Monday, November 30, 2015

A Little Turkey, A Little Christmas


This is my first year experiencing the holiday weekend in all its glory. 4 days of no work, spending time with family and eating so very much.



First things first.
Big things happened this weekend. I opened my first Etsy shop! It's something I;ve been doing for a little while and finally just pulled the plug to make them and start selling them. I had one sale so far and I'm excited to see how it grows. Fingers crossed it does grow!

We finished all Christmas shopping! 
Techincally, after today for sure we will but it is such a big relief to have it all done. Now, we just get to wrap them all. And by we I most definitely mean me.

Seeing this cute little nephew was one of the highlights of the weekend. He is such a sweet, smiley baby. And is giving me all the preparation I need for future babies of ours.



Christmas card pictures were taken and cards were ordered. A little late this year but more than prepared to label and stamp as soon as those cards arrive. It was fun going to the park and seeing up my camera. It was also super fun with people walking the trail as we are sitting on a blanket in the trees.



It's hard to believe tomorrow is already December. Hello Christma and birthday!
I'll be sharing my wish list soon
Krista
Friday, November 27, 2015

Tips to Prepare for Cyber Monday

Black Friday is just one of the best sale days we are lucky enough to have these next few days. I am not one for shopping Black Friday deals but Cyber Monday I am all about. I have a few ways I like to prepare for my shopping on Monday.



//Set Your Budget
It can be so easy to hop from site to site clothes shopping, toy shopping, etc. Before you know you have racked up quite the bill. Make sure you know before your start spending how much you really want to spend.

// Prepare promo codes
And there lots of them so you want to be prepared for the ones that you are going to use to shop. Whether it's 15% off or Free Shipping, make sure you're in the know!

//Browse ALL Cyber Monday deals here
CyberMonday.com is the obvious place to get all the deals. They have an extensive list of deals AND coupons that are available through Monday.

//Get cash back
I recommend both of these sites for a few reasons. First, Ebates gives you a free $10 giftcard just for signing up. That can help your budget before you even start shopping this weekend. Swagbucks tends to have a better return on investment with regards to rewards. I prefer to use them over Ebates most of the time. The only downside is that there are many stores that aren't on Swagbucks. That's when I utilize Ebates and I am still able to keep earning.

//Be mindful of your work schedule
We all know how Mondays can get.Let's face it. We will all be in work Monday recovering from our turkey filled weekend, browsing all the deals. Make sure you adjust your work schedule and know just exactly when you can spare a few moments to do your shopping. Most deals start around 9 a.m. so you need to be prepared!

What are your Cyber Monday tips?



Krista
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

All the Thanks


It is so easy to get caught in the day to day and forget everything that is wonderful around you. WE try to count our blessings every day but life can get in the way and sometimes we can just get down on ourselves. I know for me, 2015 has not turned out 100% the way I had thought but I am trying more than ever to truly count my blessings. Get ready for some deep giving thanks.


Husband.

This year has thrown is quite a few curveballs, but through it all he has been so supportive and continues to work hard. When I throw out crazy ideas like an Etsy shop, he says go for it! When I ask him to follow me to the park to take pictures, he does it. I am so glad I have someone who's there for me no matter what and loves me even when I make up my own Lily Belle rap songs. 

Lily. 


Because of course. How can you not love her? She's always a fluffy, purring machine that gives me smiles. Her attitude is like no other cat I've known and I absolutely love it. 

Family.


The holidays are still sometimes hard but getting to doesn't it with my family that's still here makes it a little easier. And whether it gets crazy or messy, at the end of the day we are all still family. 

Healthcare.
And the husband who works hard for our insurance. Without either of those things we might be struggling more than usual and might have had to think twice before I got care. I am hoping 2016 brings me even better health. 



Good friends. 



As you get older, friendships take a lot more care and time. It's big things, little things but the ones that have been there this year are the ones that I will always be thankful for. And the ones that I got to share in all the special moments of their lives this year makes me even more thankful for all the beauties in my life. 

FanDuel
For providing us with a little bit extra nest egg to hopefully get into a house of our own soon. And boo to all the new rules. 

This blog. 
It provides me with an outlet to write and connect. It provides with occasional extra money and the possibility of growth. 

What are you thankful for this year?



Krista
Monday, November 23, 2015

DIY Christmas Gift with New Jersey Lottery Holiday Games

With the holidays quickly approaching, we are all looking at our gift list, making lists of who to buy for. It starts with the easy ones of mom and dad or significant other. But what about those last minute gifts for the co-workers? Or someone that stops by for a holiday meal?

