{Switch to Safer: Deodorant}

Yesterday was a tough day. With so much sadness in the world and the tragedy in Las Vegas, I couldn't even bring my fingers to type anything happy. I did, however, have a moment of peace when this song came on my radio...It wasn't chosen by me, it just played randomly. Perfect timing, if you ask me. And it gives me hope for our country. 

Now, on to another topic that is very important to me...How to make safer choices for yourselves, for your families and loved ones, and in your homes. I decided months ago that I was going to start a "Switch to Safer Blog Series", and I figured I'd kick it off with deodorant since we are now in the midst of Breast Cancer Awareness month.


{Ten Favorite Things}

After a week filled with uncertainty about the storm and a somber time on Monday reflecting on 9/11, it makes me happy to be back today to talk about some of my favorite things.
  1. AR Workshop: I had always wanted to try these workshops, and now we have one in Myrtle Beach!! I love my signs, and I can't wait to go back.
  2. Steve Madden Heels: My all-time favorite dress up or dress down, go-with-everything heels!! I got mine in my Trunk Club purchase. 
  3. Harry Josh Hair Dryer: My Beautycounter girls recommended this, and I finally got one. Worth every penny, and the Dermstore always has great sales!! Dries my hair in a flash and keeps it looking healthy and shiny.
  4. On the Night You Were Born: This book still makes me cry...Buy it if you don't have it already. 
  5. Zuppa Toscana Crockpot Soup: I made this during the storm, and it was delicious!! Substituted half and half for the heavy cream to lighten it up a bit.
  6. IKEA light: The perfect light for my little Kate's room. I may even get another one for our playroom. :)
  7. Uttermost Mirror: This fab mirror completely transformed my bar cart area. Big, big fan of this company!! 
  8. Usborne books: I absolutely LOVE Usborne!! The books, the products, everything about it. I'm having a Facebook party next week if you want to join.
  9. Aunt Fannie's: If you love fruit as much as I do, you're probably used to the flies that follow. The fly jars are the best, and I always keep them on my counter. The minute I see a fruit fly hovering over our food (or my wine!) I pop open a fly jar, and BAM!! Flies be gone!!! Grab some Aunt Fannie's goodies here!
  10. Countermatch Moisturizer: Two words...GAME CHANGER.  It adapts to your skin, knows what your skin needs most, and supplies it. It's simply awesome. And the best part--It's safe!!


{How to help Hurricane Harvey victims}

It is breaking my heart to see what's happening in Texas, and I find myself praying often for all affected by this unforgiving storm.

If you're anything like me, you're wishing there was something, anything, that you could do to comfort those in need. In an effort to aid in some way, I'm attaching some disaster relief links so we can all chip in and help from afar.

Love to all...Stay safe.

American Red Cross

The humanitarian organization is opening shelters, sending supplies and putting volunteers in place around Texas. You can donate money online or text "HARVEY" to 90999 to chip in $10. If you want to volunteer, read this.

Austin Pets Alive!

The organization says it has transported over 330 animals to its shelter since Saturday morning. How can you lend a hand? Make a donation, foster or adopt a pet, or volunteer. Find out more here.

Salvation Army

Salvation Army is on the frontlines of Hurricane Harvey relief. Your support can help keep them there. Donate at 1-800-SAL-ARMY or click here.http://

Save the Children

The organization's emergency responders are on the ground and ready to help.You can donate to the hurricane relief fund here.

Texas Diaper Bank

The organization is sending out relief kits for babies, young kids, the elderly and disabled. You can donate here.



{Ten Favorite Things}

I always love reading about people's favorite things, so I thought I'd start sharing some as well. Each week, I'll gather a list of favorite things of mine, the kids', the family, etc.
  1. Loopy Case: My sweet friend introduced me to the Loopy Case, and I was hooked from the start. Such a lifesaver when I'm holding my kids, groceries, and my cell phone.
  2. Copycat P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps: Add these to your weekly menu asap! They're so easy and even more delicious.
  3. Salted Himalayan Pink Salt Kit: This salt kit came in my FabFitFun box, and I'm loving it. Awesome addition to meals, marinades, and cocktails! :)
  4. Beautycounter 5-Minute Face: As a busy mom who is always on the go, I don't have much time for makeup. This set is perfect for my hectic mornings and gives me a fresh look to start my day!!
  5. Garnet Hill Bookbags: I have found my favorite bookbags for the kids...Cute, durable, and I got the matching lunch bags with my purchase. 
  6. Sugarfix by Bauble Bar: Awesome jewelry that adds a perfect pop of color to any outfit. Shop the collection at Target.
  7. Simplified Planner: My go-to planner and organizer. This is my 3rd year using Emily Ley's planner, and they get better each year.
  8. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides: Two scoops in my coffee every morning, and I swear I can see my eyelashes and nails getting longer. Two thumbs up from me!
  9. Living with Landyn: Love her style, love her blog, love her IG feed, love it all!! And she's funny!! Go give her a follow.
  10. Trunk Club: How would you like to have a huge box of clothes/shoes/jewelry/handbags delivered to your door for only $25?! Contact my girl, Lauren, and she'll take great care of you!!


