Camp Grandma – Book Review

I am so excited to share my first Pop Up Review for Book Sparks! I was selected to read Camp Grandma and am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book.

Marianne Waggoner Day was a stay at home Mom, turned Business Woman, then got promoted to Grandma. Once she retired and started spending with her grandchildren, she realized that her business knowledge could be beneficial to their time together.

From this realization, Camp Grandma was born! In her book, Marianne takes you through various activities she has done with her grandkids that have given them some really wonderful skills to help lead them into a stronger future.

Her book has given me some wonderful ideas for activities to try with my oldest daughter this summer. I look forward to implementing some skill building projects into our schedule and watching her growth.

If you are a parent, grandparent, or child care provider, I highly recommend giving this book a read. It will inspire you to choose some different activities to try with the children in your lives. It is so important to give them a variety tools for their future, I know I love watching my children learn and grow.

This book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Happy Reading!

Organize Your House, Organize Your Life – Get It Together, Post Two

Happy Friday! We are so close to the end of January, and hopefully you are all a bit more organized, and are still feeling motivated.

I know that sometimes we can “lose a little steam” when working on big projects such as cleaning out your house. Give yourself a day to take a breath, regroup, and sort the tasks you need to do in order to finish. Once you power through the last of it, you are going to love the feeling of accomplishment!

Today, I want to talk a little more about getting our lives together; mainly about PLANNERS!

I’m sure we have all been there, we buy a planner with grand intentions of using it, then after a month, it’s collecting dust or is stuck in the back of a drawer. Well not this year it’s not!

First, I am going to be bluntly honest when it comes to choosing a planner. All you need is a planner set up how YOU would use it, and a pencil. Yep, that’s it.

I personally see these “DIY planners” full of stickers, colorful additives, etc. as a waste of time and money. Now don’t get all up in arms at me; if you find that these extra pieces truly help you to actually use your planner, and keep organized, that is wonderful!

Just know, if you think that going out and spending a bunch of money on a planner, stickers, and colorful pens is going to help you to actually use it, you’re most likely wrong. You are going to spend more time trying to get all these stickers in there than actually scheduling out your week and month.

When I say you need a planner set up how YOU like it, I mean the way the layout is printed. I purchased my planner from Barnes & Noble, and while it did come with stickers, I cut those pages out and gave them to my daughter.

Personally, I like tabs so I can flip to months quickly and easily, I also like that each month starts off with a full month calendar, then is broken down into weeks/days following that page.

On my monthly calendar I can see all of my various appointments, events, etc. As for the weekly/daily pages, I can easily list out the tasks I need to work on for that specific day or week. As I navigate this year with my planner, I will be using it to also focus on the social media and blog posts that need to be completed, as well as my family’s day to day schedules.

Now, how will you make sure to use your planner? That’s what Sunday’s are for! A couple weeks ago on Instagram I shared what “Self-Care Sunday” means to me. For some it may mean laying on the couch binge watching TV. For me it means sitting down with my planner, my 52 Lists Journal, and setting my intentions for the week.

I have found that starting off every Sunday has kept me so much more organized and prepared! I am able to start my week off with such amazing positivity, and it helps me to keep my motivation up.

This doesn’t mean that I only look at my planner on Sunday’s, this simply means that I plan everything out. I also make sure to add needed appointments and events to my iPhone calendar.

Being able to see all of your engagements will help you to better prepare for you week mentally, which is a great way to get your life organized! Having a better sense of clarity in our minds will help us to ease stress and feel more calm.

Take a deep breath, and get to your planner!

2018 – Year In Review

It’s crazy to think that another year is just hours away from coming to a close. We made it through another 365 days, some were good, some were challenging. Today is definitely the day to look back on how we showed up for each day, and make a plan for how we are going face the next 365.

A few days ago I finally took a little bit of time for just me. I went to my local Barnes & Noble, sat in a comfy chair, and just read. It was the first time, in a very long time I have taken this kind of time for me.

It helped me to be able to reflect and think about how I wanted to approach the next year. I mostly found myself reflecting on the last few months of this year, and how they left me exhausted, stressed, irritable, and very down.

I have loved participating in The Last 90 Days by Rachel Hollis, and really think this helped me to survive the last few months of this year. It helped me to get more active, choose healthier food habits, and really up my water intake! I wasn’t perfect all 90 days, and these last couple of weeks have been a struggle, but I was doing my best.

