Detox Popcorn Recipe

It’s time to *POP* into a healthy, new year! Read more to find out how this Detox Popcorn Recipe will fit into your life in more ways than just a healthy snack!

I’m guessing many of your New Year’s resolutions, like my own, include something along the lines of making healthier choices.  Maybe they’re related to nourishing your body, moving more, or being mindful.  Whatever it may be, I’ve got something to foster your healthier intentions.

For the record, when I speak of being “healthy,” I like to refer to one’s whole self.  There’s not just one aspect that makes a person healthy (ie: diet).  Being truly healthy is being able to balance all aspects of one’s life.  Yes, it’s important to fuel your body with wholesome foods.  Yes, it’s important to be active.  Yes, it’s important to get enough sleep.  Yes, it’s important to manage stress.  Yes, it’s important to check in with yourself and give yourself what you need. It’s a balancing act and something that everyone can always improve upon.

Each day is a fresh start with new opportunities.  Wake up and remind yourself of that.  You’ve got to believe it in order for it to happen.  I talk to my fourth graders about having a growth mindset, and as adults, it’s much harder to make that shift.   Simple mantras can really pay off and change the way you think.  Reflect on the past in order to grow.  Don’t dwell on what has already happened; learn from it.  What went well?  What didn’t?  Move forward with positive intentions.  What will you do differently next time?  The more positive you are, the happier you’ll be.  Negative people generally are not happy people.  Be the best version of yourself.  Plain and simple.

So how in the world does Detox Popcorn fit into this post?  Well friends, let me tell you how.  This detox popcorn recipe doesn’t only deliver as a healthy snack, but it offers a physical cleansing, as well as a mental cleansing.  Before we get into those details, let’s first discuss popcorn as what you eat as a snack.

Popcorn is a seed which was discovered in the Americas thousands of years ago where it has captivated people for centuries with its mythical, magical charm.  Popcorn is a year round snack, but National Popcorn Day is January 19th.  Here are a few corny facts:

  • Popcorn is a healthy, whole grain snack food. Popcorn is a whole grain, which makes it a good carbohydrate choice.  Whole grains contain fiber, providing the roughage needed in a daily diet. Popcorn has no artificial additives or preservatives and is sugar- free.
  • Popcorn is non-GMO.  There has never been, nor is there currently, any Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) popcorn or popcorn seed for sale.
  • Diacetyl was removed from microwave popcorn in 2006, and since then most companies have removed PFOAs from their packaging.
  • Popcorn is gluten-free. Popcorn does not contain wheat, rye, or barley gluten – the types of gluten most associated with gluten disorders.

Check out Popcorn Central for tons of popcorn recipes!

Ready to read about the benefits of and how to make Detox Popcorn?

Lemon essential oil has a multitude of uses and benefits.  It’s known for its purifying properties.  You can diffuse it, ingest it, or use it topically.  (You do want to make sure you are using a high quality essential oil.  There are many brands out there, but dOTERRA is a trusted brand – I used to be a consultant, just not anymore – and their oils are certified pure therapeutic grade.)  Lemon essential oil can aid in digestion and support healthy respiratory function.  Specifically, it supports your liver which promotes detox.

So how can you infuse your popcorn with lemon oil?  Simply melt coconut oil and stir in several drops of lemon oil!  Coconut oil has several health benefits that support detox, too!  Coconut oil is mostly composed of medium-chain fatty acids which go straight to the liver.  These fatty acids play a critical role in cleansing the body from toxins. Coconut oil helps to flush your body of toxins.

The last ingredient of Detox Popcorn is black pepper.  You have two options here: black pepper essential oil or real black pepper; you’ll reap the benefits with either.  Black pepper oil is high in monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes which are known for their antioxidant activity.  Black pepper is good for the stomach and helps facilitate digestion, important in detox!

While the physical cleansing of detox popcorn has been explained, now let’s discuss the mental cleansing.  As aforementioned, having a positive mindset and reciting mantras can have a grand effect.  The affirmation to foster your mental cleanse to accompany the detox popcorn is as follows:

I am reminding myself of this opportunity to have a fresh start where I can rid my body of impurities and nourish it to thrive.

