5 Traditional Wedding Items You Can Do With OR Without

I apologize to anyone who is involved with the wedding industry, especially if I convince someone to forego something you sell/make..etc. (I’m sincere). ūüôā

5 Traditional Wedding Items You Can Do With or Without. // Cue to Cue Mama

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately about how wedding marketing (or really, any marketing..) makes every decision a bride/groom decides seem like the most important decision of their lives. Don’t get me wrong…I love planning my wedding. I love planning events, in fact (a little ironic since I’m such an extreme introvert, but take note that I said I love¬†planning,¬†not necessarily¬†attending).

Wedding details make me swoon. My wedding Pinterest boards are a bit out of control. But none of these decisions are the most important decision of my life. It doesn’t matter what flowers I choose, or dress (gasp), or cake. I’ve been to several weddings in the last few years and frankly — I don’t remember the food (I remember I ate, but that’s about it). I definitely don’t remember the cake. I remember how beautiful the bride was (which didn’t necessarily have anything to do with the dress). But what I remember from each wedding is how good of a time I had (or didn’t have). I remember dancing. I remember laughing. I remember drinking (sorry, but it’s true). I remember celebrating!

This post isn’t to try and convince you to scrap any and every wedding tradition. And it certainly isn’t here to make you feel judged for it. But if you’re really trying to cut down costs, or you’re not one for tradition, or you just wanna challenge yourself with something new, here’s a few areas you can cut down.

#1 The Cake

 

Oh man, I am fascinated by cake-making. It is such an incredible skill (and one that I wish I had). In fact, one of the things I miss most about having cable are watching cake competitions. And there are so many beautiful, creative, and fun ideas when it comes to wedding cakes. So, if I haven’t established it enough already — I love wedding cakes. That being said, we’re probably not gonna have one. Cakes are crazy expensive (okay, I shouldn’t say crazy because I know they take an enormous amount of time, patience, and talent). But they also aren’t¬†necessary. And if you’re having a large wedding, cakes can really start to break the bank. There are so many creative ways to forego a wedding cake too. Dessert bars, donut cakes, oreo cakes, and cupcakes. If you really want a wedding cake, go for it. But if you’re not all that into it, it’s okay to skip too.

 

#2 Save the Dates

 

I made our Save the Dates and had them printed through Vistaprint, so they were cheap and easy. I knew we were going to have a bigger wedding {sigh…}, and a lot of those invited lived out of town, and we’re getting married on a holiday weekend. So, I thought Save the Dates were a little more useful for us because it was a mass way to communicate and help people prepare, if they actually wanted to make the trip. There have been plenty of weddings, however, that have done without the Save the Date, and it was just fine.

 

#3 Videography

 

Oh my goodness. This one is difficult because I loooooove a well-shot wedding video. Videography has gotten so complex and beautiful. It is probably the one thing I¬†wish we could fit in our budget. And while I think videographers are justified in charging what they do, it’s just not in the budget for us. So, I’m considering using Wedreel. Basically, anyone who has recorded anything at your wedding/reception can upload it to your site on Wedreel then editors compile everything together and make a cohesive wedding video. It’s obviously not going to be as smooth or “artsy” as having an actual videographer, but it can at least get the job done. My dilemma comes with the ceremony. I’m actually pretty fond of little to no phones out during the wedding. I like the idea of everyone being totally present for the ceremony because frankly, that’s the important part. So, I might just give one person the job of recording the ceremony, and then everyone can participate at the reception.

 

If you have a local college nearby, you can also reach out to the students. Many of them have demo reels they can share with you to show off their aesthetic, and since they are trying to build a portfolio, their rates will be severely discounted. (KU Film Department, here I come!)

 

#4 A DJ

 

Now, hear me out. A good DJ can make a great reception. However, there are so many tools now that, if they’re not in your budget, or you can’t find one that matches your musical aesthetic well, you can DIY it. Be mindful that DJs serve as more than just “master music players.” They also help transition the night’s events, get your crowd involved, and can troubleshoot equipment issues quicker than you can. I’ll be honest, this is a decision that I’ve gone back and forth on several times. However, if the budget’s tight, it’s possible to DIY it and still do great!

