Sunday, June 7, 2015

My First Erin Condren Life Planner

I am beyond over the moon excited right now!!!  I recently ordered my very first Erin Condren life planner and it came this weekend!  I had never heard of an Erin Condren anything about a month or so ago.  I had watched a YouTube video of one of my old time faves Dulce Candy and she showed her Erin Condren life planner and I was instantly hooked.  In high school and college I was always best with my student planner and as I got out of school I just never could find a planner that worked as well as my student planners did.  I have tried to use my phone and it’s great for so many things but not for the way I like to keep organized.  These are definitely worth the price of $50 in my opinion.  But before I get too far ahead of myself, let me digress.

I'm sold on the packaging

These are very personalized calendars/planners and even if they weren’t I still love the message they give each time you open it.  When I watched the video on YouTube, the calendars were on sale for $30.  I went to the website and they had so many cute ones to choose from and personalizations available.  They were on sale because, of course, we’re already at that point, more than a quarter into the year.  I didn’t buy at that time and probably a couple of days later when I went back to the site, they were all out.  I was pretty bummed that I had missed out and would have to wait until later in the year to order my planner for 2016.  I decided to sign up for their newsletter so that I would be kept in the know.

I took the "stronger" sticker and put it on the back of my planner

The other day, I got an email that there were some “Ready to Ship” or pre-made life planners available for sale now for only $25.  So I checked it out.  I wanted to be sure I wasn’t being short changed.  I jumped on the deal pretty much immediately!  Yes it’s pre-made, but that’s okay.  I wanted it that badly because I only see my year getting busier and I want to be able to stay on top of it all.  It came with a coupon code for a free cover personalization which I thought was cool.  I will be using that for sure.

attention to detail 

Because of how fast the last offer went, I decided to do something for myself for once.  I had planned to use my Ibotta money for holiday shopping, and I still will; but with how much I’ve been earning, I decided to transfer the balance to my PayPal and order my life planner.  I’m so happy with the decision and it gives me even more reason to use my Ibotta app  to make money so that I can treat myself from time to time.  I deserve it : )

ahhhhh the unboxing!

just a sneak peak at the typical layout

Here’s a video from Erin Condren explaining the life planner.

To discover Erin Condren life planners and all of her goodies, click  Get $10 off!!!

Right before I uploaded my post, Erin posted a detailed video about the 2016 life planner that launches on June 9th!!!

Now I must find me the perfect handbag to house my perfect life planner : )  I need a new bag regardless, and this is the perfect excuse!  I will probably do a post in a month or so, or when I’m ready to order my 2016 life planner, to show how I use my planner.  It’s actually pretty crazy how I have seen people go all the way to the left in how they design their planner.  I am excited to get a few stickers from some shops on Etsy but that’s where my creativity will stop : )

~this post contains affiliate links

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Easy Dinner Ideas

I have been trying to shake things up a bit when it comes to dinner ideas for the family.  I’m tired of making the same old things and they’re tired of eating the same old things.  As I shared in my favorites post, I want to get more cookbooks, but in the meantime I’ve been scouring one of my favorite websites, Pioneer Woman Cooks, for the past couple of weeks; looking for recipes that I think the family will eat and that I am capable of making : ) 

Ree Drummond is one of my favorite people  : )  A dear friend in my head.  I love her food and confessional blogs and I love her show.  When I watch her show I feel comforted even when she’s making things I would never eat.  I can’t wait to get her cookbooks.  In the meantime, her food blog is the best I’ve seen.  I appreciate that she breaks it down with pictures for people like me, who need to see everything step by step.  I wanted to share a few of the recipes that I’ve tried in the past week or so that my family and I have really enjoyed.  

Blogs by Aria

This was super easy to make and the family enjoyed it.  I didn’t eat it, but tasted it, and it was good, but I’m keeping it low on the carb intake and ate something else.  The only complaint, was more meat, less pasta from man of the house, so I’ll keep that in mind next time.


Yeah, I’m sure many people have made this and do so all the time and this is like making eggs to them…but to me, honey I’ve just hit a gold mine!!!  We all absolutely loved it!!!  This is in my repertoire for sure and it’s super easy so much so that I don’t have to look at the recipe again.  We don’t do onions and peppers in this family and it seems as if every recipe Ree has includes onions.  I know they can add flavor, so I did slice very finely a very small piece of an onion and I don’t think anybody noticed ;-) I did, but it wasn’t horrible : )


To be honest, the crowd was mixed on this one…my son and I liked it, my daughter didn’t care for it and my husband didn’t understand the presentation.  I thought the chicken marinade was delicious, I didn’t even marinate mine for the whole hour as instructed and it was still tasty.  I liked the bacon and the cheese on top, similar to what I’ve seen in chain restaurants.  So I will make this again because I like it and when two out of four like a dish, it stays on the drawing board.


