THE MAGICAL SUPER FULL BLUE BLOOD MOON-JAN 31 2018 AND WHY YOU WANT TO PREPARE FOR IT

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I have always felt a strong spiritual connection to our universe. I would read for hours about each constellation sign and how it applied to each person in my life, as well as the happenings going on in my own life. I find the moon, the stars, the planets-the universe-so mystifying, cleansing, rejuvenating, romantic, + spiritual.

Since I became a mom, and I still nurse my baby, I am often up quite a few times during the night. One of my favorite things to do is to go on the deck and sit on the blanket and look up at the wild, open, beautiful sky, and I just say thank you for all the things I feel so grateful to have or experience. I rarely get *moments* to myself ( like this one I’m taking right now to write this blog post, whilst she naps), so in the still of the night, the light of the moon, I take whatever time I need to just release whats on my mind.

Why is this super full blue moon so magical? Because not only will we have a rare magical blue moon, there will be a total lunar eclipse AS WELL as it being a SUPER BLOOD MOON. IS THAT NOT FUCKING AMAZING?! the last time this happened was over 150 years ago in 1866. this crazy trinity event represents mind, body, and spirit. and the fact that this will be the second full moon in the same calendar month like, January ain’t playin around.

Since the sunlight has to pass through the earths atmosphere, it scatters red light, thus the moon will appear “red”- a blood moon.

The energy that has been circulating this month has been INTENSE. have your periods been off/heavier? have you been more moody? cant sleep or feeling restless? more emotional? The moon affects our vibe, our energy, our cycles. Right before a full moon you might notice things are…off. So why do you want to “prepare” for the moon?

Because you have a chance to manifest really good things into your life. PRIME EXAMPLE AS OF LITERALLY TODAY: Last new moon on jan 1st I asked the universe for unexpected forms of income (I’m a SAHM and it helps), so I made NO ATTACHMENT to where this money would come from. I am open to wherever the money comes from. Well, I used to coach for beachbody until I got pregnant and didn’t work out or coach and haven’t since (its been over a year), and to be honest, I miss it -ALOT, and its been on my mind lately that I might want to coach again. WELL, MF TODAY I get a check in the mail ( enough to get some groceries), and I haven’t done the business in over a year. GOSH, talk about an unexpected form of income.

So yeah, take 15-30 minutes out of your night tonight to set up a little ritual or space where you can quietly connect to the universe and BOLDLY ASK the universe for what you want and need. this is your opportunity to really look at the signs that keep popping up in your life that you finally need to listen + pay attention to.

This is the time to ask for healing, release old behaviors or patters or habits, ask for guidance, set your intentions for the things you are working towards like a new job, a creative project, or maybe you want more money, more time, freedom. ASK FOR IT, then show up in your life and you will see the fruition from your prayers.

Here’s just a few ways that I hold my moon rituals:

just about everything you want to cleanse energies or place intentions on goes into the light of the moon, so on a window sill or on the actual ground of the earth with the moonlight shining over it. I call it “charging”. 

  • filter water in a mason jar and it sits under the moonlight=moon water
  • light candles
  • burn incense
  • have a table, blanket, or nice big glass bowl
  • any crystals you may have go under the moonlight
  • I also put any pieces of jewelry or ANYTHING of importance into a big crystal bowl. I put my daughters amber teething necklace, my wallet, my ring, my necklace, my lost cats collar, pretty much anything that I feel I want to cleanse under the moonlight.
  • I have chill music that I like to vibe to

Then I speak from my heart and my soul and whatever desires come up, I speak in detail about the dreams I have that I want to become reality. It feels really good to connect with something greater than you, that you feel is actually looking out for you AKA the universe has your back.

