite a revelation to me about how blessed I am.
We had a gathering for the Holmes VS Tate fight with food and a painting party on the side to keep the gals busy while we waited for the main event.  It was a joyful evening, a good time with great company. Unfortunately the before and after of the evening was not as pleasant for our guest.

A close friend of mine almost missed the party because she had been in an argument with her husband. I'm a mutual friend to both so her husband contacted me and told me she thinks he may be having an affair. He was firm that no such thing was going on and asked me to talk to her and assure her that she didn't have to worry. I tried calling and texting several times with no response, but to my delight, she made it to our painting party with a smile.

At the end of the night my best friend told me she was feeling animosity coming from her husband. She has an ongoing struggle between loving her husband and wanting to be loved in return. While the greatest proof of love is trust, her husband does not trust her. She made mistakes in her youth that he still holds her accountable for. He also has made mistakes, but those mistakes are in the past and have been forgiven. Still he refuses to move forward even though he has no real reason to doubt her.

And last but not least, the couple my husband invited over got into a domestic altercation on their way home. The young wife called out for our help in distress. She loves him but he's abusing her and she didn't know what else to do. She wants him to change but doesn't want to get him in trouble, so she reached out to us instead of going to the police. He is obviously still bitter about his previous marriage and is taking his unresolved issues out on his new wife. My husband and I stayed up to the wee hours of the morning, trying to help them talk through their issues. They're so young and have an infant so we hold on to the hope that they can work through this.

All of this led me to reflect on everything my husband and I have gone through. If I was to tell you detail by detail all that has transpired between us; you would not believe or understand how our marriage has survived or that we have a thriving relationship after all of it. The road has not been easy for us, from bumps to block-wide pot holes, we have kept on trucking through. What makes our relationship so different? Let me tell you about some of the understanding principles that we keep.

1) Forgive without condition:  The bible says that we ALL fall short of his glory (Romans 3: 10-18, 23) but even though we fall short, God loves us! (Romans 5:1-8) Was it not his commandment for us to love one another like loved us? (John 13:34, 15:12) He died for us even though we are sinners and make mistakes- so why would we not love our spouses through their short comings? (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13) When my husband makes a mistake, no matter how significant, I don't get upset. I expect that he will fall, and as his helpmate I see it my duty to help him back up. And if ever I find negative feelings in my heart, I turn them over to Jesus. Not religious? Holding on to a grudge or hate is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die. It's pointless! In the words of Frozen's Ana "Let it go, let it go!" (1 Peter 4:8)

2) Do your part: (Ephesians 5: 21-33) A lot of people take this out of context, submitting is not accepting failure, it is accepting protection. In todays world women are becoming quite liberal, discarding most if not all of traditional values. Women are trying to do or be the man and handicapping the men and then they wonder where all the good men have gone... They have been pushed out and annihilated! Be a woman and let your man be the man... Go to school, get a job, a career, pursue your dreams WITH your husband, not instead of him or without him. Allow him to make those decision with you, trust him, respect his opinion, don't rub his failures in his face, help him pursue his dreams too!  In the same way, men are accepting failure and stopped caring. They walk their journey leaving a trail of broken hearts... It is your job to love your woman, build her up, encourage her, lift her up when she falls, rebuild her, pray for her, cherish her, and forgive her. Everywhere I turn I see couples tearing each other down, STOP IT! The saying goes "It's you and me against the world" NOT AGAINST EACH OTHER!
Respect him, Love her, and fight together for your marriage, family and future. Not religious? Consider your family a company, each member has a role- choose/assign yours and accept responsibilities for your duties.

3) Stay humble: Accept and understand that we are not perfect and expect that mistakes and accidents will happen. (John 8:7) Life, love, marriage, parenting: these things don't come with instruction manuals! You learn as you go, or you seek answers in God's word. (Ephesians 4:2, Proverbs 11:2) I am not perfect, I don't know it all, I'm not the best at everything, I'm not always right. I know and accept this of myself and I know and don't expect perfection from my husband. If we do not agree on something, instead of arguing about who is right, we seek knowledge together. We take advice from others, and accept reprimands and criticism. We work together to improve. Not religious? Check out THIS article, it's about entrepreneurship, but it applies to life as well- Ego/Pride leads to failure, humility sets you apart.

