The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday Five-On a Saturday

I really meant to post this yesterday.  But I didn't, so here it is today!

Friday Five-Books Edition

I have been reading more this year than I have in probably the last three years combined.  It is pretty awesome, being able to read more.  Turns out once you drop cable tv you have much more time on your hands!!!  So here are the last five-ish books I have read!

1.  The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay:  Yes, I realize the first is actually three books, not one.  If you haven't heard of this series, it is probably because it is more young adult than adult reading.  I first heard of these books from my step-mom who is a fifth grade teacher.  I really don't know if I should recommend these books or not.  While they kept me reading (I finished each in less than a day), and I was pleased with the ending, you should know that you are reading books that are centered around kids killing kids.  Seems a little crazy to tell someone to read a book about that.  So I won't tell you to read them, I will tell you that if you are looking for a series of books to keep you engaged, these three will do the job.  And, in case you were wondering, Hunger Games is being made into a movie that will be released March of 2012.  I haven't decided if I will see it or not.

2.  Bringing Up Girls.  This is a James Dobson book, a follow up if you will to his book, Bringing Up Boys.  I was very excited to read this considering I am currently raising two daughters.  This was a very informative book, and mostly confirmed what I already knew to be true about raising girls.  A must read for fathers who are raising daughters.  Turns out that in parenting, dads play a pretty major role.  I knew that already, but this book put things into perspective. 

3.  Same Kind of Different As Me.  Great. Book.  This is a true story about two people who become friends despite their overwhelming differences and backgrounds.  I couldn't put this one down either.  After reading this book I had a new perspective on homelessness and how God calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

4. Her Mother's Hope and Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers.   I have been on a Francine Rivers kick this year.  I think I have read all but two of her books.  This was not my favorite series of hers, but it was good.  If you are looking for good, Christian, fiction, look no farther than Francine Rivers.  Don't be intimidated by the size of these books, they are pretty quick reads as well. 

5.  Power Thoughts.  This is a Joyce Meyer book and a feel a little like I am cheating by putting it on the list.  I haven't actually finished this book, but am about half-way through.  It is an outstanding book and even though I am not done, I would recommend it.  If you are looking for a book that will help you align your thoughts with what the Bible says about you and your life,  this is the book for you.  You really can't go wrong with Joyce Meyer can you?

So there they are, the last five-ish books that I have read or mostly read.  What are you reading?  I need a new book, any suggestions?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Until this week I have hesitated to talk much about how I make extra money for fear of seeming pushy, or sales-y, or who knows what.  But the truth is, lots of fellow bloggers use their blogs as a way to make extra money by promoting their necklaces, hats, earrings, or what-not without fear of being judged, so it seems silly that I would continually avoid the topic of Mary Kay.  Especially when I am not even trying to sell products!

I love Mary Kay.  Seriously.  Love the products, love the girlfriends I have made, love the company as a whole, love the extra income, love the get the point.  But what I love more than anything is the fact that in this company what determines how far I will go or how much money I make is up to me.  Just thinking about that is kind of crazy.  I am not limited to a certain income level or a certain title because of my education or my ability to suck-up to my boss (I am my own boss).  It is that thought alone, that in this company all of my dreams for my future, for my family, and for my community could become a reality.

Now, I realize that being freshly back from a company wide event where we see the top of the top of Mary Kay ladies and hear motivational speeches and receive great training obviously has an effect on my current level of enthusiasm, but the fact still remains that what I say is true.  Mary Kay is an amazing opportunity that enriches the lives of women.

So here are a few facts you maybe did not know about MK as a business, as a person, and as a company.
  • Everyone, regardless of their position in MK, buys our products at the same price (from MK) and sells them for the same price.  No pyramids.
  • Everyone therefore makes the same amount of money from the sale of the products.  You can make as much money, or as little money as you desire depending on how much you are willing to work.
  • Mary Kay operates on the Golden Rule.  As consultants we also put our priorities in order of God first, family second, career third.  Mary Kay was a Christian woman and our company is full of Godly women who value doing the right thing, operating in integrity, and taking care of their families.
  • Women in Mary Kay are some of the highest paid women in America, making a million dollars with Mary Kay is not impossible nor uncommon.
  • The Mary Kay Foundation supports two causes, cancers that affect women, and domestic violence.  Here are some of their accomplishments from 2010. 
Granted 150 domestic violence shelters $20,000 each – a total of $3 million

Awarded 13 respected doctors and medical scientists $100,000 each in cancer research grants – a total of $1.3 million

Donated $500,000 to CancerCare Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free professional help to people with cancer, for its Touching Hearts program

Contributed $300,000 to the National Network to End Domestic Violence with $200,000 earmarked to support the Amy's Courage Fund, which provides assistance to victims of domestic violence and their children.

