Sunday, February 17, 2019

Are You a Negative Nancy?!?

Negative Nancy glaring at your happiness
We all have that one friend or associate who finds every little thing wrong with a situation and then writes themselves off as a "realist" and these are the same people that have constant drama.

These Negative Nancies come in all forms. Which one are you?

1. The friend that calls you about their drama and when you find a solution- they think of 10,000 reasons why that solution won't work.
2. Family member who asks you how you are doing and when they hear one thing that may not be 100% in line with their opinion- they offer a negative anecdote instead of encouragement for everything else.
3. Co-worker that complains all day about being at work and calls those people who are busting their butt "brown nosers".
4.  Church folk that talk smack behind other members back.
5.  The sideline reporter. Oh, these people, they watch everyone and talk about what "they should've done"
6. Gossip Queen: They thrive on chaos and love to talk about how things are going wrong. Never bring up exciting things on the horizon.

Whatever number you are, y'all have something in common: You are a HAPPINESS SUCKER!

I have fallen in to these categories at some point in my life and I tell you when you snap out of it... you are left disgusted with yourself.

1. Start your day on a good note: 3 things you are grateful for, prayer, positive affirmations or exercise!
2. Listen to your friends rather than judge. If you are always on the alert for how things are awful or can turn awful - ew. Listen to your friends, they may need some empathy, hapiness, or just an ear.
3.  Smiling can change your demeanor. When you smile you find others will smile with you and in turn the less likely negativity is to be shared.
4. Self care. You may be unhappy. It happens. When you aren't happy with yourself, you are more likely to not find joy in much. Take time for yourself
5. Are your friends negative? Surround yourself with people that believe in you and want you to succeed. They have your best interest and don't want to see you unhappy.
6. Success is addictive. It's true. When you accomplish things and your mindset is in tune with your goals, watch out!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

How to be Prepared for your DIY Home Renovation

We made our first real estate purchase back in September and were hoping we would be all moved in by Christmas well- Valentine's Day is approaching and we aren't very close to moving in at all.  The reason? We did what everyone has been wanting to do since Chip and Joanna Gaines, Property Brothers, etc have come on TV- WE BOUGHT A FIXER UPPER.

Now, I know what you are thinking...that's a big task. Well, you don't even know the half of it!! I have been doing Instagram updates >Follow Here < along the way and that in itself still hasn't captured the full experience.

Learning from my mistake, here are the things you need to do to prepare for your home renovations:

  1. Set Priorities: What are your must haves and what are things that you don't think are that important? Is it important to have entertaining space, private space, play area, fancy bathrooms, etc. After that, go room by room and get specific (ex: heated towel rack in bathroom, apron sink) then take it back to your spouse or living partner and revisit priorities. You will want to keep this handy as it may change as your projects progress. 
  2. Budget!!: Some of things are harder to budget than others especially if it your first time doing a renovation. My rule of thumb? Always tack on 15-20% of your quoted costs. You also want to revisit that priority list and get real with yourself. Is it worth to have that $500.00 apron sink or will a $200.00 sink be just fine? Remember, be very strict with your budget because nothing is worse than having a beautiful kitchen if your den looks like it came straight out of the 70's. 
  3. Stay Organized: Keep it together by communicating constantly and keeping a check list. Yes, some of you hate the idea of a check list but, they are my secret weapon. If I don't have a check list, I'm lost. Remember step 1? Well, that is taken in to account when making a checklist. If a top priority is getting a gorgeous kitchen- well guess what is on top of my checklist along with a nice % of my budget- KITCHEN. 
  4. Stay Organized Physically: Paint brushes, dust, tools, nails, screws- oh, they get everywhere. So much so, that sometimes you walk in and think "How are we going to get out of this mess?" Positive attitudes strive in organized environments. Keep your space clean and you will feel that you can accomplish anything.
  5. Communication: I can not stress how this is beyond the most important factor when DIYing. Your vision becomes a reality when you have a plan in place. Tips 1-4 will not be achievable if you do not have a plan that has been thoroughly discussed. Seriously. I, for instance, felt that our lay out needed to change dramatically- my husband did not. We talked it through keeping our priorities and budget in mind and came to a solution that accomplishes everything we wanted. Was it what I had in mind? No. Am I happy? Yes
I hope this was helpful and if you have more specific questions regarding planning a DIY project, I will be happy to help you figure it out.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I Took Action

It feels silly to come back on to my neglected blog after so long but, I am out of hiatus and hopefully this blogging bug won't be short lived.