I hope you ANY amount of time you can spare and make that connection tonight to set any intentions or desires that you want to see fulfilled. Be open to UNEXPECTED outcomes to your circumstances and just know that, e v e r y t h i n g is meant to be.

xoxo

Lisa AKA natural modern mama

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Tips for an Easy Day at Magic Kingdom

As a Walt Disney World Passholder and someone who legitimately lives about 12 minutes from the Magic Kingdom gates, I go to DisneyWorld a TON. I LOVE taking the boys there while they’re still young enough to pass for “free” ages, and it’s such a fun time. Since my husband works, he’s not always able to go with us, especially during the weekdays- when I really love going to avoid crowds. I’ve heard a ton of people lately say how worried they would be to take two small children to Disney on their own, so I wanted to compose a list of my top tips for making a quick day trip to Disney a literal and figurative walk in the park.

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  1. Pack Everything! Disney has gotten a lot more relaxed with allowing outside food and beverages into the park. I always bring a pint of milk, some small bags of chips/pretzels, and a few granola bars to have on hand when the boys ask for snacks. This enables me to save a lot of money not having to purchase snacks. You’re also able to pack sandwiches and bottles of water for yourself to enjoy lunch there if you so choose. Pro-tip: eat your sandwich on the PeopleMover in Tomorrow Land for a fun lunch-on-the-go!
  2. Know when to FastPass & When to Wait. Since the Disney App (which you need to download ASAP if you don’t already have it for your trip) only allows for 3 Fastpass experiences per day, knowing and prioritizing your rides is most important. In Magic Kingdom on a weekday here is what I prefer to Fastpass: Peter Pan’s Flight, The Little Mermaid & Haunted Mansion. My kids aren’t big enough for major rides like the MineTrain, Space Mountain or Splash Mountain, so we always stick to the smaller rides anyway. Dumbo, Mad Tea Party, Magic Carpets, and It’s a Small World, typically don’t have more than a 15-20minute wait on weekdays, which moves quick. Dumbo even has an amazing play area with a pager system to let you and your kids relax and play while you “wait” for your turn. And Pooh has a great play area as well for the kids to enjoy themselves while you make your way through the line. While the others can have 60+ min wait times even on a random Tuesday, and do not have exciting line waiting experiences.                                                         27496083_1812334195444840_1338542059_n
  3. Plan your Experience. It goes without saying that a planned experience is going to be much more successful than playing it by ear when two toddlers are involved. I’m probably the most Type B person there is and I like to leave plenty of room for spontaneous Magic, but I do go to the parks with a typical game plan, and it is usually the same every trip haha. We start out on Main Street where I am sure to grab my Starbucks before heading to the Castle to watch the tail end of whatever show is playing when we get there. I get all my cute DisneyBound pics from Cast Members (also another tip- Cast Members CAN NOT tell you know if you ask them for a picture. I literally always go up to the Cast Members with their pro cameras, hand them my cell and ask for pics. It works well.) Then we head into FantasyLand. Depending on our Fastpasses for the Day we’ll typically hit up Mad Tea Party first, head to Dumbo, then Pooh or It’s a Small World or both. I love hitting up Gaston’s Tavern while in FastasyLand for a light snack- their cinnamon roll or chocolate croissant are great sharable options and LaFou’s Brew is an amazing non-alcoholic beverage to enjoy (think Sparkling Apple Juice Punch). From FantastyLand I we roam right into FrontierLand for Haunted Mansion, the Muppets Show, Hall of Presidents, The Riverboat, and a quick peek in the Christmas Store. I avoid the Splash Mountain/Huck Finn area just because I’m not trying to keep up with both kids on Huck Finn Island.. hahah. After our favs in Frontierland I’ll either stop at Casey’s Corner for Corn Dog Nuggets & Shoestring Fries or head straight to TomorrowLand. In Tomorrowland we’ll get on the People Mover & the Carousel of Progress. If we haven’t already had lunch I also love taking them to the Launch Pad in TomorrowLand, for classic chicken tenders with fries which the boys love. After we’ve been fed and enjoyed our TomorrowLand rides, I’ll start my journey back to the Castle, sometimes we stay for a show or Parade, while other times I simply take my time walking around gift shops checking out what’s new as far as Disney Merch goes before we slowly make our way out of the park. Each day we go is slightly different, but just to give you a general game plan idea- it’s a great start.                   27497169_1812334168778176_583582353_n  27497157_1812334108778182_583694149_n
  4. Know where you want to spend your money. On an average day at Disney I spend between $30-75 depending. If I don’t pack lunch or if a new set of Minnie Ears has been released it’s definitely closer to the $75 range. Having a game plan for where you want to spend your money is crucial in a successful stress free Disney trip. I understand the need to be a on a budget but no one wants to be stressed about money at Disney, it takes away from the magic of the experience. So if you know you want to eat out and each child is going to want a $10 toy, plan where to eat and check the menus online for pricing ahead of time. As far as affordable dining options goes: Pinocchio Village Haus, Launch Pad, and Casey’s Corner are my favorite spots to dine in Magic Kingdom- meals run under $15 and now you can even order and pay on your phone and just pick up when you get there, so you can skip the lines at these spots. If you’re an annual pass holder like myself ALWAYS ask if the place you’re stopping at has a pass holder discount. This is one of the big ways I save 10-20% everywhere in the parks. For example- kiosks where they sell popcorn and ice cream don’t do the discount BUT gift shops do- so if I want to buy a diet coke I’ll get it in a gift shop instead of getting a fountain one. Buy souvenirs and toys from the gift shops as well instead of those carts they wheel around. Some carts do the discount and others don’t but it’s better just to shop gift stores instead to be on the safe side. My favorite shops in Magic Kingdom are: Emporium, Main Street Confectionery, and Big Top Souvenirs, all of which honor Passholder Discounts.         27497526_1812334125444847_924074466_n
  5. Wear Comfortable Shoes. I feel like this is pretty obvious but like I need to elaborate a little bit. Just because it’s comfortable to you on a daily basis doesn’t mean it’ll be comfortable at Disney. On a short Disney day I never have less than 15k steps for the day, sometimes I’ll even hit in the low 20k’s, if you’re planning on Park Hopping, this is even more crucial as on my last park hopping day I hit over 30k steps. Adidas are my favorite park shoes, They provide a lot of comfort while still looking very cute on my Fred Flintstone feet. I wear my Superstars a LOT there and never get blisters or have sore feet the next day. I also have some Adidas & Nike Running shoes that work really well also. If I don’t do one of those I do sometimes wear my Chucks, but Chucks are a bit narrow for my fat feet, so I’ll only do those on days I know I’ll only be there a few hours. I definitely DO NOT recommend flat sandals or flip flops for a long day at Disney. You may think they’re comfortable but the bottoms of your feet will be screaming and blistered by EOD.                                27497926_1812334132111513_167190446_n

