Define Success

Well let’s just say.. I have been in a rut recently …

The book publishing world is not for the weak…

Today … I doubted myself .. like really really doubted myself …

Endless denials or too much money needed out of my pocket to gain the success of being an author..

I had a break down on the phone with my husband and said … I just want to be successful ..and he said …. YOU ARE .. YOU ARE A SUCCESSFUL MOTHER.

I then took a deep breath and looked around … I had finished cooking dinner, kids were happily playing in their play room, house is clean … and that in itself is success… especially after a week of all 3 of my babies having the stomach bug.. days apart 😦

Then my oldest came up to me and said .. “did my perfume come yet?” I said .. “it will be here tomorrow :-)” (she is 6 but insists she have her own perfume to smell beautiful when we go out to dinner) so I have perfume being delivered for her and my other daughter. She then said, “you are the best mom ever I love you !” … and yes this would be how I define success.

For all the mothers working and struggling to balance life … u are everything ! U are successful!

For all the stay at home mothers (like myself) trying so hard to identify as something other than 24 hour mother .. u are everything ! U are successful!

I can’t let the failure define me or my goals …

Weekend Vibes

I have been slack-a-lackinnnnnn when it comes to blogging! My weekend was full of fun and I have also been fully investing myself in trying to get published. A slow and steady battle it has been!

Let’s Talk About The Weekend!

  • Friday: Went to Ye Old Centerton Inn (for the first time).. this place has been there since 1706! It used to be a hotel back in the day. My husband and I .. looooooove old-fashioned.. kept original.. type of places. THIS WAS RIGHT UP OUR ALLEY! The kids loved it so much too! The girls asked me what the radiator was HAHAHA It was hands down the most fun night ! We enjoyed amazing food, amazing service, all by the warmth of their fireplace. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Also .. I decided to test the girls out. I allowed them to go to the bathroom by themselves.. it was a 1 person only bathroom. I decided to walk up to the door after they were in there. I then started to bang on the door repeatedly.. they kept calling out “YES?!” Hahaha (clearly I need to teach them to respond with, “someone is in here”) .. then I decided to repeatedly shake the door handle like I was trying to break in.. they then were yelling, “YESSSSS?!!! THIS IS FREAKY!!!” Hahaha ( I never once answered, I wanted to see what they would do.. trying to teach that Stranger Danger 101)… after a solid 5 mins .. they walked out so chill .. like no one was banging on the door for the past 5 mins hahahaha … I told them … next time .. please come out ninja kicking. Lesson learned.
  • Saturday: Daddy had off work!!! (Which is rare, so you know I planned for a nice family day) … we took the kids to see Jumanji The Next Level in the theaters.. it was so fun and the movie was great! All of the actors had me cracking up! They really got in character ! After the movies , we relaxed at home .. until it was time to head to my niece’s 1st birthday party ! The party was such a great time! So many laughs, great family, awesome food, and of course .. the most beautiful birthday girl!
  • Sunday: We had a pretty chill morning , then headed out to get together with family we did not see over the holidays. It was like Christmas all over again! Kids opened gifts, we enjoyed food and drinks, and it was overall… such an amazing night!

So basically … our weekend was filled with fun and family!

Okay… so now for this slow and steady process of getting my picture books published …

  • I have only been persistently pursuing this since the summertime (so almost going on 8 months) .. and damnnnnn I’m spent! I am constantly going on Twitter for tips and support .. and just saw a question posted … “How long was the process before getting your first book published?” … average answer was……………….. wait for it …………… keep waiting ………………….. keep waiting …………. this is all you will do anyways ….. is wait…. and wait……… and wait…… because…… the average answer was ………. 6 years! And a ton of responses of 10+ years. Now… I am a pretty patient person… but that being said ….. I will do everything in my power to cut that answer in half! No like honestly cut that answer in pieces ! If I have to self publish in the end … I will. But come on writing gods… just bless me with some luck please. So over the weekend, and yesterday .. I sent more stories to publishing companies as well as agents. I am doing my homework on a DAILY to strive to get better and revise my work, as well as pursue what I want ! I will fail a million times just to reach my end goal! End of story. So for all the other struggling authors out there … we got this.. we also have tequila .. remember that too …we also have tequila.

