Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April Loot Crate Review

This month's Loot Crate was centered around the theme of Fantasy. The box was filled with goodies for the whole family. Loot Crate is a monthly box subscription. For 19.99/month you get a geek-inspired curated box. There's something for everyone with this subscription! Here's what we got!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Back Pain That Never Ends...Dural Ectasia

I have written recently about Marfans Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that I suffer from. Now I want to delve more into a condition that stems from that one. It's called Dural Ectasia. About 60% of patients with Marfan Syndrome also have this condition. What is it? Well it is a condition where the "dural", or fluid that surrounds the spinal column, becomes enlarged. Cysts can also develop in conjunction with this enlargement. What does this mean for the person who suffers from it? It means chronic pain. At times swelling and nerve pain will occur that makes you hurt whether sitting, standing, or laying down. There is no true relief that can be had. My experience with this condition started when I was in 8th grade.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

My Top 10 Fav Books, and Why!

I LOVE reading. I have slow times and then obsessive times but my love of reading never wanes. From year to year I devour books and some stay with me. Some books create such deep connections that you forever remember them. You pull references that no one gets and you laugh to yourself crazily when something reminds you of a story while others look on confused, and at times, afraid. No matter the judgments, a book lover will never be embarrassed of their literary love. In my list I am excluding poems, sonnets, and plays. I am only listing novels and the like. Here are my top 10 favorite books! In no particular order.

Friday, April 24, 2015

My Favs K-POP Edition

I like a lot of different types of music. I also like other country's music. Today I thought it would be neat to make a list of my top 10 favorite KPOP music videos. KPOP is slowly growing here in America but for the most part its not really known much. I discovered it during a time where I was becoming more interested in Asian culture, in particular Japan. When I saw my first KPOP video I thought what most Americans think....What the hell am I watching? Then I watched it again and thought to myself...this isn't too bad actually. That's how I got hooked. I still listen to songs and music from the U.S but I also listen to songs from the UK and from Japan. I try to stay open minded because then I get to experience some awesome things in life. Ok here we go! In no particular order!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hubby Vlog #01: Carnival Time

The first nice weekend this year we decided to go for a bike ride.  Our bike trip to the farmers market turned into a fun day at the Carnival.

Why am I so Tall? What is Marfan Syndrome?

There are days when I can go out into the world and I can get things done without notice. Most days, however, are not that way. As a 6 ft tall woman with long arms, fingers, and legs I tend to stick out. Strangers approach and can not help but ask the same questions time and again. "How tall are you?", "Do you play basketball?", and my favorite isn't even a question but a statement, "You are really tall!" Yes, I know. I can't get too annoyed by this because most of these people do not realize how often I hear these things. They are singular in their minds, they are the only ones asking no matter how often I have heard it. Now lets move past the annoying social interaction part of my physicality and get to the bones of it. The reason for the way I look.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Visit to Frankfort, Ky

Back in 2012 we had a death in the family and visited Frankfort, Ky to attend the funeral. My husband has a bit of family there and we all decided to look around town and show Serenity the sights while we were there. Here's a bit of what we did and saw. Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky so there was a lot of beautiful places and architecture to view. It is normal in most capital cities in the U.S. for there to be unique structures or statues on site at the capital buildings.We were able to get a few good shots.

From a distance the building stands among the trees in a beautiful landscape picture.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Parent Child B&W Photo Challenge

I came up with an idea a while back to do a black & white photo challenge with my daughter. For a whole week (we got carried away and actually did 9 days hehe) I would pose her, give her directions, and take a picture of her and then she did the same for me. I was shocked by her natural ability for photography! She got goofy a time or two but some of her shots were extremely beautiful. I think this is a great way to explore a child's talent and spend some quality time as well. If we give our children a chance they surprise us time and time again and we get some wonderful photos out of it. ;)

My photos of Serenity:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Little Vlog of our Saturday

Took a little bike ride to our local Farmer's Market today and they had rides set up and vendors out. It was breezy and beautiful and I had to share! Here's a couple video's of our Saturday. The first is of us biking...I felt like I was alone the whole time because I was either in front the whole time or tailing behind :( Next is the Ferris wheel(which I call the merry go round haha) Once again I am alone due to Seri picking to sit with daddy instead. Fair enough, I enjoyed it none the less even if I sound snarky about it.My phone didn't make the best quality vids though sorry! My mom gave me this cell last year and then she passed away last June so I can't help but want to hold onto it even if it gives me trouble time to time. 