Repeat as often as you’d like allowing yourself to fully believe the words and acting upon it to support a detox, both physically and mentally.

Detox Popcorn Recipe 

  • Melt coconut oil.  Stir in 5 drops of lemon oil per tablespoon of coconut oil.  Stir in 1 drop of black pepper oil per tablespoon of coconut oil OR grind black pepper throughout popcorn.  Drizzle coconut oil on top of popcorn.

This recipe is not set in stone.  For a stronger taste, use additional lemon oil or pepper.  For a milder taste, use less.  Simple as that, just as life should be at times.

In what ways do you detox, both physically and mentally?

~Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by ALIVE Influencer Network on behalf of The Popcorn Board.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

being alone by choice

I’m not talking about relationships today, friends.  Sorry if that’s what you thought, but just no.  That’s one part (probably the only part) that gets left off the blog for a multitude of reasons.  For now anyway.  Maybe not forever.  Hopefully not forever.

ANYWAY… Being a single mom is hard.  I’ve said it time and time again and it still stands true.  I’m not looking for nor do I need any head pats.  Today I’m talking about the difference between being alone by choice compared to not.  You see, as a single mom, I spend close to all my time with my little William whom I love dearly with my whole heart.  With the exception of school (work), William is with me most of the time.  And when he’s not… well, that can be hard.  Let me try to explain.

this little one is my world

Don’t get me wrong; I like having “me” time.  There are times when I need to be alone in order to be able to recharge my batteries.  When I became a mom, that all changed.  I give everything to William and put him first.  That’s what moms do.  That’s not to say I don’t take care of myself; I do, as that’s incredibly important as a mother.

When the divorce was finalized and a visitation schedule was set, I knew I would have time without William.  While many say to me, “Well, you can use that time to get things done,” because any momma knows how challenging that can be with a toddler (or infant or child).  But it feels different when it’s not by choice, and, frankly, it’s hard and can be a little heart wrenching.  Yes, I can use that time to run errands, go grocery shopping, do the laundry, etc.  Most of the time, that is what I use that time for.  But sometimes, when all those little things are already completed, or maybe when I just don’t feel like doing those tasks, that alone time is hard because it’s not my choice.  So what do I do about it?

Almost always, I workout.  Finding time to workout with William around is not easy.  He’s two and likes to be engaged all the time.  Not to mention working out always gives me a boost, both mentally and physically.  Lately, my go to has been power yoga in a heated room which I am absolutely loving.  But that only takes an hour.  So what else?  Many times I try to schedule a get together with a friend.  Whether it’s coffee, lunch, or a walk in the park, not being alone during a time that is hard is a good thing; I just have to make the effort to solidify plans.

I do have the very best friends and family.

Other times, if I’m unable to make plans or choose not to for whatever reason, I do try to stay busy.  This means catching up with friends on the phone, running errands (sometimes unnecessarily shopping), cooking, or blogging.  I do have a very hard time relaxing.  Very rarely will I lay on the couch and watch tv during these times.  I feel like I need to be doing something.  The distraction is helpful when I stay busy, not to mention the productivity of it all.

It’s a funny thing, being alone by choice compared to not having that choice.  While I used to crave that time, it certainly has changed these days.  Now it makes me feel lonely.  Maybe it’s the dreary winter days that’s keeping me inside more than I’d prefer or maybe it’s the nerves of William being away from me.  If I don’t have something planned, that time is hard.  The mature part of me does recognize that it is a positive thing for William to have a father in his life, but it’s still hard because there’s a lot I disagree with on that end.  It is different from our nice routine that we have going on when it’s just me and William, or when William is at school, or when he’s with my parents or my sister.  There is a notable difference when I get William back.  Change is difficult, for everyone, at any age.

Another thing that makes it challenging when I am alone not by choice is that it’s a reminder of the family I don’t have right now.  Anyone who knows me, knows how much I’ve always wanted my own family, to be a mom, to create what I had growing up of unconditional love and support.  While I still can and do give that to William, it’s in a different way than I imagined.  My immediate and extended family are more than always there for me and William, and they are my family, really and truly.

my sister who I text and call 50,000 times a day – I know she wouldn’t want it any other way (despite her frequent #needy hashtags)

William and I are doing well.  This really isn’t meant to be a woe is me post, just some thoughts that have been on my mind the last few times I haven’t had William.  As much as I’d like life to always be rainbows and sunshine, it’s not always.  I do try to make the most of it, and while these feelings are uncomfortable, they do serve as good reminders to cherish the times I do have with William, even those challenging toddler times.  I wouldn’t have it any other way!

just you and me, baby!

