True story. A few weeks ago, Mike and I packed up the car with a huge cooler, beach chairs, towels, cameras, ourselves, and of course–Lucas. We then drove 10-15 minutes over to my parent’s house to pick up my two nieces. We were headed to the lake. Or, the beach…at the lake. After driving another 10 minutes–away from our house–towards the lake; we realized that we forgot something important. The Sport-Brella. Funny name for something you don’t want to leave home without when you’re planning on l...
Tags: Amazon, Life, Uncategorized, Georgia, Lucas, Mike, Brella, Sport Brella, sun Sale Sport Brella Premiere XL UPF, Umbrella Shelter for Sun


There’s nothing that says summer to me more than indulging in a yummy frozen treat. It’s one of our favorite things to do as a family during the warmer months. That’s why I was so excited when I heard about GODIVA’s newest tasty offerings – Trufflelata and Soft Serve! We headed out to our local GODIVA last week to sample both of these and OMG. YUM. The event was wonderful! The store was like walking into a chocolate heaven. They had every kind of chocolate treat you could think of. F...
Tags: Life, Uncategorized, Atlanta, Lucas, Rachael, Godiva, Trufflelata, GODIVA Trufflelata


A couple of weeks ago, both Mike and I celebrated our 32nd birthday. We are both trying to cut out excess fat and calories so we figured there wouldn’t be much in the way of birthday cake for us this year. That is–until I remembered Angel Food Cake, which has 0 FAT GRAMS. Yes. ZERO. To be honest, as much as I love to bake, I’d never even thought to bake an Angel Food Cake. Seemed a bit overwhelming to me. The truth is that it is very easy to make and trust me–you haven’t tasted Angel Food C...
Tags: Life, Uncategorized, Alton Brown, Food Network, Mike, Angel Food Cake, Angel Food Cake Ingredients


Years ago, I learned the easiest, most foolproof method of cooking bacon. In the oven. There’s no mess, no splatters, no fuss, and you can cook up a huge batch of bacon all at one time without even breaking a sweat. Best of all, oven baked bacon always turns out perfectly crispy–just like bacon should be. Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.Arrange bacon slices on a baking sheet making sure that the pieces do not overlap.Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15-20 min...
Tags: Life, Uncategorized

Sunday Firesides: Disappointment, The Emotion of Children

Disappointment results from a violation of expectations. Disappointment happens to everyone, sometimes justifiably. But the more unrealistic, overweening, and inflexible — the more childlike — someone’s expectations are, the more often and intensely they’ll experience this form of unhappiness.  A child expects to win every contest, and is devastated by a loss; a grown man retains high hopes, but knows worthy efforts may go unrewarded.  A child expects everything to go according to plan, ...
Tags: Life, A Man's Life, Sunday Firesides

My Battle with Exercise Apathy

It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it. – Tom Hanks, in “A League of Their Own.” I am not new to the fitness lifestyle. I have been doing workouts five to six times a week for the past four years. I find it helps tremendously with my mental health and overall outlook on life. I also enjoy feeling good in my skin and knowing that I am doing the best I can for my body. Normally I schedule my workouts and I have my routines all set in stone at the beginning of the w...
Tags: Fitness, Careers, Tom Hanks, Midwest, Peloton, Exercise Apathy


Easy No Bake Christmas Cookies: ‘NILLA Holiday Cookie Bites Recipe One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is make cookies! Unfortunately, I (along with every other mom) am also so busy around this time of the year. That’s why I love when I discover an simple treats to serve at holiday parties, take to Lucas’ school events, or give out as yummy gifts to neighbors and teachers. Today I wanted to share with you the recipe for ‘NILLA Holiday Cookie Bites. ...
Tags: Life, Uncategorized, Lucas, Publix, Nilla Wafers, Nabisco NILLA Wafers


I have a huge sweet tooth, but one of my all time favorite savory foods are buffalo wings. I swear I could eat them every day! OK, not really, but I do love them. Of course since wings are usually fried, they are not exactly healthy. I had tried on many occasions to bake them, but they never turned out well. Until now that is. These baked wings are so good that both Mike and I would rather eat them than wings from our favorite wings’ place. They are really that good. Now, nothing can be...
Tags: Life, Uncategorized, Mike, Buffalo Wings, Hot Wing Saucesalt

bowling birthday party free invitation party printables

As promised, today I want to share with you all of the printables I designed for Lucas’ bowling birthday party. Just follow the directions to download! Bowling Birthday Party Invitation I wanted you to be able to customize the invitation and I’ve had trouble sharing as a editable doc because not everyone has the same software that I used to create. I decided the easiest way was to provide the file as a jpeg image. All you do to personalize and add your specific child’s party infor...
Tags: Life, Uncategorized, Lucas, Kinko

