Archives for September 2013

my latest health, beauty & fitness favorites!

You subscribed, right?!? (It’s like a hug. And hugs are nice. I like hugs. So let’s hug.)

Sharing what I reached for and loved the most during September! Plus, I’m sharing a few of my tips on health & fitness!

~ JUST A FEW LINKS TO SOME PRODUCTS MENTIONED ~
(not affiliate links)

~ Deep Steep Bubble Bath Goodness

~ Sibu Face Wash

~ Sibu Exfoliating Scrub

~ Larabars

~ Zevia

~ Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara

~ MY LATEST VIDEOS ~
$40 Drugstore Makeup Sway w/vlogwithkendra
Eyebrow Threading Experiment: Does numbing cream really help?
50 Random Facts about Me Tag
Your TOP TEN Fall Essentials, A collab project!

As always, please let me know what videos you want to see next!

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kids say the darndest things…

Our kids are constantly at work trying to embarrass us, almost as though it was their part time job.

So where do I even begin?

How about that moment when Taylor went running down the aisles of Home Depot screaming, “Don’t spank me really hard three times!”?

Or the time when Chloe yelled out at Trader Joe’s, “Ow, Dad! You just hurt my wiener!”
She’s a girl, by the way.
You know…she doesn’t HAVE a wiener.

Ya, how’s that for a start?

Okay, so enjoy these last few stories, you know, at my expense.

Gotta love them though…they keep me humble.

Thanks Kat, for inspiring me with your Writers Workshop Prompts!

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what forgiveness means & how to do it for good

I have a hard time with forgiveness.
It hurts being let down by people and events, and it’s so hard to let that go.

But then my mentor recently shared this with me,
“Forgiveness is simply taking the offense and pain out of your lap and instead placing it at the feet of Jesus.”

forgiveness

Immediately, I could imagine a vivid picture for that.
And in that moment, I saw all that was in my lap and weighing on my shoulders.
Then I pictured myself in one giant scoop, handing it all over.

“Dumping it” might be a better phrase.

Whew.
It’s off.

It’s so simple.

I can do that.
I can forgive.

I can let it go, and give it to Jesus.
{over and over again}

I can be free, and so can you.

Just scoop it all up, and leave it with Jesus.
Dump it if you must.
And then go eat chocolate cake or ice cream to celebrate.

Because that, sweet friends, is what forgiveness really is.

Do you find yourself having a hard time forgiving?
Imagine this…
Journal this….
Draw this….
Whatever helps you see it, do it.

It’s time to be free.

 

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homeschool confessions: curriculum, scheduling & why we homeschool!

I’m now going on my second year of homeschooling, and while I am FAR from truly knowing what I’m doing, I am so much closer to being convinced I am absolutely in the sweet spot of Gods will.

And this comes from a wife who may or may not have threatened divorce once YEARS ago when Jimmy suggested I begin praying about it being my heart.
In basic words, I responded…. “If you EVER desire to have a happy marriage, I suggest you NEVER bring that up to me. I am NOT a homeschooling mom.”

And then I came to know Michelle Duggar.
You know, on TV.
Although my DREAM is to be able to meet her, and possibly stay a weekend with her (with my kids) to truly see her in action and learn from all her wisdom. I also want her to teach me not to yell.  (whoever can make that happen is my favorite.)

And then I started talking to moms who don’t necessarily homeschool the traditional way, which intrigued me, and I realized that maybe I COULD do it!!! A little prayer, and wa la…..here I am.

Totally off my anxiety pills and homeschooling, all at once… two things I never thought I’d say in the same sentence.
See?
God is a God of miracles.

And while it is definitely tough some days, I have to say that there have been so many benefits both for my own humility and character, but for our entire family unit.
And yes. It’s totally hard.
But growth doesn’t come easy.
And man, are we growing.

But sometimes God calls us to do hard things, and we obey.
His ways don’t always make sense, but I trust Him.

So. All that said, here is the latest of my Homeschooling YouTube series.
In this video I’m sharing what we’re using and loving for curriculum this year, our schedule, HOW we homeschool, and WHY on earth we decided to take this lofty road.

If you homeschool, or even if you don’t, I highly suggest you watch this… because you just never know.
PLUS, it’s always good to know you aren’t alone.