I’m very grateful for my life, my William, my friends, my family, my health, and my happiness.  Like I’ve always said, everything happens for a reason, even though we may not know or understand the reason at the time.  It all works out; it always does.  I keep on believing that as it’s held true thus far in my life.  Good things happen to good people, so I’m going to keep on being the best person I can be.

What are your thoughts on alone time?

Friday favs

Today is my first day back to work after a nice long winter break.  [cue all the tears]  But let’s focus on the positive, as I try so hard to do, and check out some things I’m loving lately in a Friday favs post – something I haven’t done in way too long.

I finally, finally hopped on the Snapchat bandwagon.  (I’m itz.linz if you want to add me!)  I don’t think I’ve ever posted a story (is that what they’re called??), but I am having fun playing with the filters.  My five year old niece Audrey taught me how to use them.  I’m still way more of an Instagram fan, but the Snapchat filters definitely provide a good source of entertainment.

Not to mention the “pretty” filters when you’re feeling a bit blah.  I imagine it’s only a matter of time before Instagram comes up with something similar.

I tried one of Jamba Juice’s seasonal flavors, berry berry chocolate.  It’s a total WIN!  Definitely my favorite flavor.  And better yet, I’m hosting a giveaway on Instagram – five $10 gift cards are being given away for the New Year!

Speaking of the New Year, I did a power flow yoga class three days in a row at Yoga Six.  Some of you may remember when I used to do bikram on a regular basis (pre-William).  I miss it, but am definitely not in good enough shape to attempt that right now.  Power flow is awesome because it’s in a heated room and the class is an hour (as opposed to 90 minutes like bikram).  I get in a good stretch, a great workout, and an awesome sweat.  Plus, some time to get out of my own head and focus on my breath and body, something I have trouble doing in my home.

With school back in session, I’ll have time to go just once a week, but that’s better than nothing!  I bought a ten class package to ensure I actually do keep going.  Financial accountability!  I’m still working on getting back into / finding a new workout routine, but this was definitely a good week for me.

I was sent some argan oil from Actually Organic.

My hair tends to be dry and frizzy, so I do use a serum of some type in it. The argan oil provides moisture and smooths down flyaways.  A little bit goes a long way, so this little bottle has been lasting awhile.  The first couple of times I used it, I used too much and my hair was a little too oily.  Lesson learned.  A drop or two is all you need! You can use it on your skin, as well, though I prefer my hair.

I have so many adorable photos to share of William with his friends from the past month.  However, this one with his bestie, Wolf, takes the cake.  They’re so sweet.

And if you could have heard them.  Wolfie kept saying, “I love you, illy-yum!”

William and I have had a lot of fun over break together.  He’s just the silliest little thing and continues to amaze me on a daily basis.  We were playing with a Chanukah present and I asked him to smile for a picture.

That lightbox is like the one I just posted about from UncommonGoods.  It’s been fun to come up with different messages.

Yes, this is the third time I’ve blogged this week; you better believe it!  I’d like to get back into a blogging schedule.  While I probably won’t do Monday-Friday like I did my first few years, maybe Monday / Wednesday / Friday is more manageable.  We shall see.

What are your favorites from the week?

what to get someone who has everything

At some point during the holiday season, or perhaps a different joyous occasion throughout the year, I’m sure you have thought, “What to get someone who has everything?”  While this post won’t help with the holidays that just happened (unless you’re a really delayed gift giver, which if that’s the case, I’ve got you!), I’m sharing this post so you’re able to tuck this little secret into your back pocket for the next time you need to purchase a gift for someone who has everything.  Or for someone who may not have everything, but you’re totally lost in what in the world to get them.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to UncommonGoods.com.  I’m telling you, they’ve got the most unique gifts that you won’t find elsewhere and that are sure to please any recipient.  Furthermore, they’ve got a great mission.