I actually tried this recipe a while back, like several months back and it was a huge hit!!!  We loved how cheesy and delicious it was and the kids even asked for seconds, which is a huge deal.  With this meal, you want to buy fresh mozzarella and fresh parmesan cheese, not the pre-shredded stuff, it melts differently, trust me (after Ree told me to trust her lol) it’s worth it.

If you are cooking for a family such as mine, where it’s very hard to please everyone, I suggest giving these easy meals a try.  I mean, my husband won’t eat casseroles of any kind, my son eats better than my daughter but they’re both picky in different ways and if I’m strict in my own eating, I’m not eating anything that they eat!  Pasta works for them and not for me, but I’m all about pleasing them when it comes to food.  My job is to feed my family and it’s always nice to hear “mmm this is good Mommy” instead of, “do I have to eat it all?”  Suffice it to say, you might find that one of these options may be a hit out of the park with your brood.  I’m on the hunt for even more to try!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

April - May Favorites

Editor’s note:  It’s a pure shame that these were actually for the month of April and here it is the end of May and I’m just now finishing this post.  But I had to share!  And I have different ideas for May…or June : ) 

Sometimes I want to share things that I get or use but oftentimes I don’t remember to, or can’t find a way to incorporate them into their own post…so I decided to do monthly favorites.  The goal would be the term monthly, but one shouldn’t make promises they can’t ensure they can keep.

Anyway, onto my favorites for the month:

1.    Forever Fragrant. 
I’ll be honest.  I am a fan of home shopping.  I love watching QVC.  Like literally just watching.  I learn so much.  (and want so much)  One of these days I will be able to buy anything that I want up there.  I watch HSN very rarely, although I used to watch it equally as often as QVC.  One night I was flipping through the channels, and as I did I saw these Forever Fragrant on the tv.  It was the todays special value and it was the final presentation and it was selling out fragrance choices fast!  I have purchased products from Joy Magono before and I knew this was what I was looking for.  So when I saw this I grabbed it….before I even saw the full presentation.

2.    Byron Cage
My Mom put me on to Byron Cage last summer.  I had been listening to him a lot on Pandora lately and decided that I wanted to buy a few of his cd’s so I can listen to them in my car.  Trying to find gospel CDs is like trying to find a needle in a haystack around here.  So I went on Amazon and got several CDs for way less than I could get in a store, and two of them were from Byron Cage.  And I keep them playing in my car constantly!  Such a blessing to my soul!  I can’t wait to get even more : )

3.    You Can and You Will by Pastor Joel Osteen

This is my first book that I’ve purchased from Pastor Joel.  It’s very easy reading and it’s a lot of what is in his sermons just organized and put in print.  Things I already know but needed to hear again and I’m truly grateful for this book.  It’s taken me months to get through it, but it was worth it to read it as I could and not rush through it.  I am looking forward to getting more books from him and from Victoria Osteen also.

4.    The Every Man Driver

I like to watch YouTube videos on my future Toyota Highlander.  I enjoy reviews from different people.  Sometimes I’ll look up other cars just to see if I would like them.  I stumbled upon Dave Erickson on The EveryMan Driver and I really like his style, his voice isn’t annoying, and his personality is cool.  So I hit subscribe.  I like watching his videos even when they’re about cars, trucks, and even minivans that I would never want to buy, yet I enjoy seeing what they’re like on the inside.  I really enjoy his videos.  He’s very thorough and I like that and he doesn’t annoy me.  Win win.

5.    Barnes and Nobles/In the Kitchen with David
Barnes and Noble is one of my favorite places…and my daughter’s too.  While there to get my daughter a book for her birthday, I was looking in the discount section and stumbled upon David Venable’s cookbook.  I really enjoy watching him on QVC on his In the Kitchen with David show and I have seen some of his cooking and I knew this would be a great investment at a whopping $6.28 (originally $30!!)

I want to buy more cookbooks.

