Lifestyle

A Fresh Start + Val Marie Paper

I'm not a morning person. When I wake in the morning I walk around in a zombie like coma and go through the motions quietly and contently. Konner is the same. It's nice because we "get" each other. As we drive to school we jam a few jams, check out the scenery, and start our day with a smile. And coffee. I need my coffee. 

But today...today as we were listening to the radio trying to get our jam on, we were silent. Silent because we caught wind of the terrible news coming out of Las Vegas. I listened to the basics, answered a couple of Konner's questions and then changed stations. The next station was listing out the details of a local police officer that was fatally shot last night. Moving on to another station that was thankfully playing one of our favs, "Clocks" by Coldplay

When I arrived to work I pulled up the news on my computer. As I read more information about this tragedy, I got sad. And then angry. And then confused. What is going on?! What is happening to our world?! I looked to October for a fresh start. August and September brought on so much tragedy and heartache that I NEEDED a fresh start. I was couting on October. And then BAM. First day of the month...tragedy. 

But then...as I logged into my email I was reminded of what we need. What this world needs. What I need. Prayer. 

I struggle with this. I struggle with seeing the good when there is so much bad. I struggle with the why's. And the how's. I struggle with keeping the faith when evil is lurking so close. Too close. 

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Every year I purchase a new prayer journal from Val Marie Paper. I absolutely love her journals. Do I still struggle with prayer? Yes! But I'm learning. I'm learning to be a prayer warrior. I'm learning to keep my Faith strong. I'm learning to set aside those 10-15 minutes a day even when the world is full of distractions and evil. I'm learning thanks to Val's amazing and simple journals. I want to use it daily. I need to use it daily. It gives me a safe place to write down my thoughts so that they don't overload my mind.  

In my email this morning was a reminder. A reminder that it's ok to be stuck. It's ok to struggle. It's ok to feel discouraged or confused. It's ok to feel a little disappointed in that lost connection. The connection between you and Him. It's ok to need a fresh start. But you have to START! Start now. Turn off the podcast. Close the book. Shut off the TV. Grab the closest paper to you and your favorite pen and begin. Begin with a prayer. 

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If you need a little nudge or simple direction to get started, I highly recommend scooping up a Fresh Start Journal. This 31-day devotional on prayer was created to help you know more why to pray and help you create a consistent habit of it in your life.  It's a great way to get started and a great way to get a feel for how Val's journals work. And friends! Fresh Start is $5 off for OCTOBER! Use code FRESHSTARTOCT. Holla!

Another favorite of mine is the Kids Prayer Journal. I purchased one of these for Konner last year and it was a hit! Not only does it teach kids the beginning steps to becoming a prayer warrior, but it gives you a chance to sit with them and guide them through their Faith. What a special time! 

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The Family Creed guide is another great addition that I can't wait to start. This guide helps us become more intentional about motherhood. This is something I need and want to do. Something I have to do. I'm tired of going through the motions. I'm ready to set goals for myself and my family to help us thrive and grow as a family. 

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There's so many great options with a little something for everyone over at Val Marie Paper. I hope you find something that tugs at your heart. Take time to free your soul and focus on YOU! You deserve it! 


**Contents of this post may contain affiliate links. I buy it, I love it, I share it, you buy it, you love it, we all win.**

Amazon Prime Day 2017: Take all my money

Amazon Prime Day has arrived! If you know me...you know I love to shop. And if you know me...you know I love, love, love to online shop. There is nothing more exciting than sitting behind my computer buying items that arrive at my door two days later. 

Ok...I can think of a few things more exciting than that, but it truly is the BEST!

I had a plan to grab a few early bird Christmas items this go 'round, but let's be real...I can't keep it a secret. Kindle Fire's for everyone!

Find a few of my favorite deals below. I may or may not have grabbed one (or three) of each. I'll never tell! 

KitchenAid Cold Brew Coffee Maker - I'm a cold brew junkie! A cold brew maker with a spout for convenience?! SOLD!

Echo Dot - I didn't actually buy an Echo because the concept of it legitimately freaks me out, but if you are the type that enjoys computers named Alexa (WHO IS ALEXA?!) talking to you in the middle of the night...you do you! 

