MIA – Week Two

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read Week One, I appreciate the support!

Week Two

Our daughter made her arrival toward the end of July 2017, and I am pretty sure we spent those first 48 hours in the hospital just staring happily at her. The day it was time to go home, I held her in my arms and cried on my husband’s shoulder. “She’s ours, she’s really ours, and we get to take her home.” I was so happy my heart burst open; it was the best feeling could have after all we had gone through. All of that waiting, those months of hoping we’d find out we were expecting, only to find out we weren’t, lead us to this wonderful amazing day, she was here, she was ours, we were going home.

My parents had come in from Oregon to help with our oldest daughter, and for a bit after we got home. Having them here for two weeks was so wonderful. They took Riley on great adventures, cooked meals, snuggled baby Tenley, and helped however they could. My husband also took that time off from work. He popped into the office from time to time, but otherwise he was home. Riley was at the end of her summer break, so my house was full of company and happiness. I felt like I was always surrounded by love.

Then it seemed as if I had the rug pulled out from under me. The two weeks was up. My parents had to go back to Oregon, my husband had to go back to work, and two days later our oldest started school started. After having two weeks of support and love all around, suddenly, I was alone, with a newborn.

Of course I knew it was going to be an adjustment. Adding a newborn always is as such. I now had to plan out our day to be ready to get Riley from school in the afternoons, amongst other things, all around feedings and numerous baby naps. I wasn’t going to figure it out day one, I knew that. What I didn’t see (or feel) at first, was slowly creeping in.

I was bummed out my parents had to go home, of course, I missed them and had days where I felt sad; but that wasn’t all that was going on. Everything soon began to feel like the biggest task. I felt heavy, and as if I couldn’t smile. About one month in to having a newborn, the Postpartum Depression had arrived. When I say nearly everything was hard, I mean it. Caring for Tenley seemed to be the only thing I could do.

Sometimes it comes in like a flood, other times it slowly rises and you can’t even fully tell it is happening. All you know is that something is wrong, off. One day in particular I just couldn’t even feel really anything. I have dealt with depression and anxiety for most of my life, however, PPD is a different beast. I did what I could to get through my day, but all I wanted to do was to disappear with my baby.

One evening, I basically did just that. I just couldn’t do anything anymore, even sitting in the living room was too much. My husband was making dinner, our oldest was hanging out in the dining/kitchen area. I had been nursing the baby on the couch and she started to doze off a little. Without saying anything, I just got up off the couch, went upstairs to our bedroom, gently laid her in her Rock N Play Sleeper (best thing ever for newborns), and just laid on my bed feeling numb.

The picture above was taken during that moment. She held my finger for a bit and that was everything to me, that seemed to be the only thing I could feel. My husband and oldest daughter hadn’t even noticed we had left the living room. After a little time had past, my husband came in and just held me for a little bit. I was so thankful that I didn’t need to say the words, he just knew. He left the baby and I to just be for a little while, until I felt ready to go back downstairs. That’s finally when I was able to release a little of my numbness, and I cried. The kind of cry where you make no noise and your tears just fall and fall.

Postpartum Depression is different for everyone who experiences it. Thankfully with the help of my therapist, and support from my husband, I was able to get through it. It took time, patience, and giving myself some grace. There was a lot of other things I dealt with during this time, and I honestly just don’t want to get into it all. Postpartum Depression is a highly personal journey, and I just hope that by sharing a little piece of mine, it helps another woman be able to find a way through hers.

If you are struggling with Postpartum Depression, depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, I encourage you to find the help you need. Talk to your partner/spouse, a trusted family member or friend; find a good therapist. Remember that there is nothing wrong with you, and there are people to help guide you.

Stay strong, stay beautiful, stay kind.

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MIA – Week One

Picture taken four days before her arrival!

I feel as if I have been mentally writing this post for over a year, yet am not fully sure exactly what I want to say. It’s not easy, and being honest is always difficult in our social media world these days. I really feel the need to share the journey of the last two years though, and shed some light on why I went MIA.

I started this blog in 2015, and have really enjoyed sharing various outfits, recipes, and fun products from small businesses. I loved watching the inspiration it gave to others and have had fun being able to connect with so many people!

I am sure if you follow me on Instagram you have seen posts and updates on my life and happenings. I just felt like I was finally ready to sit down and get back to blogging. While I am not fully sure where it will take me this time, I am looking forward to starting again.   Over the next few weeks I will be sharing various bits and pieces of my life; and hope that you enjoy reading along.

Week One

Two days before Thanksgiving 2016 I found out I was expecting with our second child, we’d find out in January we would be having another girl. My husband and I were over the moon, as we had been trying for a year and a half, and were close to thinking that God didn’t want it to happen for us again. What was even more fun was that we were leaving the next day to head to New York to spend Thanksgiving with his family. We were able to keep the secret all weekend, thank goodness!

