October Favorites

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Let's do a recap of all the things that were pretty great about October.

This pretty girl's wedding day was finally a go!

Shared my baby fears and got a lot of encouragement that I will be ok when the time comes.

Fall Fun was tried to be had. Actually, not much but I'll work on that when I feel better.

Quitting my job to blog. Or at least I hope so thanks to the awesome course by Helene.

Gave you a great list to show your husbands why Women & Budgets do Not Mix.

The doctor that finally gave me some antibiotics for this nice bacterial infection I got going on. She's my absolute favorite.

Cheers to November!


Friendship for a Reason, Season or Lifetime?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Friendship is something that I have been truly blessed with in my life. But I can't help but think lately how friendships have changed over the years. How some friendships held on while others did not it. Then, I came across this quote and just how fitting it was.

I really like thinking about this in regards to own life, my own friendships. The reason friendships. They address a  need you have at that current moment and that person is meant to fulfill it, help you with it. It was the college friend that introduced me to my sorority but wasn't a friend when I graduated. It's the co-worker turned friend that pushed me to excel to move up in the company.

Friendships for the seasons last a little longer, teach you a little bit more. These could be the high school friendships who build your confidence, your college friends. For me, it was the 30 plus sisters I lived with who taught me patience, compassion and that doors should always shut quietly but did not make it past the handing out of the diplomas.

It's when you leave for college and you are separated from the people you have probably spent the good part of 10 years or more with. There are some friendships that survive this change. I am very lucky that I have quite a few that withstood this test. But there were others that I realized were meant for the season of small town living. To help me grow into myself while I was in high school but couldn't sustain any longer in college.

It's entering the seasons of marriage and becoming moms. Are there certain friends that aren't supposed to be in your new season as a wife? Maybe there are friendships that have gone through their season of college and post-college but aren't supposed to help you grow into the wife you are meant to be.

Then come the babies. Oh, the adorable babies. They come in with their cuteness and charm. It's a totally different season. It's overwhelming for the newest mom. It's more of where can I take my baby that she won't scream or I need to find out who can watch my baby. It's expecting less phone calls but still being understanding. Again, there are friendships that won't understand the 24 hour later text back or who are going through their own season and need someone more involved. It's the friendships that won't lift you up as a mom, that just can't survive that season.

Through all of these seasons, the most important thing is to be there for each other, maybe one person more than the other at certain times. I still remember my friend had a one year old and took a girls beach trip with us. Another friend still goes out to drink margaritas with me at bachelorette parties. This might not be an every weekend thing like we used to do bu these small moments are all the friendship needs. The texts every once in awhile to check in, say hello.

You will see friendships change, friendships just stop being friendships.It might be the single friend was meant to be with you on nights out but not by your side as you are a wife. Or maybe the it's the high school friend who was there through everything , break-ups, make-ups, marriage, just was meant to help you through all of that but no longer can help you grow.

I know there will be more seasons, more friendships. I am excited to enter into the mom's club one day. Even though it can be hard to look back and see my friendships that were only meant to survive for a short time, I then look at who's here now.

My lifetime friends. Or so I hope they are. The friends who teach me lessons, who see the worst in me but love me anyway and the ones that give me support to be who I am supposed to be. These are the ones that have helped me in the tough moments, will continue to encourage me through the anxious moments (motherhood, yikes!) and will always teach me in my different seasons.

I can't look into the future. I can't predict who will continue to be a lifetime friend or who will only turn out to be a friend for a season. I'm sure there will be new friendships for reason and maybe even a new lifetime friend to join the mix. But I do know, I am very fortunate for my friendships. Whether they are for a reason, a season or lifetime.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,you will know what to do for each person.
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.

They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

Lifetime relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the person, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is bling but friendship is clairvoyant.
-Author Unknown


Yeast Free Chocolate Syrup

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

In honor of National Chocolate Day, I figured I would share one of my treats while going yeast free. Yeast Free Chocolate Syrup. It kept me from wanting to eat all of our cupboard snacks and allowed me to feel like I was indulging. It's so easy to make quickly and you can double or triple to have some on hand at all times.