That’s all the tips I have for ya for now! Feel free to ask me anything anytime about a park visit you may have! I LOVE using my Disney knowledge to help people plan extra magical days!

“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever.” – Walt Disney

#MOMLIFE

Dude, I’m tiiiiired. I knew this was the caveat. I knew this would be hard, but worth it, yet its still hard…and worth it.

I struggle with the fact that babies aren’t supposed to *sleep through the night* yet, and most likely wont until they are well past 2 years old, according to the research I’ve done. So, I am trying to embrace this stage in my life, where it seems I don’t get the sympathy card cus I have to get up 5x a night with my little one. you know why? cus its normal. Cue sobbing.

Right now, THANK THE UNIVERSE, I am a stay at home mom. Almost everyday I think about what my life would be like if I had to work on top of the responsibilities of a house, husband, and baby. I’m sure just like everything in life, that one would just do what you gotta do, but on some days-I can’t fathom it. I give MAJOR props to us moms who literally do it all:

  • house
  • hubby
  • babies
  • work, co workers, deadlines, stress, bosses
  • traffic
  • errands
  • laundry
  • dishes
  • floors
  • staying “happy”
  • cooking meals, making snacks, pinteresting the best recipes for your family
  • taking time for yourself
  • etc etc etc

What keeps me going through the days where I really feel sorry for us moms everywhere, is being grateful for my life. My little world on this moving spec through the universe. I relish in all my past experiences that have led me up to this point cus I’m actually REALLY grateful for my life, my family, my baby, my previous jobs that gave me skills and experience. When I actually take a second to look around me, I get really happy. These are the days I prayed for. I literally have always prayed to be at home with my babe and here I am realizing all dreams have come true in some weird way.  I’m grateful for our beautiful house that we worked hard to get. I’m grateful that we have everything we need and we live a comfortable life.

