Category Archives: Blogging/Working

All things related to blogging, writing, photography and working.

My love/hate relationship with the month of February

A few years ago, the title would have just read, “my favorite month is February” followed by all the reasons under the sun that made me love the month of February.

I still love the month very much, but now the month comes with a dark cloud of remembrance for me.

I love celebrating birthdays, ask any of my close friends and family. I find excitement and pride in finding the perfect gift for someone’s birthday. I like to listen closely to clues, I try to remember what they appreciated while we were out shopping and I would say I retain information well.

As you can imagine, I also love celebrating my birthday. Which happens to fall close to February; my birthday is in March.

I believe my early love of my birthday started when I was single digits. I don’t have a lot of good memories with my mom, but I do have a fair amount of great memories of my birthday celebrations with her. Let’s just say, she went big, or she went home… this taught me early to value birthdays and that making someone feel special on their birthday makes you feel good too. PSA: My love language involves gifts and acts of appreciation. Mixed in with some positive chatter about how beneficial, beautiful, talented, creative, thoughtful and loving I am… blah blah blah.

Anyways, after lots of money and time invested thinking about it, in my heart I believe she always tried to do really cool things for my birthdays like the dirty dancing themed birthday party I had and another one that involved marijuana and a séance because the rest of the year she was pretty “hands-off”. She fumbled through parenting because she was very busy fumbling through her life with no real support or means of getting any. She was broken early on and spent a good amount of time doing things that kept her on a path that didn’t lead to anything positive. For the most part of her life. Once she learned how to stop getting in her own way, it was too late.  Despite the relationship I had with her as a youth,  and the 11 years we had no contact, we managed to create and nurture a new relationship.

She was diagnosed with stage 4 small cell lung cancer in 2008 I think and at this time I was still  active duty and received a red cross message and had to go. I bought her a beautiful peach Italian jewelry box as a gift to give her. Even though our parting terms probably would alleviate me of the responsibility of a gift. But it was engrained early that it makes people feel good and that makes you feel good. So after 11 years of no contact at all, I fly from Italy back to Texas with this jewelry box. She had a necklace waiting for me.  We spent time together and decided to move on and spend the remaining years together, in each others lives.

She became my best friend. She loved the man I picked as my partner. She walked me down the aisle and attended my bachelorette party. She loved her birthday too, and it was February 23rd. I miss her and I miss celebrating the hell out of her birthday because it always made her happy for months, no matter how sick she was at the time. I have those gifts now, and my daughter plays with them and they live on in her room. She never got to meet Charlotte. She was holding on past the 6-month sentence, but once she knew the pregnancy with Charlotte was healthy she passed soon after.

She would have been 53, but she would tell you 45.

February 23rd also happens to be my favorite aunt and uncle’s birthdays. She is the glue to our family and Adrian and I grew up pretty much like brother and sister.

The last reason I love this month is that my favorite holiday is Valentines Day. Go ahead, roll your eyes, I love this hallmark holiday. I  love being doted on, I love being taken out, I love receiving gifts as you already read. The date I knew Chris was the one was Valentines Day. He got the fucking memo and I was taken care of.

So, you can see the love/hate relationship I now have and will always have with this month. One minute I am thinking of my momma crying into my chocolates and another minute I am sobbing in a bubble bath full of new bath products. Poor Chris. I think he knew it was going to be an emotional roller coaster this month and planned ahead because he has received 4 boxes in 1 week from stores he does not shop at.

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Treat yourself to a delicious treat!

Want something that makes you think of a warmer and more tolerable time in your life? A more tolerable time like family vacation time somewhere with sand and or water. Well it’s here!

This delicious treat has a fresh taste. It’s peachy and mango mix is perfection.

Welchs Refreshingly Simple

Just add ice. Refreshingly Simple is a perfect name for this juice. It is both simple in make up and refreshing in nature; so naturally I stocked up immediately!

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Month 2 and 3

Not many things have actually taken place since the last post, yet here I am writing my planned update post later than I should have.

The part-time job waiting tables is going well. I mean it’s going out pretty much as soon as it comes in. So I would say it is successful.