#5 Wedding Planner

 

I feel like I need to preface this one A LOT. After attending many a wedding, running the day of coordination for one, and now planning my own — wedding planners/day of coordinators are EXTREMELY useful. But if you’re a DIY bride, like myself, or a master organizer (also, like myself), you may feel like you can forego this service altogether, and you would be right. However, and a big however, if you forego the day of coordinator, the responsibility of chatting with vendors, making sure details are taken care of at both venues (if you’re having the ceremony separate from the reception venue), and helping the process of the day/evening move along will fall squarely on your or one of your friends/family’s shoulders. I’m lucky, one of my bridesmaids is an Event Planner/Coordinator (Check her out at Hyer Expectations), so I am lucking out big time with help, but if she wasn’t, I think I still would’ve sprung for at least a day-of coordinator. Now, if you really can’t add that to the budget, chat with a good acquaintance or delegate mini-responsibilities to your wedding party. ¬†My decision for having at least a day-of coordinator: I want my friends and family members to be with me, celebrating with me. I don’t want them having to scurry around and fuss over the details. So, while, yes, you can pass up on this, I would¬†really recommend that you don’t.

 

What are some ways you chucked tradition to save some dough? I’d love to hear in the comments!

How I Made My Wedding Invitations for under $150 {for a big wedding}

 

 

How I Made My Wedding Invitations for under $150 {for a big wedding} // Cue to Cue Mama

 

How I Made My Wedding Invitations for under $150 {for a big wedding}

 

I am a major fan of DIYing it in general. If there’s a way that I can figure out how to do it myself — I do it. Mostly because I like the challenge of it. However, as much as Pinterest would like you to believe it, DIYing is not always the most cost effective route.

When it came to our wedding invitations, I knew early on that I wanted to create them myself. At first I had the ornate vision of making my own pocketfold invitations, but then I realized the amount of work it would take (without any help), and with the amount of change and transition I’ve had in my life recently, I just wasn’t willing to do it.

So, then I thought of the graphic design/printable route. I scoured Etsy and found things that I liked but didn’t love (and don’t get me wrong, I think there’s way too much pressure on perfect when it comes to weddings. People, these invitations will get thrown away — stop looking for perfect).

However, I still wanted them to reflect¬†us, and nothing quite made that cut. So, designing them myself was it. If I was gonna design them, I had to find a printer and frankly, it needed to take little to no effort (yep, sorry…wedding invitations have a purpose, but they don’t need to take up hours of my time, thank you very much). That being said, Vistaprint it is. I know, some people have their aversions to Vistaprint, but I’ve only had good experiences with them and they ALWAYS have coupons!

Side note: I’m having a big wedding (150ish or more). Don’t really know how it happened, but it’s happening, so trying to afford anything, including invitations for a wedding of over 100 people, is daunting. Sure, those wedding invitation sites look nice but they also cost you nearly $500. They may be practical for under 100 people, but certainly not for over…at least in my little budget-conscious world.

 

#1 Sign up for Cash Back & Instant Coupon Sites

 

First off, before you start making any purchases online, sign up for Ebates and Honey. (And ¬†Swagbucks while you’re at it). Ebates & Swagbucks give you cash back for purchases (and they both had deals with Vistaprint) and Honey…oh Honey…my favorite plugin…EVER. Honey looks for coupon codes upon checkout on most sites — and this plugin ALWAYS finds me great coupon codes for Vistaprint (I got my Save the Dates printed for half off & it took nearly $40 off of my wedding invitations/RSVPs).

Now, that you’re all set up with those sites, it’s time to design your invite. This may seem intimidating. So, here’s my process (and I am NO graphic designer).