4) Choose to be kind: (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7) Bad things happen, hurtful words are said, but just because it's started doesn't mean it must continue. Turn it around and remember 1, 2 & 3. Each day is a new beginning and a new chance to start over. Don't wake up with an attitude while giving your spouse the silent treatment! That solves noting, choose to be kind instead.  (Proverbs 15:1, Luke 6:35, Colossians 4:6) Sarcasm and snarky replies can lead to an acrimonious atmosphere at home. Being hurtful towards each other builds walls between you that prevent intimacy and separate you. I don't always know how to be sweet during conversations or situations that go sour, but in that case I would rather stay quiet. "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" "If you cannot be nice, at least be quiet"   Not religious? You can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar, apply the golden rule. Treat others how you want to be treated or kill them with kindness, either way, you remain a decent, civil, diplomatic, cool-headed king/queen.

5) Don't give up: They say the hardest year of marriage is the one you are in. It's not easy, but it's worth it. Hard times will come, but don't give up. (Romans 5:3-5)You can't fail unless you quit. Marriage is a commitment and a commitment is staying loyal to what you said you were going to do, long after the mood you were in when you said, has left you. (2 Peter 1:5-7) You have to be determined to make it work. Determination is doing what needs to be done, even when you don't feel like doing it. Don't be a part of the problem, be part of the solution. Marriages don't fail because they "can't" XYZ, they fail because the people in them refuse to change their insane destructive patterns of behavior! Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Not religious? Quitters never win, and winners never quit. You can't win in life, love, and marriage if you quit. Keep working at it.

With all that said: I am not advising you remain in an abusive relationship longer than you have to, but from personal experience I can attest that your relationship can get past it if you both love each other. Anger management and recovery is possible. Things will not be the same, but they have the potential to be better. If you have a husband with a temper and your husband hits you for the first time (a smack/strike- just 1)- and you decide to stay, speak up for yourself and let him know that it's not ok. "what you allow, you accept"(Matthew 18:15-17) If it happens a second time, tell a friend and family member- set up an intervention, but if he hits you a third time please recognize the pattern of behavior and his unwillingness to change.: Call 1−800−799−SAFE(7233), the National Domestic Abuse Hotline. Concerned professionals will advise you about how to get out safely. It is ok to leave your abusive spouse (1 Corinthians 7:15) If you are in an abusive relationship and your husband is beating you call 1-800-799-7233 immediately.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

We found the one

So this past week my husband and I went on a road trip to look at houses.
We searched in Virginia and Maryland since he will be working near DC we have more options.
We had a list of non-negotiable needs and a wish list of wants which included:

3+ bedrooms (it has 4)
1.5 bathrooms (it has 3 full bathrooms)
Not a corner lot (2nd house from corner)
Not on a main road (2 blocks in 45sec drive to main road)
Gated back yard for dog (1 acre fully fenced in plus built in kennel)
Garage (drive through garage for 2)
Basement (its finished and lovely)
Deck (needs refinishing but has a big one)
Porch (does not have one in front but has a screen covered one in rear leading to deck)
Spacious kitchen & cabinets (nice color, stainless steel appliances and roomy enough)
A fireplace (no but has a wood burning stove)
Walk in pantry (bust: tiny closet)
Tub in the master bathroom (bust: crowded room with a stand up shower)

It has a pool & diving board.

All in all I think we made out great. We're super excited about this new stage in our lives.
We went over our initial budget but we were pre-approved for our loan.
Now we just wait and pray that it passes inspection, that it appraises fairly with the agreed upon prize and that the loan gets approved!
We're pushing for a closing date of March 31st and if all goes well, we'll be packing up and driving out April 1st.
Hubby is due to begin work on April 10th so it gives us a little over a week to get settled in.

The house is in great condition, of course I want to add splashes of color to the rooms and see if I can DIY some magic in to make it personal. We're so used to not being able to many any adjustments with rentals, I can barely sit still as I think of all the possibilities.

All you prayer warriors out there, please lift up our process for approval.
Now to Pinterest ways of meeting the neighbors! Any tips?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cloth Diapering: It isn't for everyone

As we get ready to move here, I've started digging through my "junk closet" and I've found many precious gems that I had left to be forgotten. I stumbled across my Cloth Diaper stash from Just Simply Baby and I started going down through memory lane.