Still nowhere to hide. Which in turn leaves just about no time for me to be alone long enough to stream in full thoughts, let alone get in down on paper or type it out. Which is the excuse I hide behind, but truthfully I feel like I am also experiencing writers block or lack of inspiration. There is a definite funk.

I don’t feel like arranging playdates on the few hours I have off and have free time. I can barely find the energy or mindset to get my always full list of things-to-do complete. Rather, I have been finding myself letting my mind wander and fantasize about the future far more often than I ever did before.

My husband must feel the same way, because we have taken a very large step-backward in our relationship recently. He has decided that he doesn’t mind the nagging and has decided that for now, he would be perfectly fine with me just telling him what needs to be done. How fun for me, guys. He has thrown in the towel and is fine with the nagging after all and has coined it “giving direction.” He doesn’t care to learn where I keep things, what chores need to be done, what needs to be bought, and so on. This is all temporary for him and he is not feeling motivated in the least to be here. Or happy or comfortable.

I get it.

He has secretly been visiting the house more than a couple of times a week. To watch the progress. I say secretly because for some reason at first I would get pissed if he talked about being over at “the new neighborhood.” I couldn’t really articulate why it annoyed me, but it did. And it did to a high degree.

After I saw some of the pictures he had been taking and sharing with other people, I was amazed at the progress. I realized quickly that I was only annoyed because I was jealous. Jealous that he had the time to drive over there multiple times a week. He would tell me to go by there and look at it, trying to get me to get excited with him. But I don’t have the extra time during the week, and if I did have time to get over there it would take about an hour or so to drive it, and with a toddler who is not napping that can be a pretty much terrible experience. I have errands to run on my days off, and it is already hard enough to shop with a toddler, adding an hour drive to that day sounds like a real treat. I also felt like I was missing out on part of the process.

So I let all that go, and now make him send me all the photos he takes immediately so I can feel like I am there and I can watch it grow with him. Problem solved.

Oh, and he got a really really sweet deal on fridge! So that is taken care of.

Let’s see what happens the rest of this month! We have a planned Thanksgiving trip that we always look forward to. More to come…

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Anxiety with a side of guilt, please

I knew that at some point I wanted to go back to working outside the home, part-time.  I hadn’t really decided on what I wanted to do and for how many hours. I toyed with a few different options, some for a day and some for months.

  • starting up a small photography business
  • writing
  • freelance photography
  • life-coaching
  • going back to serving part-time
  • blogging

All of these earn money and all of these have flexible schedules. I decided well before I had Charlotte that I wanted to be the one to stay home with her. I decided that before I even met and married my husband, actually. Not that I had some deep desire to start a family and stay home, but when and if I ever became a mom I realized that I needed to make myself available to them. That is the biggest reason I decided to wrap up my Navy career and focus on finishing school and starting a family.

Charlotte is now 19-months old and I assumed I would have already dealt with this transition. However my child is what you call a picky eater and sleeps as well as I do. Which isn’t well at all.  As ridiculous as some people may find this, I wanted to be available to help get her through this phase. With her milkers near by just incase it was a no solid food at all kind of day. I was determined that is was in fact just a phase. Luckily, I was correct.

All the reasons I held on to continue working from home only and holding off going back out into the big bad work force are in the review mirror now. She is sleeping well (teething has come to resting point) and she is eating like a vacuum. Especially when me and my irresistible milkers are out of her reach.

So the time has come, paperwork has been submitted and it is happening. I will be blogging and going back to serving part-time. Not just for the money, but for my sanity.

I know this. I know with my brain that we can do this and survive. Even though she has spent every single day with momma, and momma puts her to sleep every night, we will survive. I know this will be good for me, good for her, and good Chris. I am not an illogical person. But the guilt, oh it is consuming. The guilt of needing to be away and the guilt of not wanting to, they keep the wine aisle at Target busy.

My heart feels like everything will fall apart and she will be screaming for momma for hours until I am finally back home. My heart says she will miss me too much, and I will miss her too much. My heart is making my eyes water and I don’t even start until Thursday, and for only 4 hours. My heart can be annoying.

