Is there really a difference between meal planning and meal prepping? YES! There most definitely is!
Let me break it down the easy way… Think about the words themselves. “Planning” and “Prepping”. I googled it for you. Here are the actual definitions.
the process of making plans for something
the action or process of preparing something, or preparing for something.
So why is this even important to know the difference?
Well, when it gets to the nitty-gritty, it’s not important at all. What matters is that you actually do it! BUT, you can’t prep without planning. AND, if you only plan and don’t prep, what’s the point? Do you see what I mean?
I hope that makes sense to you and helps clarify the importance of both. I know it’s short and sweet and to the point, but that is exactly what you need it to be, huh?
Yes, I know, Halloween JUST ended. BUT, it’s time to start thinking of Christmas. Yes, I said it, Christmas! More specifically, Real Mom Blog’s 12 Days of Giveaways! YAY! I am so excited for this years, 12 Days of Giveaways, and I need your help!
This year, we are doing things differently…
There will be 12 giveaways, 12 winners, 12 days. It will start on December 1st, and go until December 12th. All prizes will be shipped out the next day so that you have it in time for Christmas.
This is where YOU come in!
I want to collaborate with 12 “Vendors” to help with the prizes. Each day there will be either a blog post or Facebook Live video about that specific giveaway. You will get FREE advertising in return for helping with this giveaway!
So who am I looking for?
I am looking for other bloggers, Consultants, Fitness coaches, Stylists, Photographers, Entrepreneurs, Crafters, small business owners, etc. We are looking for ANYONE and EVERYONE who would like to be involved!
How do you get on board?
All you have to do is email me at email@example.com with the subject line “Giveaway Inquire” and we will talk out all the details about which days, products, etc. I am not asking for a huge donation, mainly participation.
I am so excited to work with all of you and help spread the word about your business or adventure!
I’m a mom, wife, party planner, holiday lover and blogger.
Blogging has been something I have wanted to do for years, but never felt like I had anything special to bring to the table. I toyed with the idea and talked to my husband about it multiple times, but always pushed my feelings aside. In 2014 my life got flipped upside down when I received a phone call that my Mom was in ICU and not expected to make it. This life changing event is what drove me to start blogging. I felt a fire inside of me and a conviction to tell my story. So I started Everyday Events as a way to honor my Mom, to talk about being a motherless mother and to show how beautiful life can be, even after loss. I have a passion for celebrating life’s everyday events and never want to stop seeing the beauty in the world. I hope you find comfort and inspiration in my blog, but above all I hope you find a reason to celebrate.
AT HOME DATE NIGHT IDEAS
Real date nights don’t happen that often around here. With J.D.’s crazy work schedule, it can be hard to set aside time to go out on a date. So, we had to get creative, and come up with at home date night ideas for when the kids go to bed! All of these dates are so fun and I always look forward to when J.D. comes home early from work, we put the kids to bed, and go “out on a date.” So put those kids to bed early tonight and have a date night!
“When I first made contact with Everyday Events, I LOVED her website. I fell in love with this post particularly, because it spoke to what I needed in life at that moment.” -Lynsey from Real Mom Blogs
One. Order take out, light a few candles & pop open a bottle of wine. This is our go-to date night idea, because if you have small children, you know dinner time can be a circus. Everybody needs something, forks are being dropped on the floor, milk is almost always being spilled, and just when J.D. and I get to sit down our food is cold & the kids say they are done. Eating dinner while it’s hot, enjoying a glass of wine and having an adult conversation is easily one of our favorite things to do.
Two. Lay out some blankets and watch the stars. J.D. and I have also been known to grab the baby monitor and climb on top of the roof! There is something so romantic about watching the stars and making a wish on the shooting ones.
Three. Conversation starters. Sometimes it feels like all J.D. and I talk about are the kids, work & what’s going on currently in our lives. We don’t talk about our dreams, hopes & fears as much as we should. A while back I started looking online and found some amazing conversation starters. When J.D. is gone a lot for work or when life gets super hectic, we will bring these out to reconnect, and remember there is more to talk about than the kids!
