Can People Change?

Childhood friends are some of the best people in the world. You get to share a ton of memories from way back when there were no cell phones or selfies and your main responsibilities were to play outside all day long. You also get to create new memories as you grow up and together you get to celebrate milestones in your lives. But here’s why I think childhood friendships can sometimes need to hit the refresh button…

When you make new friends, they get to know you and like you for who you are at that moment in time. You often have the same interests because chances are, one of those interests is probably how you met in the first place. Maybe it was at the gym, your kid’s school, mutual friends, work, etc. You’ve got material to bond over such as work place gossip, fitness, recipes, you know, all the stuff we care much more about as we get older.  Naturally, old friends often grow apart as they grow up and evolve to have different interests than one another. What you’re left with are a whole bunch of memories from when you were kids. Times were more simple and everything was fun, right? Wrong.

You’re not the same person you were when you were young. Well, at least I know I’m not. I was a bossy kid. I was the hands on my hips, giving out orders, “we’re going to play what I want to play” kind of kid. Was I nice and still a good friend? Sure. But sometimes I feel like people who were close to me when I was that girl, only remember that girl. That the memories they think of are when I was bossing them around, not the ones when I was standing up for them, and the times when I always had to go first and got my way, not the times I did something good or nights when we laughed until we cried. Like their lens is focused on the wrong parts.

With age comes wisdom right? I’ve worked so hard over the last decade to become a person I like and a person I’m proud to be. I’m a good friend. I care about others deeply. I love. I sympathize. I empathize. I serve others. I trust others. I believe in others. I hope. And I never stop working on me. So can people really change? Yes. I know I have. The problem is that no matter how much we change, sometimes others still see us as the person we were before. We’re all probably guilty of not really liking someone because we know how they used to be. Maybe we need to take a look at how they are now.

So live a life that you’re proud of and do it for you. No matter what it is, do it because it makes YOU happy. Be the person that makes you happy and forget the haters! We all know, haters gon’ hate anyway, right? Remember…a flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms. Bloom away my friends!

A Wife and Mom Goes Camping

This wife and mom has taken to the outdoors! We decided to buy an RV so we can take our everyday adventures outside! Well, that wasn’t really the gung-ho attitude I had from the beginning, but it’s getting there. I was skeptical about the whole thing and completely aware of the extra work and expenses that come along with an RV, but the mister was pretty excited about it so here we are. The memories we’ll make will outweigh the extra work, headaches, and hassles. It will. It will. Keep saying it over and over, Lauren!

For our first adventure, we left the boys with Grandma and Grandpa and set off just the two of us. We wanted to make sure that everything would run smoothly before we had our little guys with us. For the most part, everything went perfectly! Seriously. I was surprised at how easy everything was and how comfortable our little home on wheels felt right away. Do you even fully understand how much different camping is when you have your own toilet and bed? There was really no “roughing it” involved. We even baked chocolate chip cookies each night in our oven. Nothing makes you feel at home, like fresh baked cookies! The cooking of meals was easy too. Although, I do not recommend buying a can opener at the dollar store. I didn’t know metal could just bend like that. It was completely useless. It’s a good thing my husband is always prepared, because let’s be honest, most of the delicious camping meals I make use ingredients out of cans. He’s a lifesaver.

So the whole trip was a little bit like a second honeymoon. We just did whatever we wanted to do all day long. We relaxed, we went on hikes, we watched movies, I brought my sewing machine and got my crafty on, I read a book, Josh played with tools, and built campfires. We had a great time. We’re already planning our next adventure so we can take the boys. Boys and camping go together like me and not having to rough it!

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Check out this crazy skeleton we found!

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Any camping/RV tips you want to share? Let me hear ’em!

