All posts by Lasonia

Hello! Welcome to my little space on the internet. My name is Lasonia, I am a wife, and mom of one. Lasonia B Graves is a lifestyle blog that focuses on family, food, frugal-ish living, and fun.

12 Plus Size Sweater Dresses Perfect For The Season

A sweater dress is such a classic piece in my opinion. I especially love the ones that I have featured below. As a bonus, when wearing a three-quarter length sleeve dress, you can wear them throughout the fall/winter season by simply layering it with a light jacket and/or tights or leggings when the weather is really cold out.

Are you as obsessed with sweater dresses as I am? I mean, the possibilities are endless. Pair them with boots, tennis shoes, or heels. You can add your favorite scarf to pull the look together. How about a button up shirt or a duster?

I can’t begin to tell you how many different ways you can rock these dresses. Let me know how you like to wear your favorite sweater dress.

* All of the links are shoppable.

This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, which means that I may make a small commission if you choose to purchase through my link.

12 PLUS SIZE SWEATER DRESSES PERFECT FOR THE SEASON

Rachel Roy Plus Size Off-The-Shoulder Sweater Dress at Macy’s 

12 PLUS SIZE SWEATER DRESSES PERFECT FOR THE SEASON

Gabrielle Union Collection Plus Size V-Neck Sweater Dress at New York & Co

12 PLUS SIZE SWEATER DRESSES PERFECT FOR THE SEASON

BP. Cable Knit Sweater Dress at Nordstrom

12 PLUS SIZE SWEATER DRESSES PERFECT FOR THE SEASON

Planet Gold Trendy Plus Size Studded Sweater Dress at Macy’s

12 PLUS SIZE SWEATER DRESSES PERFECT FOR THE SEASON

Eliza J Stripe Midi Sweater Dress at Nordstrom 

Leith Ribbed Midi Dress

Leith Ribbed Midi Sweater Dress at Nordstrom

12 PLUS SIZE SWEATER DRESSES PERFECT FOR THE SEASON

Caslon Ribbed Sweater Dress at Nordstrom

12 PLUS SIZE SWEATER DRESSES PERFECT FOR THE SEASON

City Chic Trendy Plus Size Off-The-Shoulder Sweater Dress at Macy’s

12 PLUS SIZE SWEATER DRESSES PERFECT FOR THE SEASON

J.Crew X Universal Standard Mock Neck Sweater Dress at J.Crew 

Rainbow Sweater Dress

Plus Size Rainbow Striped Sweater Dress at Charlotte Russe

Cowl Neck Sweater Dress

Long Sleeve Cowl Neck Sweater Dress at JC Penney 

12 PLUS SIZE SWEATER DRESSES PERFECT FOR THE SEASON

NY Collection Plus Size Cowlneck Dropped-Waist Dress at Macy’s

The Importance Of Date Night With Your Spouse

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Having a regular date night with your spouse helps to your relationship on track. Whether you are newlyweds or have been married for a number of years, regular dates are an important part of any romantic relationship. All healthy relationships require that you spend quality time together talking, listening, and simply enjoying life together.

Now, that’s not to say that all of the other little moments you and your spouse share together aren’t just as important – but a little time to focus on your relationship will only help to strengthen those experiences.

If you or your spouse happen to work long hours, or once you factor kids into the equation, it’s easy for dates to become few and far between. But purposely setting aside some alone time just for you and your spouse to enjoy together can play a huge part in ensuring that your marriage stays healthy and strong. It has certainly played a huge part in the health of my marriage, and here’s why…

Spending time alone with your spouse will help to keep that spark burning, and help remind you of why you fell for one another in the beginning.

It keeps the romance alive

Spending time alone with your spouse will help to keep that spark burning, and help remind you of why the two of you fell for one another in the beginning.

Shows your spouse that they are a priority to you

Setting aside time specifically for your spouse lets them know that they are a priority in your life. Date night says to them “you are special to me, and you are worth my time.”

It always makes me feel extra special when my husband purposely sets aside time in his schedule for the two of us to spend together.

Keeps communication open

There are so many distractions in our everyday lives that can hinder our communication. Date night gives us the opportunity to have honest conversations with our spouses.

Not only that, but you also get the opportunity to learn something new about your spouse. I once heard a pastor say that you should learn something new about your spouse regularly.

By communicating with your spouse one on one, with no distractions, you get to learn new things about each other.

It breaks the monotony

Oftentimes, we get caught up in the day to day routine of things – work, bills, kids, etc. Dating helps keep you both engaged and it gives you something else to look forward to.

