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A Letter to My Son

A Letter to My Son

Son,

I know you’re still so young but I have never met a little boy so full of life. I see your compassion, empathy and wit every day. It makes me proud to be your mom. Life hasn’t always been the easiest, but I know that because of you I will always have a best friend, supporter and fan. You, my son, are brilliant.  And you can make this life anything you want it to be. I have so many hopes and dreams for you. Here is some advice to always take with you. And If there is ever a time that I cannot be there, remember that I am always in your heart, as you are in mine. 

Son,

Not everything will always go your way. Life is going to have  its ups and downs. But life will only be sad and miserable if you let it be. It’s all about your attitude. No matter what happens, remember that all days, even the bad ones, are a blessing. Keep smiling and keep pushing forward. Concentrate on the good. If you master this, you will always find peace no matter what life decides to throw at you.

You are going to meet lots and lots of friends over the years. Make sure you hold onto your childhood friends the best you can. The kids you grow up with will always be the ones who know you the best. The ones who will always accept you for who you are and for who you will become. I’ve only held onto a handful myself, but they have become my family (yours too) and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. 

Kids can be mean and some day you may get bullied or picked on. Always remember this- kindness is the only way to combat hate. Never let someone bring you down to their level. Let go and rise above it. Always stay kind. I promise you that bullying happens to everyone. There is nothing wrong with you. Some day those people will regret the mean things they say and do. Forgive them once they realize this. It’s never good to hold a grudge.

Not all love is meant to last. Someday you will have your heart broken. You may feel like your world is ending. But I promise you it’s not. Sometimes no matter how much you love someone, it simply is just not meant to be. And that’s okay. Soak in it only temporarily and then pick yourself up and keep going. There is a love out there for you that will help make your life everything you’ve always dreamed it would be. And they won’t break your heart.

If I have more children, please be nice to your siblings. I say this partly as a favor to keep me sane but trust me when I say that it’s also important. Your siblings will be the best friends you will ever have. Hold them close and cherish them. They will help you navigate life through the good and bad.

Stay active and take care of your body. You only get one. 

Remember to trust us as your parents. I know we won’t always see eye to eye. But I promise you that when we tell you something it’s because we love you. We worry about you a whole lot and only want the best for you. If you ever need us, we will be there. Even if you think we won’t understand, please trust me when I say that we will. We will always be on your side and will always fight for you.

Travel any time you have the opportunity to. This will help you build connections with all different types of people. Nothing you could ever buy will teach you more than seeing the world.

Listen to a lot of music. This will help you throughout your life, especially as a teenager. 

Spend a lot of time with your Grandparents. They love you and have a lot to teach you.

 I hate to tell you this son, but chivalry is not dead. You are becoming a man and as a man you have certain duties to uphold. I don’t care if a lady is 5 years old or if she’s 75, she’s a lady and I expect that you treat her as such. Believe me when I tell you that this alone will get you far. A woman will respect you and build you up when you treat her the right way. That can be a powerful thing.

Always stand up for yourself and for your beliefs. This is very important. Nobody is going to do this for you. If you believe strongly about something, say it. The only people who ever change the world are the people who are willing to stand up. This may mean standing up for someone else too. 

The world can be a dark place. But don’t let that consume you. Life is an amazing gift. Put as much good out into the world as you can and watch how it comes back to you. I promise it will.

No matter where this life takes you, always remember where you come from. 

College is important but it’s not everything. I would love to see you graduate from college, but i also know that your success doesn’t depend on it. I promise that as your mom, I will always support your decisions about this. My only wish is that you are happy and passionate about the work you do. 

Always work hard. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting paid $10 an hour or 30. Being a hard worker will open new doors for you. 

Someday when you have a family of your own remember that time is the most precious gift you can give them. Cherish each and every moment.

One last thing…

Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a hug or a smile. Above all things you do, this may very well be the most important. Every single day you have the opportunity to change someones life. Don’t forget that ability. 