 

#2 Create a Pinterest Board

 

This is especially true for the non-graphic designer. Pinterest¬†can¬†be overwhelming, so I say go in searching for colors/themes, then you can start breaking it down to practicality. What info do you for sure¬†need to share with your guests? What kind of look/theme do you want (color or theme like “starry night” or “rustic vintage.” I’m telling you, whatever keywords you can think of, there’s probably someone on Pinterest who has too. Once you have a hefty board, start deleting any invitations that don’t serve the exact purpose you need.

 

#3 Search for Fonts/Clip Art

 

I love doing this. In fact, if I’m not careful, it can turn into quite the rabbit hole for me. My favorite place to find Clip Art is on Etsy. Some of my favorite sellers are:

As far as fonts go, you can use free fonts on sites like

Font Squirrel 

1001 Fonts

Da Font

Fontspace

But I am a font fanatic, so I follow Hungry JPEG which has a ton of fonts that affordable (sometimes even free) and they offer monthly bundles that usually offer several great fonts. Plus, they always have great clip art and crafting resources too.

 

#4 Design on a Site like PicMonkey

 

I love Picmonkey. I’ve used Adobe Illustrator, Power Point, and Word to make invitations and printables in the past, but I love Picmonkey. They offer so much (even with the free version) and if you decide to upgrade to the royale version (which is super cheap – $3/month, paid annually), they offer an even more extensive font selection AND you can toggle between their fonts and your own too! They also have great backgrounds, clip art images, and filters. There is so much you can do. Just go to Design, then choose the size you want (most invitations are 5×7) and now PLAY. For my RSVPs, I made a 4×6 postcard. To make that on Picmonkey, just go to Design, Custom Size, and then enter 1200 x 1800 pixels. And if you want to make a different size, use this easy peasy calculator. Make sure to change the DPI setting to 300 DPI (that’ll ensure you get a high quality image).

 

#5 Submit to a Printer like Vistaprint

 

So, for my invites — to cut down on waste (and price!), I decided to do two sided printing. Front side the invitation portion, the backside with Details (including reception venue info and website).

How I Made My Wedding Invitations for under $150 {for a big wedding} // Cue to Cue Mama

 

Then, I made the RSVP as a postcard (no extra envelopes!) I thought about going completely online RSVP, but I know several members of my family who wouldn’t do it/like it, so I figured I’d go the “let’s do both” route.

 

How I Made My Wedding Invitations for under $150 {for a big wedding} // Cue to Cue Mama

 

I created a jotform (I was going to use a Google Form, but I hated that I couldn’t create a custom link) and I earned more submissions (free accounts only get 10 submissions/month) by following Jotform on FB, Twitter, via email. That way, I can keep it free!

And after adding everything to Vistaprint and using Honey to find my coupon code, this is my grand total (and yes, it comes with 100 free 5×7 envelopes):

How I Made My Wedding Invitations for under $150 {for a big wedding} // Cue to Cue Mama

And there ya have it! What kind of tips and tricks did you use to save some cash on your wedding? Let me know in the comments below!

Amanda

Kick Off Your New Year by Treating Yourself to Something Younique!

Holy Cow! I am so excited to share this savings with you! For those of you who don’t already know, I’m a Younique presenter, and they have dropped several bombs on us presenters in the past few weeks. So, let me give you a run down.

#1 REFORMULATED 3D Fiber Lash Mascara

Kick Off Your New Year by Treating Yourself to Something Younique!

This stuff is NO JOKE. Our mascara has always been one of our hottest items (as well as being the foundation from which this company was built), and they have been working hard to improve — and they HAVE. Wanna pre-order? Fill out this form and I’ll make sure it gets shipped to you right away!

 

#2 A NEW presenters kit!

 

Kick Off Your New Year by Treating Yourself to Something Younique!

 

My presenters kit was amazing. I couldn’t believe how much savings it offered, and really didn’t think it could be any better. Well, I was wrong. As you can see above, you get an insane amount of stuff for a fraction of the cost, a 20% discount, a tablet, AND the amazing new, sturdy, and roomy makeup bag.