Regular dates will break the routine that all married couples tend to fall into. It will also breathe new life into your marriage, and help to grow your relationship with one another.

It’s fun

Let’s face it, dating is fun! Whether you are getting dressed up for a night on the town, or if you are spending the evening at home together, date night is always a lot of fun, simply because you are spending it with the one you love.

Date night doesn’t have to be expensive either. As a matter of fact, you can plan a wonderful date at home with your spouse without having to spend a dime. Keep in mind that the quality of your date has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of money that you spend, but more so with how attentive you are to your spouse when the two of you are alone.

People who have great marriages have great marriages on purpose. Your marriage has to be your absolute top priority, meaning it comes before the kids, before your job, before your extended family, before your hobbies. Marriage comes first! If you make sure that your marriage is a priority, everything else will fall into its proper place.

Great marriages don’t just happen, they require work, and both spouses have to be intentional when it comes to doing the necessary work (which includes regular dating) to make their marriage great.

Are you willing to put in the work?

Five Benefits of Positive Daily Affirmations

What is a positive affirmation? Simply put, positive affirmations are statements that declare specific goals. Affirmations are designed to reflect the things you want to be true in your life.


Daily affirmations motivate us and enable us to change the way that we think in a positive way. Affirmations have the ability to transform our external lives by first transforming us internally.


 
Five Benefits of Positive Daily Affirmations

 

Five Benefits of Daily Affirmations

1.  Positive daily affirmations will help to give you new confidence about yourself and your life.
2.  Daily affirmations help you become more aware of your thoughts and the words you speak, which in turn reduces the risk of allowing negativity to seep in.
3.  Positive affirmations enhance your feelings of gratitude, which can, in turn, boost your feeling of happiness.
4.  Studies show that optimistic people have better cardiovascular health, and reciting daily affirmations helps you to stay positive.
5.  Daily affirmations help you to remain in a constant state of gratitude.


 
Keep in mind that our words have power. We must always be careful with the words that we choose to allow out of our mouths. Our words, good or bad, actually frame the world in which we live. Just as we can speak positive, life-giving words, we can also speak words that are negative and will lead to death.


When you choose to utter statements such as “I’m broke” or “I’m sick”, you are actually causing those things to manifest in your life. Even though you may be experiencing something negative at the moment, practicing an attitude of gratitude, and speaking positively will help to change your situation.

In Conclusion

Think about this – If a negative thought process has landed you where you are now, can you even begin to imagine where you would be if those negative thoughts were replaced by positive thoughts?

We all know that you can’t live a positive life with a negative mind. If you change your mindset, you change your life.

Do you recite daily affirmations?

My Fall Favorites: Fall Tag Q & A With LBG

The very lovely Grace of Prayer and Passports has tagged me in an awesome challenge – a “Fall Tag Q&A”. This is such a fun way to interact with and get to know other bloggers, so I decided I’d play along.
Thank you so much, Grace, for including me in this Q & A. Here are my answers…

What is one candle you MUST light every fall?

Honestly anything pumpkin spice. Whenever I smell the scent of pumpkin spice, it lets me know that fall has officially arrived. I typically purchase Yankee candles, but if I am out and about and come across a different brand that smells good to me, I will purchase that one.

MY FALL FAVORITES: FALL TAG Q & A WITH LBG

When you think of fall, what does it remind you of?

Fall reminds me of so many things, especially my childhood. I think of the fun times spent outdoors running around and playing with my friends and lots of family gatherings.
 

What is your all-time favorite fall/Halloween movie?

Halloween and It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

MY FALL FAVORITES: FALL TAG Q & A WITH LBG

What Halloween costume do you have in mind?

To be honest, I have never been that much into costumes and dressing up, especially as I’ve gotten older.

What is your favorite fall trend?

Updating my wardrobe. I don’t go overboard, but I do like to add a couple of the season’s trendy accessories.

When you think of fall, what drink comes to mind?

Pumpkin Spice Latte – isn’t it obvious. LOL.
MY FALL FAVORITES: FALL TAG Q & A WITH LBG

What is your go-to fall beauty product? A must-have staple!

Darker lipsticks.  During the fall (and winter) months, I typically wear deeper reds, purples, and maroons.

Do you prefer apple pie or pumpkin pie?

Apple pie. As much as I love the scent of pumpkin, and pumpkin spice latte’s, I DO NOT like pumpkin pie. Weird huh?

Do you have any fall traditions? If so tell us all about it!

We like to spend as much time as possible outdoors during the beginning of the fall season (before it gets too cold). Every year we try to take our son to at least one festival and we like to attend high school football games.

