Archives for February 2013

february loves

Over at RooMag today, I’m sharing my Ultimate List of Favorites, and not necessarily just for the month of February, but of all time.

Because sometimes this month of love doesn’t just have to be about loving others….but taking a moment to love yourself!  

So before February ends, why not try out some of my favorite loves and pamper yourself a bit?  You deserve it!

Check out the my ENTIRE LIST by clicking on February Loves (books, shopping websites, beauty and more!).

And leave a comment there sharing what YOU love….can be anything at all!

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Also, let me just remind you of something I mentioned yesterday….

It’s VOTING TIME!!!!
Her&I and Le Musings YouTube were both nominated for Top 25 Mom Vlogs of 2013.
It would mean so much if you took a second to vote for both.  
All you have to do is click both links, find our names, and click the cute little heart…and wa la!  You just voted and an angel got her wings.
And in all your free time remember that you can vote once a day until March 13.
I know it’s just a contest, but hey….why not try?
Who doesn’t want to be Top 25 of something?
{At the moment I’ve dropped from #20 to 40something…and that just hurts my feelings.}
“….it’s just a contest, it’s just a contest, it’s just a contest….”

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In other news Her&I are joining forces with some other INCREDIBLE YouTubers to do a MAY-Jah giveway starting Feb 28!!!  
It’s gonna be a CRAP load of high end beauty product favorites and you don’t want to miss out!  It’s only open for subscribers, so make sure to head over and SUBSCRIBE, like now.  You know, if you’re one who happens to like winning hundreds of dollars of makeup and beauty products….

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

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health & beauty stuff you need to know

Awhile back I mentioned that soon I’d be writing for P&G Everyday as a Health & Beauty writer…and guess what?

The day has arrived that they are finally published! 
(well, some of them. there are definitely more to come!)

So I think you should totally go check each of them out, because I learned so much in researching and writing them…and now I think it’s time for you to put your beauty guru study hat on for yourself.

I tried to make them fun and informative to read, so please leave comments letting me know what you guys think!
I LOVE feedback.

Family Bonding in 30 minutes or less: 7 quick ideas to connect, embrace and nurture those family ties:  We all get busy with life. There are so many demands, expectations and to-do lists in our minds that creating quality time with our families can easily get pushed aside. Sometimes it even gets pushed out of the picture completely and we give up if we can’t seem to schedule a weekend or even just a day.

Unplug to Destress: Turn off technology to decompress and feel better:  While we admit technology is more than amazing, we also have come to realize that even more amazing is the life we may be forgetting to live.

Sometimes though, especially nowadays, it’s not as much about the amount of time as it is about the quality of time. We’ve come up with a list of ideas for you to connect with your family in 30 minutes or less — all you need to do is store this list away and, anytime you happen to find a free half-hour, try doing just one of these suggestions and watch your family bond grow even stronger

We may tend to see our computer screen more than we see the faces of those we love. We text, we email, we update statuses and browse the web, but we forget to schedule time to turn it all off and just connect and decompress.

Here, then, is a challenge for all of us: Take at least one hour a day to turn off technology and simply enjoy the moment. We’ve even taken it one step further to come up with some ideas to help you begin (or remember) what it’s like to just turn it all off and breathe.

Skip the Gym and Take Your Workout Outside:  Working out in the gym can sometimes feel incredibly intimidating, what with all the machines and hard bodies surrounding you. So, when the weather is calling you to the outdoors, why not take your workout with you?


Here are just a few suggested exercises to get you started — after you consult your doctor to make sure you’re physically capable of activity, of course.
Benefits of Water: How to incorporate more water into your diet:  In case you haven’t heard, drinking enough water is kind of a big deal. There are so many reasons and benefits to drinking water that skipping out on this so-called foundation of life just doesn’t make sense. So, not only are we here to help you understand why water is so important, we also want to give you practical and yummy ideas to make it easier to incorporate into your daily diet  
Secret to Strength Training: Exercise in 30 minutes a day:  Getting in shape sometimes feels so overwhelming. Where do we even begin — and how will we ever find the time to do it?What if we told you there were many ways to get in shape with just 30 minutes or less a day? You would absolutely start tomorrow, right? (OK, maybe Monday is a better day.) Consult with your physician about starting a new exercise routine and then check out the latest advice we got from an expert trainer on integrating a quick workout into your daily routine.

