Tuesday, April 30, 2013

One Face of Autism

Many of you are aware that April is Autism Awareness Month... there are tweets & status updates & "shares" coming from all over the internet.

For us, though, every month is autism awareness month.

Last year, on May 7th, our son Memphis was diagnosed on the spectrum.
In the past year, we have had many many, many, many up & downs.
Some of which I've shared here, but many that were not.
Afterall, a diagnosis isn't cure. Nothing much has changed for us, except for the fact that we are better prepared to help him get through each day as best as he can.  We have an amazing support system of family, friends & professionals.

This pass year, I have hoped & prayed for one thing.
More than awareness, I hope for acceptance.
1 in 88 will be diagnosed on the autism spectrum... that's a lot of people.
There is a good chance you are, or have been, touched by someone with autism.
My only hope is that you embraced this child, or person, for who he was... and not for what his diagnosis told you he was.

Every child I've met or read about is completely different. They struggle on all levels.
They deserve our respect and our guidance.
They need to be loved & discipline, just as any other child would be.

Memphis is just one face of autism.
Please spread the word of acceptance of the autism community any way you can.
My family thanks you for your continued support... we couldn't do this alone!

Finally, here are a few things you can do for an autism parent:

Don't judge.
Offer to babysit or help out if you notice they're particularly stressed out.
Don't tell them how to parent/discipline their child.
Don't blame it on vaccines.
Don't assume you know how they are feeling... but be supportive. 

Feel free to linkup your autism stories too!

linking up for mommy brain mixer

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Join The Gossip

Ever wonder what it would be like to be a 20-something woman, living in Hollywood and working in the fashion biz?  I do all the time because of this chick that I'm introducing you to today!

Leeann blogs over at Join The Gossip.  It was one of the first blogs I started following religiously when I got into blogging! 

If you like fashion at all... then this is one lady you must get to know! She's absolutely adorable and the kind of gal you could totally picture yourself being BFFs with! 

I hope you'll take a minute to check out her blog... and enter her giveaway.  Yeah, she's a giver too!  Awesome!

Hello there! My name is Leeann and I blog over at Join the Gossip. Nice to "meet you".  Since we're getting to know each other, let me give you an overview of me. I'm an Angeleno, residing in Hollywood to be exact, and I'm enjoying the last few months of my 20s (eek!). I've been blogging for 5+ years and am now working at a new job in fashion. Life is pretty good!

I don't mean to brag, but a reason that life's so good is in large part due to the beautiful weather in LA. It's been warm here in Southern California for quite some time now so spring fashion is on my brain. I thought it'd be fun to put together my top must-haves for the season.

Spring Must Haves

Here's what is on my list: a light airy dress to stay cool, a pretty necklace to add some sparkle, a fedora to block out the sun, sunglasses to protect the peepers, and a thirst-quenching iced Starbucks...wait Starbucks isn't fashion!
I snuck that one in. I mean, when is Starbucks not a necessity, though? In fact, I think YOU need a few delicious drinks, or a three, to celebrate spring. That's why I'm giving away a $15 Starbucks gift card. Good luck!

Be sure to stop by my blog and say hello. I love meeting other bloggers. In fact, I host a weekly blog hop called Monday Morning Gossip. If you're blogging, come link up today or tomorrow. All topics are accepted!
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Casual Friday :: with a cherry on top ::

Some of you may know, from being a long time reader, that my husband suffers with depression & anxiety.
Last September, after holding it together for years, he just couldn't do it anymore and had to take a leave of absence from work to focus on his physical & mental health.

September.  That's nearly 8 months ago.
I was happy that he finally sought the help & took the break he needed... BUT financially, this put a strain on our family.

I am happy to report that over the past few months, he has improved & almost seems like a whole new man.  With a fresh perspective on life, and the break he needed, he has also lost 50 lbs and is again doing the things he loves to do... AND he's finally back to work!

