Archives for April 2012

a day in the life of instagram

I’m still here….I’m just not writing.  
At least not this week.
Life got crazy, yo!
But, it’s all GOOD.
Life is actually really GOOD.
Although nothing in my life has really changed….
except for me.
God has been working a change in my heart, and it’s been….
can you guess???
GOOD.
I like GOOD.
So, while I just take a moment and enjoy it all for a moment, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve been up to in case you aren’t following me on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook.
{and if you’re not, may i ask, why not????}
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{my newest nephew, Roman just an hour old.  born 4/25, a week late, weighing in at 6 lbs 1 oz.}
{yes, i’m slightly jealous of those lips.}
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{the smallest feet that i have ever loved.}
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{youth group planking scavenger hunt. snapped this with my iphone of one of my girls.  can you see her?}
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{my newest nail polish obsession by Loreal.  looks like a tiffany blue.  i love tiffany blue.}
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{sermon notes from church.  this proved that God does, in fact, read my blog.}
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{she was so excited to sleep in this box.  i figure it’s good practice for her future career as a missionary.}
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{a new revlon lipstick in the color kiss.  so, i kissed.}
{btw, walmart/target stocks may have gone up recently due to my lipstick/gloss purchases.  i seem to have a problem.}
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{sally hansen nail stickers, so fun!  and they lasted about two weeks, which way outlasts nail polish!}
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{an impulse purchase from hautelook.com.  i have good impulses.}
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{taking my man to the hunger game experience.}
~~~~~~~
Now, back to my nephew Baby Roman.
Could you JUST DIE over that cuteness?
And those LIPS????
Those are some GOOD lips.
So there ya go….
My instagram,
and all that is GOOD right now.
What about you?
What’s good in your hood???
p.s.
what is NOT good?
the fact that picnik no longer exists and i have outfit pictures to edit and post!
what’s a girl to do???
pss…
OH!
You should know…
It’s been FOUR days without ANY processed food & sugar, and I’m still alive!
And I cooked!
You guys, I COOKED!!!
I may have had to nap the whole next day to recover, but whatever.
I cooked.
(with lots of help and supervision by a sweet and patient friend.)
More on all that next week!!!
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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why tv is kind of amazing for kids

And the last story from the Betsy & Summer Production archives…