Christmas Time

So sorry I have not been on to write … lots of updates from the holiday !

Christmas is always such a magical time! My absolute favorite things are …

  • The joy my children experience ! Hands down .. brings me the most happiness !
  • The family time! Holidays always bring the entire family together 🙂 we share laughs, great food, yummy drinks, and the best memories !
  • The gift giving.. it’s not about receiving it is about giving! I truly believe in that! I am so over joyed to gift my friends and family heart felt gifts that will make them smile. I do have to say… the gifts I received this year from friends and family … completely blew me away! I felt so much love and appreciation it was unreal! I honestly shed tears of gratitude for the unbelievable heart felt gifts I received. This year was difficult on my family due to losing my grandfather.. he was humble and kind and the one we all looked up to. I have to say … I felt his presence and I want to thank every single person in my life that continued to spread the Christmas magic and making a difficult time more bearable. I truly have been reminded to stay connected with your loved ones and always remind them how special they are to you.

Now .. my husband and I have been convinced.. our continued tradition on just about every holiday has become … sick babies 😦 It is 1,2, or all 3 that get hit with some kind of sickness on a holiday . My poor Layla had the stomach bug on Christmas Day 😦 Our morning and afternoon was beautiful and our night ended with a sick baby in our bed. But honestly, it never took away from our happiness. We are not perfect. We get stressed when our children are sick. We become exhausted. But in the end … things could always be worse. We have so many blessings to be grateful for. Our girl is now feeling great and all 3 of the kids are enjoying their goodies from Santa!

I hope everyone had a magical day filled with love ❤️

No greater joy than the happiness of your children

What an amazing past 2 days! Friday and Saturday were filled with many memories, smiles, and pure joy!

FRIDAY

  • The girls had their holiday class party and it was their last day of school before Christmas break ! My favorite .. because I get spoiled with my kids for almost 2 weeks! So exciting! I’d rather have warm weather but we will just enjoy lots of hot chocolate 🙂
  • I absolutely love to go to my children’s class parties! I get so much joy seeing all the kids in the class filled with excitement! There is no better feeling!
  • So when I entered the school (with a case of water, 2 cases of juices, 4 teachers gifts, and 36 student gifts) , the fire alarm went off ( of course ! Hahaha ) Thankfully I was able to put the items down in the office before exiting the building , about 95% of the parents were not so lucky. So there everyone stood in the freezing cold, arms filled, until fire department showed up to clear the building (it was a false alarm thank goodness!) and it created laughs for all the staff and parents 🙂
  • I then made my way to Savannah’s class to drop gifts off and give my girl a kiss (she had me for Halloween, so I was going to help Layla’s class for Christmas) .. I walked in to see Savannah with red down her face, her beautiful sweater now dyed red (was white), hands were stained red… yes I decided to spray their hair red this year *pretty sure that bottle was defective hahahaha* MOM FAIL!
  • Now onto Layla’s class .. walked into the room to see my daughter was now transformed into a tomato .. she was even worse than Savannah! MOM FAIL x2! Another fail only to bring more laughs hahaha Her party went perfect ! The kids played games, had delicious treats, and everyone really enjoyed themselves . The present for the kids this year was the same thing I did last year .. giving all the credit once again to http://www.Orientaltrading.com ! Super easy, cheap, and adorable toy-filled stockings! There are 8 toys inside and the kids love it!
  • After the party was over , we headed home and transformed the girls back to normal ! No more hues of red hahaha
  • All 3 of the kids then helped me bake cookies and drank unicorn hot chocolate (YUM)
  • We ended our night ordering pizza and watching Christmas movies ( PERFECTION)