P.S. I hate asking this because it seems so desperate, but would you PLEASE subscribe.  With each view and subscription, I am allowed more opportunities to help YOU!  So help me help you.  Because YOU COMPLETE ME!

Make sure to leave a comment either here or on my YouTube video sharing your own tips, fave curriculum, vents as well as how you schedule your day.
We all have SO much to learn from each other.
I just LOVE that!

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health & beauty products: worth your $$ or not so much?

I love doing these videos…

It may appear as though I’m just sharing my trash, but really if it weren’t for the Empties Videos, I would miss out on telling you all about some pretty awesome (and not so awesome) products.

It’s a kind of community service…. me helping you.
You know, to save or spend money.

And that’s what this video is all about.
I’m sharing all my latest health and beauty products I’ve actually used up, and exactly what I thought…

Make sure to subscribe over my channel if you haven’t! Now that I’ve passed the 1,000 subscriber mark, I’m prepping up for a Thank You Giveaway!

xoxo

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an elevator pitch…if we were stuck in one

“A place to say, ‘me too’…”

{My blog’s tagline}

I share all that I share, in part, because it’s therapy to me.
It helps me to breathe, to think, to feel and to process.
It helps me understand me.
It helps me to understand the One who made me.

But I continue to share all that I share, even more, because of YOU.

All my life I have felt so alone, and as though I never really fit in anywhere or with anyone.
It’s a struggle I still battle.

But that lie, that deep seeded wound inside, heals just a little more each time I get an email or a comment or a word from one of you, saying… “Me too, Summer….me too.”
And we connect.
We accept.
We understand.
And though we’ve maybe never met, we love.

elevator pitch

The truth is, we are all struggling with something.
And if you aren’t now, you will be soon.

It’s just life.

But there is just something…almost heavenly, when you share the depths of your soul and your heart and all the good and bad and funny and odd, and there is someone who looks you in your eyes and agrees.

They just get it.

What incredible freedom there is in acceptance and love and understanding.

I’ve had to check myself, a lot…but here is what I know is true:
I truly don’t come here to feed my ego.
I don’t promote this blog or my YouTube channel simply to be known and to get ahead.

I do all of this because, by saying  and hearing “me too,” we are given a little glimpse of what heaven must feel like.

That’s what it is, that’s why it feels so good!!!

It’s not about flattery or egos or being narcissitic, it’s about experiencing a glimpse of what it would be like to show up in heaven one day, falling to our knees at the overwhelming and undeserving love and acceptance of our Savior.

And when we get a taste of it here on earth, it’s just…right.
That’s what this is all about.

And so I share.
And sometimes nobody says anything and that’s okay, because it’s not always about me. (hard lesson for a middle child.)
But in the times someone does, it’s even more confirmed that I am doing exactly what God has asked me to do.

I am not perfect.
I am such a sinner, and I battle my thoughts and desires EVERY SINGLE DAY.
I have a past, and a present, and a future…all full of mistakes.
I am not one to be admired, praised or loved the most.
I don’t have all the answers or wisdom, but I’m always willing to say… “Here! Feel a tiny amount of what heaven must be like! Isn’t it lovely? Now run to Jesus, because His wisdom and answers hold the healing that you’ve been looking for!”

I pray that in all my sharing…
and in all your sharing…
We can be the heart of Jesus.
And in that, allow others to get excited about WHO is He really is and what eternity with Him is all about.

{I have a feeling this is too long for a quick elevator ride/pitch.  Work in progress….}

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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!

how much do we really have in common?

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been trying to balance my time between writing/blogging and working on my video skills over on YouTube.

Sometimes, I just find it so much easier to write it all out…and then sometimes I just want to not think and simply talk.

I love it here, and I love it there.
It’s like me, all balanced out.

Sooooo…..today I’m sharing my latest video: 50 Random Facts
Yes, they are random and  I’m pretty sure only Jimmy would know all 50…

So watch on, and count how many “me too’s” we get!
Let’s find out just how much we really do have in common!!!