As a teen mom, I didn't know what to expect with my first child. One thing I did do was count how many diapers per day/week/month my baby used and I saved all of my receipts. Total for 2.5yrs of full diapering and 3/4 of a year of pull ups my total investment on disposable diapers was $3,847.92 and it all ended  up in the garbage.

When I found out I was expecting baby #2 I could not figure out how I would find enough money to diaper! and that's when I ran across an add for cloth diapers. I used to think of CD's as something ugly and difficult and potentially dangerous (large pins and all) but when I  clicked through the website I was delighted to see how wrong I was. These diapers were cute, simple to use, eco friendly and would save me a ton! I ordered my first diaper kit for $100 which got me 10 diapers, a changing pad and a wet bag.

I found myself washing these diapers EVERY DAY and it was daunting because I couldn't be too far from home because I'd have to wash and dry them or be out! So then I spent another $250 and got an additional 25 diapers. Now we were talking! With a 35 diaper stash I only had to wash every 3rd day. Silly me though, baby #2 was a girl so I ordered everything pink and cute not thinking ahead... 5months later we were expecting baby #3 and low and behold it was a boy!

No one would be looking at what color his diapers were and baby #2 was a little older now so she didn't use as many diapers as she did in the beginning but now we were back to washing nearly every day. So I did what any reasonable person would do! I invested another $350 for 35 diapers and now we had 70 diapers! as they both grew a little more I found myself only having to wash diapers once weekly but I'd do it twice because it can get a bit stinky!

Soon baby #2 was out of diapers and baby #3 was rocking the cloth. I had a rotation I had worked out where I'd use a number of diapers for a week then change them entirely out for another set, so on and so forth. I even had a stash that was brand new and didn't get used because the other diapers were clean and ready to be used again.

Then when my husband deployed I kinda feel off the wagon. I started only using cloth at home but started purchasing disposables for when we were out. I eventually just quit on cloth. I probably spent about another $400 in disposable diapers until my son potty trained. So in total I spent a whooping $1100 for diapering 2 babies in comparison to what I originally spent on my first.

I must admit that cloth diapering is not for the faint of heart. It can be gross, it can smell really bad, you have to lug around bulky stuff. Once when we visited my mom in California from Virginia I had to use a whole luggage bag specifically just for diapers. Then you totally have to rely on having a washing machine and you need special treatment of your washing rituals because CD's must not come into contact with fabric softener or it's residue.

But if you are dedicated to being eco friendly, or have a child with sensitive skin, or are simply just broke and in need of desperate drastic measures- then this could be for you!

 I researched several companies while looking for a brand I could trust and the reason why I settled with JBS was because they had a wide variety of options with inserts, prints & styles. I found them to be the most cost effective PLUS they were the ONLY company who offered a 30 day return policy! Can you imagine dishing out $350 on cloth diapers only to find out you hate it and be stuck with your purchase or sell at a loss! How disappointing. Everyone else had the disclaimer that due to the nature of the items returns were not accepted. Hog Wash! And that's why we went with JBS. Plus the customer service is amazing, the owner Katie is such a dear. A little hand written note in every package a long with instructional pamphlets and packaged with love.

Wicked cool part? They have an affiliate program! You can earn 10% in store credit or 5% cash of any referral sales! What better way to fulfill your fluff addiction and make the world a better place?

Do you cloth diaper? Have you ever thought about it? Would you be interested in trying them out?

*Disclaimer: I'm part of their affiliate program. Purchases through the links may help contribute to the expenses of running this blog. Thanks.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A glimpse into a day in my shoes

