Bloom Craft Night

Last week I was able to attend a fun craft night with a lot of fabulous ladies! Natashia from Canary Jane planned out the greatest girls night out with Close To My Heart. It was held at the Close To My Heart headquarters. There was amazing food! Thank Shani for the yummy brownies.

Of course there was a craft! We were given these kits to make. And if you want one better hurry, it is a January only kit! I got to make some new friends, meet some online friends in real life, see some old friends (Hi, Carli!). Dani was my date for the evening along with Baby Knox.

Natashia also had some amazing swag bags. There were products from Dollar Maxi Pad Club (new to me, but it might be worth it to try!), swimsuits from Kortni Jeane, a watercolor by Natalie Malman Studio and the cutest garland by A Golden Garden.

I am so glad that I went and that I got to spend time with all of these amazing women! Thank you Natashia!

My Tribe

I have learned over the years that having my people is important. Each of us has our core friendships that are vital to our well being. There are many people who fit in to different roles in our lives right when we need them.

Way back over 10 years ago when I was an army wife and living in Oklahoma I was a single mom for over 15 months. I had a 3 year old and 6 month old when my husband went on deployment. I had my tribe of women from church, from the other army wives to my family. I made a friend shortly after the deployment named Jennifer. She lived just around the corner from me and we started having play dates, doing meals together, holidays together. My friend Laurie from church and I started doing Sunday night dinners together. I started a book club and those ladies became my night out each month to regroup.

Once I moved to Washington I was starting over. I quickly found a group of army wives that buoyed me up. Tammy and I became fast friends. Camille was always constant with her soft voice and even temperament. We have known each other over 10 years now and I wouldn’t change it.

Along with that same move I met Joanna (not an army wife). She saw my Alex wearing his glasses that we had just bought and told me what I could do to fix them. She has become one of my best friends. I would do anything for her. Anjuli came in to my life shortly after Joanna. We have kids the same ages so that helps. Anjuli and I have lived a lot of the same life. We both got divorced. Both were single moms. Both started dating post-divorce. Both got re-married. Both had babies. Our youngest boys are 5 weeks apart.

This is my tribe. Women I love and will fiercely protect! Since my move to Utah almost 5 years ago (next month will make 5 years!) I have added to my tribe. However, I have felt pretty lonely still. Times have changed and I haven’t had the time that I personally need with friends. It is a busy time in life. I do miss the interaction of women. That brings me to my next point:

TRIBEHOUSE!

On Thursday January 17th (tomorrow) at 7pm is the Mom Tribe meeting!
It’s purpose is to reduce isolation, build genuine friendships and foster a sense of self. I am going, and I want to bring all of my momma friends with me! Who wants to join in? It is FREE. This month’s theme is “Learning what Self-Care works for you.”

Organizing Time

It seems like all of my posts are centered around all of the cliche New Year’s Resolutions. I promise I didn’t plan them out this way! The new year represents a clean slate. I wanted to share some of my strategies for organizing my time. *disclaimer: this post is more for me. I need to get back to doing this daily!*

Before I had my two youngest kids I worked out of the home. I still work in insurance, just much less and from home. While I was in the office I had my system. I love love love love love notebooks. I would write everything down. Each night before I would leave I would write my to-do list for the next day. Always written on a new page in the notebook. As the day went on I would add things to do and notes about what I spoke to someone about. It was fantastic.

Staying home I have been implementing that same system in a slightly different way. I find that I still have immense satisfaction in crossing things off of my list. I still have a notebook to jot down notes for different things, I just don’t fill it out nightly.

My favorite planner that I have found is the Happy Planner. I love the layout of monthly and then weekly behind it. The weekly pages are separated in to 3 parts for each day. I use it as “morning” “afternoon” “evening”. So I write down what things I need to do in the proper section of the day. I even have notebook pages that I can add to sections of my planner to add to-do lists.

I also have a calendar that I picked up at the Target Dollar Spot. It is just a monthly calendar. But I use this to plan out my meals for the month. I cross them off as we eat them. I allow flexibility in the meals because sometimes life happens and we need grilled cheese and soup one night rather than the night I “planned” it for. However, I am pretty good at sticking to the schedule.

In my kitchen we have the best calendar in the world. It is from a cute shop on Etsy called Calendar and Chores. What I love most about this calendar is that each week is moveable, dry erase, and it is bigger than the traditional 4 week calendar. It came with 6 weeks to keep on the magnetic board. I keep the events we have going on and all appointments on the calendar. Everyone in our home can look at it and know if there is something coming up. Scott got this calendar for me for our first Christmas that we were married. It is perfect.

I also have my favorite pens. I have found that the having pens you enjoy writing with is super important! My favorite for fun writing are these. They come in a ton of colors and write so smooth. I love a classic black ink pen, blue just doesn’t do it for me. I use these all the time. And for highlighters (how I cross things off my list) I use these.