So why was I so overwhelmed? I was finally completely honest with myself and knew that I had taken on way too much! Each year my husband and I throw two big parties, Halloween and Christmas. Which means all the planning, buying, prepping, set up, hosting, and clean up; and all very close together.

I used to love doing these parties, but something felt off this year. It was because I was trying to be a mom to two girls (which comes with a laundry list of tasks all it’s own), a wife who’s husband has a busy schedule, trying to do daily life, work on myself, had a list of “hobbies” I was trying to work on or start, and planning/hosting various other events. It was all too much, and I felt like I couldn’t say no when people asked for help.

The last 10 days before Christmas break this year, I had over 7 events, some days with multiple events; many of which I was planning, hosting, or for which I was providing items. I’m not sure I slept, or left my kitchen. Most importantly, I wasn’t enjoying it.

I have always been the type of person who, when commits to something, follows through and does her part. I also found myself thinking, “If I don’t do it, no one else will.”

And therein lies my moment. Why must it always be me? Who says I HAVE to do any of this? What does it matter if these parties don’t happen, if we don’t host every event? Why is it always up me to get people together?

So, in 2019, I’m not doing it anymore. It’s time I actually focus on ME, I’m going to cut back on what I commit to doing, focus on my health, and really think about what I really want to do with each day.

I’m currently reading High Performance Habits by Brandon Burchard and am loving the guidance I am already receiving, especially in the areas I really need it.

One thing he suggests is choosing three words to focus on for your year. Mine are: Happy, Motivated, Organized. I want to be a happier, more motivated, and highly organized person. I no longer want to feel stressed, over anxious, and worn down.

My family deserves the best version of me, but also equally important, I deserve the best version of me!

I want you to think about what you want for 2019. What are your words? Write them down, read the often, focus on them!

Thank you for reading, and for being here. I look forward to coming up with some great content for you these next twelve months! I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!

MIA – Week Four

Here we are, week four, the final post in my MIA series. Thank you to all of those who have been reading and reaching out to me as I have gone on this little journey through the month.

I have been reflecting a lot on why I started, what I wanted to be doing with the website, and where I am currently at in all areas of life. In some ways, I have certainly come a long way, in others, I think I maybe just tried too hard.

I believe I wanted to “do it all”. Outfit posts, business/product sharing, inspirations, recipes, etc. Which is all great, and I can do all of those things; however, I was trying to do it all at once, and at times, in a matter of a post a day. It all started off really well. I was able to reach people and grow a small following. I was even invited to be a guest on Local Lifestyles, our local morning TV show, which lead me to do an amazing and very fun photo shoot with Christy Lively Photography; the picture above is from that session.

I was able to get outfits together, find great businesses to share (which can still be found on my Shops I Love page!), and whipped up some great smoothies. I have learned that I should have taken my time in sharing though! I stated to realize that I was struggling a little to find something to share, what would people like, what would work, what wouldn’t?  I have taken so much time these last couple of months and learned how to plan out all areas of my life better, including my website.

I allowed the pressure of it all to get to me, and to make me feel like I HAD to post everyday. But, I don’t, it’s my site. I can post and share when I want to, when I have time. I can plan out posts in advance more, and create more “series” to help me organize my thoughts and help others.

I have started working on myself physically as well, and am starting to feel “better in my own skin”. I am looking forward to starting back into some Outfit Inspiration posts. I am hoping to have some fun food inspirations as well!

I want to hear from YOU though! What are some of the things I have done that you have liked? Is there anything you want to see more of, or that I haven’t done that you would like me to do?

Thank you again for being here, your support is wonderful!

4 Ways You Can Change The World Today

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Change the world? Little old you? Ridiculous. What could you do? After all, you’re not Wonder Woman, and you don’t possess any super powers. You’re not in politics (we are assuming), so unlike the trailblazing AZ sec of state, you don’t have the platform to make a difference in the place you are living in. You don’t work for Greenpeace (again, we are assuming), so you don’t have a direct hand in protecting the environment.

So what could you do? Hmmm, lets see shall we…

You could be kind to the people you pass during the day. A smile, a kind word, a helpful gesture… these things are not difficult to do, and by doing so, you are promoting a positive outcome. And who knows? The people you are kind to may follow your example. Remember the movie Pay It Forward? An emotional weepie it may be (we are still crying after that ending), but the concept is valid. If you do something kind for another person, they may pass on that kindness through their behaviour, and so and so on. Before you know it, the whole world will be passing on kindness, and that’s thanks to the gesture started by you. Okay, in a perfect world maybe, but you never know how far your kindness will stretch.

