How I find motivation (when feeling unmotivated)

Sometimes, you just aren’t motivated…

Being a wife and mother to the most important of two (well, 1.5)men, takes a lot of energy and time. By the end of the day, I’m usually exhausted, both physically and mentally. Continue reading “How I find motivation (when feeling unmotivated)”

5 Favorite Fall Scents (That Aren’t Pumpkin!)

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That time of year is nearly upon us. Changing leaves, crisp cool air…the overwhelming stench of pumpkin infiltrating everything in sight.

Can you tell I’m biased?

I’m one of those rare people that don’t care for pumpkin flavored/scented anything…unless it’s actually pumpkin.

Pumpkin belongs to be eaten in a pie with icecream on top…not put in coffee, cookies, car air fresheners, or feminine products. I’ll never forget the first time I saw Pumpkin Spice scented Always Pads. That was crossing a very defined line! But, my pumpkin lovers adore them, so c’est’ la vie!

But, if you’re like me, and Pumpkin Spice just isn’t your thing, you don’t have to feel left out this time of year, because believe it or not – there’s actually a lot of fall-related fragrances out there that don’t contain the stuff! Here’s 5 of my top favorites from Bath & Body Works that always get me in an Autumn kind of mood! As soon as these hit the store, I went a little overboard and had to get them all!

5: Leaves

Although we haven’t hit the first day of Autumn yet, once I saw the nasty Pumpkin Spice had invaded the local Bath & Body Works, I began the quest to get the smell out of my nose. I bought this in candle form, and it’s strong-but not overpowering. This one candle is enough to fill my living room with a wonderfully earthy scent that can only be described as “Fall.” This could probably transcend into winter as a seasonal fragrance, but for the start of the season, I love it! It’s available as a wallflower and room perfume, but I like candles for larger areas, so it works great in our house.

4: Mahogany Teakwood 
Because my husband is a man, and enjoys manly things (Like the smell of leather-bound books and mahogany). I picked this out specifically for his office. It’s very light and comfortable, and while I would categorize it for Fall, it’s also something you could use year round. And you will, because as we all know, men don’t like change. I use the wallflower, but it actually comes in a car freshner too!

3: Sweater Weather

When I haven’t had a candle burning, a few sprays here and there, and the visions of cool air and warm toastiness fills the room with “Sweater Weather!” It has a very nice blend of berry and apple, the perfect combination for a nice, warm Autumn day. Not overpowering at all, and very pleasant. I think this would go well as a wallflower is you really enjoy the scent, and don’t want to spray a lot. It’s perfect for those unexpected visitors and you haven’t anything nice burning. I probably get more compliments with this one on average. It’s just between ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’!

2: Autumn Sunshine

I put a bottle of this in our guest bathroom, and a wallflower in the master bath. I love the citrusy tones with this one, and it’s a nice change from the earthy, woodsy scents in the rest of the house (although it does have cedarwood, so it’s not too far away from the theme we have going). Living in georgia, we don’t really have the color changing leaves or incredibly cool days that most other areas have with Fall, So I personally think this scent compliments that actual weather we have outside. I could even see using this for summertime as well, so I’ll probably be stocking up soon!

I fell in love with this long ago, and this year, I actually bought the 3-wick candle, wallflowers, and room sprays for it! It’s my absolute favorite Fall scent! It’s musky, woodsy, and an all around pleasant change from the normal fresheners on the market. My husband enjoys it too, as it’s not too overwhelming or “girly”. It actually reminds me of a Lumberjack…but not a smelly, sweaty Lumberjack. More like if Fabio were a Lumberjack, and was hanging out in your hallway. Wile I don’t think it could transcend into other seasons, it’s definitely worth getting for a nice Autumn feel in your home or car! Well, maybe early Winter…or maybe I’m not ready to let it go, even just as this season has started!
An honorable mention, the Glade Blackberry Jam room spray…how I miss you so! I found it a few years ago and haven’t been able to find them for the last few seasons. but, they were sold as a limited edition scent, and if you do find them somewhere-grab them! I don’t know if I would classify it as a “fall” scent, but I loved it back in 2012, and would pay anything to get it back again!
So I do hope you’ll look into these for freshening your home with a nice Fall theme, and let me know how they work out for you!
What’s some of your Favorite Fall Fragrances (That aren’t Pumpkin related)?