SATURDAY

  • Our Saturday morning was pretty relaxing , basically binged on more Christmas movies
  • Mommy then cleaned to some lovely Christmas tunes (really getting in the holiday spirit at this point)
  • Saturday night was all the fun! We had our best friends come over with their 2 sons and the kids were having a blast running around and playing together
  • We then made our way to go see Christmas lights! Highly recommend going to Haggertys! A cute little Christmas wonderland is how I would describe it! A small portion of Pitman has a beautiful display of lights and pure magic ! Very old school vibes and the kids were amazed by it all! It was extremely cold so we decided to do the rest of the viewing in the car
  • We had the kids singing along to Christmas songs (we were definitely competing with the Griswolds), we viewed neighbors lights and enjoyed every second!
  • The kids were getting super sleepy so we ended the night making gingerbread ornaments and then we called it a night


This weekend has been nonstop fun and memories I will forever cherish! Woohoo! Christmas is in 3 days !!!

What’s on the Menu for Tonight?

Simplicity for tonight’s dinner… STEAK, POTATOES, and SPINACH/QUINOA MIX

Ingredients:

  • Steak (whatever kind you prefer)
  • Russet Potatoes (I used 7)
  • Steamable Spinach/Quinoa mix (I used 2 bags)
  • Seasonings: Applewood Rub, Garlic Powder, Minced Onion, Lawry’s Signature Steakhouse Marinade

Directions:

  • Preheat oven on 375
  • Chop up potatoes
  • Spray pan and place potatoes on
  • Season potatoes with Applewood Rub (suggestion from a friend, it is so good and pairs great with steak!)
  • Leave in for 40 mins
  • Season steak with Marinade, Garlic Powder, and Minced Onion
  • Placed on countertop grill on sear (500)
  • Place Steamable Quinoa/Spinach mix in microwave (5 mins) .. going the easy way here hahaha

BON APETIT

Aspiring Author turns Struggling Writer

Time to discuss my journey to becoming an author of picture books… brace yourself …

So after getting an associates degree from college and graduating the dental assistant program … I started my career … and to be honest … I never went into dental assisting as a passion …

  • I felt lost when I was spending all this money on college but had no real passion on what I wanted for a career
  • I heard the Dental Assisting Program was only 1 year and it is good money
  • It was such a difficult year .. because those programs are NO JOKE
  • After graduating, I felt so proud and motivated (Hoping I would gain passion once I started working)
  • I finally ended up at an office that I LOVED (everything from the patients, to coworkers, to the dentist was amazing !)
  • But still … NO PASSION
  • Plus … I kept getting pregnant and leaving hahaha
  • After baby number 2 (my Vannah girl) was about 9-10 months old … I decided to quit and become a full time stay at home mother
  • I was thrilled to be with my 2 babies but I was never used to NOT working
  • Then shortly after that .. I had my 3rd child .. and I have to say… I finally felt like this is what I was put on Earth to do ( be a stay at home mother.. sharing moments with my children and being the best role model I could possibly be)