The moment of truth. Is fall your favorite season?

Yes!!! Fall is my absolute favorite season.

So, how much do you love fall?

I love the cooler temps, snuggling by a warm fire, watching football, drinking lattes and hot chocolate and binge-watching tv with my hubby.

Share some of your top fall moments with me in the comments.

 
MY FALL FAVORITES: FALL TAG Q & A WITH LBG

Three Of My Favorite Deep Conditioners for Type 4 Naturals

Three Of My Favorite Deep Conditioners for Type 4 Naturals
Image: HonourYourCrown_ via Instagram

Finding the best deep conditioners for your natural hair can at times seem overwhelming. After all, there are dozens of products that are out there on the market. But how do you determine which product is best for your hair? We all know that what works wonders for one individual, may not work for another.

Maintaining proper moisture is important for all hair types, but type 4 hair (also know as kinky or kinky curly hair) is extremely fragile and more susceptible to damage, especially when not properly moisturized.

 Because type 4 hair is tightly coiled, moisture can escape from the hair shaft easily making it even more prone to dryness.

Deep conditioning not only replenishes moisture back into your hair, but it also gives your hair the protein, and essential vitamins and nutrients it needs. This process also helps to add luster and sheen back into the hair.

In order to reap the maximum benefits of deep conditioning, let the conditioner sit on your hair for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. For added moisturization, add heat to your hair when conditioning.  You can place a plastic cap on your hair and sit under a hooded dryer or you can use a thermal conditioning cap. 

Some naturals deep condition their hair twice a week, some once or twice a month.  I personally deep condition my hair on a weekly basis. I do this as a preventative measure.  If your hair is feeling a bit dry, you may want to try deep conditioning twice a week.

If you are just starting out with deep conditioning you may want to do it on a bi-weekly basis.  However, you should find a routine that works best for you and your hair.

Beware of over conditioning your hair as well. I know that we tend to think that the longer conditioner sits on our hair the better, but that’s not the case. Over conditioning will cause your hair to become soft and fragile, and more prone to breakage.

Lastly, be sure not to neglect your ends. Our ends are the oldest and driest parts of our hair and therefore they need a little extra TLC.  

Keep in mind that just because a  product is expensive does not mean that it will work better.  There are a lot of inexpensive brands that work just as well (if not better in some cases) than the pricier ones.

Here are 3 amazing deep conditioners you should use on your type 4 hair that will give you favorable results.

The Mane Choice Tropical Moringa Sweet Oil & Honey Endless Moisture Mask

Three Of My Favorite Deep Conditioners for Type 4 Naturals
Infused with essential vitamins and Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, that deeply penetrate the hair shaft to infuse it with vital moisture and nutrients. Power packed to improve shine, strength, and manageability.

SheaMoisture Yucca & Plantain Anti-Breakage Strengthening Masque

Shea Moisture Yucca & Plantain Strengthening Mask

This intensive treatment deeply penetrates to condition and smooth frazzled strands with a nutrient-rich fortifying formula.  It transforms frizzy hair into sleek, healthy strands. C

This treatment contains Certified organic Shea Butter, Plantain and Yucca which combine in a strengthening formula that helps weak hair resist breakage.  

Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner

Alikay Naturals Honey and Sage Deep Conditioner

Infused with babassu, honey, sage and extra virgin olive oil to hydrate and revitalize your luscious locks.

This delectable hair care product rejuvenates dry, thirsty hair and adds a brilliant gloss to lackluster tresses.

What are some of your favorite deep conditioners?

Four Productivity Apps That Will Help You Get Your Life Together

As the saying goes, time is one of our most precious commodities, and if you’re a girl (or guy) boss there just never seems to be enough of it. Oftentimes our mobile phones and electronic devices can tend to be a huge distraction. However, with the number of productivity apps available, our devices can now become powerful productivity tools for us.
Here are the four productivity apps that I use daily:
 
Four Amazing Productivity Apps That Will Help You Get Your Life Together

Canva

If you need help designing a blog post header or image, Ebook cover, or Facebook and Instagram images, then Canva is the app for you!  With the use of this app, I can design both blog and social media images in as little as 5 minutes. The absolute best thing about this app is that you don’t have to know graphic design to use it. Awesome sauce!
Canva is available in both free and paid versions.
 
Four Amazing Productivity Apps That Will Help You Get Your Life Together

Buffer

How would you like to be able to manage and schedule all of your social media posts in one place? With Buffer, you can do just that.  You can schedule your social media content for the week or for the month. How cool is that!
I have tried a couple of other scheduling apps, but this one is by far my favorite. There are several versions that are available (including a free one) depending on the number of social media accounts you need to manage. 
 
