Monday, September 1, 2014

Turn it Up Tuesday Guest Hosting Gig!!!

September is here!!!
Why am I so excited being that it's back to school for some and the cold weather will be creeping up sooner rather than later.
Well I am excited for several reasons one is September is my Birth Month and another is I will be guest hosting Turn it Up Tuesday with some amazing women I have come across on my Mommywood journey. So please come join me, have some fun, find some treats, tricks and tips add your own and let's make September a party for everyone involved!!! xo


Welcome to the 50th week of Turn It Up Tuesday!
September is a big month for us at Turn It Up Tuesday - this is our 1-year anniversary!! It has been an amazing year - and we look forward to many more to come!
A big thank you to everyone that has stuck with us for the past year - even if you've only been here a few weeks or a few months, you are greatly appreciated! And to all those that are just finding us here at Turn It Up Tuesday - thank you for stopping by and linking up with us! Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this blog hop the best that it could be!
As you may know, Turn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic...and having fun! Link up your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments -- anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time!

SPONSOR OF THE MONTH

Tara from Anything and Everything

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"Welcome to Anything and Everything! I am a wife to an incredible and talented graphic designer, a mom to a new baby boy, and to another baby of the four-legged variety. Here you will find everything ranging from DIY projects, food and drinks, kids stuff, and anything in between. With my zest for life and my husbands passion for design, we are never at a loss for unique and entertaining ideas. I try to update this blog as often as possible, so be sure to visit often for more adventures! Sit back, relax, grab a beverage, take a look around and enjoy!"
Stop by and check out her blog...it's definitely a great read!
Are you interested in having your blog or website featured in this spot? Then, sponsor Turn It Up Tuesday for a month! Click here! It's only $5 for an entire month! We're accepting sponsors for 2015!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

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(from the top - left to right)
Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma's Ramblings | Jessica from The Wondering Brain | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | April from 100lb Countdown | Tara from Anything & Everything | Kae from Where's My Pacifier? | Kelly from Making-More | Rachel from Craving Some Creativity | Cindy from Mom Maven | Kimberly from Keystrokes by Kimberly| Rhonda from Mother 2 Mother | Jillian from Baby Doodah | Chelsea from Mommie and Wee | Tenns from New Mama Diaries

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for September!

TUT Sep 2014
(from the top - left to right)
Elie from Chocolate and Crockpots | Becky from bybmg | Cathy from Three Kids and a Fish | Lauren from Life In The Wilde | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Meghan from Life with Peanut | Yolanda from That's Mashed Up | Melissa from The Coupon Chronicles | Michelle from Failing Perfect | Mila

Interested in being a guest host or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly co-hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis. We're now accepting guest hosts for October, November and December.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

