name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : November 2016


A Gift Guide for the Deserving Mom

It's the most wonderful time of the year! We just returned from vacation, celebrated Thanksgiving, and now we are doing all things Christmas. As a busy mama, shopping online has been my jam. Taking the kids from store to store can be tedious and make you feel a little bah-humbug. Good thing you can easily get some goodies like these on my gift guide for the deserving mama.

If you are shopping for a friend, sister, or maybe need to give the hubs some ideas for yourself, these practical gifts will make any mama smile!

Stella and Dot Eva Ear Jacket and Hammered Wire Large Hoops - I am in LOVE with these earrings! I wore both on my Napa trip and really haven't taken off the hoops at all. The best part with the jacket style is you have so many earrings in one. Switch the studs in the jacket or even wear the studs solo. So thankful for my sweet friend, Kellie, and her help in picking out these treats. Check out her page for all her Stella and Dot accessories.

BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Corded Vacuum - A friend recently suggested this vacuum after my old one went kaput. The reasonable price plus the ease of this household staple make it a winner. I don't have a pet, but I do have a toddler who leaves treats of all kinds on the floor and the carpet. This light vacuum scoops up everything and even gets into the corners that other vacuums cannot. Game changer.

Wine Glass - "I Use to Sleep. Now I Just Wine." - I do love my wine, but I love it even more when I am relaxing with friends. Any wine drinkers in your crew? Or maybe you need a fun glass for your vino? This glass (alone with pretty much everything Brittany Garner) is a perfect gift.

Coffee Cup - "Drink the Coffee, Do the Things" - After a night of wine, you may need a caffeinated treat the next morning. Or, if you are like me, you need a cup EVERY morning. I have a growing mug collection and would love to add this one to it! Another great gift for your sweet coffee-addicted friends.

Dekal Monogrammed Cups - I have some talented friends, and my friend Yessenia can help you create the cutest gift for your friends/loved ones/yourself. These monogrammed tumblers are perfect for the on-the-go mama. I love mine!

Pura Vida Bracelets - Mental Health Awareness - This simple bracelet says so much. You know how much talking about mental health means to me, so I love this bracelet that represents Mental Health Awareness. Head over and check out what Pura Vida has for causes dear to you. They are delicate and a sweet gift for your arm or those of the ones you love.

The holidays can be so busy, and the stress can come quickly. I hope this gift guide not only helps you find something special for a loved one, but I honestly hope you find something perfect just for YOU. Share with your spouse or grab yourself a treat.

I can't wait for our holiday plans and to shop for my family and friends. I also can't wait to share more of our Napa trip - gorgeous scenery, delicious wine/food, and the ONE tip you need to make your Cali getaway amazing!

Talk soon! Happy shopping!

Linking up HERE! And see the Mom Tribe link above to see where else I am linking up this week!


4 Must-Haves for the Perfect Night In

I love the holiday season - the meaning, the lights, the decorations, and the kids' excitement. We already have quite a bit on the calendar, and I don't want it overcome with stress. Since I am being more intentional, I am  determined to keep the holidays fun and light. Who wants to be stressed with all the jolly and cheer?

In the last two years, I have done 25 days of fun with the kids. Starting December 1, we do one Christmas activity a day - read a holiday book, look at Christmas lights, make cookies, sing a holiday song, etc. The most favorite one? A family movie night - complete with a holiday movie. So, cozy up and gather your must-haves for a perfect night in this holiday season.

The Perfect Holiday Movie

My son just told me he cannot wait to watch these holiday movie favorites. We laugh at Elf each year like it's the first time we've seen it. Such a classic. I am excited my littlest is getting big enough to really feel all the joy these movies offer. We can't wait to cuddle up and watch these family flicks.

Home Alone
The Polar Express

I have my own list of holiday movies that are just for me. I make it a point to watch these and a few others before Christmas ends. Love Actually is usually playing when I am decorating!

The Holiday
Love Actually
Christmas Vacation

A Yummy Treat

There are so many yummy holiday treats to make and enjoy with your family. Head over to my Pinterest page and you can see all the Christmas Ideas I am collecting - treats and eats included. These cookies and hot chocolate will be great additions to our night in.

White Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Cookies
Creamy Crockpot Hot Chocolate

Christmas Pajamas

Old Navy is my go-to for pajamas, and these holiday ones are perfect for my loves. The pizza ones for my big boy and this milk and cookies set for my little diva. Notice the food theme. This sleepwear will be perfect with our hot cocoa and cookies.
A Cozy Spot

We have been on the lookout for a new mattress since ours is 8 years old. We love to cuddle up in our big bed with the kids, so we want something durable and comfy. Enter the Leesa mattress. This mattress comes highly recommended, so I am excited to add this to my Christmas wish list. If there are two things this mama craves, it's comfort and rest. I know I am not the only tired mama who dreams of long snoozes especially during the busy holiday season.