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In other FUN news…It’s VOTING TIME!!!!

Her&I and Le Musings YouTube were both nominated for Top 25 Mom Vlogs of 2013.
It would mean so much if you took a second to vote for both.
And in all your free time remember that you can vote once a day until March 13.
{you should also know I despise asking for votes.  i simply wish they’d just happen without asking!  one day i’ll be that popular.}

I know it’s just a contest, but hey….why not try?
Who doesn’t want to be Top 25 of something?
{um, because apparently I do!}

And while you’re there voting…vote for my sweet friend Mama Kat as well!
We both kind of need your help!

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And since you’re gonna be clicking around these here internets now with all my mandatory linkies….why not also do the following?

Cause I would just LOVE it if you followed me on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and my Le Musings Facebook page.

You know, just so I’m never without you.

Besides it’s kinda of the blog after party. 
It’s those places where I can share a snippet of my day, thoughts I’m working through, product loves, parenting tidbits, health and beauty tips and so much more.
Sometimes in the busyness of life where a blog post can’t happen, those social media platforms are my place to mini blog.
Gotta love it.

Okay then…off you go….you have stuff to do….

xoxo

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

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a simple act of obedience

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Recently I was challenged by someone I love about where my priorities lie.  
This was after I had shared with her where I have been emotionally and spiritually, basically feeling completely lost, confused and very alone.
{hence the lack of blog posts…}
In her way of doing things, she simply asked me where my priorities were.
What did I think about most?
Where was I spending most of my time?
Weakly, I admitted that since beginning homeschooling this year, all my time and focus has been on my kids.  
On curriculum.  
On being a good parent and teacher.  
On not yelling or cussing, but trying to be gentle and patient mama.
Basically, on trying to simply make it through each day without falling apart.
“And when do you spend time in the Word?  Real quiet time with God?” She prodded.
“I can’t seem to find the time.  The kids are just always around, needing me and making noise.  I can’t even get a moment to go to the bathroom by myself, let alone find a moment with God.” I confessed as the tears began to burn in my eyes.
“Then you know what you need to do.  You need to get your priorities in order.  Before anything comes your relationship with God.  And then your husband.  And then your kids.  And then ministry….”
She then challenged me to sit my family down and confess that I had been doing it all wrong, admit that I have put them before the Lord, and let them know that things were about to change.
I heard her words, and I knew they were true.  
But my heart was weak.  
My spirit empty.  
 Yet, I heard myself promising her I would do exactly that.
The next day, I found myself sitting on the floor in the hallway, once again feeling absolutely lost.
Totally done.  
And yet, I called my kids to come and sit with me.
As they snuggled up into my lap, I began to share my transparent heart without even a moment to think it through.

I admitted how grumpy and hard to be around I had been….they assured me I wasn’t.
I said that I was tired and sad, and that I hadn’t felt I was doing a good job as a mom, and that I finally knew why that was and that there was possibly a way to fix it.

Their big brown eyes both turned to look at me…
“Mommy’s priorities have been completely off.  What God has asked is that we put HIM before anything.  After Him comes my relationship with Daddy, and then comes my relationship with you guys…then it’s ministry/writing….and then everything else.  But, what do you guys think has been my #1 lately?” I asked them.
“Us.”  My 7 year old wisely responded.
“Exactly.  Ever since we started homeschooling I have been pouring every ounce of myself into the two of you because I desire to be a good mom and an effective teacher.  I want to give you everything I’d ever hoped I could.  But in doing that, I haven’t been spending any time with God.  And hardly any time with daddy.  And it’s really starting to make me a grumpy mommy.  So, things have to change.  From now on, starting tomorrow, when I wake up before I do anything or talk to anybody, I will begin by having quiet time with God in my room.  During that time, you two need to be respectful and find other things to do, and promise not to interrupt me.  In order for me to be a good wife and mom, I need to have this time every single morning.  Do you guys understand?”
My 7 year old nodded, and leaned in to give me a big hug.
“Mom?”  He started. 
“I think I’ve had my own priorities all wrong too!  I think about playing and doing everything else, and then God always comes last.  I don’t even read my bible!!!  Maybe I need to make some changes!  Can I have quiet time in the morning too?”
My heart melted.
And then he promised me he would take care of his sister and not interrupt me until I was done.
He wanted this for me.  
And it was sweet.
From that morning on out of obedience, before I even leave my bed, I have had my quiet time with God.
I still have a lot of questions.
And I still feel I hear a lot of silence.
But, I show up every morning because I know it’s what I need to do, regardless of how I feel.
I know from experience that sometimes feelings follow actions.
So my action?
Simple obedience.
By attempting to get my priorities in order, and hope that I come out of this place even stronger in my faith then I ever was before.
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Is it possible it’s time for you to make a simple step of obedience despite your feelings?
Is it time for you to selflessly spend some time getting your own priorities in order?