So when I have to get up 5x in the middle of the night tonight, I remind myself of the things that I have that fill my heart up and how precious the moments I am living are right now.

I encourage all us moms to take a second, and just be grateful for what you have. be grateful for ALLLL the little things. it truly matters because it will change your perspective from negative, limiting, closed, and shift you into a positive, loving, open mind and heart.

Patience, gratitude, love, understanding. That is what will get me thru another day.

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that and coffee.

xoxo

Lisa- aka another tired momma in the universe.

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Healthy Shepherds Pie

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This recipe is my modern-day version of shepherds pie. I would call it Shepherdess pie, but it still has meat. let me count thy ways that This version is the way to go:

  1. its lean
  2. its flavorful
  3. its good for YOU & the WHOLE family!
  4. it easy to make!
  5. its made in a cast iron skillet which doubles to cook on the stove, then in the oven and you can serve out of it. easy clean up!
  6. it has no artificial colors, flavors, ingredients, or preservatives.
  7. its all natural

What makes this healthy is my substitution of natural or organic ground turkey or chicken, instead of the traditional beef or lamb. I also load up on extra veggies, and instead of peas I do mushrooms.

To make my ground turkey “taste” like beef, when its browning, I deglaze with a 1/4 cup of Worcestershire, Dales, or Soy Sauce. All of them give meat that umami flavor.

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While I cut my vegetables, I have the potatoes boiling on the stove. I do a medium boil to not overcook the potatoes. Once they’re done, I season them, then mix and set aside to spread over the meat mixture later.

After the potatoes are done, I brown the meat in a cast iron skillet, then deglaze with Worcestershire sauce. Once the meat is halfway to three-quarters cooked, I take it out and drain any liquid, and set a side.

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After I set the meat aside, I brown and soften the vegetables for about 5 minutes then add the meat back in, turn the heat off the stove, spread with mashed potatoes, top with cheese and put it in the oven!

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I can promise you after trying this healthier version, you will never go back!

INGREDIENTS:

  • ground turkey
  • carrots
  • celery
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • garlic
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • gold potatoes
  • milk
  • butter
  • white pepper
  • oregano
  • Italian seasoning
  • roasted garlic powder
  • sharp & mild cheeses

DIRECTIONS:

  1. boil potatoes
  2. cut veggies
  3. once potatoes are done, mix salt, pepper, white pepper, roasted garlic powder, cream, butter and milk until combined, and set aside.
  4. brown grown turkey for 4 min then deglaze with worcesterhire sauce. season to your liking
  5. drain turkey and set aside
  6. in the same pan, soften carrots, mushrooms, garlic, onions, and celery for 5 min.
  7. Add turkey back in
  8. combine, then add potatoes on top
  9. top with cheese and pepper!
  10. put in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes

P.s you can put a few dashes of hot sauce on the final product…I like Cholula. or you can do a piece of bread and butter.

yum!

xoxo

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Keeping the Peace

Joyful and Confident Parenting- Part One

Betsy Lazega, Ed.S.

I was listening to a talk recently by Shawn Anchor. He is a lecturer and researcher in the area of positive psychology at Harvard. He said something that really resonated with me. He said that people can actually train their brain to “scan the world, not for stresses, hassles and complaints first, but actually training their brain, like an athlete, to look for things that they are grateful for.” He offers strategies like journaling something you are grateful for each day, taking time to meditate and exercise, and spending time helping others as ways to build more happiness into your life.

I love and fully embrace the idea of finding the joy in your current life instead of constantly searching for that “next thing” that will bring happiness. At the same time, I know that when I am in the middle of cleaning up the bathroom because my son can’t find that giant hole filled with water when he aims or when I am yelling at my daughter because she has gotten slime on every surface in my house, it’s really hard to carve out the time to “train the brain” and find that joy. Some days, we (as parents) are just in “management” mode. Some days, we have to find a sense of accomplishment in just getting through and coming out on the other side alive. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more days (or at least more moments) where we weren’t managing a crisis or unsure of what we are doing as parents? Moments where we had the time to meditate or exercise or journal the things we are gratefully for? The tips below are not rocket science, but I assure you that if you use them on a regular basis, your life will start to have more of those joyful, confident moments and less of those stressful, “what the hell am I doing?” moments.