On Monday, he started work in the kitchen of a local organic vegetable farm and he LOVES it.
Working with food is a passion of his, but the stress of running a kitchen in a busy restaurant was just too much... so this job is perfect for him.  It pays well and it's only minutes from hom.  No weekends or evenings, so we'll have him all to ourselves again.

I've been anxious to write a  post like this... you have no idea.
The past 8 months have been filled with worry over our finances and his health... and finally, FINALLY, everything has come full circle and we are back on the right track!

Needless to say, it's been a very exciting week!

linkup up with two thirty-five designs
Don't forget to stop by & enter this giveaway! One of my lovely sponsors is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Magic Cookies :: a recipe by Jess ::

You know what this blog is seriously lacking?  Food.
Yummy, delicious, ooey-gooey cookie recipes, for example.
Don't worry, friends, I have your backs.
If it's cookies you want, it's cookies you'll get....

My good friend Jess is here to share one of her easy go-to cookie recipes... AND  she's giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card too! What!?
Yeah, she rocks!!

Be sure to stop by her blog and say 'hey'!!

Hello! I'm Jess and I blog over at A Heart Full of Frost.

One of the first things you should know about me is that I'm an anxious, slightly OCD, infertile myrtle who is into anything your grandma likes. Okay, that's more than one thing and I'm more than those little labels but who really knows how to start guest posts anyway?
But one thing I love sharing on my blog (and wherever I go) is things I've tried or am doing in my life - be it crafty stuff, recipes or experiences.
So today I have my easiest, go-to cookie recipe for you and what is even cooler is that it has NO flour OR butter (that's code for healthy - so you have an excuse to eat 10 of them). So basically they are magic cookies.
 PB + Choc Chip Cookies 

Here's what you do:
Mix all ingredients together.
Make into small balls and place on lined baking trays.
Flatten and bake in preheated 180C/360F oven for 8 - 10 minutes.
They will harden out of the oven so take them out after no more than 10. They get deliciously chewy.

And just because I can, here are a few (FUN!) facts about me:
* I'm an Aussie!
* I'm 28
* I'm slightly addicted to diet coke (bet you can't tell me 5 bloggers who aren't!)
* I love anything to do with bread but have a gluten intolerance (some bad karma got me on that one I think) * I'm headed to the USA for a (escaping winter) summer holiday and I can't wait!
* I listen to music ALL the time.

So there you have it, that's a bit about me and a cookie recipe that your taste buds will thank me for (but maybe not your behind). 
I hope you can stop by sometime! 

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

True Blue

Dress: ModCloth // Shoes: Old Navy
Everything about this color makes me happy.
It's bold, it's bright and it's really fun.
I'm actually surprised I don't have more of this particular shade in my closet...
I might have to do something about that!?
It can be paired with a number of colors and I can't imagine anyone it wouldn't look good on!

What is your favorite hue for Spring?

True Blue

 Linking up for Dress For The Day, Style Sessions, WIWW,

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

May 8th :: I Am Beautiful ::

Speak Now

On May 8th, I am taking part in something I consider to be extremely important.
As a mother of a young girl, it is important to me that she knows her worth and just how beautiful she really is.

Too many of us struggle with body image and eating disorders.  It is time to empower ourselves and our daughters.  Now is THAT time.

On May 8th, 25 of us are joining forces to raise awareness, provide support and seek change.
You can can find a button & more information on Ellie's blog, Speak Now.

Spread the word!

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Monday, April 22, 2013

duck duck goose

Anyone else feel like life is one long game of duck, duck, goose?
I feel like most days are spent waiting for it to be my turn.
My turn for something amazing to happen.

Some days, those amazing things do happen.  Both big & small.
Memphis making it through a day at school without any major bumps is a huge achievement.
Having your husband start a new job after 6 months of being off & not knowing if he was going to make it through it is an amazing victory.

