This past year, and actually since starting my blog I have developed various goals for myself that are a mixture of personal and professional goals. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that each year I create goals that I hope to accomplish by New Year’s Eve and a Summer Bucket List of goals I hope to accomplish in the summer. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then head over to my blog post….
One goal I am trying so incredibly hard to accomplish is writing and publishing my memoir. My memoir was an idea that first came to light the day after my second miscarriage, in September of 2019. After suffering my first loss, I felt led to start a blog… this blog in fact :). After my second loss, I realized there was more to my story and my grief that needed to be done. I realized that I have a gift of writing and since suffering two losses, though it was devastating… my circumstances had then given me the chance to expand my story and share with others my story, in order to help women like me. My circumstances, my grief and my passion is what drove me to write my book.
I have officially written the first draft of my book and currently working on the second. It’s small, raw, detailed, sad, but powerful… and I’m very proud of it.
I will be keeping you all updated as I continue to make the final touches to my book and begin the self publishing process!
1. You Have Separation Anxiety When You are Away From Your Cat.
Do you worry about your cat being home alone while you are running errands or at work? Do you wonder if they will be on their best behavior or they will get lonely, if you are never there? If so, then you might be a crazy cat parent.
2. You Rearrange Your Schedule So You Can Spend More Time With Your Cat.
Do you sometimes stay home for no other reason then to spend time with your cat? After a long week of working, do you look forward to spending time with your cat on the weekend? If so, you may be a crazy cat parent.
3. You Talk to Your Cat, and Wait for Your Cat to Respond.
It is true that often times, pets are the best therapists. But not everybody has actual conversations with their pets and waits for them to respond. I am going to make a little confession. Sometimes, my kitty Rocky and I have conversations, and I indeed do wait for him to respond. If you also do this, then you too may be a crazy cat parent.
4. You Consider and/or Adopt Another Cat So Your Current Cat Won’t Be Lonely.
Do you scroll through pictures from your local shelters or pet ads from Petfinder, and consider adopting another feline friend? Do you do this because you have kitty fever or because you want your kitty to have another friend. Maybe even both?
5. You Spend More Money on Cat Toys, Treats, Food, and Pet Furniture Than You Actually Plan To.
Confession time again…. I spent over a $100 on Rocky this past Christmas. But he’s my only baby at the moment, so I have no shame. Do you also find yourself strolling down the pet aisle, or finding ways to adjust your budget so you can buy more things for your cat? If yes, then you too could be a crazy cat parent.
6. You Get Up Early or Stay Up Late Just to Play with Your Cat.
Do you get up early just to spend time with your cat? Do you just adore how loving your kitty can be when he is waking you up and begging you for food early in the morning? Do you jump out of bed, and join your kitty when you hear him bellowing opera kitty music at 2am? If so, then you may just be crazy, or a crazy cat parent.
7. You Rearrange Your Furniture So Your Cat is Comfortable When Looking Out the Windows.
Do you get your cat’s opinion on how to rearrange the furniture? Do you consider how he might want to watch his live tv of birds flying, squirrels gathering nuts, and dogs walking their humans? If yes, then maybe you are a crazy cat parent.
8. You Leave the TV on for Your Cat When You’re Not Home.
Do you worry your kitty will go crazy being in a quiet home for too long and decide to leave on the tv for them? Yes? Don’t worry… I do it too. I’m probably just as crazy as you.
9. You Look Forward to and/or Get Excited to Give Your Cat Catnip.
Do you want your cat to love you?… I mean really love you? Do you look forward to giving them catnip and anticipate seeing the cat be all consumed by catnip? I do.
10. You Consider Your Cat as One of Your Kids.
Do you? I do. My kitty is my baby.
If you haven’t already guessed, I am a crazy cat mom and this was all just for fun. I hope I made you smile and brought some humor into your life today. Well, I’m going to go snuggle my cat now.
Finally, a new year. I don’t think anyone expected 2020 to go the way it did. When thousands of people were creating goals last January 1st, I’m sure none of them expected a global pandemic, a deadly sickness called the Corona virus, distance learning, state shut downs and the everyday wearing of face masks. None the less, it is officially 2021. We made it to another year.