Four Amazing Productivity Apps That Will Help You Get Your Life Together

Google Keep

Google Keep allows you to quickly add your to-do items from your mobile device or a desktop computer. It has a Post-It note style memo format that allows you to add quick reminders and to-do items within seconds. You can also customize the colors of your memo to visually indicate the importance of your task.
I am actually a  paper and pen kind of gal, but I use Google Keep as a back-up to my daily planner,  or when I am on the go and don’t have a pen and paper handy.
Four Amazing Productivity Apps That Will Help You Get Your Life Together

Snapseed

Snapseed is a free photo editing app.  With this app, you are able to enhance photos and apply digital filters.
I use it to edit my photos before posting them to Instagram.  You can whiten whites, remove red eye, blur backgrounds, and more. This is by far the best photo editing app that I have tried!
 

What are some of your favorite productivity apps?

15 Pairs of Boots That Will Have You Excited For Fall

Fall is officially here (can we say pumpkin spice everything).  With the changing season comes a change in wardrobe choices. Pretty soon we will be breaking out our warm jackets, cozy sweaters and my favorite – BOOTS!

Whether they are dressy or casual, I love a good pair of boots. I especially love a pair that I can wear with a skirt or pair of slacks and also pair with a cute pair of denim jeans later in the evening.

When I shop for boots or any other footwear to add to my fall wardrobe, I personally try and stick to more neutral colors so that I get the most wardrobe versatility from them.  However, I do like to add in a little color every now and then.

Here are 15 pairs to shop right now—no matter your style preference.

* All of the links are shoppable.


This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, which means that I may make a small commission if you choose to purchase through my link.

 

 

1.Rag & Bone – Walker Suede Block Heel Booties

SHOP NOW
15 Boots That Will Have You Excited For Fall

 

 

2.Marc Jacobs Leather Ankle Boot

SHOP NOW

15 Boots That Will Have You Excited For Fall

 

 

3.Chanel Chain-Link CC Booties

SHOP NOW

Chanel Chain Booties

 

 

4.Ralph Lauren Vivianne Chelsea Boot

SHOP NOW

Ralph Lauren Suede Bootie

 

 

5.Lanvin Leather Round-Toe Booties

SHOP NOW

15 Boots That Will Have You Excited For Fall

 

 

6.Chanel Leather Platform Booties

SHOP NOW

Chanel Leather Bootie

 

 

7.Calvin Klein Larissa Patent Leather Booties

SHOP NOW

Calvin Klein Boots

 

 

8.White House Black Market Suede Ankle Boots

SHOP NOW

Suede Boots

 

 

9.Charlotte Russe Peep Toe Ankle Booties

SHOP NOW
Peep Toe Boots

 

 

10.Kors by Michael Kors Patent Leather Peep-Toe Booties

SHOP NOW

Michael Kors Boots

 

 

11.Steve Madden Troopa Boot

SHOP NOW

Steve Madden Boots

 

 

12.Bandolino Bryices Wide Calf Studded Leather Boots

SHOP NOW

Wide Calf Boots

 

 

13.Scrunch Back Suede Booties

SHOP NOW

Scrunch Back Grey Boots

 

 

14.Jimmy Choo Leather Ankle Booties

SHOP NOW

Jimmy Choo Shoes

 

 

15.G By Guess Women’s Harve Wide Calf Boot

SHOP NOW

Guess Wide Boots

 

 

Which pair is your favorite?

Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe

Stuffed peppers are a favorite in my household.  My husband requests them quite often.   The recipe for this soup is actually very simple.  You’re simply taking all of the ingredients of a traditional stuffed pepper, and making it into a soup.  

And I have to say that this soup is so delicious. It makes for a very hearty and flavorful meal. It is also a very thick soup that has the consistency of a stew, so it is sure to fill you up.  I do believe that this will become a new favorite in our house.  I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did.

INGREDIENTS:

1 – pound ground beef or ground turkey
1 – tablespoon olive oil
1 – cup chopped onion
1 1/2 – teaspoons minced garlic
½ – teaspoon garlic powder
1 – red bell pepper cut into ½ inch strips
1 – green bell pepper cut into ½ inch strips
1 – yellow bell pepper cut into ½ inch strips
1 – 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 – 14.5 ounce can beef broth
2 – tablespoons Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped parsley (optional)
2 cups cooked white or brown rice

Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and cook until browned, breaking up into smaller pieces with a spatula. Season meat with salt and pepper.

