Defining Lifestyle with Becca!

We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. Defining Lifestyle is a series that allows bloggers to submit their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next few weeks!

Today I am welcoming Becca who blogs over at Becoming Adorrable. Becca shares my love for makeup and always has some fun stories about her cats. You should run over to her blog right meow! (I think I'm funny.. lol)

1. What's your favorite youtube channel?  
Becca: Batalash, easily. The skill level of those ladies is superior.

2. Do you miss your job in daycare?
Becca: Some days. I miss the kids. But for the most part, I don't miss standing outside in the summer for several hours. Nor do I miss parents yelling at me for random things that weren't my fault.
3. What was one big turning point in your life?
Becca: When it almost ended. Being stuck in the hospital for weeks and having a long recovery gave me time to realize who was really important in my life and what direction I wanted my life to head in. Also, I'd say my relationship with Tim became much more serious during my recovery.
4. Crunchy Cheetos or Cheeto Puffs?
Becca: PUFFS. All the way.
5. What cheers you up?
Becca: Good music. Like James Morrison. All it takes is a few minutes of his voice and lyrics and I feel comforted and positive.
Thanks for the great Q & A Becca! I really loved them! So what do ya say folks? Head on over and visit Becca today!
Make it a great Monday!

Ithaca is Gorges: A Gem in the Finger Lakes

Planning a trip to New York? No I don't mean New York City. I mean the rest of the state. New York is a very large state that is packed with more cities than just NYC. Take for instance, Ithaca. Ithaca is located in central New York. It is tucked away in some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever experienced. During the time when glaciers graced the land, the Finger Lakes were created, along with many beautiful gorges. Ithaca is located on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake.

Because of the lake, Ithaca offers tons of activity options. Boating, kayaking, sailing, and swimming are just a few of them. There are trails and paths that hug the lake for hikers, walkers, and runners.  These trails also offer great photo opportunities if you are into photography. For me, I love waiting until the sun is setting over the lake for the perfect photo op.

A beautiful view of a wind surfer on Cayuga Lake
Now onto my favorite part about this area. Ithaca is home to dozens of waterfalls. One in fact is right in town, and its is quite massive! Ithaca Falls is a must see if you are in the area. Moving outside of Ithaca you can take in another breathtaking waterfall at Taughannock Falls State Park. It is a gorgeous waterfall and requires only a small walk to view them.

A Fall view of Taughannock Falls
Ithaca Falls right in downtown! Beautiful! (Source)

Moving away from the lake, the Finger Lake region is also home to dozens of wineries. You can pick any direction and you will most likely fall upon one. Each winery is unique in itself and often host events unique to them. One of my new favorites is Americana Vineyards which also has a cafe. They have excellent brunch!


Not into wine? Ithaca is also home to a few breweries for the beer lovers. One of my favorite places to sample local beers is at the Ithaca Ale House in downtown on Aurora street in downtown Ithaca. They have great beers on tap and a menu to pair your beers with! And they have blueberry beer! With real blueberries in it! Sweet!

Ithaca Ale House and Blueberry Beer!

Speaking of drinks, visit the Ithaca Commons to find cute little shops as well as bars and restaurants. Although under construction at the moment, it is a great place to come to people watch, shop, and eat. During the school year you can find that area very busy with all of the college students in town. Ithaca is home to 2 colleges you may have heard of: Cornell University and Ithaca College. The college kids really bring the city to life with all of the diversity.

Ithaca Commons at night (Source)
This really is a great little area to visit. There is so much to do and see, so make sure you have a car! And why pay lots of money to rent a car when you can save up to 40% on a rental car by using a carsharing service like RelayRides.  This service is kind of like renting a room from someone, but add in a car instead. It includes everything a rental company would. The car is insured and has road side assistance. You can rent a car for days or just a few hours. Its pretty sweet for both the renter and the rentee!

 *This post was written in collaboration with Relay Rides. I was not compensated for this post and I enjoyed sharing a beautiful town with you in the process! All information is of my own knowledge and opinion.

So what do you say? Come visit New York! And see more than just the city! Visit the Finger lakes. You won't be disappointed!