{It's time to return to the blog}

If there's one thing I've learned about blogging over the past year, it's that my life is richer when I'm writing. Who knew writing would be so therapeutic for me? But it is...It truly is, and there are some things that I have to get out of my head and onto paper.

So, here I am writing again, and I plan on continuing to write about all things happy and helpful and everything going on in my life.

Today's post is rather heavy, but it's all that I can think about right now. Our town has had a tough week...On Monday afternoon at this very bank, right in the middle of town, an armed man walked in, robbed the bank, and shot and killed two innocent employees. On Wednesday, I sat before this building and prayed...Prayed so hard for the two beautiful souls who were taken from their families, for their loved ones they have left behind, for the country in which we live, and for the comfort and safety for all who walk these streets. We live in such a scary world, and all I know to do is pray...In the name of the Heavenly Father. 

And lately, when I'm feeling down, I blast the Moana soundtrack as loud as I can. :) My kids and I have a dance party, and all is right in our little world again. I know it may be a Disney movie for children, but I love it!! It makes me think of my grandmother, my grandmother makes me think of Heaven, and Heaven makes me happy. I hope you'll download it, and let it make you happy, too.



{3 Ingredient Pumpkin Bread}

What do you do when work has been cancelled, schools have been closed, and you're at home with your kids prepping for Hurricane Matthew? Well, you make the easiest, most delicious pumpkin bread so you can live off of it throughout the storm. :)

How awesome is this?! 3 ingredients, bakes in less than 30 minutes, and it leaves your house smelling like pumpkin spice and cider...Pretty perfect for rainy days, and I already have all of the ingredients in my pantry.

This is all you need:
  • Spice Cake Mix (1 box)
  • Pumpkin (1 can)
  • Pumpkin Spice
Mix ingredients together and bake according to directions on Spice Cake box.

Whether you toast it with a little butter for breakfast or serve it after dinner as your dessert, it's a treat your whole family will love! Enjoy, and to all my friends in the path of Hurricane Matthew…Stay safe.



{Proud to be an American}

I always say that my blog is my happy place, and it really, truly is. I love to write. Writing is therapeutic to me, and there is something so special about getting these thoughts out of my head and off of my heart...Typing them out in my sacred place, so I can go back and read them as often as I'd like.
What's heavy on my heart today (probably heavier than it has ever been in the 15 years since it happened) is September 11th. For those who don't know me, I'm a super emotional person. And those who DO know me will totally understand when I say I've already cried about five times today just thinking about 9/11/01. Every time I watch a memorial video, hear a father tell the story of his last conversations with his sons who died (one NYPD and one NYFD), see a wife sob as she describes the phone call she got from her husband as his floor collapsed around him, watch as the last know 9/11 rescue dog is saluted as she makes her way to her final resting place...I bawl. I just can't help it, and my heart physically hurts so badly for everyone.

It is weighing so heavy on my heart this year, and I know why. Motherhood. Motherhood is a tricky, wonderful, scary, amazing thing, and it's hard to put into words how it has changed me when it comes to events such as 9/11. Although every second of that day is still so fresh on my mind, I feel like the impact of it all is hitting me even more now that I have kids than it did when we were actually living through it. Because now, I can imagine how these parents are feeling, and I can almost FEEL hurt in my heart for their loss.

On September 11, 2001, I was a college junior, glued to the TV in my dorm room in South Tower at USC, surrounded by all of my sorority sisters, one who we lost just a few weeks ago (seeing her in my 9/11 memory makes me cry, too).

Today, I'm a 35 year-old mom of two...I've matured, I've grown, I've aged, I've struggled, I've strived, I've succeeded, I've learned....I have learned so, so, so very much about life. Life is so precious, and I have found that I live each day wanting to protect my kids....Protect them from everything...The bully at school, the scary things happening in our world, the negativity plastered throughout the media, and the cruelty that has unfortunately seemed to have taken over lately.

This morning in church, my husband and I taught the children what it means to be a good Servant of God, and today and everyday, my goal is to be a good Servant of God and to teach my kids to do the same. I pray every day that I can raise my kids as wonderfully as my parents raised me, and today, I'm wishing I could snap my fingers and be on one of the amazing Army bases on which we lived with the most amazing Lieutenant Colonel Dad there has ever been...I wish my kids could truly experience it like I did, but thank God they have all of us to instill in them the values, morals, and respect that I learned growing up. My dad has always said if we want to see change, we have to stand up for what we believe in.

So today, I'm flying our flag so high, I'm standing at attention and placing my hand over my heart for the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem, I'm praying with my kids, and I'm playing God Bless the USA as many times as I need to.

Here are some of the 9/11 videos that touched my heart:

** One last thing...I'm over the NFL and all those players who feel so entitled to turn their backs on our flag. Let me tell you something...If you turn your back on our flag, you are turning your back on this great nation that gives you the right to play that sport for millions of dollars. You are turning your back on the service men and women who are fighting a war to protect your freedoms, you are turning your back on the policemen, the firefighters, all who protect our streets every day, and you are turning your back on all those before you who paved the way. So, until the NFL starts teaching some RESPECT AND HONOR of the flag and our great nation to these players, I'll be happily boycotting.

God Bless America,