The Allure of Cashmeran

I remember when I was first learning how to draw, one of the most valuable instruments I encountered was something called a tortillon - it's essentially nothing more than a rolled stump of paper (sometimes it's actually called a "paper stump.") Wikipedia has dated the use of tortillons in drawing to as far back as the fifteenth century, so clearly they're successful. The reason that the tortillon ... Read full article: The Allure of Cashmeran from Fragrantica Perfumes and Colognes Magazine. ...
Tags: Fashion, Wikipedia, Fragrantica Perfumes

The Power of Silence, Solitude and the Art of Doing Nothing

You grow your best thoughts in silence, solitude, and meditation. When you relax and think deeply, you are giving your inmost powers their best opportunity to disclose themselves. – Grenville Kleiser Over the past few years, one habit has helped me gain a tremendous amount of self-awareness that I never had before. It’s nothing fancy; in fact, it’s quite ordinary. It’s simply taking the time to do nothing with solitude and silence for company. It was something I first began doing whil...
Tags: Careers, Self Discovery, Meditation & Mindfulness, Grenville Kleiser

Everyday Runway: How to Wear Oversized Tops 5 Ways

Everyday Runway: How to Wear Oversized Tops 5 Ways This spring, oversized tops are having their moment. It’s like a redo of the 90s grunge fad, but with more polish and sophistication. The thing is, oversized tops and other … more at Everyday Runway: How to Wear Oversized Tops 5 Ways. This is an original post from Budget Fashionista.
Tags: Fashion, Spring Trends, Spring/summer Trends, Oversized Top, Oversized Tops

A Portrait of Ruttie Jinnah That Doesn’t Hold Up

There is much that is debatable and untenable in the new book on Jinnah’s wife. Who goes into history? Who is worthy of a biography? The shakers who change civilisation and our view of the world – the scientists, writers, painters and philosophers. And perhaps more than them, the movers, the captains and the kings and, if we believe Winston Churchill’s contention that behind every man who achieves anything there stands a woman, their consorts and their queens! Article by Farrukh Dhondy | The W...
Tags: Books, London, Life, India, Britain, Islam, Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens, Jesus, Penguin, Shakespeare, Black Lives Matter, Random House, Muhammed Ali, Napoleon, John Keats

5 tough lessons I learned as a novice freelancer that cost me thousands in potential earnings

Mary Kearl. Courtesy of Mary Kearl Mary Kearl is a professional freelance writer and marketing consultant. When she first began freelancing, Kearl says she made mistakes that cost her thousands in lost potential income. Now, she asks for partial deposits from new clients, confirms rates and budgets upfront, and avoids unpaid tests. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. I began my freelancing career while I was still a journalism undergrad and held numerous side gigs throu...
Tags: Advice, Marketing, Careers, Trends, Strategy, Freelancer, New York City Marathon, Nordic, XYZ, Kearl, WFH, BI-freelancer, Contributor 2019, Mary Kearl, Mary Kearl Courtesy of Mary Kearl Mary Kearl, Adobe Zillow

How I Stopped Being a People-Pleaser

Find out who you are and do it on purpose. -Dolly Parton I grew up in a dysfunctional family system with emotional abuse and neglect. I quickly learned to stay small, even invisible, and put others’ needs ahead of my own. I grew up feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, like there was something wrong with me, a fatal flaw. In high school, I discovered the power of alcohol to heal my feelings of discomfort and deficiency. Suddenly, I said all the right things, met all the right people and c...
Tags: Relationships, Careers, Dolly Parton, Self Discovery

Claes Bang: ‘Could I do Bond? No, I'd be too old’

The Danish actor, 53, on multilingualism, nudity, the joy of being in a band and why playing Dracula was such a gift of a roleMy schooling in Denmark was quite a mess. I went to something like eight or nine primary schools. My parents moved around a lot and then they got divorced. I had new classmates every Monday.We did a play in high school. Someone said, “Would you like to be in it?” and I said, “How could I? I’m not an actor.” They said, “Let’s just try, it might work.” I was terrified of ap...
Tags: Film, Life and style, Culture, Denmark, Bond, Dracula, Claes Bang

‘Which came first, booze or boys?’: untangling a love affair with alcohol

For better and for worse, drinking has been a constant thread running through writer Megan Nolan’s relationships. She reflects on the dual thrills of alcohol and romanceFrom the very beginning, whenever there was a crush, there was also a drink in my hand. In his novel High Fidelity, Nick Hornby’s narrator Rob, an unhappy vinyl obsessive, asks himself: “Which came first, the music or the misery?” Did he learn to be unhappy from the sad songs he loved, or did the songs comfort him after the unhap...
Tags: Health, Sex, Relationships, Alcohol, Life and style, Society, Nick Hornby, Rob, Alcoholism, Megan Nolan