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Ce Ce chose Homeschool Days - A Day In The Life 2014-2015 from Life's Hidden Treasures. "I'm new to homeschooling and need plenty of examples of how to create an effective schedule, I thought this post was very helpful!"
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Becky chose 15 Tips to Carving the Best Pumpkin from Living Frugal with Erika. "I love this post because I'm itching for fall to truly get here. I love carving pumpkins with my son and can't wait to use some of these tips this year."
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Rachel chose Easy Ways to Earn Extra Money For the Holidays {From Home!} from Work at Home Wisdom. "Seriously, the holiday rush will be on us much sooner than we even want to think about. And I love earning a little extra money. She has put together a great list and her own experiences which is really valuable."
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Kelly chose Homemade Starbucks Caramel Apple Cider Recipe from My Frugal Adventures. "I love the caramel cider from Starbucks, but a yummy version that you can make at home is much better."
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Tara chose Double Tiered Wood Slice Serving Platter from Houseologie. "I love how Leigh Anne created an amazing serving platter from a couple pieces of wood slices from the craft store. So creative and unique!"
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Sandy chose My Toddler Isn't Talking Yet - Should I Be Worried? from West Coast Mama. "I had a really hard time picking my favorite this week, but I ultimately decided on this post because, to me, it summarizes the most important guide we have in parenting. We have to rely on our gut instinct. As parents we know our kids better than anyone else. Our gut will tell us which way to go when we have a concern about our kids."
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Kimberly chose My Picks For The 2014 Best and Worst Emmys Dresses from Mother 2 Mother Blog. ""I love seeing the stunning attire on the red carpet at awards shows. The Emmys did not disappoint this year and Rhonda nailed it with her picks. Find out where Halle Berry, Camila, Alves, Lena Dunham, and Viola Davis landed on her list."
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Cindy chose How We Succeeded In Becoming A One-Income Family from Life's Hidden Treasures. "We have been living off basically 1 income for the last 23 years. I brought a lot of debt into our marriage...don't do that! We have worked hard and have just a little debt left. Our house and cars are paid off all that is left is 1 pesky old credit card and a small loan. Living on 1 income is not as difficult as it seems when your priorities are in order."
Chelsea also chose this post. "This post was surprisingly inspirational. When I found it on the linkup, I thought it would be a how-to, step-by-step post on saving money, which I'm always looking to do. Instead, Cathy shared her family's experience and how they have 'freed' themselves through tithing. Such a great reminder of what is most important in life. So happy I found this post!"
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Stacey chose Homemade Soap Scum Shower Cleaner from Robyn's View. "Now that we are a single income family, I am always trying to find new homemade cleaning recipes. I can't wait to make some to try in our bathroom! Thank you so much for sharing!"
Why I Was Scared To Have A Boy
Natasha chose I Was Scared to Have A Boy from The Contented Wife Blog. "I was so fearful of having a boy...I didn't know what to expect and I worried about the same things that you did. I worried that he would grow older and shun me or our mother-son bond wouldn't withstand the test of times. I still worry about those times - but I cherish the moments that I have with him now. And I'm glad that I did that, rather than worrying about everything else. Those are the moments that will last forever, even well after he's married and moved on with his life. But you're right - sons always have a bond with their mothers, well after they move on with their life."
Victoria also chose this post. "I chose [this post] because it was a topic I could relate to. When I found out I was pregnant with my first son I was scared out of my mind. I knew boys were rough and felt they were harder to raise than girls were. I had no clue how I would make it as a mom of a boy. Therefore, when I saw this post linked up this week it immediately gained my attention."
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The post with the most clicks is 7 Tips To Gain and Keep Followers from Natural Beautism and Flappings in Life.
 
Stop by and show some love to our featured bloggers this week! I'm sure they'd all appreciate it!
If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!
Epic Mommy Adventures
<div align="center"><a href="http://epicmommyadventures.com" title="Epic Mommy Adventures" target="_blank"><img src="http://epicmommyadventures.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/200pxturnitupbuttonfeature1_zps09bd5c75.png" alt="Epic Mommy Adventures" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
 

And the Best of the Best is...

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7 Tips To Gain and Keep Followers from Natural Beautism and Flappings in Life
Why I Was Scared To Have A Boy
I Was Scared to Have A Boy from The Contented Wife Blog
Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!
As the Best of the Best, you win free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures for 30 days! Please showcase the badge below with pride on your blog!
Please send an e-mail to Natasha at 1EpicMommy@gmail.com and she will provide you with all the details!
Epic Mommy Adventures
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So now that you've met our sponsor of the month, our hosts and co-hosts, and the Featured and the Best of the Best...

let's get started!

  • Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.
  • Link up as many posts as you'd like! The more, the merrier!
  • Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!
Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!
Epic Mommy Adventures
<div align="center"><a href="http://epicmommyadventures.com" title="Epic Mommy Adventures" target="_blank"><img src="http://epicmommyadventures.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/200pxturnitup1_zps05216d89.png" alt="Epic Mommy Adventures" style="border:none;" /></a></div>
Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week!

Interested in reading all of the Featured Posts on Turn It Up Tuesdays? Or do want to know if your post was featured before we go live next week? Follow Natasha Peter's board Featured on Turn It Up Tuesdays! on Pinterest.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

How are You?

This is a mini I want to say what is on my mind moment....

A pet peeve I have developed for some time now.

All due to this question...How are you?

Simple enough, right? Well not so simple if you are asked but then are cut off just as you are about to respond to the question.

I mean really?