You could help the people who are central to your life. To change the world for the better, we often need to start with the people closest to us, so think about those you can help today. Is it your mate who needs help with fitness? Is it a family member who needs a childminder/pet sitter/shoulder to cry on? Is it your neighbour who is too old to manage their chores? Is it your child who is struggling at school? So look at the people in your life. Do they need you? And if they come to you for help, don’t be quick turning them away. By making a difference to their lives, there will be a ripple effect elsewhere.

You could volunteer to help people in your locale. Perhaps there is a homeless shelter you could volunteer in. An environmentalist group may need help with litter picks. A church or community group may require help with children’s activities. Go online, Google search your local area, and get involved. There will be charity work you are suited to, and by doing so, you can make a difference to the lives of others.

You could help people on a global level. You don’t have to get on a plane to help those people far away from you. Think of the world we live in. Think of those people who are struggling in other countries. Think of the charities helping them. What could you do? You could join a charity on a local level to do good to those people far away. You may be able to donate money to a good cause. You might even share global issues with others online through social media or a blog, raising awareness to anybody willing to read what you have to say. Supergirl would fly around the world changing lives, but you can do it from the comfort of your armchair.

So, what do you think? Could you save the world today? By making even small differences, you can encourage others to do the same. And then, little by little, the world will be a better place! Something to think about anyway, but we hope you take action soon. And when we say ‘you,’ we are indeed talking about YOU!! So, put down your copy of Vogue, and get to work!

You Can’t Achieve Your Goals Without These

It’s so important to have goals in life. It’s our goals and aspirations that make us who we are, and help to drive us towards the most success. But achieving goals isn’t something that just everybody does. Achieving goals takes hard work and determination, and that’s just something people don’t have. Plus, you have the chaotic whirlwind that is life demanding so much from us, so fitting in the goals that you might have around that isn’t always going to be possible. However, you don’t want to look back on your life and regret not meeting goals that could have been met, so we want to show you a few ways that you can ensure your goals will become a dream come true.

Financial Stability

You are really going to struggle in life if you don’t have a bit of financial stability. With so many things to pay for, and your wage perhaps not being all you would want it to be, it’s easy to get yourself into a position where you make bad decisions, and bad decisions can lead to a lot of problems with money. One issue that people face is a credit score drop. You actually rely on your credit score more than you think, and if you’ve got one that’s next to nothing, you’d struggle to even get a phone contract in your name. However, don’t always think that your credit report is right. You can get a credit dispute filed to check the validity of the report if you think that something on there is false, or you think your score should be much higher than it is. Don’t panic if your credit score is low however, there’s plenty that you can do to try and bring it up. It’s all about carefully managing your money, and doing things such as putting a little bit on a credit card, then paying it off.

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Drive & Determination

It doesn’t matter what we’re talking about here, you’re never going to get where you want to be without some drive and determination in you. Do you ever have those days where you just wake up with so much energy in you, and you have so many goals in mind that you wish to achieve, but by lunch time they’ve all gone out the window because you can’t be bothered? Yeah, we all do that! But, it’s that drive and determination that you need to keep hold of, and channel towards the things that you really want to achieve in life. As they say, if you want something so bad, you’ll make it happen!

Achievable Goals

Some goals that you set yourself just aren’t going to be achievable. If you’re planning on being able to run a marathon in a months time, even though you can barely lift yourself off the sofa at the minute, then you’re not going to achieve it. Start small with your goals, and work your way up to something big. The more goals you achieve, the more you’ll feel like you can do in life.

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

Whether you have been trying to live healthier or lose weight and are struggling with getting results and sticking to your routine, you’ll need to find a way to motivate yourself. From supporting your body to release more energy to rewarding yourself, there are several ways of getting fit with less efforts. If you want to keep on going even when you don’t feel like, read on for some useful tips.

Set Clear Targets

If you would like to stick with a program, you have to see where you’re going. Whether you would like to look perfect in your new bikinis or have more energy and stamina, you have to write down your fitness goals so they stick in your head. Set yourself clear and achievable smaller goals and an end result, so you can stay positive, even when you are struggling with your diet or exercise.

Work Out with Friends

Image via Justyn Warner

You can also find a friend to work out with, so you don’t have an excuse not to go, and you can both motivate each other. Alternatively, you can join a gym class and make friends, so you look forward to going every night, and catch up with others after the workout. Simply knowing that you are not alone and others are also making an effort will make a huge difference in your attitude.