7:30am Alarm went off. Made my bed and came down stairs to make myself a cup of Tazo Passion Fruit tea.
8:15am Alarm went off to take my kiddo and the neighbors to school. Got back, got the kids dressed and we got in the car to take daddy to work.
9:35 I called a friend on the way home to see if she wanted to grab some coffee but she was busy so I went to the gas station and grabbed a cup of joe for myself. I was too impatient to wait for it to cool so I threw it back and my throat is still scalded.
9:55 got home and  got ready for doctors appointment and got kiddo ready for preschool and worked on my journal
12:10 Alarm went off to take kiddo to Preschool. Dropped her of then headed to the Post Exchange to kill time before my appointment and to search for V-day cards
1:30 got to the hospital parking lot and shared a snack with little man before running inside. Walked to the basement to get him into watch care but it was closed so we headed for the clinic.
1:55 got called back to the observation room. Took weight (lost 5lbs since my last visit), Blood pressure (went down) but my depression symptoms aren't improving.
2:25 the doctor finally came in and she felt for my thyroid and said she wants me to get my TC levels checked again (3rd time in 8months) plus an ultrasound.
2:35 checked in to Radiology and made ultrasound appointment.
2:40 checked in to the Lab to get blood work done.
2:48 flew out of there to make it to school in time to pick up the kiddos.
3:30 got home & I had to try on the new lipstick I purchased at the PX earlier + took a selfie.
3:45 Daddy got home
Some time between 4:30 & 5 Daddy and the middle child passed out on the couch while I cleared the notifications from my phone.
5:30 went on Zillow to look for homes in our price range, with our wants/needs plus good school ratings. Seems like an impossible feat.
6:30 Started writing this blog wondering where the past 3 days have gone. I have 3 snail mail letters that need to be responded and mailed out but my energy is through the floor and I have no desire to do anything.
Kicking myself for missing my Friday deadline for posting to my YouTube channel...
My phone is dying, I don't know where my charge is and I don't care to look for it.
Little man is throwing a fit & I feel like I'm failing at life...
I have a terrible migraine, my back & shoulders hurt and I could really use a nap but I'm too stubborn to take one.
It just feels like theres a black hole walking behind me sucking life & joy out of me. HELP!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Clutter Free 2016

My husband and I recently started the process of buying our first home.
We will be moving from our current station in Fort Campbell, KY to Fort Myer, VA and with every move comes the horrible duty of packing.

 "Well Daisy, being in a military family, you should be used to frequent moves" You might say... and while yes, I know it comes with the territory I also have what you could call a bit of a hoarding issue  sentimental attachment to things and a crafty heart who wants to repurpose everything.

So my husband and I have this on-going battle about what will and won't go into our new home. He's a minimalist,and well I guess you could call me a maximist! lol

Any how I've recently gotten myself wrapped up in this system called Bullet Journaling and it's all about simplicity and order. I've been following a couple people who have inspired me and I've seen  some of the tools they use to track and maintain their activities and goals.

So I searched the web and I found a handy little thing on decluttering as many items as the current year. The one I found was for a different year (sorry I don't remember where I found it) and I made a similar chart to use in 2016 that Is helping me stay accountable and excited to see the progress. So i figured I could share it in case anyone else would find it useful. You can download it HERE

Anyhow the idea is to cross out a square each time you've gotten rid of an item. It seems like a lot, and I have A LOT! I've already gotten rid of 31 items and I have't even made a small dent in how much stuff I've "collected". You can get rid of a pair of shoes and mark it as 1 box or 2 (1 box per shoe) it's up to you.

Throw it away, sell it, donate it- whatever. As hard as it is to let go of my things, my husbands sanity & happiness is worth more. Besides, when I die I can't take of it with me and I fear they'd throw all my precious things out or worse- keep them! lol Anyhow, I hope you find this tool  useful- if you do, would you please let me know?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

VIP Memberships | Avoid unwanted reoccurring charges & fees

Does anyone else subscribe to these things?

I'm currently subscribed to 4 VIP programs, and as much as I'm tempted to cancel when I forget to skip I can't! I'm earning points and qualifying for discounts and goodies! 

Hahaha, leave to a shopaholics to spend $43 extra to get free shipping on the $7 item they want and save themselves from  paying the $5 shipping charge right?

So any how, you CAN have your cake and eat it too! Keep your subscriptions AND avoid the "random unexpected" charges.

Remember that subscriptions are how these businesses keep up their monthly sales. 
They do give you 5 whole days to skip your month and they will NOT penalize you for skipping. 