 

#3 Early release of the January KUDOS

 

Kick Off Your New Year by Treating Yourself to Something Younique!

 

The December Kudos was such a hit that Younique decided to release their January kudos early. They are available NOW – here’s what you get for $89:

Moodstruck Addition Shadow Palette
Moodstruck Stiff Upper Lip Lip Stain (including 3 exclusive colors!)
Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation
FREE limited makeup case

You can purchase here.

Can Everyone Just Calm the Hell Down? – Holiday Edition

Ha. I wanted to type something else in the title of this post, but decided to keep it PG.

I’m a part of quite a few homeschooling/parenting groups on FB. And normally, they’re a great place for support, but every once in awhile, I just want to scream “CAN WE ALL JUST CALM THE #$%@ DOWN?!” There was a huge discussion on one of the groups about whether or not to teach your kids to believe in Santa Claus, and if you decide not to, how to handle conversations with other kids that do.

I, for one, think this conversation is really…unnecessary. And frankly, I have enough unnecessary conversations a day with an inquisitive seven year old who wants to know everything about everything.

Yet somehow…I feel a need to comment (ah, the modern age, where everyone feels entitled to share their opinion regardless of the venue–luckily, this is my blog…hehe). But my comment is really simple. Very, very, very simple.

Don’t be an asshole.

Before anyone throws their arms up in complete and total offense — let me be clear. If you don’t want to teach your kids about Santa — great. That’s fine. The cool (albeit tedious, stressful, and at times, soul crushing) part of parenting is you get to filter what you want to your kids. And on the other hand, if you want to teach your kids that there’s a Santa — great. That’s fine. The cool (albeit tedious, stressful, and at times, soul crushing) part of parenting is you get to filter what you want to your kids.

See what I did there?

But the biggest thing to stress to those young, inquiring minds? Don’t be an asshole. If Jimmy doesn’t believe in Santa, be kind to Jimmy and move on. And if Lola believes in Santa, be kind to Lola and move on. It’s really that simple.

And trust me, folks — this applies to all of you adults reading out there too. Can we stop with these unnecessary conversations? Can we just allow people to live and let live? These Christmas wars always make me wonder if I can actually roll my eyes to the complete other side of my head. They’re pointless. Teach your kids whatever you want — religion, creed, lesson — whatever. It’s your kid. It’s your family.

Let’s just all agree on this one thing: We can all teach kindness and acceptance. It’s not hard. In fact, some pretty powerful people of our past have shown this to be true.

I’ll end with this: it boils down to that good ol’ fashioned golden rule. How do you want people to treat you? How do you want people to treat your kids? Well, there’s your answer. I’m sure none of you answered, “I’d like someone to be a self-righteous indignant prick to Jimmy to make him feel terrible for believing ____________.”

Focus on that, and suddenly, a lot of questions are clear. So, whatever and however you celebrate this holiday season, I hope it’s a wonderful one.

4 Alternatives to a Typical Wedding Registry

For almost a year, we’ve been planning our wedding. Since we’re a bit of an unconventional couple, as well as being pretty well-established, a typical wedding registry didn’t really seem to suit us. We originally tried to do the “normal” thing, scanning items at the local Target, but then it just seemed like we were asking for stuff that we had no place for in our current living situation (an apartment with not much storage space). So, of course, I started researching alternatives. I’m not one to really be sold on¬†having to do something for the sake of tradition. If there’s a tradition, I want it to be meaningful, and frankly, registries just aren’t that meaningful to me. If you’re a couple that is looking for something a little different, here’s what I’ve found:

Honeymoon Registry

 

This is a controversial one. Some think it’s a great opportunity to support experience over stuff, while others think it’s tacky. I happen to think it’s a great idea. I think if you frame it as a, “we’d rather have money spent on experiences rather than stuff,” it’s more approachable and authentic. If you come off as, “We’re broke and want somebody else to pay for our honeymoon,” it’s a little more jarring and awkward, I think. Just a personal observation though. ūüėČ

