We Did Everything “Wrong”

We did everything “wrong”.

It’s true. Lots of people have told us and we have been doing it all wrong from the beginning…

Growing up I always thought I would finish high school, graduate from college, get a great job, meet someone, have this big beautiful wedding, buy a house, and eventually have children. That’s how I thought everyone did it… I just thought that’s how it was done.

But that’s not how we did it…

Toby and I went on our first date when I was just 17. Long story short, he was a loser and I wasn’t interested.

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Flash-forward a couple of years and a bunch of bad decisions later and suddenly we are back in each other’s lives. We were head over heels for each other and after just a few shorts months, living together.

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That was our first “mistake”. Moving in with someone you just started dating? How crazy, right?

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Right. It was very crazy. We probably shouldn’t have moved into together so soon- we barely knew each other, but we quickly learned a lot about one another and I treasure that time as some of the best memories I have.

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Looking back, it’s hard to believe we had nights where we could stay up past midnight without hating ourselves for it the next day. That we could sleep in past seven, or that we could call out of work for being hungover and not think twice about it.

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There were times we had more beer in our fridge than groceries. Times of loud music with words I haven’t spoken in years, random people passing in and out of our house, and just being crazy kids.

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Another mistake I made was partying too much and being so wrapped up in life and this guy that I completely brushed off school.

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Then I got pregnant, and boy did that all change.

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There I go again, doing things I “shouldn’t”. Pregnant at 19? GASP!

But we were so happy to find out that we were going to be parents. I thought I loved Toby before, but I was so wrong… I had no idea the kind of love I would learn while growing with this man.

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Something about him just felt right and when we decided to get married, although I knew I would have to hear everyone’s opinion about it- I knew I wouldn’t have to listen and I knew it was going to be a good thing. And it was.

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It’s true. Toby and I had barely been dating and then suddenly, we were going to get married and have a baby.

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What were we thinking?

I will tell you.

We were NOT thinking about what everyone had to say- that was too difficult.
We were thinking about moving into a calmer scene.
We were thinking about if we wanted to have a big wedding, or go to the Court House. We chose the Court House and I don’t regret that one bit.

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We were thinking about our job situation and how we would adjust to the new addition to our life.
We were thinking about being as healthy as can be.
We were thinking about how blessed we were to have such a loving, supportive and excited family.

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We were thinking about this new life we suddenly had…

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We were thinking if this was going to work…

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But let me tell you something… it did.

All of those “mistakes” we made were not mistakes at all.

If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would.

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Sure we moved in with my parents for a year, and it was tough being a newly married couple sharing a house with your parent’s/in-laws. It was difficult raising a newborn while your rowdy teenage brother tried to live his life upstairs. But we eventually moved into a little, two bedroom apartment where we spent way longer than we would’ve liked for way too much money—but now here we are, just under 4 years of marriage and we have our first home.

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No, I haven’t made it back to school yet and don’t know if I will, but Toby and I both have jobs that provide more than enough for us.

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You see, people want to make up all the rules for how YOU should be living YOUR life. And it seems that people will always find something to say about EVERYTHING you do. It’s been a difficult lesson to learn, but I’m finally learning not to care and to live my life.

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I missed out on a lot of happy times because some people didn’t approve my marriage- and looking back, that’s so silly because how does my marriage affect them?

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Just because you choose to do things differently than someone may expect, doesn’t mean you did it the WRONG way, just a different way.

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But here I am, 23 and happily married with a beautiful, spunky three year old who can light up a room. Looking into those big, beautiful, blue eyes of hers and holding her amazing daddy’s hand makes me feel so secure in all of the choices I have made. Because that’s exactly what they were, choices- NOT mistakes.

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You shouldn’t feel ashamed of the choices you make if you’re doing what’s right by you and your family.

We all come from different backgrounds, and take different paths in life but when it comes down to it, we are all valuable people just trying to make it through life, and the opinions of others can truly hinder what we are trying to accomplish. I know this post was kind of all over the place, but my point is that your choices are your own and YOU have the power to make GREAT things happen out of any situation.

Don’t give up,
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August Favorites

Happy Friday, beauties!

