Saturday, November 26, 2016

Top 10 Gift Ideas for Her!!

Happy Small Biz Saturday!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful day.   I am really making an effort to sincerely shop small this year; I love knowing my money is going to other families and helping them do whatever it is they dream of doing!


My Gala Statement necklace and my new tee from Simply Mama Boutique; my friend Rachel started up her own biz!


Here are my top 10 ideas from Stella & Dot! {Thanks You Tube; fabulous screen shot, as always!}




Are you shopping small today?




Friday, November 25, 2016

Flashback Friday {in Vegas}

Friday morning we woke up and had a little more of the conference to wrap up.  I was really looking forward to hearing this speaker; I got to meet her Thursday night and she was AWESOME!

She's a recovering alcoholic and really just an all around amazing go-getter.  We each got a free copy of her book, Snap Yes and I need to just sit down and read it.  I spoke to her of my dreams of writing a book and she told me to just do it. Stop making excuses and write.  I will write it I promise!


After we said our goodbyes, we headed over to the strip to check into our hotel room at the Aria.  We hadn't been to Vegas since all of the construction had finished, so we were SO excited to see all of it.  We waited in a bit of a line to check in, only to find out we were in the wrong place because SOMEBODY was being super sneaky and upgraded our room to a suite!! We had our own check in area and walked into the room to see this...


It was the most luxurious hotel room that I have ever stayed in.  We could not believe the views and the amazing amenities.  I was totally shocked and could not being he pulled out all the stops.


I wish we had more time, I wanted to take a soak in this amazing tub!


Even the shower was so nice.



The whole corner suite was windows.  It was breathtaking.


We had to take a picture in front of the Bellagio because that was where we stayed the other two times.  Kind of hard not to love the look of it!



We hit up the strip and found those stupid expensive fruity drinks...they were so good!


I soaked up every minute of the warmth and the sunshine!


We went into the mall and lo and behold, we see this sign.  Are you kidding me?!  Of course we had to sign up and meet Joe's childhood hero!


On the in between, we may have made a purchase here...Merry Christmas to me!


He was OVER the moon to meet Joe Montana.


I was so happy for him!! What are the odds he would be there within the hour we happened to walk in? #meanttobe

We just love the way the strip is all lit up at night.


Our hotel--so crazy big!!


I decided to wear my new Guess dress Friday night.


I think it will be perfect this winter for any holiday parties or just out to eat with my honey.



After dinner, the owner of the company that flew us out invited us to XS one of the hottest clubs.  We had actually come before years back, so we were definitely in to see the place again!  We felt very special to be asked, as a "table" is not cheap.  $700 for a bottle of Tito's Vodka.  Crazy!


We danced to DJ Snake, which I am so embarrassed to admit that I did not know who he was.  I figured he was a popular dj, but I had no clue that he was Justin Bieber's dj!  I found that out as I was driving the other day.  We had fun but didn't particularly like getting blasted in the face with this air---I think it was to cool people down? It was kind of weird. Apparently that is the thing to do at the clubs...#weold

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

First of all I wish all of you who are reading this, a beautiful Thanksgiving.  Stop and think of 3 things you are grateful for.  I've been doing this before I go to sleep each night, (I write them in a journal) and I think it's really powerful.

I woke up around 5am, as Joe wanted to get in some hunting before turkey time.  I have a few moments of silence while the babes still sleep.  I wanted to pop on and share a few gems from our week.

We've been so busy with Thanksgiving prep and festivities.  Preschoolers add a whole new level of fun and excitement!

Brooke helped make cranberry bread for her Thanksgiving Feast at Preschool.  My grandma's original recipe was using Pillsbury, but for some reason they no longer make it.  This came out pretty well!  We all love it and I can at least carry on the tradition.


I took a few photos with my iphone (I'll share some of the nicer photos next time, from my good camera!)

She made a vest and a headpiece, but was a little mad she couldn't just wear her fur vest! (Totally my kid.)



The teachers even made us moms and dads pilgrim hats.  I also received my very first homemade necklace.  I had to choke back the tears about 3 times that day.  I am so grateful to be able to spend these moments with Brooke.


We made a potato turkey {she wanted to eat all the marshmallows & gummies!}



Wednesday I met up with my sister briefly at a mall and the kids got to play a bit.  I felt bad because I've been busy cleaning and prepping so it was good to get them out of the house a bit.



And today?  Today I will host my first Thanksgiving.  I'm trying very hard not to stress.  I am a little nervous about the timing of the turkey; there seems to be a million different methods on how to make the perfect one, and I just don't want it to finish too early or not be done on time.  I'm sure it will all work out, but ahhhh! I'm so excited to have friends and family over.  It may not be 100% ideal, as I wish more family and I were together, but I will focus on what we have and be thankful for all of it.

I'm going to start a new tradition of making these Thanksgiving morning.  If I had more time I would totally make them from scratch; maybe next year.  I'm sure my curly haired babes won't mind either way.


Have a blessed & bountiful day my friends!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Conference Day & Life Lessons

Like I mentioned before, I couldn't get enough of the gorgeous sunrise coming up over the strip.  I don't know about you, but I am not lucky enough to see the sun rise like this every single morning. It was so hard to sleep in, as our bodies were still on NY time, but also how could we not want to view this?