Favorite Things Friday 9.16

I just love sharing about my favorite things. I actually wish everyone would share things they are loving right now, because I always like to learn about the new products, shows, and food that people are into. To me, a good recommendation is so important! Otherwise, how do I know if it’s any good? Actually, a little known fact about me is that I rarely every try new products on my own. I just don’t like the uncertainty of whether or not I’ll like it. Therefore, I rely on my friends (and the internet!) to tell me if it’s worth my time!

So, here’s a few of my current favorite things…

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1. Monica Potter Home Coconut Lip Balm– Ok, so this chapstick was recommended to me by one of my makeup guru friends who I know I can trust. She casually was like, “Hey, try this chapstick.” I did and my response was some sort of mix between my eyes rolling back into my head in pleasure and just wanting to sit there and smell it for the rest of the night. To say it smells amazing is an understatement. It’s not a super fruity coconut scent, it’s more of a sweet coconut cake type of smell. Plus, it glides on smoothly and feel super hydrating. More like a vaseline instead of a thick chapstick. Oh, and did I mention it’s only $4.00. Yeah. And if you get your friends to buy one too, you can order together and split the shipping.  The company has great customer service also, which is a good sign of a great business! They also offer other flavors such as Lavender, Vanilla, and Spearmint since Coconut was out of stock the last time I checked, but you can get emailed when it’s available, so don’t worry. Easy! You can order yours and see everything else they have on the Monica Potter Home website HERE.

2. Salad and Go– If you’ve in Arizona, you have to check them out. It’s such a good feeling to know you can get healthy fast food! And I mean FAST! They offer salads and wraps, delicious breakfast items such as burritos and a warm berry quinoa bowl, smoothies, and refreshing lemonades. And anything with a drive thru gets an extra star in my book! Visit their website HERE for the full menu and locations. They are popping up everywhere!

3. The Mindy Project– I know I might be late to the game on this one, but I had never seen this show before about a month ago. As soon as I started watching, I laughed out loud so many times that I knew I had found something worth watching. It’s funny, crazy, and drives me crazy with the love story lines that don’t go my way! If you’ve never seen it, please do yourself a favor and watch it. You can watch all seasons on HULU.

4. Chobani Fruit on the Bottom Pineapple Greek Yogurt– Guys. If you like pineapple, please do yourself a favor and try this yogurt. It doesn’t have a bitter greek yogurt taste at all. The pineapple flavor kicks you in the mouth right away (in a good way!) and every bite thereafter was heaven. The only thing is that it’s pretty sweet, so you might only eat half the container at a time. I usually choose to have this for dessert if I’m craving something really sweet. It’s a little high in sugar, but we’ve all gotta splurge sometimes, right? I found mine at the Walmart Neighborhood Market, so check your local stores to see where you can purchase it.

5. Kirkland’s Every Child is an Artist Clip Art Holder– The hubby and I picked this up on a date night and I love it! It hangs in our hallway above the hooks where we keep the boys’ backpacks and it is the perfect place to display some of the adorable artwork and crafts that Mason creates at preschool! Oh, and did I mention it’s only $16.99? Snag yours on their website HERE!

Visit me on Facebook and Instagram and let me know your favorite things!
Facebook:  The Extraordinary Everyday Adventures of a Wife and Mom
Instagram: @eeaofawifeandmom

My Planner

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I LOVE planners. Everything about them makes me happy. Stickers, post-its, pens, markers, writing, doodling, being organized, making lists, aaaagghhh, it just gets me so excited!

I’m so excited to share how I do my planner and planning each week!

First of all, this is the planner I am using right now…

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It’s a Spartina Mermaid Weekly planner and I am obsessed with it. It’s full of girly, empowering, and cute patters, logos, and quotes. I can’t get enough of it! Plus, it goes from August 2016 to December of 2017 so I can use it now and all of next year! You can order your own from the Spartina website here.

Another great planner is the Erin Condren planner. You can personalize them a lot of different ways. Check out her website here and use the code BKREFITBVUOGJDLA for 20% off your order! (Code expires 12/31/16.)

