Thoughts on Thursday: Books You Read

I’m not much of a reader, but every once in a while, I will come across a good book that I just CANNOT put down!

I like books that are real. I like to be able to relate to the characters and put myself in their shoes. I like the raw emotion from books like that. I am also a murder story lover. My most favorite channel EVER is ID {Investigation Discovery}. I could watch murder shows for the rest of my life and be 100% fine with it. No, I do not plan on killing anyone, but it’s really interesting to me. I love the psychological aspect of it – figuring out what makes people snap. I’ve always been interested in Psychology. That was my intended major – then I had a kid – now I just wanna be momma. Maybe someday, I will go back for my Psychology degree. Anyway, I’m not in to fantasy or fake stuff – at all. Except Twilight. I did read all four. And yes, I do have 50 Shades sitting on my dresser, but it’s still in the plastic wrap. I just need some time to open it and read them.

I have two FAVORITE authors. I could reread their books over and over and over.

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In High School, I came across Ellen Hopkins. Two words: Raw and Real. Yep, that’s my kind of book. She is absolutely amazing. Her books are young adult/adult – and I wouldn’t recommend them to children, because she’s RAW. She says it exactly how it is. Ellen writes in verse, so don’t be intimidated when you see one of her books, as they are like 500 pages. It’s not from side to side, there’s a lot of empty space on each page due to the verse. She writes about people with problems – real life problems. Sex, drugs, suicide, pregnancy, struggles, etc. There hasn’t been a single book of hers that I have read without crying. Her characters are so relatable. It amazes me what she comes up with. Her books usually have four main characters. It jumps from person to person and then in the end, they all relate somehow. If you haven’t read one of her books yet, you NEED to. I promise you – you will be HOOKED. When I sit down to read one of her books, I usually don’t stop until it’s finished. They are seriously one of those that you think, “I’ll just read one more chapter, then sleep.” And before you know it, the book is done and your drenched in your own tears.

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My other favorite author is Brenda Novak. Brenda started writing when she found out that her day-care lady was drugging her kids! SCARY! She writes super romance and mystery books and I love me a good mystery. {Her super romance books are  just love books – very intimate.} They usually start out with two main characters, then there’s a murder and someone is trying to figure it out, all the while two people are falling in love. “Trust Me” was the first book of hers that I read and after that, I was hooked! There are two other books in that series, so I guess it would be a trilogy.. Super good. I always try not to read her books at night because they are too real and I get scared – the situations she describes are not uncommon – but that never happens! Good thing I just bought a gun for protection!

I recommend Ellen and Brenda 100% hands down to anyone and everyone!

Who is YOUR favorite author and why?

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Home Decorating & DIY Ideas

In my post yesterday, I told you some VERRRY exciting news!

So today, I wanted to show you some fun ideas I’ve got for my new place via my Pinterest board.

furniture_item_detailIn our little, southern, redneck/hillbilly town, many people are obsessed with hunting. My family is one of them. Kade and my brother are really good friends and they hang out a lot. We’re just coming in to “horn hunting season.” I would LOOOVE for them to find me some awesome horns so we can have a chandelier like this! I would also like an antler coat rack and lamp.

72157625840887538Definitely want to do a gallery wall!

black-baroqueAnd this is just cute! Frame the key to your first house!

searchI love this idea! I will have to look for one at the next Twelve Timbers second sale!

ff0d68309605bcc366d6e64644ca148bI am obsessed with pictures, so the more creative ways I can display them, the better!

best-of-timesYep. Obsessed.

eb8d92d16ca2978c3530d4bd21db7d58I love this, too. Paint your walls one color, then paint glossy designs over it.

portfolio-wellingtonIsn’t that cool? Adds SO much character. I’ve also seen it done on tubs.

d1e1191008c10bc08eb0c3f9cc7f8fcaNot sure how big our laundry room will be, but I’m pretty sure it’s not big at all. This is my kind of laundry room and perfect for a small space!

Do you have a decorating and/or DIY pin that I NEED to see?!

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{Learn how to Pin images when there isn’t a “Pin It” button.}

Good News!