~~~~~~~

We’ll be the first to say it. 
Being a stay-at-home mom is hard work. 
It’s tough being a martyr.
But we have good news. We’ve found a way to stay home and have smart, well-balanced, and well-behaved children-all the while keeping your sanity.
How?
Get a nanny. 
But not just any nanny. 
A smart, entertaining, and interesting nanny.
We’ve had the good fortune to have some incredible nannies come in and out of our lives over the years. In fact, due to the endless hours they’ve worked and devoted to our children, we as mothers have hardly had to do anything! 
(Other than, of course, keep them fed and alive. That is what we signed up for, right?)
Let’s take a walk down memory lane:
First, there was the baby nanny. 
So gentle. So calm. So cultured. 
Every day, several times a day, she introduced our babies to classical music in order to help build their brains. 
She even showed them amazing, beautiful pictures of art, nature, and bright colorful objects.
When our kids turned from babies to toddlers, we had the good fortune to find a hot Aussie manny. Actually, not just one, but four! 
Every day they’d come into our home and sing songs, do funny dances, and teach our kids that fruit salad was yummy yummy.
But there was only so much singing and dancing that we could handle. 
It was time to find someone a little more sophisticated.
It was time to go bilingual.
Our next nanny was a cute little thing. 
Every day, she brought a backpack stuffed with toys to entertain our kids. 
With her, every day was an adventure. 
She even taught our kids how to stand up to bullies-not just in English, but in Spanish as well! 
(Although isn’t “no!” the same in Spanish and English?)
Once our kids had mastered the basic Spanish language, we felt it was time to move on to letter recognition. 
The new nannies -a group of siblings- not only taught them their letters and sounds, but also how to put letters together to make words! 
Amazing! 
Our kids were some of the smartest ones on the block before they even got to preschool. 
Junior Mensa, here we come.
By now you’ve got to be wondering, how can a pair of stay-at-home moms afford such quality childcare . . . and so much of it?
We’ll let you in on a little secret:
Just get your remote. 
Dig it out from under the couch cushions, where it’s hiding among the stale Cheerios and missing sippy cups.
What?!?
Oh, yes, fellow Mummies, we are talking about the TV. 
The cheapest nanny you’ll ever find! 
Apart from paying a small fee to your cable company every month, it’s free. 
Even better, if you have some kind of On-Demand program, you can pick and choose your nannies at any time of the day, any day of the week. 
And they’ll work as long and hard as you need them to. 
Remember, cable doesn’t charge overtime.
But wait-don’t judge us. 
We do have standards. 
For instance, we would never let our virtual nannies into the kids’ bedrooms. 
And just as we would “screen” a real babysitter, we also did our research with our virtual nannies. 
We evaluated all the possible shows and allowed only the best, most qualified ones to come into our homes.
Really, how can you go wrong with Baby Einstein, the Wiggles, Dora, and Leap, Lily, and Tad? 
We’d never introduce our children to Barney (annoying), or SpongeBob (where’s the educational value in that?), Teletubbies (um, language skills?), Lazytown (creepy), Arthur (have you seen the way he treats his sister?), or Higglytown Heroes (delivering pizzas makes you a hero? We don’t think so).
{although, we won’t judge you if these shows happen to be your cup of tea.  we’re moms that get it…no judging here!}
So for those of you moms who have been feeling guilty about your child’s viewing habits, now you can proudly proclaim that you are expanding their vocabularies, teaching them music and art, and even introducing them to new languages!
Really, we’re doing it for the children. 
And if that doesn’t qualify us for the Mother of the Year Award, we don’t know what does.
To those of you who don’t even own a TV, we’ll say this: You are better women than we are. 
Without such digital magic available to us, we would almost certainly be buying stock in Bev Mo.
So on that note, pick up your glasses. 
(Not the kind you wear-we’re not that old yet!) 
Let’s say “Cheers!” to the nannies of the digital age.
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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blog2print book giveaway

I have always wanted to take some of my blog posts and make them into a book so that I share them with my kids.
There are lessons I’ve learned, stories I’ve written, and memories shared that I most definitely want to be remembered and passed down.
I may never get to share my story in a real book, but I have these posts here that over time have created the story of my life, and how amazing would it be to see it all in print?

I’ll tell you….
KIND OF AMAZEBALLS.

And so like any good twitterer would do, I sent out a tweet asking who had done this and what company they liked the most.
I got a lot of responses, but I have to say my FAVORITE response was from Blog2Print, mostly because #1, they replied immediately.
And #2, they offered me AND one of my readers a $50 gift certificate to their website to be used towards our own book!!!
They love us, they really love us!!!
This is just one of the reasons I love blogging.
Okay, so mostly it’s because it gives us a place to be free to be who we are right in this moment, but also????
It gives me the opportunity to allow other companies/businesses to bless my incredible readers and friends.
And I just love blessing you guys with AMAZING free gifts.
{especially since Jimmy putting me on a budget really limits my ability to bless you all like I wish I could.  dumb budgets.}

So free gifts/giveaways?
It’s like giving you all a virtual hug. =)
(every time I say virtual, I feel like a complete geek.  btw.)
So.
Get to dreaming about your book, and get to entering this giveaway.  
Now for the rules and all the ways to win!!!

~ Make sure you either follow my blog through google friend connect (link is on the right sidebar) or that you have subscribed to get my blog posts via email. (find that link also on the right sidebar).
You MUST be a follower/subscriber to get this hook up.
~ Visit Blog2Print and start thinking about which cover you’d choose…so many!
Maybe even start creating your book so when you win, all you have to do is enter your code and PUBLISH!
~ Tweet about it, and leave the link in another comment.
~ Blog about it, and leave the link in another comment.
~ Facebook about it, and yes….in ANOTHER comment, leave the link.
~ Follow Le Musings on Twitter, let me know in ANOTHER comment
 ~ Follow Le Musings on Facebook, guess what, leave a comment for each letting me know, and that’s ANOTHER entry.
~ Subscribe to Le Musings YouTube…another comment, another entry!
{going to be doing some giveaways on YouTube, so definitely don’t miss this option!}
Contest ends on Sunday when I’ll choose my winner!!!
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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estrea skincare giveaway winner

Gigi!!! 
You are the BIG winner of the Estrea Skincare Giveaway! 
{email me with your shipping info!}
You guys.
I have a TON of kind of amazing stuff to giveaway to you guys, so stick around.  
Next one starts on MONDAY.
xoxo
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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alone with my thoughts, unedited

I can’t sleep tonight.  