We can do this together.
It all begins by saying two little words…
“Me too….”

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”
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shop with me on SheKnows.com!

So!  I have this new column I started doing with SheKnows and I’m super excited about it because it’s about fashion and shopping!!!

We’re calling it: Shopping with Summer, and in each article I’ll be going over outfit suggestions specifically for moms by showing what I would wear and then helping to create a similar outfit, all complete with pictures and links!

As a mom, and now especially as a homeschooling mom, I know that getting dressed beyond the cozy yoga pants (okay, for me sweats…) can sometimes seem feel like a chore.  But I also know that by just taking a few extra minutes in the day to put a little thought into what I’m going to wear out, it can make all the difference in how I feel throughout my day.

So, you guys totally have to head over to check it out!

And if you, as moms, have something coming up and you want me to cover that kind of an “event” or situation, let me know in the comments!

Okay, first one up….

Shopping with Summer: Moms on the go

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

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fave things PLUS healthy & organic vitacost haul

This INSANE flu epidemic going around?  Ya, it now includes my house.  
What started with Chloe has now reached Taylor and me, and we are down and out.  
The fever comes and goes, so I figured I’d get this done before I’m back in my delirious state.
{may have possibly instagrammed, facebooked, and texted that way yesterday, oops!}
Anyway, here’s my latest haul from Vitacost.  
It’s a bunch of new stuff that I haven’t tried, so I’m super excited!
Enjoy!

And while you’re busy watching videos check out our Favorite Things video on Her & I from the month of January!

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”
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pro blogging/vlogging tips & pet peeves

Joining in with Mama Kat’s Vlogging Workshop, because…Why Not?  
Speaking of Why Not….if you haven’t yet subscribed to Her&IBlog on YouTube, you should!  We’re about to be a part of a big deal giveaway and it’s JUST for subscribers.  So, don’t miss out!!!
© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”
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the bathroom experience of redemption

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There I was, in a heap, on the bathroom floor.

It seems to happen there often, doesn’t it?
The room with a cold landing.
The room with a lock.
The room where you can cry, and nobody can see just how incredibly weak you really feel.

That’s where I was when I finally crumpled to the floor, sobbing as though it was the first time I’d ever felt emotion…
Feeling an ache in my gut unlike any other.

Completely broken inside.
Angry at God.
Furious at myself.
Lost.
Hopeless.
Desperate.

Where are you God?!?”  I demanded.
“Why did you bring me here simply to have me feel so alone???  Why did you create me this way?  So weak?  So unable to be the person I desire to be?  Why have you left me?  God!  Please, WHERE ARE YOU???”


At that moment there was nothing left inside me.
Nothing.
All I could do was finally release what had been boiling up inside for so long.
All my anger.
My disgust.
My fear.
My disappointments.
My expectations.

I was depleted.
Done trying.
Done pretending.
In everything, I was done.

It was as though I was literally throwing myself, and everything in me, down at the foot of the throne.
(Only I suppose, in literal terms, it was a porcelain one.  ha.)

My tears wouldn’t stop.
My breath couldn’t catch.
And my heart didn’t stop aching and yearning for something more.

There I was…
crumpled into a ball, feeling lifeless and tired.
Tired of being selfish,
Tired of fighting,
Tired of hurting,
Tired of failing my own unrealistic expectations…

“…so much to be thankful for…”
“…blessed with so much…”
“…could be so much worse…”
…were all the thoughts woven between my selfish ones.
And in one of the most honest moments of my life, I continued to pray and cry out to the Lord.
After all, He already knew all that had been inside me.
You can’t fool God.
 
It was simply time for me to get real.
To be honest.
And with God, He doesn’t take offense.
It’s always okay.
In fact, there’s incredible freedom in confession.