$80,000 to the Arbor Day Foundation for Nature Explore Classrooms at five domestic violence shelters across the United States

Raised $364,424 from donations at Seminar 2010

Raised more than $117,724 in the Dallas and Northeast annual MK5K®
  • Mary Kay is the number one best selling brand of skin care and color cosmetics and has been for over a decade.
So see there, Mary Kay is pretty awesome.   And when you consider the fact that when you purchase Mary Kay products you too, are helping support not only your local beauty consultant, but also such worthy causes, it is pretty wonderful.

I am so proud to be a part of this company, so proud to be an Independent Beauty Consultant that I am a little embarrassed that I haven't talked about it before.  This opportunity has allowed me to stay home while still bring in an income, allowed me adult interaction that is lacking being home with two toddlers, and provided me a way to stay in the working world without taking me away from my most important job of mom.  And if some day, my girls want to enter the pink bubble, I will tell them what a great opportunity it was for me and hope that they enjoy it as much as I do.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back in Action

Last Wednesday my sis and I took off for Dallas for our annual Mary Kay seminar, and while I have stayed (mostly) quiet on the subject of Mary Kay on my blog, that might change in the next few days.  After all, I have been surrounded by extremely smart, energetic, nice, well paid women who all value the things I value, like staying home to raise children and helping others achieve their goals, and contributing to their communities and I am EXCITED.

I am also excited to share the book series I have been reading with you....but I still have one book left to you will have to wait!

Being back home with the girls is great and for now we are all trying to get back into a routine part of that being my blog.  So look forward to some updates, some recipes and yes, even a post about MK.  See ya soon!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

thank you fellow bloggers

i would like to take a moment to say thank you to a couple of bloggers who i read regularly. 

first up, jami nato

jami recently posted an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe.  i knew i had to make them.  i am so glad i did.  they are yummy. 

from jami nato

side note, for awhile i thought i had somehow forgotten how to make cookies.  every time i tried the cookies turned out horrible.  they would cook on the edges, but never in the middle.  i was going crazy.  i finally decided i should not ever make cookies again.  and then....j suggested maybe it was the cookie sheet (air bake) and so i tried making cookies with a different cookie sheet and BINGO.  i have defective cookie sheets.  i was so relieved.  so now i am back making cookies again! whoo hoo.

second, sarah. 

sarah posted a to die for brownie recipe.  click on the link above.  read the recipe, and then immediately make the brownies.  you won't regret it.  my entire fam raved over them.

happy dessert eating!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Give UP

on my garden...not my children, or my husband or mary kay.  just my garden.  didn't want you getting worried.

seriously.  this has been the worst year ever.  i thought the year we attempted corn was the worst.  i was WRONG.  this year is the worst ever. 

this year we planted tomatoes, squash, zucchini and we have blackberry bushes that we have had now for several years.  so far we have harvested one zucchini, and three grape tomatoes.  that. is. it.  the 100+ temps have destroyed my garden.  no blackberries, the squash plant totally died and the tomato plants get blossoms and then do nothing.  it is so disappointing.  oh...and i forgot to mention the squash bugs.

these bugs are everywhere on my zucchini plant.  GROSS.  i hate bugs.  like hate them.  a lot.  the only thing i hate worse is hot weather.  so i am pretty much hating outside right now!!!

at least one plant in my garden seems to be tolerating this heat.  of course it is not a vegetable or fruit plant, but at least the whole garden isn't dying.

the black eyed susan's are going strong.

i should mention that i planted NOTHING in the garden.  j did all the work.  i just reap the benefits. is the pic of our lone zucchini.  isn't she pretty?

i feel certain i can't be the only one in OK having these issues....but maybe i am?  hopefully next year will be a more prosperous year.  i plan on adding potatoes to the mix.  several peeps i know had good luck this year with potatoes, so i figured we could give them a try.

oh yeah....have you entered my giveaway?  it ends tonight.  i will announce a winner tomorrow....even though i think i said i would do it today....i am doing it tomorrow instead!  go back and enter if you haven't!  who doesn't love free stuff?