Wellness Wednesday: GYM!

I FINALLY got myself back in the gym this week! It has been 2 long months that I neglected to make time to go and sweat away the stress. My body was starting to feel the effects of letting the gym slip and me putting more unhealthy foods into my mouth. I only have 2 days under my belt now, but I will start to hold myself accountable when I make excuses.

When trying to get healthy, it will be a mind over matter effect. If we do not fully commit to the gym, eating better, or quitting a bad habit, we will fail. I have learned you cannot force it until you are fully ready to make the change. For years I said I was going to FINALLY get healthy. I WAS going to eat healthy. I WAS going to the gym. For years I failed.

This week something clicked in my head and I WANT to feel better. I NEED to exercise. My 4'11" frame is begging me to lose some weight. My clothes are uncomfortable and I refuse to buy new clothes just because I got lazy and gained the extra weight. I want to feel good about myself. I want to feel comfortable in my clothes. I finally feel ready to do this right.

Last week I posted a smoothie recipe. I have kept up making these every morning for breakfast. They have kept me feeling full until lunch and they are packed with all kinds of vitamins. I hope you give it a try! It is a nice treat every morning without having to feel guilty. I am also only eating lean proteins and lots of veggies. I am starting to feel better about myself again. Now lets see if I can commit to this and keep gyming it up for the rest of the week! Updates next week. 

So what do guys think? Is being healthy easy? How long did it take for you to form the good habit of wellness?

It's FALL! + Defining Lifestlye with Ash

Today is the first official day of Fall! I don't know what else could make a Monday be awesome! I have been looking forward to Fall and this weekend we just had definitely did a good job with the Summer to Fall transition. We had nice temperatures in the high 70's and low 80's and then it rained and got a little windy Sunday night. I think mother nature got it right for once! (At least here in central NY).


We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. My new series allows bloggers to submitted their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next few weeks!

 Today I am welcoming Ash who blogs over at The Grits Blog. I love Ash because she comes up with some pretty fun topics and her design skills are AH-MAZING! Make sure you stop by and check her out. You won't be disappointed! 

(1) How did you come up with the name for your blog? 
Ash: I am from the south - specifically, Texas, Georgia, and Florida. For the record, my blog's name, The Grits Blog, doesn't stand for Girls Raised in the South.

Anyways, I picked grits to represent my blog because it's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of home, other than my family of course. It's what I think of when I think of the south - and it's one way to let people know something quickly about me. Clever right?? #notreally 

(2) What is the one thing you didn't expect to happen when you started blogging?
Ash: My obsession for designs! Since January I have changed my design about five times - FIVE TIMES! Crazy. Just crazy. I just finished a new one that I installed a few months ago - and I am already looking at designing another one. That being said, I will NOT install it until January - I am making myself live with this one for at least a few months.

(3) How did you get started with blog designing? 
Ash: Another designer burned me, not only on my design but money-wise too. After that I decided that I would never let someone else be in control of my blog design - and truth be told, I like it to change it wayyyy to much - i.e. see whiplash here. So I decided to learn how to do it on my own - this meant countless, painful hours of googling and figuring out photoshop.That being said, it was worth it. It's become one of my favorite things to do and my creative outlet!

(4) How did you gain traffic/followers? 
Ash: I think my biggest source of new readers has been due to two things: (1) advertisements and (2) decent content. I conducted a survey a few months ago and most of the people that found me were through my button being on someone else's sidebar or via guest post, then they stuck around because they like my blog. 

(5)  you could offer one piece of must-have advice to an aspiring blogger, what would it be? 
Ash: Don't worry about the stats. Build it and they will come! Meaning, focus on your content and focus on getting your name out there so that people can find you.

Image Map

There are no words for how I feel

I live 2 1/2 hours away from my family. I live 2 1/2 hours away from my closest friends. I am 2 1/2 hours away from a small community that I call home and today it has been approximately 144 hours that they have been living in fear.

