Feb 24, 2015

Moments that Make Me Feel Like I'm on a Mom-cation

Last week we were stuck in the house for three days.  Three. Whole. Days. There was a "snow storm" here in NC.  I enjoyed just being with my family each day, so don't get me wrong, but I was also anxious to return to work by the end of the week.  A lot of it had to do with just feeling like I was trapped inside, and with people, for that matter.  As an introvert, I cherish time away and time alone.

I daydreamed a bit about things I get to do alone that I've come to appreciate only now that I'm a mother.  During those moments I tend to feel like I'm on a mini mom-cation (i.e., a break from one's motherly duties), the total opposite of how I felt last week.

Here are ten things that I consider to be a mini mom-cation when I get to do them alone:

A Trip to Target
I love Target like a child loves candy.  When I'm by myself, you can find me strutting down the aisles like I own the joint.  Walking at my leisure, touching what I will, carefully scoping out red stickers.  I always spend more money than I should, and I don't even care.  Target, my beloved, can have all my monies...especially if I'm by myself.

Grocery Shopping (or shopping of any kind)
Have you ever been shopping with a child that understands what groceries are?!  They know what they like and they know what they want.  "Mom, I want cereal."  "Mom, I want milk."  "Mom, I want juice."  "Mom, I want this", not even knowing what "this" really is.  Throwing things in the cart like they're paying.  If they're still young, sometimes they want to walk, sometimes they want to push, sometimes they want to be on the inside of the cart where they really shouldn't be.  Shoot, sometimes they want to be carried.  I just can't!

Shopping alone is like a little piece of heaven. Period.

Eating Food 
As a mom, you get use to eating your food fast, eating your food cold, forgetting to eat at all, you name it.  Sometimes, no, most of the time you even have to share your food.  There is nothing like sitting down to a meal and savoring every bite.  And don't even get me started on how good it feels to enjoy a dessert all by your lonesome.  

Cooking a Meal
I love to cook and bake.  I also enjoy doing so with my daughter, I really do.  It teaches her so much and we have fun while we're doing it.  But, I must admit that it really slows the process down.  My child is very independent and very particular, meaning; she wants to do things by herself and she wants to do it just right.  I commend her for those qualities yet sometimes I just want to get a meal on the table and sit my behind down!  Some days she gets occupied with something else and I get to cook alone.  I'm telling you, I feel like The Flash when I get to throw together a meal on my own and I feel like I have more time to do other things.

Using the Bathroom
Private moments are hard to come by once you're a mom.  Going to the bathroom, taking a shower, brushing your teeth; it all requires company.  At least that's what my toddler believes.  Sometimes when I'm in the shower she'll pull the curtain back, letting the cold rush in, talking about; "Mom, you taking a shower?!"  *picture me frowning*

And don't let me sit on the toilet for longer than a minute.  She'll come barging in, "Mom, you pooping?!" *grabbing my hand* "Let me hold your hand, mom." No. Lie.

When I get to sneak off to the bathroom to do my thing I feel elated.  Like an adult. Only toddlers need their hands held while they poop.
Talking on the Phone
I'll never understand why kids think it's a prime time to talk their heads off when you're on the phone.  It never fails.  I swear my daughter makes every effort to use her outside voice when I'm on the phone.  It drives me mad.  I already don't like talking on the phone, so if I'm on it it's probably important.  But as soon as I'm on, here she go: 1) up in my face, 2) again, outside voice, 3) the increasing-drawn-out-mom chant when I don't respond (i.e., "Mom, Mooom, Mooooom.", repeat). I sometimes scream inside. 

Being able to clearly hear and understand the person on the other end of the line is just calming nowadays, because in that other scenario my anxiety is extremely high.  

Just text me though. For real.

Hair Appointments
Can I just start with the fact that someone else washing your hair ranks right up there with a word that starts with s and rhymes with vex.  You know I'm right.  

Even though I get frustrated at how long hair appointments can take, I am learning that I should just relish the time that I get to myself every few weeks.  So, I take whatever book I'm reading at the time, make sure my phone is fully charged and enjoy my night at the salon.

Going to the Movies
I'm one of those people that enjoys going to a movie by myself.  Even before I was married and had a child I had no problem spending time alone in this way.  No one talking through the film, there's always at least one lone seat at the top, I get to see all the previews (b/c I'm on time).  Y'all probably don't even feel me.  It's amazing, I tell you. Ah-mazing!