I pray that this year is a 100 times better than last year in every way. And if not, I pray that through any struggle we may face, I pray we are able to learn and make the most of every situation.
This year I have written down 10 goals that I hope to complete in the year 2021.
My Goals for 2021
Publish My Memoir
Pay Off My Car
Recieve My FLE Certification
Lose 20 lbs.
Buy A New Car
Publish a Second Children’s Book
Read The Entire Bible
Publish a Self Care Journal
Pay Off My Credit Card
Start a Family
My deadline to complete these goals is December 31st, 2021 at midnight. Let the first page of this 365 page book begin!
2020 was a year many thought would be a fresh start. It was the beginning of a new decade and a year for clear vision.,, or so we thought. But instead we were all taken for a loop by this deadly sickness called the Corona virus. In many people there was sheer panic and anxiety, and not long after the way we once lived our lives was no longer. We went from having the freedom to socialize with anyone and everyone, to being instructed to remain 6 feet apart with anyone out side our household. We were required to wear masks everywhere, and no longer had the freedom to dine in restaurants. Students as young as kindergarten and as old as college were forced to complete their studies strictly online.
This year has been anxiety inducing, confusing, exhausting, unpredictable and unexpected. But despite all of that, we have all had the chance at putting things into perspective. With a variety of shut downs and quarantines we have had more opportunities to spend quality time with our immediate families. We have learned to appreciate the time and moments we shared because they are precious, and the future is not promised.
For me personally, this year has been rough, but I have been given a lot blessings as well. This was a big year for me despite the craziness. Today I would like to reflect on 2020, the ups and downs, the blessings and challenges and everything in between.
Recap of My Goals for 2020
Graduate with my Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development. ✔️
Pay off my Car ✖️
Recieve my Certification in Family Life Education ✖️
Get a Pet ✔️
Publish my Memoir ✖️
Move to a New Home ✔️
Get Certified as a Life Coach ✖️
Recap of 2020
I started my last semester of college.
Started taking Plexus daily.
I started revamping my resume and applying to various jobs for after I would graduate.
I started a new job as a Lead Preschool Teacher.
Covid – 19 hit the US and life as we knew it changed.
We moved to our new apartment.
I finished my last semester of college.
My state and pretty much the country was forced into an immediate say-at-home order.
I graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Child and Family Development.
I returned back to work after being laid off.
I redecorated my new apartment.
I celebrated my 2nd Mother’s Day and Teacher Appreciation Week.
I honored my Due Date for my 2nd baby.
Charles and I started trying again.
I went to the cabin with my best friend Alli.
Started swimming and enjoying the beautiful summer weather.
My husband got a new job.
I published my first children’s book, Mackenzie Goes to Heaven.
I adopted a kitten and named him Rocky.
I turned 25.
I continued digging deep and working on my memoir.
I grew 9 plants on my balcony.
I hit 6 months of working at my job.
Charles and discussed and decided to pursue adoption.
I reached 150 followers on my blog.
I hit 25 sales on my children’s book.
I was named teacher of the month at my Job.
I did some goal setting for the year ahead.
2020 was crazy and definitely a year of change. Moving forward I predict 2021 will bring it’s own set of challenges and blessings. 💕
I love spinach artichoke dip. It’s just one of those appetizers that are filling and delicious. I have tried many different recipes of spinach artichoke dip online, and have found a combination of what works for me. So, without further or do… here is my spinach artichoke dip recipe!
A Half Bag of Spinach
Half a block of Cream Cheese
1 Jar of Artichoke Hearts
1 Half Cup of Mayonnaise
What You Do
First, preheat oven at 350° and find a container to cook your dip in. I have used both an 8” by 8” pan, as well as a 8” by 8” casserole dish. I find that if you are looking for the spinach and cheese to be crispy on top, to go with the pan… but it’s completely up to you.
Next, pull out the cream cheese, and start chopping the spinach, artichoke hearts and garlic. It is very important to buy fresh spinach for the dip, as canned spinach will make the dip super watery. Chop the spinach, garlic and artichoke hearts into small pieces.