Today I am angry. I am angry that a person decided to take someone else's life into his hands, not thinking about the consequences he was facing. I will not mention his name because quite frankly he does not deserve the limelight. He does not deserve people to be speaking about him in any way, except that he is a criminal. In case you aren't familiar with the story, last Friday night a man decided to take the life of a Pennsylvania state trooper and has left another in critical condition. He is believed to be armed and dangerous and has left a small community in shock and fear. This is not okay.

The world we live in today is a rough one. Many people know this. Systems are broken. Programs are being taken away, money is hard to come by. We may have to work a hell of a lot harder than anyone had to 20 years ago just to make ends meat, but that doesn't give any person the right to take another life because he is angry at the world. Violence does not solve problems. It makes them worse. Because of this act there are children afraid to go to school or go out and play with their friends. What are we teaching our youth with this? To live their lives in fear? Not cool.

Please say a prayer today for me. Please pray for the families who are suffering the loss of a loved one. Pray for the man who is in a hospital fighting for his life. Pray for the law enforcement who are out there day and night trying to make this community safe again. Pray for the folks who are living in fear because this man might be hiding in their neighborhood, like a coward.

I hope Friday is coming on a little bit nicer for you than it has for me today. Hope its a good one.

My skin routine

Normally I would not post a skin routine on here, but I really am in love with what I've been using lately! My skin is pretty stubborn, okay A LOT stubborn and it gets angry at me when I try new things most of the time. It never follows the rules. For example. everyone says Cetaphil is really good for sensitive skin and is really gentle and all that jazz. My skin HATES it. It breaks out and gets all red. (No bad blood Cetaphil, I'm sure you're great and live up to all the hype for all other skin.) My skin has issues. Nuff said.

A few weeks ago I was able to visit a Lush while I was out of town. I love Lush, but I don't have any local so I don't buy as often as I'd like. I had lots of time to spare so I sat down and had a demonstration with all these amazing products for the face. Lets just say I fell in love with A LOT of products. It was tough to make a decision on what to bring home with me, but I had to be reasonable and bought the ones that would really help my skin out.

First up is Herbalism. This stuff is AH-MAZ-ING. It is a clay based face and body cleanser. It has little bits of almond to help exfoliate the skin. I use this every night before I go to bed. It leaves my skin feeling smooth and squeaky clean! I recommend only using this once a day a night if you have sensitive skin like I do. Once at night seems to do the trick!
Good ol green Herbalism!
After using Herbalism I spritz my face with Tea Tree Water. My skin drinks this stuff right up. I use a cotton round to remove any excess which also gets rid of any leftover residue from the cleanser. In the mornings I do no cleanse my face with the Herbalism again, so I just spritz on the Tea Tree Water and use that as my cleanser. My skin was clean when I went to bed so all I need is to remove any residue that may have gotten on my skin while sleeping.

Tea Tree Water!
The last item I purchased and am in love with is Cupcake! This stuff smells like a minty chocolate cupcake. It is a thick brown mask that helps repair the skin and calms it. Like I mentioned up there, my skin is kind of a jerk. It flares up for any reason. I use this mask once a week and it has been keeping my skin happy. This stuff also needs to stay in the fridge because it is perishable.

Yummy Cupcake!
Lush has some pretty amazing products, and their holiday products are coming out soon! I always love to buy their holiday stuff for gifts. They come all gift wrapped and ready to roll. Some of the cleaners and masks come in little tubs that aren't normal recyclables so they ask that you bring them back for them to dispose of. For every 5 you bring back, you get a free mask! Pretty amazing deal! I love how eco-friendly they are and they never test on animals. Check them out if you get the chance cause again- LOVE!

This is not a sponsored post. I just simply love their products and decided to do a short review.

Do you shop at Lush? What are your favorite products? If you don't use Lush, what other brands do you use that are eco-friendly?

Wellness Wednesday: Smoothies

I am continuing my quest to "Win at life" and working on wellness options in my life. I started a 7 day life detox and one of the things I am doing daily is making a smoothie every morning. It is super easy to do and it keeps me full until lunch. There are so many combinations you can incorporate into your smoothies to customize a taste that works for you. Today I am going to share one of my favorite smoothie recipes, and hope it inspires you to play around until you find one you love!

I do not have a specific name for my smoothie, but it can be defined under the "green smoothie" category.