Les Liquides Imaginaires Bête Humaine

French niche house Les Liquides Imaginaires presents Bête Humaine, the new fragrance of Les Eaux de Peau line featuring the 2016 editions Belle Bete and Peau de Bete. This perfume trilogy is dedicated to wildlife and noble animalistic notes. Bête Humaine is a green, fresh leathery fragrance, "ready to reveal your wildest character." The concept of the fragrance is a person who became wi... Read full article: Les Liquides Imaginaires Bête Humaine from Fragrantica Perfumes and Colognes Magazine...
Tags: Fashion, Fragrantica Perfumes, Les Liquides Imaginaires, Peau de Bete, Les Liquides Imaginaires Bête Humaine, Les Eaux de Peau, Belle Bete, Bête Humaine

Four of the weirdest eight-fors of the last 25 years (plus one nine-for and one ten-for)

There have been 28 occasions in the last 25 years when a bowler has taken eight wickets or more in a Test innings. Some of these were weirder than others. At what point does a bowling performance become really, truly, freakishly remarkable? We’d say at the seventh wicket. Five-fors are pretty commonplace, while a six-for can be a good day at the office with the new ball, a bit of luck for a third wicket and then running through some rank tail-enders. But if you’ve taken seven wickets, yo...
Tags: England, Australia, Sex, India, Features, South Africa, Pakistan, Chase, Zimbabwe, Shane Warne, Stuart Broad, Sachin Tendulkar, Will Ferrell, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Moeen Ali

How a South Carolina mom went from believing in QAnon to becoming an anti-Trumper in under a month

Ashley Vanderbilt was a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory until Inauguration Day. Getty Images Ashley Vanderbilt, 27, started believing in the QAnon conspiracy theory last fall. After Inauguration Day, the South Carolina mom started to question the fringe group's beliefs. In an interview with Insider, she described her transformation from a QAnon fanatic to a potential Democrat voter. Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories. On the day of President Joe Biden's inaugur...
Tags: Facebook, Politics, Hollywood, Technology, Youtube, Life, China, US, Trends, Joe Biden, News UK, Republican, Biden, Conspiracy Theories, Donald Trump, South Carolina

Emma Barnett: ‘Not being able to have a baby for two years took me to a very dark place’

The broadcaster on chewed pen lids, infertility and fantasies of gutting fish Born in Manchester, Emma Barnett, 36, began her eponymous show on BBC Radio 5 live in 2016 and won Radio Broadcaster of the Year 2018. She is a Newsnight presenter and last month became the main anchor on Woman’s Hour on Radio 4. She is married with a son and lives in London.What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?Impatience. Continue reading...
Tags: London, Media, Life and style, Bbc, Manchester, Radio 4, Radio industry, BBC Radio, Emma Barnett

Saturday Links

Curated links for your weekend reading: Bring Your Sin into the Light Pastors, we need people in our lives to whom we confess often. Women Are Not the Problem Pastors and church leaders, whatever actions you take to fight for purity, it’s important to remember: women are not the problem. Don’t Fill Every Open Moment with Content I’m suggesting you should give up something to free up a bit more empty space in your life. Recognize that stillness is vital for your spiritual health...
Tags: Featured, Life, Links, Gospel Coalition Canada

‘I had no idea about the hidden labour’: has the pandemic changed fatherhood for ever?

For the past year, many men have spent more time with their children than ever before. Could it force a permanent change?Primary school spelling tests ringed by coffee stains; office printouts splashed with paint from GCSE art projects; laptops running out of puff in the middle of Zoomed-in geography lessons; and everyone in the family, from the mildest of adults to the sweetest of children, arguing with the fury of stockbrokers over their fair share of the wifi bandwidth. By shutting schools, b...
Tags: Family, Children, Women, Life and style, Society, Work & careers, Employee Benefits, Men, Parents and parenting, Birmingham, Maternity & paternity rights, Guardian Careers, Gcse, Sarah Forbes, Coronavirus, Office for National Statistics Meanwhile

‘My thoughts became poisonous’: the toll of lockdown when you live alone

Long-term social isolation is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. What has the last year meant for those who don’t share their homes?When the first headlines about coronavirus began to appear in January 2020, they had little impact on south Londoner TJ, 25. “It seems outrageous now, but I thought: ‘I’m young, I’m healthy, I’ll be fine.’” By the time the first lockdown was announced, his mindset had begun to shift. He’d been single “for ever” and his housemate was spending lock...
Tags: Health, UK, Relationships, Alcohol, Friendship, Life and style, Society, Office For National Statistics, Alcoholism, Loneliness, TJ, Coronavirus

Blind date: ‘His steamy screen made it look as if he was in a sauna’

Lucy, 42, drama therapist, meets Luke, 36, education data managerWhat were you hoping for?A Frenchman or Londoner with the face of Jeremy Meeks, a campaigner with a passion like Marcus Rashford and the wit of Kevin Hart. Continue reading...
Tags: Relationships, Life and style, Kevin Hart, Lucy, Jeremy Meeks, Luke, Marcus Rashford

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