HP 14-inch Laptop - For when your Great Dane steps on your Chrome Book. 

Kindle Fire 8 - Amazon rolled out a 3 pack deal that I couldn't pass up! And may have grabbed a fourth because I love giving gifts! #staytuned

Fire Tablet Case - Duh!

iRobot Roomba - I still haven't bit the bullet on one of these but I'm inching closer and closer every time I see a sale. Don't tempt me!

Clarisonic Mia 2 - Ladies...treat yo self! 

Double Hammock with stand - Grab an ice cold glass of water and relax the night away. 

Dash Go Rapid Egg Cooker - Y'all! This is a game changer for me! Poached eggs give me life!

Instant Pot 7 in 1 - True story...I've had one of these for 2 years. True story...it's still in the box. True story...I hear they are life changing. So if you've heard the same and feel that you would actually use it and not keep it in the box for two years, get you one!

Seagate 8TB External Hard Drive - Saving photographers sanity since 1995. (Or whenever Seagate became a thing)

Hershel Supply Co. Backpack - School starts in a month! OMG! 

So there you have it friends. My bank account is crying...I'm smiling...life is the same as it was yesterday. Until tomorrow...when all of my goodies arrive! 

What deals did you grab today?! 

 


 

**Contents of this post may contain affiliate links. I buy it, I love it, I share it, you buy it, you love it, we all win.**

2016 Pre-tween Boy Gift Guide

Christmas is a little over two weeks away and I would be lying if I said that I was even close to finished shopping. NOT EVEN CLOSE. Like...I have two gifts purchased. Yikes! Every year I tell myself that I will start early and every year I fail. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime y'all! 

This year, ironically enough, my hardest gift receiver is Konner. Partly because he has so much already, but also because he isn't asking for a lot. He has a couple of things on his list that I will be sure to snag, but I've had to dig around a bit to find entertaining, but not wasteful gifts for him. If you are in the same boat and have a child around his age (I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE HE WILL BE NINE!) I've got you covered! I'm a huge fan of educational and enrichment toys and gifts, I believe in playing outside versus being stuck behind a screen, and I'm allll about being bold in your Faith. If you feel me...keep scrolling. 

From left to right, top to bottom:

1. Buglet essential oil diffusing bracelet - Do I have any 80's babies following me? Remember slap bracelets? Yeah...you remember! They were all the rage back in the days of bright colors and spandex. Well...Buglet is taking slap bracelets to a whole new level with their essential oil diffusing bracelets. Dab a drop or your favorite Young Living essential oil right onto the pumice stone and you are good to go! I MIGHT have ordered an extra for myself. 

2. Curious Chef Kitchen Basics Kit - Kids love to cook! Curious Chef items are some of my favorite. They are real, working pieces that are safe for children. So your little one can lend a hand and you don't have to worry about missing fingers. 

3. Razor Heel Wheels - Remember Heelys? Those shoes that were really skates but were really shoes. I was too old to own a pair but I vividly remember strolling the aisles of Target with kids whizzing by me imagining the humor that would come from my sticking my foot out just enough to trip them. (Too much Big Daddy...Sorry!) Well...these are apparently the newest fad. And Konner wants them. #LordJesus

4. Razor DeltaWing Scooter - Konner LOVES to play outside and I LOVE that he loves to play outside. Kids need exercise. Not only for our sanity, but for their overall wellness. I did a little digging and came across this Razor scooter and I think it will be perfect a little outdoor fun! 

5. Kid's Prayer Journal - Valerie, owner and designer at Val Marie Paper, is local to me and creates the most amazing prayer journals. I've given both the women's and kids journals as gifts in the past and they are always well received. I LOVE the kids prayer journal for it's ease of use, but the most amazing part is that it guides children to a strong and solid relationship with Him. 

6. Tinker Crate - Last year for Christmas I purchased a Tinker Crate subscription for Konner. Tinker Crate is a monthly subscription that includes a project, instructions, additional activities, and online videos. It's interactive and can be enjoyable for the entire family. The bonus to this is that you can get one month or continue it throughout the year. We continued it for a few months and he loved getting a surprise activity to build. Also check out the other boxes created for younger kiddos. 