I understand that people think it is being polite to ask but I believe unless you really want to know, unless you are prepared to listen to the response...just don't ask. Come up with something else to say or comment. Save everyone the trouble. That will be so polite.

I am not saying that we should all go into a monologue about our lives. That we should be investing x amount of time with everyone on a daily sharing what we are up too. What I am saying is...if you ask or are being asked then allow for a few minutes of proper exchange.

What got me to feel this way? Well I had (yes, past tense) a "friend" who without fail every time she would ask me this question would not allow me the proper time to respond. I would say something like "well things are good or coming along" and then she would get right back into her life and her goings on.
Another example is I was on a call once at my office, invested over seven(7) minutes with this person chatting up about his wife, kids and so forth then he asks "so how are you?" and just as I was about to respond he says "oh can you put so and so on the phone?" I mean geez, really you couldn't play it off and wait till I at least said "doing well or doing ok?"

How are you is a great question in which we can practice listening.
This pet peeve resurfaces just in time for back to school and end of summer.
As parents communication with our kids and taking the time to actually listen to their day is very important. It is the time in which our bonds can grow stronger and we let our kids know, hey we are here for you we care.
So slow down, next time the question comes up either with you or someone else, take the time to really listen and focus on those few moments with that person.

Mindful behavior. Things I think about.
What do you have to say?

Always stress free xo

Thursday, August 28, 2014

French Lessons

Thursday's treat!!!

Talk about aiming high and accountability!!!

About two years ago I set out to test myself and try new things. Those of you who follow me often have read some of my shares about the changes I have gone through in the last couple of years.
One of the many things that fascinate me in life and have always caught my attention is Languages.

The sounds, the origins, the writings. The history of language, how it's evolved and how amazing it is that the younger you are the easier it is for you to pick up more than one language.
As we get older our brains don't cooperate too much smh and it's just a little bit more difficult but not impossible.

On this quest to be fearless and try new things I decided to teach myself French, one of the 5 Romance languages. Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian are the other 4. I already have Spanish down pat!!!
I didn't even know there were 5! I just wanted to be able to say I love you in French. What an added bonus to learn about the others and to realize I already knew one, go figure lol.

I began to think about what tools I wanted to use and of course me being all about stress free and doing my on thing I went the opposite direction of a classroom setting, of Rosetta stone or of listening to tapes.
I decided to teach myself by using beginner French children's books and Google Translate.

Here is a picture collage of me and a day in my lessons and the tools I use.


I started with basic words and phrases, using Word program to compile my 2 column mini flash cards.
One side English other side French. On the French side I would jot down notes or break down of the word as I heard it so that I can pronounce them better.
I did about 8 to 10 words per sheet, folded in half and cut them down to size.
I started by practicing every day but when I began to add more "fearless" challenges to my life I bought lessons down to twice a week.
Almost 2 years later I still add about 10 words or phrases a week and I still study twice a week. I have learned over 400 words and phrases and I have enjoyed every minute. 
I am especially proud when I hear someone speaking French and I can understand to some degree what they are saying!!!

This is an on going process for me, I am by no means ready to go to France alone or hold a full conversation but I am by far much more prepared than I was 2 years ago.
Which lets me know anything is possible if you are willing to try.
I can read it much more than I can speak it but I sure continue to enjoy trying.

Italian would have been a little easier of a choice being I can get some of the words because they sound Spanish but that would not have been fearless that would have been a short cut.

What have you done recently that was fearless and tested your comfort zone?
How as parents, can testing ourselves be great lessons for our children?

Always stress free xo

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

We were Best Friends until we Weren't

Through thick and thin!

Your the Ying to my Yang

We've been together since we were in diapers. 

These are some of many statements used in Friendships. 
Those bonds we form throughout our lives that we think will last forever.
Connecting with that one person or several persons that really get us, accept us, love us. 

We share laughs, secrets, heartaches, clothes.
We go to school together, play sports together, go on vacations and maybe even double dates.
We grow our personal relationships around them, we share break ups and reconnects and break ups and new loves.
We buy cars, build homes and even get married or move in with our partners as our years together evolve. 

But what no one can foresee and many of us don't expect is the change that awaits us when Baby comes along.

