name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day


A Letter To My Son - On His 10th Birthday

My first-born, my baby boy, turns 10 this weekend. I'm having a hard time with the double digits - it feels as though time is just slipping away. Have I done enough? Does he know how loved he is? At this age, I love that he can read this letter on his own and KNOW how special he is. Happy birthday, Griffin. God sure did bless us with you. 

To my son – on your 10th birthday,

I’ll be honest, Griffin. Turning ten is hard for me. While you want to be double digits and get more into your big kid status, my heart sinks just a bit. Ten years ago, you stubbornly came into this world a week later than planned. And from that moment, my world flipped. The first night at home, we put you to sleep on a large Boppy pillow. While your dad snored away, I stared at you all night long. Out of fear, probably. But, mostly out of sheer amazement that you were ours.

I’ll spare you the details of my extreme love for you (I’m learning that age 10 comes with “Mom, no more kisses, please!) and share more of what your dad and I see every time we are with you.

One of my most favorite things about you is that you are FUN. You wake up fun. You go to school for the fun. You try and make sure your sister has fun. When you’re graciously around kids smaller than you, your goal is to make sure they have fun. If anything, I wish that you keep on with the fun times – especially when times get harder as you get bigger.

Currently, you love sports – from the Texans to the Falcons and of course, our Astros. You love American Ninja Warrior, too. We love watching you love all these things. Why? Because you have big dreams to be in their shoes one day. And, we have no doubt you will be there changing lives just like they do. Remember to be like the good ones though – the ones who are heroes off the field and off the warp wall. Remember to be kind like that while using your talents to reach those goals.

And to that big brother status – you’re a good one, G. From the moment you just knew I was having a girl to current day when you’re talking that little sister out of her latest antic. You’ve been one she can look up to every single day. I want you to know how much I appreciate your taking care of ME when that little girl pushes my buttons. I don’t think I ever told you that I love when you reach for my hand when you sense my nerves are on edge. You reach over and tell me you love me. Just when I needed the reassurance the most. I appreciate that love you give me, and I’m sorry for when those rough moments are rough on you.

For now, I can’t wait to sneak you out of school and take you for a treat. You deserve all the good coming to you as you turn 10. My wish for you this year is to keep the fun in your heart and to keep dreaming big. No one can get in the way of your dreams because your determination and heart are so much bigger. And every step of the way, I will be there cheering you on. From scoring those touchdowns to being kind to those around you to shining that light on everyone you meet.

Thank you for making me a mom. Thank you for holding my hand. Thank you for being mine.

Happy 10th birthday, my lovey.

Thank you to my friend Maggie for the pictures of G in 2013. And to Jennifer Spencer Photography for the last photo. To see my other letter to him, click here


My Favorite Way to Challenge The Mom Brain

This post is sponsored by Jigsaw Puzzle but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

All moms know the feeling - the kids are in bed, and you're ready for some quiet. Reading a book, catching up shows, and avoiding any tasks that involve your mom responsibilities are some of my favorite after-bed activities. I covet anything that turns off the mom brain and the anxiety.

When my brain is overwhelmed with all things, it's time to decompress. Currently, I love taking a break with a puzzle using the Jigsaw Puzzle app. Their vibrant, colorful puzzles challenge your brain AND give you a fun sense of accomplishment. Mom win!

Waiting in car line or at the bus stop? Long wait at the doctor's office? It's puzzle time - grab the Jigsaw puzzle app and challenge yourself. Playing on the app feels just like doing a puzzle on your kitchen table (bonus: no mess). The beautiful puzzle packs include patterns with nature, animals, food, artwork, and crafting. They also include work from famous artists who focused on European Landscapes, the Americana Summer, and Enchanted Gardens.

My favorite features are that you can also play up to 1024 puzzle pieces on tablets and 400 puzzles pieces on your phone - including daily puzzles to keep things interesting! Search for puzzles that align with your interests (crafts, travel, food, and more). And if you want to kick it up a notch, you can choose your music as well as an adjustable time clock to boost the challenge.

I preach quite a bit about making time FOR you and ABOUT you. A good game/app turns of my anxious brain, and this Jigsaw Puzzle app does just that! Are you ready for a brain break? The Jigsaw Puzzle is available in the App Store as well as Google Play and the Amazon Kindle Fire.

The mom brain is a real thing - our brains are full of schedules, plans, goals, and worries. I love opening my phone to an app that challenges me and turns off all the anxiety of that day. My kids also took hold of the app and love it, too!

 But, I always get it back because when it's my time, I am all about the puzzles!

What's your favorite way to challenge your brain?

