Things I learned in my 30’s

From Crayons to Perfume - Lessons Learned in my 30's

I can hardly believe that I’m 40 today.  I have battled with this more than a little bit.  I know that it beats all the alternatives ( i.e, not being alive).  But, still I am not sure I’m ready to accept it.   Each year has been a learning experience, teaching and un-teaching lessons.  And, with each day I become more and more comfortable in my own skin and I grow more confident in who I am and the things that I want and need. But, there have been some important things that I learned during my 30’s.

  • Being Called an Adult Doesn’t Make You One.  People will not always live up to your expectations, and you will not always live up to theirs.
  • Haste Makes Waste.  Take your time.  Think things through and be strategic whenever possible.
  • Love Yourself First… Warts and All.  Simply put, you can not expect others to love you if you do not love yourself and accept your own shortcomings.
  • You Probably Don’t Know More Than Your Parents.  Age affords you both experience and perspective.  I can admit today that I still don’t know as much as my mother does.  And her advice, unsolicited or not is usually sound.
  • Trust Your Gut.  I honestly believe for all intents and purposes you know a Lemon when you see one.
  • Don’t Let Fear Stop You From Achieving Your Goals.  I’ve done a lot of this.  It is something that I am still working on, but I feel like I have gotten better over time.
  • Struggle Builds Character.  NO ONE wants to struggle.  NO ONE wants to live in uncertainty.  But, who you come out being on the other side of that struggle.   Well, it can be amazing.
  • It’s Not Over Until It’s Over.  Whether you are 40 like I am today, or 70, if you have life and health and strength.  It Ain’t Over!!

Just for fun, I thought I would share some of my favorite/relevant/age approriate quotes with you.

Quotes on Life

Photo Source: MediaWebApps

Quotes on Women

And, if you got this far, as a special thanks for celebrating my birthday with me, I am offering a 15% off coupon for my birthday. Coupon Code: thebig40  Today Only.  So run by our Etsy Shop and save!!

Mother’s Day Bookmarks – Freebie – Print – Personalize – Color

Mother's Day Bookmarks ©2016 Stage Presents

For Personal Use Only – Do Not Redistribute


Mother’s Day is May 8, 2016.  And, I know first hand that there is nothing like getting something special from your little ones on that day.  With just two weeks left until the Big Day show Mom some love by giving her your very own creative Mother’s Day bookmark.  Just Print, Personalize or Color.  The little ones love to show Mom just how special she is.  Let them put their own unique stamp on these bookmarks that Mom is sure to love.  You have three different options to choose from, get all three or just the one you want!!


  1.  Print On White Card stock or other heavier weight paper.
  2.  Cut
  3. Create – Color -Personalize
  4.  Laminate (if you would like, to preserve your creation)

Nautical Bookmark

I Love You Because

Butterfly Coloring Bookmark

All Three

Still looking for ideas, check out last years’s Mother’s Day  Coloring Sheet found here and Printables for Grandma and Auntie found here.

The 2016 Spring Must Have List

Much like the beginning of fall, the beginning of Spring started very off kilter.  The day starts off very cool and ended with temperatures upwards of 70 degrees.  We are more than 30 days into Spring and things seem to finally be evening out.  I have been reluctant to switch out my seasonal clothes, especially for the kids.  But, I have had my eyes on several pieces that have made my Must Have List for Spring.

Spring Must Haves

Spring Tops – This covers so many different items.  Something I ALWAYS swoon over during Spring is the Spring Trench Coat. This is essential to this time of year, because it is a transitional piece, which means that you can wear it to bridge the gap.  It will keep you both stylish and warm while the weather adjusts and while they figure out exactly what temperature is comfortable in the office.
Especially during this time of year, there are so many styles as well as color options available.    Also, on my radar this year are the Spring Caftans/Kimono Style blazers that can pull an outfit together and keep things breezy all at the same time, depending on their cut and composition.
Spring Tops
Spring Tops – Clickable Links
Spring Scarves – I love a light weight scarf.  I never want to wear anything to heavy when the seasons are changing.  But, sometimes you have to “protect your neck”.  I don’t always need a jacket, as long as I can keep my neck protected. For me personally, that can prevent me from entering the season with a cold.  Besides its practical purposes, there is something romantic and airy about them.  With floral prints being a big trend this season, there are many choices available. The Boho-Chic look seems to be very popular this season as well.
Spring Scarves
Spring Scarves – Clickable Links

Spring Jewelry – Spring Jewelry Trends always leans towards the beach/coastal look, to coordinate with the other fashion that is out  there.  I find myself drawn to turquoise and corals at this time of the year.