But what brought me to writing ??? Fast Forward 2 years later…

  • I was reading books every night to my children before bedtime and decided to start making up my own stories
  • I would include my children by asking what they would want my story to be about
  • One night .. my daughter Layla said RAINBOWS and BUBBLES (obviously children love both of those)
  • I started telling a story that included both but taught a really nice life lesson (so I decided .. I NEED TO WRITE THIS DOWN)
  • Each night I would read this book to my children (title: RAINBOW BUBBLES) and they would light up!
  • I absolutely loved their reaction .. so I decided to keep writing more stories (to this date … I have now wrote 11 books)
  • They honestly became my biggest fans! I also read to their class and the teachers and children loved them !
  • I still didn’t think to pursue anything until I went to a psychic/medium ( Not everyone has to believe in this stuff … but for some reason .. it created what I am about to tell….)
  • This Psychic/Medium told me that I was going to become a published author and do very well with that (I was shocked! No one .. besides my children , husband, and the classmates knew that I wrote stories)
  • I ended up telling my good friend that night .. who was shocked to hear I wrote books.. she decided to tell me a coworker of hers, just published a picture book
  • I of course stalked and figured out the Publishing Company and grew a pair … I sent them Rainbow Bubbles and in 3 weeks … I received a phone call that would honestly change my life..
  • The phone call was from the Publishing Company and they were very interested in publishing my book!
  • I was stunned to say the least!
  • I honestly couldn’t comprehend that my book was good enough to be noticed
  • After another 3 weeks, 4 separate phone calls, countless interviews.. the company discussed that my book was at the end stretch to becoming published, but would be brought to a meeting with the CEO to make the final call…
  • It was a Friday .. and I wouldn’t even leave my house .. my phone was glued to me .. while I anxiously waited for the call
  • At 5:30pm, I received an email that they decided to go with another choice …
  • The tears streamed down my face … and my date night with my husband turned into … drowning my sorrows in tequila (ooooops haha)
  • But the let down did not even compare to the fire that was lit inside
  • I AM GOOD ENOUGH!
  • I decided that this was the passion I always looked for! I absolutely loved writing in school and won some awards when I was younger for writing contests.. but it never was a thought in my head to pursue that as a career .. until that moment .. until I had some kind of reassurance.. and the journey took off from there..
  • I continued writing so many more books, and continued sending to that Publishing company (they have now declined 4 of my books haha)
  • I also sent to a few other Publishers (some denials, some have not gotten back to me.. and another publishing company offered me a deal to go in half with them to publish) (my gut told me that other publisher wasn’t the right fit at this time.. so I decided to pass on that opportunity) I try to ALWAYS listen to my gut!
  • Then after tons of research… I decided to attempt getting a literary agent (let me tell you … this became more defeating than sending to Publishers)
  • I have sent numerous books to about 40 agents … and have had about 21 denials so far (talk about a reality check! Haha)
  • In the past .. I would have given up. This is how I know that this is my PASSION!
  • It honestly doesn’t matter how many people tell me NO, NOPE, NOT HAPPENING… I am going to make this happen !
  • I am investing my all into this! If I have to self publish years down the road … I WILL 🙂 But hopefully someone out there will recognize my passion behind this and I can officially say I am an AUTHOR… but for now… I’ll just introduce myself as a STRUGGLING WRITER haha

What’s Cooking, Good Looking?

So this will be my first post on cooking. I am not a dietician. I eyeball the majority of my ingredients. I did not go to culinary school. But that being said …. the best meals are made from love. I absolutely love to cook. The outcome of a delicious meal, and a satisfied family ..gives me the biggest high! So here we go ………

What is on the menu for tonight ? I call it …

FIESTA CHICKEN

Your taste buds will be vacationing in Mexico

Ingredients:

  • 2 packs of chicken tenderloins
  • 1 pack taco seasoning
  • 1 can of black beans
  • half a bag of frozen corn
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 bags brown rice
  • spices (cilantro, Tex mex, minced onion)

Directions:

  • I clean the chicken and place into ziplock bag and mix in the taco seasoning
  • Mix the rice, chopped up peppers, corn, black beans, cilantro, minced onion, and tex mex and cook on top of stove til all cooked completely
  • Then set aside and place chicken on top, also can add fresh sliced avocados on finished dish . Bon Apetit !

My Morning of Magic

So .. just thought I’d share my Tuesday Morning of Magic with you all !

The morning started with my hangover. I turned 30 last year. This whole hangover situation has happened numerous times to me. I wake up with a pounding headache .. questioning my drinking from the night before… only to realize …

I CONSUMED NO ALCOHOL. Hahahaha

Anyways … my daughter (who is 5).. told me this morning to tell her elves on the shelf to let Santa know .. she only needs 1 gift this year .. so other children can have more gifts. My husband and I try to raise our kids to be super humble and kind.. they are young still .. but they have amazing hearts! This had me so emotional .. to know that our children will be selfless and giving. What an incredible feeling!

and then….