At UncommonGoods, we’re working to change the way business is done by making sustainability a part of every decision we make. We’re steadily working to make UncommonGoods more environmentally friendly, socially responsible and an ever-more rewarding place to work.

Not only can you find an awesome gift, but you can feel good about it, too!  Their website is so easy to navigate.  It’s organized into 11 categories: gifts, fun, home, kitchen & bar, art, jewelry, women, men, kids, sale, and this just in.  Each of those categories then has tons of subcategories.  For example, if you click on women, there is an accessories subcategory with nine different options, there is a “by interest” subcategory with things like geek, cooking, business, and more, and then there is a “who are you shopping for” subcategory so you can really narrow down your search.  You could literally spend hours on the site just browsing!

Let’s take birthdays, for example.  Everyone has them, and most likely you celebrate with gifts.  There are 259 items in the birthday gifts category.  Here are a few that are my favorites:

  • Birthstone Wishing Balls: Not only are these gorgeous, but they come with 52 slips of paper for you to pause once a week throughout the year and record a message of hope or gratitude for you to insert in the ball.
  • New York Times Custom Birthday Book: This is a collection of the New York Times front pages from each year since your birth, personalized with your name and birth date, and preserved in a handsome library binding.
  • Construction Plate & Utensils: I know a certain little boy who would LOVE this!  This makes eating fun for little ones.
  • Mason Jar Indoor Flower Garden: Keep your garden indoors and enjoy the beauty of flowers all year round with this easy to maintain kit!  Comes with certified non-GMO seeds in assorted colors.
  • My Cinema Lightbox: I actually received this as a Chanukah gift this year, and it’s SO much fun to create new messages!  (Check out my Instagram for some examples!)  It includes a total of 100 letters, numbers, and characters.
  • Birth Month Mini Dish: These gorgeous, stained glass bowls are handmade to represent each of the 12 traditional birthstone gems.

Another way to browse through the Uncommon Goods website is through the category of Anniversary Gifts.  HERE are my favorites:

  • Intersection of Love – Photo Print: Obviously I love this because it uses “Williams” as an example, but you could really get creative here and commemorate the moment paths first crossed with this intriguing, personalized art.
  • Reclaimed Wood Cookbook Stand: I think anything made from wood is nice, and this particular piece would give anyone’s kitchen a dash of rusticity.
  • Cheese & Crackers Serving Board: The “&” symbol makes this a perfect anniversary, wedding, shower, or engagement gift!
  • Succulent Living Wall Planter Kit: My siblings and I bought this for my parents a couple of years ago.  Succulents are low maintenance and the wood-framed garden is a work of living art.
  • Homemade Gin Kit: How fun to make your own alcohol!  They also have a homemade beer kit!  Definitely a fun do-it-yourself project for couples.
  • Lumen Oil Candle Shadow Projectors: This modern oil candle illuminates a tiny stainless steel tree, casting enchanting shadows on your wall.

My other favorite category to look through is home decor.  My picks:

  • 60 Hour Candle: Made from coiled beeswax, this candle is designed to burn longer than traditional shapes.
  • Deep Sea Sand Art: Bring a calming presence to your office with this desk sculpture that forms natural landscapes with sand. Simply rotate the glass ring and watch as delicate drifts of light and dark sand shift into deserts, mountains, clouds, rain, oceans and smoke, all ebbing and flowing into one another.
  • Personalized Mixtape Doormat: Relive the nostalgia of making a mixtape!  They have other personalized doormats, as well.
  • Blowing Leaves Copper Mobile: Mobiles aren’t just for kids anymore! This adds a nice touch to any home.  There’s also a beautiful butterfly mobile.
  • Recycled Glass Elephant Nightlight: The soft glow of this painterly nightlight illuminates a sweet scene of a baby elephant tagging along with its parent for protection against the backdrop of night. They also have flowers, owls, and sheep.
  • Cloudy Day Toilet Paper Storage: Everyone needs a fun way to store TP!

Aren’t these gifts so much fun?  They’re eclectic and can be found for any occasion.  I guarantee you can find something for your special someone that they don’t already have.  There’s also a wide array of price ranges to fit your budget.  Uncommon Goods is definitely my go-to for unique gifts!