So as most of you guys know, I get sent a lot of the products I cover on here and I always let you know my honest feedback on whatever it may be. But when I am not reviewing things, what do I use? I love seeing other people’s favorite post and I’m a little obsessed with monthly favorite videos on YouTube, so I thought it might be fun to do my own F A V O R I T E S!

So here are 10 things I am currently loving for the month of August!

St. I’ves Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Fresh Hydration Lotion 
$4.97 Walmart

Specifically formulated to soothe dry skin, St. Ives® Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Fresh Hydration Lotion deeply moisturizes with a single spray.Product Benefits- Soothing Hydration- 100% Natural Moisturizers- Contains Skin Moisturizing Vitamins A, E and F- Dermatologist Tested
If you’re not familiar with this lotion, it’s actually a spray and I love it. I recently mentioned this in my Swap Box post that a did last month. This lotion is made to soothe dry skin. I love how deeply it moisturizes with just a couple of sprays and it doesn’t leave you feeling all sticky. Not to mention how cozy it smells. 

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub in Passion Fruit & Guava
$7.49 Ulta

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This scrub has whole sugar grains that give a gentle and cleansing exfoliation. I read that the scrub also has Shea Nut Oil to help preserve your skin’s natural moisture. It’s made with Certified Organic Shea Butter, it’s paraben free and DMDM free. I make a lot of my own sugar scrubs, but there is something about how this one smells that gets me every time! I also received this in my swap box. I’m almost out of it! 😦 It’s perfect for using before you shave and leaves your legs feeling extra smooth. Follow up with the St. I’ves spray and your legs will be good to go!

Desert Essence Tea Tree Replenishing Shampoo
$8.99

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I have been sent a couple of natural shampoos to try out but the formula is super tricky when you don’t have all of those extra chemicals, so finding one that works good is a bit of a challenge. I purchased this at Sprout’s and our entire family uses it. I really love the packaging. On the side of the bottle it has what IS in it and what is NOT in it listed and it really gives you an idea of what crazy things you’ve been using on your scalp! This is a newly formulated version and from other reviews I’ve read, the old formula was better. I can only go off this one– and it isn’t something we use daily because it can leave your hair looking a little heavy. But it always leaves me feeling refreshed. It does have essential oils in it, and the smell of this shampoo is incredible!

I pulled this straight from their website:
“The natural medicinal properties of Eucalyptus are formulated with powerful, yet gentle Australian Tea Tree Oil to help bring healing to a flaking scalp. Aromatic Peppermint Oil offers reviving, cooling comfort while Yucca conditions for a shiny, beautiful finish.” 

Cult Nail Polish in the color Catalina
$12.99

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I received this in my July TOM Box  and I have been wearing it like C R A Z Y. The quality is so good, the color is so stinkin’ beautiful and I always get compliments on it- which I love because it gives me an opportunity to talk about this company. All Cult nail and makeup products are vegan-friendly, ethically made, and 5 FREE. This is a bonus for me, especially because I have a small daughter who loves having her nails done and this is a safer polish for to use. This is on the pricier side, but it’s a quality product, made by strong women who firmly believe in their products.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte Poreless Foundation
$7.99 Ulta

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I have been loving Maybelline pretty much all Summer and this has been my number 1 go to for foundation. I have a little bit of oily skin, with some dryness between my eyes and it can be difficult to find a foundation that can help with both and still manage to leave me with a natural finish. I don’t feel that I have very large pores, so I can’t really speak for how well it hides them. I actually bought this by chance. I was going for a different foundation and they didn’t have my color. I was in a hurry and in need of a foundation, so I found the perfect shade in this and I have been loving it ever since. It doesn’t last as long as I would like, but if you use the Fit Me Matte Poreless Powder  with it, I have found that it increase its wear. I have been extremely impressed with this foundation and will continue to keep it in my collection.

 Lush Eau Roma Water  
$21.95

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Can we just all take a second to appreciate how awesome this stuff is? I THOUGHT I was obsessed with Rose Water, and I still am, but I KNOW that I am MORE obsessed with this stuff. Man, I wish I would have documented how insanely fast this guy cleared up my redness. I have been struggling for some time now with this intense redness and dryness in my T-Zone, the tops of my cheeks and my chin. I have been doing a number of things to help even out my skin tone, and then after Nicole from Young Wild and Polished mention this in her July favorites video, I looked into trying it out. So glad I did, I will DEFINITELY continue to repurchase this.