I was trying to keep up with posts during the early stages of pregnancy. Unfortunately, I am one of the women who does not have a fun first trimester, at all. Unless I was sleeping, or trying to lay in the fetal position on the couch, I was incredibly nauseous. Like, right on the edge of losing my stomach…all day…but never did, kind of nauseous. (Trust me, it’s as bad as it sounds.) This was the first slow down of the blogging train.

As I moved into the second trimester, I was feeling better, my baby bump was growing, and I was only fitting into certain clothing. I am sure that many would say it would have been the perfect time for me to do some Maternity Fashion; sure it would have been. However, in all openness, I was not feeling that attractive, and was wearing the same few outfits. I felt a little like I had lost my touch, and the train slowed down even more.

Eventually I did find that the train pretty much stopped, and I just wasn’t posting anymore, and of course, it is easy to simply continue to NOT post, to not share. Why though? Well, preparing for a baby, with a school ager (or any age older child, our just any baby whether it be first, second, or fourth) is busy, and at times chaotic. Looking back, I should give myself some more grace for letting the website become “stale” for a bit. Family and time with our oldest daughter before adding our second, was much more important that spending time on my site.

In June of 2017, a little over one month before our second daughter was due, I took a full social media break, and I loved it. I had so much fun spending time with my husband and oldest daughter, creating so many fun memories. This was one of the healthiest things I have done and it helped to put a lot of things into perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I love many aspects of social media and connecting with others, but it simply doesn’t need to consume that much of my time.

Life isn’t happening inside of a screen, it’s happening right in front of us. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Next week I look forward to sharing a bit about life after baby girl arrived! What was life like when you were adding a baby? Have you ever taken a social media break? I would love to hear your thoughts, comment below and let’s discuss.

The ABCs Of Friendship

If you want to have good friendships in your life, then it needs to start with you. Some people won’t be worth the effort, especially when they put in very little themselves. But there are some gems that will be the friends that will last and last. But much like a romantic relationship, friendships do take work. So here are 26 things to help you to be a better friend, the ABCs of friendship, if you like.

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  • Appreciate – showing how thankful you are for things can make their day and show that they matter to you.
  • Birthdays – make sure you celebrate them in style on their big day. From looking at a birthday gift collection for the perfect gift, to partying with them, it is all good.
  • Communication – so important for any kind of relationship. Say what you mean.
  • Don’t Be Selfish – enough said.
  • Encourage – a good friend helps you to be a better version of yourself. So be that person for your friends.
  • Forgive and Forget – it can be easier said than done, but is vital for any friendship as we can all say and do things that we regret.
  • Generosity – give of your time and what you have to be better friend. Don’t buy friends, but bu generous.
  • Hug It Out – hugging can be a great thing with your bestie. It can help if you are feeling sad or stressed too.
  • Include Them – we all have family and other friend circles, but include them where you can.
  • Join something together – a club or a team can give you some common ground and more chance to connect.
  • Keep Promises – only make them if you can keep them/
  • Listen – a vital part of communication is listening. Are they trying to say something between the lines?
  • Motivate – from helping them to exercise more to motivating them to get a new job, it is all good.
  • No – sometimes saying no can be a good thing. Make sure figure out the balance.
  • Own Up – be honest, and own up to your mistakes.
  • Practice makes perfect – Sometimes you won’t do things well straight away. Stick at it.
  • Quash jealous feelings – we may envy their style or their other friends. Just don’t!
  • Respect – you are not going to treat someone badly if you respect them. Be sincere and value their opinions.
  • Speak up – if you’re unhappy about something, speak up about it. Then they will feel that they can do the same.
  • Trust – it is a vital part of any kind of relationship. Some people may break it, but allow them to work at it.
  • Understanding – we are all different and all do things differently. Just because they don’t want to go out one evening, doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. They could just be an introvert, for example.
  • Visit – with social media taking over, it can be easy just to send them a snap. Visit and meet up when you can.
  • Work – working at a friendship is important. Make sure that it isn’t just one-sided, though.
  • Xtra Effort – a must for any happy friendship.
  • You – don’t forget yourself in all of this. If it turns toxic, it is time to get out.
  • Zero Negativity – because who likes to be friends with someone full of negativity?