  1. Be Realistic

When my son was 2, dinner out was the most stressful situation I could put myself in. He was loud, active and easily upset. I had to eventually realize that for right now, until he became a little older, a three hour dinner event at a fancy restaurant with my kids was not in the cards. I would beat myself up about why my kids couldn’t just sit there and eat properly like other kids in the same restaurant. Why can’t my kids use utensils instead of hand shovels? Being realistic means not thinking about how you wish things could be. Let that shit go. The sooner you start to see and accept yourself as you are (in your family life, in your financial life, in your professional life), the happier you will be.

  1. Plan Ahead

We all envy that Mom that has a mini-arsenal of snacks and first aid at the ready at all times. I have, personally, never been that good at this particular step, but I know that, for my kids, there are certain times where I need to plan like a football coach for things to not fall apart. For me, I know that a long car ride makes my kids get super irritated and they will inevitably start to bother each other (and me). So, I grab a ton of snacks, kid friendly podcasts and recorded books, I load up on drawing supplies and I make sure all devices are fully charged. A trip to a dentist or doctor’s appointment is a particular kind of hell that requires a good strategic offensive plan. I try to offer them something fun and reinforcing to look forward to afterward. This doesn’t need to be candy or a toy, it can be a trip to the park or playing a game with them that you usually avoid playing because it’s boring and you hate it (p.s., you also need to act like you like it). Planning is an especially important step if your child has special needs and has an even stronger reaction to new environments or things outside of their routine day. Showing them pictures and describing what the day will look like will help to prepare them (and you) for what is to come.

  1. Tell Them What You Expect

As much as possible, lay out for your child explicitly what your expectations are. The more work you put into identifying what your expectations are, the easier this step will be. Consider coming up with 3 expectations that you use as a family all of the time. Mine are: Be Respectful, Be Kind, and Be Responsible

Talk about and frame your household rules around those expectations. For example, one of our rules for mealtime is that you clean up whatever you used (put dishes in the dishwasher, clean any bowls, etc). We explained when the kids were really little (3 or 4) that the reason for this rule is because that is how we can show we are responsible. It’s also respectful because Mom ain’t your maid! Connecting the rules with the expectations helps kids to see the big picture about why we have rules in the first place. It also teaches them good character and work ethic.

For example, you’re over at a friend’s house and all of the kids are playing and having a great time. If you haven’t laid out what your rules (and expectations) are for this playdate, you may find that leaving time ends like an episode of Maury Povich. Picture this…You look at your watch and realize you really need to go. Hold on to your seat for this one…That sense of urgency you feel to leave, your kids do not have that right now. Right now they are wrapped up in this super fun playtime that has no end in sight. So, when you tell them hastily that it’s time to go right now, they are not likely to be ready or willing to leave. What happens next (at least for me) would have been tears, screaming and kicking like that Mom on Maury who just got back an unfavorable paternity test.

A better plan, would be to let them know, in advance, that they are expected to “be responsible” during this play date and what responsibility will look like (i.e., when I say it’s time to go, you clean up and get your shoes on). Also, consider giving them a five minute warning that leaving time will be coming. Side note: This won’t work every time, but when it does you will feel like Supreme Queen Mama of the Universe.

There is no magic button that will make parenting easy and no one does it right all the time. My goal as a parent right now is to feel “joyful and/or confident” as a parent 75% of the time. If you would like to join me on this journey to feel less frustrated and experience more confidence and joy, follow along and try to implement these steps. Also, consider thinking about what percentage of your time you currently feel confident as a parent. Does it feel too low? What would you consider a more reasonable amount of confidence? In the next blog, I will go deeper into the strategies that can help to diffuse a situation when the shit has already hit the fan.