I kept it comfy this day, as I knew I'd probably be sitting with my husband all day.  It's funny because every other spouse leaves and does whatever; shopping, lounging by the pool, gambling or even just chilling in the hotel room.  Me?  I sit through this car industry conference and patiently wait for my hubby to speak.  I don't know why, other than I think Joe likes having me with him.  I can't exactly tell you anything I learned and to be honest, I may have day dreamed a bit, wrote out some goals and ideas...but I was there!

I wore a black maxi dress from Fabletics (sooooo comfortable!) my Monroe (kimono style top) my Sutton mixed metal & my silver hammered hoops.


It was so beautiful out in the morning, we soaked up some fresh air before the day began.


During one of the breaks Joe had to tend to one of our renters.  I guess the shower was having an issue in one of our houses, so he had to call a plumber.  Never a dull moment and he's always working.  At least the view was nice!!  I used to get so mad at him when he would "work" when we were together.  I'm not exactly sure when that stopped being an issue, but when it did, we really became a team.  I saw that our lives were not "normal" like everyone else who has a 9-5.  I see that yes, he's taking care of "work" but we are also able to collect a monthly rent check without much effort and that's on 4 different houses.  So, a little work here or there?  I really can't complain, especially since our nest egg continues to grow.


I was so proud to see his name on the big screen.  He hates any sort of big displays and thinks I'm crazy for making a big deal about this, but when a company flies you and your wife all the way to a swanky resort to give a 45 minute talk?  I'm sorry babe, but I think you're a pretty big freakin deal and I love you!!  You are what dreams are made of.  You started out living in a crummy studio apartment in the ghetto, to this.  Rags to riches and you should be so proud of yourself.  

My husband may not have a single college degree, but he's one of the smartest people I know.  He's also one of the most humble, yet confident souls I've ever met.  Some people would mistake his confidence for arrogance, but people talk a lot, especially if they don't know you personally.  I suppose I could learn a thing or two because he has some very thick skin and doesn't let much get to him.


I know he's my husband, but I really thought he spoke the best!! His mother told me a long time ago that Joe has the gift of gab.  I 110% agree with her.  I am not the best public speaker and clearly have a much stronger voice with writing, but Joe?  He is so good at effectively communicating important points.  I bet he'd be a lawyer if the schooling wasn't so long.  Either way, he did a fantastic job, as did all of the presenters that day.


After the conference portion wrapped up, I freshened up and went with the Emme choker for the night!


I am obsessed with my new thigh high black boots from Aldo.  I scored them on the labor day sale and LOVE that they are flats.  I still love my heels, but if you know you're going to be walking a lot and still want to be cute and trendy, these are it!  I also got my dress at F21 for under $20.


The restaurant was inside the Red Rock and it was really nice. There was a huge table that we first sat at; it was right next to a really pretty fire place but oh my goodness, it was hot!!


Earlier that morning we had listened to a motivational speaker.  He brought (pretty much) the whole room to tears that day.  I would love to share his story, but I fear I wouldn't do it justice.  The main point was to live life without regrets (of things you didn't do, but wanted to) and to always, always, always, keep your tribe close.  I may do a video to try and explain it better...this is his girlfriend and him in this photo.  They got to dinner late because they were watching the sunset over the Red Rocks.  I went to go to the ladies room and they stopped us and asked us to eat with them.  Of course Joe and I jumped at this opportunity.

It's hard to explain and some of you may take it the wrong way, but I feel like we sat there for a reason.  We got to know these two amazing souls on purpose.  It's one of those things where I hate that I don't know what they're doing or whether or not I'll ever see them again.

I firmly believe there are different types of people in this world.

Some just float around day to day, living the same old life, not changing or trying to better themselves.

Then there are people who have some severe (mental) health issues and perhaps use drugs or something else they are addicted to, to survive.

And then?  There are people who rise above, no not that they're better than anyone else, but that they are constantly striving to live their best life.  They are pushing themselves to the max, every single day.  The are soul searching, evaluating, researching, living and breathing in every single moment.   They fight hard for what they believe in, they may fall down but they always get back up.  They learn that in life, there are no regrets of the things you have done, but rather only of things that were left undone.  They learn to forgive and move on, because life is too damn short and we are never promised tomorrow.  They speak the truth, they follow their hearts and they learn most from any one of their multiple mistakes.  These. Are. My. People. They will not die, with the music left inside of them.  They are the risk takers, the earth shakers and being in their presence alone lifts me higher than I can even begin to explain.  Joe and I gravitate towards these people, because we are these people.


Sometimes we need to let go of the negative energy that holds us back, so that we can fly higher and reach our full potential.  I can't let go of this one part of my audiobook, that even Joe walked into the room while I was listening to it and it stopped him in his tracks.  Joel Olsteen was referring to someone who made a voicemail saying, "I'm sorry I can't answer the phone right now, I've been busy making some changes in my life. If I don't call you back, you're one of them." 

That may sound harsh, but sometimes we need to let go, so that we can move on.  Perhaps distancing yourself from someone may give that person time to grow, reflect, and realize his or her own life's purpose. The more I surround myself with my people, the easier this becomes.  This world is so full of negativity, hate and just mean people.  Be someone who lights up the room and makes the place feel a little more at ease. Be honest and don't play games.

Talk to one another.

Watch the sunrises and the sunsets. Stop and be present in the moment.  It's not easy; it's a daily (hourly) task sometimes.  But the more time we spend working on ourselves, the better we become overall.

Find your Tribe and love them hard.  You just never know when you'll truly need each other.  Those few precious souls on earth that you would do anything for, don't take that for granted.  We need each other more than ever right now, especially the state of our country.  

Be kind and share the love.