E & I are using the Honeymoon registry through Disney, since we’ll be spending 10 days at Disney World (Eek! Yes, what can I say? We really are obsessed with WDW!) Here are some links to reputable Honeymoon Registries:

Disney Honeymoon Wishes

Honeyfund

Traveler’s Joy

Gift Card Registry

 

So, I had found a a gift card registry, but for whatever reason, they are no longer accepting new registries. ūüôĀ I was super bummed because I think this is a BRILLIANT idea. Especially for couples that are already established or the indecisive couple that isn’t ready to pick the type of china they want (or doesn’t want china to begin with…) So, since the actual registry site wasn’t available anymore, I created a Target registry, but only listed gift cards on it. ¬†I am the queen of flexibility, and gift cards offer that. By registering at a place that is convenient for nearly everyone, it allows people to access the gift cards easily. You can choose gift cards to Target for housing items, or experience gift cards (ie. Disney, just about any restaurant, Apple, Amazon, Southwest, etc..)

 

Donate to Charity

 

This is one of my favorite options. There are a few ways to do this – you can just pick a charity and request that people make a donation in your name. Or The Knot has a great option to choose a charity and if your friends and family purchase items on your registry through The Knot, they will donate a percentage to the charity of your choice. E and I chose to support the CASA organization. Or there’s the I Do Foundation, which creates a registry that allows your guests to make direct donations to the charity of your choice.

 

Screw the Registry

 

This is also a great option. No one is forcing you to create a registry. Just about every wedding website will tell you a must-do, but it’s not. Your wedding is YOUR wedding. Do it the way you want. If you do forego the registry, just be prepared for whatever gifts may come your way (which could be great!)

 

Did you use an alternative to the normal wedding registry? Let me know in the comments!

4 Alternatives to a Typical Wedding Registry // Cue to Cue Mama

An Enormous List of Holiday Movies by Age Group

 

I know…I know…ANOTHER holiday post. Sorry, this is the late November/December life with me, so buckle up, it’ll be a festive ride! It should come as no surprise that I love holiday movies. Sure, some I love better than others, but for majority of December, you can see me cuddled up in front of the TV watching a holiday movie.

An Enormous List of Holiday Movies (by age group) // Cue to Cue Mama

I broke down some of my favorites below into somewhat age-appropriate categories. It should go without saying that the age groups are totally open to intrepretation. Zo has seen majority of the films on this list, so I just tried to place them in categories that would make the most sense, on average. Did I miss one of your favs? Let me know in the comments!

Christmas Movies for Ages 0-6

 

An Enormous List of Holiday Movies (by age group) - Ages 0-6 // Cue to Cue Mama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to say, I’m partial to Claymation Christmas since it’s so rare and not very many people remember it. My parents had it recorded on VHS (Along with Santa Claus with Dudley Moore) and I would replay it over and over. I’m not sure why I loved clay dinosaurs chatting about Christmas songs so much, but it provides me with so much nostalgia. Plus, the California Raisins show up! (Yes, I know, I’m showing my age).

 

Nick Jr Christmas
Mickey’s A Christmas Carol
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas
Muppets A Christmas Carol
Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (animated)
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Frosty the Snowman
Claymation Christmas
Polar Express
Twas the Night Before Christmas

 

Ages 7-10

 

An Enormous List of Holiday Movies (by age group) - Ages 7-10 // Cue to Cue Mama

 

I read somewhere that Home Alone is still the highest grossing live-action comedy in history. That is insane. Being the 80s/90s kid that I am, I have a special place for anything John Hughes touches. I also distinctly remember laughing so hard during Home Alone as a kid that chocolate milk came out my nose.¬†It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas are also at the top of my favs list.