Thoughts are swirling around inside my mind, jumbled thoughts and images and memories, and I know I need to give them God.

And I did, a little.
But sometimes I express myself better to God not in thoughts or spoken prayers…but in words.  In writing.  When I just let go and write, out comes the truth of my soul.

the soul he already sees and knows….and he just waits for me to find it.

So, here I sit alone in my living room with nothing but the glow of my laptop and hum of the kitchen….doing something I rarely do….

I am just writing.

There is no direction, no idea what I will share or how it will end.
No lesson to teach, more so just hopes that a lesson will be learned.
That through my writing, God will show up and make sense of the thoughts that are keeping me awake.

I think about Taylor…and how he’s almost 7.  And I don’t know why suddenly 7 seems so significant, but I am amazed at how it really did pass in a blink of an eye.

i get now what they mean when they say life is short….
I look at him and I am in awe.  In awe at who he is.  At who he is becoming.  And at how he is SO much like his dad, and so much like me, and yet he is so much his own person.  
And I am proud.
Because he is better than I could have dreamed or hoped.
And I feel relief….because I didn’t know what I was doing.
i still don’t.
But in 7 years I have let go so much of the control.
I have learned to love unconditionally.
I have learned strength.
I have come to LOVE being a mom….even on the hard days.
I wouldn’t trade them even on the hard days.
And then my thoughts turn to where I am now.  How I am so different now.  More aware, yet more confused.  Confident yet still insecure and unsure.  
I wonder what God is doing with me.  Where is He taking me?  
What IS my purpose?  
Leading the youth?
Speaking?
Writing?
And then I think….
It’s been 4 years. 

Four years that I’ve been writing here on Le Musings of Moi.
And it’s grown…a little.
And there have been opportunities….plenty.

And I cherish the growth and the opportunities and I even put them all into a folder called encouragement…

but…

But, when I compare this place to others that started when I did, or even to newer blogs with more success (and i know i shouldn’t….), I feel as though I can’t keep up.
And I wonder…

If something is good, isn’t there growth?
And if there isn’t, is it time to let it go? 

To give up the dream.

Where do I go from here?

And then I’m back to thinking about where God has me now.
I feel a shift happening…a change.
A stirring.

I remember back to just days ago when we were planting and sweeping and preparing for spring, and I was overwhelmed with a feeling that things were soon to be different.

And sitting here now, I wonder….what was that feeling?
It settled me then, but it confuses me now.

And in and out of all those concrete thoughts are moments of sadness for the people I know and know of that are hurting, and struggling, and probably up tonight as well with swirling thoughts of their own.

dear jesus, i can’t sleep tonight.
and this is me.
alone with my thoughts.
i pray you hear me and through your Holy Spirit, you find meaning in it all.
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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you are never "too much" for a true friend

The last few years God has truly been filtering out and rearranging my friendship circle.  At the time it was incredibly hurtful and very uncomfortable, and I most definitely didn’t quite get what God was allowing and why….but now???
Now I get it, and I am SO THANKFUL.
Sometimes I look at my husband and kids… 
and then look beyond to my circle of friends, 
and then go even further beyond to our church and my online community (YOU!)…
and suddenly I am overwhelmed with tears and awe.

{a little mush mush, i know.}


But, I certainly wouldn’t know the depths of these relationships had I not walked through some seasons of droughts and testing.