Ipsy Glam Bag April Review

Ipsy is a beauty box subscription that is $10/monthly. Its so popular that they even have to have a wait list for new subscribers. I have been getting boxes from them for almost a year now and every month it is rewarding. Before I got the subscription I had very little makeup and didn't even know where to begin getting some. Which will I like, which one is best for me? These are questions I would ask myself. If you find yourself in a similar situation or you are interested in paying a small amount to seek new products then Ipsy might be right for you too! Here is the link if you want to check it out. Ipsy

This is an eye primer... I have never used one before so don't have much to say about it. I am curious as to what effect it may have.

Hubby got a day off!

There's nothing like a day alone with the love of your life. Just talking, holding hands, and being together is a beautiful thing. We are a military family and in the past there were months...up to 10 months at times, of separation while he was deployed. While we have time together we try to enjoy and cherish these little moments. Even if all we did was get coffee and tea and walk around the mall, we still cherish it. We have to appreciate our this time because soon the deployments will start again.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Stages of Rejection

 Whether you feel rejected by a loved one, friend, job, or hell even the world via the internet we all go through stages of dealing with it. The blow and backlash of this feeling has happened to every single person. Lets explore each stage that I have experienced shall we?
Confusion: "Wait...you don't like me? Did I do something?" This stage can cause whiplash.
Shock: "Huh.This is happening right now? I can not understand...airplane...newspaper...tree..."
Bravado: "Oh well I don't care. This doesn't affect me in the least. Let them be that way I seriously don't care...don't care...don't care...yep don't care...whatever...don't...care."
Sadness: "Is something wrong with me? Must be my laugh right? I hate my laugh...everyone hates me." This stage ends with self deprecating thoughts and tears.
Anger: "I hate them. They are the worst people in the world! They can get hit by a bus for all I care, I won't miss em. They think they can do whatever they want huh? Well guess what your breath could be used as a chemical weapon, and you always have something hanging from your nose. It wiggles in the breeze!"
Coping: This stage tends to end in a drunken pile on the floor of a bathroom...preferably your own. More tears...more self loathing...and then an eerie silence as you self reflect.
Self-Boosting: "Just because that person doesn't like me doesn't mean everyone feels the same! I am an amazing person. I have a good heart, intelligent mind, and a beautiful smile." This stage ends with a positive outlook and plans to improve.
Acceptance...kind of...: This stage is a difficult one because do we ever really accept rejection? We try to deal with it but that rejection hangs around. It attaches itself to us like a parasite and we push it aside mentally time and again. No matter who, why, or when, rejection leaves a mark. What is important is learning and moving on no matter how big an effect it has had.
This post reflects my own personal experiences so please don't think I am stating that everyone reacts the same. Although I am sure some will find a lot of similarities. ;)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Blog Lovin!

I am now on BlogLovin for anyone that uses or follows blogs on there you can find me now! :)
I appreciate everyone for stopping in and taking a look at my posts from day to day. I started this blog as a way to deal with the loss of my mom and also to have a creative outlet. I find myself enjoying each and every post I complete day to day. I am also excited to reach out to other bloggers online. Its a great community and I am glad to be part of it.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mommy the book worm. Mommy the linguiphile.

I love reading so much, besides hosting play dates and being a quirky mom, it is what I find myself absorbed in most frequently. My affection for reading began in elementary school. Obviously that is when you begin learning but not every student develops a love for it. I knew I was not quite the same type of reader as my classmates when I saw that they were enjoying Goosebumps and Animorphs and I was hitting up the poetry and Shakespeare shelves. I will not be so vain as to claim that I understood half of what I read of Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet at the age of 10, but I surely loved the language. It was probably for the best that I couldn't really grasp the depth of Ophelia's "swim time" or Romeo and Juliet's "nap". I simply adored the flow of the words and the care taken in each sentence. As I developed more as a reader I delved into writing. Poetry was something I needed in my life. It was used as an emotional outlet for years until I threw myself into the world of novels...and thus insomnia

If asked what type of books I like I would say almost all. The only genre that has yet to pull me in are Romance novels.There is something about those cheesy, wind blown, bare chested covers that just makes me tilt my head and sigh.What I need from any book is depth. I love deep, thought out, and real characters. I want to feel for them. Whether that feeling is hate, love, fear, or jealousy doesn't matter. As long as a character can provoke an emotional reaction from me the book is as good as read. I snap my fingers and say goodbye to another hardback, yearning for a new world to enter. The hobby and "habit" of reading was a wonderful past time and enjoyment occupying a lot of my time until my daughter was born. After my beautiful, bright faced, red head came into this world I stopped jumping into others. At least I stopped...for a little while.

