Friday, September 29, 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness Giveaway!

My last blog post was a pretty personal one that spoke of the type of aggressive breast cancer that took my mom in July of this year. It has been really difficult for my family losing her, and to us, it felt sudden. 

But I want to honor her and do something to spread that awareness about inflammatory breast cancer. So, this month, I will be hosting a giveaway. 

The giveaway will begin on 10/1 and will end on 10/30. So you'll have plenty of time to make sure you're entered and share share share!!!


It has been a long time since I have ran a giveaway, and in most of my giveaways, there was only 1 winner. This time there will be 3! 

Winners will be announced here on my blog November 1st! So be sure to keep checking back. Don't forget to increase your chances to be one of the winners by commenting below and sharing. 


Wondering how to enter? Here are the rules:

You will need to enter yourself using AT LEAST ONE of the entering methods on the rafflecopter giveaway form. You can do as many or as few as you would like but at least 1 must be done.
You MUST fill out this form with your information so I may contact you and send you your prize. If you do not add your contact and address information, your entry will not be counted.

**Your contact information will not be public. It is for my eyes only**

The 3 winners will each be offered the opportunity to choose which one, out of these products below, that they would like to receive as their prize.


Inflammatory Breast Cancer Awareness Keychain


Inflammatory Breast Cancer Awareness Reusable Grocery Bag


Grow Hope Coffee Mug


Grow Hope Pinback Button




Thanks for joining me in this giveaway and please remember to share. Hope you have fun and good luck everyone!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Losing My Mom to IBC

It's nearly October, and for many of us, that means seeing Breast Cancer Awareness articles, donation requests, news stories, fundraisers, and etc at every turn. In sync with breast cancer awareness month, I just want to share a topic that mattered to someone who mattered a lot to me.



Breast Cancer is a demon that plagues the lives of people we love everyday. My mom was one of those people who . She was an amazing woman with a fiery spirit. She was stubborn and outspoken too(probably where I get it from). She fought harder than anyone I have ever seen, and I am so proud of her. 

In 2013, she was diagnosed with stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer. Please look into this type of cancer. It is rare, it is fast growing, and it is very aggressive. 

Image result for inflammatory breast cancer
Image Credit to The IBC Network Foundation
After 6 highly intense rounds of chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and 33 radiation treatments... my mom was finally confirmed to be "cancer free" in 2014. She had sacrificed a lot to fight the fight. She lost her hair, her hearing in one ear, and eventually the medications destroyed the strength in her teeth. She was forced to have them pulled and get false teeth. But she was alive. 

We were blessed. 

Anyone who has been reading my blog or follows me on social media knows that I recently lost my mother to this cancer. There was a relapse, only this time because of the type of cancer she had, it spread throughout her body and into her major organs before anyone knew what was happening to her.

The thing that people don't understand about the importance of awareness is, the doctors don't know much about cancers like this. Nothing is guaranteed. Learning all we can about this is important because, the sooner it's spotted, the more time a doctor has to react and learn how to give you your best chance. 

My mom wanted people to learn about this cancer and to share what they know with others. She didn't want people to go thru what she went through. So this has become very important to me.

Please take a moment to study up on this cancer and be informed that just because it isn't noticed on a mammogram, doesn't mean it isn't there. Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare aggressive cancer, but it is not so rare that it can't affect you.

 Breast Cancer Awareness Gifts


Friday, September 1, 2017

Leggings!!

   I am just getting back into the groove of working on my Z store, but I am loving a lot of the products that are being offered now. One of those is leggings! I can't wait until the weather cools down in my area so I can start pulling out my leggings and boots. I'm so ready. 

Check out some of these stylish leggings

Faded Purple Leggings



Pink Lily Leggings


Diamond Pattern Leggings


Fake Jeans Leggings


Jack Skellington Pattern 2 Leggings


Paris Eiffel Tower Leggings


If you liked those cute designs, check out more at Zazzle.

Do you like leggings or are you opposed to the fashion trend? 






Thursday, August 31, 2017

Excited for Autumn

   I don't know about you, but Fall is my favorite season hands down. I love everything about it. Well, except for pumpkin flavored everything. I know... I know... I'm insane. Pumpkin just doesn't do it for me though. 

I Hate Pumpkin Spice! Funny Fall Halloween Cooking Adult Apron



My favorite thing about Fall/Autumn is the dramatic change in scenery. It is symbolic of how even in death, there is beauty. The leaves fall from the trees but they fall so elegantly and in their own time. Leaves of every color and shade fall to the ground and cover it like a blanket. It is nature's artwork.

Speaking of artwork, check out this cool autumn themed postcard featuring a cute little alien raking leaves under the sidewalk!

the lazy leaf-raker postcard


Autumn is a beautiful time of year, despite that it is an indicator of an impending end to the year itself. Although it is a visual reminder that all things come to an end, many of us find it to be a perfect time for new beginnings. Statistically, the most popular seasons for weddings are in the summer and autumn months. 

Rustic Autumn Leaves String Lights Save the Date Postcard


What's your favorite season? Share in the comments. 

Thanks for reading! Have a blessed day.

**Don't forget, if you shop at Zazzle.com for any custom gifts you can save up to 50% off of various merchandise with coupon code: ZAZPARTYSALE today only.**




Monday, May 22, 2017

My First Time Potty Training. What Works?

So this article is a little off course from my usual blog content, but I just wanna vent today. Of course, if you're reading and you have any tips or advice on the subject matter, I welcome it in the comments.. just don't be a negative Nancy.

Finding my way in the SAHM world doesn't seem to be an easy task. I feel overwhelmed by so much to do and now I am trying to potty train two toddlers! Thank God for the internet, that's all that I can say, because otherwise I think I would tearing my hair out. 

