Focus : Reginald

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Many of you may remember Reginald, my mass cane plant. In April, he started to grow a stem and I was pleasantly surprised to find out he would flower. It took him a few weeks, but he produced an entire stem of beautiful, sweet-smelling white flowers. They opened up at night, and unfortunately, contributed to an ant problem.

Reginald participated in the “cinnamon challenge,” whereby I went absolutely crazy one evening, fed up with the pesky invaders, and sprinkled cinnamon all over the place. It worked!

The flowers lasted a good two to three weeks before dying off. It was a wonderful surprise!

Focus

May 2017 Favorites

Hello Friends!

The end of May is here! Time for another round up of monthly favorites! Let’s jump right in!

 

 

I Am Pusheen The Cat – by: Claire Belton

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“Learn what makes her purr and find out why hundreds of thousands of people have fallen in love with this chubby, tubby kitty.”

This was such a cute book! I love Pusheen, and once we got home from the library, I plopped down on the couch and read this cover to cover. It is full of little guides that will have you smiling and laughing. Once I finished the book, my son saw it on the table, picked it up, sat down and began reading it. He loved it, too, and thought it was funny. We both recommend this book to everyone!

 

This Book Loves You – PewDiePie

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“This book is cleverer and better looking than you. This book will blow your mind. This book loves you.”

This is a fun book. Filled with inspirational quotes and the “wisdom of PewDiePie,” it’s essentially about not taking life too seriously. I thought it was pretty good.

 

The Boss

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“Melissa McCarthy stars as Michelle Darnell, a titan of industry who is sent to prison for insider trading. After doing her time, Michelle emerges, ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, but not everyone she steamrolled is so quick to forgive and forget. With nowhere to go and no one to scam, Michelle is forced to move in with former assistant Claire and her young daughter, Rachel. Now at her lowest point, Michelle wastes no time in devising a winner-take-all plan to rebuild her empire. Can she reclaim her status as the No. 1 screwer, or will the love of one family screw her for good?”

I am a huge Melissa McCarthy fan. I have been since her days as Suki on Gilmore Girls. This movie is a Melissa McCarthy Classic – Absolutely hilarious!

 

 

Bad Moms

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In this outrageous comedy from the writers of The Hangover, Amy has a seemingly perfect life – a great marriage, over-achieving kids, a beautiful home, and a career. However, she’s over-worked, over-committed, and exhausted to the point that she’s about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities – going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long-overdue freedom, fun and self indulgence – putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn and her clique of devoted perfect moms.”

This movie was hilarious and had a great message. I loved it and I think every mom should see it!

 

Meijer AntiBacterial Foaming Hand Soap – Fresh Scent

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This hand soap turns the ordinary task of washing your hands into a fun time! I love a good foamy hand soap and this one does not disappoint! I was able to snag this for free with a one of those fun Meijer coupons – “Free with your next total purchase of $10 or more.” This cleans your hands and smells like grapefruit!

 

 

Godiva Masterpieces – Milk Chocolate Caramel Lion of Belgium

 

Godiva chocolate is one of my favorites when I want a luxurious treat. This bar is made with Belgium chocolate and has a smooth caramel filling. It was delicious!

 

 

Awake Caffeinated Chocolate Caramel Bar

 

Chocolate, caramel, and caffeine? Yes please! I love Awake chocolates! I used to buy the individually wrapped chocolates and have them as a treat/pick-me-up. They were delicious and helped me get through the 2:00 p.m slump without having to run out and buy a sugary Starbucks drink. I saw this bar at Meijer a few weeks ago in the check out lane, on sale 10 for $10. I couldn’t pass up the deal. (haha!) I had two squares when we got home and felt a little burst of energy that helped me get through the late afternoon/evening. A delicious pick-me-up!

 

Those were my favorites this month. What were yours? Let me know in the comments section! 🙂

Impromptu Picnic and Anniversary Celebration – Adventure to the Lake

What a beautiful, busy week!