Set Rewards

Don’t forget to reward yourself every now and then. Have a rest day when you only go for a relaxing walk or a swim, instead of sticking with your routine. If you have been denying yourself some food items, allow them on one day, after you have completed your routine. If you are not a foodie, a shopping trip could motivate you for sure as a reward, especially if you are feeling better in your skin already.

Dress Goals

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Another great way of motivating yourself to work out and eat healthier is setting a target dress size you want to wear and buying some items in that size. Your investment will motivate you alone, and you can keep on trying on the dress until it fits perfectly. It is, however, important that you stay realistic about your weight loss goals. You cannot drop two dress sizes in just a few weeks,

Focus On Inches not Pounds

You might not want to lose too much weight, instead improve your metabolism and tone up. To burn fat and turn it into muscles, while maintaining the elasticity of your skin, you might want to check out  oxygenplus.com to find out how to get more gain with less pain and support your body in its transformation.

When trying to embark on a journey of physical transformation, it is important that you change your attitude and focus on motivating yourself. Motivating yourself is easy, if you know what makes you tick. Whether it is a dress, a special meal, or simply feeling better when walking down the street, set clear expectations and rewards.

Leopard On A Mission – Week Five

I’m back! Oh my, what a busy few weeks I have had preparing and enjoying Thanksgiving. It’s time to get start spreading the kindness again.

This week let’s all surprise a neighbor (or many) with some treats! I love doing things like this all year round, but this time of season is the perfect time to spread some joy, and even meet more of those who live around you.

Keep the posts coming on social media by using the hashtag: #LeopardOnAMission

Have a great week!

Compassion, And What It Can Mean To Someone Who Struggles

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Compassion means everything to those who receive it, and it dignifies those who give it. No matter how hard your hard, or how difficult and hopeless the situation, compassion will lend a meaning to live. Without sounding like we’re preaching from a soapbox, it’s important to understand how the power of this can work. We, humans, are designed to love each other first and foremost. If not from an emotional standpoint, from an evolutionary standpoint. We all know that life is simply better, more bearable, and tragedy more manageable when we share our love for one another. No matter who you show compassion to, your friend who is addicted to a substance, an elderly relative who would benefit from at home care, or even yourself during a rough patch, this article is concerned with celebrating the power and meaning of compassion:

Compassion Reframes Tragedy

Everything is perception, and all is belief. No matter how horrific and tragic the circumstances you or a loved one has experienced, bringing in compassion to the situation lifts it slightly. It helps define a human virtue despite the difficulty. A kind word, a simple statement of encouragement, an action of help and a full-time investment towards resolution can all contribute to the effort of positivity. This can lend you immense strength.

Compassion Gives You Purpose

It’s easy to become disenfranchised or feel worried in the presence of difficulty. Becoming lost is often the temptation for most people. It’s simply a human issue which we all can experience without warning. However, applying compassion to both yourself and others gives you purpose. This can help direct you. Feeling empathic towards your situation allows you to look for solutions.

Notice that compassion and empathy is much more and much different than pity. It looks for solutions after accurately seeing the problem, as opposed to bathing in the problem and hoping it will solve itself. Purpose can help people get out of the most difficult times, so much so that many studies have been undertaken (such as those featured in Dr Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning,) on those trapped in concentration camps in WW2. Those who looked forward to a meaning after the camp, and held on to inspiration and purpose throughout the tragedy were much more likely to survive. This human passion helps us burn through even the most difficult of problems.

Compassions Gives You Clarity

If you have compassion, you’re much less likely to rest in your prejudices and instead listen to the person you’re gifting that compassion to. A drug addict will be seen as a diseased person, someone who needs help as opposed to a morally corrupt or ‘bad’ person. This helps you see the levels of complexity to any situation which can then help you give directed and appropriate help, or refer that person to better help with a more nuanced and appropriate approach.

Compassion helps improve your life, and your social depth even without tragedy to spur it on. Pause for thought and make use of compassion, it could just improve your life more than you know.

Leopard On A Mission – Week Four


Woohoo! Week four’s mission is here! I hope you had a fun time writing letters last week, I know I did.

This week I’m asking you to leave a positive or encouraging message on at least one public bathroom mirror! Bonus points for multiple mirrors! Be sure to take a picture and share them with the hashtag: #LeopardOnAMission (but not location, both for safety and for fun!)

This is one of my favorite missions, so you may see this again in the future.

I hope you are all also continuing to spread kindness and love. Please let me know if there is anything you’d like to see in these weekly missions.

Have a great week everyone!