Stila Eye Shadow Trio in Venus
$20.00

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This was my first Stila purchase and I got this little guy on sale, but he actually retails for $20 so when I pulled out this tiny little thing- I was kind of shocked. However, I was blown away by the quality. The colors are extremely pigmented and gorgeous. The color is long lasting and you can do more than one look with just these three colors. I still don’t know if it is worth $20, but it is a great eye shadow trio.

All Natural Canyon Oats Oatmeal in Sweet Honey Cinnamon with Golden Raisins 
$3.19

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YUM, YUM, YUM. As many of you know, I am gluten free and it can be hard finding delicious alternatives to the things you once loved. Although oats are naturally gluten free, cross contamination is a BIG factor so I only buy products that are Certified Gluten Free. I picked up some Canyon Oats at Spout’s a while back and fell in love. I think this is some of the best oatmeal I’ve ever had. It’s really hard to find, and I buy as much as I can when I find it. They have several flavor option but this is the only one I have tried. It is a good size cup and I don’t usually finish it all, but you definitely get your money’s worth.

Young Living Valor Essential Oil
Out Of Stock

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So if you’re familiar with Young Living, you’re probably just as obsessed with Valor as I am– and probably just as heart broken that is gone for a while. Luckily, it has been one of my favorites and I had some stock built up! I mentioned in my April Oil Order post that Valor wasn’t always one of my favorites and now I ration it out because I don’t want to be without it.

Young Living Thieves AromaBright Toothpaste
$10.25 Wholesale

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This was also on my April order and I have some more coming in this month’s order. I thoroughly enjoy this toothpaste. I have been using it so long that when I use my old toothpaste I get grossed out.  If you’re familiar with Thieves but you haven’t tried out this toothpaste, it might sound overwhelming because Thieves has such a strong smell. No worries, though it is not near as intense. It’s actually very tasty and I’ve heard stories of kids wanting to eat it! It takes a little getting used too for some people because it doesn’t have any chemicals in it to suds your mouth up and a lot of times people will associate that with things getting clean, but that’s actually just a useless chemical that you don’t need in your mouth everyday! So if you’re looking for a new toothpaste, you should give this a try!!

Well, those are my 10 favorites for August. What were your favorites for this month? Did you like this post? Let me know and I can start doing them monthly! 🙂

Stay beautiful,
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Interested in trying out Young Living Essential Oils but don’t know where to start? The Premium Starter Kit is the most affordable option and it starts out at just $160 including $300 in product. It’s an incredible offer that made a huge impact on my life. If you’re looking for a way to get started I would be more than happy to enroll you! I don’t even have to be with you, all you need is my member number! #1932478 or you can email me at BusyBeingLisenba@gmail.com

Final

Best Friend Swap Box

So I’m a big YouTube junkie. And even though I justify it to myself a lot of the time as “research” I will admit that I binge watch product reviews, makeup tutorials, unboxings and my latest craze– SWAPS.

I don’t know who started swaps, or why but its seriously one of my favorite things to watch right now.

WHAT IS A SWAP?

There are several different types of swaps floating around YouTube, but the point is the same- you and another youtuber decide to send each other a box full of goodies and when your box of goodies arrive, you film yourself opening it. Your swapee will do the same and you are both to link the other parties channel/video in the description so your viewers can go see what the other person got.

It’s a great way to help build your channel, especially if a bigger youtuber than you swaps with you. Their dedicated viewers will watch their video, then go see what they got you and most likely subscribe to your channel. It’s a simple, but fun concept and everyone wins… MOST of the time.

There are some cases where one of the people swapping wasn’t so kind and never sent a box, or sent a bunch of junk over. What do I classify as junk? Well, in most cases, swaps have a set of guidelines- a price limit, maybe a theme… so if you receive a box with something that didn’t fall into those rules, then I think that falls into getting ripped off.

Some of the most common swaps I see are international swaps where maybe someone from the U.S. will swap with some from New Zealand and they trade things that might be harder to find where they are. Another popular one I see is high-end makeup products generally with about a $300 limit, or something like your 5 favorite drugstore products for under $10.

Not only is it a fun way to spoil a friend while getting spoiled, it also allows you a chance to get new products you may have never purchased on your own.