If you grab chocolate syrup from your local grocer, you are looking at something filled with high fructose corn syrup, sugar, xanthan gum, artificial flavors. All things that are definitely not yeast free or even good for you. I quickly realized I could still enjoy it by making it homemade and it's better for me.


1 1/2 cups water
1 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1 1/2 cups Stevia
1 tsp vanilla extract

Boil/heat water.  Make sure it's hot, I learned cold water and cocoa do not mix. Literally.
Add in the sugar; whisk until blended. 
Add in cocoa; beat quickly until there are no more lumps. 
Drop in vanilla. 
Allow it to cool. It will also thicken as it cools. 
If you find it is a little runny, you can add more cocoa and adjust the sugar amount, but through all my trial and error these are the amounts that have worked for me. 

Then, you're done! Pretty easy, right?

You can add it to almond milk for some chocolate milk or heat it up for some hot cocoa. A no guilt way to have chocolate on top of your ice cream too. Delicious!

What's your favorite thing to put chocolate syrup on?


Starting the Season of Thanks with a Giveaway

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

We are just about to head into November, the time of giving thanks. And I want to thank all of YOU for being readers of this little blog. You are what makes this blog successful. You are what makes me glad to show up here and write some of my personal thoughts. So I want to give you the chance to $400 in PayPal cash, yes, $400!! Two winners will be chosen and you have until 11/25/15. Good luck!!

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Terms & Conditions: This giveaway opens on 10/25/15 and ends on 11/25/15. It's open worldwide, void where prohibited. There will be two (2) winners of $400 USD which will be paid via PayPal, or gift card of winners choice. Winners must be 21 years or older to win. Winners must complete all entries to be entered to win. Full Lives Reviews will choose a winner no later than 10/30/15 via random.org. The entries will be verified and the winners will be contacted via email. The winners have 48 hours to respond and claim prize. If the winner doesn't claim prize within 48 hours their prize will be forfeit and a new winner will be chosen. By entering this giveaway you are abiding by all laws and regulations in your country.


Friday's Letters..Sort Of

Friday, October 23, 2015

I know a few weeks ago I had this grand idea for Friday's Letters. As much as I want to sit and write about my silly things from the week or what's going on around, I just don't want to. And that's ok.

But I will write to you. Let you know that this week was nothing spectacular. I have been battling some sort of sickness, part sinuses, part allergies, that sometimes feels like a huge lump in my throat. To a person that gets anxious easily, it meant 50% of my week was telling myself that my throat wasn't actually closing up and that I wasn't going to be able to breathe.

Anyone with anxiety knows that this alone made me exhausted most days. Just trying to calm myself down takes more work than you might think. It's all I thought about for most of my week. Everything that could go wrong, everything else that felt wrong in my body. And this was on top of the normal every day worries. Exhausting.

Dinner was made 2 out of these past 4 days, ordered my groceries because dealing with that chaos wasn't happening and only worked out 3 times this week. Because Wednesday I was convinced my lungs were exploding. I have drank gallons of hot tea, ginger ale and soda to make sure I was swallowing properly and only had to text my cousin twice regarding medicine questions. Basically, it's been one of those weeks. The weeks that I am so glad is over and I can see ya later to.

My plans for the weekend include a lot of relaxing and a lot of nothing. And that sounds just about right.

Me. Sunday. 


Back to my Future

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Today is October 21, 2015. Back to the Future Day. Where flying cars were supposed to be happening and colander hats are a thing.

It's a funny thing when you look 30 years into the future You never know what it's going to look like. I always thought 28 was so.old. And I would have my shit together by now. But guess what? There are some days where I am really not sure. Looking 30 years into my future, I will be 58. Now, that's old. Who knows what crazy things can happen in my life and the world. Here are my predictions.


Dunkin Donuts delivery everywhere.

You can get anything in a box subscription. 

Hangover cures. Lucky college kids.