So, if you have been reading my blog for a while, you may have picked up on my {not so} subtle hints that we might be building a house.

I haven’t said for sure if we will or not because I was waiting for the final YES! And guess what?! WE GOT IT!! We got the final yes. We ARE building a house. We are doing this great program through Six County called Self Help. It’s where you and about 5 other families help build each other’s house. No one can move in until everyone else’s house is done. I’m VERY excited about it. I can hardly contain myself.

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We were the first family to get accepted for Group 2, so we have a choice of 7 plans. The first three families will get to pick whichever plan they want out of the 7 and then the remaining families will have to choose a plan out of the three, just to keep costs and confusion down for the contractors. We build 65% of the house and in turn, we do not have to pay a down payment. Once the house is done, we’ve got about $50,000 in equity!! The basements are unfinished, but that’s a fairly easy project that we can do ourselves. My dad is an electrician and he is doing all the houses for this group. And with that said, he has lots of friends in other trades, so we should be able to finish our basement without any problems.

We are finally going to be able to get Karsyn a dog! We are hoping to be in the home by the end of the year and Karsyn’s birthday is at the end of October, so that’s what we’re getting him for his birthday! And I’m really crossing my fingers that Kade will agree to start trying for Baby #2! I’m really itching for another one!

If you are in the Sevier County, UT area and have never owned a home before and are low income, PLEASE go apply! We need a few more families to join before we can get started. Go here for more info.

The Baby and the Dad: Thoughts on Thursday

Well, it’s Thursday, and you know what that means – right? That means it’s time for THOUGHTS!

This week’s topic is “The baby and the dad.”

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Oh, boy! The baby, aka Karsyn, and the dad, aka Kade. These two are my WORLD! I honestly don’t know how I would survive without them. I love waking up their sweet faces, I love being lazy with them, I love seeing them smile and laugh, I just love {almost} everything about them.

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Without Kade, there would be no Karsyn and that is truly an unbelievable thought. I don’t even remember what it was like before we had Karsyn. Kade and I have had our FAIR SHARE of ups and downs. We were on and off throughout High School. Mostly on, but we did break up a few times. I am glad we were able to work it out and grow up and become a family. Kade and Karsyn mean more than words can say. I could go on and on about how they light up my world, but if you have a significant other and a little one{s}, you know what I mean. (:

So, what about your baby and the dad?

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Thoughts on Thursday: Technology

Technology.

What comes to your mind when you see/hear that word?

I think “constantly changing, new, smart, amazing, ridiculous, incredible..”

I do have to say that I am 100% thankful for technology, but I know some people aren’t so much. I am what you call a “digital native.” I have grown up, basically, my whole life with technology. I remember I was about 6 years old when we first got the internet. It was dial-up. Does anyone even know what that is anymore?! I know Karsyn won’t! If you’ve had dial-up before, you know what I’m talking about and are probably laughing and/or rolling your eyes. Yep, it was S—–L—–O—–W! But that’s all we knew, so it was flippin’ awesome at the time. Our computer was a desktop, of course, because back then only rich people had laptops. It was ginormous. The internet was still relatively new then, too, so there wasn’t really anything “fun” you could do on it. But it was the thought that counted then, I guess.

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{this looks like the computer we had in the 90s!}

Now, many of us have gotten rid of the desktops and have moved on to laptops. Some families have one for each person. The internet is now wi-fi and fast. It’s just incredible to me how much things have changed, and are still changing, in just 14 years!

url{my dad had this exact phone – but it was red}

I remember when my parent’s first got cell phones. They were like bricks. They would hardly even fit in your pocket, if at all. And the antennas? Really? Ha! Makes me laugh. Then on to slimmer phones that would fit in your pocket. Then the flip phones. And if yours had a camera, you were the most bad A person. Then came texting and sliding phones with more features. Now we have phones that can do more than one person knows.

How about technology for health related things? They’ve found so many cures {and need to find more!}. You’re able to SEE your baby when it’s inside of you. They’re able to detect so many problems in so little time.

Technology is an amazing thing.

