Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Am Still Here

 I Am Still Here. I am still breathing, moving, thinking, dreaming, and living. Every day may not go the way I want it to; they say that normal is boring...right, but I am still here. I wrote in multiple posts, here and here, that I wasn't going to sweat the small stuff. While I am trying not to sweat the small stuff, there have been a few not so small, sweat worthy things that I just can't help but feel down about the last few weeks.

It hasn't been easy, and although I have been feeling pretty lost and empty, I pushed myself to get up and exercise to my Jillian Michaels DVDs or take a bike ride. I could have chosen to sit still and fill my void with food, but I was determined not to do that. I have been doing enough stress eating this year and I am putting a stop to it. 

I Am Still Here.

Everyone battles some type of struggle at some point in their lives; weather it's the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, home, etc., and we all deal with these things in our own way. I am trying to take this stress and walk it out, ride it out, and exercise it out. Sometimes when days are really tough, I write it out. 

Today, I am pushing through and turning the page. I Am Still Here. 








Thursday, July 17, 2014

Five Things: Does Summer Have to End?


I'm still trying to find motivation and inspiration for new DIY post ideas, I just feel a little lost and unsure of what's next. My awesome Five Things link up co-host Tairalyn suggested that I might need to step back, take a break from the blog, maybe even give The World Around Her a little face lift, and then come back refreshed and ready to rock n' roll! 

So I think this might be my last Five Things link up post for a while, but that doesn't mean that you can't still link up with my girl, so be sure to stop by her blog Little Miss Mama while I'm on hiatus. 



1. Five Things link up is posted every Thursday at Midnight EST. Share any five things that are on your mind right now. Whether it's something you are obsessing with on Pinterest, a new and exciting event going on in your life, or even sharing five of your favorite books; it's totally up to you. 

2. Please put the Five Things button on the post you're sharing for the link up; sharing is caring, the more players involved the more fun we'll have.

3. Please follow both your hosts Diana from The World Around Her and Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama via Facebook {here and here} and/or Twitter {here and here}. As it’s not mandatory it is greatly appreciated.

4. If you tweet about your post or Instagram it, feel free to tag me or Tairalyn and use the hashtag, #FiveThingsParty

5. Check out the other bloggers who have linked up, show them some love and comment on at least one other bloggers link-up post.

Shall we get the party started...


1. Shorts and tank tops are my life right now! Oh and how amazing is the sand sculpture behind us? Atlantic City, NJ hosted the Sand Sculpting World Cup for the 2nd year in a row and my husband and I were lucky enough to enjoy it last year as well. This time we took my youngest daughter and her friend along for the trip. You never know if teens are going to be into something you like, but thankfully they loved it as much as we did!

2. Everyone one is talking about the Super Moon this week, myself included. And while I did capture a few great photos of it, it is not my favorite shot of the moon that I have in my collection. I just stumbled upon this incredible shot of the crescent moon I took from July 4th week when we were on vacation. Sometimes I take so many photos that I forget about the really cool ones until I finally upload them onto the computer! 

3. Unfortunately we didn't get to see fireworks on vacation because of Hurricane Arthur making the seas a bit too rough for Ocean City to set them off from the barge in the water. However, our local town did a pretty fine job with their own show the weekend after. I have to say, fireworks are one of my favorite parts about vacationing during July 4th week, when we don't see them it just doesn't feel right!

4. My Zinnias are in full bloom and I can't believe how much they have sprouted up. When we left for vacation they were only about 2-3 inches tall, and when we returned home they were about 8-10 inches if not taller! I'm so proud of my little garden; I don't do too well with potted plants, but give me a garden outside and I'll grow you a field of flowers! 

5. Have you ever tried a soft shelled crab? I LOVE THEM! My first experience eating one was in Maryland a few years ago and I have been hooked ever since. If you have never tried one, it's a must! You eat the entire crab, legs and all! The chips that came with the crab were really good as well, I had to push the plate away before I gobbled them all up! If you're ever in Ocean City, NJ you can find them at Ike's Famous Crabcakes on the boardwalk. 

So, do you think I should change the name of my blog or just the look? What are some things you would like to see in the design? What do you like best about my blog? 

