Insights

3 New Years resolutions everyone should make

I’m not a big resolution person, and that’s mainly because I do not like failure.  Most people, including myself, set unrealistic goals and as quickly as we make them, we stop doing them. Maybe it’s not that these goals are unrealistic for us, but maybe it’s because we aren’t in the right mind set to accomplish them. So how do we get in the right mind set? Focus on making these 3 things your resolutions for the year and I’m confident you will be able to succeed with anything!

1. Start loving yourself: Sounds cheesy but it’s the truth. If you don’t love yourself it could derail any goal you have set. If you want to make changes it starts with YOU! Want to find a good partner? Or make the relationship you’re in better? It starts with loving yourself first. Want a raise or a better job? Or maybe you want to start your own business! Learning to love yourself for who you truly are is the surest way of achieving any of these goals. It will give you the confidence you need and the confidence you deserve.

2. Stop comparing yourself to others: Social media has been a positive thing, and yet can be such a negative thing in the same regard. We are constantly thrown into each others lives seeing details that may or may not be realistic. It’s the unrealistic nature of social media that can get us wishing for others lives or reminding us of what we don’t have. Start being grateful for the things you do have and making a point to remembering them daily! Write them down, or say them out loud!

3. Develop compassion & empathy for others: Let’s get back that human connection to people regardless if we agree with them or not! Having compassion and empathy for some one that you may not agree with doesn’t mean you are supporting their behavior or choices. So many are to quick to cut others off because their thinking isn’t the same. I’m just going to say it, there are some crappy humans out there, but if you start looking at them with compassion and less hatred it may not just change your heart, but theirs in return. We all have a story! We all become these people we are today from personal experiences, a lot of which are filled with sadness and trauma. Someone might be crappy but you don’t have to be. Make the choice to love regardless!

When I try to implement all these things into my life I can truly feel the change in myself and when that happens I feel completely unstoppable! Love yourself, love others & be thankful for what you have!

XX, Crystal

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Snacks · Tasty Bites

5 yummy New Years Eve Party Snack’s

My husband and I are major snack o’ holics, and it’s not much of a surprise that we’ve passed that craving onto our little one.  Sometimes dinner consists of just snack foods, where we all gather around the TV to watch our favorite shows and movies. We have a variety of things so everyone’s favorites are there and we just dig in!

Whether you are going to a party, hosting your own, or just doing your own thing in your own house this New Years Eve, you most likely will need some SNACKS, and I’ve put together the perfect list for you!

These are some of my go to’s because they are either easy, or just to delicious to pass up!

#1 Ranch Cream Cheese Vegetable Pizza by High Hills & Grills

The best part about this tasty snack is not only is it beautiful (look at all those vibrant colors!) but it’s SUPER easy! Made with your favorite vegi’s, store bought croissant dough, cream cheese and a few other spices, this yummy snack is done in no time!

Grab the recipes HERE!

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Propery of High Hills & Grills

#2 Buffalo Chicken Dip by Bomb Shell Bling

Another easy and delicious appetizer that you can’t go wrong with! Just a few ingredients melted together then baked and BAM you have a mouth watering yummy dip that everyone will be talking about (or you will eat it all yourself, either way win win right?!)  My tip: I like to use a rotisserie chicken for a little extra flavor!

Get the recipe HERE!

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Property of Bomb Shell Bling

#3 Crockpot BBQ Little Smokies by Eating On a Dime

Ok, nothing and I mean NOTHING is as easy as this recipe! Buy the lil’ smokies, stick them in a crock pot to sit and cook and add TWO ingredients! Wait a few hours and YUM!

Get the recipe HERE!

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Property of Eating on a Dime

#4 Mini Hassleback Potatoes by Bowl of Delicious 

I’ve made these potatoes a few times now, and each time they are just as delicious as the last! She also provides a recipe for a creamy dill dip (yum!) but I haven’t made it. I have substituted a yummy homemade ranch instead and it was definitely a good decision, and I know our taste buds agreed!  My tip: I buy the mini potatoes from Costco and they have a mix of yellow & red which gives your plate a little more color!