Camping: Supplies

 

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I didn’t grow up camping, but my husband did. Some of his fondest memories are from family camping trips.  I only remember my family camping a few times. When the opportunity to camp with friends came up I was a little nervous.  Would my daughter cry, freak out and not sleep at night? Would my daughter be bored and annoy the shit out of us? Would it really be relaxing? What about the BUGS???? So many questions but much to my surprise camping has been relaxing and fun for all of us. 

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There is something about sitting around a campfire at night and exploring our surroundings during the day that brings out the best in us. It provides a calm break from the chaos that life at home can bring. With that being said, it is a TON of work initially and it does come at a cost. Our last trip we camped in some of the coldest weather Florida has had in years. We almost cancelled, but decided to go. We spent quite a bit of money buying heated blankets, and extra clothing to wear in layers. It stunk having to spend the money but it turned out to be one of our best trips yet.

Camping is a lot of trial and error; you do not realize you “need” certain items until you do not have them.  The following is our camping supply checklist.

Tent: We tent camp and I love it. When I was searching for a tent I looked for one that we could stand in and also had enough room for our daughter to sleep on her own. It also needed to be “easy” to put up. My husbands needs were one that has a high wind and rain rating and one that provides enough ventilation for the Florida heat. After weeks and weeks of research, we bought the Coleman Tenaya Lake . It is a little overkill for my family of three, but we like our space. My husband calls it our glamping tent.

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Air Mattress/Cots: I love camping and don’t mind “roughing it”, but I am not sleeping directly on the ground. We each have our own twin air mattress. They were super cheap; $7 at walmart. Many of our friends have cots and love them. If you are willing to spend the extra money and aren’t a super tall human those are also a great choice.

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Rechargeable battery powered air mattress pump.

Rubber mallet

Extra tent stakes

Mat to wipe feet on outside of tent.

Broom/Dustpan for sweeping dirt out of the tent

Pop Up shade Canopy and/or Netted canopy

Camping chairs

Blankets/Sleeping Bags and pillows

Fans Battery powered/electric

Extension Cords

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Camp cookware: Pots, pans, pot holders, percolator for coffee, coffee cups, forks, spoons, a knife for cutting up food, spatula, large spoon, extra bowl, Tervis/Yeti cups, dish towels, table cloth for the picnic table and clips for windy days, trash bags, paper towels, pop up food nets, gallon size zip lock bags. We have a second set of these items strictly for camping that we leave in a locking bin.

Camp Stove and Extra Fuel

Toilet Paper: Save yourself from the sandpaper the restrooms provide. Also for using during late nights when popping a squat:-). We keep it in the tent next to our bed.

Cooler for cold food and drinks.

First Aid kit

Bug spray (The real stuff ), bug bands and anything else that will keep the mosquitos away.  

Fire wood! I suggest that if you are planning on camping stock up on wood whenever possible. We have a good stockpile started; after a neighbor chopped down some trees we loaded up. we didn’t do this prior to our last trip and ended up spending around $30 on wood.

Matches, Lighter, fire starter logs

Water, Lots of water. Used for Cooking/Drinking. We invested in a PROPur portable water filter and we take that with us now. We hated having to bring so many gallon jugs of water. Many sites have potable water, but not all. We bring the filter to cut back on clutter in the campsite and reduce the amount of trash generated by bottles of water.  

Lighting: Lanterns, flashlights, headlamps (for every family member). Extra Batteries. If your site has power: bring string lights to hang from tree to tree or from a pop up shade canopy. This is one of my favorite things to hang up at the campsite. It provides a subtle amount of light and nice ambiance when hanging around the campfire at night.

Battery powered phone charger

Pop up trash can that zips, not a must have just a convenient luxury.

Camping sink  yet another one that you don’t need, but once you have it you won’t camp without it.

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Hammock: There is nothing better than relaxing in a hammock drinking your coffee or reading a book. I suggest getting a double person. My husband and I enjoyed snuggling in the hammock together the last time we camped.