3 Easy Ways To Help A Friend In Need Of Fitness

There’s nothing worse than a friend trying to convince their nearest and dearest to do something that they simply don’t have any inclination of doing. If you are chilling in front of the TV with the latest box set and an awesome tub of gelato, there’s no way you’ll be saying yes to that pal who turns up at your door lycra-laden wanting you to whip on your gym gear and attend the advanced spin class with them. While you may have a friend who could do with a health overhaul, it’s not up to you to force them to face their fitness demons. They have to want it for themselves. And even then, you can’t be all guns blazing everytime you see them, trying to coax them to a boxercise session, head to the latest raw food vegan restaurant or stop them from buying a donut like an overbearing mother. Take a look at how you can help a friend in need of fitness without alienating them in the process.

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Vices

It’s all too easy to take an authoritarian approach when trying to help a friend in need. You need to be more relaxed and remember why you are friends in the first place. Go out, have fun, partake in a few drinks, meet up over dinner and don’t look perturbed if and when they order dessert. You need to be a pal and lead by example. If you have recently quit smoking and your bestie is interested in your latest e-liquid, consider purchasing them a vape kit to help them give the nicotine the heave-ho. If you’ve both been known to enjoy a bottle of wine or two or three on a night out, go teetotal for a little while. The chances are your friend will join you to support you, not realizing that it is you turning the tables on them. Sneaky and sly, but also caring and supportive!

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Gym Buddies

Forget about turning up their doorstep unannounced and making them attend a workout with you. Instead, ask your friend if they wouldn’t mind heading to the gym with you once or twice a week to help you train for a 5k run, a hike or a cycle ride. As a pal, they’ll be more than willing to do this. As you have more fun down at the gym, you will both be more eager to attend classes, try new exercises and have a go on more of the equipment. This will aid your friend’s fitness levels, help them lose weight and ensure that they lower their risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure.

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Food

Rather than heading out for dinner, why not encourage dinner parties amongst your friendship group. Every week you could take turns to cook up a culinary extravaganza. You could challenge yourself to invent a three-course dinner party menu for under 800 calories. By doing this you are taking on a shared responsibility and it will prevent your friend from feeling so alone in their fitness quest.

Being a good friend isn’t about showing tough love. By doing this, you run the risk of your pal not returning your calls for a while or even losing your relationship altogether. Lead by example, talk lots and simply be a listening ear. When ready, you can embark upon a health journey together and be the ultimate supportive friend.

Reaching Your Personal Goals Whilst Juggling Commitments

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Many of us take on more responsibilities as we get older. Working, looking after children and doing household duties such as cooking and cleaning can sometimes leave very little time for pursuing personal interests and hobbies. Not having the time to pursue these personal goals can make many of us unhappy, as we may feel we’re living our lives doing duties rather than doing what we want. Everyone deserves their freedom – gaining this may simply require learning to better manage your time. Here are just a few solutions that could help you to take care of your commitments whilst finding time for yourself.

Make the right sacrifices

Sacrifices are often needed to better manage one’s time. Making the right sacrifices is important as it could determine how happy you are. Most people think that working all hours and sacrificing family and personal time is the way to go, but it isn’t in most cases. Rather than focusing on earning more, it could worth focusing on spending less. This might allow you to work less hours, allowing you to see your family more and spend more time on yourself.

Be wary of sacrificing sleep to get everything done as this is not the way to go either. Being overtired will negatively affect everything else from your job to your family relationships to your personal challenges. Instead of sleeping less hours, try rescheduling your sleep instead. Going to bed early and waking up early might sound boring and horrible to some people, but actually better for us. Instead of free time in the evening, you’ll have free time in the morning, which you might be able to use more productively for yourself if everyone else in your home is asleep.

Find effective ways to multi-task

There are certain times when you may be able to multi-task and fit in some free time. If you have to commute to work, consider turning this stressful and routine trip into something productive and exciting. A commute via train could allow you enough to read a book, watch a TV show, write a blog post or plan the week’s meals. A commute via car might be a little harder to make use of as it requires more concentration, however you might still be able to do a listening activity such as streaming your favourite music, listening to an audiobook or learning a new language via a CD. You may even be able to travel by bicycle and make this your get fit time.

Meanwhile, there are many tasks that you can now do at home to fit around commitments. Many employers are now allowing staff to work from home in career fields that are mainly IT and phone based. You can also study a university course from home nowadays – you’ll find all kinds of courses on the web such as a healthcare administration degree online. You may also be able to exercise at home, rely on online food shopping and host virtual meetings via skype. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t leave the house – relying on these from-home methods might allow you to simply schedule them around your lifestyle rather than waiting for shops and gyms to open or having to travel or relocate to take up a job or university course.

Accept help from family and friends

Too many people turn down help from people around them that might otherwise free up time to focus on personal goals. Family and friends might be able to act as a babysitter occasionally whilst you get time yourself or they may be able to cook you a meal freeing up this chore. You shouldn’t over-rely on these people, but they shouldn’t be ignored.