I was reading my mail and was blown away with how magical my morning continued …

I not only received Christmas cards from family and friends (which mean the world to me).. but my family also received a letter written from a very dear friend of ours…

this letter meant the absolute world to us! This person is such a beautiful person inside and out and the gratitude they shared with us.. blew me away! Tears flowed. My heart warmed. There is no greater gift in this world .. than knowing you have created happiness for others. I will forever be grateful for this letter!

After reading this letter … the magic continued to unfold …

memories popped up on Facebook, of one of my best friends and I…

my other best friend texted me shortly after that..

I received messages from a family member spoiling my children 🥰…

mind you … it is only 9:00am .. and already I have spoke to 4 different people with such positivity !

today will be the best day.. as every day is.

we are breathing.

we are loved.

we are appreciated.

If everyone could go out of their way for someone today, or tomorrow, or the next day .. and just help someone, share a nice memory, give motivation, compliment someone … you will do your job to make this world a better place 🙂

Imagination is EVERYTHING

So like I stated on my last post .. elf on the shelf came through with some cool “game controllers” for the kids .. so they can replicate Jumanji .. and get sucked into the game. They also left them pet snakes. Both “controllers” and snakes came from that toy bundle pack (www.Orientaltrading.com). When my husband came home from work .. JUMANJI NIGHT was in full affect.

Lights went off around the house.

Hooked my phone up to Bluetooth speaker and went to YouTube (played Jumanji background music .. 15 min long video.. followed by more Jumanji music in another 15 min video)

Gave the kids 2 flashlights , their controllers, their snakes

Transformed into a screaming maniac (even though I tend to be that character from time to time in real life)

Husband and I decided to hide around the house .. jumping out at the kids.. setting up traps (blanket turned into a net).. creating chaos and fun (we probably enjoyed it more than the kids)

Then hid a treasure and gave clues to find it

We made sure to play an hour before their bed time (so they would be exhausted haha)

Hands down .. BEST NIGHT.. so many laughs.. wore the kids out.. and the only thing really needed was IMAGINATION.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND

Elf on the Shelf ain’t got nothing on me

Elf on the shelf is the definition of bittersweet. My kids currently have two elves .. a girl (Golden Rose) and a boy (Elfie). For exhausting nights , or nights with more than one glass of wine… I dread elf life. At the same time, when I get it done .. I think … yuuuupppp I’m the shit. Then the kids wake up so pumped ! Which makes it all worth it in the end. Well.. just thought I would share a little tip with Elf parents. This year .. I purchased Bulk Variety Pack on http://www.OrientalTrading.com (Bright Deluxe Toy Assortment: 50pc). 50 pieces for only $13.95! This is amazing for stocking stuffers, last minute gifts for other children, or the rescue kit for elf life! I have used several items from this pack to make my life as an elf .. easy peesy lemon squeezeeeee (my god I’m turning into my children). So cheap .. so easy… so freakin awesome ! Thank you Oriental Trading ! Anyways .. back to elf on the shelf… I will share pictures and ideas below..

  • purchase some ice cream or maybe a snack your child doesn’t always have on your next grocery trip. Write a note from the elf.. that the surprise treat is from them. Easy easy easy. I did ice cream .. and put chocolate syrup and strawberry syrup out. My kids went nuts.
  • candy coal (got mine from lakeside.com) .. keeps the kids in check .. but can still be enjoyed after lesson is learned.
  • use flour for fake snow… easy to clean up.. usually have flour in the house
  • toilet paper snowman.. looks cute .. and you better have toilet paper in the household
  • clothes that may be needed for kids before Christmas hits .. buy it.. give it from the elves.. saves you trying to think of an idea for the elf (Gave my kids snow-boots).. believe me .. they appreciate it more from the elves
  • take full advantage of the elf being magical (told them the maze *one of items from bulk* was a controller for Jumanji) (doesn’t look like a controller .. but they bought it .. only because the elves claimed it was a game controller)

WINNING!

I will continue to post pics and ideas !