Toys/Entertainment: I usually have my daughter pack her own backpack with what she wants. She usually grabs books, her american girl doll/accessories, sketchbook and her hot wheels. We usually bring bocce with us. This last trip we brought our Nintendo Switch, but didn’t even play with it. Our friends brought a frisbee last time we camped and that was fun. Bikes and scooters are fun for getting around the campground. We also always bring our fishing poles and tackle box. We also bring a bluetooth speaker, music is a must at times.

 

Important things to note:

My family did not acquire all of these items at once. In fact some of the items we borrow from friends that also camp. We would have gone broke buying all of the items on this list at once. However we have been camping for a little over a year now and are building a good base for future camps. Everything that we buy now is an investment for future camps. We hope to get to the point where all we have to do is prep our food and load up the gear and go. 

All of our gear does not fit in one vehicle. We usually take two vehicles or use my in-laws truck.

Use locking plastic bins to store supplies and dry food. Do not leave any food or bins out overnight. Animals will try to get into it. Load the bins into your locked vehicle or tent overnight.

If possible bring friends along. We love to camp with friends. Our daughter loves to have friends to play with and we love the adult conversation. It is also nice to have other campers you know to borrow from just in case you leave something you need behind. Of course, you could also talk to a fellow camper you don’t know. We have found other campers to be super friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand. After all we have all been through the same trial and error that comes with the territory.

Stay tuned for future posts on camping. I will be blogging next about camp food and places to camp in florida. We have only camped a handful of places, but I have a ton on my bucket list to share.

It takes work and some days there is more rain than shine but for us the hard work pays off. We are creating memories that will last a lifetime.

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Suzette Foister,

SAHM, Wife, Homeschooler, Owner/Artist of Bring Your Own Canvas…. amateur camper 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Day New, Every Day The Same

Do you often feel like you are in the movie Groundhog Day? Every day you wake up to the same thing, whether it’s taking the kids to school, going to work, laundry, the dishes, or cleaning up the kid’s room again, the days start to melt into one another. It’s this horrible hamster wheel that just won’t stop. Round and Round and Round.

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We take the occasional break, maybe go to the beach, a walk in the woods, but the whole time we can’t let go of all of those things that we are not doing while we are taking that break. As women, we can’t seem to just let go (and I think you guys are the same way).

We get caught up in the have to, must do, need to.

How can we stop this cycle? How can we give our brains not only a break but a way to not just sink right back into that cycle when we return after that short break?

How do we just stop and enjoy life? 

That’s the million dollar question right?

Do we make rules like no social media after 5pm or really at all? Do we get more fresh air, exercise, and healthy foods? Cut out refined sugar and bread?  Make meditation a habit and make sure we get “me time”.

Yes to all of that BUT is part of just our nature as humans to be in some kind of routine? Even those that wander still have a routine of some kind. Maybe we need to embrace the hamster wheel and make it rock for us! Maybe it’s the uncertainty that really causes us stress, not the stability of what we know needs to be done and what we will do?

So how do we change our mindset to not dread the routine but celebrate it? 

What are your tips and tricks for keeping your sanity? Do you clean certain things on certain days? Apply the 5 rule where you do 5 things everytime you enter a room? Are you a minimalist that has paired down your anxiety by decreasing your stuff? Or are you like me and still struggling with how to make this mom, wife, woman life work? How to balance the “want to do” and the “have to do“, the “me time” and the “family time”. 

How are you succeeding in your everyday life? 

This is currently what my days look like:

 

Mom and Daughter Selfie

The momma behind Momma Got Soul Photo and Films, Tampa Bay Family Photographer. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a storyteller. I stay up late, try to sleep late, and drink lots of coffee and beer (usually in that order, but not always). I grew up in sunny (which means really hot) central Florida, never go to the beach or Disney, but try to hike in the woods as much as I can. I remember a time when I said I would never photograph people, now that’s all I do. I think it started with wanting to explore the world and capture that to share with people. Now I want to capture people to share with the world. -Kelly

Dressing for the Cold

Hey guys. As my mom would say “It’s colder than a witch’s tit on the 1st of November” right now. At first I was so inspired by the cooler weather. Getting to layer and pull out that jacket I bought 3 years ago but never got to wear was exciting, but day by day it’s gotten much harder to get dressed in the mornings. I have been shopping everywhere lately to stock up on sweaters, cardigans and beanies to keep myself warm, so I wanted to put together a few outfit ideas for you ladies to keep you cute in the cold. I’ll also be sharing some of the best places to grab cute winter clothes for a great deal.