Alright, now it's your turn to link up...




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... it's easier said than done, right?! I mentioned in my last post that I wasn't going to let silly little things get to me, and that I wasn't going to sweat the small stuff any more. A mess in the kitchen made by someone else, don't sweat it. Silly drivers on the road doing crazy things, don't sweat it. A number on the scale you never thought you would see again, never wanted to see again... don't sweat it. Breathe, and move on. 

It was a pound here and there over my goal weight that I finally reached at the end of 2012, beginning of 2013. However, recently it has been more than a few pounds. I told myself I would not see that number when I turned 30 or ever again (I'm now 31!), so I purchased a few Jillian Michaels DVDs that my friend recommended and got to work. I was so proud of myself for sticking to it; I changed my eating habits and worked out at least 4 times a week in 2012 to 2013. You can read about the start of this journey here and here

At first I didn't sweat the few pounds I had gained, why let it bother me when I could still fit into the same sized clothing? I tried to promise myself that I wouldn't see that number again, but since about the end of last year I have stayed over it. I got tired of keeping up with the food journal and only kept up with my work out routine every other week.  But now after three weeks of not keeping up with my workout routine and eating like there is no tomorrow, my clothes are starting to feel a little snug. Oh, and these love handles...what's to love about them?! 

 I know, I know, we are not a number on a scale. But, when I see the number I know that I am not being healthy and therefore I am not happy with myself. The clothes may have fit, but I knew I wasn't eating healthy and I saw that my body was changing. My thighs were getting bigger and I could see that I was just losing the curves and shape I had worked so hard for two years ago. 


So, why am I not keeping up with it? Well I am a big time stress eater, which is why I'm trying to learn how  not to sweat the small stuff!! 

Big time, life changing stressful events happen and sometimes those things get the best of us (GOD knows I had a few of those at the end of last year)...but I can't keep worrying about the little things that I can't change. 

I'm not sure if I'll start with the food journal again, but I did start my workout routine again. Yesterday was Day 1...


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Five Things: My Random Thoughts

It's been a little quiet on the blog this week, but I couldn't leave my co-host and followers without a Five Things link up post, now could I?! However, I am a little stuck on what five things to write about today. I was on vacation last week and haven't been too inspired to get back into the swing of things. Where do you find inspiration when you're not feeling the need to write? 


1. Five Things link up is posted every Thursday at Midnight EST. Share any five things that are on your mind right now. Whether it's something you are obsessing with on Pinterest, a new and exciting event going on in your life, or even sharing five of your favorite books; it's totally up to you. 

2. Please put the Five Things button on the post you're sharing for the link up; sharing is caring, the more players involved the more fun we'll have.

3. Please follow both your hosts Diana from The World Around Her and Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama via Facebook {here and here} and/or Twitter {here and here}. As it’s not mandatory it is greatly appreciated.

4. If you tweet about your post or Instagram it, feel free to tag me or Tairalyn and use the hashtag, #FiveThingsParty

5. Check out the other bloggers who have linked up, show them some love and comment on at least one other bloggers link-up post.

Shall we get the party started...




1. Is it too early for me to retire and become a beach bum for the rest of my life...who is with me?!

2. So remember how I stressed the use of sunscreen two weeks ago? Well, I did make sure to use it before we went out onto the beach, but I guess I forgot to reapply... because I got burnt! ( Not as orange as Anne Hathaway, but still pretty red!) It's really important to reapply, friends. Don't just put it on in the morning and think it will protect you all day long...like I did! Put it in your bag if you intend on being out all day, like I should have done!