So let’s get into what I do to plan each week! When you open your planner, there is usually a front page/title page area. This is often called your dashboard because you can keep post-its and other useful things there by sticking them to it or making little pockets, etc. Here you can see that right now, I just keep small square post-its there. I use these “on the go” to add little things I don’t want to forget to my future week, so they’re the only ones I need with me. Plus, notice how cute this planner is. “You are mermazing.” C’mon. This planner is the best.

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Before we keep going, it’s important to know that I keep EVERYTHING that is going on in my life and my family’s life, in my cell phone calendar. That’s what I use when I sit down and plan each week in my planner. Sometimes in my phone it’s hard to really see the whole week and what we have going on. That’s why I like to sit down on Sunday night with my phone, planner, stickers, pens, etc. and plan out what the coming week looks like. It helps me get pumped and prepared for the coming week! Plus, it never feels like a chore. To me, sitting down with my planner and box of planner supplies is ME time! Time to relax and be a little crafty.

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Here’s what my planner week might look like when I sit down to start planning. You can see I have a note to remember that my parents are leaving for vacation, and also my usual things like my Body Back workout class, swim lessons, and TV shows I want to remember to watch. (Please don’t judge me- yes, I may occasionally watch Teen Mom and I do love Pretty Little Liars. I know.)

I keep the “recurring” post-its and when I take them off this week, I just flip the page and move them to the next week. There’s just something about seeing these recurring things there each week that I like and then I’ll add new ones or specific ones as I need to. The purpose of using post-its is so you can see everything you have planned for each day. Then, when you write them in you can make everything fit and look pretty.

Here’s what a finished week might look like…

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The first thing I always do is to add washi tape to the top, bottom, and between each day. If you’re not familiar with washi tape, they are small rolls of decorative tape that you can peel up and move and reposition without it hurting your paper. Be aware, they come in so many  freaking cute designs, you’ll want 20 different ones the first time you ever even look at them. They make each week feel different and festive. You can theme each week based on holidays, moods, events, or just whatever you like. You can pick up washi tape at craft stores, Walmart, Target, and online. I have been using the thinner washi tape that is only maybe half and inch wide and it fits much better. You can see in the photo that the top and bottom are a wider tape than the middle ones.

After washi tape, I add different stickers to accent areas or where I might write in certain events. I have a few different workout stickers so I always add them before I write out “Body Back”. I also always add some stickers with positive quotes on them so when I look at my planner throughout the week it makes me feel good!

Then, I start filling in my week’s events, to-do lists, reminders such as TV shows, deliveries I’m expecting, dinners I’m planning to make, anything and everything! I like to write in different fonts, colors, and sizes. It keeps it interesting.

Last, I add more stickers if I want, some swirly doodles, flowers, or words maybe, and anything else that makes me happy, or anything I love or think it needs.

Here’s a few examples of past weeks…

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The whole reason I enjoy planning like this is because all week long, when I look at my planner, it makes me smile. It love it. It’s pretty to look at and it lets me get a great picture of my whole week. Some weeks are better than others, some weeks stay pretty empty, and some weeks turn out so great that I want to carry my planner around and show it to everyone I meet! It’s just fun.

If you like playing with craft and office supplies and like being organized, this could be something to try!

Any planner tips to share, products you love, or questions you have?  Be sure to connect with The Extraordinary Everyday Adventures of a Wife and Mom on Facebook and Instagram! I love hearing from you!

The opinions in this post are entirely my own. No compensation has been given for products featured. 

How To Clean Dirty Shoes…The Easy Way

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As I’m sure is the case with most kids, my 3 years old gets his shoes so dirty so fast. One day they look brand new, and the next day they look like they’re three years old too. I know he plays hard, but I also like him to look like we didn’t find his shoes in a dumpster.