Learn more about the Jigsaw Puzzle app HERE


Self Care For Beginners: 5 Simple Tips For Taking Care Of Your Skin

Let's talk skincare, shall we? If you're a newbie like me, you have NO idea where to start. That's why I am loving my partnership with New Life Wellness and Medical Spa. It's because of them and my recent experiences that I can share 5 SIMPLE tips for taking care of your skin.

For starters, I've written before about my age, my skin cancer, and my anxiety. All of these affect my skin - what works, what's best, and what's best for the price. In the last two weeks, I've had the chance to put it all together.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional so please seek one when it comes to your skincare. Do your research and ask questions. Also make sure to schedule a consultation prior to your services. 


With my skin cancer history, I go every six months for a skin check. But, if you haven't been in a while, go now! They will check you from head to toe for suspicious areas as well as guide you on sunscreen and other beneficial practices and products.


Honestly, when they first asked me what my skin was like, I didn't have an answer. Think about the seasons and what they do to your skin. Are you oily? Dry? Knowing how your skin reacts will help guide you on the right product - and there are many!


I follow quite a few bloggers who know the ends and outs of many skincare products. When one stands out to you, ask questions and even better - read the reviews. Take these product possibilities to your dermatologist or your first skin consultation. As you get older, what you use plays a huge factor in how your skin ages. 


We are tired, and once the kids go to sleep, it's so tempting to face plant right on your pillow. But, don't do it! Wash your face for the night - you don't need a long routine, just one that cleanses and moisturizes as you sleep. Since going to the med spa, I've discovered Yonka products, and this Phyto Contour for dark eyes and puffiness. GAME CHANGER. I've already noticing a difference!


I've been trying different products over the last few years - especially since turning 40. I just haven't found the right one. This reason alone is why I am so happy I've found New Life Wellness and Medical Spa. They will start with a consultation to get to know you and your skin. This consultation changed my course of services and what products I use. And their professionalism is outstanding!

And, on September 20th, they are holding their 4th Anniversary Celebration. From 4 pm - 8 pm, you can enjoy (besides spirits and apps!):

Skin consultations
Botox and Fillers (that night!)
40% off Laser (services not delivered that night)
40% OFF Facials, PRP Treatments
$154 OFF HCG
$35 Spray Tans by GloGlow (normally $45)
FREE Skincare consults by Jan Marini and Yonka
Jewelry by Yolanda

You will meet the amazing community who has changed the way I take care of my skin and have opportunities to get your questions answered. If you want to know more about any treatment, this celebration is a great time to ask - plus that cocktail in your hand :)

Special thanks to Sybil and everyone at New Life Wellness and Medical Spa. I've loved my journey to taking better care of my skin. You will, too!

Thank you, New Life Wellness and Med Spa, for partnering on this post. All services were complimentary but thoughts/opinions are 100% my own. To see my post on my first trip to the med spa, click HERE


Why We Need To Stop Comparing Hardship - In Our Relationships

Just recently, Carrie Underwood opened up about the miscarriages she has suffered in the last year. Seeing her vulnerable and upset made my heart once again break for her. In addition to this pain, she endured a fall in 2016 that left her face scarred – and left the singer out of the spotlight.

When she returned to perform on television, so many attacked her for making too much out of nothing – as if her story wasn’t “as bad” as others or wasn’t worth the publicity it had received. When hearing about how much she has gone through, all I could think was – this is HER hurt. This is HER pain - who are we to judge if it's really that bad or not. And while others may think she should just move on from something that could’ve been much worse, I began to think of how we compare our hardships.

I am guilty of comparing my loss to others' hardships. I've thought - that’s nothing, do you know what I went through? Or, if someone has a worry or anxiety, I sometimes think that’s it’s “not as big” as mine. I honestly hate that I do that, and stories like Carrie make me realize how cautious I need to be when others are struggling. 

As life goes on and we lose a part of ourselves, we can get knee-deep in our sorrow. We see others happy and wonder when we will get back to that spot. We see others succeed and wish we had the drive to do the same. When we get stuck, we can also get selfish. I'm here to confess that's me, too.

I’ve written before about how I feel we need to be stuck in our emotions as we see fit. When grief sneaks in or panic suddenly presents itself, I believe we should feel all the feelings without rush or anger at ourselves. Maybe it lasts a day or two (often, even longer) – that’s okay, but we have to remember to check on others who may be in just as deep. We have to remember hardships are not limited to us alone. 

Not long ago, I was at lunch with a friend who was telling me some of her recent struggles. We had a  wonderful time reconnecting, but I instantly felt awful because in the midst of my hurt, I forgot to check on her. It happened a few more times – another friend worried about a loved one who had been ill; a friend struggling with work. I see texts I send to friends when they are struggling, and my responses have been to compare my world with theirs. 