There are so many great blogs and articles on how to do things, or fun activities for indoors when it's raining, and DIY kid friendly crafts and experiments that will surely entertain. You can check out my DIY Frugal Fun & Baby & Kids Stuff boards on Pinterest for some nifty things.

Getting back to the potty training. I am really struggling with this. How do you know when they're really ready? I thought for sure it was when they began pulling off their pants and diapers, and when they don't fill a diaper overnight. 

How does one deal with not 1 but 2 very active toddlers who take their diapers off and run around the house naked... in opposite directions?! How do I wait until they're ready without trails of urine lining down the halls? 

I decided, I'm not waiting. I'm not going to rush them or push them if they aren't ready. But I'm not waiting either. We decided to buy 2 of these Fisher Price Learn to Flush Potty's 
and now every single time I go to the restroom, they come with me. I ask them each time if they would like to sit on their potty. Right now, they are happy to sit on the potty... in their pants and/or diaper. But for me that's okay. I want them to feel comfortable sitting on it and don't want to pressure them to use it. They do love to flush the potty and hear the sounds it makes. 
I am currently trying a reward system too, but I'm not so sure how well it's working. We are currently using stickers. We bought a few of these Fun Express Zoo Animal Rolls to reward them when they sit on the potty without a fuss and don't climb the bathroom counter. 

I also saw these super cute Potty Training Stickers on Zazzle 


Do you/ did you use a reward system when potty training? 
What worked best for you? 
Share your tips and tricks for potty training in the comments. I will take all of the help I can get. :)

Thanks for reading my potty training rant.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Life is a Blur...

     Friends, followers, and strangers... well, you're all pretty much strangers by now since I have been absent for some time. I'm really trying to get back into my groove of things because I miss it so much. 

What has happened since I have been away? Twins, a new home... chaos. 

I wouldn't have it any other way, though. Sure, there are some details that I would (if I could) have just skipped over and not went through at all, but those things are also what helps us to grow and change. 

      Anyways, although I haven't really been blogging or doing much writing at all for a long time, I still have been taking photographs and designing any time I get the chance. It's a power struggle, but I refuse to let life consume me and I forget my passions.

That does happen you know... sometimes we just get too busy to enjoy life. Too busy to enjoy the little things. We're always in a rush to get somewhere or to cook, clean, and then go to sleep so we can do it all over... and then we miss it. We miss life. It is right in front of us and it's beautiful. We simply don't stop, breathe, and take it all in.

That's what I love about photography. That is mostly what this blog was meant to be about... photography. It is all about capturing the moments, people, things, and places that matter most to us. It helps us to kind of freeze life for that instance, and then we can keep going back to it over and over as we look at the images. Memories unfading... especially now that we have online photo storage.

     In one of my last posts(forever ago), I told you about my twin boys. Well, they will be 2 years old soon- next month in fact- and we're super excited! They have so many things that they love, that we just aren't sure what theme to go with for their birthday this year. 

Last year we went with Minions and it was perfect! We even had a minion for a cake! Well, it was a bunch of cupcakes placed together to make a minion... but it was a hit! Check out one way to make your own minion cupcake cake here.



These are some of my ideas for their party this year. I just love these invitations, they are adorable!


Sesame Street | Elmo - Cupcake & Confetti Birthday Card

I love this Elmo themed Invitation. The boys really love Elmo right now... I think it's the sound of his voice that gets their attention. They definitely favor Elmo over the other Sesame Street puppets.

Finding Nemo Birthday Invitation


by disney

My husband and I took our boys to see an aquarium in Charlotte, NC about a month or so ago, and now they are absolutely in love with all things fish. They can't say "Fish" yet, but they are definitely working on adding that to their vocabulary. Finding Nemo and Finding Dory are big hits in our house now... not that I didn't love them before they were 'cool'.

Dino Pool Party Invitation, Pool Party Invite


Finally, this is also a favorite. I love the vibrant colors and the theme of the dinosaurs by the pool. My kids have a summer month birthday, so having an outdoor pool party wouldn't be a terrible idea to keep people cool, all the while getting to enjoy the weather. 

This past Christmas, my sister who is in the Army (so proud of you sis and appreciate all you do for our country), sent the boys a bulk pack of toy dinosaurs. Since we have been learning the names of the dinos and learning what they eat too. They absolutely love dinosaurs now... their favorite thing to say is "RAWR!!". I guess it's a good thing I know that Rawr means "I love you" in dino.

Get out Amazon for your little one some cool Dinos 




Saturday, November 28, 2015

So, I'm Way Behind...

I'm just starting to check out all of the cool new products that the Print On Demand company, Zazzle has recently began offering for us independent artists' to design on. I'm loving what I'm seeing so far, but because it's getting colder here in NC, I'm really loving that they now have fleece blankets!!

I've taken it upon myself to play around with some of my designs and make a few. Here is one of a baby blanket that I've done so far. I really like it.

 


 Now check out some of my favorites from other great artists:


 

I'm loving this simple soft yellow houndstooth pattern baby blanket. Yellow is E's favorite color right now. Baby's love things that are bright and fun to look at. This lovely blanket design by heartlocked definitely is just that.

 

This custom subway art style baby blanket is simply a pure genius design by adams_apple. I love the ease of the customization! All you have to do in order to personalize this blanket with your son's name is enter it into the text field. Awesome!

 

I love the idea behind this blanket design. As a Mother, I want a keepsake that is going to remind me of when my boys were small and of the most important day of my life. This blanket does that by allowing a mom to personalize the blanket with the height, weight, date, and time of her son's birth on it. Artist samack also has one for a little girl here