Whew! So there you have it!  My first monthly favorites and I had fun sharing them with you.  We must meet again like this soon, perhaps, next month? ;-) 

Saturday, May 23, 2015



I have been such a super slack blogger lately.  And by lately, I mean for like half a year or more.  I’m sorry.  It’s not that I don’t love to blog, because I do…it’s just…a few things really.  I prefer not to blog if I’m not in a great space.  And it’s not that I’ve been depressed or anything, because I haven’t, it’s just that…idk I am kinda just going thru my journey and just nothing big enough to update I guess.  Guess nothing has been blogworthy so to speak.

Work is kicking my butt.  That’s putting it mildly.  Apparently I have discovered that I have a complex. Ha!  I have many!  But this is about learning something new.  I like to learn new things…in theory.  In reality, I would like to go from a novice to an expert in the span of three weeks.  I know, I’m totally reasonable.  :-)  It’s difficult for me, I’m learning, to go from a position where I knew my job in and out and I was the one being asked questions to a position where there’s a learning curve and I am the one asking the questions.  I know in time I will be the expert that I know I can be, and be confident in my ability and be worthy of the praise they’ve given me.  It’s really all in my perspective I suppose.

Work is also kicking my butt because of working overtime.  I’m trying to find the right schedule that works for me and my family.  In the meantime, I’m plum exhausted.  Everything falls out of sync when I’m not getting enough sleep.  Add to that the fact that my job is mentally challenging and exhausting and I’ve just been a ball of blah.  If that makes any sense at all.

What I think is worse than blogging negatively so to speak, is not blogging at all…and that my friends is what has happened.  And like I’ve said, I haven’t been depressed or anything like that, but I just haven’t really felt the urge to blog.  That’s a disservice not only to my readers but to myself.  I started blogging because it’s therapeutic and I enjoy it.  It’s my hobby.  It’s my passion.  But you wouldn’t think that by how few and far between I’ve been posting.  Not only do I actually like the act of blogging, because it is writing, and deep down I’ve always wanted to be a writer; but I like to read my blogs.  I like to look back on where I was and I learn about myself through re-reading my blog posts.  So I’m carving out time to blog, just like I’m doing with working out…because with it in my life I’m a happier person and without it I’m grumpier.  Both relieve stress for me and both have been absent or not consistent for long enough.


She’s back!!!

For real this time!!! ; )

Saturday, April 4, 2015

I Got The Job

It’s been 37 days since my last blog post.  It hadn’t been intentional, but eventually I figured why not just wait until my fast was over before I pop back up on the blog.  My fast just ended yesterday.  It began February 24th and went thru April 4th.  It’s a big step for me.

I participated in my first fast last year.  I did it on my own as a way to seek God, to hear from Him, and to get closer to Him.  Last year I believe I did it for two weeks and I gave up sodas, fast food and social media.  I read my devotionals daily, read more Bible and listened exclusively to gospel music.  I felt I really grew in my faith and walk.  I did it on my own and not with the church.

This year I decided to do it with the church.  I am a member now and I agree with my church’s vision and wanted to participate in this fast.  It hasn’t always been easy.  I got up for morning prayer at 6:33 every day except Sundays.  I really felt that I was growing closer.  I am so glad I did the fast.

Now in my last fast, I had some personal gains so to speak.  I had two different jobs that I made it to the second round of interviews for.  Close but no cigar.  This time around, I had an inkling in my spirit that by the end of the fast, something big was going to come to pass.  I had a hunch it would be that I would change positions at work, but of course, couldn’t be sure.  Well, thankfully, my hunch was right!!!

And it happened so fast!!!

Within the past few weeks, I applied, phone screened, panel interviewed, was offered and accepted a new position at my company!!!!  I am sooooo very happy to say that as of Monday, I am in a new department in my new position and I am truly happy and thankful and grateful!!!  God is so good!!!!!


Last week felt like my last week of high school.  Like all I am doing is coming to class in order to graduate… all of the exams have been taken and it’s just a waiting game until the weekend.  It felt super awesome!!!


Like I am not burdened with any thoughts about my past job.  No dreading going to work.  Work is work, I know, but guys, I just can’t even put this into words how awesome this feels!!! 


It’s in the department that I wanted from the beginning.  It uses my degree.  It has tons of opportunity for growth.  It’s exactly what I’ve wanted.  It’s truly a blessing and I am truly grateful.  I know that from here, it’s going to get even better : )   Thank you Lord!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Day 2015

In the past two weeks I have had quite a few days off from work due to ice and snow.  Last week was an ice event and I had a day and a half off from work.  Did absolutely nothing of productivity.  Wanted to blog but at the same time didn’t.