Another good friend once confided in me about her poor relationship with a family member. After doing so, she immediately apologized that she shouldn’t be complaining when I didn’t have that family member present on this earth anymore. We talked about that for a bit, and we decided that our hurt is relative. She didn't lose anyone, but her hurt still counts. In my multitude of grief-stricken, anxiety-filled days, my darkness was so deep, I forgot to check on others - the ones who kept checking on me.

What I am MOST thankful for are all my friends who let me apologize and taught me something so big. My hurt may not equal their hurt, but it’s hurt nonetheless. I’ll still have really hard days because that’s how grief works. I’ll still get anxious because I’m a huge work in progress. I’ll still overthink all things because I am champion over-thinker. But, what I have done better is listen. When a friend texts a worry, I don't want to respond with a stress of my own. When a friend goes quiet, I will reach out and remind them of their strength – the same strength they give me.

Carrie Underwood fell and was wounded. She then rejoiced and was heartbroken. My pain is not the same as her; hers is not the same as mine. In the already looming comparison game, let’s not compare our struggles because they are all so very different. Let’s remember when one person hurts, we need to be their punching bag or drinking buddy or soft comfort to land on.

Don’t try to take the spotlight off someone else’s hurt – I’m so guilty of blocking that light. I’m thankful for Carrie sharing her story and for those who let me share mine. Comparing any part of who we are is a constant struggle - we all lose.

And, when life gets hard - any kind of hard - we need one another through it all.  I'm not a perfect friend in the least, but I am learning to let others lean on me just as much as I've leaned on them. Through my hardship and through theirs - there's no measurement for when our hearts hurt.

It IS all relative, and it IS necessary to stop comparing who has it harder. No more comparing. Just more understanding. 


Self-Care For Beginners: My First Trip to a Med Spa

I have a few confessions to make: I know nothing about skin care. I’ve only had one facial, and if it’s not at the drugstore, I don’t buy it. Often, I get overwhelmed with all the products that claim they can take years off your life or take care of your dark circles.  I need guidance or I will be reverting back to Noxzema like I did in 7th grade.

But, now I’m 41. A Noxzema facial isn’t going to cut it because I can tell I need to take better care of my skin. And with my history of skin cancer, I want to make better choices AND I want true professionals to guide me. So, I am so excited to partner with New Life Wellness and Med Spa to start my journey to better skin. You can bet my anxious self had some anxiety walking in to the spa – with zero experience when it comes to good skincare, I didn’t know what to expect on my first trip.

After two visits with them, I can safely say the ladies who work at this spa are down-to-earth, real, and so much fun. Each one I met made me laugh (goodbye, anxiety) and explained their services in great detail. They were honest and reassuring as well. So, what did I have done?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional so please seek one when it comes to your skincare. Do your research and ask questions. Also make sure to schedule a consultation prior to your services. 

First up, I had the Hydrafacial which was basically a refreshing shower for your face. I love the special care that was done to make sure I left refreshed, clean, and bright. This facial lasts 30 minutes, and you will leave with the cleanest face you’ve had in a while. In three steps, the facial will cleanse and peel – revealing a new layer of skin that is relaxed and exfoliated. It will also extract and hydrate – remove debris (oh heavens, y’all) and add in moisturizers that will quench your skin. Finally, it fuses and protects the skin with antioxidants and peptides to give you an amazing glow. Not to mention the pure relaxation. Men AND woman can benefit so tell your hubs he needs one, too! And as I write this on the day after my facial, I can definitely see and feel a difference.

Next, I did something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I researched places, types, prices, and reviews then would get freaked out at the thought of it. The amount of information overwhelmed me, but after meeting with Victoria at New Life Wellness and Med Spa, I knew I was in such good hands. Ok – you ready for what I did? BOTOX. Me! This naïve 41-year-old mama who crinkles all her face at all times. This anxious mama who has had her share of grief that blatantly shows on her face. Yep, I did, and I am SO happy I did. More than that, I am SO happy I put my faith in these awesome professionals.

Victoria took her time explaining how aging also occurs beneath the skin – signs of aging exist at every layer! I also took great interest in hearing about the Triangle of Youth. When we are younger, our facial features are well contoured, like a triangle on our face with the point being at the top. As we age, that triangle becomes inverted – meaning our facial features can droop downward. Life and stress show on our faces - I know mine hasn't been cared for in so long that I wanted this extra boost to give me a little life back. When you're anxious about all things, a boost like this does wonders!

I’m not a vain person in the least (I love dry shampoo and yoga pants), so this experience was out of my norm. But, my time at New Life Wellness and Med Spa did make me feel like Kim – the woman behind the anxiety, stress, and all the mom things. And while you may disagree, I know that for the first time in a while, I felt a boost I needed.