Loving any past time will always come second to loving your child, obviously, but it is possible to be a good parent and enjoy a happy habit of book reading. My way of balancing these things is simple. At least its sometimes simple. I won't deny an occasional obsessive reading session a time or two. Red Rising and The Bronze Horseman had me enthralled so completely that I could not pull myself away until I finished them. The latter had me up until 4 am. Besides the occasional obsession-read, scheduling your reading time around your parenting is very possible.

Serenity's Top 10 "quirks"

I did a list of some of the quirky things about me a couple months back and thought it might be a cool idea to do one for Seri too :) She is just as quirky as me!

                                                  She has a love of making goofy faces.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Exploring Virginia: Heading to Natural Bridge!

Let me take you back to 2012, July 4th weekend! We set out for Natural bridge to hike and complete a few things on my bucket list. The three things we tried to cross off were: standing under a waterfall, hand feeding a giraffe, and taking a hot air balloon ride. Near natural bridge a balloon festival was taking place and we had hopes of getting the chance to do it.Things went wrong right from the start!

There had been a big storm the week before we went and our hotel was closed.We walked into a pitch black lobby and a wafting musty smell, possibly water damage.This left us seeking a new room. Like I said before there was a balloon festival near by...and July 4th weekend...finding a room was near impossible. The one we ended up in was not the best by far. It was the only....There were no other rooms available anywhere! Here is what my stress looked like!

We made the best of it though. Laughed it off and tried to enjoy the rest of our trip.
First activity? Hiking.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Adventures in Controlling a 7 yr old

I mentioned this in my post about going to Shenandoah, but to remind you, my daughter sprained her ankle. At first she was fine and then that evening it ballooned up and was painful for her. I felt so bad for her. I also felt bad for me. Why you may ask? I felt bad for me because I would have to find a way to keep my happy, over energetic, enthusiastic, dance loving kid sitting still for a few days. An impossible task...even more so than I thought it would be.

Every time I turned around she would be trying to walk, dance, or jump around. She also continued to sneak from her room to my room every night and climb into my bed. A few days of healing turned into many more days. Now we are going on 6! We had to cancel a play date and bounce house visit which you can bet did not go over well. Luckily we had a visit from a close family friend and her son is like a cousin to Serenity so she was very happy. Very happy and.....over excited. I was glad she could have company but next thing I knew she was running around and that night BOOM! swollen ankle again.

Today we went to the doctor, got x-rays, and a walking boot. I had to explain to them that she needed something to walk in because there was no way to keep her from doing it. Now she gets to rock a fashionable black Velcro boot every where.

The biggest obstacle with this happening is that at times her foot doesn't hurt so she pushes her limits without understanding the consequences. She doesn't understand that just because it doesn't hurt doesn't mean that it is healed. Maybe she will learn from this and be more cautious in the future...a mom can hope!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Setting up a Lemonade Stand with your Little One!

My husband and I decided to let Serenity build a lemonade stand last summer. It was far more profitable than we expected it to be. Let me start from the beginning. The first thing we did was go to Home Depot to get some wood and nails. Then we came home and cut and nailed together the base of the stand. Her favorite parts were hammering and painting. I have learned that this kid likes to be involved. She tries hard and is so open to new experiences. She makes me nervous too....because she can get over eager!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Winery Visit!

I have never been to a winery...I'm 28 and just never had the time. First of all I had my daughter before I was 21...and I never would have illegally drank as a teen.....yeah...so I had my daughter turned 21 and then my husband deployed for the military. So just me and an infant were left at home. From then on it was play dates, and Ellen keeping me busy. Now that the hubby is on shore duty I can do romantic and "adult" things like go to wine tastings and have B&B trips. Feels nice! The winery we went to is called Williamsburg Winery. Its quaint and quiet. Two of my favorite things!