I absolutely would not know who my true friends are had they not seen me at my very worst…..
and loved me through it.
I wouldn’t appreciate the support, or the hearts, or the stories, or the intent….
had I not experienced all that God has allowed me to walk through.
A lot of my life I have felt misunderstood.
Or felt different.
I may have been surrounded, but a lot of the time I felt Alone.
I’ve said it before, I just always felt (and told) I was “too much…” of whatever it may be.
But these last few years, when I was at the peak of some of that “too much,” that is when God not only refined me….but he also refined my definition of friendship.

And He showed me that I would never be “too much” for the ones that were meant to be.
The friends I have now are my family.
They are my forever friends…and I don’t doubt that for a moment.
When you have walked through the mud and they are still there walking with you….you just know.
It turns out, the friends God chose for me are absolutely WORTH the heartache I felt in losing the ones I had chosen for myself.
It’s not to say they weren’t necessarily good people….they just didn’t or couldn’t understand.
Or they just happened not to be right for me, for my life….or perhaps vice versa.
I know that being abandoned, or dumped, or suddenly ignored without any explanation from someone you loved and trusted hurts.  
I’ve been there.
I know the pain of baring your soul to someone, only to have them misunderstand your heart….
I’ve felt that.
I know what it’s like to expose your weaknesses only to have them thrown back in your face as way of hurting you.

But, I also know that the pain of all of that begins to heal the moment you give it to God, and you just say….
“Okay God.  You know better than me.  Bring me the right friends at the right time.”
And HE WILL.
And they will be your angels.
God has surrounded me with them…
and finally I feel comforted, protected, loved and UNDERSTOOD….
and it’s feels incredible.

“…it feels like home to me….”
It’s a glimpse of Him…
and that you guys… 
is what heals all hurts and wounds.

Never stop praying.
Never stop being exactly who you are….
Because you will find your people…your angels…and you WILL be blessed.

{p.s. YOU are my people.  YOU have been my angels.  Thank you for investing into me, and this blog, and for showing me what it’s meant to look like.}
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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target haul a.k.a mommy therapy

For your viewing pleasure! 
And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel
Lots of videos in the works, lots of products to share…and even some YouTube Giveaways coming up!
{ugh, SUCH a bad hair day.  blech.}

products mentioned:
Boots No.7 Number Four Seduction
{sorry about the less than perfect lighting, i guess it’s time to change video cameras….}
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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photography mentoring

marnieguestpost
Hi there! 
I am a lifestyle and editorial photographer shooting everything from kids clothing lines to weddings in Los Angeles and wherever my camera takes me.  I also teach one-on-one mentor sessions and I thought it was fine time I extended a warm welcome – and special offer – to Le Musings of Moi readers! 
How many of you have a nice camera but aren’t sure how to use it?  Would love to take a photo class but can’t afford the time?  Dust off that black beauty and learn how to take beautiful images in a snap without the hassle of committing to an expensive course with a major time commitment! Want to learn some Lightroom or Photoshop basis to make your photos look magazine ready? Bloggers: need a hand shooting some quality images for your blog? Whether you want to focus on children (or fur babies, images for your blog or of your life!) my mentor sessions will get your schooled in shooting manual, develop your creative eye, and connect with your subjects – even (or especially) if that subject happens to be your children!  
Here’s the best part: if you live outside of Los Angeles, no problem! 
I teach one-on-one sessions via Skype and iChat.   
To schedule your session, simply email studio@marniegoodfriend.com with your name, location, and the session of your choice and we’ll start you off with a questionnaire and schedule a date!
What they say about me:
Marnie Goodfriend  (www.marniegoodfriend.comwww.marniegoodfriend.4ormat.com)
is an award winning children’s and lifestyle photographer living in Los Angeles.
She holds a BFA in Photography from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  Some clients include Joah Love,
Hollywood Records, Ray Bradbury, Billi Gordon, KaDee Strickland (ABC’s “Private Practice”), Duran Duran, 
and Moby. She travels across the country on assignment for editorial assignments and personal commissions.