3. Just before vacation our local library hosted a book sale and I scored three books for a $1.00 each! I whizzed right through the first book "Glimmerglass" by Jenna Black. My step-daughter recommended it and said it was a must read. It's actually part of a trilogy and while I wait to get the second book in the mail I started on Nicholas Sparks' "The Best of Me". I don't want to make this post too long, so I'll save the book reviews for next time! (PS, I LOVED "Glimmerglass" and I'm really getting into "The Best of Me")

4. Last year I learned about the local non-profit organization Worthwhile Wear and how they help women and children, locally and overseas, escape human trafficking. I wanted to do more than just purchase the handmade items that Worthwhile Wear sells, I wanted to pitch in. With help from my girl Monica of East Coast Creative blog, who is good friends with the non-profit's executive director Dan Emr, I was able to physically help with Worthwhile Wear's new housing project The Well. She is helping with the makeover of this safe house and needs more than just local hands who can paint. So if you would like to find out more on how you can get involved with this incredible project stop by EC2 and read all about what she's doing to help fight human trafficking. I gathered a few volunteers from my local women's group, and together we painted a bedroom and made over a bathroom vanity.  The fight against human trafficking isn't an easy one, but together we can make life better for women and children who are either at risk or have escaped. Please considering joining the fight. 

5. Well, how can I sweat the small stuff when there are victims of human trafficking, victims of domestic violence, people battling cancer and other diseases, and just people in general who are depressed or angry from the moment they wake up in the morning? Sometimes we let the little things get to us; like rush hour traffic, a bad hair day, gaining a few unwanted pounds, etc., but I'm determined to not let these things I cannot change get the best of me. I don't have to be happy and cheerful every second of the day, it's okay to express other emotions. However, I will not let silly little things bother me any more. END SCENE!! 

Well, for a person who wasn't in the mood to write at the start of this post, I sure did find a few things to discuss! Now it's your turn...







Thursday, July 3, 2014

Five Things: 4th of July Celebration

Since we're celebrating Independence Day this week (tomorrow actually!) in the states I thought it would be fun to do a 4th of July celebration round up for my Five Things link up party. Many of you may have left your patriotic decor hanging up around the house since Memorial Day, I actually don't have any decor for either holiday! So for those still in need of last minute craft and sweet treat ideas for a patriotic BBQ celebration, like myself, you have come to the right place...


1. Five Things link up is posted every Thursday at Midnight EST. Share any five things that are on your mind right now. Whether it's something you are obsessing with on Pinterest, a new and exciting event going on in your life, or even sharing five of your favorite books; it's totally up to you. 

2. Please put the Five Things button on the post you're sharing for the link up; sharing is caring, the more players involved the more fun we'll have.

3. Please follow both your hosts Diana from The World Around Her and Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama via Facebook {here and here} and/or Twitter {here and here}. As it’s not mandatory it is greatly appreciated.

4. If you tweet about your post or Instagram it, feel free to tag me or Tairalyn and use the hashtag, #FiveThingsParty

5. Check out the other bloggers who have linked up, show them some love and comment on at least one other bloggers link-up post.

Shall we get the party started...


1. Last week I posted a similar red, white, and blue treat on my Instagram, but it wasn't half as pretty as KariAnne's 4th of July dessert! Plus, I only used Reddi-wip with my blueberries and strawberries, she actually put together a little cool whip, yogurt combination...yum! Stop by her blog Thistlewood Farm for the complete recipe. It's an easy little treat to put together for your patriotic BBQ, and who doesn't love food in a mason jar?! 

2. Sometimes it's just easier to have a paper table runner when you're serving messy barbecue and have tons of little ones who will be eating at said table! But why let your paper table runner be boring when you can DIY a red, white, and blue one that will perfectly match your 4th of July party decor?! I love the stars on this one Monica and Jess of East Coast Creative put together using drawing paper, stop by their blog for the easy tutorial. 

3. Is this not the coolest patriotic wreath you've ever seen?! I have seen and shared cool wreath ideas before, but this is one I might actually put together. All you need is an embroidery hoop, fabric, and scissors...I think I can handle that! Check out the very easy tutorial over on Tell Love & Chocolate, not only does blogger Sara have a cute wreath but a cute blog name too! 

4. The awesome Kimberly at A Night Owl Blog (jealous of her blog name y'all!) put together a great round up of patriotic kids crafts that included this adorable 4th of July sand art from HoneyBear Lane. It's just the cutest craft that parents and kids can do together and it adds an extra little touch of red, white, and blue to help complete your patriotic home decor. These would look great at night time on your deck or porch with a tea light inside, like this DIY over on Martha Stewart

5. Another yummy 4th of July treat idea, there's always room for dessert right?! My sister's sister-in-law makes the best Christmas bark, so when I saw this red, white, and blue bark on Facebook I had to tag it and share it with her. I just love the swirls of red and blue that blogger Parrish put in the bark, head over to her blog Life With the Crust Cut Off to see the recipe tutorial. 