Wednesday I got up early to fit in my workout and then we visited with family for the afternoon and evening, enjoying the gorgeous weather! It was a fun day! We were able to get outside, the kids played soccer and volleyball, and we enjoyed a frozen treat!

I woke up Thursday not feeling so great – I had sharp pain in my neck, down my shoulder, and into the middle back. It was not too fun and definitely put a damper on the morning. Some coffee, a movie, ibuprofen, and icy hot eventually took the edge off. While making lunch, my husband mentioned that a picnic would be perfect on a day like today. (It was sunny and warm with a high of 85 degrees.) Of course, I love the Lake, so despite my minor setback, I wanted to get out and enjoy the day. We gathered our supplies and headed north to East Harbor State Park.

Crossing the Thomas Edison bridge, the water was brown and choppy. It was very windy Wednesday and still quite breezy Thursday. Once we got to East Harbor, it was calm and the Lake was absolutely beautiful. The blue-green water set against the cerulean sky was breathtaking!

 

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We had a little friend that kept chirping at us…

 

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Our picnic was fantastic! We grilled hot dogs and enjoyed potato salad and Cole slaw.

 

A small storm was quickly approaching, so we had to eat quickly. Surprisingly, the rain only lasted a few minutes, so we were able to get back out of the car and enjoy the Lake.

 

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Up by the camp store, we spotted a little nest full of hungry baby birds.

 

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The drive home was absolutely beautiful. The sun and the clouds offered stunning views that I attempted to capture.

 

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This morning I woke up feeling slightly better. I think I may have simply slept wrong and my muscles cramped up… old age, I suppose. HaHaHa! We enjoyed a relaxing day and kept an eye on all of the thunderstorms that passed through. Thankfully, there wasn’t anything too severe. We also had some delicious cheesecake!

 

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The past few days have been wonderful and relaxing – an amazing celebration of life, love, and happiness.

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Wedding Anniversary Traditions

Anniversaries are special.

This month, my husband and I will be celebrating five years of marriage, though we’ve been together for over a decade. It’s always fun to take a look back, see how we’ve grown and changed, and appreciate how far we’ve come.

Every year gets better. ❤ Best friends and soul mates, we’re lucky to have each other. ❤

Around the time of our first anniversary, we thought it would be fun to follow the traditional anniversary gift themes. Browsing Pinterest, I found a cool idea on Bridal Guide to organize our wedding cards into a book. An afternoon of crafting later, I had a sweet memento of our special day that fit the paper theme.

 

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We’ve been loosely following the tradition ever since.

For a handy reference, I made this chart featuring both the Traditional and Modern Themes.

 

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About a month before, we discuss the theme and then try to come up with creative ideas. This year is wood and there are a few things I want to do.. sometimes the hardest part is deciding on which one! There have been one or two years where I’ve gone all out and made a bunch of things because I couldn’t decide on just one.

We keep the day, and evening, pretty low key. We usually cook a nice dinner at home and we always have cheesecake.

For us, it’s all about having a nice quiet evening, together. ❤

 

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For fun and creative anniversary ideas, check out my Pin Board: Anniversary Ideas.

Do you have any special traditions? Share them in the comments!

10 Rules To Live By

Hello Friends!

A new week lies ahead, filled with new possibilities and new opportunities.

Awhile ago I posted 13 Rules to Live By and it was well received. In honor of that, I thought I would expand on those and list some of my favorite rules/mantras/guidelines/quotes.

Here are 10 more life rules that apply to everyone and every aspect of life. (The last two are my absolute favorites.) As always, I hope that they inspire you as much as they’ve inspired me.

 

1.Don’t fear change. It is mandatory for extraordinary results.

2.If you want to be successful, be consistent.

3.Find humor in every situation.

4.Listen more than you speak.

5.Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

6.Be grateful for everything and everyone who is in your life.

7.You are a perishable item. Live accordingly.