You have already taught me so much. I am kinder, more patient and stronger because of you. I know that you are meant for big things and I am so proud to call you my son. I wish you all of the happiness and success in the world.

Love Always,

 Mom

 

A Letter to My Son

 

 

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Yogurt, Honey & Oat Face Mask

 An Easy Trick for a Bright and Even Skin Tone


 

I think we can all agree that diy at-home beauty tricks are the best. I love learning new ways to keep my skin soft and clear without having to spend a fortune on skincare products! I started using this mask routinely about 6 years ago to help combat dark/acne spots and excessive oil.  This mask is gentle and works well for sensitive skin. Always leaves my skin feeling soft, clear and refreshed! I recommend using this mask 1-2 times weekly.

What You Need…

  • plain yogurt (Greek yogurt works well too and gives you a thicker consistency)
  • Oats
  • Honey

{TIP} Use while in the shower. The steam will help to open up your pores. This mask can also get pretty messy!

 

Yogurt, Honey & Oat Face Mask

 

To get started…

  1. pour about a third cup of oats into a bowl
  2. using a spoon, crush the oats down until you have very small pieces
  3. add third cup of yogurt
  4. mix well
  5. add 1 tablespoon honey
  6. fold honey into mixture until it looks well blended
  7. apply generously to face and neck (I use my daily face wash before applying)
  8. leave 10-15 minutes
  9. wash with warm water
  10. pat dry
  11. apply moisturizer

*any leftovers can be refrigerated (or eaten), just be sure to use within a couple of days!
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Yogurt, Honey & Oat Face Mask

Garlic Ginger Chicken

Garlic Ginger Chicken

Garlic Ginger Chicken is a perfect weeknight chicken marinade recipe to pair with some rice and vegetables.  It has a strong ginger taste flavor and the garlic and soy sauce pull the marinade all together. How do you describe ginger? A little bit woody, lemony, spicy? It is interesting but so delish.

 

Garlic Ginger Chicken

 

Perhaps you don’t love ginger and if you would like to calm the ginger flavor down a pinch, that is fine. Go with .5 tablespoons minced ginger in the recipe, just cutting it in half. Garlic Ginger Chicken can be prepared in advance too. You just need 30 minutes of marinade time but you can prep in the morning or night before and just let the chicken rest in the fridge so you can just throw it in the oven at dinner time and have it on the table within 35 minutes. We love those “throw it in the oven for 30 minute” meals, don’t we mamas?

 

Garlic Ginger Chicken

 

Recently, my family has switched to buying organic chicken. While, I’m not here to talk you into spending the extra cash on organic products because I know what it is like to budget every penny, I do want to just tell you all why we decided to go with organic chicken.

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To be able to make the organic grade, chickens must not be given antibiotics or use fertilizer, plus are fed an organic diet. I really believe 100% that organic chicken tastes better, it is better for the environment and healthier. Plus, buying organic chickens helps support smaller farms a lot of the time so pay attention to packaging and try and buy local and organic. Price is much higher, yes, but this is one area that I think the benefits win. Decide on what is best for your family and do some research into it to make a choice for your family.

 

Garlic Ginger Chicken

 

This recipe has been featured on the Weekly Meal Plans for Making Motherhood Matter.

Yum

 

Garlic Ginger Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • cilantro to garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Grab ingredients, cutting board, knife, large Ziploc bag, grater/garlic press, baking sheet, foil and measuring cups.
  2. In the large Ziplock bag, add ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mince a tablespoon of both garlic and ginger into bag. Add chicken and seal letting it marinate for 30 minutes minimum.
  3. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Place foil over baking sheet and set marinated chicken on top.
  5. Place chicken in oven for 30 minutes or fully cooked. Large chicken breasts may take longer.
  6. As the chicken cooks, wash and chop some fresh cilantro. Just need a tablespoon or two worth.
  7. Remove chicken from oven and sprinkle with cilantro.
  8. Serve.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 ounces Calories: 218 Fat: 10 Carbohydrates: 3 Sodium: 692 Protein: 38

 

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Garlic Ginger Chicken

Stella & Dot Trunk Show {+ Giveaway!}

Stella & Dot Online Trunk SHow

To kick off Leggings ‘N’ Lattes launch, we are hosting an online trunk show!