Of course we are happy, over joyed, excited, pleased.
Of course we imagine and look forward to being called Auntie or Uncle. 
Of course in our minds we see baby showers, parks, birthdays, first steps, baby teeth etc...
What we don't see is the reality of time
The reality of change.
The reality of pending shift of priorities

It isn't rude or an assumption that friendships do change or shift slightly once we become parents. If we say that isn't true then we are not being truthful. 
We are not being genuine. 

Everything changes when Baby comes. 

Now why, how, what, and where is left up in the air for each individual to figure out. 

Why
You would think it is obvious but until another human being relies on you why is not clear. It is one of those things you try to plan and prepare for but can't really grasp its magnitude until you are in that moment. You are no longer able to pick up and go, life is no longer just about you that is Why.

How
You now start to shift your focus on building your family, keeping your child safe, preparing yourself to become a nurturer, care giver, doctor, teacher. No longer are the late night chats or picking up your bag and walking out the door even an issue you think about.
What restaurant is the latest must try is the last thing on your mind. You are now concerned that your time is managed properly that is How.

What 
Your sleeping habits, your eating habits, your financial needs and wants, your body, your partners thoughts about your body, the time you have for yourself, the time you spend outside your home, the activities you do, the new people you start to connect with, who you call, when you call, the topics you talk about these are some of the What.

Where
Things in your home, things at work, your connections with people, how you allocate your priorities, your mind, the car you may drive, the places you may visit these are some of the Where.

Can we do anything about this? Is this just an exaggeration? Are new parents the only ones affected or does this carry on as the kids grow older?

I can share from first hand experience that yes we can to some degree, that no it is not an exaggeration, that no new parents aren't the only ones affected it is just a major change for everyone that first year and that things will continue to shift as your child gets older.

I experienced this with several of my H.S. friends. We use to do just about everything together then slowly but surely as each one of us had our babies the shift began to take over.
The most crucial change for me though was with my bestie Cynthia. I have written about her in the past.
We were friends since 2nd grade. So to say our lives changed and we had some tough hills to cross over is an understatement.

When I shared I was expecting she couldn't wait to start shopping and planning. As my belly grew she also grew with more excitement and anticipation. She would be Titi Cindy or Titi Cyn and if I had a boy because she loved boys she had all the outfits and haircuts planned out for at least the first five years. If it was a girl the outfits were planned and the accessories were already ordered.
This was a great time, lots of laughs lots of fun.

Fast forward 8 or 9 months after my daughter was born and she thought I would be roaring to go back into the club scene or looking forward to late nights with the girls and I was perfectly happy with Brunch dates, shopping dates, calls, visits or strolls that the laughter stopped and the tension started.
It wasn't like I didn't try to compromise or she didn't try to understand, we both tried but it is just not the same when one has a child and the other one doesn't.

So, unfortunately as time continued to pass we grew apart and stopped speaking to one another. The attempts at light conversations or get together grew uneasy and we both just let go.
It was an adjustment but I had my Lil mama now and that was were my focus went.

Almost 3 years passed and I often wondered about her and her family, one day I was in her old neighborhood visiting my Grandmother with my daughter and I decided to reach out to her.
I told my daughter we were going to visit an old friend, we walked to her block, rang her doorbell and walked up the stairs.
To my surprise she had a child of her own, a boy, the son she had always wanted. Our light conversation turned into a dinner and our dinner turned into a late night sitting on the couch yapping away while the kids played together in the room.
From that day on we were together and closer than ever till her passing almost 7 years ago.

One of the touching moments of that day was her admission to lack of understand of how my life had changed the day my daughter was born and how it wasn't till she herself had her son that she could grasp the shift.
It was a great relief indeed and a great point of connection.
I am so grateful I took that walk to her door, I took that chance even if it was 3 years later because it allowed me to share many great years and moments with her and my nephew.
It has allowed me to have no regrets about our friendship.

Parenting is such an awesome journey for those who choose it, I always say. It is when we must learn to blend and balance things around it, that our journey can have some rough spots.

Have you had similar issues in your connections? How have you navigated the changes baby made in your lives? Share your stories, would love to hear how you have dealt with things.



Always stress free xo