There are so many amazing patriotic craft and recipe ideas out there for the 4th of July, but I can only share five! What are some of your favorite ideas you've seen or put together for Independence Day? 

OK, now it's your turn to join the link up party with Little Miss Mama and I, what's on your mind this week? 








Monday, June 30, 2014

Flip-Flop Fashion: Yay or Nay?

I read a post on Lucky Magazine last week by their associate digital editor, Alison Syrett Cleary, that flip-flops are just a "sloppy" fashion statement. She thinks they make casual wear look even "less pulled together" and well don't get her started on how bad they make "dressier" ensembles look! 

Then, her colleague Madeline Alford wrote a pro flip-flop piece on all the reasons why she loves flip-flops for casual and dressier occasions during the Summer! She does however say that flip-flops are not for the "office, theater, or first date (unless poolside)". 

I know there are doctors out there who say flip-flops aren't great for our feet, but there are thousands if not millions of women who still wear high heels every day, so you really won't see either of these footwear trends ever go away just because the experts have warned us not to wear them! 

My question for you ladies is, which side do you sit (or should I say walk) on? I appreciate that one magazine posted both sides and discussed how it was a hot topic issue during a meeting in their office. 

Are you wondering how I feel about flip-flops, well here is my answer for you....


Now although I love wearing flip-flops all Summer long, I am pretty picky about them. I can't stand those thin flip-flops or ones that have too much going on. Two years ago I discovered the Nike South Beach flip-flop at Kohl's and couldn't believe the comfort. It has enough sole to give my foot good support and has a nice thick, soft strap that doesn't rub my foot the wrong way! Plus, they are still wearable two years later, now that's a good flip-flop! 

I posted the flip-flop question on my personal Facebook page and at the time of writing this I received three yays. Tell me, where do you stand?! 

 Don't forget to stop back on Thursday for the Five Things link up party...this week I'm sharing my favorite craft and recipe ideas for Independence Day aka the 4th of July here in the states! 

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day! 









Thursday, June 26, 2014

Five Things: Beach Vacation Must Haves

Ladies, you know we cram our travel bags with everything that we can possibly fit inside them, but there are some items that are a bit more important than others and just help to make any vacation complete. So since this year for vacation we're going to the beach I thought I would share with you my beach vacation must haves. I had to really narrow it down for my Five Things link up party, but you know there are definitely more than five things in my bag! 


1. Five Things link up is posted every Thursday at Midnight EST. Share any five things that are on your mind right now. Whether it's something you are obsessing with on Pinterest, a new and exciting event going on in your life, or even sharing five of your favorite books; it's totally up to you. 

2. Please put the Five Things button on the post you're sharing for the link up; sharing is caring, the more players involved the more fun we'll have.

3. Please follow both your hosts Diana from The World Around Her and Tairalyn from Little Miss Mama via Facebook {here and here} and/or Twitter {here and here}. As it’s not mandatory it is greatly appreciated.

4. If you tweet about your post or Instagram it, feel free to tag me or Tairalyn and use the hashtag, #FiveThingsParty

5. Check out the other bloggers who have linked up, show them some love and comment on at least one other bloggers link-up post.

Shall we get the party started...


1. A great beach tote bag is a must, how else am I going to carry not only my own must haves, but items that everyone else wants while relaxing pool side or on the beach! I bet we actually have more of our family members items in our beach tote than our own things, am I right or am I right?! PS this awesome DIY bag was made for my birthday by my lovely friend Busy Bee Kate!

2. SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN!!!! I cannot stress this beach vacation must have enough. There's a personal story to go along with this, but I'll leave that for another post. Just please wear sunscreen. 