Gym Time
As much as I despise working out, once I get there, I'm actually very happy to be there.  My gym time always takes at least 45 minutes or more.  That's some premium time to myself folks.  I can even watch a show uninterrupted while I'm on the treadmill if I really wanted to.  I'm just saying.

At Home Surrounded by Silence
Laslty, ever so often, my husband takes my daughter out on little dates while I stay home and do whatever I want.  Sometimes, I just sit...who am I kidding, I lie down and do absolutely nothing.  I just take in the silence.  This silence is different than any other silence because it's silence in your home.  We all know that silence in your home when your toddler is there is suspicious.  But nope, there are no worries when it's just me.  I can do what I want, when I want, how I want, and the silence feels good.  The back of my eyelids feel good too.

I'm curious!  What are some simple things you get to do alone that make you feel like you're on a mini mom-cation?!

Update 24 Jan 15, 8:00pm - We just so happen to be experiencing another series of snow days this week.  Figures!

Find Joy,

Feb 20, 2015

Luck of the Irish | $1500 Giveaway

Hello, friends-

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Please be sure and thank the team of amazing bloggers who joined me to offer this phenomenal cash prize! I encourage you to hop over and take a peek into their paradise!
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Giveaway is open worldwide to participants with a verified PayPal account.
Three entries will be drawn for $500 PayPal Cash to each of the three winners.
All entries will be verified. In the event an entry can not be verified participant chooses to forfeit that entry and another winner will be chosen.

Winner has 48 hours to respond to the winning email.
Giveaway will run from February 20, 12AM PDT Time to March 17, 11:59PM SDT.
Any taxes or fees associated with the winnings of this contest are the sole responsibility of the winner according to their county, state and/or country laws.
CASH prize is in US Dollars and will not be converted to any foreign currency.
Void where prohibited by law.

Feb 18, 2015

Remotivation for Site Owners

I've had a nasty case of writers block lately.  I'm not really sure if that's the right way to look at it though.  I have ideas. I have things to say. I just haven't felt like writing.  

I had high hopes of blogging like a mad woman this year; having an editorial calendar and really sticking to a schedule. But, it's only February and I feel like I'm on my way to having a sketchy blog year, just like early last year.  I refuse to let myself settle.  Here are some things I'm doing, or have done, to kick things back into gear.  Hopefully, my thoughts will help motivate someone else as well.

Remember Your Mission
Think back to why you started.  

As we grow and learn as bloggers, we tend to want to try new things and go in different directions. If you don't have a mission statement I highly suggest you spend time developing one so that you never lose sight of why you're doing what you're doing in the first place.  Even use that as a post idea and expand upon how you plan to stick to your purpose.  I believe if you stay true to yourself and true to your audience you can't go wrong.

Read Other Sites
Look to other blogs (and bloggers) for motivation and encouragement.  

When I'm in a rut I spent a lot of time reading other blogs, commenting and catching up on things I've missed when I get a bit too absorbed in my on site.  Reading other blogs really motivate me to continually contribute, and they encourage me to think big.  I see similar bloggers who work a full time job and have a family as well, yet they still manage to keep their space going.  Seeing others do it helps me to realize that I can do it too. 

Take a Break
Take a formal break when necessary, for your sanity, then come back stronger than ever.

Try not to be too hard on yourself during those seasons when you feel like you need to take a step back and reevaluate.  I think blog breaks are so important.  They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Leaving your space for a bit can leave you feeling refreshed.  Usually, you come back to your blog feeling rejuvenated, as if you're starting a blog for the first time, and that tends to be exactly what you need to get back into the thick of it.

Remember Where You're Going
Think about what you hope to accomplish with your space and continually strive to achieve any goals that you have set. 

I started this space as a SAHM to give myself a place to pour my heart, and time, into besides just my family and home.  It's proven to be such a great outlet and I cherish the friendships I've made through this space.  I've also come to love the opportunities that have presented itself because of my blog.  I'm able to help pay down our debt bit by bit through the extra money I make through blogging, and that's a big deal.  I currently bring in between $100-$300 per month through this space and it's a goal of mine to increase that by the end of this year.  However, I always want to stay true to why I started this blog in the first place.  Therefore, I can't do that if I'm not producing great content, consistently.  So I've created a plan to reach my goals that consists of a heavy focus on creating quality content that's relevant, informative and shareable.

Keep Moving Forward
Never give up.

