Monday, October 29, 2018

Hello, my name is Mommy.

Since my long hiatus, I have had 2 adorable little boys. A hilarious 3 year old and a snuggly 1 year old. Those two are my sun and moon. I cannot express how much I love those two and could not image life without them. I feel so privileged to have my two little guys call me Mommy. For 3 years they were my sole reason for living. All of my walking moments were focused on those two. ...I no longer mattered.

I lost myself. I was no longer Kristen, only Mommy. I had no interests, hobbies, or will to do things I once liked.  I did not see friends. I did not watch shows that I used to like. I did not touch a game or read a book. My clothing choices were whatever was clean. I no longer straightened my hair. I worried about how well others were eating, but I did not eat properly. If I was not with my boys, I was working or sleeping. I did not want to bother others with watching them, so I rarely got away for me time or a date night. While I was aware that my life would change after the birth of my babies, nothing could prepare me for how much. I neglected myself. I let myself fall to the lowest priority.

I cannot say when was the exact moment I came to my senses. But I feel like I woke up from a dream I had no control over. This is not to say that I have regrets about having my children. Certainly not! I have regrets about  how little valued my well-being. If I were able to do it all over I would change the way I treated myself. I would make sure that I was happy with myself. A happy mother makes for happier children, which makes for a happier home.

So I have made a promise to never lose myself again. I can be a mother and be myself at the same time. It will take work, but my happiness and well-being are important. I will wake up early for me time. I will be more accepting of help from others. I will not feel horrible about taking time to enjoy a quiet dinner and movie with my loving husband. I will read and take walks during my lunch breaks. And manage to stay awake once the babies are asleep to watch a show or movies with my husband. I will no longer be just Mommy. I am my own person. My name is Kristen, and I am the mother of two charming little men. I am not my first priority, but I will certainly no longer be my last.

image from: pixabay

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Oh my gosh! I just noticed that I saved this post on Saturday, but did not schedule a time. I am truly sorry for being delinquent in noticing until now.

It has been said that clutter can cause anxiety and stress. This is definitely true for myself. When my surroundings become too chaotic  and cluttered I cannot concentrate. I do not know where to start on projects, and I feel claustrophobic. Once I am able to rid my surrounds of the clutter I can finally function.

There are many statistics that Americans accumulate the most stuff throughout life. We are a consumer society. "Keeping up with the Joneses" is a very common mindset. We have to have the newest items while still holding on the older items. We have big houses with separate areas devoted for storage, but need extra storage in garages and sheds. Then there is a whole business just for storing stuff that cannot fit into those places. It is amazing that the storage business profits $30 billion annually. Sparefoot

Clutter does not start out horribly.  It grows when people are not paying attention. First there are a few books on a table. Then a notebook, unopened mail, a few print outs, some receipts, grocery lists, and instruction manuals are slowly added throughout the month. The more that is idly added to the pile creates clutter. Telling yourself "I will deal with that later" does nothing for the problem. And then all of a sudden. The pile is huge and now takes at least an hour to sort and act upon.

That hour was wasted! That hour could have been used to read a book, take a walk, enjoy time with your family, or go out with friends. However, that time was spend inspecting items individually and deciding if they are to be trashed, shredded, put away, or given to others.

Decluttering tips:
 • Donate clothes that no longer fit or have not been worn in over 9 months. There is no point in storing clothes you cannot wear or do not like.

Old pieces
 • Old odds and ends should be gotten rid of. Mysterious electronic cords, old pens, parts of toys, etc. Keeping items for later use is pointless. They will collect in drawers, storage bins, and shelves.
 • Junk drawers are just hidden pockets of clutter. If the items do not have a specific place, get rid of that them.

Old paperwork
 • Paperwork is the #1 number cause of clutter for several  of my extended family members. Keep bills for 6 month and installment invoices until the purchase is paid off. 
 • Keeping instruction manuals is useless. Equipment information and directions can be found online.
 • Old notebooks should be combined or recycled completely. There is no point in keeping scribbles that you are not going to be read again.

Old formats
 • DVDs and CDs are obsolete. I would rather stream my entertainment needs than have bookcases full of discs.

 • I do not understand why some people have more than one planner or calendar. No one can effectively plan anything if they have to consult several schedules.
 • Owning duplicate items for in-case moments is useless. One can run to a store and pick up anything at anytime. If you do not want to leave the house, many websites have express shipping or overnight delivery options.

Craft supplies
 • Nothing can get out of hand faster than crafting supplies. Hoarding items for maybe crafts is a waste of space and money. I only buy items for a craft I am currently working on. Having too much stuff can cause items to get "lost". Those items will of course resurface when another is bought.