I've have the easiest way to make sure you are covered for all these last minute gift needs this holiday season with the NJ Lottery Holiday Instant Games.  The New Jersey Lottery has four Holiday themed Instant Games available for the Holiday season. These Holiday games make for the perfect gift, stocking stuffer, party favor, etc for anyone and everyone on your list over the age of 18.

Usually when you think of lottery tickets, you think gift it in a card, but I've got a way to really "present" your tickets the right way. A lottery ticket present. The gift is literally the present and they are so easy to make. You can vary sizes depending on the lottery tickets you get and the recipient. The small ones can be made for party favors at each place setting or to take to the hostess of your holiday party.



1// Decide the size of your holiday box by measuring out your lottery tickets. It will also determine if it's a square, rectangle, etc.

2//Wrap the lottery tickets to make the outside of the box and secure with tape on the inside


3//Measure how many lottery tickets to cover the top and bottom most of mine took 2 for each side

4// Secure them side by side with tape


5//Place left side inside present and tape; following with the right side

6//Repeat step 5 for the top of the present.

7//Secure with bow, on top of another present or any other fun thing you can think of.



8//Give the gift of the NJ Lottery Holiday scratch offs!




This takes all of ten minutes to put together and takes away all of the last minute gift giving stress.All you have to do is pick up the lottery tickets; available at your local Wawa or Quick Check. I know if I was given a lottery ticket present and won, I would give a little back to my giver or take them on my tropical vacation with me. Just a thought to consider ;)

What would you do if you won the lottery?

 Disclaimer: Must be 18 or older to but a lottery ticket. Please play responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER®. Parents are urged to think twice about gifting lottery tickets to children.
For more information visit New Jersey Lottery 


This post is sponsored by the New Jersey Lottery.

Krista
Monday, November 16, 2015

We Say Goodbye


We say goodbye,
As tears roll down our eyes.
I know your place in heaven has a good view.
You're telling God,
I need to keep an eye on a few.


I know you will always be in our hearts and minds.
So Grandma,
I must go, but I'll never forget you're one of a kind.





Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/thank-you-for-the-gift-of-love#ixzz3rhjF6v8A 

Krista
Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday's Letters



Dear #CupGate2015
Are you kidding me? It's a cup. It gets thrown in the trash. And last year it had snowmen on it. Kudos to Dunkin for joining in with trying to spread some joy on the situation.

Dear Finding Dory
I don't care if I will be inching close to 30 when you are released, I have been waiting ten years for this! I'll have my popcorn, large soda, squeezed in between a bunch of 5 year olds.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...



Dear Hawaii Five-O
You give me all of my favorite things into one. Hawaii, crime show and Alex O'Loughlin's abs.

Dear 2015
Where did it go? I am still not understanding how we have a month and a half left. Now would be a great time to brush up on those resolutions and goals I suppose.

Dear Quit Your Job to Blog

Fact: I am on my second round with the course. Aka. trying to soak up like crazy what Helene from Helene in Between is teaching because it's obviously gold. She just opened up the course again, with a HOLIDAY PLANNER and coaching session with her and Taylor from The Daily Tay. You should sign up like now.

Happy Weekend!


Krista
Thursday, November 12, 2015

Living {Semi} Yeast Free



Back in August we started Yeast Free for 30 Days. It was to kick some health concerns of yeast overgrowth and live a healthier lifestyle. I would be lying if I said the first 2 weeks were pure torture. All I wanted was bread, topped with ice cream and all the Diet Coke I could get.

Once I got used to eating like this, it became really easy to stick to the diet. Of course, it was hard going out to eat, but soon learned steak with steamed broccoli is an easy find. We learned that Whole Foods is the place to be when you are trying to eat yeast free. We were able to get things we couldn't anywhere else like tuna, salsa and the almond butter price tag was much better.

It can be a struggle trying to figure out what exactly to eat on a yeast free diet because pretty much every food has yeast. That includes fruit, peanuts, anything canned as it has citric acid, anything that also has vinegar. But once you figure out what you can and cannot eat, meals become a lot easier.

You are able to eat vegetables as much as you want. The only one not being brussel sprouts. Chicken, turkey, ground meat are all good, although the leaner the better. Eggs might become your best friend and you will have to make pretty much any sauce by hand. That includes ketchup, barbecue sauce, steak sauce.

Breakfasts

Eggs
You can get creative and add some peppers, onions, etc to it. If you are feeling adventurous, you could take on the task of making your own ketchup with apple cider vinegar.

Cinnamon Rolls
Almond flour, stevia

Apple Cider Vinegar Shot

Lunch

Chicken Salad w/ Homemade Dressing

Grilled Chicken w/ vegetables
My favorite is green beans with almonds

Tuna w/ Avocado
Avocado is substituted for mayonnaise. At first it's a little odd, but you may get used to it.