OUR SWAP

So our swap was a little different. One night my mom, and our friend Melissa and myself were hanging out watching swap videos (just like any addict, I had to bring my friends down with me) and we all kept saying how fun it would be to do a swap. Even though I have a YouTube channel, it can be a little scary swapping with someone you don’t know so we just decided to swap with each other!

GUIDELINES 

We had pretty simple rules. It could be anything, just a box of fun but we did say to keep it in the $30 range. We also didn’t know who we were buying for. We didn’t set a date or anything, we just kind of let it play out.

My mom got so excited hers was done with in like a day… but me and Melissa took a little longer to get ours done so mom just had sit there with a fun box of goodies waiting to be opened.

OUR BOXES

For the next couple of weeks we spent time looking for stuff for our boxes. I LOVE buying for people so the shopping was the most fun for me.

We planned to have dinner at my house Friday after work, and then SWAP!!! So after some delicious chicken tacos made by yours truly, we got right down to the gifts.

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Now I need to mention that we did not leave Tegan out of this! She was so sweet helping me pick out items, and wrapping everything. She never once asked me for a box, so when I told her she would get one too she was THRILLED.

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So here we are with the boxes we will open. We decided to just pass to the right so Melissa got my box, Mom got Melissa’s bag, and I got my mom’s box.

We let Tegan open her box first because she was being so patient to get her “prizes”.

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She had the prettiest box!

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I just grabbed her a couple of things from Walgreens and the Dollar Tree. Her box had a few snacks, a new Doc McStuffin’s hairbrush, some beads, a coloring book, a dry erase board and markers, and some other little trinkets.

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We went youngest to oldest, so I was next. Clearly I was excited when I opened mine.

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I got the box my mom made. Funny story- she bought several of the items I bought.

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If you follow me on Instagram you already saw what I got- but here it is!
I could tell where my mom had me and Melissa both in mind while picking everything out. Those gummy bears, DEFINITELY bought for me, those Lindor chocolates? Definitely Melissa.

If you can’t see what all is here, I got:

-St. Ive’s spray lotion- this stuff is hard to find. I’ve been wanting this stuff for a long time but I can NEVER find it anywhere. I was super excited to get it.

-St. Ive’s travel soap and it smells soooooo good!

-3 little hand sanitizers

-3 face mask

-Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Nude Eyes set (I was actually going to put this my box but couldn’t find it at three different stores)

-Tree Hut Sugar Scrub (Again, I was actually going to get this in coconut lime but they didn’t have it when I went to buy it.)

-Owl notepad

-Candy

My box was wonderful!

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Next up was Melissa, she got my box!

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I kind of had a feeling she was going to get my box, so did Tegan but I still tried to be very balanced with my box when buying everything. It was almost perfect enough for mom and Melissa to split.

Melissas Box

I know you don’t know our personalities, but I bought different things with each person in mind.

Melissa got:

-St. Ive’s spray lotion -Remember how hard I told you it was to find? Well I found ONE bottle left and I decided to put it in my box. Good karma, because I got one anyway! (one of the items mom and I both bought.)

-2 Face mask… again, like my mom.

-Mini Lindor Chocolates -with Melissa in mind

-Mini Faroe Rocher Chocolates -with mom in mind

-Coloring book and markers -with Melissa in mind

-Puzzle -with mom in mind

-2 Wet n’ Wild nail polishes, a color for Melissa and a color for mom

-2 Wet n’ Wild eyeshadow pallets- again, the color choices representing both ladies

-Baby Lips because I loveeee Baby Lips

-Pur Nature soap and loofa -that soap smells sooooo good and I really wanted it for myself, but I wanted it to go in the box more.

-A cup filled with candy and a nutella snack!!

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Last was mom and she got Melissa’s cute Snoopy bag— we are big Snoopy fans!

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I was having so much fun and I couldn’t wait for mom to have her turn!

Moms Box

So mom got the most quality box for sure. I think it’s interesting to see how we chose to make our money go.

Mom got:

-Coconut bath wash and it smells sooooo good.

-Revlon PhotoReady eye art in gold and I had never seen it before but it was really neat.

-Revlon lip gloss in this shimmery baby pink and it’s so cute and soooo my mom.