Brain clutter
 • Your brain can be cluttered as well. This can cause procrastinate, feelings of being overwhelmed, or trying to over multitask. I like to keep myself on task and focused with goal/to-do lists. I know what needs to be done immediately. I know what steps are needed to work toward bigger goals.
 • Also clear out e-mails. Then you know exactly what needs your attention. 

There are of course several ideas, steps, or programs on ways to declutter. I would not be able to follow the minimalist movement. But minimizing the clutter is a must for me.

image from: pixabay

Sunday, October 14, 2018


I am going to start by saying that nobody is perfect. One could work hard and achieve prefect test grades, take an awesome picture, or make the best decorations. But no one is completely perfect. Your favorite blogger, the neighbor with the immaculate lawn, the popular PTA mom, your boss, or your in-laws are not perfect. It only seems that they are prefect, because people only show what they want others to see.  

Perfectionism is a very negative habit. It can cause burnout and a slew of psychological issues including anxiety, feelings of inadequacies, and depression. Nothing should be more important than caring for yourself. Otherwise life becomes a chore rather than a journey. You should be motivated to improve yourself not obsess about everything. Perfectionism can make someone obsess over the tiniest details or procrastinate for fear of making mistakes. Either way very little gets accomplished.

While in school, I used to experience extreme shame and self-loathing if I only got an 90 on a test. Sometimes I would be upset for days because I wasn't smart enough to get an A+. Now looking back, it didn't matter. I passed. That was all that mattered. I have learned that in general, unless you are first it doesn't matter as long as you pass. I let go of the anxiety, stress, fatigue, and burnout that comes with trying to achieve perfection. I still try my hardest and strive for excellence, but I do not let a task become all consuming. There was a great sense of relief when I finally accepted that I did my best and that was all I could do.

So when you feel like you are failing, you are only human. There is only so much you can do in a day. And the sayings that "You have the same 24 hours as whatever celebrities" do not help anyone. Celebrities have personal assistants, agents, accountants, make-up artists, stylists, nannies, housekeepers, fitness trainers, and chefs. There is no way they would be able to accomplish all they do without a team. The only comparative competition you should have is with yourself.

Let the unrealistic expectation of perfectionism go and enjoy yourself more.
image from: pixabay

Sunday, October 7, 2018

10 Autumn Must Haves

I am so delighted that summer is over. I am not a hot weather person in the least. Autumn happens to be one of my favorite seasons. The cool temperatures, changing foliage, and of course my second favorite holiday Halloween.

This is the season to dress warmly and stylishly. Play with layers, wear snug footwear, and comfortably wear down hairstyles. There are certain items that are needed in the autumn wardrobe. My fashion style is rather preppy, so my autumn must haves are:

1. Booties
 • Cute ankle height boots. They work well with most outfits. Shoes: TOMS Leila Booties
2. Sweaters
 • Cooler temperatures require warmer clothing options. Cable sweater are a must in the autumn wardrobe. Clothing: Polo Ralph Lauren Cable Knit Sweater
3. Riding boots
 • Tall straight boots. Very comfortable, warm, and fashionable. Shoes: Sam Edelman Penny Riding Boots
4. Wellingtons
 • Tall colored rain boots are so cute. These are both functional and fashionable. I love to wear a vibrate pair of wellingtons with a neutral outfit to add a cute pop of color. Shoes: Hunter Wellingtons
5. Peacoat
 •  This is one of my favorite style of coats. The row of buttons. The fitted back with with a bottom flair. Outer wear: Burberry Peacoat

6. Vest
 • Another Autumn wardrobe must is the vest. Prefect for the cooling weather. And they pair well with cable sweaters, and duck boots. Clothing: J.Crew Excursion Vest
7. Capes
 • Prefect for days when it's not quite cold enough for a full coat. Wonderfully fashionable. I love the feminine silhouette they produce. Outer wear: Wool Checkered Cape
8. Duck boots
 • Prefect for cold rainy or snowy days. They pair well with skinny jeans. Shoes: L.L. Bean Duck Boots
9. Cute scarf
 • As the weather gets colder a scarf is a must. Bows and oversized scarves are my favorites. Accessories: Bernat Bow Scarf

10. Umbrella
 • Planning accessories is important. Nothing is cuter than a patterned umbrella or one that matches your coat or wellingtons. Accessory: Burberry Check Walking Umbrella
Do not let the change in the season cause your blues. This is the best time of year to show off your stylish. Grab a cup of hot chocolate, go shopping, and enjoy autumn to the fullest.

image from: pixabey