Dinner

Tomato basil ground meat

Roasted broccoli {Moy Household favorite}

Stir-fried zoodles
Add in some stir fry meat with olive oil and it's actually quite delicious

Taco Lettuce Boats
-Make your own taco mix as the packaged is not yeast free

Marinated Steak

Snacks

Rice Cakes w/ Almond Butter
Limit rice as much as you can

Celery sticks w/ Almond Butter

Carrots w/ Hummus
Just watch the hummus for citric acid

Hard boiled Eggs


After we survived our 30 days, we decided to continue a mostly yeast free diet. Our lunches look pretty much the same, maybe add in a Diet Coke once in awhile. I try to keep our dinners as yeast free as I can. Our weekends are where we are a little lax, if needed. Enjoying a glass of wine is my favorite and I had a serious need for pizza once the official 30 days were up. It's about balancing our diet to make sure we are bringing everything bad back.



Krista
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Bring on the Christmas

You've seen the memes. The memes saying how Christmas is going to explode now that it's November and the complaints on Facebook about how we skip over Thanksgiving.


I am one of those that is excited it's November 1 and Christmas can be seen everywhere. I am one of those that is excited it's November 1 because a local station starts its Christmas music. I am one of those. The one being given the stink eye for "rushing" Christmas.

When in fact it's not me rushing Christmas. I am not the one that's overspending on my children. I am most definitely not the one shopping on Black Friday/Thanksgiving. That's probably because I used to be one of those people keeping the crowds under control the previous years. But also because I get the true meaning of Christmas, not just about what's under the tree.

I am the one that gives food baskets to our local food bank for someone else's Thanksgiving dinner. I am the one that buys a toy for a child in need, because I was one of those once. A child should always believe Santa remembered him because "On Christmas Night he comes!" That Arthur Christmas gets me every time. I am one that craves the family holidays I used to have, with my whole family together. So maybe I like to be nostalgic for those warm moments a little longer.



I'm just the one that loves the sound of Christmas music. It puts a little something extra in my days. I love Christmas movies because they are all about love and romance under the mistletoe. I am just a person who loves the Christmas spirit. Christmas spirit is about love, happiness and being with family. Isn't that something we are allowed to want a little bit earlier and a little bit more of?

I would never want to overshadow Thanskgiving. I give back at Thanksgiving with donating food baskets to our local food bank and love celebrating with my family (and not to bring blame, but aren't some of the anti-early Christmas people going to shop ON Thanksgiving?) Some of my best holiday memories are around Thanksgiving. Mmeories I will cherish and new memories I can't wait to make with my family. Where I will also be Thanksgiving night.

I just ask that you save the stink eye, passive aggressive statuses about people being excited about Christmas. It might not be about the what's under the tree for them, perhaps it's something a little bit more. And it makes it a little bit clearer why we might just want to spread Christmas cheer like glitter.



Krista
Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday's Letter



Dear people of the world,
(exaggeration, maybe)

Recently, you might have heard of Essena O'Neill quitting social media. She was a very successful Youtube and Instagram star but decided it was all a lie. She was living a lie, she claims. And just quit social media, saying all of her pictures were doctored and she wasn't living an authentic life. 

First off, she's 18. She is still trying to figure out who she is. I get it. You feel like you're being fake, not living who you want to be. Heck, at 18 I was a walking hot mess some days. She is a young girl, on a social platform who thinks she is making a change with social media. But in the end stirring up all kinds

As bloggers, we are all aware of the numbers game. How many followers you need on social media for campaigns is a large factor in getting accepted or not. And the best way to get those followers and get paid is to paint a pretty picture. Let's be honest about that.We're asked to show off our best pictures from Instagram, Pinterest.

How many Instagram classes are there teaching you to have a "likeable" profile? Whether it's bright, cheerful pictures all the time so you catch someones eye or posting your hand holding something every 5 pictures, you need it to look nice, pretty, attractive to get people to like your profile and your pictures. If you have followers, you get likes, if you get likes, you get paid.

Twitter allows you a little bit more transparency with regards to tweeting some complaints or embarrassing moments. But it is also an extension of your Instagram, promoting your brand. It has to look all neat and tied in a bow. It's just the way social media marketing is going with regards to wanting to be successful on it.

I think if we all expect complete transparency on social media, we are kidding ourselves. A person will not willingly show you their weakest moments because sometimes they just want to remember the good times. 3 months ago I had a lot going on but you wouldn't fully know by my social media. It goes with the territory. I wanted to remember my friend's bridal shower, not my grandma's cancer. I want everyone to see my laugh not tears of frustration. And that's not what everyone wants to see anyway. Instagram is meant to be a pretty place to look at pictures and go "oooo" "ahhhh."