-Purple nail polish and I love the color but my mom was so excited, she went and got her toes done the next day so she could wear her new polish.

-NYX Nude eye shadow pallet. Super cute and super nice and the colors would’ve been perfect if me or my mom got it but she went out Saturday night a wore this pallet and it looked really good on her.

 CONCLUSION 

Swaps are awesome, especially when you’re just celebrating the people you love just because.

We didn’t film our swap because we had never done one before, and we all had a long day and had we been worrying about filming, we would’ve missed out on absorbing each other’s energy while being together but I am glad we took a few pictures to remember that fun night. I had the best time just being together.

Remember, you don’t have to have a reason to celebrate someone you love!

Keep shining,
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If you enjoyed reading this, keep an eye out because we’ve already set the guidelines for the next swap!
If you have any swap theme ideas, pass them along- we’d love to do them! 🙂

A Little Thanks!

Hey beauties, HAPPY FRIDAY!!! 🙂

I hope you’ve had a wonderful week and that this weekend treats you right! I took a small break from blogging this week simply because the Back to School Giveaway has kept me very busy! Every time you leave a comment, share or post about the giveaway I pull out a special book and write it down. I have kept up with every single entry and I want you to know that I value each and every one of them! I wish I could give back to you all because you have helped my blog base grow quicker than I ever thought it would. I love reading through your comments, and whenever you add me, I always stop and go check your profile out too!

I started this blog as just a little side project- a small outlet for me. I enjoy writing and I’ve had a lot of fun things to write about. I was averaging about 20-40 views on the days that I posted a blog and maybe 1-5 throughout any other time. Now I am averaging 20 views an hour…DAILY. Do you know how much that makes my heart grow? I know I don’t have the deepest topics, or life changing advice but I do enjoy keeping this blog simple, light and informative about products I am currently using or the occasional post about my family.

My Instagram -which is my most used platform, has grown by about 400 followers.

My YouTube -which I hardly use, but I am trying to get better with uploading, has grown by almost 30 subscribers (and if you know how incredibly awkward I am in front of the camera, you know why this is such a big victory!) We even had one of our videos hit views over 1,000!

It’s important to me to share with you these milestones because YOU are who makes it happen. You are the reason that I feel the need to keep on writing, and sharing!

I am always looking to connect with others, and grow a bigger blog base- because the more people I can get to connect, the better stuff I can review.

Maybe one day I will have something incredible to share with you all and possibly change your life… but for now, this is a place for me to get away from everyone else’s opinions, and talk to you about how obsessed with my daughter I am and how good this shampoo I just got sent smells. (;

Again, thank you for reading and subscribing and following… and being interested in my little life. I have a lot of stuff planned for after the #BBLB2S Giveaway so I hope you stick around for it all!!

Enjoy your weekend, and soak up every second of it with someone you love!

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Looking To Connect

Hey guys and Happy Wednesday!

Today’s post is going to be a little different because this is geared directly towards fellow bloggers.

As you know, I am new to this whole blogging thing and I am really trying to get into the swing of it all, meet other bloggers & build up my readers.

If you don’t already know, I also have a YouTube channel, and I am very active on Instagram. I know I am not the only one on multiple platforms, so I thought I would take this time to invite you all to add me on all my social media accounts. (I promise this is worth it because I do host giveaways and I have TWO awesome ones in the works right now!)

I have enjoyed discovering new bloggers and I would love to connect outside of your blog. I think different social media platforms allow us to see all different sides of one person- and I think it’s great!

I am also ALWAYS looking for new blogs to get into, so please follow my blog and I will most definitely return the favor! I wish that I could narrow down what I cover into one category, but I can’t. I know that will probably work against me, but it doesn’t matter if I am talking about my home life and parenting, yoga or product reviews– everything I write about, I enjoy and that’s the entire reason I started this blog in the first place. So come be all over the place with me! Be interactive, don’t judge my lack of understanding twitter and don’t laugh too much at my dorky YouTube videos. But I would love to grow and expand and have you apart of it!!