I knew the day was coming and in order to get on the same page and pull my big girl panties up I started seeing a counselor who I can pay to remind me we will survive. To remind me that this is my decision and not something I am being made to do. She reminds me that what I am feeling is normal and I am certainly not alone. All great stuff for someone like me. But, if she tells me to try meditating one more time,  I might have to start shopping for a new counselor.

So Thursday, equipped with some new tools, a new family member to motivate me and a new appreciation for adult conversation, my anxiety-fueled self will be resuming my old spot at O’Charleys and will be serving my favorite cocktails with a side of mommy guilt new assholes who tip lousy.

That’s ok, I will get to relax on the new couch I buy will that guilt-laced money.

Wish me luck.

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Premium BBQ Grill Brush

This item was definitely worth the wait. I had some unfortunate Amazon issues that made the process of receiving this item to try for a discounted price take just a little bit longer. It was my fault, but the company worked with me which is greatly appreciated!

This #PremiumBBQgrillbrush is phenomenal. It is feels sturdy and it is made with quality products. We have not cleaned the grill all summer, and it cleaned it in like 1 minute. And with little effort.

Grill Before

Pretty dirty. I actually bought my husband another grill cleaning kit recently, and the handle had broken off the grill brush. So he was in need of a grill brush and this one did not disappoint.

Grill After

The grill brush is heavy-duty, so I expect that we will be using this for summers to come. The BBQ grill brush cleaned the grill in less than one minute. We heated the grill, and the brush immediately removed all the remnants of grilling for months.

Grill Brush

We absolutely recommend this product! Hurry before they are GONE! #ad


The Part of Blogging I am Struggling with…

I have to start with the admission that I am very new to this blogging lifestyle. And yes, I would call it a lifestyle. For one, it is not something you automatically earn revenue from. It is definitely not as easy as most people think it is; you will not succeed if you do not devote time and energy into it. And similar to other careers, it requires you to stay relevant. Relevant with media and in the media.

I am only about a quarter of my first year into it and I am realizing quickly that I am going to have to bump up game. I may have underestimated my ability to juggle. It is not going to be as easy as I may have initially allowed myself to think it would be.

And thank goodness. I already have enough easy shit in my life, I just simply cannot add another easy task to my already full plate of other easy shit I am skating through.

Currently my plate consist of a one-year old, my sort of part-time gig, husband, two dogs, trying to sell our house (which means keeping it as clean as possible 24/7 and being kicked out at a moments notice so a stranger can snoop around my house), building a new home and finding invisible money to help with it all. Somewhere on that plate are my needs. But those aren’t really important for this post.

Once I realized that if I want to make a space for myself in the blogger-mom world, I better carve out 2-20 hours a week to invest in that dream. Which in 7 days, as a stay-at-home mom, anyone would see this as totally possible.

Still, I struggle to carve out that many hours since my child likes to be glued to me most hours of the day. Even with my husband usually available to over, it is hard to ignore the murderous screams from a couple of rooms over and stay on track. I would love the be able to tone out the “mom” cries and stay in the ‘zone’ or maybe sit in a Starbucks and avoid the drama all together, but some how it never ends up in my favor. At least not for long.

But all of that is not what I am  struggling with.

The part I struggle with is mirroring the exact behavior my husband and I said we would not do. I am constantly on my laptop and my phone. Capturing, captioning, posting, tweeting, sharing, reading, writing, planning, responding… all the things bloggers are constantly doing in order to stay relevant and to succeed.

The childhood I wanted for my daughter was the one I remember. Playing with kids, playing outside, reading books, pretend play mixed in with cartoons and snuggles. I by no means am going to pretend that she won’t be in front of that t.v her fair share. I mean, I do have to get shit done like the rest of you, but I desperately do not want her to grow up in front of a screen.

She is only one and she is the only child, so I do most of the entertaining and serve as her number one playmate.  She already spends more time than I anticipated watching cartoons because I had no idea how attached she would be to me and it’s literally the only thing during the day that allows me get anything done.

She already pretends my old iPod is her phone and carries it around with her most of the day. She knows how to take a selfie. At first it was cute. Now it just makes me feel guilty.