Friday, July 15, 2011


I can't seem to get my thoughts together today.  Okay, really it is everyday that I am having this problem.  I think I have about a dozen blog ideas in my head, but nothing really is coming to me other than the idea to write about said topics.  So here is my Friday Five.  Five things I wish I had the time....and energy.....and motivation to write about.

1.  Friendships.  Specifically how hard it is to make and maintain good girl friendships.  I have been pretty terrible at being a friend in the past.  There are lots of people that would back me up on that, but as an adult, I feel I have improved.  It has taken a dedicated effort on my part and I wish I could write about all of my feelings on friendships.  I also would want to include losing a friend (not that they died).  I had a "bestie" once and we had a pretty major falling out.  It has impacted my "friendship life" pretty profoundly and I would want to include all of that as well.  As a side note, I do have good friends now!!!!

2.  My brother's wedding.  Things are so weird when your youngest brother gets married.  I want to blog about the weirdness, but there are several things holding me back.  Not the least of which is the fact that he reads my blog.

3.  Affairs.  More specifically how one would go about "affair-proofing" their marriage.  Several people I know or know of have recently discovered their husband was having an affair.  I want to know how to make sure it never happens to me. 

4.  Updates on my kiddos.  I would love to tell and show you all of the cute things they have been doing lately, but I have no pictures, and well, have no motivation to take pictures.

5.   Lastly, I have been tossing around another Money Saving Post.  The problem there is that it is getting harder and harder to save money.  I am not going to start making my own laundry detergent or eating only foods I have coupons for, and I have already cut cable, so finding extra ways to save money is getting harder.  If I find some, I will be sure to let you know. 

That's it!  What's on your mind these days?  What would you like to write about, but just can't seem to get your thoughts organized enough to say?  Oh, and have you entered my giveaway?  Have a great weekend. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Embracing the camera has become increasingly more difficult.  Jason and I are both going through a phase of feeling larger than normal.  Sadly that is because we are in fact, larger than normal.  It is hard to want to take pics of yourself when you aren't feeling super good looking.  During pregnancy I always get a very fat face.  I hate it and I am pretty sure I have mentioned by big face before.  It is horrible.  Anyway...back to the point.  Embracing is hard.  But, today, I captured a sweet moment with Belle and her Daddy.   Belle has always been a Daddy's girl and she loves the time she gets with him.  In fact, if it were up to her, I think she would ask me to leave!!!  So here it is....a pic of J with his girl.  He reads while she listens to music on my itouch.  They are two of my most favorite people in the world.  I am so blessed to have such a great husband and such a wonderful daughter.

Notice Belle is doing her famous smile where her eyes are squeezed shut as tight as she can.  Who knows where she got this from, but all of my pics of her look exactly the same!  Also, I want to mention what great taste she has in music.  Currently she is listening to Florence and the Machine.  Great pick on her part!

Want to join the embrace movement?  Check it out here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Giveaway Day

I am so excited to announce that I am hosting my first ever giveaway today!  I have never done one and I am looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.

Here's the scoop:

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my constant vomiting and use of several natural remedies to try and stop the madness.  One of those products was my Sea Band wristbands.  I was contacted by a lovely lady who offered to send me another package of them and also some ginger gum for me to review on my blog.  Of course I said yes! 

I am not usually one to promote a certain product on my blog and if I do mention something I love, I am not offended if someone doesn't share my opinion (except about Ray Lamontagne....everyone should love Ray).  Well, I do love my Sea Bands and I am happy to be giving a pair away to a lucky reader.