But some days aren't very exciting.  They sort of run into each other, you know?
Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Repeat.
No matter how monotonous, none of them is ever taken for granted.

I love every moment with my family and I enjoy putting in a hard day's work.
I've been blessed to stumble into a hobby that makes us a little extra money on the side...
I just wish, once in a while, luck would tag ME in this silly game of duck, duck, goose.
I'm due to win the lottery or something, y'know?

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Social

Follow on Bloglovin

What is your shopping weakness?
Anything from ModCloth... duh.
I have a particular weakness for cute dresses and when Modcloth has a sale, well... I have no control over what I do or order.

ModCloth "Curry Me Away" dress
Modcloth "Good Enough To Strut" dress
What is your food weakness?
Definitely popcorn. With extra butter.

What is your go to movie when nothing else is on?
When we can't decide on anything else, we usually watch Hot Rod.
That movie is ALWAYS funny.


What is your go to breakfast food?
I love whole wheat toast with peanut butter!

Do you drink coffee?  If so, how do you take it?
Black, 2 sugars.  But I only drink it at work.

linking up here

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Meet Some Ladies... Win a Prize!

As a "bigger" blogger (and I use that term loosely), I'm always happy to help out a newer blogger by answering questions, swapping buttons, etc.... But I've always hoped to do a little more.

I put the word out that I was looking to feature blogs that were under 200 GFC followers.  I got a great response from some awesome ladies & I'm happy to introduce them to you today!!

Before I start, I do want to ask that you take the moment to really get to know these ladies.  Take a peek at their "about" sections, scroll through a couple posts, send a sweet message or tweet, maybe contact them about swapping blog buttons OR offer them a promo code for ad space on your blog!

 Hey y'all!!  I am Meesh of Finding Michelina!!  It's my own place to share my quirky self!!  Whether it's a post about something yummy I found on pinterest or a ramble about every day life or a deep heart felt post about who I am and where I want to be it usually entertains!!  A quick shootout to Lena B for letting me hang out on her blog and share my little bloggy with y'all!!  Hope you come visit and stay a while!!
Blog  Facebook  Instagram

Healthy sew is a place when I share my struggles and progress with becoming a healthier, hotter version of myself.
Blog  Instagram
Aren't they the cutest?
I would really love for them to gain some followers & make some new friends through this... We all remember how intimidating it can be to start out, right?
If this feature continues to go well, I'll be hosting it EVERY MONTH!  I have more amazing bloggers on my waiting list that I would be proud to introduce to you!

As mentioned earlier in the post, these lovely ladies are giving away some great prizes!
Meesh is donating a hand painted wooden sign, and Sonya is giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
Just enter the rafflecopter below & play fair!
Entries are monitored!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book vs. Movie :: The Host ::

 Earlier this week my sister and I went to see The Host.
We both LOVED the book so much and were anxious to see how they would make it into a movie.
Not that it was the most complex book ever written or anything, but I was curious as to how they would adapt it to movie form without compromising the actual story.

For those of you unfamiliar with the book, Wikipedia summarizes the plot as follows:
The Host is a science fiction/romance novel by Stephenie Meyer. The novel introduces an alien race, called Souls, which takes over the Earth and its inhabitants. The book describes one Soul's predicament when the mind of her human host refuses to cooperate with her takeover.
 I've been a fan of Meyer since her Twilight Series and picked up the book for no other reason than she wrote it.  I was pleasantly surprised.
The book had no vampires, and no werewolves... but I was hooked.

The love story/triangle are what really got me.  Let's just say it was the LAST thing expected from a book about aliens.

Happily, the movie didn't disappoint.
I cried at the same part as I did when I read the book.  Yeah, I'm a sap.
The only unfortunate part was that a great deal of characters were omitted from the movie... at nearly 2 hrs long already, I totally understand why they had to bypass certain story lines, but that kinda sucks.

