Home Inspiration Parenting

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Your mother is a saint. She’s been putting up with your crap for however long, so the least you could do is show her your appreciation! 😊 I know my mother has been through the mill with my siblings and myself. It’s possible I was the worst. I certainly created the most worry for her. But she’s always been there, and I know she always will be. No one has my back like Mom.

You could always go with the typical spa/bath basket for her special day…OR you could put a little effort into it and find her something that will light up her eyes and fill her heart with love. Feeling stuck on what to get her for Mother’s Day? Have no fear! I’ve compiled a Mother’s Day Gift Guide with the perfect gifts that will show your mom how much you care!

For the Sentimental Mommy

This personalized mother/grandson necklace is a sweet token of your beautiful family. My mother and my son have a very special bond. He is a grandma’s boy. In his infancy and early toddler stages, we lived with my mom and dad. She has made such a huge impact on his life and certainly has shown me a thing or two about parenting. I don’t know where we would be without her love and support. “A Charmed Impression” is the company for these pieces, and they have a huge variety!

For the Expensive Mommy

My mother is a Michael Kors fanatic. They have absolutely incredible bags and accessories, but tend to be a bit pricy in my opinion. This gorgeous bracelet won’t break the bank though! I am personally one of those people who rarely indulges in things like this for myself, because I feel like I can’t justify it. This is truly a treat for fashion-savvy moms. $52.99 & Free Shipping ?? *ORDERED* (Hope Mom doesn’t read this one. LOL)

For the Fit Mommy

Maybe your mom is a seasoned yogi or perhaps she’s just deciding to care more about her health. Either way, this is a perfect fit! You can easily pair this mat with adorable sling yoga sandals or these infusion water bottles to make an great gift basket set. Yoga and meditation are on the rise right now and growing more popular every day. Maybe your mom can finally find some Zen. 😉

For Any Mother

Do you have a mother in your life who isn’t your biological mother? Of course you do! These women are friends, step-moms, mothers-in-law, etc. Perhaps you want to say ‘you’re special to me’ to these women but don’t want something too elaborate or typically Mother’s-Day-cheesy.  This cute mug/journal set is ideal! Both practical and playful, there are many ordering options to help you customize for the right set to send to your recipient. Milky Chic designed this particular gift set, and they have SO MUCH MORE! Take a look here.

My Mary Kay lady, Sasha Bernstein has some great Mother’s Day deals right now too! She has a pampering-pack available, but it’s not your typical spa-day basket; it includes a pamper sample pack of the skin care line, comes in a cute giftbox, and can be delivered to their doorstep! You can see more of the Mary Kay products here.

Whatever you decide to gift your loved ones for Mother’s Day, I’m sure they’ll love it. As a mom, I’m thrilled if Zane hands me a poorly-colored Spider-Man picture. He thought of me and wanted me to have something he made specially for me. That, is what the day is really about. It’s bringing out those feelings of love and appreciation. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mama’s reading this!

P.S. I hope you don’t get a macramé necklace, though. 😉

Home Inspiration

God, Family, Career

Independent, strong, confident women!

That is the inspiration for my next project. I plan to do multiple interviews with several women from all kinds of backgrounds in the coming weeks. Luckily, a friend of mine agreed to interview for this project and share her story about becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Meet Sasha !

Sasha Bernstein is a Mary Kay Consultant, and a very good one at that. She has been consulting for a little over a year, and has had quite the journey in entrepreneurship. She currently has a team of twenty other young women, all of whom have found confidence and success with the Mary Kay brand. I had the pleasure of doing a facial with her the other night and learned so much!

I have some serious skin issues, which messes with my confidence daily. Redness, blotchiness, and unpredictable acne trouble me on a regular basis. I have always tried to find thick foundation to hide my short-comings and have purchased MANY cleansers over the years and nothing has seemed to help. During the facial with Sasha, I have discovered a new product that she swears by. She has had several clients with the same issues as mine (I am not alone!) and the Charcoal Mask by Mary Kay has worked for them! I have got mine on order! You can get yours here !

Sasha is a wife, mother of three, and runs a successful business from home with Mary Kay. In just one year she has become the top recruiter in Indiana! How many women can say they have had that much accomplishment at their careers in that short of time? Pretty remarkable. When I asked Sasha why she does what she does, she smiled and said, “my two goals were to reach women and make money”.

For many mothers, it is difficult to have a job and feel like you are putting enough effort in parenting at the same time (I certainly feel this way). With Mary Kay, being a stay-at-home mom and a career-woman at the same time is MORE than possible. Sasha said the Mary Kay brand really resonated with her because it is about God first, Family second, and Career third.

Sasha and I spoke about how Mary Kay has affected her life. “It has definitely brought me so much emotional fulfillment and awareness in my personal life. It has even strengthened my marriage! I wanted to use Mary Kay to spread the love,” she said. Similar to myself and my blog I definitely related to Sasha when she said “I wanted something that was my own”. Mary Kay gives women everywhere an opportunity to have something of their very own (that can bring them a paycheck) and create a bonded community of like-minded individuals. Sasha’s favorite part of her Mary Kay journey has been the people and her team. “We all work our businesses so differently, but we’re all supportive and very connected.”