The easiest and best way to clean the plastic part of shoes is by using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! You may have heard this before, but it really does work. Try it. I took my son’s filthy Converse shoes and did a quick 5 minute job of scrubbing them late one night before he started preschool and they looked amazing! I could have spent a little more time getting in the grooves, but I actually didn’t care that much, so I didn’t. They looked good enough and by good enough I mean pretty darn good! Imagine how much better these shoes would have looked if I had thrown them in the washer first! On this pair I actually used the Mr. Clean Bathroom Magic Eraser because it’s what I had. They all work ridiculously really well!

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So, if you have a pair of shoes that are still in good condition, but are all dingy and dirty, pick up a Mr. Clean and give it a go! Any cleaning tips to share? Visit The Extraordinary Everyday Adventures of a Wife and Mom on Facebook!

*All opinions in this post are entirely my own. I have not received any compensation for this post. 

Breakfast Ideas for Kids

Now that my little guy has started preschool, we have a lot more going on in the mornings than before! It wouldn’t seem like it, but just knowing there is somewhere we have to be makes the whole morning seem a little more pressed for time. As we’ve been in a new routine, I’ve noticed myself getting bored of the same old things that I make my boys for breakfast. Plus, because most of the time, I end up eating whatever I am making for them, so then I get bored of a frozen waffle every day. Most of the time, I make my boys any combination of these:

frozen waffles
cheesy scrambled eggs
breakfast sausage
toast
fruit
those things that look like a corndog, but it’s a piece of sausage with a pancake around it (I don’t know why, but my 3 year old loves them.)

And thats it. Boring!

I need to try some new stuff! I found a great article on parenting.com about 15 on-the-go breakfasts for kids. Now, we don’t need them to be on-the-go, and I would never give a young child an open topped yogurt with nuts and honey to eat in anything that is moving, but the new ideas for breakfast are great! I wouldn’t even use them just for kids. They all look delicious.

How simple it can be! Homemade granola bars! Egg burritos (my kids LOVE burritos!), a bagel with cream cheese (duh, talk about easy!), so many good options! And along with every new idea, each one includes the whole recipe too! Score!

Check out these inspiring new recipes here!

It’s time to revamp breakfast!

Wives Day

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Did you know that August 5th is Wives Day?

Here is the official origin story of this beautiful holiday. Many moons ago (about 8 or 9 years ago to be more precise), I decided the there wasn’t a day between my birthday in May and Christmas that was all about me. Now, you may be thinking that I am completely self centered and spoiled, but I will tell you that you’re {pretty much} wrong. Is it so bad to enjoy being pampered and fussed about? NO! I deserve it, you deserve it, we all deserve it!

So I looked at a calendar to pick a good date that fell somewhere in the middle between May and December and there was August 5. It sounded like the perfect date for Wives Day. I told my husband about it right then and there and believe it or not, as much he thought I was a little bit ridiculous, he actually seemed to enjoy the idea of another day where we got to “celebrate” something, no matter how silly {or completely made up!} Over the years, there have been a few times where I completely forgot Wives Day was coming up and he surprised me with plans to take me out. Man, he’s a keeper.

We usually go out to dinner and maybe do something fun. Nothing crazy but we have a good time and we get to celebrate that I’m his wife! Although, I should probably be the one who plans the night for him, since I’m really celebrating that he keeps me around!

Tell your spouse and go out and celebrate! Oh, and don’t forget to mark your calendars for next year!

Happy Wives Day!

Love Notes

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Do you leave your honey love notes? You should!

I love leaving little notes for my husband to find when he’s not expecting them. When we were first married I would leave them on the seat of his car or on the garage door so he would see them as he was leaving. Now, after 11 years of marriage, I tape them to the bathroom mirror and hide them in his lunch box he takes to work. Usually it just says something simple like, “Have a great day!” or if he’s been sick, “I hope you feel better! I’ll be thinking of you all day!” Those 11 years haven’t really helped with the creativity, apparently, but it’s the thought that counts, right? My hubs even keeps a little folded love note in his wallet that I gave him years and years ago.