As a blogger, it is virtually impossible for your kids not to see you working. At some point during the day, your tiny human will catch you tweeting or posting or reading. No way around it. Because blogging is a lifestyle. I am trying to find balance within blogging and mommying, and it is difficult. I am struggling.

Me and Baby

How do you make it work?

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SavvyBaby Stroller Organizer to the Rescue

My husband and I love our #britax stroller, but it does not come with much storage so the SavvyBaby Stroller Organizer is perfect for us. I received this item for free to try to and I am so happy I did!

We have a one-year-old who requires a few things like cups, snacks, entertainment and other fun stuff so the lack of storage can really be an inconvenience as any mom can tell you. It’s like the one time you forget something all hell breaks loose. If you forget the wipes, there will be a dire need for them. If you forget a sippy cup, your toddler will lose their mind even though they don’t even like what you put in it. So yes, when you plan to be out of the house for a number of hours, you will inevitably need like 45 items. And having a stroller organizer makes life so much easier. I would much rather fill that bad boy up than tote a large diaper bag around. Any day.

There she is, in normal high-pace fashion.
There she is, in normal high-pace fashion.

This product delivers. The material cleans easily, which is vital for a toddler, and it comes with some cute and thoughtful accessories. Oh, and it is gender neutral! Right up my alley! I highly recommend.


Free SavvyBaby Stroller Organizer for the Win!

What Holidays Mean After Kids

it I realize that some small kids are just gems when they are out in public. They are quiet, responsive and respectful of people. Some small kids can go grocery shopping without crying or losing a shoe. And most kids can make it through the check-out line without screaming bloody murder when the cashier says hello or makes eye contact for too long.

Well, after 15 months I have come to the conclusion that I don’t have that kid.

No, my sweet daughter is very particular with how she spends her time outside the house. If she is not having fun doing whatever it is we need to do, then she is over it in about 15 minutes.

So, she is not a huge fan of shopping or eating out and she sure as hell does not have time for anything outside the house after 7 pm.

But, like most new parents we try every time. Every damn time.

I have started finding it a little amusing when people ask me what our big plans are for the holiday weekend or asking what we did after the fact. Because reality is, we have taken our first-born to something fun on every holiday and it has bombed in some way every time. The only time we considered  it a “success” was Easter, and she cried all the way home because she was exhausted.

So in normal fashion, we dressed in our festive attire and found something family friendly to do on the Fourth of July. On Saturday we had a big breakfast together, then I toted her around the grocery store, followed by the pool and then finally to a festival with activities for kids. She hated it all except the grocery store and that was because she rode around in the kid’s car shopping cart. I am unclear as to why I have never used that damn cart before. Or as to why they only have 3.

We were at the festival for about 40 minutes before calling it quits. It took longer to drive there and park. During that time we walked around the grounds with her pointing at everything, dancing, singing, trying to get her to run around, trying to get her to eat either french fries, ice cream or her favorite food, yogurt. Nothing worked for her, she was not getting jazzed about anything. Part of me didn’t blame her either. It was hot, loud and not much she could really get into.
Fourth of July


We ran into another couple with the same attitude about celebrating the holiday with a toddler during our brief attempts to eat. Coincidentally we found ourselves walking to our prospective cars at the same time.

I suppose we keep trying because we think it will enrich her childhood somehow. And maybe a little part of us still thinks ‘it could be fun.’

July Fourth with Dad

So that is how my holiday weekend pretty much went.

Kids get boo-boos, and other reasons moms have to toughen up.

If you are like me, you treasured the soft, new skin of your first baby. I spent the first few hours of her life just touching her. Her feet, hands, head… all so delicious. And if you are like me, you were quite the pansy before your first kid. Of course, you didn’t know it and would never have described yourself as such. I was a STRONG Navy chick before hand with a very real anxiety about giving blood and the dentist. I had never had any major surgery or even a cavity. I was a strong, independent pansy.

Sadly, that delicious new baby skin doesn’t last forever. I knew this, so I prolonged it as long as I could. I remember around 7 or 8 months when she was scooting around in her walker thinking that the days of her super soft feet were numbered; my heart sank. Right around that time the cute little topple overs were replaced with actual knocks to the noggin, so I didn’t have much time to dwell on it. Once they become mobile, mayhem follows, and thus the boo-boos.

