name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : November 2015


Friday Finds {Vol. 20} - Holiday Survival Guide

I am not quite sure how this happened, but it's mid-November. When you live in Texas, we don't often feel fall-ish when we are wearing flip flops. I have to remind myself we are close to Thanksgiving, inching our way to Christmas, and need to start drafting some resolutions.

One step at a time, right? The holidays are awesome when you have two little excited elves. I love making this time of year memorable for them - I have always loved the holidays myself. But, when you get to be an adult - a mom especially - the holiday season can be stressful. I really try hard to stay in the moment and not get wrapped up in the chaos. The biggest thing for me is to have accountability partners who remind me to slow down, take a breath, and take care of ME first. Because, for real, guys, if mom isn't happy (or sane), it won't make for a fun holiday.

Since sharing my journey on Instagram and my blog, I have found many amazing friends who cheer me on every single day. So, what if we go a step further with our support of all mamas?? I have a great answer. 


Forgive me for being selfish, but I need all the help I can get right now. When I began sharing, I was at my goal weight. Well, life has happened - and happened hard at times - so I am not exactly in that great spot. And, that is totally okay with me. I just don't want the holidays to get the best of my anxiety, and I will need reminders along the way. Anyone feel me?

In this group, we will share tips, recipes, virtual hugs, and encouragement as we endure all the holiday business. Sometimes, I need visual reminders to take a breath, enjoy the moment. I can't do it alone.

If you would like more info on this Holiday Survival Guide, reach out. You can find me at These two munchkins deserve a happy mommy during the most magical time of year.

With Love,


Weekly Meal Plan - Food Prep

I would like to give a few shout-outs from our awesome weekend - first to the hubs and nephew for completing a local sprint triathlon. I am so proud of them - their determination and drive has me considering doing it next year. Watching them push themselves was inspiring! 

My other shout-out is to my toddler for the FOUR HOUR NAP on Sunday. Because of this nap of epic proportions, I was able to plan, grocery shop, AND prepare our meals for the week. I originally wanted to make my breakfast and a few lunches, but since she snoozed forever, I did dinners too! 

Here is how I complete my food prep in 4 quick, easy steps:

Look at your calendar - What are your evenings like? If you are busy most days, plan ahead. Make a casserole, bust out your crock pot, or grill some chicken to be used in multiple meals. If you look ahead for your plans, you can get your dinners done for those busy times.

Plan your grocery list - First, look at what you have on hand so your shopping can be quick. This may be the OCD in me, but I also put my list in order of the store so it's a quick in and out - especially when you have kids in tow. I also love to include brown rice or quinoa to make ahead of time - you can top these good grains with any protein and veggie for a hearty lunch. These chicken fajitas are great over either one - top with avocado for some good fat!

Need snack ideas? I am loving a handful of nuts plus raspberries. Of course, a little Shakeo never hurt anybody. You can fill your cup with all kinds of treats to make it filling and awesome. 

Easy is the name of the game - Chicken in the crockpot (such as these taco fillings) can be used for tacos one night then top a salad the next. Make these sloppy joes (I used ground turkey), and I bet you can go two nights with your meals. 

Sundays are fun days - For prepping, that is. I don't always follow this rule due to lazy Sundays, but I find it's easier to shop on the weekend and use Sunday for prepping. These egg muffins are so easy to make then portion out for the week. You can mix and match the fillings as you see fit. 

**For the last two weeks, I have been following this 5-day clean eating plan. The recipes are great and full of healthy ingredients. 

Food/meal prep takes time, but it is SO worth it for the busy weeks. I am so excited that I can pull out tonight's sloppy joes for an easy dinner - sounds so wonderful because I am sure a certain busy little girl will be by my side the entire night. Happy week, friends!

With Love,


Tips for a New SAHM

Staying at home is no joke, and I feel like that needs to be shouted from the mountaintops. I was a working mom with babe #1 and now home with #2. There are so many perks to staying home, but I was not prepared for the mental toughness of the job. Heck, I was a school counselor, I know mental toughness, but this one is different. You go from talking to adults all day to making conversation with a toddler; it can get lonely and play tricks on your adult brain. How do we do it everyday? And how about those who decide to quit the outside workforce to play boss to our littles? Here's how we survived - honestly, we are in survival mode most days :)

Get Creative

I am not one for staying at home all day long; we need to get out and see the world. We love checking out different parks, but you want to know our favorite? Sneaking into Pet Smart to see the fish, cats, and dogs being groomed. How is this creative? We don't have a pet. I think that makes it all the more exciting for my curious one - she could watch a dog get a haircut for at least an hour. Do it. It's like a free zoo. If you need to get out, take a walk and make it an adventure - point out shapes, colors, animals, etc. Your littles will love it.

Make New Friends 

I've said it before that you have to let your mom guard down and get out there. So what if you may be in your 30s and you forgot what it's like to make friends?? Join a Bible study, a moms group, introduce yourself to moms at the park, or at your child's gymnastics/music class. It felt weird to me to do this so late in life, but it has been so rewarding. Make friends and follow up - these moms need you too!

Utilize Nap Time 

Make nap time work FOR YOU. My daughter naps at least 2-2 1/2 hours a day. I like to do a household chore/duty for the beginning of the nap then MAKE SURE I get in some quiet time for me - read, write, pray, or catch up on a show. I am not a napper, so I find one of these things to clear my mind and get me ready for the little tornado's afternoon. Another great tip - make a daily chore chart. I complete one chore during nap - sweep, vaccuum, mop, clean bathrooms, etc. This way, I am not spending all of nap knee-deep in Clorox. And, I don't spend hours cleaning the whole house. I use this printable for my chores because the sweet girl below makes big messes.

weekly cleaning schedule - scallop:

Find Something for YOU

This tip goes with the nap time advice. I've said it before, fitness is MY thing right now - lifting weights or running makes me feel stronger physically. But, when I think that I am almost 40, mom of two, and I can lift some weights and run kind of far?? I feel invincible, and I feel like ME (and peace out to my anxiety). Write in a journal, workout, take pictures, go back to school, volunteer - just do something that makes you feel like YOU. Sometimes the mom life takes over, and we forget who we are.   

Be Supportive

Mom life is TOUGH. We are mentally exhausted more than anything. There is always something to think about or plan for - it's so darn exhausting. I've done the working mom gig as well as the SAHM thing - both are tough. We do not need to fight, bicker, or compare; these things just make it all so much harder. Instead, bring that tired mom a bottle of wine or even better - plan a night out (and keep the date!). We need each other, friends. No one knows a temper tantrum better than the next mom so support each other through it all. 

If you could offer any new SAHM some advice, what would you say? Hang in there, mamas. Wherever you are. 

Special thanks to my sweet, talented friend, Jennifer, for these great photos of my "employees." They make me nuts and happy all at once. Blessed, for sure. You can check out Jennifer's work here.

With Love,
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