Dream house acquired
Just enough to fit family for long weekends

Kids a plenty. I assume I will get over my baby fears soon

Said kids will find my social media presence and use it to their advantage. 

New boobs. Because why not?

Some sort of self driving car.

Student loans forgiven for anyone over 50. Am I expecting too much?

Embracing my way into 60.
Yup. She's 60.

Not embracing gray hair. 

Working from home jobs grow.  I'll be one of those people. 

Flip phones are back.

Still happily married.

Will be looking fondly at no wrinkles.

What predictions do you have for 30 years from now?


Weekend and the City

Monday, October 19, 2015

This weekend I got the chance to let out my inner Sex and the City girl by taking an On Location Tour in New York City. On Location Tours provides multiple tours for all the TV & movie lovers. The TV & Movie tour. The Gossip Girl tour. The TMZ Tour. But as Sex and the City lovers, it was our first choice!

Cousin's Day
Once you book your tickets, you are sent a very detailed email regarding meet up points and what you should and shouldn't bring. This tour picked us up in front of The Plaza. Home of many New York moment movies. 

And Sex and the City fans, how can we forget the famous intro to the second movie reminding us all how they met? You stand right in front of that fountain to check-in and it's the same place Carrie and Charlotte walk through.

Check in is really convenient, no paper tickets needed. The sooner you get there to check in the closest you will be towards the front of the bus. That comes in handy when you are The Pleasure Chest or for the Bar. All it does is allow you a few extra moments to peruse or take pictures. This would be the same for every tour I am assuming. Most of the tour is spent on the bus driving by the locations from the TV show and the movie. A little disappointing not being able to see some of them but making notes to revisit is always an option. 

Restaurant scene where they run into Aidan & Steve..the exes. 

You are shown clips of each location you stop at or see which puts a reminder in your head that they were there and now you are too! It really puts the place forefront in your mind. These are the places we did get to stop at and see up close.

The Pleasure Chest
There is plenty of time to shop around in here for a little fun for the bedroom. No pictures are allowed for obvious reasons...but just leave it to the imagination on the sort of things you can find here. 

Or you could also pop in the nice cafe down the street to use the bathroom, The Surf Shop. If we had time to stay, it was the perfect relaxing atmosphere.

Sitting on the window bench.

Aidan & Steve's  Restaurant
Cosmos encouraged! They offer a generous cosmo for $10 so you can feel like one of the girls on a Saturday night sipping a cosmo.

Buddakan Resturant
The site of the Rehearsal Dinner for the wedding that never was. There is someone there ready to make reservations for your next gathering, too. If I was a local, I know this might be a great place for a birthday party.

Carrie's Front Steps
This is the most anticipated stop of the tour. The actors never actually got to go inside the apartment building until the very first movie (New Year's Eve scene.) The current owners have strict rules that we couldn't cross the street while on the tour. But if you stop back on your free time you might be able to get up close to them and actually stand in front of the stairs.

Our tour guide was super nice and knew her stuff with regards to the language and expressions from the show and made the Sex and the City Tour truly authentic. She kept us entertained and laughing. All of their tours are run by local actors/ actresses to make it extra interesting and really get you involved in the tour. Overall, I really enjoyed the tour and On Location does a great job of making sure the tour guides are there to help you out even when the tour is over by giving directions, recommendations, etc.

You have the chance to win your very own tickets to an On Location Tour! This can be for your visit to New York or they also have tours available in Boston and Washington D.C. They do not expire so it's great to plan ahead for the holidays or spring. And there is a Christmas tour that takes you through the Christmas Window display, a site to be able to see.

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Friday's Letters

Friday, October 16, 2015

Dear sinuses: The whole upper respiratory thing you have given me is not quite what I wanted when I'm going away for the weekend. I really would like to swallow again without feeling like I'm swallowing my tonsils. Ick.
Dear Amazon Prime: What would I do without you? This past year you have saved me from fashion emergencies (last minute need for a blanket scarf and you got me), gift emergencies and just been all around great with your 2 Day shipping.

