Friday, September 23, 2016

kitten must-haves

this post is sponsored by rachael ray's nutrish. the thoughts and opinions are my own.

bringing home a new kitten to the family is such an exciting thing. be sure to be prepared by having all that you need on hand to make for a smooth transition. we recently rescued our kitten, lola from a shelter and have created this list of absolute must-haves for the new fur baby in your life.

1. food

when it comes to food, i only want to give lola the best. i pick nutrish zero grain.

cats' natural diets are very low in grains, as cats are natural carnivores. also, some cats may have grain allergies, which can cause skin irritations or other problems. these cats can benefit from a grain free diet, which removes the grain allergens.

real chicken or fish is always the number one ingredient in every bag of rachael ray™ nutrish® for cats. there's no ground corn, wheat or soy. and there's never any poultry by-product meals, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives. just real meat or fish and wholesome veggies plus the vitamins, minerals and taurine your cat needs to be healthy and happy.

also? as soon as i bought a bag of zero grain she legit tried to break into it and start eating. she absolutely loves it,. truly. it makes me feel good to be giving her the best, too.

2. food/water bowls
these are a given on any list of kitten must-haves, but how cute are these two sets?! gotta have it.

vivipet cat dining table

cat bowls with slurp and meow set

3. litter box

litter boxes are a for sure must. who wouldn't like this self cleaning one? if you are like me and don't have a big house with extra room for a litter box to hide, try this super cute piece of furniture that disguises the litter box perfectly! it's truly wonderful.

scoopfree ultra self-cleaning litter box

merry products pet house and litter box

4. litter

who knew litter had so many options?!  genelle and i found out about this awesome litter while at catcon and fell in love. they even have a yummy scented lavender option that helps disguise any cat smells. my favorite part is that it isn't as heavy as other brands and does a far superior job. 

5. collar

a collar is the perfect personality accessory for your new fur baby. show off your style with these favorites. 

blueberry pet pack of 2, hunting expedition with fish bone and leopard print adjustable breakaway kitten cat collar with bell

blueberry pet floral collection dog collar with red cherry, pink rose, green cactus and palm tree patterns

6. bed

although a cat bed isn't a necessity, (lola sleeps on the couch) we really love this cute, cozy option. 

kittikubbi - cat bed cave hideou

7. scratch post

you need to give your new addition a place to scratch, unless you want your furniture to be destroyed. we love this chic scratcher/lounge.

about nutrish:

nutrish is the fantastic line of super premium pet food created by the brilliant pet advocate, rachael ray. nutrish is made with simple, wholesome ingredients like real meat or fish, and do not contain poultry by-product meal or fillers.

a portion of nutrish proceeds go to rachael’s rescue®, which was created to help animals in need. to date, over $14MM has been donated. this money has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for these unfortunate animals.

all of the rachael ray nutrish products are available where you shop for your family's groceries, making specialty recipes accessible and convenient for every pet parent. if you are considering adding a new member to your family, please consider adoption. 

please follow nutrish on social media:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

fun finds: decorating for fall

i love the fall. it is my favorite season of all and my heart does a little happy dance on this day each year. i am thrilled as i prepare for all the beauty that is this glorious time of the year. i love the crisp weather, the falling leaves, the beautiful colors; everything about this time of year brings me joy. i look forward to decorating for this season each year as well and every year i stockpile more and more things to get my home ready. this year i have searched through etsy to find more amazing finds that may need to be added to my fall decor collection. you may want to add them to yours as well...


Friday, September 9, 2016

monthly must haves: lego architect series

my littles are lego obsessed. it's pretty much lego building all of the time at our home. i love the way the can follow the directions and build away, but i love even more when they use their own creativity to build amazing creations from their minds imagination. recently i came across the lego architecture series, which has become a new obsession for all of us. the boys love building "like an architect" and we are having so much fun learning together about the buildings, the countries/cities they each represent and other fun facts. if you are looking for a great way to learn and connect with your littles, check out some of these sets that we love and start making memories together. enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

i am a no mom

i am a people pleaser. i want people to like me. i want to make others happy. i want to feel like i have it all together, that i don't have limits, that i can do it all. i want to be a "yes" mom and show the world that i can do it all, be it all, participate in it all...but being that person makes me absolutely miserable.