8.Never give up.

9.Don’t let gravity be the boss.

10.Always engage your abs.

 

What is your favorite life rule/mantra/quote? Let me know in the comments section.

Have a great week!

-Alyssa

 

April Favorites

Hello friends!

Can you believe it’s the end of April already? I, for one, am excited to see this month go and I am ready for May!

Warmer temps… sunshine… summer break.. haha!

Today I am sharing the things I have enjoyed the most this month. Let’s get started!

First up:

Yoplait Greek 100 Whips – Strawberry Cheesecake

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I’ve mentioned this in previous months, but it’s made the list again. This yogurt is delicious! I’m actually eating it as I write this post. It is Greek yogurt, which I love, without the sour, bitter taste that Greek yogurt often has. This has the consistency of a mousse and tastes just like strawberry cheesecake. Plus, it only has 100 calories! It’s perfect for an anytime snack! Yum!

Millville Protein Chewy Bars – Peanut, Dark Chocolate, and Almond

I found these at Aldi for a really great price! They are delicious and filling! They are perfect for in between meals, when you are hungry, but don’t want a sugary candy bar. I’ve been enjoying these all month. Yum!

Specialty Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans

 

These were also an Aldi find! They were on sale and I had to get them! I finished the espresso beans I bought while on vacation in Amish Country. I still have quite a bit of these left in the fridge, mostly because I was sick for a good week and couldn’t eat them. I love grabbing a few for a quick energy burst. Chocolate + Coffee = Perfection!

This Card

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 I spotted the cover of this card at Kroger the other day. I quickly grabbed it as we were walking down the aisle. Hilarious!

May 2017 Cosmopolitan Magazine – Samples

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This made my favorites list because of all those amazing samples you see in the photo above! I was pleasantly surprised when my husband brought in the mail, handed me my magazine, and as I flipped through, saw all of these samples!

I used the Head and Shoulders Smooth and Silky Shampoo and Conditioner first. It smelled amazing! It had a flowery scent that reminded me of Spring. It definitely improved my hair’s texture – it was more smooth after air drying. I needed more conditioner than what the sample provided because I have super long thick hair, so I did use a little bit of my own conditioner. Overall, I really liked this Head and Shoulders sample! I give it 5 stars.

Next up I tried the Garnier Fructis Moisture Lock Shampoo and Conditioner with cactus extract. It smelled amazing – like a beachy type desert. It worked pretty well, my hair was more soft and felt silky. Again, this sample wasn’t enough conditioner for my hair so I did use a little of my own. Overall, I liked the sample. I give it 5 stars.

I have not used the L’Oreal Paris Hydra Genius sample yet. I will soon though.

But how cool to get these in my magazine this month! 🙂

Chatties Sandals

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I snagged these sandals at Rural King for $3. $3!?!? They were an absolute steal! They had a variety of colors, but I really loved the gray. I’ve been wearing them a lot! They are comfy and go with everything!

*Disclaimer: I was sent the following item complimentary for testing purposes. All opinions are my own*

 

Sensodyne Deep Clean Toothpaste

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I was selected to take part in the Sensodyne Deep Clean Campaign from BzzAgent. They sent me this full-size tube of toothpaste to test out in exchange for my honest opinion. I love BzzAgent and have participated in several campaigns already. It’s a lot of fun! If you are interested in joining, you can visit their website and sign up! 🙂

I was excited to be a part of this campaign because I have been dealing with tooth sensitivity for about a year and a half. Last year I had my wisdom teeth pulled out. In addition to that, I had a lot of work done to my teeth. This year, I had even more work done. The resulting factor is that my teeth were very sensitive. Every time I had something cold, I would cringe and get almost an instant headache. It was bad.

The first time I used Sensodyne, I was surprised at how clean my teeth felt. It was like I had just been at the dentist for a cleaning. It was pretty great! I couldn’t stop smiling the whole day. After using Sensodyne twice a day for two weeks, my tooth sensitivity was gone.