Get the recipe HERE!

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Property of Bowl of Delicious 

#5 Copycat Chili’s Skillet Queso by True Couponing

I used to LOVE Chili’s, but they’ve changed the menu a few times over and well, they no longer hold such a special place in my heart. BUT their Skillet Queso is and always will be a classic.  Since I don’t always feel like going to Chili’s just to get Queso, I’m so glad that there is a copy cat recipe to make at home! It’s a super easy recipe plus it has VELVEETA! There is nothing quite like that yummy gooey cheese that makes any snack an a PLUS snack. My tip: Try not to eat it all yourself, because it’s that good!

Get the recipe HERE!

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Property of True Couponing

I promise with any of these snacks you or your guests will not be disappointed!

Follow my Pinterest food board HERE which includes all these tasty treats as well as other mouth watering delights!

What are your go to snacks for parties & holidays?! Share your recipes and comment below!

motherhood

Lessons I’m learning from my not even 2 year old daughter

As a Mother I know it’s my job to teach my daughter all the important things. To guide her into the rest of her life intact with all the tools she will need.

Sometimes though, my tiny little one teaches me things that somewhere along the way of adulting I’ve forgotten.

Everyone deserves a hello: My daughter is the smallest most sociable person I’ve ever been around. She will randomly say hi to strangers every time we are out, and almost always makes a new friend in the process. Somewhere along the way in our busy lives as adults the comfort of strangers goes away. I myself had a hard time for years even looking up at people’s faces let alone saying hi to anyone. I’m slowly opening up, and seeing my little girl bring a smile to someone’s face with just a hello, is definitely helping.

Dance even when they are watching: Anytime, and anywhere music starts my daughter starts dancing. She LOVES to dance and despite being so young she’s already so good at it (I’m of course biased ☺️). She also doesn’t care who may be looking when she starts grooving. Because of her age she isn’t worried about anyone watching, anyone possibly judging her (who judges a 2 year old though?) Regardless she does it because she loves it and it makes her happy. To many times I don’t do something I love for fear of what others will think or say. None of that should matter and she helps me see that.

Even the smallest thing can be exciting: Everyday in a child eyes is another day to learn new things and all these things are so exciting. At some point in life after we feel like we’ve seen everything, we lose that excitement. When I see my daughter pick up a flower with that look in her eye, or get excited when it rains it makes me take a step back to look at the beauty everywhere in everything. I know you can’t bring back seeing certain things for the first time again, but I try to look at life and the things around me as if I’m looking through the eyes of a child; amazement.

Being a mother is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve been able to do in my life. I can’t wait for more opportunities to learn from this special little girl that calls me Mommy.

What are some lessons you’ve learned from your children??

motherhood

I thought about joining a trying to conceive board on Baby Center; here’s why I didn’t.

I was 100 and some odd pages deep into this thread. A thread that had only started a few days prior. Several times I thought “Why am I reading this?” and each time I asked myself I didn’t have an answer.

After the first 50 pages I knew I was committed and couldn’t back out! What if someone got their BFP (big fat positive – on a pregnancy test) I couldn’t miss that excitement!

I kept reading and got to page 100, then finished up the 140 page thread with a sigh of relief. I had thought from the start I would read all the pages, read about the women TTC (trying to conceive) and then introduce myself and hop on in. Once I hit that last entry on the last page I thought, this is just not for me; and here’s why:

I have a hard time with unrealistic positivity: That probably sounds so cynical and don’t get me wrong, I LOVE positivity. I thrive on positivity but only when it is realistic. I don’t need or want anyone to feed me something that is just not going to happen or give me false hope. I saw women with white as white pregnancy tests being told by women that they still had a chance this cycle to get pregnant. I think supporting each other is important and needs to be given, but unrealistic hope just leads to greater heartache, especially for me.