What you need:
1 Banana (the riper the better)
1 1/2 cups of Spinach or Kale
1/2 cup of Blueberries
1 cup Plain Almond Milk
1/2 cup of Water

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth. If you like a thinker smoothie you can add 1/2 a cup of plain greek yogurt or a few ice cubes. This normally yields about 16 ounces. Sometimes I have more, sometimes less depending on if I measure my portions or not. I like to add lots of greens so my smoothies normally come out looking more green, but this particular smoothie I went lighter on the greens and it comes out a pretty purple :)

Do you like smoothies? What are some of your favorite blends? Share them below!

The story behind the photo

Some days I just don't feel like writing. I have a headache that won't go away, its cold out, and no amount of caffeine will keep my eyes open. Do you ever have one of those days? I figured instead of writing a whole blog about not wanting to write a blog, I would turn this into a positive post to get everyone through Tuesday. A few months ago I posted a photo with a quote in one of my inspirational posts, and thought today would be a good day to bring it back and talk about it a bit.

I took this photo one night when I was sitting on my balcony. It had just rained cats and dogs and then just like that, it cleared up. The sky was all kinds of pinks and purples. Absolutely stunning. It is days like this that reminds me; when the storm is over, the beauty will shine through. Turning this photo sideways and adding the quote really did it for me. It fit well with the words. If I had posted the photo how it was taken, it wouldn't have felt as significant.

Do you ever play around with photos you took? Create new ways to see the beauty in it? Tell me your stories behind the photos and make it a great day!

Defining Lifestyle with Jenn!

We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. My new series allows bloggers to submitted their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next few weeks!

Today I am welcoming Jenn who blogs over at Business, Life, and Design. I really love how Jenn incorporates her design work into her blogging. She has some great posts that really make you think. She touches on subjects that are dying for a response. You can't read her stuff and not comment. I love that! Her questions suck you in!

1. If your blog could have a super power, what would you choose?
Jenn - Self deprecatory humor that never falls flat!  I love poking fun at myself and reading others who aren't afraid to do the same.  But it's harder to get across without the joking tone you would use in person.

2. Now that your blog is a super hero, what would you say is it's greatest weakness?
Jenn- Either the posts I schedule when they're not quuiiite finished, or sloppy proofreading.  Sometimes I check again after things have been posted, but I'll be honest - most of my posts are frenziedly typed in the heat of the moment (or thought.  Heat of the thought?).  But my family is pretty literary minded, and not shy about pointing out my errors, so I think we get most of them.

3. How would you describe your blogging style?
Jenn - I like words, and I enjoy a well-turned phrase, or solidly stated point.  The emphasis is very definitely on the writing and not a bunch of pictures (sorry, guys, gifs are just not for everyone), although I include them when relevant.  I do break all the grammar rules, though, but I break them because I choose to disregard them, not because I don't know what they are.  (<-- Prime example.  I do what I want!)

4. What is your ulterior motive for blogging? (because, let's be honest, everyone's got something)
Jenn - I started the blog with my graphic design business in mind.  Then I forgot all about that and thought about trying to get in on the sponsorship thing.  Now I've decided to just blog for the fun of it, and when I talk design, it's because I enjoy it and because I'm so proud of myself and my clients that I just have to share.  BUT if we're being honest, I certainly wouldn't mind if a few more graphic design projects came my way.  It's there if you want it, but don't worry!  I'm too lazy to really market it.

5. Why should we read your blog anyway?
Jenn - I wouldn't say it's for everyone.  You won't find DIY, crafts, or fashion (well, a couple exceptions here - but it's more like that self-deprecatory thing I was talking about earlier).  A lot of it is thoughts and reflections on societal structure and cultural expectations, documentation of my search for self actualization (bucket lists, etc), and the occasional family story.  If you like reading, and you like to chat about the things you read, come on by!  Let's have a conversation.

Thank you Jenn! As always, LOVED your answers! Go stop on by and check Jenn out! Her approach is different and her content is great. And hey if you're looking for some graphic work, she's your gal!
Make sure to come back next Monday for another defining lifestyle with Ash who blogs over at The Grits Blog! Have a great Monday!