Why your husband should be your best friend too

I am a firm believer that your husband should also be your best friend.

A best friend is who you share secrets with. You call them when something exciting/scary happens, and you go to them when you need advice.

I can tell my husband anything. And I tell him everything. He is my biggest supporter, but also my most honest feedback. If something great (or even terrible) happens, it’s not real until I tell him. Activities are automatically more fun when he’s involved, and he is the biggest stress-reliever. That’s not to say occasionally he isn’t the cause of stress, but when I need things put into perspective, my husband is there.

So many qualities that my husband possesses, can also be found in a best friend (if it isn’t a prerequisite).

And realizing that, got me to thinking about this; how do we choose our best friends?

Well, similar interests, sense of humor, goals…all those things fall into what makes a Best Friend-category. Someone who will support and encourage you, falls into that as well. But, they must also be willing to be completely honest, even if it means saving you from yourself.

So, if your husband, (or fiance, or even boyfriend) isn’t doing any of these things, shouldn’t they be?

A best friend wouldn’t discourage your goals and dreams. They wouldn’t tell you things like, “That’s stupid,” unless it actually is a stupid idea. Like building a giant shoe rack that emcompasses the entire closet, knowing good and well that you are the type of person who will not use it and become frustrated when you have to sort 20+ pairs of shoes from the closet floor. This is what I mean by saving you from yourself. (Yes, this happened)

A best friend wouldn’t tell you not to eat those tacos, “Because you’ll gain weight”. They eat tacos with you.  They don’t demand that you not wear makeup, or dress a certain way, or need to know your every move. Best friends don’t suffocate your personal space or try to control you.

Sadly, so many women I know have partners that don’t do what their best friends would. What’s the point of a relationship like that?

My challenge for women everywhere is to replace any statement, or thought, about a subject that their husband or boyfriend might not approve of, and replace “Husband/Boyfriend” with “Best Friend.” If it sounds less than desirable, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate things.

Don’t think I’m secretly planning on breaking people up over this, but honestly; if you found yourself thinking, “Wow, my best friend would never say I’m not allowed to talk to my Mom!” and realized you were talking about your husband…and you find yourself uncomfortable…it might be a red flag. Just saying.

You should never feel afraid to tell your partner anything. Or fear they might be unsupportive. Or angry. Or jealous.

A husband needs to be the same as a best friend-to help you pick yourself up after a fall, to laugh with, to dream. If you can’t spend the rest of your life with your best friend..who can you spend it with?


Mispronouncing German: Our First Youtube Video!

I must give my husband all the credit with this endeavour.

Making YouTube videos is something I’ve always wanted to do. getting over the anxiety of watching (and especially listening) to myself on camera is another thing all together. But my dear husband, who is very skilled in german, and fluent in Russian, being the trilingual genius that he is, thinks it is absolutely hilarious to force me into trying to speak languages of which I have no prior knowledge of.

Eventually, because we want our son to also speak multiple languages other than our native English, I will have to learn (you can read my post about this on Working Mommy Abroad). For now, it’s just humorous to listen to me try.

If anything, even if we don’t get a lot of subscribers or even views, this will help my on-screen anxiety. And I love how supportive and enthusiastic my husband is about starting this. Although once comfortable, I’ll probably take my channel back for some of the vlogs I have been desiring to create.

He doesn’t get too involved with my blog, so this is a fun project we can do together (and one day, maybe Bruce will join us!). And will probably branch off into a lot of other videos, including different languages. If you like it, and want to see more, please subscribe to the channel!

And thank you for watching! At this point, anything that will help me deal with watching myself on screen, helps.

Too Many Irons In The Fire

I don’t know who, if anyone has noticed, but I have been very quiet on the blog lately.