Then mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, spinach, artichoke hearts, and garlic together. It may help to mix this in a bowl before putting it into a pan. If the cream cheese is too hard try removing the wrapper and melting it in the microwave for a few seconds. Or trying pulling it out of the fridge sooner.
Finally, place all of the these ingredients in a casserole dish or pan. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top. I personally love cheddar on top!
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Then check the dip and if it still needs a little time, bake it for another 10 minutes. it should look slightly crispy on top.
Once the dip is ready, I sometimes like to add a few finely chopped tomatoes to give it a little color and flavor, but this is completely optional.
There you go! I hope you enjoy my spinach and artichoke dip recipe! ❤️
Side Note: This dip tastes AMAZING with tortilla chips or even pita chips!
Bruschetta is one of my favorite meals to make. I often make Bruschetta as an hors d’oeuvre for a holiday meal. However, sometimes I also make bruschetta as a breakfast meal. Check out my newest creation: Breakfast Bruschetta.
What You Need (Feeds 4)
4 slices of White Bread
8 Sausage Patties
Tomato (2 Medium or Large)
Onion (1/2 a red onion)
Olive Oil (1/4 cup)
Garlic (minced, 2 tablespoons)
Cilantro (1 teaspoon)
Basil (1 teaspoon)
Red Pepper Flakes (2 teaspoons)
What You Do
First, make the bruschetta. Finely chop tomatoes, onion and garlic. Mix these three ingredients together and add the seasonings cilantro, basil, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Set bruschetta aside.
Next, spray cooking spray on a large skillet. Place on burner at a medium heat. Place sausage patties on skillet. Flip patties every three minutes. Cook until dark brown/black.
While sausage is cooking, toast 4 pieces of bread in a toaster at medium heat. Place toast on a plate and set aside.
Finally, place a medium size skillet on a burner. Spray with cooking spray and turn burner on to medium heat. Cook four eggs over medium.
Once all food is cooked, place one piece of toast on each plate. Place 2 sausage patties on each plate. Place one over medium egg on each slice of toast. Scoop bruschetta evenly over each plate and enjoy!
It is time again for another blog post round up! The following are a list of recent blog posts that were not only popular but also a favorite to myself and many of my readers.
My Kitchen Reveal!
In late March, my husband and I moved to our new apartment right at the beginning of the Corona virus Pandemic. It was crazy, quick and overwhelming. Regardless of how we got here, we absolutely love our new home. Check out my kitchen reveal post to see how I decorated our kitchen.
New Edition to the Family!
As many of you know, we did add a new edition to our family this year, and his name is Rocky. He is a gray, long haired domestic tabby. He is super smart, hilarious, and sassy. We love him so much and are so glad we adopted him.
Deep Fried Pickles Recipe
Since graduating from college, I have found myself in the kitchen more often. Part of this is because I have more time to cook, and it is also because I no longer have the luxury of eating meals at the dining hall. Check out my Deep Fried Pickles recipe, and other recipes I will be sharing this month.
What’s My Why?
What’s my why? This is a question that many influencers ask themselves. What’s the reason I write a blog? What’s the reason I advocate for this important cause? What’s the reason I do what I do every single day? This blog post talks all about why I do what I do.
Another Plants Update
This past summer was the first summer I had a balcony. I took full advantage of this balcony by growing many different plants. Check out my different blog posts this summer of my progress and fails in growing plants.
It’s Been 19 Years Since the World Changed
It has been 19 years since 9/11 happened. As I mentioned in this blog post, it is one of the first tragic terrorist attacks that I can recall in my life time. In this post I discuss my memories of that fateful day.
Happy Fall Ya’ll
Having holidays in a new apartment, means I get to try some new decorating ideas. For example, I have never had my own fireplace that I have been able to decorate. But this year, I plan to decorate it for every season. Check out this post to see how I decorated for fall.
Expanding Our Family… What’s Next for Us
This unexpectedly, was a super popular post. This was the post where I shared our thoughts on expanding our family. I also share a tentative 2 year plan as we prepare for parenthood.