If you’re ready to begin your journey toward success, Sasha has an amazing deal for you !

I’d love to hear feedback from you guys and your personal experience with Mary Kay, so please leave a comment below! Sasha is also available for any questions and consultations !

Home Inspiration

Dealing with the Anxiety of Coronavirus

The world is in chaos right now. People are trying to balance caring for their children while working from home, bars and movie theaters are closed, and millions have temporarily lost their source of income. Life can seem a little bit bleak these days. Many people are struggling to cope with these changes and it’s taking a toll on their mental health. Coronavirus has certainly changed the way we do things from day to day, but it doesn’t have to be all bad.

Although your anxiety may be running high, there are some good things that you can focus on! For the first time in ages, life altogether has slowed way down. Remember your grandmother or grandfather reminiscing about days gone by? When folks would sit on their front porches as the sun set and the kids played in the dirt? That way of life is making a come back! For those that aren’t working right now, they can focus on their families and building on those relationships.

Let’s face it: we live in 2020 and everything is tech, tech, tech. We always have tiny computers attached to our bodies and it can be difficult to live in the moment. Many times, cellphones and technology can be a distraction from our children or partners. Although having things like Skype and Facetime is a blessing during this stay-at-home order so we can stay in contact with our friends and family outside the home, people are talking to each other again! Think about this; since spending more time at home, have you learned anything new about your family members? Just the other day I did a word exercise with my three-year-old and I was FLOORED by how much he knew!

Another positive aspect of quarantine-life is that people are using their creativity that has been locked away since their endeavors up the corporate ladder. I’m seeing people sharing their artwork on social media, a lot of people beginning blogging, and others tinkering more in their garages. There’s a sense of accomplishment and personal fulfillment when you begin and complete an original project. Three months ago, a lot of your folks would have said “I don’t have time to pursue this” or “I’m not good enough to make that”. Look at you guys now! Pursuing and making! It’s incredible.

So, even though it’s stressful to think about how long we’ll be stuck in our homes and what the world is going to look like in a few months there are a few things to smile about. It’s important to remember that you create your mood for every single day and what you choose to focus on is how you will feel. If you catch yourself spiraling into some depressing and scary thoughts about coronavirus, go make some sweet tea. Play make-believe with your toddler. Whatever you do, do it with your full attention. It’s going to get better. 😊

P.S. – I’d love your feedback! How are you guys coping with the stay-at-home order? What kinds of things are you and your family doing to keep your sanity?

Home Inspiration Parenting

How to Deal with Mom-Guilt

Kids are hard, man. My son can go from perfect angelic baby to spawn of satan in 2.5 seconds. Luckily, this doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s the worst. He’s been having a very hard time lately apologizing for his bad behavior, and giving attitude. Yesterday I swear, I tried every parenting tactic in the book. I acknowledged his emotion of anger and said I understood, which seemed to resonate with him, but once he realized he was still grounded from that godforsaken iPad, all hell broke loose all over again. It was terrible.

                I was talking about it at work with some of the girls in my office and they all parent differently. One of them made her children do wall squats with a roll of paper towels on their legs. Another told me to take my son to a psychologist. Everyone has an opinion on how to effectively parent. I feel like sometimes it’s overwhelming and discouraging. Then the mom-guilt begins.

                “Maybe I don’t give him enough attention”… Maybe I don’t. But you know what? I do my best. No, I don’t sit down and have 2 full hours of quality time with him every single day, but I talk to him about his day on the way home in the car, I make him dinner, I read him a story before bed. Some days it’s all I can do to just make sure he stays alive. Other days I’m super mom and plan fun activities and take pictures with him.  

                One of my go-to moves when I feel that rush of guilt is to stop whatever I am doing (cooking, cleaning, etc) and have a conversation with my son. 10 minutes or less. I just go see what he’s up to, check on him. It seems silly, but even just peeping into his room and saying “hey, you good buddy?” helps a lot. It also reminds him that Mommy is not too busy for him.

When mom-guilt begins to loom, take a deep breath. Think about the pictures you’ve taken, the temper-tantrums, and the fact that you’re a human being. You cannot be all the things, all the time, all at once. You can, however, take one day at a time and that is perfectly fine. You deserve to be your own person (not attached to the hip of a toddler). You absolutely deserve that piece of cake after dinner, a bubble bath after bed-time stories, whatever you like to pamper yourself or unwind. When Tuesday is a little too much, remember that Wednesday is a new day and you can try again.


Rise & Grind

Nobody is perfect and we all have something we could work on about ourselves. For many of us, it’s our health and eating habits while for some, it’s an inner turmoil that we need to reconcile with. For me, it feels like EVERYTHING needs improvement (and that’s exhausting). I’m a bit of a self-help junkie and whenever I decide I’m going to “change my life”, I end up in a whirlwind of articles and books and typically end up burnt out until officially deciding to make one small change. My most recent change, that has stuck, is waking up earlier.