This week, today is Thursday and I’ve been home since Tuesday.  Cabin fever is an understatement.  Thankfully, I’ve had opportunities to get out of the house to run to the grocery store twice this week.  Tuesday morning when it was beginning to snow and yesterday afternoon after a lot had melted in front of the storm that was to come last night.  They called for more than a few inches of the white stuff. 

I expect nothing more than a delay for tomorrow if that.  And I’m counting down till Spring to say the least.

But since I have a last day at home, and I’m pretty well rested, it’s time to tackle some areas of the home.

After reading Erin’s blog post this morning, I was inspired to stop threatening the kids and make good on my threats and do my own cleaning of their room.  See, they fail to realize that it’s a privilege to have toys.  A child doesn’t have to have a room full of toys.  I’m tired of yelling.  So since I had a few minutes on hand, a burst of energy, I have thrown away 3 large shopping bags of toys, and I’ve set up about 3 boxes of toys to donate.  Some are in great enough condition to sell, but I’m just gonna give them away.

I feel like I’ve made such a huge accomplishment!  Just by taking about 30 minutes to really just get in there, in the zone, really helped me to feel less overwhelmed.

I have a few more things I want to organize/purge of my own today.  I have some reading to do and some writing.  Gonna try to eek out as much productivity as I can today.

It feels really good : )

What do you do on your snow days??

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bikini Ready Body

Truth moment:  I wanted to title this post Baby Ready Body but I decided against that.  To be honest, the clock is a ticking for baby # 3, but where I’m at right now…I don’t know about that.  It is an underlying motivator, but I decided to go the totally superficial route and focus on being bikini ready.

We’re going into the second full week of January.  By this time, the gym is already starting to look more like normal and less like the hot place to be.  That’s because by seven days in, many people have already given up on their resolutions.  This is the time when I actually begin to get real with myself and decide what my resolutions are and how I will achieve them.  To be honest, I just call them goals.  Call them what you want, just make an action plan.

We are planning our summer vacation and we’re going to do the beach house thing again.  I’m soooo excited!  Thinking about that week of bliss will help get me through these brutally cold winter days : )  Last year and the year before and the year before, I’ve wanted to be able to wear a bikini.  A lot of big girls do rock bikinis and I say more power to them.  Aria will not wear a bikini unless she CAN.  Know what I mean?  Not saying I have to be ripped with a 6 pack, but I want to be able to look amaze in my bikini.

With that being said… it’s time to get this body right!!!!  Going into 2014, losing weight was not a big goal for me because I had really gotten down in 2013.  Sadly, although I could have stopped it at its onset, I allowed the weight to creep back on throughout 2014.  Each month cursing myself as my jeans and pants became more and more snug.  Every Sunday when trying to put together something decent to wear to church and I’m breaking into a sweat because I can’t zip up my skirt.  Everyday feeling more and more sluggish and tired because I just can’t seem to get my energy back, trying to do so artificially, knowing the whole time that what was lacking was my exercise.  Yeah, all of that was me in 2014 and your girl is tired of it.  I have from now through July 20, 2015 to get my body right and tight.

I miss my muscles.  I miss my definition.  I miss feeling strong.  I miss feeling hard and not soft.  All I feel is softness now.  No Bueno.  Jordan has said multiple times that my stomach is fat.  He’s not trying to be mean, but he’s a child and children call it like they see it.  He also tells me that I’m beautiful, that I’m strong, and that I’m the best Mommy ever!  So he knows of what he speaks! : )

Go hard or go home.  That’s it in a nutshell.  I can talk about it all I want, but it’s about putting in the work.  It sucks during the process but the rewards are well worth it.  Workouts suck sometimes.  Plain and simple.  I have to do them in order to see the results.  I love sodas but I can’t have them.  Salads and chicken aren’t as desirable as burgers and fries. Sacrifice for what I want.  It’s worth it to me.  I curse at Chalene Johnson during our workouts but I love her to death.  It’s time once and for all to get all the way to the end.  If we’re going to have baby # 3, which would also be all she wrote in the baby making department, I want my body to be as healthy and as fit as can be to carry my baby.  I want to be the fashionista that I am in my mind in real life because I have the body that I want.  I want to look great in any swimsuit that I wear.