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Bring on the layers! I piled a great cream chunky cable knit tunic sweater over a chambray button down with faux leather leggings for a casual outing with my husband. Lately I’ve been living in these super comfy Sketcher’s Flatform Sneakers because they give me a little height without making my feet hurt like a wedge does. I snagged this sweater in my Stitchfix a few months ago but here is a great dupe I found for it for only $20 at Target! Also these faux leather leggings are so great, I have the Spanx version which is a little pricer (but my cellulite says it was worth it), but I did find a great pair on Zulily too, they go with everything as far as layering goes, and are a little warmer than typical cotton leggings because the fabric isn’t as breathable.

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Remember that jacket I was talking about never being able to wear?! Here it is! Bust out your moto jackets! Honestly this whole look makes me feel like such a badass person that I can only wear it once a month or else my sass levels might rise too high. I paired it over a red Express sweater that’s on sale for $35 in store right now and these adorable velvet shorts that look super cute with tights. Personally I don’t do a ton of shorts outfits because I hate my legs, but being able to disguise them with tights really helps me out! I finished this look off with some moto boots to match the jacket and it was so easy to walk out the door while staying warm all day!

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Comfy and Casual. I just posted details on this hoodie on my personal blog, but this sweater is all my weekend feels! It’s only $20 at Target, I love wearing it with leggings, but it’s not “length appropriate” for leggings in my book so I’ve been layering it with oversized button downs to keep my ass covered, literally. Also I can’t get enough of these adorable woven beanies with the pom poms on top! They are so fun and basically match every casual outfit you have, plus at only $8 at Target, it’s not like you’re wasting a ton of money if it happens to be 80 degrees again next week.

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Add a Pop of Color. I found this Barbie pink sweater at Express ($30 on sale right now) and I LOVE it! Anytime I wear it I get tons of compliments on how fun it is, and it really does just make me feel so fun and feminine. It can be worn layered with a cami like I have it here, or pulled slightly off one shoulder for a more “sexy” look. For those not into the hot pink it comes in about 6 other colors as well and it is SO warm! The balloon sleeves add a little trendiness that I really love in easy pieces and it’s a great option for a Valentine’s day look for a class party, day date, Galentine’s Wine Night, etc!

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I wanted to include a few dressier looks for those working Mama’s out there! This a great sheer bodysuit (actually it’s legit lingerie from Victoria’s Secret) that I paired with a cami and this cute pink skirt from Target! The skirt has pockets so obviously it’s a huge winner in my book, and it made from a poly blend, so it’s a little heavier than your typical skater skirt. Since I was pairing two solids together with the black and fuchsia, I added a leopard belt and boots for that pop of texture/pattern I like all my outfits to have!

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Another dressier option is to pair black tights with a black skirt and black boots for a really warm yet flirty outfit. I added a faux fur vest & bell sleeved sweater (express $17 on sale right now) to keep me super warm while looking super cool. I really encourage you to find a faux fur vest if you don’t already have one. I’ve had this specific one for a little over 3 years now. They hold up really well since you don’t wear them a TON, so one will last you for a long time and it’s a great way to add some warmth and texture to an outfit if you’re feeling jazzy!

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Last but not least, is basically my daily uniform. Cami, Jeans, Mules & a Cardi. This open front white thermal cardi was only $25 at Express with their extra 40% off clearance sale right now and I LOVE it! It’s so soft and so perfect for lounging around in. These lace satin cami’s have been super popular lately and I can see why. Since buying this pink one last week at Target for $17 I’ve probably worn it like 4 different ways so far, and ordered the black version online. The web sizing is limited but keep a look out for it in your Target because it’s so versatile and you’ll be able to use it season after season!

Hope that helps you keep cute warm this Florida “winter” ❤