Spring Jewelry

Spring Jewelry – Clickable Links

Carla Earrings in Amazonite

What are your favorite pieces to sport during Spring?

A Peek Inside My Planner Pages + Printable Planner Sticker Freebies

A Peak Inside My Planner Pages + Free Printable Planner Stickers

Pictured Here: My Life Planner by Erin Condren, My BlueSky Planner from Walmart, Planner Stickers I purchased from CoffeeBreakPlanner(Instagram), Some Hobby Lobby Stickers, Plus a host of Free Printable Stickers from a Little Bit of Everywhere.

do you crave organization like some people crave sweets? me too…

I remember distinctly saying that I was not going to get caught up into the “Planner Craze”, but somehow I find myself swept up in it.  I genuinely think it’s just another way for my Mild OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) to manifest itself.  And, I guess that’s ok.  Keeping this ship smooth sailing is just that much easier when I write everything down.  Hey, sue me, I am going to be 40 in a couple of weeks.  I need all the prompting and reminders that I can get.  Can you tell that I am not really embracing the Road to 40?  But, that is definitely for another post.

Setting up my Planner Each Week is therapeutic for me, it falls under the category of Adult Coloring.  It’s something about playing with the layouts each week and figuring out what works best.  So far no week has been identical to the last.  But, I think I have come up with my staples.  Things that I know I need to track each week.  For home that would be my chores, kid/family stuff, shopping, menu planning, what I am eating, drinking and tracking my medicine/vitamins.  For the Business/Blog that would be social media, content planning, blogging, and the Etsy Store.  I try to end my day by going over what needs to be done the next day.  It kind of gives me a head start, and I am all for that.

I have fallen in love with a few Etsy Stores that offer all kinds of options for making your planner pages pop.  And, I have found way too many Free Printables all over Pinterest.  So just for fun, I decided to try my hand at my making my own Printable Planner Stickers.  I went with ones that I thought pretty much everyone could use.

Free Printable Planner Stickers for Download

Download Yours Here. Right Click and Save.  You have the Option to Print Them On A Full Page Sticker Sheet That You Can Feed Through Your Printer, or Go Old School Print, Cut and Glue.  I hope that you enjoy them and that they make your planning just that much easier!!  Happy Planning.


Click Here To Read More About Planning Your Way.

Spring Break – Perfect in It’s Imperfection

our “perfect yet not so perfect” spring break

Recap of Spring Break 2016 -

Spring Break is over and things are getting back to normal around here.  I have been out of pocket for a few days, that normally happens over extended breaks.  The blog and the business run around my family life and not visa versa.  Last week was Spring Break, so I spent as much time as I could hanging out with my little ones.   I am always trying to teach my kids lessons that I am still learning and yes,  I know just how hypocritical that sounds. But, I guess it’s in hopes that by teaching the lesson, they  will avoid some of the same mistakes that I have made in my own life.  One of the things that I am always telling them is that they have to roll with the punches or that certain things are beyond their control and they are.  But, it is a lesson that I struggled hard with and for a  long time.  My mom always tells me that God will keep teaching me to be patient and understanding until I am both.  Spring Break was an exercise in just that.

Our trip to Florida for Spring Break was great!! But, I am not sure that you would have agreed taking it at face value.  I have been back and forth to Florida three times in less than 30 days.  Now, my sister lives there, but that has never happened before.  As I am sure you remember me saying in my last post, we lost my sweet niece on the 15th.  So, I went down when she was sick and was there when she passed.  I went back for the service and then I returned for Spring Break and to physically lay eyes on my sister.  Saying this to say there was a melancholy under tone to our trip, but we were determined to make some good memories, in spite of it.

The first night there we had date night.  We left all the kids with the nanny, and we went out and enjoyed some grown up time.  It was great to spend some time with my sister and her hubby that was just light and fun.  The next day we took the kids  to the Central Orlando zoo.  Now, if you know me at all, you know that outdoors and heat are not my thing, but the kids had a ball.  The highlight of the trip was to be our trip to the beach.  After all nothing says Spring Break like the beach.  On the day of the beach trip it was COLD… Yes, I said cold in Florida.  But, we went anyway thinking that maybe the weather would warm up.  When we arrived at the beach, the tides were so high that they actually closed the entrance to drive on to the beach.  After circling around we we were able to get in, and when we got on the beach and out of the car the wind was so fierce and sand was blowing everywhere.  So we had to vacate.  Talk about three disappointed girls, yes I said 3 because I included myself.  So pouts and all we packed back into the truck and headed to go get something to eat.  The plan was that we would eat and stay in the area for a while in hopes for a change in the weather.  But, the change never came so we ventured back to my sisters house.  On the way back, we decided that since they were already dressed to get wet we would take them to the “Splash Park” not too far from where we were.  By that time it was getting warmer, and though a little apprehensive at first, with each splash the beach became a distant memory and we once again in their good graces.