Taco Baked Potato Recipe
I am such a huge fan of potatoes and tacos. So I thought, why not combine the two? In this post I share my recipe of a Taco Baked Potato.
Christmas Decorating 2020
Yes, I know… another decorating post. But I can’t help it, I love decorating and home decor. Check out this post to see how I decorated this year for Christmas.
This year has been hard on everyone, and I know I’m not the only one in need of a little self care. Often times my work week is jam packed with endless to-do lists, meetings, daily tasks, and various deadlines that I must meet. That being said, it is no wonder why I am exhausted by the end of the week. Often times I try to reserve my weekends for self care and a chance to recharge. Sometimes that happens, and sometimes it doesn’t.
If I am unable to dedicate my whole weekend to self care, I at least try dedicating my Sundays to self care. This not only helps me to rest from the previous week, but also prepare for the week ahead.
Here are a few tips and tricks on how to have your own Self Care Sunday.
1. Wake up at a reasonable time. I’m not saying get up early, and I’m not saying sleep in as late as possible. What I am saying is, wake up at a time where you are able to sleep in some, but are not sleeping the day away. For example, during the week I usually wake up at 5am and go to bed at 9pm. On the weekends, I try to sleep in until 8am and go to bed at 10pm. This allows me to sleep in some, but not feel like I am missing parts of my Sunday by sleeping.
2. Plan your day. Every morning, I review my planner, rearrange what I need to , and prepare for the day ahead. This allows me to know what I want to accomplish in the day. Often times my weekend to-do lists are things that I neglected throughout the week. Since this happens, I also choose to schedule in things that will allow me to have some self care. For example, I may schedule a nap on Sunday. I may schedule a reminder to write a blog post Sunday night.
3. Wake up slow. Allow yourself to wake up slow. For example, on Sundays I’m in my pjs at least until 11am, unless I have to go somewhere. I also take my time sipping my coffee, watching the sunrise, and catching up on what’s going on in the world.
4. Do something productive before you do something super relaxing. This is a hard one, but it honestly helps. I have found that if I do something productive, before I get comfortable and relax I feel more accomplished. Whereas if I relax and take a nap, or get into a really good tv show, then I will not get what I need to accomplished and feel defeated. So whether it’s those dishes in the sink, the laundry piling up, or the trash that needs to go out, I highly suggest getting it done first before spending the rest of your day relaxing.
5. Lastly, consider doing a relaxing activity before going to bed. Some ideas could be… yoga, prayer time, taking a hot shower, knitting or crocheting, painting, writing, reading, coloring etc.
Good morning and happy November! I don’t know about you, but it sure takes me a moment to get used to day lights savings time every year. Regardless, I absolutely love November. It is one of my favorites, for many reasons. I love November because it is Fall, and Fall is my favorite season. My boyfriend, now husband started dating in November. We were also married two years later in November, and I always look forward to Thanksgiving. It’s such a festive holiday that can be spent as an intimate family gathering to an extravagant family affair.
Since it is officially November, and becoming the cooking/baking season, I thought I would take this month to share many of my homemade recipes.
Today, I will be sharing my Greek Omelette with a Side of Ham recipe!
What You Need…
Medium frying pan
Oil or cooking spray
4lb ham pre-sliced
Shredded cheddar cheese
Feta cheese crumbles
Pitted kalamata olives
Small 8×8 pan
What You Do…
1. First remove ham from wrapping and place in a 8×8 pan. Add a little water to the bottom of the pan to ensure it stays juicy. Place aluminum foil over top of ham and around edges of pan creating a tent. Preheat oven to 375° and cook for 20 minutes.
* Disclaimer, I bought my ham from my local grocery store, and it was fully cooked and unthawed. I would recommend following the instructions on the ham you purchase for the best result.
2. Once ham is almost finished cooking, place frying pan on a burner and spray with oil or cooking spray. Turn burner on to a medium heat.