If you’ve got a partner, you may also want to make sure that you’re both equally sharing out responsibilities. Sharing out household chores and time with the children can give you both more time to spend on personal interests and hobbies. It’s worth also trying to find some couple time for your both so that you’re not always spending time apart – this can often be a danger if you both work different hours.  

Know when to seek outside support

If you don’t have friends, family or a partner to share the load with, you can still make time to chase your personal goals – you may just have to rely on outside support. There are lots of babysitting services out there that can look after your children whilst you need to get things done. Some may be inexpensive or even free during certain hours. There are also charities out there that may be able to help with basic but gruelling tasks such as housework, allowing you to get others done. Asking for support is important as you could burnout if you’re juggling too much, affecting everything from your ability to work to your ability to look after your kids.

Schedule time for yourself

Don’t wait for free time to come along. When you have lots of commitments, you need to schedule in this free time. This could be a weekly slot when the children are being looked after or your partner is doing the housework. Having free time scheduled into your life will allow you to plan for it rather than taking it as it comes and not knowing how long it may last (a good example being when a baby is sleeping – you never know how long they’ll be out and what you’ll be able to get done in that time).

Supporting the Elderly in Your Life

Generally speaking, the elderly in our lives have played an active role in our upbringing. They are most often the people who raised us: teaching us to talk, walk, teaching us right from wrong, and molding our characters. But as the years pass, things can often change, and we find ourselves in a situation where we have to keep an eye on them! It’s important that we are there to support them and lend them a helping hand as they grow older, weaker, and more vulnerable. Here are a few simple ways to ensure that your elderly loved ones are getting the right help, support, and care for their specific needs.

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Companion Care

If your elderly loved ones are not infirm or incapacitated, you should aim to help them maintain as high a level of independent living for themselves as possible. Many people make the mistake of treating the elderly like children. This is ridiculous. After all, they have much more life experience than most of us, and this doesn’t change just because they’ve aged. However, there are various things that you can do to make their day-to-day lives a little simpler for them. Bear in mind that certain everyday tasks may become increasingly difficult to carry out, such as preparing meals, climbing the stairs, taking medication on time, and many more regular situations. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your loved one has to move into a care home – they just need a helping hand here and there. Consider seniors for seniors companion care. These professionals will ensure that your loved one can stay in the comfort of their own home, but receive a little professional help at the same time. They will frequently visit your loved one at set times to enhance their quality of life. Having a fellow senior individual can also prove a more comfortable experience. They may have more mutual ground with their carer, making them more of a companion who helps out than a professional stranger who enters their home regularly. It’s generally best to choose a carer with your loved one. Involving them in the process will help you to secure a better fit first time around. Be sure to ask any questions that you might have to get a full picture of what services the individual can provide.

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Care Homes

If your loved one requires a little more care than the occasional visit from a companion carer, you may want to consider care homes. Care homes are places where the elderly can live their lives to their utmost potential at the same time as being under the observation and surveillance of various professionals at all times. help nearby around the clock. The quality of care at different institutions can vary greatly. So make sure to do your research. Ensure that the home you choose can meet your loved one’s medical needs at the same time as immersing them in an interactive environment with plenty of company in close reach.

These are just a couple of ways to support your elderly loved ones. Make sure to involve your loved one in any decisions that you may make about their future!

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!

Leopard On A Mission – Week Three


It’s mission day!! How did the first two weeks go for you? I hope you are finding a little more positivity in your life, while adding some light to other people’s lives.

This week’s mission is easy, write at least one letter. Not an email or text, but an actual letter. Bonus points if you write multiple letters! Thank a friend for the help they gave you, say hello to a Grandparent, tell a family member you love them.

Mail it, or hand deliver! Think of the recipient’s face when they receive such a heartfelt message.

I can’t wait to hear how this week goes, don’t forget to use the hashtag: #LeopardOnAMission on social media so others can see the kindness you are spreading!

Motivation Monday 


I have had to remind myself of this recently. Things can become overwhelming and we can feel that we HAVE to say yes, take on more, etc.

This is how we get burned out, tired and frustrated. I took last week to take a breather, allowed myself space to think, and I feel better heading into this week. 

Hang in there, you are doing great things! 💋

Monday Motivation

I know I have missed a few #MondayMotivation posts, I can be open and share that I have been struggling a little. 

New school/workout schedule, as well as my house cleaning schedule. I also feel like I have slid into a bit of a rut when it comes to #OutfitInspiration posts. I am mentally in fall, but the weather here is still really hot, so I feel I have worn all my summery style outfits.

I have spent the last few days thinking and reflecting, and told myself, “I want to be a success story.”, and it struck me as a perfect quote to use for today. 

No matter where you are, or what you are going through, remind yourself of why you started. I’m cheering you on as well. 💋