As it sometimes does, Life has a way of derailing things; goals, plans, and opportunities. Here, it’s really just been taking my attention away from writing and putting it elsewhere. But, when you take a break from certain things, that’s when your creative juices have time to start flowing, and ideas form.

Ideas, I’ve plenty. Time, however, is another issue.

Our little boy keeps us very busy. Play dates, family visits, and adventurous outings, keep us going a lot. So when we do have a quiet day at home, it’s cherished. My husband has new career opportunities he’s pursuing, and with them come the anxiety of moving to a new city. So between keeping the 13th month old busy, spending what time I can with my husband, and running a household in “on stand by to stand by” mode, at the end of the day; I’m exhausted. All I want to do is veg out, watch trash tv on my tablet, and procrastinate about finishing those four other articles I’m supposed to be writing.

It’s important to not allow yourself to be “spread too thin.” Even more so as a parent, and a partner. I hate not being able to commit to things as much as everyone wants, but sometimes, that’s just the way she goes.

First, I’m a parent. That’s a given. Secondly, I’m a wife. And my marriage requires a certain amount of upkeep that demands attention. My friends, hobbies, passions, and Bachelor reruns come last, if at all. If I’m really lucky, I’ll do my nails while I’m watching Bachelor. I’m usually not that lucky,

So it’s pretty safe to say, I sometimes forget to call that friend back for a nice phone conversation. I may cancel plans for lunch, and I may totally space out booking another get together. But I know what happens when I try to take everything on.

I become too absorbed in trying to accomplish it all, and then frustrated when things don’t work out exactly according to plan. In the end, nothing gets done and I feel even worse, as if the day was wasted.

It’s much easier for everyone, but mostly me, if I delegate responsibilities as I can, and even decline offers when I know I probably should. Even if this means not touching my computer for nearly a month to finish a blog post. It’ll always be there. But some things, like my family, are more important.

In the time it’s taken me to write this, Bruce has gotten up three times and decided he was NOT going to be sleeping in his crib, and has succumbed to sleep on the couch next to me. I’m afraid to move him, and since sleep is so important, I will be snuggling him here. I’ll at least get a trash tv buddy.

It’s too easy to let life overwhelm you when you have so much on your plate. You have to just, as hard as it is, relax a little and think about what’s more important: When you find yourself just carrying the baby all the way upstairs to only get half-way down before they realize you’ve abandoned them to their own bed, and you don’t want to continue this routine five more times that night; then don’t. I believe it’s ultimately more important that you and your kid both have rest, and sanity. If you can let them camp out with you in your bed (or couch), and you both get rest, then do that. It’s not worth stressing over.

Because let’s say I continued the song and dance-we will go back and forth all night, until he catches a second wind and then can’t go back to sleep. We will both get up tomorrow cranky. I have a cocktail party on Saturday I have to prepare for, which means cleaning/organizing the house, and a shopping trip to the grocery store planned around naps my son will now, not be taking because he’s cranky. I’ll forget to call my guest list because I’ll be rushed. I’ll snap at my husband for putting grease and oil stained clothes from his car project, on the newly mopped laundry room floor. He won’t help Saturday when I really need Bruce entertained as I cut up cheese, because I yelled at him. Bruce, who was cranky the day before and will most likely have fought good sleep again throughout that night, will become the top contender for the ‘Clingy Baby Award’ and during my hundredth attempt to placate him with a toy;I’ll remember that I never called my guest list, and wonder why I ever bother to agree to hosting cocktail parties.

It seems like I can avoid a lot of that stress by just not worrying about the upcoming tasks at hand, or even how early I must be up in the morning. And just snuggle this spoiled  little Goober on the couch, watch tv until I know he’s passed out enough to put in his crib, and try to slowly take each minute of the day as easily as possible. If I get something done, great. If not, then the oil and dirt streaks on the floor will make a great conversation piece during my cocktail party, that my husband will actually attend because he won’t be pouty. That’s if anyone shows up, because I’m not going to worry about calling them. That’s what facebook invites are for.

It’s not good for anyone to have too many irons in the fire. So I’m only going to pick out the hottest to deal with.