Before I end what turned out to be a longer than expected post, I wanted to share a few cute bikinis and swimsuits that not only inspired this post, but are motivation for me to buy once I accomplish my strength training and weight loss goals.  I want to have at least five swimsuits to wear on our vacation.  I love the beach and I will be going between the beach and the pool a lot and I need more than just two swimsuits which I don’t even have now.  Anyway, stop writing now and just show the swimsuits already : )

All of these suits are very affordable, most of them are from, Forever 21 and Venus Swimwear and all under $40.  Cute, affordable and perfect for a mom on a beach vacation.

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year Giveaway!!! [CLOSED]

Start 2015 off with a BANG and save big with coupons! Here is your chance to win coupon inserts from 01-04-15, one of the biggest coupon weekends of the year!  If you are wanting to get into couponing, or get back into the swing of things, like me, this is an awesome giveaway for you!

Thanks to SundayCoupon Inserts, FOUR readers will each win FOUR COMPLETE AND UNCUT 01-04-15 SmartSource #1 coupon inserts, FOUR 01-04-15 SmartSource #2 coupon inserts, FOUR 01-04-15 Red Plum #1 coupon inserts, AND FOUR 01-04-15 Red Plum #2 coupon inserts.

Take a chance on the giveaway, but also visit Sunday Coupon Inserts' website HERE as they do have all of these coupon inserts available and you can also see a detailed description of the coupons that are inside. PLUS – check out their availability of the SmartSource En EspaƱol and the January 2015 Target P&G!

Sunday Coupon Inserts offers whole, uncut inserts delivered right to your door. You can order single inserts or combo packs and their site is super easy to navigate. They are extremely thorough in coupon descriptions in each insert, so you know exactly what you are getting, and all orders received by 11 a.m. EST are shipped that same day via USPS Priority Mail (this means you will usually receive your inserts in 2-3 business days). You can check out what Sunday Coupon Inserts has tooffer HERE.


For this giveaway, you can earn 3 entries per reader. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Facebook and e-mail entries will not count, so please be sure to leave entry comments on this post.

Entry #1: Just simply leave a comment on this post.  INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!!!

Entry #2: Like Sunday Coupon Inserts on Facebook and leave a comment saying you did or already do

Entry #3: Like  and leave a comment saying you did or already do.

This Giveaway will go until NOON EASTERN STANDARD TIME 1/7/15 and the FOUR winners will be notified by email and via facebook immediately.   All inserts will be mailed out on Thursday 1/8/15.  Happy New Year and a big thanks to Sunday Coupon Inserts for sponsoring the giveaway!

I know this is a super short giveaway but I wanted to bring it to my readers since I was provided the opportunity :-)    Think of it as a flash giveaway!!

Good luck!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Here's to 2015

Happy New Year!!!

I hope you enjoyed your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day!  Now that I’ve recovered, it’s time to get into planning mode.  It’s going to be an awesome year for me and my family and in order for that to be the case, I have to be intentional about it.  2014 was one of the first years in a very long time that I felt the uptick or the upswing.  I can feel the momentum shifting, I can tell the pendulum is heading the other way.  It’s an awesome feeling.  I’m looking forward to all that God has in store for me in 2015.

With that being said, I have a list of a few goals.  There’s a lot I want to accomplish this year.  In no particular order…

1.    Save Big.  Coupon Burnout was the name of the game for me in most of 2014.  That’s no longer an option.  Couponing bigger, maximizing my savings apps, and scheduling time to organize my coupons are big on my priority list.

2.    Lose weight.  I steadily allowed my pants to fit tighter and tighter.  That ends now.  I’m not happy with my body right now and I want to be happy.  About 40lbs or so.  I’m starting now so that by the Summer I will be very pleased.

3.    Move.  I know that we are moving this year.

4.    Work on self more.  Not always the easiest to do, but certainly very rewarding.

5.    Read more.  Bible.  Fiction and Non-Fiction.  I want to learn more this year.

6.    Pray/meditate more.  I want to get used to a morning routine that consists of prayer/meditation and devotional/scripture reading, followed by a workout to get my day started.

7.    Travel.

8.    Get my camera and snap like crazy!

9.    Cook more.

Those are just a few of the things that I’m working on in 2015.  I’ll be blogging more and journaling more.  I’m working on my Vision Board today and over the weekend.  Just adding a few things in place of other items I’ve manifested in 2014.  I’ll be doing some de-cluttering and organizing.  As for today, I’m ready for bed.  What else is new? 

Here’s to more sleep in 2015 :)


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