If you don't know what Sea Band's are, let me fill you in.  Sea Band wristbands are a natural remedy for nausea caused by morning sickness, motion sickness, chemo and post-operative situations.  Many studies have proven their benefits, a recent study finding that they significantly reduced nausea and vomiting in those who had suffered with migraines for more than 26 years.  They are a one-size fits all and use acupressure to work.  They of course do not involve any drugs and therefore are a very safe alternative for pregnant women or in conjunction with medicines you may already be taking.  They are safe for adults and children and can be washed and reused should they get dirty.  You can buy them at any local drugstore/superstore, or online.
If you want additional info, visit

Mine have obviously come in handy for morning sickness and nausea.  I can't truly tell you that they alone solved the problem, but I can say they have helped significantly along with a few other natural products including ginger and b-6 tablets.  I had a massage recently and my massage therapist, who works with cancer patients, went on and on about their benefits in the patients he works with going through chemo.  I don't leave home without them.   You must wear them both, not just one and you must position them correctly on your wrists, but that part is so easy anyone can figure it out.  In short, I am so glad I spent the money on them and I am thankful for a safe alternative to help with nausea.

Now for the gum....I am not giving away the gum.  Unless you want me to send you an opened package of gum.  If you do, just let me know and I'll send the package your way.  Let me start off by saying I hate ginger.  Like hate it.  I have to believe that the taste of this gum, which I also did not enjoy, has to be related to the ginger oil it contains.  I cannot attest to the gum's effectiveness at helping with motion sickness and nausea.  I spit it out pretty much right away.  If you hate ginger, I can't imagine you enjoying this gum.  If you don't, and you need some anti-nausea products, it may be perfect for you.  I, on the other hand, will stick with my wristbands. 

So there you have it.  The wristbands are great.  The gum tastes like ginger.  Want to win yourself or a friend a pair of Sea Band wristbands?  It's simple.  Step 1:  Follow my blog.  Step 2:  Leave a comment telling me who would get the wristbands if you won.   Would it be you or would you give them to a preggo friend or someone you know suffering with chemo? 

See?  Told you it was easy.  If you know someone who doesn't read this blog, feel free to send them this way to enter.  I like new people. 

Winner will be announced next Tuesday morning.  A whole week to enter!  I will choose a winner at random!  Have a great day and good luck!

Monday, July 11, 2011

I Lost My Kids Today....

or at least I thought I did.

Let me start out by saying that my children were never in harms way.  They were fine.  It was me who was freaking out and losing my mind.

Here's how it happened:

I was on the phone this morning trying to sort out some plans for after my brother's wedding on Saturday and the girls were playing in Isabelle's room.  Eventually I noticed that they were pretty quiet, but I wasn't overly concerned so I kept talking.  After getting off the phone I realized it was time for us to leave for me to go meet a customer.  We needed to hurry so that I wasn't late, so I went to get the girls.  I went into Belle's room and they weren't there.  Weird.  So, I went to Molly's room.  Not there either.  I start to panic.  Oh, crap.  They are probably in my room making a colossal mess.  So I run to my room, nope, not there.  Not in my bathroom either.  Run to their bathroom, not there.  Wait, where are they?  Not in the laundry room.  At this point I am screaming for Isabelle.  Like screaming.  Nothing.  I check the doors.  Both front and back doors are locked ensuring they aren't outside.  I run back to all the bedrooms screaming my head off like a crazy person, they are nowhere.  And despite the fact that I am screaming for Isabelle, I don't hear anything coming back.  Now I start flinging open closets.  Belle's room first.  Nothing.  Then my Mary Kay closet, nope, still nothing.  Molly's room.  Fling open closet while screaming and yep...there they are.  Sitting quietly playing with dirty clothes, clothes that no longer fit, diapers and shoes.  Just playing nice and quiet apparently oblivious to my screaming and hollering for them. 

They were fine, I was a mess.  Someday I am sure this will make me laugh.  Today it did not.  Hope your Monday has been a lot less traumatic! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Adventures In Cooking

I realized it has been awhile since I have let you in on some of the new desserts and dinners I have been making for the fam.  Since I spend a lot of time in the bathroom these days with what can only be referred to as "all day sickness,"  I am not spending a lot of time cooking.  But, I have still managed to try a few new things and I'll let you in on two of them today.

First up is a new favorite dinner at our house, Broccoli and Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes.  I am not sure where I came across this recipe.  It was in a book for expecting mothers and had recipes based on what trimester you were in.  I tried to find the title on the internet, but there were like a billion recipes for broccoli and cheddar potatoes.  Here is the recipe for the ones we make.