My favorite part of my experience was easily the ladies there. I don't want to be a Kardashian or a real housewife; I want comfort within myself. At New Life Wellness and Med Spa, that is what they strive for with each person they meet. They want you feeling whole again - that in itself did wonders for my anxious self.

Are you curious as to what would work for you? Have you wanted to try facials or maybe even Botox, but you have no clue where to start? Join me and the beautiful staff at their 4th Anniversary party on September 20th. Learn more about their spa, their staff, their services, and more about YOU. 

Stay tuned for more in this self-care series. I will be going back and learning more about skincare - finding the best fit for me. This type of self-care has been on my "must-do" list for so long; I am so thankful to have found this spa, these ladies, and a new sense of myself.

Peace out, Noxzema :) 

Special thanks to New Life Wellness and Med Spa for partnering on this post. All services were complimentary but thoughts/opinions are 100% my own. 


Baked Goat Cheese Dip with Tomatoes + Italian Herbs

This post is sponsored by Montchevre but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Maybe if we keep planning fall festivities, the weather will get a clue. Texans know that the heat sticks around longer than we'd like, but every year about this time, we pray this is the year September really brings crisp, fall temps. Until then, I'm going to put up some pumpkins, wait for falling leaves, and make a few fall recipes. 

If you want an easy appetizer for some fall dinner plans or a tailgate party, you need to make this dip ASAP. Don't forget to PIN the image below and add to your fall and/or tailgate recipe boards!

Warning: this dip is ADDICTING. The hubs and I mowed through this warm cheesy goodness before dinner. Just us. The two of us. It's that good, y'all. 

What you will need:

Montchevre Goat Cheese - sliced into rounds
1 tsp. of Italian herb seasoning
1/2 C of chopped tomatoes
Balsamic vinegar, to taste
Crackers, pita chips, or veggies for dipping

Place goat cheese rounds into a small casserole dish (I used an au gratin pan).
Be sure to cover the entire pan.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges are brown.
When done, use the back of a spoon to spread the cheese.
Top with seasoning and drizzle with the Balsamic vinegar, to taste

Serve, dip, and enjoy!

Cheese makes life so much better, and this goat cheese does the trick! Montchevre Goat Cheese is made with fresh, high quality goat's milk collected from local, independent family farms. Their traditional French cheese-making expertise allows Montchevre to have a rich and smooth texture, along with the mild flavors that chefs and cheese-lovers know so well. This goat cheese is high in protein, calcium, and vitamin D - it also contains less lactose, too! All of these factors and this delicious taste make it a perfect addition to any dish - like this savory dip.

Learn more about Montchevre Goat Cheese HERE. You can find the store locator as well as the flavors available. Impress your guests or keep it to yourself. I won't blame you!


Easy Unicorn Party Ideas

It happened. My little one turned FIVE this past week. I don't get it - I know they say time flies and the years do, too, but it went by faster than THAT. I can still remember the day we saw pink balloons fly out of the box at our gender reveal, and here we are now planning all the unicorn things!

I know parties at home can be a messy pain, but I don't mind them - with a pool and some hot weather, we have ourselves the perfect backyard pool unicorn shindig. I wanted to share a few affordable, easy party ideas we incorporated. If you have unicorn fans in your home, pin this picture below so you have easy ideas for your next party!
Amazon affiliate links used in this post - thanks for letting me help plan your unicorn party!

For this party, Amazon was my jam (well, Amazon is always my jam #tbh). Her swimsuit and unicorn float came from here. She wanted a bathing suit that "covered her top and showed part of her belly" - sass comes with five, y'all.

I'm also thankful for some creative mamas - they save me when my creative juices aren't flowing! My sister made the precious cupcakes. She always makes my kids' treats for parties and makes sure to match the theme. This year, the bright colors were in order for my unicorn-lover!

I also have to give a shout-out to Amy at Cole's Custom Chalkboards for the precious chalkboard Emmy had when she woke up on her big day. It made the perfect decoration for her party, too. Amy is so creative and can make a board for your little one - whether for a celebration or a first day of school. Go check out her creations!

 A few other ideas that were well-received and birthday girl-approved - cotton candy party favors (with FREE printables I found HERE) and this funfetti party dip. I paired that with Nilla wafers and strawberries. I might need this on a regular day because good golly, that was YUMMY. Funfetti is where it's at! And if you need a sparkly gold tablecloth, guess who has you covered? Amazon, of course.

Emmy girl had the best time - we are some lucky peeps to have a loving crew to help us raise our five year old! We love you, Emerson Kate - even more than you love unicorns!

To see my letter to my Em and how she saved me - go HERE. She is a colorful blessing, no doubt.
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