7. Claymation Kit - Uncommon Goods is one of my favorite sites to browse. It's packed full of unique gifts and activities for both children and adults. Kids can explore the amazing art of DIY animation with this creative claymation kit. Let those little imaginations soar! 

8. UNICEF Kid Power Band - Unless you are living under a rock, you know that fitness bands are a MUST HAVE right now. Konner begged for a Fit Bit for his birthday earlier this year but I just couldn't justify the price for something that could get lost or broken. Even the kids ones were very pricey! So I did a little digging and hit the jackpot at Target! (Surprised?) I came across this UNICEF Power Band and knew it would be perfect. Not only is it priced right, but the mission behind it is incredible. "The UNICEF Kid Power band empowers kids to get active, go on fun missions with famous champions and send lifesaving therapeutic food packets to kids in need." It counts steps, tells time, and earns rewards. It connects to an app so the kids can track their rewards and see their action helping others in need. Read more about it here: http://unicefkidpower.org

9. YL KidScents Oils mini set - We LOVE Young Living oils in our house. It's no secret. And I LOVE that YL has created a line specifically for kids. Each oil in the KidScents line is safe, gentle, and created just for little ones. They are grab and go which is not only convenient for us busy parents, but it teaches the littles how to take control of their own wellness. 

There you have it! Just a few of my favorite gifts for active and imaginative boys. Have a favorite gift to add to the list? Feel free to link me in the comments! Everyone loves a little online shopping. 

Starbucks and Donald Trump : Election Day hangover

Yesterday was a pretty historic day here in America. Over the last year and a half or so (Doesn't it feel like 5 years?!) we have heard opinions and promises from all sides of the campaign. It's been full of drama, hate, ignorance, and maybeeeee a little compassion, but regardless...we now have an official President-elect, Donald J. Trump. 

On this post election day it pains me to see so much hate being spread throughout our communities and country. It's appalling to see grown adults acting out based on a matter of a difference of opinion. This is NOT what it means to be an American you guys! This is NOT what it's about. It's about that damn green cup from Starbucks!

You know what I'm talking about! The green cup that caused an uproar because people thought it was the official Holiday cup but it wasn't actually the Holiday cup but they lost their shit anyway and completely ignored the meaning behind Starbucks genius marketing. Yeah. You know!

 Image: Starbucks

Image: Starbucks

On November 1, the infamous cup was released featuring a “mosaic of more than a hundred people drawn in one continuous stroke,” which the company says represents community and unity in a time of political divisiveness. A single line connects the figures. A coffee farmer, a family, a barista, friends embracing.

“The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers. During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and ceo. 

It's like they knew what was coming. Imagine that! So maybe we can all learn a little something from Mr. Schultz. Maybe we should take his lead and unite as one. Let's work together to show our children and grandchildren what it means to love each other, respect each other, and work together even if we don't see eye to eye. Let's show them that we are ONE! Just like we got over the green cup, let's get over the election results. Let's focus on uniting to turn this country around. Let's focus on the delicious coffee that fills those cups, no matter what color they may be. (Eggnog latte anyone?)

 

Don't be a drama llama! OK?

P.S. Red cups are released tomorrow! See you in line! 

 

Inkwell Press Planner : Review + Coupon Code

I love planning, and "to do" lists, and schedules, and feeling like I have my life together, and getting ish done. You know...adult things. As a Mom, wife, business owner, and all around #bossbabe, it's important for me to keep my ducks in a row at all times.

Ok...so I don't always get things done, and I rarely have my shit together, but I like to pretend I'm a full functioning adult by owning a decent planner. Over the years I've tried so many planners that I even found a couple of brand new, unused 2015 planners hanging out in my home office the other day. The shame y'all! SHAME! Maybe I'm a planner addict? Or maybe I struggled to find a decent planner to help me take control of the chaos. Or maybe it's a combination of the two. That's a good possibility!