What is a funny memory you have of technology? Brick cell phones? Dial-up?

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Mommy’s Going CRAZY!

Last week, Karsyn was H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E! Seriously the worst he has ever acted! It was for nearly three days straight!

What’s a mommy to do?!

He’s usually pretty good. He’ll do a few things here and there that he knows he shouldn’t, but everyone does, so that is not what I am talking about.

Let me just give you a quick run down of his bratiness…

*He figured out how to take his diaper off and kept doing it. Even after he had clothes on. He would take them off, too.

*Between Tuesday and Thursday, I got almost 20 packages from UPS for Jourdan’s Jewels. Most of the items were already sold, therefore, they needed to be packed up and shipped. I would go through each of the boxes and separate them in to piles for each person. Hurricane Karsyn would come through and ruin each of my piles. He had packing peanuts scattered from hell to breakfast. I printed out shipping labels.. twice, sometimes three times because he would either rip them or destroy them some other way.

*He went through each and every one of our DVDs and opened them all up and spread them all throughout my room.

*I {stupidly} gave him a sucker.. Which ended up in my hair – arms and head.

*Popcorn was spilled ALL over the living room.

And the list goes on. Now, this may seem like nothing to some of you and you might be shaking your head, thinking that I’m pathetic, but I promise. It was bad. I didn’t know what to do – I couldn’t get him to listen to me AT ALL. I was so stressed out from everything. Finally by the second day I sent him to my moms house so that I could get some stuff done and BOY! was it nice!

So, I need some mommy advice. What do you do when you child{ren} just will NOT listen?!

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Diabetes Awareness {Guest Post}

In this world we live in today, more and more children are becoming obese. This is a touchy subject with a lot of people because many people just don’t know what to do or how to stop it! How do you change your ways? How do you change your eating habits? It’s something that NEEDS to be talked about and not just swept under the rug.

Today I have Carolyn here from Full on Fit to raise awareness!

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Holiday Season with Diabetes Awareness: Helping Kids  

Kids love the holidays, no matter which ones they are – and who doesn’t? Presents, sweet treats, fun decorations; it’s a time all about having fun and being with friends and family. This past November, National Diabetes Awareness Month kicked into full gear, and for the first time ever, I had a personal reason to be active in the awareness campaign: one of my little cousins had just recently been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

After doing some initial research, I realized how many families are actually affected by this disease. According to Syracuse’s St. Joseph’s Hospital Cardiac Center, 1 out of every 3 kids is overweight or obese, and the number of Type 2 Diabetes cases among children is rising. For parents who worry about their child’s diet and exercise habits, it’s never too late to start healthy, even in the midst of the holiday season.

Eating Right  

A good meal is what sets the tone for kids. With proper nutrition, “overweight” kids can overcome overeating and sugar addiction habits early on. At all times of the year, but especially with the upcoming holidays of St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, parents need to focus a child’s diet on healthier foods as much as possible.

Hearty roasted vegetables like squash, broccoli, green beans, carrots and spinach are all great options, while also allowing for smaller proportions of starchy veggies and grains like potatoes, rice, pasta and whole grain bread. This Easter dinner, try a healthy Mediterranean dish of roasted broccoli and harvest tomatoes, orange-scented green beans with toasted almonds, glazed mini carrots, cauliflower puree with garlic butter and stuffed acorn squash with cheddar and chard.

For smaller proportions, look for recipes that incorporate shrimp, turkey, chicken, mashed potatoes, cream corn and rice. Whole grain bread sides are also encouraged but should be moderately consumed. Parents can keep an eye on carbohydrates, sugar and glucose intake by reading labels and preparing meals that are low in sugar. It’s also important to make sure that kids are getting some treats and balancing their healthy meals with an occasional splurge. It’s safe for a few pieces of candy or a small slice of pie once in a while!