3. Crack two eggs and break the yolks by whisking with a fork. You can do this in a bowl, and then pour the eggs into the frying pan or crack eggs directly into frying pan. Allow eggs to cook as flat and level to the bottom of the pan as possible, creating a circle shape.
4. Chop omelette ingredients including, kalamata olives, spinach leaves, and red onion.
5. Once eggs look mostly cooked, start placing spatula underneath the edges of the eggs. Doing this will make it easier to fold the omelette. Place spinach, kalamata olives, onion, and cheddar cheese on one side of the eggs. Let sit for 30 seconds or until there is no more runny egg.
6. Check on ham in the oven around this time as it should be finished cooking. Remove from oven, and pull back foil so it can cool.
7. Once eggs look cooked, fold the side of the eggs without ingredients, over the side with ingredients, creating a half circle/ shape of the omelette. Let sit for another minute, turn off heat and sprinkle black pepper, basil and feta cheese crumbles.
8. Slide omelette gently on to plate (this step can be tricky). Next take two or tree slices of ham and place them on the plate.
9. For a little more flavor, feel free to add some hummus or avacado on top.
I can’t believe it’s almost November. Friends, where did October go? This month has been quite a struggle in getting myself motivated to write. When I get stumped, discouraged and tired; I often try to envision how I will feel once my memoir is complete. Writing a book is not easy. It can be a daunting task that I want to constantly give up on. But, I don’t dare give up because I’ve come so far and know I’m meant to do this.
Lately, I’ve just had a variety of really high highs and really low lows when it comes to my emotions, my grief and my goals. It’s exhausting. I try to look at the positive. I have a great job teaching kids everyday. I recently got named teacher of the month, which is also exciting. My husband and I are very busy, but are in a really good place. I love and adore my fur baby Rocky and things are going well for us financially as we pay off our debts.
When you put it that way, life is great and I shouldn’t be complaining. That’s when I feel a high. I feel like I can do this and it’s going to be okay. Then I think about the holidays… Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I’m not pregnant. I don’t have a foster baby and I don’t have any living children. I see friends my age having babies, celebrating birthdays, and holidays with their families. I think about the women who have been trying for 3+ years without any luck, and fear that one day will be me. I hear moms all the time complain about lack of sleep from their infant, tantrums from their toddler, and distant learning experiences from their adolescents…. while all the while I too wish I could be sharing the same experiences.
Thinking about all of this puts me in a very low low. I get to the point where I don’t want to see anyone. I want to hide away in my apartment and forget all the moms pregnant with quarantine babies, and the parents getting their kids ready for Halloween. I want to forget it all because at times it is so hard to deal with.
So you see, I’m not making a ton of progress on my writing because of the emotional grieving tornado I am currently facing. Writing sometimes helps, but sometimes it brings up emotions and memories I’m not quite ready to relive again. I’m not giving up. Not at all. But I am taking my time with this as I continue striving forward with my goals and try not to fear for what the future might hold.
Since Twitter first became a thing, I have never really been interested. I just never understood the point. However, since venturing in the world of writing and publishing, I have felt it is important to connect with other authors like myself.
I created a Twitter Account for 5 reasons…
1. Connect with other authors
2. Give my book and future books more exposure.
3. Become inspired by by various writing prompts, thoughts and current events.
4. To provide real time updates and progress on my writing.
5. To try something new.
Twitter is still very new to me and I don’t fully understand it… but I’m willing to give it a whirl.
If you’re bored, interested or curious, feel free to give me a follow over on Twitter!
Training a Cat is fun, but also takes a lot of hard work. I’m no expert, but I have trained cats in the past and I am currently training Rocky different commands and tricks. So, I thought I would share with you the basics on training a cat, based on my own experience.
When training a cat you need to be persistent, have patience and a lot of rewards.
Teaching a Cat How to Sit
I have taught Rocky since the day I adopted him that he needs to sit before he can get his food. At first he didn’t want to do it. Now he does it every time. Sometimes he sits on his own and sometimes he needs a little assistance.
First, I put my finger up and tell him to sit.
Then, I gently push down his lower back so he will sit. Once he is sitting, I praise him by saying “Good Boy” and rubbing his head.