Really though...I've tried everything from the fancy Day Designer, to a personalized Erin Condren, to the new and seemingly popular (but way too time consuming) Passion Planner and even a simple Target planner this past year. Honestly, out of all of my previous options, the Target one was the best option for me. It was simple and to the point. Not too fancy and didn't require a ton of work on my end. I never really understood those planners that required you to do work before you can actually do work. You know...the ones that you have to fill in the dates, use fancy colored pens, and doodle your clients family in curved stick figure form next to their appointment date. Zero time for that. None. I like simplicity. 

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Last year my friend Amy posted about her new inkWELL Press planner and I was intrigued. Unfortunately I had already committed to the simple Target planner and was determined to make it work for me. You know...that whole unopened planner thing that we talked about earlier?! I was determined not to let that happen again. So I stayed strong and waited until the 2017 release and snagged one for myself! 

One of my woe's about the planners I've used in the past is that there was too much going on. The Day Designer has hourly breakdowns for each day and while that seems like it would be beneficial to someone like me, it actually stressed me out. (Yes...I'm weird.) As a photographer and business owner, I also felt that so much was missing for badasses like myself. Let's be real...I work 7 days a week. I need a full planner day for weekends too. That's one of the things I love about the inkWELL Press planner! Not only does it have a full day for every day of the week (No divided weekends!) but it also has two different layout options, the Classic and the Flex. I chose the Flex so that I can divide each day by personal and business and have them side by side to compare. Total personal preference! Either option is great! 

The most important thing though...is the quality. Y'all! This planner is amazing! The quality is top notch with so many amazing details!

The paper quality is the best I've laid my hands on. It's thick, soft, and very durable. This is super important to me having been a victim of pen bleed. Ugh! The worst!

I'm also very impressed with the gold coil binding. Again...very durable. This is super important for someone like me who literally throws her planner in the car, on the floor, on the desk, and well...everywhere. Like I said...I'm not good at adulting. 

Quality aside, the layout and features on the inside are so perfect! Not only do I need organization to try and stay sane, but I also need a good kick in the pants from time to time. I am in love with the monthly and weekly "top priorities" sections as well as the yearly and monthly goal tracking sheets. This will help me tremendously with my Young Living team and business. #goalsongoalsongoals I especially love the daily habit tracker. Most people will probably use this for water intake, exercise, etc. but I'm thinking this would be a good place for me to track my coffee and chocolate intake. It's all about balance right?!

I especially love the extra "notes" pages at the end of each month. Maybe this will alleviate all of the sticky notes that I have covering my desk. And life. Let's be real. They're everywhere! Can we talk about that pocket in the back? You know what it's for? It's to hold extra goodies like...the planner sticker sets! Stickers! That match my planner! This is Heaven! Ok...back to adulting. 

This thing's a beauty guys! And it's super efficient. I definitely see myself ordering an Inkwell Planner every year. I mean...it matches all of my other super cute "let me try to be an adult" stationary and accessories from the Target dollar spot. So perfect! Can I get an AMEN?!?

I was so antsy to use it and now it's officially a part of the family. I penciled in my first newborn session for the new year! So fun!

If you're thinking about getting your own fancy schmancy inkWELL Press planner, you can use my affiliate link to get yourself $10 off! It's good for any purchase over $50, which means your new planner will only be $44! Say wha?!? Enter your email here and the coupon code will be sent straight to your inbox. And don't forget to grab your matching stickers. Because...we all need a little fun in our life! 

My favorites from the 2016 Young Living Holiday Catalog

 

It's no secret that I love my precious, amazing, "can't live without them" essential oils. They are my life line. True story!

Do you know what I love more than my essential oils?!? CHRISTMAS!

Do you know what I do when Young Living releases the most AMAZING Holiday catalog filled with the most AMAZING Holiday essential oils and gifts?! I FREAK OUT!

Not only are the products super fabulous, but YL did a phenomenal job with the photography and design of the catalog. I mean...HELLO Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn!?! Top notch y'all! We're running with the big dogs! 

See for yourself:

If things go the way they did last year, YL freaks (you, not me) will buy all.the.things. and these goodies will sell out within days, if not hours. I've not a big risk taker so it was in my best interest to push my order through first thing this morning. It's for the greater good of humanity. Especially if you are typically on my gift giving list. Which brings me to...you are getting oils this year. You're welcome! 

