happy header

Don’t wait for someone else to make you happy!

My mom taught me from the very young age that happiness is a choice. This can be a little controversial considering depression doesn’t feel like a choice. I’m not going to get into that part of things. I believe that each individual has their own experiences. For me, I’ve had moments, days, and even years where I’ve struggled with depression. I’ve also had periods of time where I’ve maintained pretty well. On the whole, I am actually a very happy person. There are a lot of people that I interact with that have no clue that I have struggled with depression. It isn’t always an obvious thing that people put out there.

The main thing that I’ve learned through my experiences is that I cannot wait for someone else to “make” me happy. There have been some really tough times that I’ve pulled myself out of. I have tried many medications in different dosages trying to level things out. I have made some big life choices in some cases to increase my joy. These are dramatic changes but it’s really the small things that make the biggest difference. Waking up every day with a plan of action, and choosing to be happy. Sometimes shit happens, right? When it does, I turn it around by acting silly with my daughter, turning up the music, maybe getting a treat or taking a quick moment to meditate and remember what I’m grateful for.

If you want a reminder to choose happiness I made up a few printables that you can download below!


happy white

















Click here to download 


















Click here to download 



how to style bangs

How to hide bangs 

Let’s start this party off by letting you know that I’m not extremely fashionable. Sure, I like girly stuff. Cute hair, a well put together outfit and makeup. I do. But if I’m being honest about it I’m not great at it most of the time. Sometimes I get super lucky and hit one out of the park but I have hardly been trying lately. Being a SAHM (stay at home mom) has made me a bit more lax in this department.

Now that I’m getting more pregnant I feel the need to make an effort in areas where I can. In other words, since clothes don’t fit me I might as well try with my hair and makeup every once in awhile!

Back to the point at hand. Bangs. In Arizona summers bangs are NOT fun. I love my bangs, I really do. But I can’t handle them in my face during the summer so I’ve been looking for fun ways to get them out of the way until it cools off a bit here. These are some of the fun ideas I’ve found!


Cover them with a headband! This is the easiest of them all.

head-scarf with bangsscarf braided into hairheadband over bangs

via 1/2/3







Twisting and pinning is fairly simple as well.

twist bangsfold over bang twist





via 1/2






These are my favorites but are the hardest to accomplish.

French braid bangs


Side Twist Fishtail Braid







via 1/2

I hope some of these have inspired some new ways to get those bangs out of your face this summer! I know that I’ve needed them all summer and it’s still hot as hades here and will be for awhile.

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vince lombardi quote header

On getting back up

It’s been a rough couple of weeks around these parts. Some of it was a good thing but some of it has been really chaotic and stressful. I was MIA all last week from here for a couple of reasons.

This pregnancy is kicking my butt. I’m so tired all the time but I’m pushing myself to get the things done that I need to every day.

A big portion of our roof came flying off during a monsoon storm about a week and a half ago. I am still dealing with roofers to get quotes and the insurance adjuster who doesn’t seem to want to give me the money that it will cost to get the roof repaired.

We’ve had some money stresses – ’nuff said.

This is a fun one… We just decided that we are going to sell our house! We tried last year but it didn’t work out so we are at it again and I have a good feeling about it. Although, I’m trying not to get my hopes up. We will be renting a home after we sell this home for a year or so and I’m a little excited for it. I haven’t really rented besides when I was in college and have been a home owner since 2006 so this will be new for me. I was talking to a good friend of mine who has been renting for awhile and she agreed to write a post on the pros and cons of renting! I’m excited because it’s in the forefront of my mind right now for sure.

Now just because things have been rough doesn’t mean I’m giving up here! This is where I get to let my voice ring true and I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.

I made up this printable if you need a reminder like I do to keep getting back up!

Vince Lombardi quote

Click here to download


comparison header


When I became a mother that got a lot harder. A LOT harder. If you’re a mom you know that we are always thinking about our kids. And what do we talk about? Our kids. It’s just a fact of life. These little people that we raise are so wonderful and important. We want to make sure that we are doing the best for them that we can. Which is why we talk. But unless we check ourselves it can turn into a very unhealthy thing.

I am so grateful to have close friends that are good about not comparing our children. Not to say that we don’t discuss them at length and ask for help when we need to. But we don’t compare one to another. They are each such amazing little human beings and they are also incredibly different. With different strengths, weaknesses and annoying habits ;-).

On that note, if you would like something to print out to remind yourself not to compare, I made this printable:


Click here to download

Then right click and save as to save to your computer.

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are you really happy or just really comfortable

Motivational Monday – Are you really happy?