So, I am just going to say it.  The past 3-4 years of my life, I have been in a less than stellar state. I hate to sound dramatic. I took a step back and admitted it to myself as I found my life was starting to look more and more like a mess. I really felt like an idiot.  I have so much to be grateful for that why on earth should I be so unhappy and why had I not been creating better opportunities?

The truth is your environment has so much to do with your mood.  I was in a work environment that sucked out all the good traits from me and left me with nothing after I clocked out. I went home tired, irritated, and with no desire to go enjoy myself. I thought about my lost friendships and what happened- why did we lose touch? The answer again was WORK.

I took action. I told myself that although there were things about my job that I loved that it did not surpass the joy I was missing outside of work. I missed so much and my daughter is a non-negotiable.

I did the logical thing and started thinking about options that may work for me and what I wanted out of a career. I made a list of things that I enjoyed about my long time job- it's fast paced, competitive, interacting with new faces, and selling. I then thought about things I hated about my job- managing people who didn't have strong work ethics, being responsible for things that I don't have 100% control over, holidays were blacked out, having to cover other people's shifts, and lack of self accomplishments.

I also knew that I had to change something more drastic than my job- I changed my mind set. I needed to say yes more than no. I wanted to experience more and smile more. I knew that listening to nagging and complaining all day was getting to me and that I had become a not so positive person.  I used to be a go getter!!  I realized that I became the kind of person that I despise- an excuse maker!

So long story short- I changed my life. I got a new job (Realtor), spend way more time with my family and friends, joined some organizations that are doing great things in my community, started attending church and have been in the process of structuring my life. It has been a BIG change but a positive one. It has been 5 months and I feel like a different person.

To all of you who feel trapped- you CAN escape. Yes, not all things are easily done and it is scary but do not let the important things in life pass you by for something that makes  you feel miserable.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Baby Food 101

Food everywhere and upside down spoon

I'm sure some of you roll your eyes when you hear someone say "I make my own baby food."  Well before I give you a quick tutorial on how to prepare baby food let me give you my reasons.

1. It actually taste like real food. Have you tried baby food? Some of them taste just like they should but most DO NOT.  Would you want to eat a chicken that didn't taste like chicken? Didn't think so.

2. No preservatives and totally fresh.  The shelf life on some of that food makes me wonder if my baby is eating a 4 month old banana.

3. Super quick and easy. When I tell you it takes me less than 30 minutes to make 2 weeks worth of food- I'm not kidding.

4. When my pediatrician asked me if I was making my own food she was very pleased!  She mentioned that she preferred home made vs store bought when it came to introducing meats.

Step 1: Wash and Peel your fruit or veggie! In some cases, as in apples, you will also have to core or remove seeds.

Step 2: Boil or Steam. I try to steam most however sweet potatoes or anything really dense definitely get boiled!

Step 3: Add in your fruit/veggie to food processor/blender. Slowly add in water. I usually add in 1/3 of the amount of water at a time I'd like to add just so I don't accidentally make it too runny.

Step 4: Freeze or Store.  If you plan on freezing I suggest using ice cube trays.  I currently have the baby blender system and it comes with a 6 slot freezing tray with a cover. I love the cover part. I have seen other retailers selling similar trays so don't worry you aren't forced to get the baby bullet one.  After your food is frozen, move cubes to labeled freezer bag and keep for a max of 3 months. If you decide to refrigerate remember that most food is only good for 2-3 days so don't refrigerate too much.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

On Electing Leaders

When you think of a leader, what do you think of? I can not express to you how important it is to be "in charge". Whether you are in charge of a baking club, PTA, sports team, business, city, state, nation- the job should NEVER be taken lightly.  A leader should know how to wear many hats. They should know that their behavior reflects many other people. They should know that what they choose to tolerate sets up a culture. They should also know that the people they surround themselves with will also set a tone and these people should be trustworthy. When you choose someone to lead you- you must have the utmost faith, trust, and confidence that this person is willing to perform, represent you, and make SMART decisions.

I constantly say "it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks of you, as long as you are happy and you know you are doing the RIGHT thing"- in the world of leadership that saying isn't 100% true. In order to be an effective leader, you have to make sure that you are always leading by example. If someone doesn't agree with a policy you have in place you must look within and see if you have ineffectively communicated and express the importance of said policy. You may find that you have made a mistake. As far as mistakes go, it is okay to make them- SOMETIMES.  As a leader, you have to be on top of it. Remember, you are on a stage and failing in front of your peers is ungraceful and hard to shake.  This is why it is extremely important to have a solid support group surrounding you. These people should be strong where the leader is weak, not afraid to take action and advise you against ill footing.  I'm not saying it isn't okay to take risks because taking risks are part of the job but don't take a risk without being prepared for repercussions.