While I didn't grab allllll of the items in the catalog, (I'm having major regret about this btw) I did snag a few goodies. My fav is by far the chocolate. Why? Because...chocolate. Infused with essential oils. ESSENTIAL OIL CHOCOLATE! YL suggests sharing. I think that's nonsense. #notsorry


I'm also prettyyyyy excited about the rebranded kids collections. We got a sneak peak at the rebranding back at convention (OMG! I never blogged about convention!) and I love how sleek and modern everything looks. So perfect! 

When Konner saw the bath set, he HAD to have it. And because I'm the best.Mom.ever, I ordered it right away. I also snagged the kids mini oils set for him as a backup. I'm a hoarder. Again...#notsorry


The essential oils basics set is PERFECT for gifts. I grabbed a couple for teacher gifts. I mean...who wouldn't want oils?! Much better than the piles of scrap paper pads, pens, and sticky notes. I know teachers can always use those, but I like to give those as welcome gifts at the beginning of the year. Teachers work so hard every single day to teach our not so sweet children and they deserve an amazing Christmas bonus! 


Winter...the most wonderful time of the year...for man colds. Ladies! You know what I'm talking about. Be prepared this year. Grab a wellness kit and tell him to shove it. Down his throat. Literally. You're welcome! 

And can we talk about the new Life 9 for a second?! Life 5 has been a daily staple in our house. Well...YL decided to sprinkle glitter on Life 5 and they created Life 9. Y'all! This bad boy packs a punch! It combines  17 billion live cultures from 9 beneficial bacteria strains to make your gut happy and healthy. Happy gut = happy body = happy wife = happy life. Or whatever. Get it!


I've always been a chapstick addict. I'm talking tubes everywhere. It wasn't until about a year ago that I realized just how bad your typical chapstick or lip balm actually is for you. Go ahead...Google it. 

I have since been using YL's lip balm (more specifically...Lavender) and oh em gee...my lips are like butta! Again...I'm prooooobably keeping this for myself. #stillnotsorry

I also grabbed the ART skin care set. Because lips like butta are pointless if your face isn't equally as soft. Can I get an AMEN?!


 Ladies...let's talk...is your man an Axe addict? Or maybe he lathers on his favorite cologne that he bought from that pesky lady at Dillard's? You know what I'm talking about...that $100 cologne that makes you feel like punching a cat every time he walks out of the bathroom. THIS WAS MY LIFE! It was nauseating. And then Gary invented Shutran. And then my life became livable again. Now my husband smells good, he's confident (there are super amazing benefits to this blend, ya know?!) and my head doesn't throb every time he walks out of the bathroom. 

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any babies born 9 months from now. Yes...it smells THAT good! 


Speaking of smelling good...

What gifts are you grabbing for your friends and family (and yourself) from the catalog? 

Not a Young Living member? What are you waiting for? Join us

I'm a basic white girl...I think

I did it y'all. I caved. I am now an official member of the "Basic White Girl" club.

Or am I?

Yesterday I made my normal visit to my local Starbucks and ordered my usual. Grande Java Chip frap with coconut milk, affogato style. YUM! But then it happened...the sweet little barista with her perfect little smile shoved a plate of muffin samples in my face. I smiled back and pretended not to see the muffins. She inched them a little closer and it happened. We made verbal contact. She offered me a sample. I couldn't say no. She was the cutest! 

So I grabbed a piece and wrapped it in a napkin "to save for later". Zero intention of eating it. I mean...who eats pumpkin anyway? Pumpkins are for carving. They are gross. 

NO! They are not gross! I can't believe I am about to say this...

I enjoyed the shit out of that muffin sample! I wanted more. I wanted an entire "moist, perfectly-spiced pumpkin muffin topped with sweet cream cheese and a sprinkling of chopped, caramelized pepitas for a delightful balance of salty and sweet." 

 Image: www.starbucks.com

Image: www.starbucks.com

What is happening?! Every fall I proudly exclaim that I'm no basic bitch! I don't like pumpkin. It was all a lie! That muffin was amazing! 

