Blog Challenge #14: If you won the lottery…

Blog Challenge #14: If you won the lottery…

If I won the lottery I would start off by doing all the responsible things that most people say when asked this question. I would pay off my bills, pay off my mom’s mortgage, take a few weeks off work, but specifically here is a little list of the fun things I would do:

#1: Take my family to Ireland and hear the High Kings play in concert!

This is my favorite Irish band. I heard them play live in concert when they were at the Performing Arts Center in Gainesville, FL. If you have any Irish heritage I feel like the homeland (Ireland) just calls to you and seeing this band would be the icing on the cake. I might need to add in a good Irish dark beer and Shepherd’s pie too!

 

#2: Buy a family vacation house in St. Augustine Florida.

This old city has had my heart since I was a child. My family spend Christmas there one year and I have been in love ever since. We went for a horse and carriage ride on Christmas Eve when the cobblestone street were quiet and deserted. My brother and I were wrapped up in cozy blankets and had hot chocolate and it was magical! There is so much history in this little town along with amazing food and beaches!

 

#3: Treat myself to some fabulous diamond jewelry!

You have to splurge a little bit right? Here are a few pieces I would make mine!

 

Those are the three big things that I can think of. Mostly I would keep my life the same. I would still want to keep my job and raise my son in our little cozy home (smaller homes makes families closer right?). Money can buy a lot of things but mostly I would want to buy vacations for my family and more memories to hold on to forever!

 

What about you? What would you do if you won the lottery?

Next week’s blog prompt is: The timeline of your day

Happy Friday!

Blog Challenge #13: What is your earliest memory?

I grew up in a small town in Florida. Our house was little and cozy (see picture below), filled with antiques and one wall in the living room that had floor to ceiling artwork of all different kinds. My dad was the most beautifully artistic person and he was a jeweler by trade. My younger days were spent behind the counter of my parent’s jewelry store. I watched my mom and dad help clients day after day and year after year.

IMG_20160526_175334

One of my fondest memories (maybe not my earliest) was the day I commissioned my dad to make a ring for me. I decided that I wanted to be a paying customer and wanted to have a special ring made. My dad played along, like any good dad would do. He let me pick out a stone to be set in my ring and he did the rest. I chose a blue tourmaline with a cabochon top. This particular tourmaline was rare…it was an indicolite tourmaline. My dad made this ring for me….

20171020259676894.jpg

 

I was pretty young and didn’t actually wear the ring daily but I remember being pleased as punch with my ring that I purchased with my allowance of about $80 (what a deal!). Years later after my dad passed away this ring became priceless to me!

 

A few months after my dad’s passing, his good friend, Sholomo called my mom. He said that he felt like my dad’s spirit was pressing upon him to send me a particular ring. I felt like the gesture was so kind and thoughtful. He wanted me to have something special to remember my dad by. When the ring arrived, I opened it not knowing what to expect. Low and behold there was another blue indicolte tourmaline ring…

20171020338543737.jpg

 

I’m not sure how or if Sholomo knew about this special stone, but in that moment I felt so close to my dad even though he was gone.

 

Jewelry is so special and sentimental. Jewelry can hold memories, promises, history and love.

jewelry

 

Thank you for reading! Next week’s blog prompt is: If you won the lottery…

Blog Challenge #9: What are your worst habits?

Here is a list of the top 7 habits people do that negatively affect their lives. I don’t really do any of these…

habits

 

I also don’t bite my nails, sleep in my makeup, eat too much junk food, or shop too much (my hubby may disagree on that one). This challenge is hard for me because I’m the kind of person that if I see a bad habit in myself I try and correct it. So I will tell you about the top bad habits that I have broken.

 

  • Negative thinking ~

I think a lot of women suffer from this habit. We sometimes always think the worst or go to the worst case scenario in our minds. I took a class about “cleaning out your thought closet”. It was very productive in helping to adjust my thought process, taking every thought captive, and living life to the fullest by choosing joy! Choosing Joy – that reminds me of the minimal and beautiful script picture my boss gave me that has hung on my wall in two different houses. The simple reminder on a daily basis really helps change your internal attitude.