Dear Carrie Underwood: How do you do it? Seriously, Hot Mom Goals. And I am eagerly awaiting your new album and some tour dates I am hoping?! Heartbreak has been on repeat for the past few days and I can't wait to hear the new one released today.

Dear husband: Thank you for being so diligent with your fantasy football statistics and talking about them a lot. Maybe I will listen just a little bit more now because you are clearly very good at it. So very proud of you! Now, can I get my new bed and a shopping spree??

That's all I got for you this week. Although, I could go on a long rant about Lamar Odom and the Kardashians...maybe later.

What are your weekend plans?

Why Women & Budgets Do Not Mix

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Recently, we have put ourselves on a budget of sorts. We situated all 7 of our bank accounts to make sure we are saving properly but at the same time having fun. Now, when it came to each of our budgets for the month, things got tricky.

Trying to explain why I might need to be outside my budget some months was found to be quite hard. Men just do not understand that yes, we actually have to spend money on a lot. Don't blame us. Blame society.

First, there's primer. Then you have to contour. After there is blush and a translucent powder. Don't forget there is eyelid primer, followed by multiple eyeshadow colors. If you're really into makeup you can also have an eyelash primer. Mascara and then you can never forget the eyebrows. And let a woman loose in Sephora and you're in trouble.

Just getting highlights can start you off at an easy $100. Add a full head of color on there and a cut, that can bring you to about $200. It's not cheap to achieve the perfect hair color.

Unlike men, we like to change our clothes every season. What might have been popular last season just does not cut it the next season. Case in point: flares. I need a pair.

//Cute Bras & Undies
All I really need to say is Victoria's Secret.

There's adult acne, no fun. yet, you are getting wrinkles. And sometimes the cheap stuff no longer cuts it as you are past your college years. It's the expensive stuff in the hopes it will rid you of reminders of your younger years.

Whether you are a DIY girl at home or go to get your nails done, it costs money. You have to either buy all the supplies or pay someone to do them every few weeks. I can say, the past few months actually getting my nails done has put a little extra pep in my step.

Rings, purses, necklaces, shoes, oh my! Theses are all of the things we need to pull an outfit together. Have you ever seen a woman that does not have the right pair of shoes to match her outfit? My husband has and it's not pretty.

Looking at all of these, yes, they are technically more wants. Yes, I could not dye my hair but when you've been doing it since you were 15...kind of have to. I know I don't need a new whole wardrobe every season, just a couple of pieces will do. See, I am slightly reasonable, but it's still hard and expensive to be a girl.

Make sure to share this list with your husband or boyfriend when they want to tak about your "budget" or "spending" to let them truly understand.

What do you like to have in your budget?

Don't Just Dream It. Do It.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

From the time you are little, people start asking you what you want to be when you grow up. Teachers, parents, relatives want you to have big dreams. You work towards those dreams from the time you start kindergarten.

As time goes on, some dreams might shift or change completely. For example I learned that I couldn't very well be a CSI when blood makes me faint. That dream was replaced with another dream. And that dream with another. As I achieved certain dreams, it was replaced with another.

Once I became a wife, it was my dream to have a marriage that lasted, a dream I work on every single day. Our dream was to save enough for a house, that meant budgets and not spending all my money. Your dreams can become a reality, you just have to work at them and know which ones are your true dreams and which ones are just another hobby.

I add a new dream to my list weekly. My husband has gotten used to the phrase," You know what I want to do?" But even if it's a temporary dream, I give it a shot. I try it. I see if I am capable of fulfilling it and if I really want to.

Flip Houses
We've all seen the HGTV shows. Fixer Upper. Make it worth a million dollars. It's what I desired to do for the longest time and really researched it thinking we could do it. Now, I've learned that buying/selling a house is so tedious that I couldn't imagine myself going through it over and over. Let's leave that to the people on the TV shows.

Start an Etsy business
Remember my Framed Ring Holder? I thought it was the perfect excuse to start an Etsy shop. There are supplies sitting in a drawer and pins on the logistics of it all. But I haven't gotten down to it just yet. Maybe this will be saved for my stay at home days. Maybe it's meant for a different season in my life.