But the question still remains. Am I really a basic white girl? I just can't bring myself to order a PSL. I can't. It won't happen. (Unless that sweet little barista shoves one in my face.) 

 Mug:  E  tsy

Mug: Etsy

Why I LOVE Young Living Essential Oils

If you follow me on Facebook, or Instagram, or down the highway in Louisiana (please don't...that's just creepy) you know I love love LOVE my essential oils. Not a day goes by that you don't hear me say "There's an oil for that!" Because really...there's an oil for everything. E-VE-RY-THING! But I still get those loons who question me and my love. You know who you are! So I'm here to tell you why I love Young Living essential oils so fricken much!

1. They are pretty

Yeah. Yeah. I know what you are thinking. So what right? But y'all! This is a big deal. I love pretty things. People love pretty things. EVERYONE loves pretty things. It's what we, as humans, do. Glitter? LOVE IT! Unicorns farting rainbows? LOVE IT! Why? Because they are pretty! And Young Living products are pretty too! Their diffusers are sleek and modern and simple. The bottle labels speak to my soul. And the packaging...well...let's just say it's a DREAM to open up a brand new kit. It's like the Heavens sing. Yeah...you heard those angels when you opened your kit! 


2. They support a healthy immune system.

Thieves is my jam! With an active 8 year old that's in school, we need all the immune support we can get. I use Thieves all day everyday to keep my family in tip top shape! Plus...it smells like Christmas. SANTA!

 

 

 


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3. They smell like a spa.

Lavender is like a spa in a bottle. After a long day at work, it helps me unwind and relax for the evening. It also helps my zoo not be raging loons. 

 


4. They support your body.

Copaiba supports your body's natural response to injury or irritation. That's my way of saying...if you feel old, like me, you need this. Capiche?


5. They relieve occasional muscle soreness and tension. 

Combine Panaway with Copaiba and you will feel like a 21 year old dancing on the bar in the club.
 

Disclaimer: What you do in your spare time is a personal decision. I do not recommend dancing on bars whether you are 21 or 61. Don't. Just don't. Unless you're auditioning for the next Coyote Ugly movie. In which case...you still shouldn't dance on bars. 


6. They support healthy digestion.

You know those nights when you decide to binge on OITNB and eat an entire tub of ice cream? Yeah...Di-Gize is your friend. 


7. Sweet baby Jesus!

He loves essential oils too! 


8. They taste delicious!

I am a sucker for a delicious glass of lemonade. A glass of lemonade that is good for my overall wellness? Count me in! 

 


9. They replace my air freshener

I have a zoo. I love my zoo, but they stink. Bad. My husband stinks too. Those are just the top reasons I am thankful for Purification. Alongside Thieves, it's my top diffused oil. Nothing is better than a clean, refreshing smell without the toxic and head pounding chemicals of candles and plug ins. 

 


10. Just pray and apply Stress Away!

Not a day goes by that I don't pray and roll on my Stress Away. It's instant relief from the craziness of that thing called life. 

 


11. Brownies! I love brownies!

Peppermint is a wonderful addition to a batch of delicious, warm brownies. As a dietary supplement, Peppermint Vitality oil can support healthy gut function and digestive efficiency. Sounds like a win, win to me! 

 


12. Exercise is important. 

Ok...let's be real. I don't exercise. But my son does! He's an avid soccer player and a drop or two of RC on his chest gets him through his hot, exhausting games. 

 

 


13. Your body is a wonderland

That's probably NOT what John Mayer had in mind when he wrote that song, but let's pretend. K? We drink an ounce of Ningxia a day to load our body with antioxidants to support overall wellness. It's loaded with wolfberry! Wolfberries are your friend!


14. Learning is fun!

20 years ago I wouldn't have said that. I wasn't a fan of school. But learning about essential oils and the human body is so much fun! The way these oils work and the way our body benefits from them is truly amazing to me. I learn something new everyday and I love sharing the info with my fellow oilers. 


15. Community

The friendships that I have made through Young Living are second to none. I have truly found my happy place and my tribe. We are all chasing our dreams and supporting each other every single day. We laugh together, cry together, and kick ass together. We love our oils and love sharing our love of oils. 