Special Olympics

Does anyone still listen to Avril Lavigne? Did you know she started a foundation? The Avril Lavigne Foundation to be exact. I have followed Avril for a long time, along with her foundation, and its pretty great. The foundation supports children with serious illnesses or disabilities. Their mission is R.O.C.K.S which can be defined as:
  • Respect the needs of all children and youth, no matter their circumstances, and encourage others to do the same;
  • Create the Opportunity for children and youth with serious illnesses or disabilities to follow their dreams;
  • Offer Choices so children and youth see they have many options in life and not just a single path defined by their circumstances;
  • Provide Knowledge about what is possible to children, youth and their families through new program ideas that The Avril Lavigne Foundation will support and help expand;
  • Give kids and their families the Strength to face their daily challenges.

 This foundation along with the Make A Wish Foundation are very near to my heart. My cousin was diagnosed with a terminal illness as a child, and was given a gift from an organization like this one to live a dream. He has since passed away and I will be forever grateful for what they did for him.

Today I received an e-mail from the Avril Lavigne Foundation, informing me for Avril's 30th birthday, all she wants is to raise money for the Special Olympics. Again another great foundation. I have decided to join the fundraiser to see how much I can help towards the cause. If you can give, please do. There are so many children out there who need that little spark of joy to get them by. Your donation could help give them their dream. 

Please help me reach my goal of raising $150. Together we can do this! :) Thank you in advance!

Treasure Tromp

Win at life

Today's post inspiration comes from the September issue of Self Magazine. I know I have said this A LOT lately but I am making changes both on this blog and in my personal life. (There should definitely be a drinking game for every time I say changes :p). Back in May when I started this blog, I also signed up for a gym membership. That lead me to having a  little series on fitness. I really enjoyed doing that, but to be honest I have fallen off the fitness wagon.

I was not feeling well and ran into a few health issues, so the excuses ran rampant. The gym got put on the bottom of my list and because of it, I can feel the consequences. I have gained weight, my skin is a mess, and I just don't feel "good". Circling back to this months Self Magazine, everything about it was inspirational to making positive changes.

On the front cover in big letters it says WIN AT LIFE. That statement alone motivates the crap out of me. Editor in Chief, Joyce Chang wrote a segment about the power of change.  She goes into talking about why it is so important to stop and listen to your body, even when life gets crazy and you want to jump into overload. She also encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and let your body guide you. I feel like its those little things we all seem to forget.
Being healthy, both physically and mentally can sure help in times of stress and overload. This is why I have decided to follow Self Magazine's 7 day detox. Now I know, when we hear the word "detox" we tend to think of things like pills, teas, and juices. This detox is a little different. It reminds me more of a wellness detox for life. I felt like this was a good way to get myself back on track and thinking with a clear head. I am on day 3 of this detox and I wanted to share a few things I have been doing.

Move Your Body
Take the workouts down a notch and do 3 days of light cardio. This will help flush out toxins and rejuvenate the body.

Go Vegetarian
Start every morning with a smoothie. They are packed with fruits and veggies to give you all kinds of good nutrients. Eat clean with every meal. Make a 450 calorie lunch and a 500 calorie dinner with vegetarian options. I have not been hungry and all the meals I have made have been really good!

Quiet Your Mind
Stress causes a lot of our health issues. This part of the detox encourages you to meditate at least 10 minutes everyday. It also encourages getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Ridding stress and getting enough sleep helps keep the belly slim.

I'm really enjoying this program. I am feeling less hungry and I feel more energetic. I am going to start writing wellness updates on Wednesdays. An unofficial series. Just a place where I can share with you guys what I'm up to and hopefully can inspire all of you to join in.

Have a wonderful Wednesday! Be Inspired!

Apparently I have a "thing" for Holiday Inn's

I have probably mentioned a time or two (okay probably lots more than that) that I love to travel. I love to visit new places: See new things. Eat new foods. Meet new people. And my all time favorite: Stay in new hotels. No two hotels are the same, even if they are the same brand. You have different staff, different decor, different options. That makes each location you visit fun. A new place to discover and a new place to rest your hat for the night.