 

How does an online trunk show work?

  1. Follow our Facebook fan page.
  2. Join the Stella & Dot event / Alex’s Trunk Show. Trunk show participants qualify for exclusive offers!
  3. Browse the feed to get Stella & Dot ideas.
  4. Ask questions for the stylist.
  5. Visit the links in the event page to make a purchase.

 

BONUS! There will be a giveaway!

This contest is not sponsored by Stella & Dot.

Launch Party + Stella & Dot Giveaway!

Tweet the giveaway now to share with friends!

Visit My Stella & Dot page to start shopping now and to find out more about Stella!

What are some must haves to look out for?

Colette Statement Necklace | Pyramid Watch-Double Wrap Black | Addison Cuff | Gilded Path Wrap Bracelet | City Slim Clutch

 

  1. Erza Statement Necklace
  2. Antonia Tassel Necklace
  3. Simple Knot Necklace
  4. Gwen Wrap Ring
  5. Day Tripper Arrow Tote
  6. Haven Ear Climber
  7. The Covet Sloan Bag
  8. Iris tassel Earings
  9. Carter Bracelet
  10. Chevron gold leather wrap bracelet

We are so excited for our launch of Leggings ‘N’ Lattes! We will have style, beauty and home décor tips, family friendly recipe ideas and stories of motherhood. Thanks for visiting us today and subscribe to our Newsletter to stay up to date!

 

 

Rock Your Skin Care Routine

skincare routine

Rock Your Skin Care Routine! I am a 30 something now and skincare is getting more and more important as the years go by. First rule! Start a great skin care routine early, especially sunscreen and moisturizers! It will pay off later ladies. I started doing masks, exfoliators, and more aggressive anti aging products in my mid 20’s. You will notice that I use a lot of Olay products and I have been since my 20’s.  Olay is gentle and great for sensitive skin and trust me my skin knows sensitivity. I was not born with natural beautiful skin. I have flaws and have to put some work into this beauty regime. People tell me I have beautiful skin all the time and I laugh to myself… they are probably just being nice.

Let us talk about some pointers and how to rock your skin care routine!

 

 

The daily routine is pretty basic and simple. Find a gentle cleanser that works for you. Even at my age, I get pesky little breakouts so I do use an acne treated cleanser in the morning. If acne isn’t an issue for you (I secretly hate you just a little) then go with something simple and gentle. Cetaphil is great. Cetaphil is what I frequently use before bed. So acne treated cleanser in the morning (Acne Free is what I use at the moment) and Cetaphil at night. If you don’t worry about breakouts, Cetaphil once in the morning and once at night.

In the morning, after the cleanser, use a toner (I use the Acne Free) followed by a good moisturizer with SPF. Moisturizer is everything! Find one that works for you! I have been using Olay with SPF in it for many, many years. Probably since high school and my skin responds really well to it.

At night, remove ALL your make up. Clinique has a great make up remover (Clinique Remove The Day) which is what I typically use but am out of at the moment so I have been using these wipes shown above. Need to get to the mall or order from Amazon. Love Amazon Prime. That isn’t even an affiliate link plug either. < getting off topic Amber!> Cleanse your face. Immediately after cleansing, apply a retinol eye cream and a night moisturizer. If I do not use my Olay Total Effects Night Pore Perfector, I wake up looking 10 years older. I wish I was kidding. I flip flop with the eye creams. I have used everything there is but always come back to Olay Ultimate Eye Cream because it is affordable, convenient and gets the job done.