What’s the most unique gift you’ve ever given or received?

~Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Uncommon Goods.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Chanukah 2016

With 2016 officially in the books, I knew I needed to get my Chanukah 2016 post up!  If for no other reason, because I love looking back on old blog posts from special occasions.  I know blogging has not been consistent these days, that’s a whole different issue, but really it’s for good reasons. I’ve been enjoying life, out of routine, and blogging simply has not been a priority.  I thought I’d try to catch up on life in a few different posts as to not do one huge photo dump of the last month.  So today, Chanukah 2016!  While I have many more pictures from Chanukah, these are specifically the menorah photos, since nothing says Chaunkah like a brightly lit menorah and smiling faces!

William will be three in April, so this is the first Chaunkah he started to understand how it worked.  After the first snow in St. Louis, before Chanukah began, I took him outside to show him the snow in the morning.  “It’s Chanukah?” he asked.  It’s funny how people always associate Christmas with snow, but my little Jewish boy equated Chanukah with snow.  Then, when the snow melted, still before Chanukah began, he questioned, “How will we have Chanukah if there’s no snow?”  The associations he makes and questions he asks continue to amaze me.

William celebrated Chanukah at his school where they played games, ate snacks, and made their own menorahs.

The first night of Chanukah may have been celebrated in the morning because both William and I were too excited to wait for the evening.  We lit the menorah first thing after breakfast and I gave William his first gift.

William is really into playing games right now, so I gave him a new game (Pop Up Pirate), and it provided a lot of entertainment for the day.  His imagination is running wild these days.  We played the game, but then he took the pirate and the barrel and turned it into a ship.  Then, we drew pictures of our own pirate ship and he made the game pirate hop in.

The second night of Chanukah was a big family get together at my cousins’ house.  They host a beautiful Chanukah dinner every year with my mom’s side of the family.  The cousins play, the adults visit, and many menorahs are lit.

My parents had our immediate family over for Chanukah.  I say it over and over again, but it’s still true.  William is so close with his cousins Jacob, Audrey, and Jackson.  I hope that bond is always there.  Yaya and Pops sure instilled love in our family!

linking up with healthy diva 

And now the kids picture:

The following night, William and I went over to Stephanie’s house.  Audrey was so kind in letting William help her with her menorah.  She was cracking up when he went out of order in putting in the candles.  She so gently held his hand while they lit the candles together.

Another night, just William and I spent Chanukah with my mom.  I love our big family, but some quality one on one time is definitely nice, too.

At William’s school, they made menorahs and wrapped them up as gifts which was sweet.

It’s funny because even prior to seeing it, I helped William make handprint menorahs for a Chanukah card for his great-grandparents.  I’m pretty sure there is a handprint craft for every single holiday out there.

The last night of Chanukah fell on New Year’s Eve.  We, of course, spent it with Jacob and Audrey.  Bright lights and a glittery gold background!

I love that Chanukah traditions are beginning with William, and he is starting to appreciate the importance of the holiday.  With our hearts full, Chanukah 2016 (and all of 2016 actually) is officially over!  We have many memories to look back on and celebrate.

How were your holidays?

Thanksgiving 2016

I thought maybe, just maybe, I had better get up my Thanksgiving 2016 post before Chanukah rolled around.  And with as fast as time is flying these days, Chanukah is going to be here any minute!  Thanksgiving break was a wonderful one, as it always is.  The days off work were nice, and the entire break actually felt like a break instead of each day zipping by.  William and I spent a lot of time with family and friends, yet enjoyed much down time together, too.

thanksgiving 2016

My little boy looked so handsome on Thanksgiving!  Many times William wears Jacob’s hand-me-downs as he was quite the stylish dude, but I’m proud to say William’s outfit was all my doing.  (Even my sister was impressed!)  I bought his shirt and bow tie as a set and got him the cutest Toms boots, all from Nordstrom Rack online.

Just check him out:

jacob audrey thanksgiving16

And Jacob and Audrey are obviously adorable, as well.  Don’t they look like siblings here?  They were just missing their other cousin Jackson!