I then give him his bowl of food.
I have done this process since day one and with a lot of persistence and patience, he’s come a long way.
Teaching a Cat How to Fetch
Recently, I started teaching Rocky how to fetch. He’s made some progress but still has a long way to go.
First, I waited to see if he was even interested in fetching. Meaning I would throw different toys and waited to see if he attempted to bring any back to me. Once he did this a couple times, I knew he was ready.
When teaching a cat to fetch, you have to get excited. If your not excited to play, they won’t be excited to bring the toy back to you.
I quickly learned that Rocky is particular when it comes to fetching. He likes to search for his toy. Meaning if I just throw a toy on the floor, he won’t get it. But if I throw a toy in a paper bag or on the couch, he’ll go find it.
First, I shake the toy.
Then, I throw it and tell him to go get it. I make sure his eyes are on me as I’m throwing it.
As he goes to find it, I’m quiet.
Once I see he’s picked it up, I say “Good Boy” and pat the ground so he’ll drop it near me.
If he does this, I give him praise by saying “Good Boy” and rubbing his head and belly. If he doesn’t do this, I don’t give him praise.
This may only occur two or three times before your cat gets bored. But over time, it should develop a habit for your cat to want to play fetch often.
Well, there you go. Those are my few tips on training your cat. If you need additional help, check out different YouTube videos.
Today’s the day! It’s August 30th, which was the deadline for my summer bucket list. To be honest, I did not get nearly as many goals accomplished that I had hoped. However, my summer has been quite more busy than I anticipated as well. So, I’ll take what I can get. I hope everyone’s summer has not only been productive but also restful. The following is a list of my summer goals, and how I may or may not have accomplished them.
Goals Met This Summer
1. Grow my Plants and Produce Fruits, Veggies and Spices
This summer, I am proud to say that I actually had a successful garden. I think I planted a total of 13-15 plants since April. Out of all of those I have had about 7 survive. And considering the fact that I used to kill all my plants I ever owned, I would say it was quite an accomplishment. This summer I was able to successfully grow and produce a ton of chives as well as four green peppers!
2. Visit the Lake Shore At Least Once.
In late June, I was able to complete this goal when going on a weekend vacation with my friend Alli. It was warm, beautiful and wonderfully relaxing.
3. Have a Game Night with Friends
In June, Charles and I also had a dinner and game night with friends in our apartment. It was fun to be able to entertain and visit with company.
4. Create and Commit to a Yoga Routine.
This goal was hard to complete, but I would say I have definitely gotten a routine down and completed this goal. For a while, I was very unmotivated to do yoga. I was exhausted, eating junk and living off caffeine. So much so, I forgot how to breathe and how to relax. But now, I have been doing mini yoga workouts a few times a week. I have even taught my preschoolers a few poses.
5. Write and Publish a Children’s Book.
I think everyone knows I completed this goal, and I am so excited for it. My book launched at the end of July and has been pretty successful. I am so thankful I have been able to create something in honor of my babies, and in order to help families who are coping with pregnancy loss.
Goals Not Met This Summer
1. Finish First Draft of Memoir
I haven’t finished this goal yet, but I have made some progress. I am strategically working on different chapters, in hopes of having the first draft done very soon.
2. Crochet a Large Blanket
I didn’t end up finishing this goal either. To be honest, I was not in the mood to crochet much this summer. It has been very hot and just not something I found myself interested in.
3. Apply and Receive my Family Life Education Certification
I haven’t completed this goal yet, and frankly I kind of forgot. It was something I put on the back burner, hoping to get to after Covid. But since Covid isn’t going away anytime soon, I guess it is probably something I should try and figure out.
4. Write and Post 200 Blog Posts.
I was so close to this goal, but I just didn’t quite make it. Including this post, I have written 180 blog posts! I was 20 short of my goal. But that’s okay, maybe next time.
5. Buy a Coffee Table for my Living Room
I haven’t completed this goal. I have had a few expenses come up including a flat tire, a kitten, an antenna etc. Eventually though, I hope to get a coffee table.