I have stayed in a variety of hotels and a lot of little B&B's and motels along the way. I liked them all for different reasons. They all brought something new and unique, but one of the things I never had the chance to do, was stay in a NEW hotel. Meaning it was just built. First person in the room type of deal.  This was a "new" I wanted to experience.

A few weeks ago I went on a trip with my boyfriend and we checked into a Holiday Inn Express. We always seem to find them when we are traveling. Come to think of it we have stayed in 4 Holiday Inn branded hotels since May... Apparently we have a thing for them! Anyways, when we went to check into our room a few weeks ago, the hotel looked immaculate. It smelt like fresh paint and new carpet. Heck, even the front desk person looked shiny and new.

This sparked the question, "We didn't see any reviews of this place, yet it looks great. When did you guys open?" The response left me giddy; "Thursday! We've been open 5 days." I had a little mini happy dance moment. I was FINALLY getting to stay in a brand spanking new hotel! My boyfriend warned me not to get to excited, as most new hotels this early on were still working on little kinks and such in the operations. I didn't care. This was a new place.

So what if the elevator sounded like a hamster wheel squeaking.... No one had thrown up in the bed yet, or in the hallways, or ANYWHERE. I'd take the squeaking over that any day! There also were no mystery stains, smells, or sounds. Everything in the bathroom worked and was still a sparkling white color. The decor was modern, yet very neutral. It brought a very relaxed feeling to the room. It was perfect.

I woke up the next morning and was excited to use the big shower with the rainfall shower head. It was a great shower. That lead to the continental breakfast, which is one of the things I love so much about Holiday Inn Express locations. Their breakfast is always fulfilling with healthy alternatives. I was happily surprised to be greeted with full size Chobani yogurts. They also had a great variety of cereals and fruits. It totally made my day and lived up to my expectation of experiencing a brand new hotel. Thank you Holiday Inn Express for helping me check that off my list! I love your hotels!

Have you ever stayed in a new hotel? What was your experience? Leave me your thoughts in the comments!

Defining Lifestyle with Helene! + Giveaway!

We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. My new series allows bloggers to submitted their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next 6 weeks!

Today I want to welcome Helene who blogs over at Helene In Between. I love reading Helene's daily posts. She always has something new and fresh that gets me thinking. She also LOVES music festivals which makes her okay in my book! She has some pretty great questions too!

1. First, how did you become so awesome?
Helene: Wow, what a wonderful question, thank you for asking. It's tough to say exactly. I would say that it started at birth. I have really charismatic, insightful parents that knew I was a blossoming flower and let me shine bright. This was evident when, at six years old, at a dance recital, I basically started my own play center stage- talking and twirling to my own beat. The rest is history.

2. How did you grow your blog?
Helene: I started Helene in Between in September of 2012. I had just broken my ankle and basically spent the first three months obsessing over it. Then I slowly started to apply my SEO, social media and marketing knowledge to really make the blog grow. I even started a consulting service to help other bloggers.

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Helene: Possibly 3 dogs instead of 2 (my husband and I are crazy dog people), that I actually have some pictures up on my wall, and that I'm working 100% for myself. I've always wanted to be my own boss. I am the type of person that will work day and night to perfect a post or help out another blogger. I really like the idea of being independent, and I know that means extra hours, on the weekends and at night. I'm up for the challenge.

4. What's your favorite place in the world?
Helene: I have been lucky enough to go to so many places. I'm definitely a home body but my favorite place in the world is the town of Boom, Belgium at the end of July. That's when the best music festival of all time, Tomorrowland, takes place every year. 180,000 people there to witness all the big EDM acts in the world! I get overly excited about it. 

5. What would be on your tombstone?
Helene: "It's All Good" This is something my grandfather would say each and every day. He's right, it's all about perspective and really, it's all good.

Thank you so much Helene for sharing those great questions with us! I hope you all enjoyed them just as much as I did. I hope to see you all back here next week when we connect with Jenn who blogs over at Business, Life, and Design. I will be posting this series every Monday so check back next week to see what Jenn had to say in her fun questions!