I have 3 tips that help me personally with  avoiding those fees! Check out my video below <3

Friday, January 15, 2016

Be The Match

I met a very sweet lady in September 2012 named Jen. She was a budding photographer I met off bookoo.com Us living on a single income could never afford professional pictures so we were over the moon when she generously offered to do our family/couples/maternity session for next to nothing.  I was so very grateful.
 She became our go to for portraits, she also did birthday pictures for my girls, new born pictures when little man was born and a Boudoir session for valentines.
 I was quite devastated when I found out she had been diagnosed with cancer (leukemia to be exact).

I saw her health steadily decline. She was already quite petite and she slowly was disappearing losing  tons of weight & hair during rounds of chemo that weren't very successful.
She was slowly running out of options and only a bone marrow transplant would add time to her life.   She bravely asked her circle  to consider signing up to be a donor at  BeTheMatch.Org It's an organization that helps connect willing bone marrow donors with those in need of transplants.
I contacted them right away for a donor kit. You simply have to swab the inside of your cheek to send as a tissue sample (very simple & painless).
  I was not a match for her but thank God early in 2014 they found a match for her and she's doing a lot better now.

Recently I received an email from them letting me know I was a match for an 18yr old boy.
While I'm nervous about the procedure, I'm also quite excited to possibly help save a life.
I've just started the process for further testing to see if I am the best possible match for him. 

God works in mysterious ways, while I've been spending all this time throwing a pity party for myself, not knowing what purpose I serve, feeling useless etc. Now I feel blessed to have this opportunity of LITERALLY make a difference in someone's life. (Especially the life of someone so young...) It hits home to me as a mother, what if that was my son? I can only imagine the look of relief on that mother's face knowing that there is hope for her child!

So that is why I thought I'd share some light on this organization today.
If you too would like to make a difference consider joining the donor registry.

Check them out on Facebook 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Just Eat it!

Eat that frog By:Brian Tracy
My takeaway from reading the book.

There are 3 D's that will get you through life successfully:

  • Decision
  • Discipline
  • Determination
Success begins with the simple thought of to. YOU have to DECIDE to succeed. 
Once you've made your decision you HAVE to be DISCIPLINED! Which means you 
will continue following through with your decision even if you no longer feel like it.
Lastly, you MUST stay DETERMINED to see yourself to the completion of your achievement.

Your next through will determine your future. Life is shaped by your daily choices, t's the smallest actions that have the biggest effect. Every small habit and repetitive action will build on itself to progress you or hold you back.  

If you have to eat 2 frogs; eat the ugliest first .If you have to workout & go grocery shopping and you hate both do the one you hate the most. For me that's working out! I don't hate it per say but if I don't do it early before my day gets started then chances are I'll just completely skip it. I HAVE to grocery shop or I won't eat & I love to eat! lol so that sets the order of events.

If you have to eat a live frog, don't look at it very long so:
  1. Be selective
  2. Prioritize 
  3. Take immediate action
  4. Develop a positive addiction to starting and finishing your tasks
  5. Don't cheat yourself by taking shortcuts 
Let's get busy! I know I've been slacking but hey! I'm only human ;-P

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Goodbye Joneses

Lets start over from scratch for the sake of my sanity.
This past 2 years I've been trying to "keep up with the Joneses" and I'm done.
I put my mental health, friendships, relationships and my life at stake trying to 
keep up a facade. 

If you are doing that right now please stop and save yourself the trouble.

I'm gonna go against the grain here and just be completely honest & sincerely human.
I am flawed, I'm the furthest thing from perfect & I'm finally coming to terms with that.
I do not have all the answers, I do not have any magical solutions and I have succumbed to the pressure of life. 

This year It's all about me and my family. My husband got orders (Military) to PCS to VA this spring and we're currently in the process of buying our first home. I'm really excited and looking forward to the changes. 

Resolutions aside, these are goals for this year:
  1. Quit my retail therapy addiction
  2. Empty my hoarding closet
  3. Begin consistently contributing to our finances
  4. Launch a YouTube channel
  5. Teach my oldest about entrepreneurship 
  6. Get her business started (she wants to make and sell crafts)
  7. DIY the majority of our new home's needs
  8. Lose the extra weight by my birthday
  9. Bullet Journal Daily
  10. Read all the books in my bedside bookshelf 
  11. Pay off my credit cards
  12. Believe in me again

I highly encourage you to make this year YOUR year- literally. 
Make your health & well being your priority!

Happy New Year! Until Next time <3