2. Sautee onion and garlic in skillet for 2 or 3 minutes or until softened.

3. Transfer meat along with onion and garlic to a large pot.

4. Add the bell peppers to the pot of meat and cook for 2-3 minutes.

5. One by one add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beef broth, Italian seasoning and garlic powder to the pot. Bring to a simmer.

6. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the peppers are tender.

7. Lastly, stir the cooked rice into the soup mixture. You can season it with a little bit of salt and pepper as desired. Top with parsley if desired and serve.

Enjoy!

Eight Homemaking Tips To Make Your Life Easier

There is a lot that goes into successfully running a home and caring for your family. As a new wife or mother, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of managing a home. One of the best things that you can do to help maintain your sanity is to come up with a system of doing things.

A good homemaking system or routine will help you to get your household in order, and ensure that your home is a haven for both you, and your loved ones.

Keep in mind that homemaking is not about perfection, but instead, it is about being able to properly care for your family all while maintaining some sense of structure.

Here are eight of my favorite homemaking tips that have made my life so much easier.

Start Your Day With Prayer

The daily trials of life can be hard. Therefore it is necessary to spend some time each morning reading the Word of God and engaging in prayer so that you can receive guidance and strength for the day ahead.  

Mornings are not the only time to engage in prayer.  You can and should also talk to the Lord throughout the day.  He cares about every single detail of our lives, and he is always there to help us in our time of need.

Follow A Daily Routine

I’m sure you are familiar with the phrase “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Well in order to be an effective homemaker, you should follow a daily plan.  Write down a daily list of things that need to be done and follow it to the best of your ability.

We all know that life happens, and sometimes your plans might be interrupted, but nevertheless, you should always have a plan in place.  

Make Your Bed

Get into the habit of making your bed every morning if this is something that you don’t already do.  Not only does your room look neat and tidy, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment, and you’ll be ready to tackle the rest of your to-do list for that day.

Write Out A Weekly Meal Plan

It took me a while to get into the habit of actually writing out a weekly meal plan.  I wasted so much time trying to figure out what we would have for dinner each day. By writing out your menu each week, you know exactly what to prepare each day (and if you want to have leftovers) and exactly what ingredients you should shop for. This will save you both time and money!

Eight Homemaking Tips To Make Your Life Easier

Never Leave Dishes In The Sink

ALWAYS wash the dishes before going to bed at night (trust me on this).  There is no worse feeling than waking up in the morning to a sink full of dishes.  If you use the dishwasher, you can run the load through the wash that evening, and wait until morning to unload it and put the dishes away.  

Tidy Up Daily

I have a schedule that I follow as far as what rooms are deep cleaned each day.  But I also make sure that I tidy up throughout the house a couple of times each day.  Make sure that toys are put back into bins and remote controls and things like that are put in place. You don’t have to spend but a few minutes of your time doing this every day, and it will help to keep your house somewhat clutter free.

Spend Time With Your Family

Don’t get so busy with day to day chores that you miss out on the most important aspect of homemaking – family.  Spend some time with your loved ones each day. Run around and play with your kids. Take the time to enjoy some of their favorite activities.  

Make time with your spouse a priority. I know that once kids are introduced into the equation, it becomes harder to enjoy time alone as a couple.  But spending time alone together helps to build intimacy and strengthen the bond that you have with each other. When necessary, get a babysitter so that the two of you can enjoy a night out.

Set Aside Me Time

This is one area that is often neglected.  It is important that you spend a few moments each day to yourself.  I know it may seem difficult, especially if you have little ones at home. But understand that in order to properly take care of your family, you have to take care of self first.  I recently wrote an article on how you can carve out me-time when life gets busy. You can read it here.

What are some of the ways that you manage your household?  

15 Bible Verses To Turn To When You Feel Like Giving Up

“Be still and KNOW that I AM God.”

Psalm 46:10

No matter how close your walk is with Christ, there are seasons in life that tend to be extremely hard.  It is during those times that our faith tends to waver, and we feel like giving up.

But when life happens, and believe me it happens to the best of us,  we can take comfort in the fact that though things may seem out of control, God is always in control of every circumstance we face.

It may be the loss of a job, a relationship, a sudden illness, or the death of a family member and suddenly the feeling of simply giving up seems to be the best thing to do, at least at that moment.

But, I have found that the best thing we can do when we are feeling down and out or overwhelmed is to turn to the One who offers us hope and strength so that we can continue on this journey called life.  

Meditating on His word will give us the strength that we need to overcome any situation that we could ever face.

God is such a wonderful Father, and I am grateful that He gives us words of comfort and encouragement to strengthen us when we are at our lowest point.