I have to say that at this point in my life I am actually really happy! I have struggled with depression for most of my life and if I’m being completely honest it’s not always easy to stay happy. Maybe at some point I will talk about some of the things that have worked for me. But this post isn’t about that. Have you ever been in a situation where you were truly comfortable but maybe not happy? I have known SAHM’s who are at home with their kiddos but really don’t feel fulfilled by it. I know people who stay in positions at work where they make a lot of money but are absolutely miserable (golden handcuffs, anyone?). For me personally I’m sure I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been comfortable but not as happy as I could be. I don’t really stay in that position long. I’m actually not comfortable unless I am happy. It’s maybe even more than happy when I let loose of what isn’t bringing me joy and move into what does.

Are you really happy PRINT

Feel free to download the above printable for your personal use by clicking on the image to make it full size and then click on “save image”

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Motivational Monday – begin!

This quote has been in my mind for the past few months as I’ve started to think about getting this blog up and ready. Of course it still took me a long time to start hitting “publish” and to stop worrying, but I am enjoying it so immensely now!

Disney Quote


Feel free to download the above printable for your personal use by clicking on the image to make it full size and then click on “save image”

I hope that whatever it is that you want to get started, that you take Walt Disney’s suggestion and “quit talking and begin DOING.”

sleep tips

Is sleep really that important?

Why yes, yes it actually is. A week ago I had a stretch where I hadn’t slept more than 4 hours broken over 5 nights. Two of the nights were because of my beautiful toddler who is having bad dreams, is hungwy, not sweepy, etc.  One of the nights was due to nausea, and getting up to pee 6-7 times. But the other two happen more frequently. Those nights I just had insomnia.  I’ve had insomnia for as far back as I can remember even as a small child.

I’m focusing now to try to get back into a good sleep rhythm because I know it won’t be good if I can’t sleep during the precious time available with a newborn.  I have spent a lot of time working out ways to improve my sleep habits, here are a few:

  • Exercise regularly (I’ve been doing yoga 4-5 times a week when I first get up before McKenna does).
  • Drink water all day but stop a few hours before bed.
  • Herbal options (in the past I’ve tried chelated magnesium, valerian root and melatonin).
  • Hot herbal tea (peppermint is one of my favorites! Chamomile is also delightful).
  • Stop screen time an hour (2 if possible) before bed time.
  • Make sure my tummy is full (I swear this relates to more than just pregnant women but it’s especially important now because hunger wakes me up or keeps me awake right now).
  • Warm bath.
  • Wine (not right now!).
  • Stretching before bed.
  • Massage before bed (I’m a lucky girl because when I’m pregnant I get a massage almost every night!).
  • Keep bed time and wake up time consistent.
  • White noise or calm music helps me. We started using white noise through our daughter (we hear it through the monitor) and now I love it. Sometimes I will also listen to the best of Enya album which is nice because most of the words are unrecognizable.
  • Every once in awhile I  get up and go through my bedtime routine again. It’s basically a do-over.
  • Flipping my head to the opposite end of the bed.
  • Sleep mask! I just started using one and I love it.
  • Herbal mist on sheets and blankets. The one I use right now is a blend of peppermint and lavender.
  • If my mind is full I do a brain dump and this helps me to get out all of my thoughts on paper in order to leave my mind clear and ready for sleep. Sometimes I have to do this a few times to really get it empty lol.

There may be more that I haven’t tried or some that I’ve tried and forgotten but this is a list of my most common tactics to sleep better. A little over a week ago a friend gave me a suggestion that I had never heard before! She suggested that I get out as soon as I could in the morning to get some time in the sun. She recommended at least 10 minutes but to try 30 for best results. The idea is that it reminds your body when daytime is and it should help your body also realize when it is nighttime. I’ve been doing this now for a week and it has made a huge difference! In fact, I had a day in the middle that I missed and that night took me 4x longer to get to sleep. I’m still having some other sleep issues (active dreams, wake ups, etc) but getting to sleep is usually the hardest part for me.

New Wrap

Foil and Saran Wrap for days


Small dowel

Clothing rod side brackets

Poster board

Colored masking tape

Clear command hooks

Elastic (to hold the wraps and bags in)

Bekvam spice rack

When I can’t find an answer to my organization and or style needs I turn to DIY and crank up the imagination. Of course I look at Pinterest and even Amazon for some inspiration.

So here is what I needed: I was desperate for a solution to organize our many food wraps (foil, wax, Saran, storage bags, etc), but nothing that I found commercially fit all of my needs:

* space saving
* no chaotic mess
* a uniform place to cut all of my wraps

I started off by taking all of my wraps out of their boxes. This was mostly done before I could even think of the consequences because I was so annoyed with how ugly and bulky those boxes were. Once I emptied them I found that my plastic wrap from Costco had a separate cutter in it that could clip over the existing wrap cutter.


I tested it on all of my wraps and it worked like a charm – score! This got me thinking that I could make something to fit my needs.