there are decisions put before me on a daily basis. this week alone, i was asked to be a room mom, join a new bible study, become a direct sales marketer, apply for a new job that i would be "perfect" for, and go on lunch and dinner dates with several friends. i wanted to say "yes" to everything. i wanted to pile more and more and more on my plate in an attempt to manage the whole world, it's problems and it's social calendars at one sitting. it's flattering to be considered for something. i want to be a part of every single group. i want to be a helper and invest in the lives of others. i want to be everything to all people. the truth is, however, none of those things would be what is best for me and my family. so, in spite of my inner struggle and the feelings of disappointment it brings, i'm learning to be a "no" mom. 

maybe i'm getting older and wiser but i have learned how precious and valuable my time is. i've also learned that my life has to function with certain priorities in place. my relationship with my husband and my kids come first then everything else falls into place after that. it's like a great big, glorious chocolate fountain. if one area is full to overflowing, it fuels the next area and then the next, and then everything under that. if any of my important areas are out of order, the most valuable relationships in my life dry up. i don't want that to ever happen.

so, today, i have said "no." i've said “no” to a certain job, “no” to another group, “no” to being a room mom. i've said "no" to countless non-essential things so that i can keep the essentials in their proper place. i've said "no" to things that fill up my plate just to make it full. i've said "no" to doing things for others when that means i have to sacrifice more and more of myself. somewhere along the line, i have learned that being a "no" mom doesn't mean i love people any less, i just love the ones that are the most important to me well. being a "no"mom doesn't make me any less capable, it just means that i can do the things i do say "yes" to with excellence. being a "no" mom doesn't mean that i'm antisocial, or less than committed, or lacking in aspirations. it means that i've learned how to take care of myself unapologetically. i've learned what makes me happy and what makes me miserable. i've learned that putting limits on busyness brings me balance and that brings me joy. i've learned that being a "no" mom makes me a better mom, a better wife, a better me. that's something i will happily say "yes" to. 


Friday, September 2, 2016

an unlikely friendship

when i was 3 years old, my family moved into a home my parents built in the suburbs of san diego. the home was on 1/4 acre of avocado trees. there were tons of things to do outside.....unfortunately, i didn't have a lot of close neighborhood friends my age to play with because all of the homes were so spread out. the closest home to my parents was up a small hill from theirs. in this pepto bismol pink home (no joke) lived an elderly woman by the name mrs. foote. i grew up with a personality that would talk to any living thing and wanted to make friends with just about anyone that would talk to me. my favorite people to talk to were adults. even though mrs. foote was mainly confined to bed and was super grouchy, my mission in life became trying to get her to smile. i remember picking avocados from our trees to bring her, picking flowers from her yard to bring to her, drawing pictures and all sorts of things i could think of along those lines. although she would mostly yell "leave me alone" anytime i arrived and the home care nurse let me in, i was persistent.

one day mrs foote's daughter came to visit. her husband was high up in the military which caused them to travel a ton and not be able to live in san diego. i suppose she was probably in her early 50's at the time, but she listened to me with these bright eyes and made me feel that my views and questions were important and i so clearly remember how she made me feel special and heard. every time her and her husband traveled around the world she would type me a letter to share her journeys and bring me home a doll from the country they had been in. (as you can imagine, i racked up quite the collection of dolls from around the world).

the other day while cleaning up some paperwork at my desk, i came across a typed note from her that she had sent when i was in college.

it struck me hard and i was brought to tears. it wasn't because she has long since passed but rather the humbling thought that i mattered to her. all of these thoughts in my head were always about how loved and special she made *me* feel. i never imagined that i had the ability to do the same for her. i am beyond grateful for having had the opportunity to have had an unlikely friend in her to learn from. as i think now, i am struck by the thought that i don't quite know where I would be and how different my life may have been had not been for her influence. i credit my love of travel to her. i wonder if had it not been for her influence would i have been brave enough to go in 6th grade to live with a family in japan? or travel the globe in college? perhaps not. i greatly admire the time she took to get to know me. we exchanged letters back and forth for almost 20 years, until the letters stopped coming and she was gone from this world. i suppose my take away from all of this is to never judge someone and to open your heart up to start a conversation and hear their story. true friends and can come to you in the most unsuspecting of forms, even as a curious 4 1/2 year old. who knows what an influence you can be in their lives and in turn in yours. i am blessed to have an amazing, growing tribe of people that are imprinting on my kiddos daily. i only hope they will be lucky enough to have something as special as i did with my friend, blythie. 

(from left to right: me, blythie, my little sister and my mom)