Screenshot_20170922-114310

 

  • Leaving a dirty kitchen for days ~

Yes, I was that girl. I would leave my kitchen piled up with dishes in the sink for days. This started in my little apartment when I was single. I would dread going home and seeing the mess and finally realized that it was giving me anxiety. My kitchen was the first place I went in the morning…because COFFEE…and it was the last place at night I went to have some water. So I was starting my day and ending my day looking at a mess. Once I started keeping it tidy, it did a wonder on my mental outlook each day. I felt recharged and orderly in the morning and prepared and confident at night.

 

  • Not enjoying the little things in life ~

I used to find myself wishing away the days of work or chore day. Even some days as a new mom, I want to speed ahead the newborn phase. I am still working on breaking this bad habit but I try and look for little ways throughout the “boring basic” days to find little moments to enjoy little things. My #1 little thing to enjoy each day is my cup of coffee. I make sure I use a cute mug or cup and saucer. I make sure I get up early enough to not be rushed. I make sure that I savor it.

little things

  • Wearing the same thing over and over again ~

Yes, I consider this a bad habit. I tend to fall into a rut of only wearing a few outfits over and over again. I also wear the same earrings, necklace, and ring day in and day out even though I work for a jewelry store and have a ton of beautiful jewels that sit there and never get enjoyed. I made it a personal challenge to start “shopping my closet” (both with clothes and jewelry). It’s amazing how looking good is half the battle sometimes. When you put together a new outfit from your closet and break out the matching earrings, it does something amazing to a girl! Try it!

 

Those are some of my top bad habits that I have found a way to break or am working on. What are some of yours? If you are following along with this blog challenge…next week is: What is your best physical feature?

 

Happy Friday!

Blog Challenge #8: What’s in your handbag?

I have two handbags that I use depending on the day. I have my little Louis Vuitton Eva Clutch that is my jewel and I have my bigger Michael Kors bucket tote that is more practical for an everyday “mom on the go”. Here are a few essentials that I carry (some I can’t fit in my Eva clutch sadly…if only it were a tad bigger!)

NYX Lip gloss ~ I know that I have raved about these in some of my earlier blogs but these little drug store lip glosses are amazing. And…I love their name “butter gloss” and they are just that! I have the shade Strawberry Parfait and pick up this shade whenever I am in a CVS or Ulta. If you go to look for this shade and don’t see it, I’ve probably already raided your local drug store :o)

lip butter

Mac Blot Powder ~ This stuff is amazing if you live in a humid climate and have oily/combination skin like me. It is translucent and gives you an “I just finished my makeup” look any time of day even if you’ve been on the go for hours.

mac

Burt’s Bees Witch Hazel Hand Sanitizer ~ This stuff is an inspiration from my mom. I absolutely love that it is an all-natural sanitizer and the smell is very crisp and clean in my opinion. It comes in a spritz bottle but beware…not everyone will love the scent.

burts bees

Cash ~ Yes, I’m still old school and carry cash wherever I go. My hubby and I have adopted Dave Ramsey’s idea of taking out cash for the week and once it is spent, you’re done! Here are some other fun money saving tips from the master of getting out of debt.

ramset.jpg

A Pretty Hair Clip ~ This is a necessity in case you are having “one of those” hair days. A cute clip can save you from feeling frumpy. Here are a few of my favorites hair goodies from Etsy.

hair clip

Shop this hair look here.

My Sparkle Card Holder ~ No matter how old I get, I still run into Claire’s to check out their cute sparkly stuff sometimes when I am killing time in a mall. I found this cute card holder that is perfect for either of my bags. It is just big enough to hold my necessity cards and the texture of the outside makes it easy to find when you are digging around at checkout. Claire’s had all different colors too!

20170915_103943

 

Ginger Altoids ~ I don’t usually like the taste of ginger but these little heavenly drops are amazing! Get you some!

That’s pretty much all I carry. Of course I am like any woman and have the additional 5lbs of loose change in the bottom of my bag that makes it feel like I am carrying more than what I am. What are some of your handbag content essentials? Am I missing something that I need for on the go? Thank you for reading and happy Friday!