My parents hosted Thanksgiving 2016, as they always do.  With *just* (ha!) 24 people this year, the crowd was smaller than their usual thirty-something.

thanksgiving-2016

However, the company was just as nice, the laughter just as loud, the love just as strong, and the food just as delicious.  Spending holidays with family and friends is the best and Thanksgiving is such a lovely reminder of just that.

My mom did a beautiful job setting the table:

thanksgiving-table16

There was enough food to serve an army, quite literally.  We all ate leftovers for the following week.  I’d say I was sick of it, but I don’t think I could ever get sick of my mom’s stuffing.

My family has a strong bond, one that can / will never be broken.  We genuinely enjoy spending time together, and if you’ve ever been to a “Williams” event, you’d know why.  Holidays are just another occasion that confirms the everlasting bond my parents instilled in us at such an early age, and a joyous time that celebrates everyone’s good health and happiness.  I can only hope, pray, and do my best that William grows up with that same type of closeness and love.  Right now, I’d say he is. 🙂

dana mom steph nov16

I hope you, too, had a fabulous Thanksgiving with your loved ones.

4 Ways I #GoComfy in my Cuddl Duds

What if I told you there was a ladies clothing brand that was made so versatile and so comfortable that you could wear it during any and every aspect of your life?  Well, there is, and I found it: Cuddl Duds.  You can wear it while lounging around the house, going for walks, playing with the kids, hanging out with friends, running errands, as a casual or dressy outfit, working out, sleeping, and more.  That about covers everything!  Cuddl Duds provides the ultimate warmth and cozy comfort with the perfect fit.  I’ll tell you specifically, 4 Ways I #GoComfy in my Cuddl Duds.

cuddlduds gray wrap

out and about running errands and visiting with friends

Cuddl Duds is perfect for layering and all their pieces can be mixed and matched with the rest of your wardrobe.  Over the weekend, I threw on a pair of jeans, a long sleeve white shirt, a pair of booties, and this Cuddl Duds Fleecewear Long Sleeve Wrap.  This is the first weekend that the weather was pretty chilly in St. Louis.  I’m definitely not a coat-lover, so I opted for this long sleeve wrap.

cuddlduds gray wrap hood

Since the weather was cooler, I threw up the hood and used the thumbholes – no need for hats and gloves yet!  The wrap is so comfortable, and it comes in black, too.  It matches every outfit.  I could easily throw it on top of anything I wear.  Yesterday I cuddled up with it on the couch because it’s like a wearable blanket, yet can look stylish at the same time.  Double win!

cuddlduds lounge

linking up with healthy diva

lounging around the house

My parents hosted Sunday breakfast yesterday.  I rocked Cuddl Duds Flexfit Leggings and Fleecewear Long Sleeve Half-Zip Hoodie.  Lounging around the house is possibly one of my favorite things to do.  Compliment that with Sunday morning, my baby, a cup of coffee, and some comfy clothes? Perfect!

And did you see my Facebook post about what other shenanigans ensued? 

cuddlduds walk

walking and playing outdoors

William was playing with Jacob and Jackson, so Audrey and I went outside for some fresh air.  The long sleeve half-zip hoodie was ideal as it kept me warm without being bulky.  The leggings give a nice pop of color and are very thin and stretchy.  I do think the brand runs a tad on the bigger size, so take that into consideration when ordering / purchasing.  Macy’s is having a great sale now; all of the Cuddl Duds items are very reasonable!

cuddlduds fall fashion

stylish outfit

I debated whether calling this a casual outfit, but casual to me means leggings.  I was wearing jeans here, so really, for me, this is a more dressed up outfit.  But I know most people get dressed on a more regular basis than me.  I’m wearing the same half-zip hoodie, but this time I paired it with jeans and threw a plaid scarf on over it.  Like I’ve said before, I love how versatile all of Cuddl Duds items are.  The fleece is incredibly warm, and all pieces are very comfortable which is a must.  Other toddler mommas out there know how important comfort is in getting dressed; we’re all over the place with the kiddos!

There are other items that are on my wishlist, like the Softwear Lace Leggings.  A brand that specializes in comfort, functionality, and style combines everything you could ever want in clothing!

What types of clothes are you living in these days?