YouTube  Instagram  Twitter  Google+

So please don’t be a stranger! (:

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Tegan’s Third Birthday Party *Pancakes and Pajamas*

So Tegan recently turned three, and for her birthday this year she wanted to have a Birthday Breakfast! This was a great idea because at this age, she doesn’t have many friends but we do have a lot of family- so it was a nice way for everyone to get together and celebrate her, but we still aren’t to the age where we have to do something really extravagant to keep a bunch of kiddos entertained.

A lot people have asked me what all we did for her party so I thought I would do a small blog post about it. It was super easy, and a lot of fun.

For starters we needed a venue. Our house is definitely not big enough to comfortably seat 40 people and feed them, so we used our church Fellowship Hall. This was a great place to use because they already had tables and seating available, plus a full kitchen so we were able to cook that morning.

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I used the round tables for dining and the rectangle tables for food and presents.

11073071_824429860967278_6051067172789103763_nI get a birthday “chalkboard” made every year and I used it as a decoration on the gift table.
It turned out so cute, you can order yours HERE!

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Tegan also decided that we needed to wear PJs to her breakfast party– and DUH, we did!
They turned out better than I could have imagined, and we got them from HERE!
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I spent the night before prepping as much as I could. Me and my dad precooked as much as we could and I set up the tables, and set out cups, plates, napkins… just anything to to make Party Day less stressful.

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You’re probably wondering what we chose for the menu? Well, we had a variety of stuff to choose from because we have gluten free family members, some that don’t eat pork, and some vegetarians- so we wanted EVERYONE to be able to enjoy!

For the drinks we just did coffee, orange juice, chocolate milk and had bottles of water.
We also had out snacks because we knew people would show up hungry, but since we wanted everything fresh- we would be cooking. So we had a spread of three different types of muffins, mini cinnamon rolls, fruit and donuts.

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The theme was Pancakes and PJs, so of course we had PANCAKES!!
We offered beef sausage, and Conecuh sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy,  turkey bacon, and pork bacon. We served everything in warmers.

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While everything was cooking we had small crafts for the kids. 11257127_824428880967376_5805546004229288362_n

We did cereal bracelets!

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I also made some little coloring sheets.

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And during breakfast we read If You Give A Pig A Pancake -they L O V E D it!

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And YES, we still had cake!! This little lady REALLY wanted a cookie cake!

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And then we opened presents!

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We finished out the party with Breakfast Themed Party Favors!

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It was really a wonderful morning spent with beautiful people. I was so pleased with how it all turned out! A H U G E thanks to everyone who help pull this birthday bash off!!

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Do you have any party plans you’d like to share? We LOVE to throw parties, and we are always looking for new things to try! Let me know what themes/ideas you have!

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June Yoga Challenge Week Five

Happy Monday, beautiful ones!

Today I bring you our fifth and final week of this little yoga series and I’m honestly kind of glad- because for me, it didn’t go exactly how I had hoped, but it was definitely worth a try and I have lots of plans for more yoga series in the future. Thanks so much for hanging in there with me!

Week Five: June 29, 2015

The Angel Card pulled for this week is: Reward Yourself

week5


Reward Yourself
“You’ve been giving a lot of yourself lately, and it’s time for you to receive. Make the time to reward yourself in a meaningful way. This balance of giving and receiving is essential to keeping your energy, mood, and motivation at a consistently high level.”

As we close out this series, looking back on all of the cards pulled, I find it so unique that everything went together so nicely. The main focus of this entire series was the balance of giving and receiving to live a healthier life– and it just fell together that way and I think that’s so incredible and definitely meaningful.

If you only take one thing away from this, I hope that’s it you remember that the world needs balance. YOU NEED BALANCE. Give and receive. Love and be loved. Forgive, and allow yourself to be forgiven. Take and give thanks. Do for others, and do for yourself. Work hard, and reward yourself.

Instead focusing on just one pose this week, I’d like to close with a Sun Salutation- and if you’d like, include the other poses we’ve focused on to create your own flow. You can start out with the Sun Salutation, flow straight into warrior, get your boat on, treat yourself to some child’s pose and go right down into corpse!

sun-salutation-surya-namaskar

I decided that doing Sun Salutation would be best suited for this week because it comes full circle, just like this series has, and I wanted to mix it up a bit.

Again I will say, make time for your body. Give your body time to heal, and nurturer it. It is yours, and it’s the only one you’ll ever be given so be kind to it. Love yourself.

Namaste