 

Home Alone
Arthur Christmas
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (live action)
White Christmas
It’s a Wonderful Life
Miracle on the 34th Street
The Santa Clause 1,2,3
Santa Claus
Jingle All the Way

 

Ages Pre-teen – Teen

 

An Enormous List of Holiday Movies (by age group) - Preteen/Teens // Cue to Cue Mama

 

I know this is a short list, but I watch all 3 of these every year around the holidays. I quote Elf throughout the year, and A Christmas Story always reminds me of my dad. 8 Crazy Nights is so underrated and great. It puts me in tears every time I watch it. I think the list is short because the rest of the movies may be inappropriate for pre-teens (not necessarily, but maybe).

 

Elf
A Christmas Story
8 Crazy Nights

 

Grown-Ups

 

An Enormous List of Holiday Movies (by age group) - Grown Ups // Cue to Cue Mama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the movies that younger can watch, but have enough language/innuendo to deem them in the “grown up” category. I loooove Scrooged — but then again, I’m a sucker for Bill Murray. Love, Actually is a classic and is another movie I quote all the time (plus a freakin’ all-star cast). And Christmas Vacation? Come on…John Hughes, remember?

Scrooged
Love, Actually
The Holiday
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

 

*this post may contain affiliate links

Ultimate Christmas Playlist

Beware, I’m in the full-on Christmas mode now. And yes, I’ve been listening to Christmas music for the past few weeks, but I’ve waited to subject everyone else to it until after Thanksgiving (because I still love Thanksgiving too…) For this playlist, I tried to incorporate new with old, classic with current, with a dash of playfulness. What are some of your favorite holiday songs? Did I miss any you love? Let me know in the comments!

 

The Ultimate Christmas Playlist

5 Ways to Make the Holidays Special When You’re Broke

To say that I love holidays is an absolute understatement. While I wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas, I am in the spirit right around the time of Halloween (frankly, I’m in the spirit year-round, but have to contain my crazy).

As much as I love Christmas, it can also be one of the most stressful times for me too. When you live on a strict budget, it feels like any added expense will just make the house of cards fall down. I’m practically a miracle worker when it comes to using money-saving apps, but the holidays can still pose a huge financial stress on just about anyone. Luckily, I have five ways to make the holidays special on any budget…

5 Ways to Make the Holidays Special When You're Broke

Movie Night

I looooove Christmas movies. (And Hannukah, I mean Eight Crazy Nights is great). We have a fair collection of holiday movies, but you can easily rent on Amazon, at Redbox (just remember to return it…it’s an issue for me, haha), or from your local library. So, we pop some popcorn, make my mom’s yummy No Bake Cookie recipe, cuddle up in blankets, and watch a movie together. Low key, low to no cost, and one of the easiest ways to get in the spirit.

Christmas cookies

A lot of us have our favorite family recipes around the holidays — one of our’s is mentioned above – no bakes! Yum! If you don’t have any family cookie recipes, don’t worry — Pinterest has you covered. You can get as basic or as ornate as you want. It’s crafty, fun, and gives you an opportunity to make cheap gifts for your neighbors. ūüėČ

Christmas lights watching

Z and I could literally go out every night to look at Christmas lights. Sometimes I’ll make some hot cocoa to put in travel mugs, get in our comfy pjs, and just drive around until we find good neighborhoods. We’ve stumbled upon some pretty amazing houses, and when E is with us, we have a grading system. Easy, fun, can be spontaneous, and FREE (okay…you use some gas, but totally worth it).

Create a Holiday Playlist

It’s no secret that I love a good playlist. I can’t go a day without music, it’s true, and around Christmas time is no different. Ask your family what some of their favorites are, so everyone is “in” on the tunes.

Holiday Books for Each Day

So, there’s a thing on Pinterest that has an Advent Book calendar tradition. As much as I loooove this idea, buying 25 books is tough for anyone on a budget (heck, buying one is hard enough). How can you still embrace this great idea without breaking the bank? THE LIBRARY. Seriously, if you’re not using your local library, what are you doing with your life? Bring out a new holiday themed book each morning or evening. Not only do you get some reading time in, but it’s centered around the season and FREE.