I am teaming up with some great blogging ladies to bring on a giveaway! We are giving away $125 PayPal cash! Hurry and get yourself signed up!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New address!

It's Friday, and I have some exciting news! I FINALLY purchased my domain name! I have been kicking around the idea for awhile, not sure if I was invested enough in my writing to purchase the domain. Then I got thinking, WHY NOT?! It doesn't cost all that much to have it, and now I can finally feel professional with my blog.  I enjoy this space and connecting with all you wonderful folks!

Now that I got that done, a revamp is next. I feel like since I have really found my direction, it's time my design reflects that.  Look for a fresh new look soon! This is the month for changes! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Update your favorites. My new web address is:

Oh Maine! (Picture Heavy)

I was out of town last week on a mini Vacation. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you got to see a glimpse of my trip. Instead of posting a long drawn out post on it, I am just going to leave you with a picture story of my time in Maine!

Because, Blueberry! Duh
I loved this! I want to start one in my city!

There is always a light house to see in Maine. So pretty!

Sunsets were GORGEOUS!
You CAN'T go to Maine and not eat Lobstah! (And beer apparently)

Spend a few hours on Campobello Island in Canada. Visited the Roosevelt Cottage. So PRETTY!

This pool was AMAZING!

That about sums up my trip to Maine. I visited 4 destinations on my 4 day trip. I started it in Portland, then headed up to Lubec, which is a little fishing town on the eastern most point in the US. We headed into New Brunswick, Canada and onto Campobello Island.  (This was only across the bay, a 10 minute drive from Lubec. We then spent our last night in Bar Harbor. I think I spend about 25 - 30 hours in the car over the course of 4 days. NOT FUN! 

Maine has such beautiful landscape, its no wonder their license plates say "Vacationland" on them. I would recommend visiting, but not traveling around so much! Pick one place and enjoy it. 

I  hope you all enjoyed some of my vacation pics! Happy Thursday!

Treasure Tromp
The Grits Blog - Little Friday Linkup

Blogging Everyday

Blogging everyday is hard for me. It's not that I don't have any ideas, but I am just afraid my content will become stale. The other reason is I do not want to burn myself out. This is why I limit my posts to 3 times a week. I feel like it keeps my posts fresh and gives me time to breathe. September is a month that has always been good to me. It always brings good things, so I have decided to flex my blogging muscles and blog every weekday this month. I came across this great September Challenge and decided I needed to get on board. I may not use the writing prompts everyday, but some of them are really neat and can lead to some great posts. Here's to blogging everyday in September! Wish me luck!

Today's prompt is: What is your earliest memory?

This is such a great questions because now that all the kids are going back to school, I have been feeling very nostalgic. I have been thinking back to my first day of pre-school. It is one of my earliest memories because I remember how excited and how scared I was to be away from my parents. It was only for a few hours, but my mom was a house wife so I had never been to a daycare or babysitter up until that day. I remember climbing the steps to the bus and waving to my mom. She smiled and waved back. I felt safe. Her smile always made me know everything was going to be okay.

I rode all the way to school next to a girl, who I believe her name was Amanda. She talked the entire ride. I remember feeling shy and not sure if I should talk as well. When I got to school we were lead to our class rooms. I was so scared until I walked into the room. It was a huge space with lots of built in playgrounds. There were trees and monkeys and lots of bridges to run across. There were nets and ropes to hang on. I was in kid heaven. My mind instantly switched from scare to excited. I enjoyed my first day of pre-school. I didn't want to go home.

I rode back home next to Amanda. She again talked the whole way home. I saw my mom waiting for me as the bus inched towards our house. She was still smiling, just as she had when I left. I ran to her and gave her the biggest hug, thanking her for sending me away. She laughed at my wording. I still laugh today when I think about that moment. 

It's those little things that bring us back to the innocence of being a child. As we grew through the school years, we didn't still see it as magical and fun. It was work and stress. If we could only go back to those magical times and remember to still laugh, and enjoy the little things.

Do you remember your first day of school?

New Series!