Sell It Works
You know those crazy wrap things? I have been debating whether I can sell them and supplement my current income. I don't see myself being one of those "I am a millionaire from selling this!" but I have entertained the idea of trying it out. How would my introvert self work that out I might wonder.

Blog full time
First step: Signed up for Helene's "Quit Your Job to Blog" course that starts next week. And she makes over $7k a month off her blog. Goals to be a one day stay at home mommy blogger because I am supposed to be my own boss. I would be great at it.

Write a book
Somewhere in my storage totes of memories, I have a 3rd grade 20 page book I wrote. Something along the lines of a girl on a journey. If I ever find it, I will share with all of you the words that came to me at such a young age. I want to sit at a blank space and really write. See what I can come up with.

Be a Hot Momma
Still holding strong to this one. Some might label it as MILF status. Some might label it as fashionable momma. Plain and simple, want to be given the opportunity to be a mom and be the best one I can be. 

Be a professional photographer
Ask any friend or family member and they would say I was the one always with the camera. I love candid shots the best and being able to capture memories. With my mom gone, I really treasure the memories from the pictures and I always dreamed about being behind the camera for big moments. As much as I love taking pictures and playing around with the DSLR camera, I see it more as a casual hobby. I won't start my own photography business but I will gladly capture special moments in our lives and everyone close to me.

What are some of your dreams?


Accessorize with GlassesShop.com

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Choosing new glasses is hard. Like really hard. I spent a good amount of time in the doctor's office trying to find the perfect pair but they were all so trendy or overpriced. And if you want to add coating or get thin lenses for your severely challenged eyesight, you're really asking for a hefty price tag.

What also makes it hard is only choosing one pair of glasses that you have to wear all the time. If you're plagued with bad eyesight shouldn't you be able to have fun with prescription eyeglasses and count them as an accessories? 

GlassesShop.com is the perfect solution if you are looking for cheap glasses that are still of great quality. The lenses and frames are so affordable and a great way to really be able to build your glasses accessory collection. One day, you might be feeling fierce with cat eyes but the next day it's all about business with the classic square frames.

Being offered to try out these glasses for free was great timing as I was the girl from above scouring the eye doctor for the perfect pair. I knew I wanted cat eye shaped glasses and they make it so easy to narrow down the shape. Then, you can narrow down with the color you are looking for. 

Make sure to pay attention to the width they give you on the site. I skipped over it and my glasses do a nose slide occasionally. But GlassesShop.com provided all the info I just breezed past it thinking no big deal. But it kind of was. It's very easy to put in your prescription and verify the lenses you want and any extras. Make sure you have your pupillary distance (PD) available. 

My glasses came quickly, with a hard case and cleaning cloth and I really like them. I will pay more attention to the width next time but will be ordering another pair really soon! I might even venture into prescription sunglasses (which they offer too!) territory. Nothing bums me more than days I want to wear glasses but have to squint in the sun. 

It's a great time to add another glasses accessory to your collection. GlassesShop.com offers First Pair Free which means all the new customers can have a pair of free glasses, just pay for shipping and handling. This is a much better price tag than you would find at your doctor's office. 

On top of that, I can offer you 50% off ANOTHER pair of glasses. Just use the code GSHOT50. That means you can get one free pair and then order another one at 50% off. Two pairs for not even a quarter of what you would normally pay. I say a win, win.

Do you wear glasses? How many pairs do you own?

Friday's Letters

Friday, October 9, 2015

Way back when, I wrote Friday Letters. It wrapped up about my week or what I was feeling about certain things at the time. It was one of the first link-ups I participated in and I always enjoyed looking back on what I wrote from week to week about what was going on in my life. So I figured, why not bring them back.

Dear Flares

Thank you for coming back as fashionable. Brings me back to my middle school days where you weren't cool unless you had flares. Now, I just want to be like the cool fashion bloggers and get a pair.