 

 


There you have it. The love is real y'all. I really could have written a book about my obsession but it's time for me to hit up Starbucks. Want in on the oily goodness? You can head here to learn more about Young Living and purchase your very own starter kit. 

 

 

*Disclaimer:  The information on this website is based upon my research and personal use of Young Living Essential Oils. I am not a doctor. Statements, products, and techniques mentioned have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

Starbucks Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato

So here's the thing...I'm a creature of habit. When I go to dinner with my family or a group of friends, I always order the same thing. Planning to take me to a new restaurant? I will stare at the menu FOR-E-VER and then order under pressure and more than likely regret my choice. I wear black and grey and maroon (when I'm feeling spontaneous) and black and army green and black and dark grey and black. I like to live on the wild side. Clearly. When I go to Starbucks (Starbs...if you're one of the cool kids) I always order the same thing. Grande Java Chip Frapp with coconut milk, no whip. It's my drink. It's my life line. It's what my barista starts making as soon as I walk through the door. 

That is...until June 11. It was a typical Monday. Boring as hell. If I had to guess, it was probably raining that day. #Louisiana

So I headed to Starbs to grab my usual. (This has recently become a daily thing. More on that later.) When I opened up the app to check my Gold card balance (Yes, the addiction is real) I am greeted with an announcement about a new drink. Normally I ignore those announcements because...yep...I'm a creature of habit. I don't venture out of my comfort zone. Ever. But I see it..it's sucking me in...the magic words "coconut milk". I love coconut milk! It's in MY drink. The one I get every.single.time. 

I click on the details of this new drink and it sounds amazing. Coconut milk, white chocolate mocha, espresso, caramel drizzle, mocha swirl. HEAVEN! So against my own will...I decide to order it. I almost chickened out when my barista asked "The usual?" but I remained strong and uttered the words...

"Nope! I'm going to try something new today!"

GASP!!!

I'm pretty sure her jaw hit the floor. But she flashed me her usual smile and made my drink. My new favorite drink. Yep. I said it. I have a new favorite.  I am now the proud coffee addict that orders the drink with the most complicated name on the menu. And to make it even more complicated, I add extra white mocha. #YOLO

There it is! My new best friend! We have a bond like no other. You know what makes that bond even stronger? TARGET!

ICMM + Target = Heaven on Earth. I'm pretty sure I heard angels singing next to the mustard.

So about that addiction. Well...it's real. Starbs used to be my Friday treat. I headed there after a long week of work to reward myself for staying sane. Then life got stressful and I slipped a couple of drinks in during the week. Then life got hectic and I headed there almost every afternoon. Then I got an email from Starbucks inviting me to "compete" in a challenge. I'm pretty competitive so I accepted with open arms. So this week, against my will, I HAVE to go to Starbucks everyday before noon to earn 80 Bonus Stars. I mean...what else is a girl supposed to do?

See that sweet smiling barista? She spells my name correctly AND draws cute pictures on my cups. Oh...and did I mention that they have potato chip chocolate? It really is heaven. 

Did I mention that I love Starbucks?

 

Jimmy the cat

These last couple of months have been hella busy on our end. My family thrives on routine so the summer months kick our butt until we are begging for school to start back up. Then school starts and we are crying because...homework. And OMG! As I'm typing this I'm realizing that school starts in less than a month. Insert panic mode. 

But enough about that...we got a cat! (Just call me Dr. Seuss)

Jimmy the cat graced us with his presence for Konner's birthday back in the beginning of June. I never thought I would be a cat person but he has stolen my heart. Even when he's an ass hole and bites my ear in the middle of the night. 

I thought long and hard about adding ANOTHER animal to our already too small house, but I just couldn't say no when I saw his cute little face on my friends Facebook. She found him at her complex and was highly allergic so he needed a home. Now he's a member of our family and he fits right in with the craziness. He was super shy and a little hesitant the day we brought him home, but after a few days he fell right into place. 

 

As every photographer would (and should) I documented his arrival with a newborn session. I'm definitely thinking #kittenwhisperer should be added to my resume. 

Find me on Insta to follow Jimmy and his shenanigans! @eryn.mcbride