The bottom line is, you have to know who you are before you put yourself out there on social media. If you are that fashion blogger that just takes pictures in parks to model clothes and that's something you enjoy, go for it. If you are that blogger that wants to make it to the big leagues so she takes pictures on all white backgrounds, go for it. It's about knowing who you are outside of those spaces and staying true to your own values. And knowing that other people make the same choice as you to do or not do social media.

What are your thoughts on this?



Krista
Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November Goals



Get healthy.
Really, this is my only focus and hope for November. I have some health things going on right now that I need to figure out, get explained and get better. This also means slow walks on my treadmill. Boo.

NaNoWriMo.
Since I can't run for the time being, the next best thing to do while sitting on the couch is write a novel, of course. I actually really love the idea I have that incorporates my personal experience with grief but puts it in a fictional setting.

Gather food baskets.
I like to put together food baskets for our local food bank during this time of year. Last year, I got our friends in on the giving during our Friendsgiving and hope to continue this year.

Finish Christmas Shopping.
This is a loose goal. Will not be too upset if it doesn't happen but I would love for it to be true. I have 3 people crossed off the list so far so I'm on my way!



Krista
Monday, November 2, 2015

A Halloween of Sorts

What do me and Captain America have in common? Penicillin makes us heroes. Or kicks me in the butt for the whole time I'm taking them. Either way I tried to enjoy my Halloween a little bit for my husband's sake. He is such a Halloween lover.

I had taken a vacation day weeks ago to prepare for our Friday night with a massage. Instead, I spent the day taking 2 naps and saving my energy for our Halloween Bash.


 It was so fun to have a bash to go to. The food was fairly good and the dancing was great. Can't say much for the pitchers of Sangria on the table. If you have never seen me pout, Friday night I was very close being teased by that Sangria.

Scandalous.

Saturday I slept in and then binge watched Chasing Life. Serious tear jerking moments as I caught my husband up on nothing he wanted to know about. Rushed out for some last minute candy and mascara, because why not? One knock on the door for 3 teenagers in the meager effort of a costume as a gym teacher and a Halloween themed shirt. Those were the only trick or treaters we saw. Ordered Italian in. I downed a meatball sub, the first time I've had an appetite for a week and it was heaven. Serious in love with my food moment.

I'm out and can smile!
Sunday I woke up with much more energy and set out to clean up this place. You never want to see a house when the wife has been sick for over a week. I even got started on my novel! That's right as if I do not have enough hobbies, I have started a fictional novel. It came to me while on antibiotics so we will see once I'm off of them ;)




My three day weekend went way too fast but seems to be what exactly I needed as I am feeling like I am on the mend. How as your weekend?

Krista
Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fall KitchenAid Giveaway


cookinggiveaway
Maybe you're getting ready to whip up some homemade chocolate cookies or Grandma's mashed potatoes this holiday season. I have the perfect giveaway to help you around the kitchen. One very lucky person will win a KitchenAid mixer! Plus, TWO winners will receive a one year subscription to The Food Network Magazine.

This giveaway is being hosted by 15 bloggers who want to celebrate the holidays with you! Please take a moment to visit their sites.


Now onto the Giveaway! Here’s what the winners will get!
  • 1 winner will receive a KitchenAid Classic 4.5-Qt Stand Mixer. (Mixer will be shipped directly from retailer after winner is chosen. Depending on stock at the time, winner may choose between a white or black mixer.)
  • 2 winners will receive a 1 Year Subscription to The Food Network Magazine. (Magazine will be shipped directly from retailer after winner is chosen.)
This Giveaway will run from 11/1 – 11/14 11:59 PM EST. Make sure to complete as many of the entries below as possible for the BEST chance at winning! We also have a bonus entry you can do every single day! (Bonus Entry: Tweeting a message about the Giveaway!) No entries are mandatory. Enter below and Good Luck! (This giveaway is NOT being sponsored by KitchenAid or The Food Network)

*Giveaway Disclosure: No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older as of date of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and all other U.S. territories and wherever prohibited by law. Subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Decisions of the Sponsor are final on all matters pertaining to Sweepstakes. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and decisions of the Sponsor. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or in association with, Facebook, Twitter, KitchenAid, The Food Network, or any other social media network. Chances of winning vary based on the final number of entrants. Giveaway ends November 14th, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be chosen randomly and notified by email on November 15th, 2015. Each winner has 48 hours to respond or they may forfeit prize. My Momma Taught Me will be responsible for prize fulfillment. If you have any questions, please contact mymommataughtme {at} gmail {dot} com.

Krista