A few weeks ago I tried doing an 8-minute yoga session in the morning. Although I enjoyed it, I didn’t stick to it. It began feeling like a chore, so I decided to edit my morning routine and be satisfied just waking up before everyone else. I try to wake up at 4 every morning. This gives me enough time for myself to get ready for my day mentally. My son usually wakes up around 5:30 or six. I take this time to have a quiet cup of coffee, write, read a little, or do my nails. #selfcare When I started waking up earlier, I started having more unique thoughts and feeling inspired more often. It has made a tremendous difference in how I feel throughout the day as well.

Since, waking up earlier, I feel more empowered and have less anxiety. There’s definitely a positivity that comes with all of that. It seems that organizing my thoughts in the morning helps me stay organized throughout the day and get more accomplished. I can easily check off my to-do list and prioritize without getting overwhelmed.

Waking up earlier isn’t just good for me; it’s good for my son too. Mommy won’t be rushing around trying to force-feed him some strawberries, feeding the animals, packing the car, and yelling (loudly suggesting) to him to get his shoes on. He can wake up slowly at his own pace and enjoy his breakfast. No one likes to be rushed. My work has become more productive, I feel more “present” when I spend time with my family, and I’ve gotten more organized. All thanks to forcing myself to not hit the snooze button.

If you have trouble waking up in the morning; I highly suggest going to bed earlier. The phrase “sleep when baby sleeps” has gotten more useful to me now that my toddler has a regular sleeping pattern. I go to sleep roughly an hour after he goes down. If you suffer from insomnia or have difficulty relaxing, check out this guided meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cnU1f1yQR4 I use this one regularly and love it! It relaxes my whole body first and I always fall asleep within ten minutes.

I’d love to hear about habits you may have that help you stay productive! Please leave me a comment or shoot me an email! And, under my own advice, I am headed to bed now. 😉 Goodnight everyone and Sweet Dreams!


Why I Started A Blog

Being a mom is hard. Working full-time while being a mom is hard. At the end of the day, on almost every day, my mind and body are absolutely spent. I wake up between four and five each morning and start my day with my three-year-old, go to my place of work and bust by buns trying to advance my career, come home to cook dinner and nuture my relationship with my boyfriend, play with my son, and by the time eight o’clock rolls around I’m ready to go to bed after the little one is tucked in. I don’t have many hobbies and I certainly don’t go out much.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a top-notch journalist. I dreamt of writing hard-hitting articles, reporting for a reputable news station, and being a best-selling author like Carrie Bradshaw. Today, I just want to make it to Friday at my nine to five. My motivation has dwindled, my vision for who I would be by thirty has completely derailed, and I’ve found that as of late, I even lack to the simple desire to do the things I once enjoyed. Such is life, I suppose.

Lately I’ve begun to feel a little incomplete as if something is missing. I’ve been reflecting on the twenty-year-old me and all the ambitions I used to have. To be honest, I’ve noticed a tinge of jealousy as James (my boyfriend) makes things with his 3D printer and crafts bespoke rings. He has a lot of different hobbies. He has the energy to get up and create something! I looked at him and said to myself “why can’t I make something?” I wanted to have something to call my own and that I could be proud of. Thus, a blog was born!

The true purpose of my blog is so that I will have something of my very own. The second is, of course, to make money. I want my hobby to be profitable. I’d like to spend that extra money on Zane, investing in my future, and of course, the occasional Michael Kors bag.

I also want my readers to be able to relate. I’d like to build a community of like-minded individuals. I want my writing to clearly convey my message but also open a door for conversation. That’s where prosperity and abundance truly grow. Opportunity is just around every corner and perhaps with my blog, I could be a bridge for others to link up and create magic!

I feel like starting this blog is my journey into self-care and entrepreneurship. I’ve always enjoyed writing; I just haven’t made time for it lately. I’ve also always wanted to start my own business. This may be the best of both worlds!

At the mention of starting a blog, my significant other praised the idea, my mother said “oh Hope, you don’t want to do that”, and 3 people commented on a Facebook post saying that they would actually read it. Mixed signals. I know that not everyone I talk to will share my enthusiasm about my venture, but I was hoping for some support from my mom. She enjoys writing too and has toyed with the idea of writing a children’s book about a squirrel named Quack- Quack. It may just be that she doesn’t fully understand “blogging” or how it works, but she was definite in saying that I don’t want to put myself out there and that people are cruel and would bring me down. My reply? “You’re bringing me down right now!”, as my dad chuckles. I don’t intend on posting sensitive information or writing about trigger-topics, but there’s a realness that I must give my readers. They need to know that I’m a real person, with real problems, who makes real mistakes, and who isn’t afraid to be open and honest about it. That’s the human experience.

I suppose the best time to write is at four in the morning when you and your son have been awake for two hours. I told myself last night that I was going to get up early and write anyway, so here I am. Thoughts this morning? Fear of starting a blog. Is anyone even going to read it? If people do read it, what will they say? My mother may be right in the idea I’m subjecting myself to criticism, but I think one of the biggest fears is failure that my opinions and thoughts aren’t relevant. I tell myself “it doesn’t matter if no one reads this, I’m doing this for myself” but, I really want people to gravitate to the blog. I want to write about interesting topics and start conversations.

If you read this, thank you! I hope you continue with me on this new journey!