As I revealed to him the truth of my hardened selfish heart, I felt it all begin to crumble.
And in the hours and days that followed….slowly, I felt a change.

The heaviness and darkness had lifted.
I felt joy and hope and grace.

I had faced my brokenness…
my weaknesses.
All my despair and immense imperfection, were left it at His throne.
(bathroom throne…whatever.)

In that honest moment, I became the empty shell He needed…
Ready to be filled with Him!
…with His Strength.
…with His Joy.
…with His Forgiveness and Grace.

And this is what became tucked away in my heart as my bathroom experience of redemption.
A moment needed.
A moment never to be forgotten.

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Is it time for you to be honest with God?
He already knows…and He just wants to hear you…to hold you….while you finally release it into His capable hands.


~~~~~~~
At the foot of the cross
Where grace and suffering meet
You have shown me Your loveThrough the judgment You received
And You’ve won my heart
Yes You’ve won my heartNow I can
Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crownComing to kiss the feet of mercyI lay every burden downAt the foot of the cross
At the foot of the cross
Where I am made complete(I am made complete)You have given me lifeThrough the death You bore for me
And you’ve won my heart
Yes you’ve won my heartNow I can
Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crownComing to kiss the feet of mercyI lay every burden downAt the foot of the cross
Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crownComing to kiss the feet of mercyI lay every burden downAt the foot of the cross
And you’ve won my heart
Yes you’ve won my heartNow I can
Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crownComing to kiss the feet of mercyI lay every burden downAt the foot of the cross
I’d trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crownComing to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
I lay every burden downI lay every burden downAt the foot of the cross
I’m laying every burden down
I’m laying every burden down
~Kathryn Scott
© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”
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confessions of a homeschooler

Sometimes it’s just easier to press record and let the confessions flow.

My humorous and honest confessions of the last 6 months of homeschooling.
I think there’s something in this for everyone, whether you homeschool or not, parent or not! =)
Leave a comment below sharing your own thoughts and experiences!

And please subscribe!

Also check out Her&I Blog, my new project with my friend Sarah!

Enjoy!

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

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friday favorites: best of the internet!

Have you noticed my blogging efforts this week?
Look at this!
Three posts in ONE week!!!  It’s like I’m a professional or something.

And to finish up the week I’ll share what has quickly become some of my favorite posts to read on other blogs: Friday Favorites.

Sharing what caught my attention this week, what shook me up, and where else I may have been on the Internets.

I love how Laura wrote this perfect explanation of how us moms can be while we’re away from our kids in her post Moms in the hall.  I found myself relating to her…how quickly my off switch can be turned off….and then so quickly back ON.

Candace sent me this book and I’ve loved every page I’ve read so far.  Rachel Beller makes eating well sound and look super fun.  Plus, by the end of the book, you feel like she’s your new best friend.  Love her approach.

Being a mom was rough this week.  And last week.  Okay, it’s been rough for awhile….so when I happened upon When you give up, and you break, you’ve made it on A Holy Experience, it was an absolute gift from God.  The words were just what I needed to hear, and within minutes I was desperately purchasing the book, Desperate.  

When I decided to begin homeschooling this year, I had a lot of reasons…but when my friend Jenn sent me this email claiming that homeschooling is becoming hispter….it just confirmed that I’m definitely doing the right thing.  ha!

Lastly, it’s no secret how much I love my trainer Tracy Anderson, so I was super excited when Gwenyth Paltrows Goop was dedicated to a Q&A with her, as well as a 15 min free workout.  She is just so inspiring…look at her body and remember she JUST HAD A BABY.  Now tell me her method doesn’t work.  You just can’t!

On Her&I this week we did a two part series on He Said/She Said where we brought in the husbands, and they ended up being kind of hilarious:

Then I also showed how I make my infamous Rainbow Smoothie while also showing just how much I don’t really belong in the kitchen:

And then some of my recent fave Mommalogues topics….

How we chose our kids names

My ideal day vs my real life

Is the first year or parenthood or marriage more difficult?

Is harmless flirting really harmless?

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Okay, so what have you guys loved this week?
Please share!

© 2012 “Le Musings of Moi”

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It means so much that you are here! I know life gets busy though, so if you don't want to miss a thing, I invite you to subscribe to my blog through email!