My Best Kept Secret

Have you ever wished you had a little bit of shape wear when you put on a certain outfit? I know I have. Sometimes the way an outfit looks is ok, but you add that shape wear and it is perfect!

I have found the best kept secret cami ever! It is made by a company called Ruby Ribbon. They have more than just camis too. From slips to leggings to swimsuits and everything in between.

My best friend just became a stylist for them and I am so proud of her. You can follow her here. I am currently hosting a party for her, so if you’re interested in learning let me know!

I have one cami right now, and it is love. Let me show you the difference.

Another great benefit is you can ditch your bra. These camis are built to support, lift and separate. You read that right, you can stop wearing a bra.

New Year, New Storage

I love the New Year. It brings about a lot of promise for a lot of things. This year I am joining a creativity blog party each month. I am excited for this since it will give me a reason to make a mess of craft stuff on the kitchen table each month and get creative with my hands.

Because it is the new year and my mind is on organization I thought I would show you how I organize and recycle all of those Amazon boxes from the holidays!

Here is what you will need:

I cut the top flaps off of my box and started measuring my Stone Wrap. I measured it as if I were wrapping a present. It was not technical at all!

This is where it gets tricky. I know it looks like I have a lot of paper for the little box, but I am also going to put paper on the inside! I cut lines down to meet up with the box so that it was easy to fold inside and keep the outside looking smooth.

Then I just folded the pieces up and over on the short sides first, then the long sides. I used the packing tape to secure the folded pieces to the inside of the box. The longer sides had a little bit of overlay that I wrapped around and under the shorter sides paper to create a seamless look. I added tape to the corners to keep the paper in place and to give extra support.

And to finish it off, you can see in the above photo that one of the shorter sides didn’t reach all the way to the bottom, so I used a scrap of the same paper and cut it down to fit inside. And, voila! My box is done!

I am using this little box to hold a few of my favorite things to photograph with. That way I don’t have to look high and low to find those odds and ends. Plus, I think it is darling and I will enjoy using it each time I take photos!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that your coming up with ideas on how to be more organized with a cute recycled storage bin! This post is part of the Inspire My Creativity link party that I co-host. Our theme for January is FREE FOR ALL, so ANYTHING goes! The other co-hosts are sharing their projects today. I would love for you to see what they came up with!

Next months them is BUTTONS. I can’t wait to show you what I have in mind for that!

Please use this image if you want to pin this post to Pinterest! Please follow me here!

My Favorite Drink

The title might be a little misleading. But having a title that is “my favorite drink to start the day” was a little long. It is the new year and I know a lot of people have a goal to be more healthy. I like that we are starting to move away from the “lose 10 pounds” goal and more toward the “be more healthy” goal. This paradigm shift is exactly what I have hoped for. More on taking care of our bodies and fueling them for success.

I love having shakes. I like a good chocolate protein shake with banana, ice and peanut butter. After trying several different brands, I am still on the lookout for a favorite. If you have a suggestion I would love to hear it!

About a year and a half ago I saw a recipe for a shake to help with bloating and digestion. Not that I needed help with it, but it claimed it would help you lose some water weight and bloating. I gave it a try. The first time it was awful. From there I was able to figure out what I could do to make it taste better or at least bearable. I made the shake and then put ice in it to keep it cold and that helped a ton.

After a while I added spinach to the shake. And actually prefer it that way now. It is super simple. The bloat is cut down significantly and you feel better. It is full of good foods to help you rid toxins and helps you feel fuller longer. Are you ready for the recipe?

To me the Fuji apple tastes the best in the shake. I have tried all the kinds and like the flavors combined best. But feel free to try others! You can also substitute kale for the spinach, but I like that spinach doesn’t actually change the flavor that much.

What are you implementing in your life to be healthier this year?

Hi, I am Sarah

Since it is the new year and I hope to get to know all of you more, I thought I would introduce myself.

My name is Sarah. I am 30-something. My family and I live in Utah. I am married to Scott (although I am told he looks like a celebrity often). We have 4 kids, Courtney and Alex are my oldest (15 and 13) from my first marriage. Claire and Oliver are (3 and almost 9 months) mine and Scott’s together. We have a dog Baylie. I have lived all over the country. In 2014 was my first trip to Disneyland. In 2017 I went on my first international trip. It was perfect.

This blog was started back in August 2018. It is VERY new. I am LOVING the outlet it provides for me. A little creativity, a lot of thoughts, and a little bit of crazy days making sure I have everything done.

I stay at home with our kids, but I also work part time as an insurance agent from home and I am in the office from time to time when they need extra hands. If you want to ask me insurance questions I am happy to answer them!

My favorite color is pink. I love to drink water, but my favorite drink at Sodalicious is a Southern Gentleman. I am in a book club. When it is cold outside I don’t want to go anywhere at all. Being on the water is one of my favorite things to do in the summer. Seattle will always have my heart.