 

Listen, I know the holidays can get you down when you’re not “equipped” financially. It’s tough, but it also gives you a chance to focus on your family in the present moment, and isn’t that what the holidays are really about anyway?

What are some of your cheap or free holiday traditions? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

#26

Dear Zoey,

 

My heart hurts so much right now, Zo. I’ve sobbed on and off for majority of the day (I started writing this yesterday, the day of the election). It is a dark day that your kids will learn about in history books.

I don’t know what country we’re living in right now. You and daddy are asleep in the other room and I’m out here sobbing because…

I have to face you. And I have to watch your face when you find out Donald Drumpf is president.

 

But now it’s morning…I’ve had…two hours of sleep. My heart is still hurting. My eyes are swollen from tears. And many people will find this dramatic or overkill.

 

They’ll say that we’ve had bad presidents before.

They’ll say give him a chance.

They’ll say, he doesn’t speak like a politician, that he tells it like it is.

 

I’ll say, tell that to my daughter who has personally heard him say some of the most vile things and has covered her ears and cried because of it. Tell that to me, a veteran, who has heard him mock a man who was tortured for this country or has told injured servicemen and women that he always wanted a Purple Heart.¬†I’ll say, tell that to a Muslim American family who lives in fear every day because they practice a different religion, a mom with a transgendered son who is simply trying to navigate a life she never thought would be hers. Tell that to the incredible amounts of LGBTQ friends in my life. Tell that to the Christian who was finding faith again, but now has no one and nowhere to turn because this doesn’t look like the Christ she read about.

You know what though? I still woke up, took Rocky out for a walk, said good morning and smiled at my neighbors. Those yappy dogs a few buildings down still barked their heads off when Rocky and I passed. I still came home and made sure daddy was awake, and in a little, I’ll wake you up and we’ll go about our day. The world is still moving. It hurts me, but it’s moving.

This is the effect of feeling everything so deeply. It’s not something I particularly like (in fact, majority of the time, it makes me nauseated…) But in the face of a future that seems really bleak and scary. One that will surely bring about more turmoil and stress, I can only teach you the values I know to be true.

Being kind changes people. You can choose to be kind or you can choose to be bitter. I choose kindness.

Hard work does eventually pay off. We don’t always see it or believe it, but it does.

Having courage means facing the fear head on, and having conversations that may be hard.

Social media won’t institute change. It may bring awareness, but it can just as easily become a vacuum. Use it wisely and with grace.

When the world is scary or dark or bleak — I will always be here for you. Every step of the way. When the odds seem stacked against you, I’ll be the whisper in your ear saying, “One more time.” I’ll always be in your corner.

 

 

Love,
Mama

I’m a Younique Presenter

I Became a Younique Presenter

 

Yep, I can hardly believe it myself. A few weeks back, I signed up to be a Younique presenter. Me. Someone who doesn’t wear makeup often. An introvert that can’t stand “sales” work. These last few weeks have been a little strange as I’ve started this business entirely out of my comfort zone.

But I like it.

There were a lot of reasons why I decided to try this, but more than anything, I needed relief. I’m an empath. I’m deeply affected by the world around me — I carry weight on my heart all the time of how things are unfolding. I spread myself too thin. This is essentially who I am. And I needed something that was just mine. I needed to support something that was bigger than myself. I needed to HAVE FUN. I know it sounds trite, but life can be heavy y’all.

I needed something that was just mine.

 

The thing that threw me over the edge though was the Younique Foundation. It has two “branches” if you will — the Younique Foundation which provides healing retreats for women who have been victims of sexual abuse. The other branch is the Defend Innocence movement which provides education and resources for parents to help prevent childhood sexual abuse. This was huge for me. There are a whole lot of direct selling businesses, but none that are so focused on something bigger than themselves.

Also, in working with my sponsor and team — it’s been incredibly empowering (which is part of Younique’s mission statement), and¬†just a positive force in my life. In a world that has been inundated with negativity, this has been a fun and validating¬†(another part of the mission statement) experience¬†for me.