Dear Grey's Anatomy
Kuddos for taking on the hot topic of the gender gap pay. Meredith was promoted to Chief but wasn't sure about her salary. After everyone told her to fight for what she deserves and fight for how hard she works, she walked right up to Bailey and told her what she wanted and deserved to make. Of course, Bailey said yes because it was all a test. A Bailey said, "This is what a feminist looks like." Boom.

Dear Fall Weather

 Just sit and stay awhile. Like a long while. I enjoy my boots and blanket scarf thanks. 

Dear holidays
zulily addiction.

I got you. I'm already prepared and started my Christmas shopping. No more weekend before Christmas shopping. Fully soaking in the holidays this year. 

Dear time management skills

 If you could come back to my life I would appreciate it. It's becoming difficult trying to figure out how to fit this blog in with the constant housework, work, wide duties and trying to have some fun. Any suggestions appreciated!

Any fun weekend plans? I'm ready to sit on my couch and catch up on Netflix!

Baby Fears

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

This is in no way shape or form indicative of my current state (non-preggo lady here) but after 2 years of marriage it has come up that we might eventually, possibly, potentially, entertain the idea of bringing little humans into the world. There are days where I think I am fully capable of this when the time is right. Then, there are other days where I ask myself, uh, really, can you do this? Thanks, anxiety.

Let's face it. Babies can be a little bit intimidating and scary. It's a huge change to your body, your life and your marriage. Your whole lifestyle changes along with your bank account. It would be strange if I didn't have some fears going into this.

I love sleep. Without enough sleep, I am a slight cranky pants. And babies do not allow a lot of that. There are some days where I wake up from 6 hours of sleep and feel like I can't function and struggle getting dinner on the table. How am I going to do all of this with even less sleep?

Ouch. I know I want to breastfeed as long as I can and I hope I can. But if I can't how will I feel about that? Will I let the fear of breastfeeding in public stop me from doing it?

Mom Clubs. 
I've heard about them. It's the judging, it's the new stage of life that maybe I need a friend for and might not have, it's not being sure if I have this whole thing together without other mom's giving me "the look." Will I find my place where I am supposed to as a mom?

Doing it without my mom.
Obviously, Brian is going to be an amazing father and help me out and support me. But there's something about a daughter having her mom there help her with her baby. And I won't have that help. I won't have that person to be completely vulnerable with, who will baby me when I'm being more of a baby than my own baby.

Being settled. 
Right now, we enjoy our cozy, little, rented condo. It works for us, but I am not fully sure how a baby would work here. Yes, we have an extra room that it could sleep in, but my concern is the space. I already feel like me and Brian are on top of each other. Add a baby then what? Will it also derail our savings for a house? Or should we make sure we have the house before a baby is even thought about?

I'm responsible for this tiny little human.
And that's a huge thing. A huge deal. I am solely responsible for making sure this baby grows right, is nourished right the first few months and for making sure it grows up the proper way.

After talking some of these fears out over a couple glasses of wine, I have heard that I will never be fully prepared the first time. It's a first time mom thing. I will learn and will be able to take care of this tiny baby. But...still...all of the above.

Have you had these fears?

Wedding Dancing Feet

Monday, October 5, 2015

I think I have finally recovered from my whirlwind 4 day weekend. What I learned is to fully prepare your body if you are about to attend an open bar wedding after just completing 30 days yeast free. If you remember from expressing my wedding love, one of my oldest and dearest friends got married on Friday and she was such a beautiful bride.

I got myself all dolled up to prepare to stand beside her as she said her vows to her husband and did my part by dancing the night away.

Rehearsal Dinner

Must have pre wedding selfie
Bridesmaids with mimosas
The most well behaved wedding date


Saturday night was recovering. My legs felt like I ran a marathon the day before. I kid you not, it hurt to even sit. I went hard on the dance floor and in the photo booth. But Sunday we ventured out for a little fall fun to celebrate 

Just recapping this weekend kind of makes me a little exhausted all over again. It's time for a really good detox and lots of sleep. Until next weekend that is. 

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