The first time any real blood came from my child, she fell face first and her tooth cut the inside of her lip. Blood dripped down her chin as she wailed, tears streaming down her chubby face. I panicked and started crying too, cursing the toy and the carpet for hurting my sweet baby girl. Blood has always made me uncomfortable on top of that.

The boo-boos are coming about once a week now. Sometimes multiple times a day depending on her level of temper tantrums that day. Around 15 months your cute, chubby little cherub is long gone and now you wake up to a demanding, unrelenting busy body. And if your toddler is like my toddler, running, climbing, thrashing and ‘hiding’ are just daily activities that keep you adding Band-Aids to your shopping list.


When my daughter tripped and scraped her knee yesterday while we were out running errands and I handled without even thinking twice, focusing more on losing time rather than the blood gathering on her poor one-year-old knee. She gripped her knee for a couple of seconds, shed a few tears and was off again in under a minute. That got me thinking, when did I become numb to blood? When did I start handling cuts and scrapes without tears and curse words?

Charlotte Booboo

I am not sure when the actual moment occurred, but it did. I suspect it was a gradual progression of toughening up… but when you carry the title of mom it happens inevitably.

More reasons I believe moms toughen up are as follows:

All the poking a prodding we endure during the lovely phase of motherhood known as pregnancy.

Enduring pregnancy symptoms such as constant barfing, migraines, insane fatigue, peeing every 15 minutes and hormone imbalance all while trying to function day-to-day.

Cavities that follow pregnancy.

Surviving teething.

Having two to three forms of bodily fluids on you (that are not your own) is your daily reality.

Functioning on very little sleep over a long spectrum of time. Perhaps you’re not always performing at a 100%, but you are indeed functioning.


This is just a short-list people, I could keep going. What reason would you add to the list of reasons moms toughen up?


Monday, this Mom’s New Favorite Day

I realize I am probably in the small percentage of people who more than tolerate Monday, they actually like it. I can’t help it, I love a good Monday morning with coffee and my recorded Dateline. Monday for me means a full day of fun instead of a day full chores and errands. Maybe see some friends, maybe take Charlotte to the pool, hell, maybe take a nap when Charlotte takes one.

I remember a time not too long ago where Mondays were the enemy. Mondays meant usually feeling like shit from lots of drinking and no sleep. Weekends were much different before kids and Mondays were about recuperating from that weekend while trying to function at work.

Weekends around my house typically mean spending more time with dad while mom gets everything done that she couldn’t get done during the week. Chores, errands, projects… you know, all the things that fall very low on a toddler’s list of importance. Charlotte makes chores almost impossible to get done sometimes because she just loves to “help” and of course I can’t discourage that, so inevitably chores that normally take an hour or two somehow manage to take the entire day. Also, I really do like playing with her. Her giggles make the hard times suck less and watching her learn new things is important to me. So, weekends have become more about chores than leisure.

Saturday is filled with vacuuming, dusting, folding, disinfecting, and shopping. Sometimes there is time for a project or two. The husband usually has a project he needs to squeeze a few daylight hours into as well. Every now and then we do a fun family activity on Saturday, but for the most part the day is spent running around doing adult stuff.

Then there is Sunday. Sunday has a very special place in my heart as well, but it is no Monday. Sunday I generally get to squeeze some relaxing in, mostly in the form of a two-hour bubble bath. I also don’t have to do anything quickly. If we are going out, it is never super early. I get to take my time doing whatever it is I need to be doing, and daddy handles the day-to-day stuff like getting Charlotte dressed, meal time and playing. It is pretty sweet. Not to mention, if the weather is fitting I always get a nice long run in on Sundays. My runs are sporadic due to the South Carolina weather and lack of funds for a gym membership, so they are treasured.

So after all the chores are done, errands are ran and Sunday Funday has passed, I am pretty well recharged. Like most controlling and anxiety filled housewives, being productive helps keep me centered and happy. So once Monday rolls around and last week’s check-list has been knocked out and this week’s has been generated, I am one happy momma.

So this is why Mondays are my new favorite day. Mondays are the new Fridays over here.

Too bad today if fucking Wednesday.