First I had to come up with something to store all of my wraps and bags and then another place to cut them. Since I could cut them all with this new piece I was finally able to throw those crappy boxes away! (Well I saved one for another project I will show you soon)

Anyhow, I came up with a solution that works great but it’s not very pretty… yet. I’m gonna work on that next. I took the most sturdy box and I used that to store all of my wraps vertically in a cupboard just above where I hung my wrap station. Then I used some small command hooks and elastic to wrangle everything into place. This is mostly working… except that life happened and people (myself included) put stuff in front of it so that it isn’t as accessible as I would like. I’m going to work on this part when I beautify the box for the wrap storage. Here is a pic… it’s horror movie status right now…


On to happier things! The wrap and foil cutter!

This was easier than I thought it would be. I started with the IKEA Bekvam spice rack that has been used in a million different ways.


In order to attach the foil/wrap cutter I cut 3 same size pieces of poster board to gain some thickness and used some colored masking tape to attach them together. Then I taped these pieces to the front of the Bekvam and added the wrap cutter. After that I screwed a pair of curtain rod holders to the inside of the Bekvam (this is where the foil and wraps will be held) and used a dowel that I had cut to size at Home Depot. It holds everything very nicely and now I just need to hang it on the wall to get it off the counter!


Again, this is working in a practical sense for us… However, I’m not liking the way the poster board and masking tape makes it look a little chintzy. I think that I’m going to try balsa wood or another thin wood in my next iteration. That way I can use wood glue to secure it and I might just paint it.

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paprika final

Paprika Review – Part 1

  Have you ever used the Paprika app? No clue what it is? Well, you’re in luck! This is one of my favorite ever apps, and that’s saying a lot considering it means I have to cook. I will never say that meal planning is my favorite thing to do… it ranks pretty low on my excitement range BUT this app has made my life a whole lot easier so I don’t dread it nearly as much. That earns an A+ in  my book.

  First things first, this is not a sponsored post. I just really love it. Second, I’m going to break my review into a few pieces because otherwise this would get pretty lengthy. Here is what I’m going to talk about in this post and upcoming posts (in no particular order):

  • How to add a recipe to the Paprika app
  • How to organize recipes in Paprika app – including categorization
  • How to utilize the grocery list aspect of the Paprika app
  • How to meal plan within the Paprika app
  • Misc features of the Paprika app (if I can fit them into the previous four posts I will)

First up I am going to talk about the most important (IMO) part of this app, which is how to add a recipe within the Paprika app.

Find the recipe.PNG

  If you look along the left hand side of the app you will see 4 icons near the middle – those are the hub of the app. The little world that is highlighted in blue stands for Browser. This is where you can do a search (just like on a search engine) for a particular food or type of recipe. You can also copy a URL (the full website address) of a recipe that you know you already want to add to your Recipes.

  The recipe you see listed is one that I got from a mini meal plan from Once A Month Meals. I will be reviewing them after I have a chance to use that meal plan.


  I simply copied the URL from the browser page I had open and then upon entering my Paprika app it tells me that it has detected a URL. Once I hit load it brings up the same browser page but inside the app.

  Now here is the fun part… Once you have the page loaded you should see an area at the bottom where it shows some components of the recipes and a blue Save Recipe button. This is the magical part. On most recipe sites people have their recipes formatted so that Paprika knows what is what. (Name of recipe, Ingredients, etc). Once I click on Save Recipe this comes up:


 I could just click on the blue Create Recipe button and it will add it to my recipes. At this point I like to customize things a bit by adding in some Categories which makes it easier to find the type of recipe I want right away (right under the Create Recipe button in the upper right). I will talk more about categorization next time!

  If you have any questions let me know!

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I used to be a nerd

Did I say “used to be”? Ok so maybe I’m still a nerd, but I’ve evolved a bit. The nerdiness that I’m talking about today is all about quotes. Please don’t judge me.  😊 When I was about eleven years old I became fascinated with quotes. I loved how I could find words poetically penned that held meaning to me and obviously had done the same for others. It bonded me to them. I collected quotes while other girls my age collected lip gloss (don’t worry that caught up with me). I wrote my quotes down on index cards. Which I then alphabetically ordered by the quotes subject. See?! #totalnerd.

Nowadays I don’t keep my quotes filed. Well, not exactly. I use Pinterest and it’s there for me when I need a little inspiration in my day. Sometimes I just need to read through a few and I feel better. Other times I need to be reminded constantly so I put it on tech wallpapers, print it out and sometimes I even set an alarm that reminds me to get my quote on.

This is one of the many ways that I’ve learned to manage my stress and depression. Depression and anxiety are no joke folks. It’s hard and it’s real but I can take control of a lot of it on my own by choosing what I’m gonna focus on.

All this to say that I’m going to be sharing quotes with you guys once a week. When I can I will offer it as a printable.

As shown above, today’s quote is:

“This is the beginning, of anything you want.”

It comes from song lyrics, the song of which I had never heard until today! I was researching where it came from and I found the song – it is BEAUTIFUL! Take some time and listen to it.
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