I love this toothpaste and I will continue to use it. You can see in the pictures above, to the left I was enjoying a warm brownie and some low fat frozen yogurt. On the right, I had a refreshing glass of ice water after an intense workout. I’m definitely making the switch! I give this toothpaste 5 stars and highly recommend it – which is why it made my favorites list. 🙂

And last, but not least..

Lake Erie

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Of course. 🙂 If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my post about our Adventure to the Lake. It was warm, sunny, and the perfect day to be up at the Lake. It’s just my favorite – Every Month. 🙂 And if you’ve never seen Lake Erie, check out the video I took below. ❤

 

Those are all my favorite for this month. What were some things you enjoyed? Leave a comment and let me know! 🙂

Adventure to the Lake

Wednesday was beautiful. Sunny, warm, cerulean skies… An absolutely gorgeous April day.

We decided to take advantage and took a trip up north to Lake Erie.

 

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First stop, of course, was my favorite – East Harbor State Park.

Look how gorgeous the beach is!

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It was definitely windy and although the water wasn’t nearly warm enough, plenty of folks were swimming. The sand was soft and warm and the sound of the waves was relaxing. This is one of my favorite spots in all of the world.

 

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Love from Ohio.
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Then we headed over to Maumee Bay State Park. It’s only about a half hour away.  It was more windy there, but still plenty of people out fishing, enjoying the sunshine and the cool, refreshing water. – It was still too cold for me. 🙂

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Thousands of shells.

It was a fun trip. If you are ever near northwest Ohio, I highly recommend stopping in to either of these parks.

Check out my article for more information about East Harbor State Park here:
A Visitor’s Guide to East Harbor State Park

 

 

Impromptu Adventure

What started out as a simple trip to the store turned into an excursion across the state.

I was not prepared.

No make up, glasses on because I was tired and had only had two cups of coffee, and a simple braid.

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But a smile nonetheless.
Ever have one of those days?

Often they turn out to be best, making many lasting memories. ❤

We stopped by many different stores across the state… Checking prices on various items, looking for a few specific things… Of course, I always find an item or two that I would love..

While in the garden section I found this guy…

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Um seriously? This succulent needs to be in my house! I also found this …

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Yes! A cactus garden. I love love love cacti! I had something similar in high school as part of a botany project. It was a little larger than the one above and had a few different species of cacti. It was wonderful and I loved it, but my room just didn’t have enough sunlight for it.

I have a small garden of Prickly Pear cactus outside that are doing really well. (Yes, in Ohio!) I have one inside that is not doing well, I need to take it outside and plant it with the others. I will do a post on that later this spring/summer.

My dream (okay, one of my dreams) is to have a large Saguaro. I would give him a gigantic pot, name him, and give him lots of love. (Side note: I give all my plants names. Anyone else?)

And last, but certainly not least..

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How cute is this outdoor pillow? I love flamingos. I told my husband that I would not put these pillows outside, I would utilize them around the house, probably in the living room. Haha!

We ended up leaving that store without buying anything. But it was fun to browse. 🙂

When on spontaneous road trip adventures, one needs sustenance. As delicious as Arby’s sounded, we opted for my son’s pick: Subway. By this point in the day, (noon-ish) the sun had come out and it was started to get warm. Subway was the best choice, light, refreshing, healthy…

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Hahaha! But in all seriousness, I had a black forest ham on Italian herbs and cheese bread, pepper jack cheese, toasted with lots of veggies! Yum! And I only had one cookie – the double chocolate chip – because Subway cookies are the best!

We ended up traveling north to visit with family.

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This guy appeared out of nowhere to hitch a ride..

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A little surprise..

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Looking for wildlife…

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A gorgeous sunset on the way to dinner…

Denny’s – It’s an American Institution… 😉

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Meet Ghost Cat:

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When the cat has had enough of your photo shoot antics… ha!

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