Monday, August 31, 2015

Make the Most of Your Road Trip!

Road trips. You either love them or hate them. Personally, I love them. Cranking up the music, rolling the windows down, and just having fun! Over the years, I've made several long trips both with kids and without. You could say I'm a road trip professional. Okay, not really. But it sounded good, right? I do have a few tips that have helped make road trips a little more enjoyable over the years.

// Snacks are Key. Let's face it! Fast food and snacks from the gas station can get pricy. Before you leave, load your car with lots of tasty filling snacks. Granola bars are  winner for us! We can usually get away with going to the dollar store a few days before we leave to get things that everyone loves. Along with the snacks, drinks are important. I of course prefer water, but capri suns are great for the kids. Heck, there's even great recipes to make your own granola snacks to save even more.

No one wants to be HANGRY

// Know your MPGs! To get the most out of your journey, it helps to know how often you'll have to stop for gas. You may not be able to map out where exactly to stop for gas, but you'll at least be able to know how often you will need to stop based on how far you're going and your MPG's. For example, when we drive from Georgia to Jersey we know we'll have to fill up three times. This gets worked into our travel budget. Without stressing about stopping too much allows you and the driver to enjoy the ride a little more.
Just watch out for flying Mexican!

// Enjoy the ride. Plain and simple. Just make the trip fun. Just because you're literally stuck in the car for hours on end, you don't have to be cranky about it!You may have taken the same road trip every year and know your route so well that you could do it in your sleep. But don't make the ride boring! Play I-Spy games. This helps keep the driver entertained.
// Crank up the tunes! Road trip songs are the best! Before you leave, get some playlists together that will have you and the driver singing along. My husband and I have a bunch of mixed CD's we use just for road trips. We both sing and dance along. And hey, if you have kids, you DON'T need to keep the kids songs playing. Let's face it, y'all... those get old FAST. The kids can learn to appreciate Journey at an early age!

// Plan to Explore. This kind of goes back to enjoying the ride. Before you leave allow little wiggle room in your travel time to stop and explore. Y'all may not realize there's a zoo you haven't been to before or a random "state's biggest (fill in the blank)" Look up some random attractions on your route and explore! For example, there's a natural bridge in Virginia that someone might like to see!  This makes for great memories and pictures.

See? Road trips don't have to always be  long and boring! Make it fun and make it something you enjoy. 13-15 hours in the car is a long time, y'all. We don't want to kill your spouse at the end of it, right?

What are some things you do on road trips? What's your favorite road trip song?
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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Low Impact Working Out + Meet Nina

You know what the best thing in the world is for a runner? Getting a clear from the Ortho that you can start low impact walking and low impact working out.

I saw the ortho yesterday, y'all. MRI's were done, and a small bit of physical therapy to see how things were healing.
I swear I almost hugged him, y'all! Obviously it will still be a few more weeks before things are back to 100%. And they may not even be back to 100%, so I can't push things.But I was told that I can start working out with legs again. I can't run, and I can't do jumping jacks. I CAN do squats and lunges though! So GREAT NEWS!


I no longer have to wear my brace unless I feel like I need it. So, not a whole lot going on in the workout world this week. (That makes three weeks in a row! Ouch!) But, now that I've got the clear to do some low impact stuff, I feel better about actually doing something. Here's to a new week!

How have y'all been doing with Bloggers Give it 100? Link up with Kendra, Lora, and I to share!

The Rambling Llama
And now for a real treat!

Describe yourself in four words. 

I really love your blogging style. What made you start blogging?
I've always been a writer. It's the one thing that has been clear to me but I don't know what it will look like. In the meantime, I want to be a good steward of the passion God gave me. Meanwhile, at the time, I'd moved away from my entire Italian family (no one leaves the Midwest) to San Francisco without knowing a soul and I wanted to chronicle the adventure, the hard parts and the amazing parts!

You're a new addition to the crayon box. Which color would you be, and why?
Anything bright. Just not purple. I have nothing against purple but every time I wear it, something truly awful happens. I am not even superstitious so I have even tested it out! But when you have to put a beloved dog down wearing purple and you're broken up wearing purple...Seriously! My friends love purple and I love that purple is kind to them but purple just messes with my mojo.

What's the best advice you've ever gotten about blogging?
I've gotten plenty of technical help. How do I start a newsletter? How do I optimize my posts?

But I guess the actual writing and blogging part, the content and so on...I don't really follow advice. I am sure I could write more pinnable posts more often but I want to stay true to my mission statement and why I started the blog in the beginning.

Better than advice, the encouragement and support has been amazing. Maybe that's the best advice I've gotten: keep telling your story. 

What's your favorite movie quote?
This is so easy. Cary Grant says it to Katherine Hepburn in A Philadelphia Story: "You'll never be a first class human being or a first class woman until you've learned to have some regard for human frailty."

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Anything my nonna makes.

Why would I choose it? Come over to Nonna's and you'll know why.

I love how genuine Nina is. If you want to see more about her, follow along! 

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Why People Need Creative Outlets

Y'all, let me tell you something. Without fully opening up on here, I must say I have been going through some craziness for the past several weeks. My home life has essentially been flipped upside down, and without going into too much detail, I've been a complete mess. It's shown in my (lack of) promoting sponsors, lack of interacting on social media, lack of reading and commenting on blog posts. Well, you get the idea.

Enter my creative outlet.

I've always had a deep love for art. I love drawing, painting, singing, all of it. Art to me is the best way to express yourself because there's no wrong way to do it. It's in art that I've been able to grab ahold of my creative outlet to get through these tough times.

A few weeks ago, you probably saw this on instagram.

This was the first time in over 10 years that I've actually sat down, and made an effort to just draw for the fun of it.
Y'all. I felt amazing just to draw. Ever since that day, I've really felt more relaxed. I'm incredibly grateful that I took a few moments for myself.

Since then, I've been drawing like crazy. Sometimes it's a silly doodle with Ainsley. Sometimes, it's like the bear up there and I make an effort for it to look nice. The only problem is I haven't had really good pencils for drawing. I had said something about not having great sketching materials to a friend's dad two weeks ago. I mentioned that I'm so glad that I'm back into drawing and I feel like I have "me" time again. The only downside is, I didn't have my charcoals and all that. But, I said that you work with what you have, right? Right!

Well, this past Friday, I got this in the mail. A totally, complete surprise from my friend's dad.

I seriously cried y'all. It's people like this that the world needs more of. I didn't ask for sketching things. I didn't say I needed them. He just sent them. I'm grateful to have him in my life.

After I got the drawing materials, I immediately starting sketching. For the longest time I've had this face in my head. I'm not sure who she is. And please forgive, because I'm really horrible at drawing people. But the happiness I felt while drawing her was so great. Loved it.

So, what I'm trying to say. If you don't have a creative outlet. Find one. It helps. I never knew how much I needed it until I just started drawing. For all of this, I'm grateful, and I'm starting this week on a happy note.

linking up with Emily.

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey
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