3. If I'm relaxing on the beach or tanning at the pool I need a good book to read, I cannot just sit there and people watch! I just finished John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars", I loved it and loathed it at the same time. It started out really great, the main character Hazel is a sarcastic teen that reminded me of my own girls, so she pretty much came to life for me right off the pages of the book. However, there were just too many unrealistic events for me to really feel like I was connecting with any of the characters. Yes, I cried and cried some more, cancer sucks and I have dealt with loss in my life because of it, so on that level I did connect, but as a whole I wanted more. Oh, and don't get me started on how it ended! Overall I would give it a B. Have you read it, what did you think? So, now I need a new book to read, any suggestions? 

4. If you're going on a beach vacation you need the perfect swimsuit, one you can feel comfortable yet sexy in. A few years ago I purchased a high neck swimsuit at Kohl's, similar to the one in the photo, and now I'm convinced that this style is the best ever (well for my body shape that is)! I'm a once piece swimsuit kind of gal, how about you? 

5. You can't enjoy a vacation without the right tunes! Before I moved to the burbs I didn't really listen to country at all, it was actually on my can't stand list, haha! But then something happen when we moved here and I became an almost country only chick, believe it or not this girl from the city is listening to country music! I just can't stand most of today's pop music, I still love my Matchbox Twenty, One Republic, Pink, and other rock pop artists and singer song writers. But the "today's hits" station on Pandora just turns me off and has me running in the other direction. It seems to be all rave, night club type music; just not for me. So now that country has gone more rock and pop I've become obsessed with artists like Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker, The Band Perry, Lady A, Rascal Flatts, and Jake Owen, who just so happens to have the perfect Summer song out right now... "Beachin''...it can't get better than that, can it?! 

So, where are you headed this Summer for vacation, what are your top must haves that you cram inside your luggage? 

Link up with us and share the five things that are on your mind this week, we want to hear what's going on in your life too! 




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Refreshing Iced Green Tea Recipe

 My mom used to make homemade iced tea all the time, and for some reason like her baked ziti recipe, which you can check out here, it took me this long to finally make it myself. I wanted to give her a call when I thought about making it, but knew she was at work so I began a search on Google and YouTube to find the perfect recipe.

I have watched my mom several times as she put the tea bags in the pot on the stove, so I knew the process was pretty simple, but I just wasn't sure of the exact amount of water or tea bags the recipe called for. While mom always made the traditional iced tea, I was considering green tea bags for mine. After watching a few not so great recipe videos on YouTube, I finally stumbled upon the easiest homemade iced green tea recipe on Woman's Day magazine....


Kirkland is a Costco Wholesale house brand. Now there may be some of you who would never buy a store brand, however I've never been one to shy away from them. I compare the ingredients and if everything looks the same, why not purchase the less expensive brand, right?! I have to tell you, their green tea bags are really rich in flavor compared to others I've tried that just taste like you're drinking hot water! 



The recipe on Woman's Day called for 4 cups of water and 6 tea bags, not wanting to change anything I followed the ingredients and directions as is. But after I poured the green tea into my 1/2 gallon pitcher, I realized I would need more to fill it up. I poured another 4 cups of water in the pot, let it come to a boil, turned off the heat, and actually reused the same 6 tea bags, then covered the pot with the lid and allowed the bags to steep for three minutes. 


Isn't the color gorgeous? I just love how the iced green tea looks in my personalized glass pitcher, which was a birthday gift from my best friend Becky a few years ago. 

At the time of putting the recipe together I didn't have any fresh fruit in the house, but now that I have strawberries I'm wondering how the results would taste if I added them in?! It's not as strong tasting as I expected it to be, so I may double up the amount of tea bags next time I make it. I also added in a few teaspoons of sugar, which is totally up to personal preference. 

Recipe Ingredients for a 1/2 gal glass pitcher: 
  • 8 cups of water
  • 12 green tea bags 
  • honey or sugar for sweetener 
Recipe Directions: 
  • Bring 8 cups of water to almost a boil, turn off heat
  • Add 12 green tea bags, cover with lid. 
  • Let your tea bags steep for 3 minutes 
  • Remove bags and transfer to glass pitcher. Add in honey or sugar and refrigerate to cool
Modified Recipe from Woman's Day

This just may be my new favorite Summer drink! What are some drink recipes you like to make to cool things down during hot Summer days? 

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!