If you saw the movie and liked it... PLEASE read the book and if you read the book, and hated the movie... I get that too.
It wasn't the greatest movie, but it wasn't horrible.
When it comes to movie adaptations, this one was pretty okay.
I enjoyed the movie but definitely preferred the book!

Have you read the book / seen the movie?  What did you think?
What is your favorite movie ever adapted from a book?

don't forget to check out this fabulous giveaway via my lovely sponsor, imprintalish!
you can win a bracelet of your choice from her shop!

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It Is The Sun Shining On The Rain

Dress: Old Navy // Tights & Belt: Old // Boots: Payless
 "Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine..." 
-Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden 
Isn't that a pretty quote?
Although last week, you could easily have replaced the word rain with snow if you really wanted to be more precise.
A good old fashioned snowstorm hit here last Friday... in April!?
Luckily by Monday most of it was gone again and I finally had the nerve to pull out this very Springy dress!

It's been in my closet for a month or so.  Just waiting for the weather to turn from nasty to just right.
I have to admit, just right might be stretching the truth a little... but I definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Spring always feels like a fresh start and I'm excited for new adventures & beginnings!

 Linking up for Dress For The Day, Style Sessions, WIWW,

don't forget to check out this fabulous giveaway via my lovely sponsor, imprintalish!
you can win a bracelet of your choice from her shop!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Meet Amber :: She's NOT boring ::

I have another super sweet & rockin' sponsor to introduce you to today!
Lucky peeps!
Amber is another quirky & memorable mama that I am happy to call a friend.
She's not only introducing herself, but her family and her favorite blog posts as well!
So sit back, relax and meet the lady behind My Three Bittles!


Hi! I'm Amber. I blog at My Three Bittles.
I'm 27.
I live in Ft Benning, Georgia.
I just spent 3 years living in Ft Wainwright, Alaska.  Yes, Alaska!  photo 431987_10150683632195365_1651172489_n_zps8fd9af1d.jpg
I have three small babies.
Fin is 5.
Miss Maddie is 4.
Owen aka Ollie Pollie, Ollie Pollie pants, Pollie pants, handsome pants, Ollie, fat baby, chunker munk just turned One in November.
He's in the army.
Has been for almost 10 years. (wow! That's crazy that it's been that long)
We have two cats. Roscoe P. Cole Train.  And Bella.
We have Bo the dog. And we recently adopted miss Lucy. We're the ring leaders of the crazy Mack house circus! Ha!
So let me just highlight a few posts for you. My 52 weeks of kindness project. My list of  "Rules" of blogland.
That mini series I did about loving your mom body.
Check them out. For realz.
(post coming soon about the actual journey) (and by soon, I mean whenever I get unlazy enough to type it all out)
There was that day that 306 almost got the best of me. That one was..... I'm glad it's over.
I talk about military life a little bit.
That time I told women to stop being trash.
Oh and that time I felt like Cinderella.
I highly suggest you just skim through all of those and then the labels at the bottom of the page.
My favs are the rants and raves, and the I keeps it real posts.
Oh and my rambles are pretty good too.  Just throwing that out there.
This is Fin:
 photo 6D3D999C-912F-48A4-BC76-671F2BE90A06-14694-0000039D8D51C11C.jpg
This is Maddie:
 photo 47791AFF-3B4B-428F-A6C0-87E6EA75EAC3-2821-00000097A4F27E58.jpg
This is Baby O:
 photo IMG_3539-1.jpg
This is David:
This is me:
 photo A086DDBE-E413-4C19-9A52-8A80CDAE17B2-1481-0000004E24992CE7_zps35441ce6.jpg
 photo 2BA71D78-176F-4940-BBE2-E328620682E6-13059-00000313E600F812_zps8077f7fb.jpg
Anyway.... that's me. That's my life. I'm pretty boring really. I have an obsession with big sunglasses, coffee and planners that I never fully use. But I make cute kids.
And I like my usually pretty boring life.

Hope you'll come visit me soon!

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