 

 

Weekly skin care routine should include some face masks. I use a charcoal mask once a week. Right now I am using the Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Polishing Mask which is nice because it has the charcoal and the exfoliator rolled into one. Once or twice a week, I use St. Ives Even and Bright exfoliator.

Once a week, you should also be exfoliating your entire body! Head to toe. What I have found that works best is actually making it homemade. Follow link HERE to find out more on how to make a homemade scrub.  Also, try to use my pumice once week on my heels. My mani/pedi lady thanks me.

What the heck does charcoal do? Charcoal draws out impurities in the skin, cleansing those pores. Helpful for acne prone skin.

Why all the exfoliating?  For instant smooth skin by getting rid of the dead skin cells on the surface. As we age, the exfoliation process slows. Oh goodie! So exfoliation becomes more important as we get older so the dry, dead skin cells aren’t building up.

Once a week, we also need to be changing our sheets. Wash all your bedding! This is very important. Sweat, dead skin cells, body oil and who knows what other gross things are making a home in your sheets. Obviously, laying in your sweat every night isn’t good for your skin. Plus, nothing helps you sleep better at night than laying in freshly cleaned sheets. I use the lavender scent detergent, recommended.

 

 

How can we rock our skin care routine just once a month? Clean your make up brushes. I use Elf brush cleaner. It’s affordable (like a couple bucks) and works well. You also want to get a professional facial that is designed for your skin. It is best to speak with your esthetician or skin care specialist to figure out what facial is best for you!

Once a month, get your eyebrows threaded. Notice I am using the words threaded, not waxed. Waxing can be rough on the skin and cause inflammation. Anyone else have bright red eye lids after getting waxed for like 5 hours? I can’t be the only with sensitive skin. Go with the threading to ensure you aren’t damaging your skin.

 

skincare routine

 

Daily habits may be the most important part of rocking your skin care routine. Drink a ton of water! The more water you can drink, the better. We are made up of mostly water and need it for digestion, absorption of nutrients,  circulation and so on. We could talk about it all day. The point is, drink water!

The most important Vitamin for your skin is probably Vitamin D. The best way to get Vitamin D is from sunlight! So wait. Wear a SPF and go in the sun? The answer is yes. I am not telling you to go lay by the pool for 10 hours today or plop yourself in a tanning bed. No, just 10 minutes a day outdoors is all it takes which would cover walking the dog around the block.

How else can you rock your skin care routine all the time? Lip balm ( Burt’s Bee is my fave), getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding hot showers that dry you out. Moisturize your entire body when getting out of the shower.  Kiehl’s lotions are amazing! A little on the spendy side but worth it.

Mama’s, I hear you complaining about that sleep part but do your best!

 

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Rock Your Skin Care Routine, skin care, beauty

 

 

What are your favorite products to help you rock your skin care routine? Any amazing mask recommendations?

Oatmeal Honey Body Scrub

Oatmeal Honey Body Scrub, skin care

Oatmeal Honey Body Scrub made at home. Skin care at home can both be inexpensive and effective. I love this oatmeal honey body scrub for its exfoliation power and simplicity. No dyes, no offensive scent, wont break the bank and takes 5 minutes to make. Winning!

My short article on How to Rock Your Skin Care Routine recommends exfoliating your entire body once a week. This helps remove dead skin cell build and leaves your skin silky smooth. This particular formula is perfect for winter time dry skin. Winter just kills me. My skin hates every minute of winter. It truly does.

Here are some reasons why you should be mixing up some oatmeal Honey Body Scrub today:

  • Honey in the formula aids in soothing, moisturizing and has antioxidants. Antioxidants help slow down the aging process. We can all use a little of that.
  • Oatmeal has numerous skin benefits including aiding in the healing of Psoriasis and Eczema. oatmeal moisturizes, scrubs and has saponin properties which cleanse.
  • Sugar helps exfoliate and scrub away those dead skin cells leaving you with glowing skin.
  • The most important ingredient is probably the olive oil. Olive oil is literally gold for all its potential uses from the kitchen to your hair, cuticles and skin. Olive oil helps calm skin irritation, moisturizes and is packed with antioxidants to help fight the aging process. Olive oil should be included in everyone’s beauty routine! It is ahhh-maz-ing!