At this point, I am sure you are wondering where this is all coming from. Well, the presidential election has me on my soap box.  We are America. We hold a very high place on this planet. We deserve a leader who is professional, smart, has a great team, and is capable of representing America in a good light.  Unfortunately, I can not say with confidence that we have a good leader among any of our presidential candidates.

America, we need a miracle.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Last Week's Delights

I'm sure most of you have noticed that all it takes is a sweet baby and food to make me consider something a treasure! 

Charbroiled Oysters. My best friend's birthday was Monday and we celebrated with an outdoor concert, shrimp quesadillas, oysters, Louisiana fare, and brownies. It was a great evening and a lovely reminder that we are getting older!

Every now and then I sneak away to have a treat on my lunch breaks.  I usually treat myself when I'm having a hectic day or am just feeling a bit down. Godiva is never disappointing.  Have you tried their soft serve? I almost died.

There is a Latin restaurant named Mizado Cocina in New Orleans and I've heard so much about it for a long, long time. It's very reasonably priced, great atmosphere, yummy margaritas and food! I wish I would've tried this place sooner. I was obsessed with their yummy table side guac and chorizo mac and cheese!

Sometimes you have to stop and look out your window. My neighborhood is surrounding with residential buildings so there isn't much nature. As I sit in my computer chair, I always like to look out the window to the tree. It's such a beautiful sight to me and a reminder that I need to enjoy the outdoors more.

What is not to love about this picture? Camila loves her pups. She always smiles and giggles at them. She reaches out for them when they pass her by and the dogs love her back. They try to steal licks if she is on the couch, they want to be on the couch too. So... I took the liberty of putting Camila on Luna's back and boy did Camila love it. Luna, not so much.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Awesome Drugstore Beauty Finds

Yes, the drugstore has some great beauty products! I will admit that at times it is like finding a needle in a haystack for that great, stand out product but, trust me these products are great to always have around.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil While I was pregnant I knew that stretch marks were inevitable. So I read up on some products that should help reduce their appearance and help my skin out and this product kept popping up. I was going to go the Bio-Oil route but I figured for $10 I had nothing to lose. Well, I never did make it to trying out Bio-Oil. I love the way this product smells and it leaves my skin feeling so soft yet firm. I prefer to use it after my shower and I have even started using all over and not just on my belly.  As far as results go, I noticed that with time and daily use that my stretch marks seemed lighter and my skin seemed more firm than I anticipated after giving birth.

Freeman's Bare Foot Lotion in Plum Peppermint. Okay, so I'm obsessed with moisturized skin but who likes to walk around looking like they have dust on them? Not I. This is something I can not live with out. I work in the shoe business so people are constantly looking at my feet. I don't have the prettiest feet so making sure they are moisturized is key.  

Suave Almond Hand Lotion. I have an odd obsession with hands.  Your hands say a lot about you so I always aim to have clean, pretty hands. I actually have this in my purse. I love the scent and it keeps my hands lovely.

Essie Nail Polish in Find me an Oasis This. Love the light shade of robin's blue. It is fun with sophistication which is something I aim to always be yet always fail. lol Most of you already know how obsessed I am with Essie nail polish but this color is a must have for the Spring!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Last Week's Delights

This past week was rather dull. I was terribly sick on Wednesday and really didn't do much besides work. Meh. That is a semi normal life I suppose- either way there were things that delighted me none the less and here are some!

The day with my niece (not pictured) and nephew!  I love hanging out with these two. While my niece was in gymnastics I took my little fella to the Veteran's Memorial Park in Kenner.  He really enjoyed seeing the planes and it was such a beautiful day out.  We spent the rest of the day pigging out and watching movies.

Are you not obsessed with this little number? Seersucker. check. Big bow. check. Camila is ready for the Louisiana summer.

Back to the kitchen I went!! I have something awful to admit. I have not been cooking at all. Its been terrible. I'll cook breakfast and maybe fix a sandwich here or there. That's been it. I just haven't felt like planning meals nor fixing them.  So I encouraged myself the other night and made some pan fried tilapia- next time I will ease up on the paprika. It was good with some lemon! I will definitely fix it again.

I made 10 years with my job and what do you know I got a gift card to Tiffany's! I already purchased something and I'm so thrilled to get it in the mail.  Anyway, the thought of being at the same company for 10 years has my wheels turning. I'm so grateful!!