Check out The Sweet Home's review on this perfect item for a good night's rest.

One final thing we need here in Texas is the cold weather - the snuggles will go better with a winter forecast. And of course, the lights on the tree make it festive, too.

Cheers to a night in with your family. Don't forget to pin this if you are ready to plan some stress-free holiday fun!

Disclaimer - This post is inspired by Leesa and as always, all our opinions are my own. Affiliate links are also used in this post.


How to Live a More Intentional Life

Note: I wrote this post before the election and all that has happened this week. My desire to be intentional is stronger than ever. More to come on that topic - if I get the nerve and/or feel a call to write about my feelings. Until then, let's just be kind.

Somehow we stumbled upon November - a time of reflection and thanksgiving. And for me, this time of year is hitting close to home. I took that brief little blogging break to let my anxiety rest a bit. A couple of weeks ago, the stomach bug hit me HARD. No really, it hit so hard that I hit the bath tub - head first after fainting from dehydration. An ER visit. Stitches. IVs. Cat scans. Anxeity. Fear.

But what also followed was a sense of needing to slow the heck down. To stop being so hard on myself. To rest and stop getting so anxious over things beyond my control. What got my head literally and figuratively all messed up? I had spent the day before getting sick doing a juice cleanse because I was feeling gross in the mom bod department. The doctors and friends/family are in 100% agreement that these juices are the reason behind my quick illness/fall.

This juice cleanse and stitches not only took me out for a good day or two, but they also made me take inventory. I needed to take away some of the anxiety - I can't control the worried thoughts that spin in my stitched up head, but I could release some of the unnecessary pressures I put upon myself.  If you follow me on Instagram, I mentioned this week that I want to be more intentional. Most days can be hard for me - what's my daily worry? Will grief make an appearance? What if something bad happens again? What if I never get back to that weight I once was a couple of years ago? I. JUST. CAN'T. ANYMORE.

Maybe you already live this way. Maybe you are able to see the good in every moment. But for some of us anxious ones, these tasks are HARD. We have to be intentional. We have to CHOOSE with every inch of our being to see the GOOD. Wherever you are in your thankful November or your goals of being more intentional, these questions may help you find that solace and positivity you desire.

What is working for you?

Take brief stock of what you do each day. Pinpoint the thing(s) that give you a sense of peace. Find the one thing that fills your heart and mind - then keep doing it. Of course, my kids are my heart so that's an easy one. I am going to always be there for them. But, what about YOU? As a person behind the mom gig, what makes YOU happy? I love my workouts - even if they are early, short, or too hard/too easy - they fuel me into my day. Take some time to find what gives you peace, a breather from the rush. Then, do it daily.

What is NOT working for you?

See above and flip it. What is one thing you do each day that makes you cringe? Worry? Stress? GET RID OF IT. I do love food, and when I would indulge, I would let this little voice gripe about poor decisions. See juice detox example. I don't plan to jump in a bowl of queso (though how nice does that sound??), but I do plan to allow myself treats and eats instead of letting in all the negative talk. Look around you and get rid of that unnecessary worry that carries too much weight. It doesn't work; cut it out!

What is one thing you can do in your daily routine that can give you purpose?

I want to write more. Though I haven't blogged lately, the writing always goes on for me. It's a release. What is one thing you can do for a  release? Read a good book. Get crafty. Cook. Start a blog! Have a corner just for you - the place you can go to for a breath and a reminder that you do have so much purpose.

What are you headed?

This answer does not have to be a specific destination; it can simply be that change you want to implement in your life. Think of your heart, body, mind, and soul. Nourish each of those - maybe it's going back to school and/or work. Maybe it's to read a devotional or join a boot camp. Or maybe it's like me - to filter out what does not give my life purpose and be intentional in making that change happen. My destination is lofty and broad, I know that. And, I know that it will be hard for me to not dwell on worry. But, something has to give.

Image Via Atypical Type A

Many close friends and family have asked why I just can't turn off the worry and see my daily blessings. If I had that answer, I would be shouting it from the rooftops, and I sure wouldn't have a new scar on my forehead. So, I am going to do the next best thing - choose to do things I can embrace and fully commit.

And with this crazy world we live in, we have to look at ourselves. Wake up each day with purpose. Wake up knowing you are doing the best you can. Give yourself grace then take a minute to ask yourselves these questions. I won't be perfect, but I am committed to trying.

Guess I am thankful for a stomach bug and six stitches for this reminder.

PIN THIS and join me to live a more intentional life. There is no way I can do this alone - care to join me?
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