Friday, April 10, 2015

How to: Run a Play Group

Running anything is a difficult thing. When you run a play group you have it twice as hard because you are dealing not only with kids but also with moms. You have to try and make everyone happy while trying not to stress yourself out or spend too much in the process. It took me a long time to find a balance with that. Here are a few pointers for running a play group. This is just my opinion and what I have learned!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My Daughter's CandiGirl Box Review

My daughter and niece have been a little down lately. My daughter hurt her ankle and has been stressed a bit at school because of Gifted testing. She also has been missing her best friend who moved away last summer. My niece is moving soon and dealing with a lot of changes lately also. I decided to get them both CandyGirl Subscriptions to cheer them up. This review will just be on my daughter's 7 yr old box. The great thing about CandyGirl is that they personalize the boxes to your child's age and interests. Here is Serenity's March box:

It was nicely boxed and she was eager to open it up!

Arcade Block Box Review

I got my hubby the Arcade Block Grab Box recently and here's what he received in it! Straight to the goods!

First off I am loving the look of this box. Very old school chic.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Exploring Virginia:Trip to Shenandoah

Recently we decided to drive out to Shenandoah for a few days during Easter.It would be my daughter's first experience camping outdoors all night. We got a site at a KOA in Luray that had hook ups and a restroom near by. We were not quite ready to "rough it" just yet. Little did we know that our tent site would sit right behind a farm that housed sheep and a llama...and their big dung pile.

Did this deter us? No, we accepted this outdoorsy treat. What's a little dung between neighbors? We tried to ignore that and enjoy the mountain air and peaceful ambiance. We cooked outside on our portable stove and then roasted marshmallows for smores, making the fire was a real pain due to damp kindling.


Being Easter we had the joy of being alone at our camp site...that is until 10 o'clock when a nice big truck shined their lights on us and started unpacking. It was ok after awhile and we tried to get some rest, but then the temp dropped. When I say dropped I mean like 20 degrees or more, rapidly. Anything outside the sleeping bag was cold. When I ran my hand along the tent walls they felt dewy and wet. That being said, while my hubby and daughter managed to catch a wink or two, I was struggling a lot! I even woke up at one point sure it was sunrise and was astonished to find that it was only 1 am. Why so bright I thought? I looked out the tent door to see the full moon blazing down on us, not a cloud to be found in the sky. I am surely...a city girl. The next day we got all packed up and headed deeper into the wilderness for some hiking. The trail was ups and downs with rocks strewn across the path. One rock took my daughter down.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My 28th Birthday

This year has been difficult. I lost my mom in June and this was my first birthday without her. I knew it was going to be hard. In the past I planned out birthdays with my friends and went out and had fun. This year I made it clear that I did not want to plan at all. I couldn't deal this year. I wanted a surprise party...not much of a surprise though huh? I liked the "idea" of a surprise party. Not having to think of everything and deal with the set up. That was what I wanted most. My hubby tried...he made plans and talked to everyone behind my back. No matter what though I was bound to find out things. I need to know some things like: time, place, what should I wear, should I not eat? Even though I knew a bit due to that it didn't matter. I was so happy and my friends and family were there to help me get through the day. 

We went to one of my fav Chinese food restaurants and it was delicious and wonderful.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Photo Craziness as a Family

I love chalkboards lately. More than that I love chalkboard creativity! We had a huge amount of snow on the east coast this winter and the kids were out of school for a long time! Stir crazy and at my wits end I had to come up with some indoor entertainment for this hyper seven year old. So... chalkboard...and photo props...turned into design a monster day! She loved it! Honestly I think her designs were better than mine by far! When daddy got home from work he joined in too and we had to document it all. Here are our masterpieces!

That's how you keep a kid from driving you crazy on a snow day ;) Sometimes you have get on their level and be goofy. You don't always have to be an adult...let your inner child out and enjoy this time while you have it!

Q-Box From December

This is being posted a little late sorry been a hectic few months! Here's a short look at some of the things I got in the December Q-Box. I received this as a gift from my lovely sister Jessa :)

My excitement is evident right!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fools Fun

Finding that perfect prank for the kid in your life can be tough. What will give the best reaction and what is appropriate differs from child to child. For my little girl I knew just the thing to do! One of her favorite stories from good old Dr. Seuss is a story called Wacky Wednesday! In this story each page gets wackier and weirder. A few of the examples that I used from the book were shoes on the wall, upside down pictures, and backwards words.

Suffice it to say she woke up with a laugh and gave me her dramatic "Really...?"