When you feel like no one is reading.  When you're writing for no one but yourself.  Never, ever give up.  It's easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged, but usually those feelings are only temporary.  Just like anything else, blogging has its phases.  Time of plentiful writing, opportunities and growth.  But there may also be time when you feel like you're alone. Take time to recognize the season that you're in at any given time so that you can make the necessary adjustments to stay motivated.  Remember that your take matters.  Your ideas matter.  Your voice matters!  Never give up and keep moving forward!

There are so many other things that can be done to help you to refocus when you're in a slump,  Hopefully the ideas listed above will give you a good starting point.  Spend time finding what works for you when you need motivation.  I'd love to hear what others do to stay motivated.  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  

Find joy,

Feb 12, 2015

Relief for a Problematic Scalp | Head & Shoulders

I've been aware of the Head & Shoulders brand for as far back as I can remember.  Commercials showing people with flakes of dandruff on their shoulders really did leave a lasting impression.  But, even though I've had issues with dandruff and itchiness, I've never seriously considered using Head & Shoulders for my problematic scalp.  I've thought about it, of course, but then I wondered how it would affect my type of hair so I resolved that it might not be for me. 

Then what do you know, Head & Shoulders goes and creates a line of products with someone like me in mind.  Their new Head & Shoulders Moisture Care Collection was developed specifically for textured hair.  I'm not kidding, it says so on the bottle!

Feb 9, 2015

Banana Bread

I had some extremely ripe bananas practically decomposing before our eyes on the kitchen counter last week.  They were just screaming to be baked into something sweet, fluffy and delicious.  So I smashed them with fervor (not really) and quickly whipped up a loaf of banana bread.  

Madison, our almost three year old, ate most of it. She wanted it for breakfast and for snacks all week.  I can't say that I blame her.  It was quite delicious, and the small amount of sliced almonds I added were absolutely perfect.  

By the way, I threw these ingredients together and into the oven in about fifteen minutes (and I had a little helper to slow me down).  Two minutes after I put it in the oven I realized that I forgot the sugar. THE SUGAR!  I dumped it on top, mixed, mixed, mixed, and these bad boys still came out great.  So yeah, this recipe is idiot proof.  And by idiot I'm only referring to myself.


Feb 8, 2015

Eating Out | Ann Coupons

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ann Coupons. However, the opinions expressed in this post are solely my own. Moreover, I only share relevant content that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

We don't go shopping or out to eat very often.  It's just not a huge part of our budget.  With a new year comes a revamped budget, and we're even more cognizant of how we spend, save and pay our way out of debt.  

But, occasionally, we do get the urge to pick up a bit of fast food, Wendy's and Chick-fil-a being our favorite, or sit down to eat at a restaurant like Olive Garden, Red Lobster or Longhorn Steakhouse.  

Feb 1, 2015

Black History

If the only Black history you are aware of is the "history" you were taught in school then you probably don't really know much about Black history at all.

"The most imperative and crucial element in Woodson's concept of mis-education hinged on the education system's failure to present authentic Negro History in schools and the bitter knowledge that there was a scarcity of literature available for such a purpose, because most history books gave little or no space to the black man's presence in America. Some of them contained casual references to Negroes but these generally depicted them in menial, subordinate roles, more or less sub-human. Such books stressed their good fortune at having been exposed, through slavery, to the higher (white man's) civilization. There were included derogatory statements relating to the primitive, heathenish quality of the African background, but nothing denoting skills, abilities, contributions or potential in the image of the Blacks, in Africa or America. Woodson considered this state of affairs deplorable, an American tragedy, dooming the Negro to a brain-washed acceptance of the inferior role assigned to him by the dominant race, and absorbed by him through his schooling.

Moreover, the neglect of Afro-American History and distortion of the facts concerning Negroes in most history books, deprived the black child and his whole race of a heritage, and relegated him to nothingness and nobodyness. This was Woodson's conviction as he stated it in this book [The Mis-Education of the Negro] and as he lived by it." -{source}

I encourage you to read as many books as possible about black history (and other subjects).  Learn as much as you can, grow in the process, and watch how it changes your perspective.

A few places to start:

  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X edited by Alex Haley
  • The Miseducation of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson
  • Brainwashed by Tom Burrell
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr. Joy Degruy
  • The Will To Change by bell hooks
  • Destruction of Black Civilization by Chancellor Williams
  • Women, Race, & Class by Angela Y. Davis

A full, lengthy book and film list can be found here - Stay Woke: Consciousness Guide by Taurean Brown and here - History Books We Love or Would Love to Read by Karnythia.

Stay woke,
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