4 baking potatoes
olive oil for rubbing
1 and 3/4 lb broccoli, separated into florets
2c low fat cottage cheese
1 large tomato, cored and diced
2 and 1/2 c grated cheddar cheese
2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400.  Bake your potatoes like normal (be sure to poke the holes and rub them with the olive oil).  Bake for 45-60 min until tender.

Meanwhile, bring 2in of water to a boil in a dutch oven.  Stir in the broccoli.  Cover the pot and steam the broccoli until it is bright green and crisp-tender, about five minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold running water.  Set aside.

When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oven.  Do not turn off the oven.  Carefully slice each potato in half lengthwise and allow them to cool slightly.  Scoop the flesh from the potato halves into a bowl, taking care not to tear the skins.  Stir in the cottage cheese, tomato, 1 and 1/2 c of the cheese and the cooked broccoli.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Divide the filling among the hollowed out potato halves.  Cover with the remaining cheese.  Put them back into the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, about 10 minutes.  Serve hot.

For your info:  There will be some leftovers of the potato mixture.  I used this for Molly since she didn't know the difference!  Also, I used more cheese than the recipe called for...who doesn't love a little extra cheese?  Everyone loved these potatoes, even the kiddos.  In fact, we are having them again tonight!

Now for the dessert!  This was a big hit at our get together with my sister's family for the 4th!  It is easy and yummy!

Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream Slice

We did make one change and used Oreos instead of Chips Ahoy!.  I still used about 14 cookies and it turned out super delicious. 

Two very easy, very yummy recipes that you can make any night of the week.  Let me know if you have any recipes you think I need to try out! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Where Am I?

You can find me today over at  Jess is doing a very cool series about stay at home moms!  Go check it out! 

And, Happy Fourth of July!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Five-Molly

I realize it is late...but as the saying goes, "Better late than never."  Right?  Right?

Molly is 15 months old.  That fact kind of snuck up on me.  Well, not really that she was 15 months, but I totally forgot that kids have a 15 month checkup.  That is until I started reading blog posts and f/b statuses about 15 month checkups for other kids.  Called the doctor to find out if we needed to schedule one only to realize we did have one scheduled.  For like three hours later.  Luckily I wasn't doing much except for hanging out in my pjs and eating saltines. 

So, today's Friday Five is info about Molly at 15 months!

1.  Molly weighs 22lbs and 6oz putting her in the 44th percentile for weight and is 31 and 3/4 inches long, putting her in the 86 percentile for height.  Tall and skinny.  She'd better enjoy it while she can.  No one in this family, my side or Jason's is tall and skinny.

2.  She is perfect!  Really, the doctor said so.  She is talking the right amount, even a little more, saying words like done, eat, more, baby, ball, water, mama, and dada.  She eats like a horse and is drinking from a cup, not bottle.  She has 8 teeth, and more coming in.  All right on track for her age.

3.  Molly is the sweetest girl alive.  She gives hugs and kisses, loves to sit on my lap and would spend the whole day with me holding her if she could.  Molly is just sweet.  No other way to say it!

4.  Compared to other children (I won't name names....Isabelle) Molly is extremely laid back.  She isn't loud, she walks places instead of constant running, sits and reads books (Belle didn't do that until she was a little older), really doesn't scream and is content to play by herself.

5.  Her sleep habits are pretty great.  She is currently in the phase where she is outgrowing two naps, but isn't all the way there yet.  She sleeps from 7 pm until about 6 or 7 am.  Naps in the morning and afternoon, but sometimes refuses one of them.  She lays right down and goes to sleep about 90% of the time.  She also HATES having things in bed with her.  We have tried her bear-bear, doll that lights up and plays music, minnie mouse toy and a pillow.  She throws them all out.  However, she is a blanket lover.  She got a blanket from her grandma and she loves it.  She sleeps with it and then carries it around with her for awhile when she wakes up.

So there it is....five, okay way more than five, things about Molly.  But at least I put it in five separate paragraphs!  Happy Fourth.  Have a fun and safe weekend.  And in case you were wondering...still puking, just not as much!  It's improvement and I'll take it.