 

Oatmeal Honey Body Scrub

 

Let’s make a batch of Oatmeal Honey body Scrub now!

  1. Gather your ingredients (oats, honey, brown sugar, granulated sugar, olive oil), measuring cup, spatula, large bowl for mixing, food processor or blender, and a sealable container. If you have kids around, a plastic container may be best.
  2. Put 1/2 cup oats into food processor and blend for 1 minute. Add to your mixing bowl.
  3. Add 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar into bowl.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons honey to bowl.
  5. Now add 1/4 cup olive oil and mix all ingredients together with the spatula.
  6. Look at your mixture, if too dry you will want to add more olive oil. Maybe 1/4 cup more or until it is at the consistency you like it. I prefer mine a little dry so it is easier to handle in the shower.
  7. Put scrub into sealable container. Use once a week for glowing, beautiful skin.

 

Oatmeal Honey Body Scrub

 

Do you ever make body scrubs at home? What are your favorite mixtures or ingredients?

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Goodbye Letter

rainbow baby, miscarriage, loss

*Thank you Jasmine from Jasmine & Littles for writing this guest post for Leggings ‘N’ Lattes. I know many women who have miscarried, some early in the pregnancy and some much later and overtime get pregnant again to have a rainbow baby.

 

goodbye letter

 

In two weeks exactly it is the due date of my baby, the baby that I lost this past June. With each passing day this month I have been thinking more and more about the baby that I lost. I am fortunate enough that I got pregnant again and am now carrying what is known as a rainbow baby. This does not mean that I have forgotten about the child that I carried for 8 weeks.

The night before I miscarried I picked up my journal, something I hadn’t done in months. I wrote the baby a letter. This letter reminds me of the spirit that was and will never be brought to life.  It is the only tangible item I have to remember this baby. I’d like to share it with you all.

 

Hello little baby!

I hope you are ok. You have been scaring me almost all week. Well not you, but the tiny tear in your placenta called a subchorionic hematoma. I wish we didn’t have to worry about this. I just want you to be healthy. Today you are 8 weeks old and he size of a kidney bean. I hope you are big enough to see on the ultrasound this week. You were too small on Tuesday.

Your big sister Audrey waved to you last week. She doesn’t understand yet that you are growing in my belly. She thinks my belly is full of food, which is true but you are in there too! You are going to be lucky to have a big sister. I know she will love playing peek-a-boo with you,

I can’t wait for you to get bigger and I can feel your kicks. Maybe you will get the hiccups like your big sister Audrey. I am hoping and praying you continue to grow. If you are anything like me then you are a fighter and strong and can overcome this battle and hold on. I will do my best to hold on too.

I love you soo much.  Stay strong!

Love,

 Mama

 

Visit Jasmine to hear more about her pregnancy journey, miscarriage, mental health issues and stories of motherhood HERE. *

Follow Jasmine on Instagram @jasmineandlittles

Why You Should Always Buy White Bedding {Even with Kids}

Why you should always buy white bedding , white bedding, kids, home decor

 

Why you should always buy white bedding even with kids! I have two messy children, two rambunctious dogs and a crazy little ferret in my home. I always buy white bedding for the master suite and I am sharing with you why you should also!

  1. Brightens up your space.
  2. Establishes a classic, crisp and polished look.
  3. Easy to accessorize and makes feature items or colors in the bedroom pop!
  4. It is effortless.
  5. Easily cleaned.
  6. Pieces are easily replaced or updated.

 

White bedding, home decor

 

Everything gets a little messy with kids around. ” They’re always sticky like they’ve got jam on their hands. Even if there’s no jam in the house, somehow, they’ve always got jam on their hands! I’m not the right guy to deal with that. I have no patience for jam hands!”- Luke, Gilmore Girls. Where my Gilmore Girl fans at?