Here are 15 of my favorite scriptures. These are simply a few of my go-to scriptures that I refer to when the trials and tribulations of life have gotten the best of me, and I feel like giving up.

These scriptures encourage me to keep going. I pray that they will encourage you as well.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. –Matthew 11:28

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  – Jeremiah 29:11

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. – Galatians 6:9


Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. 
Proverbs 3:5-6

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. – Psalm 55:22

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12

It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect. Psalm 18:32

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. – James 1:12

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. – Romans 8:37

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10

What are some of your favorite bible verses?

Friday Favorites – Wishlist

Happy Friday loves!  This week went by rather quickly to me. We have gotten settled back into our daily school routine for the most part. I think it took me a bit more time to get adjusted than it did the kiddo. Nevertheless, our days have been running pretty smoothly.  
 I am so excited that Monday is a holiday.  I get to chill out and enjoy the entire Labor Day weekend with the family.  I’ll be doing a bit of shopping, eating and catching up on some much-needed sleep (all weekend long)! What big plans do you have for the holiday? 
Since it’s Friday, I wanted to share just a few of my favorites with you.  All of the items listed are actually a part of my wishlist. I am big on self-care, and these are items that I am looking forward to adding to my self-care box.  
Hope you enjoy.  
 
* All of the links are shoppable.
This post is not sponsored, but it does contain affiliate links, which means that I may make a small commission if you choose to purchase through my link.
 
Tatcha Bestsellers Set
 
I have heard some wonderful things about this line of skincare products! Tatcha skincare products contain minimal ingredients and are packed with Japanese anti-aging superfoods. It’is the perfect solution for dryness, dullness and uneven texture. 
 
Friday Favorites - Wishlist
 
 
Molton Brown Women’s Heavenly Gingerlily Caressing Body Polisher
 
Micro-exfoliating Tahitian sand gently massages your skin while the gel transforms into silky milk.  Your skin is left feeling silky smooth.
 
Friday Favorites - Wishlist
 
 
UGG Addison Genuine Shearling Slipper
 
Plush, genuine shearling adds luxurious comfort and warmth to a cozy slipper topped with a sweet ribbon bow and rubber sole underneath. I can feel these babies caressing my feet. 
 
Friday Favorites - Wishlist
 
Yankee Candle Midnight Jasmine Candles
 
A seductively lush perfume of water jasmine, sweet honeysuckle, neroli, and mandarin blossom. The perfect candles for setting a mood.
 
Friday Favorites - Wishlist
 

 That’s it for this Friday. Have a safe and fun-filled weekend friends!

 
 
 

Ten Simple Ways To Adopt and Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, the process doesn’t have to be difficult.  Oftentimes we think that in order to be healthy, we will have to sacrifice all of our favorite foods, and spend hours at the gym each week.

Well, at least that was what I thought in the beginning. The truth is, by making a few small changes to your daily lifestyle, you can begin seeing results in no time.

Healthy eating habits, along with other lifestyle changes will help you to achieve your desired weight, gain mental clarity, and increase your longevity.

Below, I have listed ten simple changes that you can make in order to get on track to becoming a healthier you.

Have a drink

By drink, I am referring to water.  The majority of us do not take in the recommended daily amount of water.  Did you know that your body is 57-60% water? Therefore, water makes up more than half of your body weight.

We lose water each day when going to the bathroom, sweating, and even during breathing. Our bodies lose water even faster when the weather is hot when we are physically active, or if we have a fever. If we don’t replace the water we lose, we can become dehydrated.

http://gph.is/1gqxDCS

Move a little

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), exercise can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.  

Exercise also helps to lower stress levels, and improve sleep quality as well as reduce your risk of depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Regular exercise will help to strengthen your bones and muscles and also improve your mental health as well as your mood.

You don’t have to join a gym in order to exercise.  Go for a walk in your neighborhood or exercise from the comfort of your own home.  

There are several workout videos that are available, and you can even find some great workouts on YouTube for free.

Ten Simple Ways To Adopt and Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

Stick to a healthy diet

Add more fruits and vegetables to your daily meals. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk. That is one reason the American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2½ cups of these foods every day.

By choosing brightly colored produce, you get a better mix of vitamins and antioxidants.

Kick that habit to the curb

Tobacco smoke contains many chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Smoking has been found to harm nearly every bodily organ and organ system in the body and can diminish your overall health.

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Some of the benefits of quitting smoking include normalized heart and blood pressure rates, improved circulation, less coughing/wheezing, improved sense of smell and taste and a lowered risk of cancer and heart disease.

That should motivate anyone to quit – can someone please tell my husband this.