{btw. subscribing to my channel feels like a hug. and i LOVE hugs. So lets hug? Just click on the video and you’re on your way!}

~ MY LATEST VIDEOS ~
Your TOP TEN Fall Essentials, A collab project!
August Favorites
July Favorites Part I
July Favorites Part II

As always, please please let me know what videos you want to see next!
~~~~~~~

While I LOVE beauty, health, and all things related, more than anything my heart and soul belongs to Jesus! This quote expresses exactly what I hope shines more than anything:

“Like Paul and every other believer, my life is no longer my own. The focus must not be on me, but on Christ. When someone hears from me publicly, I want it all to point to Him.”
{quote from John MacArthur}

~~~~~~~

love you guys!!!
xoxo, Summer

Music credit: Helen Austin (with permission!)

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why you need a staycation/mommy sabbatical

{i worked with sheknows & embassy suites on this collab post in exchange for this lovely family/mommy night. i think Jesus might have been in on it too.}

EmbassySuites

What started as an idea for a family staycation, suddenly transformed into something even more exciting and perfect. Part family staycation, part mommy getaway/one day sabbatical.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
It was a rough week last week, let me tell you.

I, in all my brilliance, decided to cut out sugar, bad carbs, and soda all on the same day I decided to start our homeschool year.

MmmmHmmm. I’m just that smart.

It was awful. I thought I had the flu. I slept every time I sat down, I was sick to my bones, and to top it all off, Taylor was NOT too thrilled with getting back to school. Needless to say, I cried A LOT, slept a lot, and was not acting a bit like Michelle Duggar in any way.

So, bringing my family to sleep in a hotel for a staycation when we just finished a weeklong one only a week ago, sounded… lovely.
Okay, maybe not so lovely.

But, I’m a mom.
Which means I deal with guilt.
And if I took the hotel to myself, how selfish would that be??

Except, I homeschool.
So that cancels out me being selfish.
Kidding.

So, I made a change. The trip would be part staycation/part one night mommy sabbatical.

I sweetly and selflessly invited them all to come along to relax and chill in an air-conditioned suite (our house has no air, and it’s been a stale and grumpy 85 degrees INSIDE), and enjoy the hotels amenities.

Chloe & I painted our nails while the boys practiced jiujitsu, and then while they headed down to the indoor pool for a bit, I worked on some videos.
It sounds so simple, and yet it was so perfect and lovely and such a treat for every single one of us.

Embassy Suites pool

Later we all got back together to head down for the hotel’s Complimentary Evening Reception.
With free sodas, drinks, popcorn, pretzels, carrots, and celery with ranch, we set up a nice little table and spent some time chatting and bonding…making memories, all while Chloe and Taylor watched in awe as the elevators went up and down on the OUTSIDE of the wall.

It was magical.

embassyinside

They were in heaven.
And I was in heaven.

Because while they got to swim and play and see the Koi and have a mini dinner of carbs & veggies, I knew that in just a short while I was going to get an entire suite to myself for the whole entire night.

This has never ever happened.
Ever.
In my whole life.

But, let me just tell you, It. Was. Amazing.

I made videos for my YouTube channel.
I edited the videos.
I played with makeup.
I took a bath at midnight.
I made a To Do List with a clear head and felt oh so much better afterwards.
I even watched cable. (I miss cable, btw. Oh. So. Bad.) Funny cable that totally made me laugh out loud all alone in my room.

It was so amazing that I stayed up until 3 in the morning doing all kinds of stuff, all by myself, in complete silence.
It was TO DIE FOR.

Seriously moms, you need to get on this trend, and I do believe Embassy Suites is the place to do it.

You basically get an apartment for your room.

The suite consists of an entire living room, dining room and office space. And then you open another door, where you enter your bedroom (with another tv, hallelujah!), your bathroom, and the largest vanity I’ve even had the pleasure of sitting at.

And while this suite is plenty large enough to accomadate our family of 4 (the sofa turns into a bed), it’s also perfect for a party of one, as I quickly learned.

I’m pretty sure I sat on every couch and chair at some point in the night.
You know, because I could.

SuiteLivingArea1_FP

In the morning, my plan was to wake up and saunter down to their complimentary cooked-toorder breakfast, but amazingly my eyes didn’t open until well after 10:30, right about the time it ends.

And as much as I love free food, I’m pretty sure I love sleep so much more. Thankfully, I had brought snacks to fill up the fridge, (they also had a microwave! That’s my way of cooking!), so instead I munched on fruit while I leisurely got ready for my day.