Here is the thing with all white bedding. Jam will magically appear on whatever you buy. Period. White bedding is easy to clean and if damage happens to be irreversible, you don’t have to buy an entire new bedding set. No, simply replace the damaged item with another piece of white.

How to keep white your white bedding…well, white? Do not bleach, use a spray stain remover if needed, dry on low temperature settings, and use cold water.  Most importantly, do not wash bedding with anything else.  This means you do not throw a towel or hoodie in the wash with your bedding! Take care of your bedding and it can last for years.

 

white bedding, home, decor, bedroom

 

Here is what I have on my bed right now:

  1. A duvet with cover. [Similar: Target Texture Duvet Cover Set]
  2. Two Euro sized shams with covers that correspond with that duvet cover. [Target Texture Euro Shams]
  3. Bedskirt. [Same product: Target Tailored 14″ Bedskirt]
  4. Sheet and fitted sheet that correspond with two of the pillows. [Similar: JC Penny Ultrafit Performace Sheet Set]
  5. Lumbar pillow for décor. [Fun idea: Zazzle White Leather texture Lumbar Pillow]
  6. Coverlet that corresponds with two more pillow shams. Yes, I have a coverlet and also a duvet. [Coverlets and quilts from Wayfair]
  7. Throw blanket. [Similar: TacheNew Faux Fur Sherpa Throw]

 

white ebdding, bedroom, decor

 

I literally have mix matched sets of bedding from six places? They all work great together. Think of different textures when going all white. Do something with more detail, something classic, and something fuzzy. Always need a fuzzy touch. Extra pillows and blankets add more depth and comfort.

Make your master bedroom a serene spot in your home to relax and unwind. Lavender or vanilla scented candles, classic white bedding, beautiful flowers and a piece of art you absolutely love is all you need. Keep it simple and enjoy your bedroom!

 

white bedding, bedroom, decor

 

Do you dare to all go white in the bedroom? I promise, you won’t ever look back!

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Why You Should Always Buy White Bedding {Even With Kids}

 

Kale Pesto

pesto, sauce, kale, almond, olive oil, chicken

 

Kale Pesto made with loads of kale, almonds, parmesan cheese, olive oil and garlic. Perfect for pasta, pizza or sandwiches.

 

kale pesto

 

Kale is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Vitamin A. Has no fat and low calories and lots of flavor for a leafy green. Perfect food to get your family eating healthier. Almonds serve as a healthy protein source and olive oil has healthy fats. The parmesan is… well… mostly for the great flavor, however still a great source of calcium and Vitamin D.

 

 

For a simple dinner idea: add 2 tablespoons of Kale Pesto on chicken breasts, place some sliced Roma tomatoes on top with some extra shredded parmesan. Cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes on 375 degrees.  There is something about pesto and tomatoes together that works so perfectly.

Visit Simply Made Recipes for a Shrimp Pesto Linguine recipe.

 

Yum

 

Kale Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Kale Pesto with almonds, garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese and kale. Perfect for pizzas, pasta and sandwiches.
Author:
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¾ cup almonds, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • .5 bunch of kale
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Wash kale well.
  2. Shred parmesan cheese and mince the garlic cloves.
  3. Place the olive oil, kale, almonds, garlic, salt and shredded parmesan cheese into food processor.
  4. Blend until smooth. This only takes around 3 minutes.
  5. Taste test. Pesto may need more salt.
  6. Blend another minute. Consistency should be paste like but still somewhat creamy. You may need to add a dab more olive oil at this point also.
  7. Store in a sealed container in the fridge if not consumed immediately.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 235 Fat: 22 Carbohydrates: 4 Sugar: 1 Sodium: 225 Protein: 7

 

Try other variations of pesto. Swap kale for basil, almonds for pine nuts or parmesan for romano.  Delish!

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