I don’t want to test early: To each there own, but everyone is so excited to get that BFP they test so early. And it’s not just once, it’s several times a day. I’ve never been an early tester. I have always waited until a missed period, but on this board they crave it and they encourage you to test early. For me it’s less of a disappointment just getting my period then staring back at a stark white test that is clearly negative. Which brings me to my next reason I couldn’t join…

Test tweaking: If you are unfamiliar with what I’m talking about it’s when you take a pregnancy test and tweak the color of it to potentially show a very faint positive. The reason I’m not on board with this is because early miscarriages are so common, I’ve even had one. This TTC board I was thinking of being a part of was for those that had suffered a miscarriage, still birth or infant loss. I saw tests being tweaked and then everyone got so excited because they “think” they see a line. This just creates false hope for me, and when you are TTC especially after suffering a loss it creates more pain. Read our story about the loss of our daughter here.

Putting in the time: The thread was only a few days old and already had over 100 pages. I put in the time to read all of them, but realized very quickly I didn’t have the time to to catch up each day, cheer everyone on, and be informed with everyone and their personal issues and lives. The women that do have the time are awesome, and everyone seemed like they were old friends helping each other out and cheering each other on.

All of these factors played a significant roll in my choice but basically what it came down to was will this help me or make this journey even harder. I’m already struggling with the idea of TTC again because bringing babies into this world, though incredibly beautiful, is also incredibly scary. I’m not sure an online forum is the place for me right now, and that’s ok.

What experiences have you had with online mother boards, pregnancy boards or TTC boards??

motherhood · Tiny Hugs

Sorry friends, my daughters nap comes first

My daughter just turned 20 months a few days ago and she is going through the “maybe I don’t want to nap phase”. It’s a crap shoot every time I put her down. Is she going to scream her head off today or fall asleep peacefully? Regardless, the girl needs her sleep because if she doesn’t she becomes an unstable tiny human that will fly off the handle about literally anything. So when it comes to her naps or seeing friends you better believe I’m choosing naps.

Some people may not understand because they had or have perfectly stable children where missing a nap didn’t alter their mood. If that is the case I applaud you and am slightly jealous of you.

If it bothers you that I won’t wake her up early in the morning to meet you for breakfast, then you can spend the time trying to dress her while she screams and throws herself on the floor uncontrollably all while trying to rip off the very clothes you are trying to dress her with.

I may ask you if we can meet after she wakes up from her nap, and if that seems inconvenient to you, it’s more important that my tiny tot gets her nap so I don’t feel like I’m living with an irritable tiny monster for the rest of the day.

My girl is the sweetest thing most of the time and will literally kiss and hug everyone, including her dogs. But if you are asking me to choose to meet up with you or let her sleep in or take a nap, I will always choose the nap. I hope you don’t take offense to it, but if you choose to, let’s be honest, you’ve most likely been in the same position at some point wether you want to admit it or not.

I didn’t think I would be the Mom that would blow off most things in the middle of day just so my child could get her nap, but here I am. As a Mom you gotta figure out how to make the days bearable, and if that means being selfish then call me selfish.

What are some things you choose to as a Mom that other people may not understand?

motherhood · Tiny Hugs

Finding patience for the impatient Mommy

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Picture by Pixabay

I love being a Mom. It is one of my greatest accomplishments to date, but that doesn’t mean it’s not challenging at times. I find myself, many nights, counting down the minutes until bed time. This Mommy needs and craves her me time. I’m so not afraid to admit that.

I wouldn’t call myself the most patient person, I struggle from time to time depending on my mood and those sometimes awful things we call HORMONES.  I’ve lost my cool a few times during this parenting journey and found myself screaming at the top of my lungs. I’m not proud of those moments, and luckily they are few and far between.

So how do we keep our patience with our little ones, all while trying to take care of ourselves at the same time??