Reduce your sugar intake

Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a lot of calories without any essential nutrients, which is why they are referred to as empty calories.

 Excess sugar consumption can lead to insulin resistance, high triglycerides, increased levels of bad cholesterol and increased fat accumulation in the liver, and abdominal cavity, and it can have an adverse effect on your metabolism.

Ten Simple Ways To Adopt and Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

Cut back on the processed foods

Processed foods are typically loaded with added sugars, and we know that sugar in excess can be harmful to us.

Processed foods also contain several artificial ingredients that include preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial flavorings. Not to mention, they are also very high in simple carbohydrates while containing very few nutrients.

Laugh a little

Laughter causes physiological responses that protect your body from disease and helps your vital organs repair themselves.

A study by the John Hopkins University Medical School showed that humor and laughter can ease stress, boost your immune system, and also improve memory and mental performance.

Enjoy a few jokes with your family or friends.  Or why not chill out on the couch and watch your favorite sitcom to get a few laughs in.

Ten Simple Ways To Adopt and Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

Shut down those electronics

This is one I struggle with from time to time. Electronics have become a normal part of life in the 21st century, which means that we are exposed to the light that our devices emit.

The light exposure from our electronic devices promotes alertness. You should “unplug” your devices at least two hours before bed (this includes going to bed with the television on a timer).  This gives your brain a chance to unwind and get ready for sleep.

Pray/meditate daily

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Regular prayer and meditation have been shown in numerous scientific studies to be an important factor in living longer and staying healthy.

According to a Huffington Post article, “individuals who prayed daily were shown to be 40 percent less likely to have high blood pressure than those without a regular prayer practice.”  

Prayer has also been known to boost the immune system and lower stress levels.

Maintain meaningful relationships

Eat dinner together. Participate in activities as a family. Have a family night each week (encourage your kiddos to choose activities).  Attend weekly worship services together. Develop holiday traditions with your family.

One of our favorite traditions is to wear pajamas all day on Christmas Eve and watch our favorite Christmas movies.  

Ten Simple Ways To Adopt and Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
If necessary, start off with one or two small changes. No matter what you do, do something. Any step you take towards a healthier lifestyle will only help add to your overall health and well-being.

And don’t forget to reward yourself.  Hard work with no payoff can be discouraging.  By treating yourself every now and then, it will help you to stay motivated as you work towards your goal.

What are some of the ways that you stay healthy?

5 Super Easy Beauty Hacks You Should Definitely Try

 
5 Super Easy Beauty Hacks You Should Definitely Try
 
Whether it’s hair, makeup, or skincare, there will always be a beauty hack that will help you to save time all while achieving your desired look. And the best part is you can do them without wasting hours of your time or spending a fortune doing so.
Here are five of my favorite skincare beauty hacks. Feel free to add one or all of them to your beauty regimen.
 

Exfoliate Your Lips



No one wants to deal with dry, flaky, chapped lips.  To exfoliate your lips, add a dab of vaseline or chapstick to your lips,  take a wet toothbrush and use circular motions to gently remove dead skin.  Afterward, use a tissue or damp washcloth to wipe away the flakes. You’ll have perfectly smooth lips in no time.
You could also mix a bit of coconut oil and sugar together to form a scrub and apply to your lips.  Let it sit for a minute and afterward wipe your lips with a tissue or damp washcloth.
5 Super Easy Beauty Hacks You Should Definitely Try



Remove Makeup With Facial Wipes

 
Too tired to wash your face at night? Keep a package of makeup remover wipes on your vanity or by your bed.
 
5 Super Easy Beauty Hacks You Should Definitely Try
 

Use Coconut Oil as a Makeup Remover

 
Instead of spending money on makeup removers, go the natural route.  Use coconut oil. It gently removes your makeup without leaving your skin oily.  
 
5 Super Easy Beauty Hacks You Should Definitely Try
 

Use Ice Water To Dry Your Nail Polish

 
If you’re in a hurry and need to dry your nail polish quickly, use ice water.  Add a few ice cubes to a bowl and fill with water. Dip your fingers into the water for about a minute, and Voila! You’ve got dry nails.
 
5 Super Easy Beauty Hacks You Should Definitely Try

Moisturize Your Feet With Vaseline

 
Give your heels some TLC.  Before you get into bed, cover each foot with Vaseline. Slip on your favorite socks, and leave them on overnight. When you wake up you will have softer, smoother feet.
 
5 Super Easy Beauty Hacks You Should Definitely Try
 

 Share with me some of your favorite beauty hacks in the comments.