Next week’s writing prompt is: What are your worst habits?

Blog Challenge #7:  Your Biggest Pet Peeves

 

 

  • When people are rude to waitress/waiters or anyone providing a service.

“The real test of character is how you treat the people that you don’t have to be nice to”

1

 

  • When men think that their wives or girlfriends have “enough jewelry”.

I dated a guy once that told me he would never buy me any jewelry because I worked at a jewelry store and had enough already. What?!? I think jewelry is the ultimate gift for any occasion. A nice piece of jewelry will last a lifetime and always make your lady love remember the occasion of when you gave it to her. Valentines’ Day, the birth of a child, Christmas, Anniversaries, or even just a little memento to give her after a hard week…jewelry speaks to women!!!

 

  • Slow Walkers or Shoppers who block the whole isle at the grocery store.

slow walker

 

  • My hair getting stuck in my lip gloss on a windy day!

Most ladies can relate that this is one of the most annoying things ever. You did your hair and are wearing a new lip gloss only to have it smeared on your cheek and a strand of sticky hair all day.

 

  • When you finally are hanging out with someone you haven’t seen in a while and they are on their phone the whole time.

No, thank you for letting me watch you text the whole time we hang out, I would hate to bore you with my company. Just being on your phone in general around friends and family is annoying. It reminds me of a little mom and pop ice cream shop I went to in Indiana. On Wednesdays they have a no phone challenge. If you are not on your phone while sitting at the tables, you get a free scoop of ice cream. They had a basket in the middle of the table for you to place your cellphone and some conversation starter cards if you needed help on what to discuss. I thought this was brilliant!

 

Those are just a few of my pet peeves, what are some of your biggest ones? Hope your Friday is going well and I’ll leave you with next week’s challenge: What’s in your handbag?

Blog Challenge #6: Your 5 Senses Right Now

Taste:  I just finished yet another cup of coffee. I’m one of those people that don’t mind coffee breath and love the excuse for coffee any time of day (or night).

 

coffee

 

Sight: Outside of my window is the luminous dark clouds coming from Hurricane Harvey. This will be my first hurricane experience in Texas. We are prepared for flash flooding and being holed up inside for a few days. I have always been the kind that loved thunderstorms until I got my sweet golden retriever. Now, I dread storms for her sake. She gets so scared and it just makes my heart hurt for her. She might have a rough weekend.

 

Touch: Well my hands are touching the keyboard right now. There is something about writing that revives me, even after pulling an all-nighter with my newborn son.

 

wirting

 

Smell: My home has an interesting aroma of fresh flowers and baby smells. I’ve had flowers delivered a few times in the last month for the celebration of my little one being born. The recent ones are very fragrant. There are huge, Texas sized, red roses and lovely white lilies. Of course, the baby smells are wonderful to this mama. I’m sure other moms will agree that the smell of your sweet little newborn is pure heaven on earth (except maybe those blowout diaper smells). Also, there is the smell of coffee that seems to always dominate in my household.

baby

 

Hearing: My home is pretty quiet this time of day. There is the sound of my pug snoring and dreaming during her afternoon siesta. The wind is making the trees brush up against our house. Then there is the faint sound of Spanish music while the brave workers still work on the new construction house next to us. All in all, a very pleasant Friday afternoon here!

 

What are you experiencing today? Pick any or all of the senses and let me know if you join up with this blog challenge. I would love to follow you and read your posts. Next week’s challenge is: Your biggest pet peeves. Happy Friday!