Hi Everyone! Today is the day.. The day I am sharing a new series with you!. If you read yesterday's post on defining lifestyle, you know this space is undergoing some changes. And good ones at that! I am on a mission to connect with more people, and share as much as possible. This series is about sharing some great ladies who take to the internet and share their worlds with you. All of these ladies are defined as "lifestyle" bloggers. As you get to know these ladies over the next 6 weeks, you will see, even though they are in a category together, they are all very different. They each bring something different to the table. I hope you will follow along with me, and get inspired.

We all have that question we are just DYING to answer, but it doesn't ever seem to come. Each of the bloggers submitted their own set of questions AND answers in effort to get some stuff out there that they normally aren't asked. If this doesn't define the lifestyle blogger, I don't know what does. So sit back, relax, and expect some fun over the next 6 weeks! 

First up is one of my first friends in the blogging world. Christine over at The So Called Homemaker has been very inspiring to me in my journey and she has always been very helpful. She always helps me out when she can and gives me the answers to my questions. I couldn't think of anyone I would rather introduce you to first. Please go and show her some love and enjoy her questions!

It looks like you cook a lot of really complicated meals.  Doesn’t that ever get old?  
Christine: Actually, most of the meals I cook at home are things like baked chicken with a frozen vegetable and canned beans of some sort.  I’m usually a pretty lazy chef!

Why do you never brush your daughter’s hair? 
Christine:  I do!  She has crazy hair that looks like that even when I brush it!

Do you ever feel like you wish you were doing more with your life?   
Christine: I will admit that being a “homemaker” isn’t what I saw myself doing with my life, but I think what doesn’t show on the blog is that I do in fact spend a lot of time on my real estate work, which is pretty fulfilling and basically like a real career (except that I get to stay at home).  I just don’t talk about it much on the blog/social media because I think that’s plugging and that’s not really fair to my readers. 

Speaking of real estate, you’ve mentioned some horror stories about showing houses.  Can you tell us one? 
Christine: Absolutely!  I have tons.  One of the strangest though was a house that was abandoned but still had tons of stuff in it, including about 6 walkers that had been delivered since the house had been vacant.  What’s weird about that is that there were locks on the OUTSIDES of the bedroom doors.  Then the bedrooms all had holes in the walls.  It was just really creepy, like they were locking up old people and torturing them.

You’ve been married for about as long as most bloggers who give relationship advice.  Why don’t you give any?  
Christine: Honestly, I don’t think I have the right to give advice because although we’ve been married about three years, we’re still learning.  My husband and I don’t believe in talking negatively about our relationship in any way in public, either, so that’s why you’ll also never see me complain about him or anything he does on the blog or social media.  We think it’s important to present an united front. : ) 

Thank you so much Christine for sharing those great questions with us! I hope you all enjoyed them just as much as I did. I hope to see you all back here next week when we connect with Helene who blogs over at Helene In Between. I will be posting this series every Monday starting next week. So look for Helene's Q&A on Monday, September 8th!

Have a good one!

How do you define Lifestyle?

Change. Fun. Adventure. Life. All of these words can tie in with the term Lifestyle. But what does it really mean to be a Lifestyle blogger? It seems to be a place you get thrown when you don't fit into any other category. Niches if you will. We aren't just Fashion. We aren't just foodies. We may not be Mommy's. But we can do all 3 of those things and still not fit into one place. Are we in blog purgatory? A middle ground where people judge us and make us feel bad that we can't fit somewhere?

Most of the blogs I read are Lifestyle bloggers. They blog about things that make me laugh. They make me cry. They even inspire me to do something better. It doesn't bother me that I have no freaking clue what they may post next. There is no schedule. It just comes from within. Why is that such a bad thing? Why must we be something specific?

I WON'T be a fashion blogger because I don't like clothes that much. I get bored looking at clothes over and over again. I WON'T be a food blogger because I would just get fat. I have no restraint when it comes to delicious food. I CAN'T be a mommy blogger because I don't have children yet. This doesn't mean I COULDN'T be good at those things.

Adventures and change are just around the corner. That is the beauty of  life. This is where I belong. 

I am categorized as Lifestyle. I am going to define MY Lifestyle. This Fall. Stick around.