Since we paid for admission to the beach, hubby and I managed to escape back there later in the day, the kids stayed with my sissy and we got to have some one on one time.  I will consider that her anniversary gift to me this year.  Yesterday made 7 years since I married this man.  And, still just a couple of hours alone with him ALWAYS refresh my soul.  Even when I don’t feel like I need it.  So Shout out to him today + this was the first year that he was able to take off the entire week to spend with us.  Another Spring Break survived and enjoyed and now back to our regularly scheduled programming. (P.S. – I know there were no pictures of me.  But, you know how that it is, I am always the one behind the camera. #mommylife)

Time Spent with Family Quote -

What did you do to celebrate Spring Break this year?  Feel like sharing, we would love to hear your story in the comment section below.

Check out Our Previous Spring Break Shenanigans Here.

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye: Explaining the Pain of Loss to Your Little Ones

As a mother, I think we realize pretty early on that parenting is not a task for the faint of heart.  We are faced with the fact that even though motherhood may be the most rewarding job that we will ever have, it also the hardest .  We realize that we are going to be forced to be teachers sometimes, when we don’t consider ourselves qualified to do so.  This is exactly how I felt with the sudden loss of my two year old niece.  I literally found myself thrown abruptly into unfamiliar waters, dealing with more emotions than I knew what to do with and  such all consuming loss.  I struggled with how I would explain this unspeakable thing to my babies.    At almost 40 years old it was the first loss of a close family member, that I had ever experienced.   While feeling cheated, devastated and lost, It seemed so very unfair that they should have to experience this pain at such an early and impressionable age.  I wondered how I could explain something to them that I in no way, shape, or form understood myself.

Coupled with all the emotions already coursing through my body was FEAR.  Blinding FEAR.. The kind that made you want to lose your lunch. roll up into a ball and pull the covers of my head and just not acknowledge that tragedy like this really existed.  But, luckily for me, my dh stepped in and made me realize that this would help no one.  So together we sat in our bed, in the middle of the day, with our tears and our grief and talked out what and when would be the best way to tell our children.  At the end of the conversation, spent and not totally convinced in what we had decided, we just laid there staring at the ceiling fan.

There was no way to predict just how our babies would respond, so we decided to wait until the weekend.  At least, they would have the weekend to be alone “in their feelings”.  I grew a little choked up prior to the conversation, so hubby jumped in.  He explained to them what happened and explained that our “sweet girl” would not be coming back to us, but that she was resting with the angels.  I watched so many emotions cross over their faces, confusion, hurt, disbelief, all emotions, I was still experiencing.  It was hard for them to process.  Our youngest is only 5 and I am still not sure how much she really understood.  But, my 11 year old took it very hard.  She spent the whole day crying on and off,  and I honestly couldn’t blame her.  This experience in no way makes me an expert, and I pray it is not a subject that I am ever an expert in.   But, if I had to share my thoughts with any one of this subject this is what I would say.

  1.  TIME:  As adults,  more often than not death comes and we are not prepared for it.  I am not sure if that is a blessing or a curse.  But,  as parents, I say take the time you need to prepare yourself for the conversation.  Even though you can’t predict what their reaction will be, no one knows your child better than you.  So go with your gut and tell them your own way.  It’s easy to be influenced by what every one else thinks is the right time or thing to say.
  2. ACKNOWLEDGE:  Even though you may be in pain too.  Make the time and effort to acknowledge their pain.  Let them know that whatever they are feeling, be it hurt, anger, sadness, etc. is OK.  They don’t have to justify the way that they feel.  Help them work through their emotions, as you work through yours.
  3. ACCEPT:  Accept the fact that things may never be the same.  Life has changed for them.  Life has changed for you.  Everyone has to grieve in their own way, and in their own time.
  4. HOLD ON:  Hold on to each other.  Hold on to your faith.  Be their source of strength and allow them to be yours.  Family is EVERYTHING, and don’t any of your forget it.

Some of you that follow me via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc… have reached out to me and my family with kind words and sentiments and that means more than you all will ever know.

Our lives will never again be the same, but we are and were blessed to have had Skylar Janae in our lives.  She will forever be missed and loved.

Memorial Garden Stone

Photo Source:






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