By checkout at noon (so soon???), the family was back to get me, and oh my word, the joy I felt when I saw how happy the kids were to see me again! For once I got to experience all that Jimmy feels when he comes home from work every day and the kids are THRILLED to see his face.
Lucky duck.

But for this one time, The Embassy Suites allowed me that moment.

They allowed my children and husband to enjoy the hotel’s amazing amenities, and they allowed me to find my brain, my creativity, and my focus…
and my sleep.

If you’re a mom…you MUST find a way in the budget to make this happen at least once a month.
{maybe give up cable, because then you’ll appreciate it more when you stay at the hotel!}
You better believe that I had that same conversation with Jimmy hours after getting home.

And if you’re a family in need of a perfect hotel that allows you the feeling of staying in an apartment with two separate rooms (privacy and better sleep for all), this is also the hotel for you.

embassy suites card

No matter what route you take, really, we all win.

Who’s in with me on monthly/quarterly/yearly mommy nights away???

{thank you SheKnows & Embassy Suites for this amazing gift!}

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in the closet getting uncomfortable

I’m in my closet.
And it’s well after one in the morning…when my house is silent and all I hear is the quiet hum of my laptop and the comforting tapping of the keyboard.

This next week must be full of intentional prayers.
I realize this as I sit crosslegged among my shoes, trying to quiet my mind and release my grip.
My mind is full.

Looking only at Him seems impossible with the noise, the tasks, my fleshly desires, hurts, confusion and “plans…”
and then there’s always the overwhelming feeling of being mediocre…of failing and continually falling short.

Do you feel like this too?

And I know…the more I go along this path that He has me on, the slower it will be when I make it all about me.
But sometimes….being selfish sounds so nice.
And yet, deep in my soul, I know it’s not.
Selfish hurts people.

And there is my battle.

wrong way

More and more quickly I realize, I have to stop and drop it all, and literally get on my knees before Him.

It seems old fashioned.
And it’s definitely uncomfortable.
But so is God.

We must grasp that!
Our God is old fashioned and His ways can absolutely uncomfortable…
And so has He called us to be.

We are blessed though, that if we allow Him in, in all of the discomfort…
there is comfort.

This week, I will stop.
I will surrender.
I will do my best to look only at Him and lay it all down.

Again.
And again.

This is my battle.
And it’s getting uncomfortable.

You?

© 2013 “Le Musings of Moi”

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my top 10 fall essentials!

I joined in with a bunch of my lovely (and seriously incredibly sweet) YouTube Gals on this collab series called, Top 10 Fall Essentials. I’m so excited because while we definitely think alike on some things, we all added our own spin and ideas to this topic! So, lots to learn with amazing ideas and tips! Watch on!

 

You subscribed to my channel, right?!?
If not, click on the video and get on to subscribing!!!
This way you’ll be the first to know when videos are posted, and plus, it’ll feel like I just got a big ol’ hug. =)
And hugging’s nice.
I like hugging.

Make sure to leave a comment with YOUR Fall Top 10 Essentials as well!

And don’t forget to check out & subscribe to the girls below. You will love them!
Kassie
Rachel
Kendra
Kait
Tiffany & Laurie
Shae
~~~~~~~

~ MY LATEST VIDEOS ~
August Favorites
July Favorites Part I
July Favorites Part II

As always, please please let me know what videos you want to see next!
~~~~~~~

While I LOVE beauty, health, and all things related, more than anything my heart and soul belongs to Jesus!

This quote expresses exactly what I hope shines more than anything:

“Like Paul and every other believer, my life is no longer my own. The focus must not be on me, but on Christ. When someone hears from me publicly, I want it all to point to Him.”
{quote from John MacArthur}

~ And of course, OUR ULTIMATE FAVORITE THING!!! ~ Our work in the Dominican building an orphanage

~ WHERE YOU CAN FIND ME! ~ (or click the icons to the right!)
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram
Luvocracy (where all my favorites are listed!)
SheKnows Mommalogues

~ WANNA TALK MORE? ~ Email me at: summer@lemusingsofmoi.com

love you guys!!! xoxo, Summer

Music credit: Helen Austin (with permission!)

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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!