Summer Blog Mentor Menu
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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why breastfeeding can just suck it

And yet another Betsy & Summer production….
Another side of breastfeeding:

~~~~~~~

We know, we know. We’ll say it before you do. Breastfeeding provides your baby with all the best nutrients-nutrients that formula can’t possibly mimic. It’s a bonding experience with your baby. It gives your baby immunities that will last his or her whole life.

But before you judge us, remember that it takes a strong (and brave) woman to put it out there and say what we’re about to. 
And know we absolutely respect those who are able to do it. 
It takes a special-and genetically blessed-woman to whip out her boob, sometimes in public, and feed her baby on demand. In fact, we wish it had been different for us. 
After all, breastfeeding is way cheaper!
Blah, blah, blah.
At the risk of ticking off the entire La Leche League and scores of Dr. Sears attachment parenting advocates, we’re going to say it out loud: 
Breastfeeding Can Suck It.
My (Summer’s) experience with breastfeeding was a painful one. 
Painful in my ever-growing boobs, and even more painful in my heart. 
I tried, oh how I tried. 
Trust me, I did not want to warrant any evil looks or risk having my diaper bag egged for whipping out the “F” word. 
FORMULA.
Oh yes, I said it.
But hear me out. 
Once you hear the dramatic tale, you will want to rub my back and buy me dinner. 
Even you, La Leche Leaguers!
My dear boy was a hungry one. 
So hungry, in fact, that he wanted to suck the nipple right off, possibly in hopes that it would provide an endless supply of milk. 
It was, needless to say, excruciating. 
Every time he latched on, I suddenly found myself with a mild case of Tourret’s, yelling “SH*!” or “F!&$!” 
Along with some other expletives that a Christian Momma should not be saying around her newborn. My sister and I used to joke that his first word could quite possibly be the “F” word, and in this case I don’t mean FORMULA.
So, I did what every new mom does. 
I took it to the guru of all gurus. 
The lovely Eve, Queen of all Lactation Consultants. 
I was told by many that she was the “OZ” of the breastfeeding world. 
She was the one with the answers. 
She would solve my problems.
About five minutes into my consultation, she asked me to whip it out and show her what I had been doing. 
As I ever so slowly revealed my dangling nipple, I heard a gasp. 
Eve’s face was pale. 
And as quickly as she asked me to whip it out, she this time asked me to put it away. 
And then I heard what I never thought a lactation consultant could say.
“My dear, never ever nurse on those things again.”
It was all I needed to hear.
What came next was music to my ears: 
“In all my 30 years of doing this, I have never seen such intense nipple damage!”
Oh yes, it was bad. 
But I had been so determined to make it work that I was going to lose a nipple for the cause.
Also, one thing to know about a dangling nipple: it causes infection. 
Or better named, mastitis. 
Four times in four months.
Nipple loss + mastitis = post partum depression.
But I managed to marry my pump for better or worse for another three months, until I came to the resolve that I had done all I could.
I said to “F” with it. 
And by “F” I mean “formula.” 
Freaking Fantastic Formula. 
And that is why I say, Breastfeeding Can Just Suck It.
{for me!}
Betsy, take it away.
Like Summer, I (Betsy) tried to nurse. 
I really, really did. I actually had the lofty goal of making it nine months. 
I believed that anything less would be a failure. 
And for that, I blame the Nursing Nazis. 
(You know who they are.)
For some reason, all the crazies come out of the woodwork when you have a baby. 
Case in point: Right after my daughter, Lily, was born, I answered the door to greet a home nurse who was wearing a lanyard that read, “Breastfed babies are the happiest babies.” 
I had red, bleeding nipples, but I was determined to give my daughter only the best, so I let this Nursing Nazi manhandle me and instruct me on proper latching techniques.
“Has she had any formula in the last week?” the milkmaid asked me.
“Well, maybe two ounces. Just to give myself a break,” I said timidly.
The milkmaid gave me a disapproving look and said, “Hmmph. Well, instead of giving her formula, you should take Vicodin so you can nurse through the pain.”
Excuse me? 
You’d rather have me drug my newborn baby by taking one of the most powerful painkillers on the market instead of giving her a few ounces of formula?
What kind of crazy is that?
Actually, it’s the kind of crazy that will make you consciously subject your boobs, again and again, to a hunger of a pint-size piranha. 
That will make you think that it’s necessary to walk around the house without a bra or shirt so that your nipples can “breathe.” 