What Should You Be

I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the election or what’s going on in the United States right now, but to be honest, I don’t know what to say.  There’s a lot that’s already been said (way too much on social media, in my opinion) and there’s a lot that’s already been done, negative and positive on both accounts.  So instead of writing about my views about our country’s situation, I’ve been thinking about what can we learn from this?  In a very general sense, how can what’s going on help to make me a better person, a better mother, a better friend, and a better teacher?

What Should You Be

Loving.  Kind.  Compassionate.  Caring.  Positive.

Yes, these are big words, but they have grand meaning behind them that could have major impact on your own self and those around you.

If you could love a little more, then maybe all the hate that is happening would decrease.

If you could be a kind person, then others could learn from your example.

If you could be compassionate, you would realize maybe someone else isn’t having the best day for whoever knows what the reason could be.

If you could be caring, others would know they are important.

If you could be positive, even when life presents challenges, you will hold on to the hope that is still there.

live life love itzlinz

After all, we’re all in this thing called life together.  Why not try to be the best version of our self for ourselves and for others?  Wouldn’t the world be so much more peaceful if we could all exemplify the aforementioned words?

There was a quote hanging in the teacher’s lounge yesterday morning.  You can still love people even if they don’t believe the same things you believe or act the way you act.  How powerful and true is that?  Love, my friends, LOVE.

Maybe this post is way too general for the heavy issues that are weighing on people’s minds right now.  I do think it’s important to stand up for what you believe in; that’s how change gets made.  But I think there are ways to do it where you don’t have to tear people down, where you can still be a good human.  I guess that’s what it comes down to.  If you want change, be the change, but in a way that you’d be proud to have people follow your lead.

I often think about how my actions affect William.  He is always watching and listening, literally always.  I want to show him love, kindness, compassion, give him all the care he deserves, and be as positive as possible.  I want him to be that kind of person, so I must, too.

What words would you add?

Fun Facts Friday

Oh hey there!  Let’s talk today and we’ll call it Fun Facts Friday, but what it really means is a list of random things I have to tell you about from the past week or so.  I miss blogging about my everyday life.  I know I’ve said it for the past six months or whatever, but I’d really like to find a routine in blogging again.  We’ll see what happens.  For now, here’s some Fun Facts Friday.

1.  I LOVE Instagram stories!  Like seriously love them.  I never got on Snapchat because I didn’t understand the point of posting a quick clip that would be deleted soon after, but now I get it.  And I love it.  It’s like a little glimpse into people’s lives.  One of yesterday’s story included William talking to the guinea pigs at his school.  “Guinea pigs!  Guinea pigs!  Guinea pigs, drink water!”  Follow me at @itzlinz!

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2.  This whole getting dark at five o’clock in the evening thing is not cool.  It always feels so much later than it really is.  And cold weather?  Ugh.  Give me summer back.  William had been sleeping amazingly.  Most mornings until 6:30, sometimes 7, which is crazy late for him.  Since the time change, he’s been up at six.  It’s still great considering where we started, but I liked the later time.  Last weekend, we napped together which is a rarity these days.  I cherished the snuggles.

3.  Four out of the five work days this week I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and got in a 30 minute workout!  I have not worked out in the morning during the school year consistently since William has been born.  If you read my blog prior to baby, you know I always used to get up at five and go to the gym before work.  I loved that routine and felt great the rest of the day.  It’s no secret that I’ve struggled to find a workout routine these last two and a half years of being a momma.  I kind of found one in the summer, got back in halfway decent shape, and lost it all once the school year began.  Let’s hope I’m on to something.

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4.  Sweet cousins.  My siblings and I are all very close, so it’s no surprise our kids are, too.  Stephanie tried posing them like when they were babies.  You should have seen those Instagram stories!  Silly babes.

5.  We’ve had  a surplus of candy at school these last couple of weeks and I’ve eaten my weight in Almond Joys and Reese’s.  I’m done.  Take it away.  Maybe #3 has something to do with this one.  Errrr…

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6.  These two are basically brother and sister.

7.  It was a three day school week for us due to the election.  Teachers were contracted for all five.  One day was spent working on progress reports and the other day we had district development.

8.  Dr. Manny Scott was the speaker for my school district.  He is an original Freedom Writer whose story is told in part in the movie Freedom Writers.  He was an unbelievable presenter with a very inspiring story.  As an educator, I love my job and my students, but I did feel refreshed and was reminded of my purpose after hearing him speak.