Exercise! 
To burn off energy, kids need to get up and move around. Overweight and obese children often suffer more because they are sedimentary and prefer to stay inside rather than move around. The best way to get kids moving is to play games, dance and get creative with “exercise” so that it doesn’t seem so daunting.
Dance Off

Families can partake in a fun dance-off challenge, where everyone gets together and shows their best moves. Kids can make up their own dances to songs and receive silly awards for craziest moves, most daring spins, etc.  The point is to get kids to dance for an hour and burn calories in a silly way that’s also fun, becoming a fun family tradition tradition.


Family Fun Days
For one week, plan events every day to do as a family that are active and outdoors as part of “Family Fun Days.” This can be competitive or just for fun. One day could be a basketball game, the next scavenger hunt/Easter Egg Hunt or St. Patrick’s Day scavenger hunt for the leprechaun’s gold! . Each day can have a different yet active event to get kids up and moving around!   

Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well-being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has been known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog at http://fullonfit.blogspot.com/!

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Thanks Carolyn! That was great. I think her suggestions are something each of us need to take in to consideration. Let’s get {and keep!} our kids healthy! Be sure to stop by her blog and say HI!

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Easy and Delicious Pasta Salad

I LOVE Pasta Salad and I finally made some. (:

Pasta Salad

It was delicious!! {Was meaning it’s gone now. Yep. That good.}

Here’s what you’ll need:
-Noodles {Rotini, Penne, spagetti}
-1 Bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing
-1 cup of Cherry Tomatoes
-1 Purple Onion
-1 Green Bell Pepper
-1 Cup Sliced Olives

{Note: Those veggies are just what I used in mine. They are all optional, depending on your liking. Of course, you can add lots of other things, too. I’ve seen it with yellow and red bell peppers, chunks of cheese, peas, etc.}

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Here’s how to make it:

1 – Cook your noodles according to the directions on the package. In the ingredients list, I named several types of noodles. Just choose one. I’ve seen it done with all three of those noodles, that’s why I named them. I chose Rotini noodles.

2 – While your noodles are boiling, cut up all of your veggies in to bite size pieces. Put them in a large bowl when cut.

3 – After your noodles are done boiling and drained, mix noodles in with the veggies, along with the bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing.

4 – Stir and enjoy!

{Another note: it also tastes MUCH better when it’s cold, so after you stir it all together, put in in the fridge for an hour or two and then you’ll REALLY enjoy it!}

EASY PEASY!

Pasta Salad 3

When you make Pasta Salad, what do you add?

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If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like my Zesty Italian Chicken!

Thoughts on Thursday: Funny Kid Sayings

You know the saying “Kids say the darndest things”? It’s so true! I can’t wait to hear some of the funny things that Karsyn says. He’s already started talking, but he’s still not saying full sentences. The other day, Kade’s parents were out of town, so we had to feed their dogs. We went up there about 6 and then as we were leaving Kade said we were stopping at McDonald’s. That was fine by me. As we pulled in to the parking lot, Kade asked “Or do you want a Hot-N-Ready?” “I don’t care. It’s your choice, no battle,” I responded. Then all of a sudden, Karsyn says “HOT!” Decision made, son. Well done. We cracked up for about 5 minutes.

I found some other funny things kids have said or drawn, so be prepared for a good laugh.

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Dear God 9

24954130414This one is pretty relatable right about now. There was a teacher here in Utah who was arrested for having drugs in her classroom and car. She didn’t actually do them with the students, but it did make me think of that!

What are some hilarious things you’ve heard a little kid say?

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Favorite Pinterest Finds

Today, I’m gonna show you some of my most favorite Pins from the last week!

A make-up table so you can hide your mess when you're done.

I love this! You can put your make-up and/or hair things in there. Flip up the mirror while getting ready and put it back done once your done and it hides everything that’s inside!

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Lace tanks are coming soon to Jourdan’s Jewels! I absolutely love this look. It’s a great way to change up the regular ol’ tank.

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How cute is this little mini lounger for the youngin’s?!

party-planner-baby-gender-reveal

For my next baby, I am dead set on doing a gender reveal party. I love this idea.

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I’m still not sure what is going on with our wedding. I should probably figure it out, eh? I’ve kind of given up. It’s too stressful, but I LOVE this box and it looks SO easy to make!

What was your favorite pin of the week?

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