Deep breaths: That sounds so simple, but I’ve noticed in those moments of “mommy, mommy, mommy!” when I start to feel the the impatience start to boil up I take a few deep breaths. It usually instantly resets me and lifts my mood. Then I can respond in a cool tone to my daughter.

Mindfulness: I’ll admit living in the moment is nearly impossible at times. You have a million things on your mind, you can’t focus on one thing let alone what is happening here and now. Training your mind to kick out all the other stuff isn’t easy, and I am FAR from being able to do that all the time. The moments I am able to sit here and just be present are some of the moments that get me through my day. My daughter may be screaming but looking into her beautiful eyes and being here in the now lets me understand the importance of how I approach the way I react to her.

Meditation: I am the biggest believer in meditation. It’s transformed my life in so many ways.  I usually try to start my mornings off with 20 minutes of mediation and it sets me up right for the rest of the day. It puts me in such a peaceful mindset that finding the patience I need for the day comes easy.

Mommy alone time: Let’s face it we all need it. We can’t go to the bathroom without a little hand knocking on the door or showing up underneath it. There was a period of time that I NEVER had alone time. My daughter napped on me, she slept right next to me, and she did this for over a year. Looking back I have no idea how I did it, but I wouldn’t take it back for anything. I’m glad now though, that I have the ability to have my alone time. It makes it so much easier for me to have patience. It’s like a recharge when you can sit by yourself and do whatever you want to do.

Mental health is so so important: Sometimes our level of patience boils down to one thing: our mental health. If it’s suffering we can hardly take care of ourselves let alone our children. For some it’s hard to admit that we struggle in that department. Society in general has a hard time accepting depression and anxiety as a serious thing so we hide behind fake smiles and suffer in silence. We are Mom’s we are supposed to be strong and take on everything, but the reality is sometimes we just can’t. AND THAT’S OK. If you are struggling with depression or anxiety take care of yourself FIRST and then you can take care of your kids.

Sometimes we will just have those days where patience doesn’t come easy, even after doing everything we know how, and that’s ok. We are not perfect, we are not meant to be perfect, we are Mother’s. And that’s a pretty amazing thing to be!

What are some things you do to help you stay patient with your little ones?! 

 

DIY · Wood Projects

DIY Farmhouse Market Sign

My husband and I recently made a big move over the past year which took us across the country. Though it seemed like the best option for us at the time, admittedly my heart was still in Upstate New York, the place we had left.

I was browsing Pinterest a few months after our move and saw an adorable farmhouse market sign that caught my eye. I had some left over wood from another project so I decided to make my own and add some of the places and memories we had from Upstate New York.

I started first by designing it on PicMonkey. I downloaded a ton of fonts that I felt would give it a rustic flair. Once it was designed I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I tried printing it on white tissue paper and sticking it on with Mod Podge and that was a bad bad idea. I scrapped that idea and decided I would cut it out on my Cricut machine instead and then go from there.

The board had previously been painted all white but because I wanted black writing I knew I wanted to put the vinyl down and paint white over, then pull up the vinyl revealing the black so I had to paint a black section back on the board.

Everything cut out nicely, it was a little time consuming weeding the excess out but I liked the way it was looking overall.

 

I put the vinyl down with just regular scotch tape. I didn’t have any transfer paper so that’s what I used instead and it worked great! Once it was on the board and centered, I made sure the vinyl was secured enough so that I could paint over it. I then painted white back over the black and the vinyl and waited for it to dry. Once it was dry I pulled off the vinyl to reveal the writing! The vinyl pulled up bits of the black paint as well, exposing some of the white paint that was under that (I know confusing!) which gave it a distressed look which I loved.

Finally the finished product! I think overall it took me about 5 hours completely to do. I couldn’t really tell you how much it cost overall because I had everything on hand already but it couldn’t have been much more then $5 in materials! know it’s not perfect, but I think that’s what I like most about it!

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What projects have you been happy with after doing something on a whim?? Leave a comment and let me know!

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