That will compel you to go through tubes and tubes of lanolin in a misguided effort to “soothe.”
This is why I tell every newly pregnant woman about the nipple shield, God’s greatest invention. 
Better to get it before the baby comes than to have to send your husband to Target in the dead of night, telling him to look for something you’ve vaguely described as “some nipple thing” while you and the baby are both at home screaming. 
(I seriously have the best husband in the world.)
The nipple shield saved my boobs and sanity, but only for a few months. 
Then, like Summer, I was hit with a nasty case of mastitis. 
But did I stop? Noooo. 
I kept trying to nurse every two hours even though I was shivering, clammy, and my boobs were on fire.
My milk supply was cut in half and turning a color that nature hadn’t intended. 
So I did what any crazy mom would do: I took fenugreek to boost my milk supply-and kept trying even when the fenugreek gave me mastitis on the other side.
This was my breastfeeding low-point. 
It was Thanksgiving, and while everyone else was downstairs feasting on turkey, I was upstairs pumping and crying. 
The next day, I called a local lactation consultant, blubbering about what to do. 
Believe it or not, she encouraged me to stop. 
Of course, because I had a predilection for mastitis, I couldn’t stop cold turkey. I had to wean. Slowly. With cabbage leaves. 
Over the course of about six weeks. 
Which then made me feel like I was on house arrest, because I was hooked up to the breast pump every two hours. 
Then every two hours and fifteen minutes. 
Then every two and a half hours. 
You get the idea.
Cabbage leaves, mastitis, and mangled nipples? 
Yes. 
But those aren’t the only reasons we didn’t love breastfeeding. 
It’s not just the physical pain. 
It’s the fact that breast milk is like Chinese food-your baby will be hungry again after an hour. 
That you have no idea how much food your child is actually getting. 
That no one else can feed the baby. 
That your hormones will overtake you and make you feel like a failure if you don’t listen to La Leche and nurse until the child is at least five.
Speaking of crazy, you must be thinking that we should join the Witness Protection Program after writing this article.
But, no, dear sisters. 
We say it loud and we say it proud. 
Because we just know there are some of you out there who feel just as we do.
And it’s okay. 
We still love our babies. 
They are still happy and healthy, and witty and pretty.
So, lets all join hands and say it together:
“BREASTFEEDING CAN JUST SUCK IT.”
{for those of us with dangling bleeding mastitis ridden boobies/nipples}
On the other hand….
for those of you it works for….
Breast IS Best.
xoxo
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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what no one told me about my 20’s

What No One Told Me About My 20’s, and if they had, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have listened….
I was one of those girls waaaaaay back in my teens and 20’s who could never be told anything.
I didn’t want or need advice because I had it ALL figured out.
I knew better.
I saw things more clearly.
I had life by the reigns and I was in control.
{oh how i wish i had that now in my 30’s, cause now i’ll take ANYONES help and advice!}
My first wake up call was about the age of 19.
I’d been a bit wild and reckless, both with guys and partying for a few years, you know…just going through the normal teenage rebellion type phase.
But one night at a party, when things started to get heated and emotional, I sat there watching it all unfold and all I could think was, “What has become of my life?  Who are these people, and are they even my friends?  Why am I even here being involved with stuff like this?”
I went home that New Years Eve night and wrote out all that I wanted to change in my life….and the next day I woke up and made a decision to walk away from that crowd and that way of life.
I got back involved with my church, and then a few months later decided to pack up and drive to California to start all over.
All by myself, not knowing a single person.
It sounded lovely and amazing.
Now in my mid 30’s, I think doing such a thing would send me into a panic attack.
But that’s the the thing about your 20’s.
You’re still kind of a child, but also starting to ease into adult life a little more.
For me at that age, it was about taking risks.
Being wild and free.
Loving hard, and feeling deeply….

There is so much more to this story….
….to read the rest of this post and hear what one of my greatest life lessons was, 
go check my guest post today on the series, 
“What nobody told me about in my 20’s.” 
It’s all happening this week over at one of my fave blogs, 
© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”
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