The key to a successful love note is to make it easy and unexpected! I only leave my hubby a sweet little note every few months, if that. Sometimes it’s longer, but I’m sure he smiles every time he finds one. When he smiles, I smile, so it’s really a win-win in my book.

Go and leave someone a love note today!

AND have you entered my giveaway yet? Visit this post for all the details!

Jules Roggeman Jewelry GIVEAWAY!

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From the moment I saw it, I fell in love with a gold dipped sea shell necklace that my darling friend Julie had in her jewelry shop. As I was getting ready to go to Hawaii last month I knew I just had to have that necklace to wear on the beach in paradise. It’s dainty, shiny, and flat out gorgeous!

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Since I love my necklace so much, the amazing Julie of Jules Roggeman Jewelry is making it possible for one of my lucky readers to WIN one of your very own! See, dreams do come true!

Here’s how to enter:
1. Follow both The Extraordinary Everyday Adventures of a Wife and Mom and Jules Roggeman Jewelry on Facebook
2. SHARE the Facebook Giveaway post.

For an extra entry: Follow both @eeaofawifeandmom and @jules_roggeman on Instagram and let me know you did in a comment on the FB post.

That’s it! This giveaway ends on Sunday, August 7, 2016 at 11:59pm MST.

Jules Roggeman Jewelry has a great selection of beautiful jewelry including hand stamped, custom pieces! Be sure to check out her Etsy shop here!

This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook or Instagram and all opinions are my own. No compensation has been given for my opinions use of products.

A Mother’s Worth

Are you enough if you’re JUST a wife and mother?

I ask myself this a lot lately. Along with other questions like, “What else should I do?” and “Shouldn’t I be focusing on something other than JUST my kids?” The JUST in these question is what makes people think that being either of those things isn’t enough.

There are days where I feel like I should have another job to do or have other responsibilities outside of my home, but then I remember the reason I stopped teaching in the first place…to focus on my family! I wanted to JUST have the job of taking care of my boys without feeling like I was sacrificing time with them for all the other things I was responsible for. So much of my time and energy was given to my full time job that I constantly felt like there wasn’t enough left when I got home.

I’ll always remember the moment when I decided I wanted to try to stop working and stay home. My little boy had woken up in the middle of the night. Now, when their baby wakes up in the middle of the night all parents usually go through a few moments of what I like to call “The 5 Stages of Sleep Grief.”

Denial- “What? Is that crying? It can’t be! There is no way he’s awake!”
Anger- “Ugh! He’s awake! WHY!? I just fell asleep!
Bargaining- This one is usually directed at your husband or significant other. “If you go in and get him back to sleep this time then I’ll go the next two times!”
Depression- *Insert tears* “But I’m just so tired. I knew I shouldn’t have stayed up watching Netflix until 1 AM.”
Acceptance- “Alright, fine. I’ll go get him.”

This is normal! But, back to the point…I was in my little boy’s room rocking him back to sleep and I remember being so mad about the sleep I was losing because I knew the next day at work was going to be busy. I was counting down the hours remaining until I had to get up for work and I realized that I was snugging the sweetest little boy in my arms in a quiet room, just the two of us, and I wasn’t focusing on that at all. Even though no one likes to get up in the middle of the night, snuggling a baby is pretty much the best reason around. I felt like I was missing out on really enjoying every moment and adventure with my family because I was preoccupied with work.

Are there tons of moms who work full time? Of course. And I know they are amazing. But for me, I was no longer able to emotionally split my time and energy between my own children and 32 others, every single day. It wasn’t fair to my future students for me to continue teaching if I wasn’t going to give it my all, and right now, my all is right where I want it…at home.

So don’t forget…

If you’re a stay at home mom, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you’re a working mom, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you’re a single mom, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you’re an expecting mom, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you’re a mom of grown children, you are doing a great job and you are enough!
If you don’t have any children, but love your cats or dogs or job, you are doing a great job and you are enough.

Really, as long as you’re happy, you are enough!