 
5 Super Easy Beauty Hacks You Should Definitely Try

40 Things That Make Me Happy

I love to journal, and I often use writing prompts when writing in my journal.  Recently, one of my journal prompts was to make a list of things that make you happy.  


Being that my life can get a bit hectic at times, it was refreshing to actually pause for a moment to focus on things that actually bring me joy.  After all, it’s the little things in life that bring us happiness, right?


Here are forty things that make me happy:


1. My son.  His little smiling face always warms my heart.
2. My husband, who is also my best friend.
3. Fresh flowers.
4. The smell of scented candles.
5. Ice cream.  I mean, what girl doesn’t like ice cream?
6. Shopping!
7. Planners – with all of the decorations.
8. Long, warm bubble baths. (I could certainly use one right now).
9. A good nap.
10. A nice cup of coffee with ALL the creamer. Mmmmm.
11. Tender kisses.
12. Spending time with my family. I love those guys and gals!
13. Sitting outside on my patio.
14. Going for a Sunday evening drive.
15. Writing in my journal.
16. Pizza – with extra pepperoni.
17. Reading a good book.
18. Leisurely walks with my husband and the kiddo.
19. Netflix.  I love to binge watch movies.
20. Lying on crisp, clean sheets.
21. A stroll through the park.
22. Playing with my son.
23. Fall season.
24. Warm doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.
25. Music.  Seriously, music is life!
26. Date night with my favorite guy.
27. A cup of chai tea.
28. Lip gloss.
29. Vacationing with my family.
30. Bath and body products. I love body butters and lotions that pamper my skin.
31. Peanut butter cookies fresh from the oven.
32. Bubblegum.
33. Singing my favorite songs really loud – but only when I’m alone.
34. Homemade pancakes.
35. Leggings.
36. Watching home decorating shows on television.
37. Organizing my pantry.
38. Christmas season.
39. Rearranging the furniture, even though it drives the hubby crazy.
40. Fuzzy socks.
 

What are some of the things that make you happy?  

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Happy Tuesday friends! I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by Amey over at Stunning Complications. This is a big deal for me because it means someone not only took the time to read my blog but actually connected with it on some level to think of me for this award.
The Sunshine Blogger Award was created to showcase bloggers who are creative, uplifting, and inspiring. It also helps to bring recognition to so many talented and dedicated bloggers.
There are a few rules to the award and nominations so that we can get to know and discover fellow bloggers. These are:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and link back to her /his blog.
  2. Answer the questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the award and give them 11 questions you have chosen.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger award logo in your post on your blog.

 

Amey’s Questions and My Answers

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Sunny Florida.

Which famous celebrity (alive or dead) would you like to spend the day with?

I would like to spend the day with former president Barack Obama (and Michelle Obama).  I think he is a pretty awesome guy and she’s such an inspiring woman.

If you could describe yourself as an animal, which one would you choose and why?

An elephant. Though they are large and can be aggressive, they are also very peaceful, kind, and loving animals – much like myself.

What is your motto?

My motto is to treat others as I would want to be treated.

Why did you start blogging?

I originally started blogging as a way to share my personal experiences with other stay at home moms.

If you could give a younger version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

Accept yourself for who God made you to be, and don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes, simply learn from them and keep going.

What does the perfect day look like?

The perfect day for me would be accomplishing EVERYTHING on my to do list for that day.  Most days I come pretty close, but there are often one or two things that are tacked on to the next day.

If money was no object, what would you do and why?

I would open up a family restaurant and entertainment center (similar to a Dave and Buster’s) for parents and children with special needs. There are very few places where families of individuals with special needs can go and be themselves.  This would be a place where families can go to let their hair down and enjoy a good time.

What would you like people to take away from your blog?

I hope that people are able to read and apply information that will be useful to situations in their own lives.

Who is the most influential person in your life and why?

My mother.  She is the epitome of strength, courage, and resilience.

Do you have a collection of anything? If yes, what is it?

Journals.  I very seldom go into a store and pass a journal or cute notebook that I don’t purchase.
 

My Nominees

Questions for My Nominee’s

  1. What is one word that best describes your personality?
  2. What is your favorite comfort food?
  3. Morning person or night owl?
  4. What is your favorite season?
  5. Coffee or tea?
  6. How do you unwind after a long day?
  7. If money was no object, what would be your dream vacation?
  8. What prompted your blogging journey?
  9. Who or what inspires you?
  10. What was your favorite childhood toy?
  11. What is the last book you read?

 
I would like to say thank you again to Amey at Stunning Complications for her nomination. Please be sure to check out her blog!
 
Sunshine Blogger Award