 

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9.  Yes, of course I voted.  And of course I posted my obligatory “I voted” photo.  End of story.

10.  Are you still with me here?  I think this is the longest and most random post I’ve written in six months.  If you’ve made it this far, THANK YOU! 🙂

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Be the best version of yourself.  This means be kind to others.  If you want to make a change in the world, do so by example.  Do it because there are little bodies, young minds, open eyes, attentive ears, and tender hearts everywhere who are watching, listening, and following.  

What’s been going on with you? Share some Fun Facts Friday with me!

Soft Surroundings Birthday Event

must tell you about the fast-approaching Soft Surroundings Birthday Event!  I’m going to give you details first, then explain how I won a makeover there and how my fourth graders ended up on the news! 🙂

Soft Surroundings Birthday Event – For those of you that aren’t aware, Soft Surroundings started right here in St. Louis! They will be celebrating the 11th birthday of their first store, which is located at The Boulevard – St. Louis (across from the Galleria)!  Soft Surroundings began in 1999 as an online/catalog retailer and they now have 39 stores across the country with new stores opening every few weeks. The store at The Boulevard – St. Louis will be celebrating their 11th birthday on 11/11 (golden birthday!) and throughout the weekend of November 11-13. There, you can enjoy some drinks, treats, and a complimentary makeover while shopping!

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A couple nights before school started, my mom told my sister and I that she wanted to take us out to dinner for a girls night.  My dad came over to babysit William while my mom picked me up to meet Stephanie.  When we got there, my mom suggested we stop in Soft Surroundings so we could do a little shopping before dinner.  Stephanie and I thought like it sounded like a great plan since shopping with my mom is always fun!  Well, we walked in the store and Dana Dean, reporter for Show Me St. Louis, popped out from behind some clothing racks, threw a microphone in my face, and asked if I was Lindsay.  I was in complete shock looking at my mom and sister like, “What in the world is going on?”

Dana explained that Stephanie nominated me for a teacher makeover at Soft Surroundings and I won!  We had such a fun evening at the store!  The ladies at Soft Surroundings picked out several outfits for me to try on and model.

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I had been in the store a few times, but had never tried their clothes on.  I was amazed at how soft every fabric on each item was!  And it’s no surprise because Soft Surroundings takes great pride in choosing the very best fabrics for their clothing line.  They have so many gorgeous pieces that are perfect for teaching and everyday wear.  Part of the makeover included me selecting an outfit to keep; it was an easy choice and there was an obvious favorite of the many I tried.

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You may recognize this outfit from my Back to School 2016 post.  The makeover was such perfect timing as I hadn’t even bought a new back to school outfit this year!  I love how classic, yet unique the top is and how it can really be paired with anything.  I’ll be layering it during the fall and winter.  The leggings are so versatile and actually called their “have to have leggings.”  Once you try them on, you’ll understand why.  They’re comfortable and flattering for all.  I liked them so much that my parents bought me two more pairs (in brown and gray!) along with a couple other items for my birthday.  Soft Surroundings also let me choose the necklace I’m wearing and a couple beauty items.  I was spoiled!

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It was a fabulous night and I’m so appreciative of everyone in involved, especially my sister for nominating me and my mom for being my biggest supporter!

linking up with all things marvelous!

A couple of weeks later, KSDK came to my classroom to film in preparation for the segment that would be airing on Show Me St. Louis.  My students thought it was the coolest thing ever!  Check out the clip here:

To help celebrate Soft Surroundings golden birthday, I was able to select one item from their new line.  It was a tough choice, but ultimately I went with a plaid top that can be worn as a shirt, tunic, or dress.

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Seriously, so comfortable!  I wore it last night to family dinner and my mom and my grandma couldn’t believe how soft the material was!  It’s perfect to cozy up in or wear out and about with leggings and boots.

If you’re in St. Louis, I do hope you will join us at the Soft Surroundings Birthday Event this weekend! It will be a lot of fun and you’ll get to check out the gorgeous store (and have drinks, treats, a makeover, and more!).

Are you familiar with Soft Surroundings?