Blog Challenge #5: 10 Songs You Love

Blog Challenge #5: 10 Songs You Love

This week we are continuing our blog challenge with 10 songs we love. Music has always been a big part of my life. I took piano lessons for many many years growing up, made mixed CDs for friends/family whenever I could (back when mixed CDs were cool), and even recently I had a playlist going on my phone during the birth of my son. Different songs can take you back to a distant memory of your youth or they can create a mood for a special event.

music 2

Without further ado, here are just 10 of my favorites:

  1. Forever Young – Bob Dylan
  2. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  3. You are the Best Thing – Ray Lamontagne
  4. Something Beautiful – NEEDTOBREATHE
  5. How Many Times – Ryan Montbleau
  6. The Parting Glass – The High Kings
  7. I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons
  8. Something – Beatles
  9. Amazing Grace – Sung a capella by anyone with an exceptional voice
  10. Because I Knew You – Wicked Broadway Musical

 

These songs show who I am, maybe more so than what I could write in words. The love of my father’s classics, the wedding song of my parents that I can still see them slow dancing to in the dark kitchen of our tiny home, the first song my hubby sang to me (in the best voice he could) when we were dating, the song that got me through a hard time in my late twenties, the song to celebrate my Irish roots, a fun memory of a musical, and a classic that can always bring me to tears.

music

What are some songs that road-map your life or memories? I would love to listen to them and am always in search of my next favorite song!

Next weeks challenge will be: Your 5 senses right now

Thank you so much for reading!

Blog challenge #4: what are you afraid of? 

Blog challenge #4: what are you afraid of? 
Happy Friday friends! This week we are on to our 4th blog challenge about what we are most afraid of. This subject first had me thinking about my crazy irrational fears such as being terrified of spiders with long legs, my teeth falling out after biting into corn, dropping my baby on his head, or just wearing white pants. But on a serious note, I think I am afraid of not making a big enough impact on people’s lives. Now I know that’s pretty profound but I’d like to elaborate a little. When I was young, around 18, just graduating from high school, I went on a trip to St Lucia. I got to work with deaf children and go to remote parts of the island to bring supplies and such. When I got back home, I was just overwhelmed with the need to impact other’s lives. Then life just happened and getting involved with college and getting used to first world problems again like wearing something different everyday or having the perfect hair color… I kind of lost track of that desire until a few years ago. As I got older I realized that making an impact on someone’s life doesn’t have to be a huge, earth-shaking gesture. Sometimes the small acts of kindness touch us deeper than we even realized. Taking time to listen to a friend, offering to walk a neighbor’s dog when they’re sick, gift wrapping a package that was purchased from our Etsy store, or seeing a sweet couple at a restaurant and secretly paying for a desert to be sent over to them: these small little acts of kindness will bring a smile to someone’s face and doing several of these every day has helped me get over my fear of not making an impact.
What are you most fearful of? I would love to hear your silly irrational fears or deep heartfelt fears. We are all in this thing called life together and sometimes finding a kindred spirit or someone you can talk to (or in this case, write to), can be a wonderful and therapeutic outlet.
Also, just for fun I’m going to link a chart below with some of the most common fears here in the US. Which ones can you relate to?

Screenshot_20170811-115445
Thank you for reading and be sure to check out next week’s blog challenge which will be: 10 songs you love!

Blog Challenge #3: Favorite Quotes

Blog Challenge #3: Favorite Quotes

Hello there! We are on week 3 of our 30 blog post challenge. This week is my favorite quotes.

 

quote

I love this quote because I think of it every time I hide a $20 bill in a purse for my future self to find.

quote 2

As humans, most of us sell ourselves short. Knowing your worth can make you a kinder and wiser person. Value yourself and value others!

quote 3

The dents and the scratches tell a story. They show history, character, and longevity. Don’t worry about the many miles on your favorite shoes, the scratches on your wedding ring, the wrinkles on the corners of your eyes…these features show beauty of a life well lived!

quote 4

This quote will be added to my New Year’s resolutions lists for 2018!

quote 5

This past week I gave birth to my first little one. After 4 days in the hospital I was ready for some normal clothes, clean hair, and Jason’s Deli soft serve ice cream. When I got dressed and put on a simple outfit, I decided to add a pair of fun earrings. I walked out of my room and my husband said “well you look nice”. Thank you fun earrings for adding an exclamation point to my outfit and making me feel like myself again!

There you have it! Just a few of my favorite quotes. Please share some of your in the comments. Next week’s challenge is : What are you afraid of?