Four. Sit on the patio, turn on some music & watch the sun set.
Five. Eat popcorn & play card games. J.D. and I both grew up playing card games and love playing together. It brings back so many wonderful childhood memories and I love making these memories with J.D. too. This is a perfect date night idea for winter, when you literally can’t go anywhere!
Six. Have a picnic in the living room and watch a movie. This one is super fun and you can be as creative as you want with your picnic. You could have fondue, wine or beer tasting, or theme the evening with food and a movie from a different country!
J.D. and I have been together for 12 years, and while so many things have changed, one thing remains the same. We love each other like crazy. These date night ideas might not be super fancy, or cost us much money, but they help up to reconnect, laugh, and make our marriage a priority.
What are your favorite at home date night ideas?
I hope you enjoyed this post from The Everyday Events! Here is a link to the post on her website along with some other links for you to follow!
I got married! I thought it would be a good idea to share some of our wedding pictures with you today. I haven’t really shared a whole lot about my husband and me, or our love story. So, with each picture, I will share a random fact about our relationship.
Behind the lens
First things first, we were lucky enough to hire the best (in my opinion) wedding photographer in the state of Utah. Her name is Ashley DeHart. You can find out more about her in the spotlight I did on her a while back.
Let’s dive into these random facts! Starting with me, cause you know, I’m selfish.. Ha!
Random Fact: I made the first move… Yup.
Next up; Let’s pick on Craig
Random Fact: He is 11.5 years older than me! That means when he was learning how to drive, I was learning how to read! Let that soak in for a minute…
More Random Facts:
Craig and I dated for almost 5 years before we got married. Our son, Henry, was 3-years-old when we got married. He was the ring bearer!
Random Fact: My family is rather large. I have six brothers and sisters. Craig only has one sister. His family is quite small. No matter what the differences are, luckily, we both fit perfectly in the other’s family.
So how did we meet?
Random Fact: We met in a bowling league in Morgan, UT.
More selfish Random Facts about me:
I am a control freak and suffer from high anxiety issues. So you can only imagine that the whole wedding planning process was very painful for me and the people who were trying to help me and trying not to kill me. I planned every single detail of our wedding down to the very confetti that covered our tables.
I am a rum drinker. My favorite? Malibu, because it has that fruity, summery hint. Craig really enjoys Jim Beam. HOWEVER, Craig and I very rarely drink together.
We are fiercely loyal to our friends.
Random Fact: Craig didn’t meet my bestie Sage until well into the wedding planning process. I didn’t meet his friend Matt until the day before our wedding.
The Random Facts Continue…
We don’t enjoy the same kind of movies. He really enjoys horror films, and of course, I love Rom-Coms. LUCKILY, we both really enjoy action movies and movies that make you really think.
Kickin’ it Old School
Random Fact: Craig asked both of my dads for their permission before asking me to marry him.
So how did he do it?
Random Fact: He didn’t! He had our son ask me for him. My heart absolutely melted, and I was caught off guard.
Okay, have you had enough yet?
For your LAST Random Fact: I thought I would share what we are doing for our anniversary. Well, not much of anything. We played around with really big ideas, months ago. None of which we did. Then we thought we would go to a movie and a really nice dinner. Nah! Then we thought about just dinner and a night without the kid. WELL, we decided on a movie in those fancy new luxury seats, with movie theater food, and absolutely nothing special.
We have plenty of anniversaries ahead of us.
We aren’t going anywhere, and this is just the first of many for us. We figured we might as well start out small, and work our way up.
Thank you for enduring through all of these pictures and random facts! I am so happy to be married to this man, and I cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives together.
As most of you know, my son recently turned 4 years old in June. After weeks and weeks of talking to my husband prior to his birthday about how big he is and how he is outgrowing his car seat, we decided to make the transition to a Booster Seat.
I know! Oh my gosh!
These days, you have to seriously consider every option when considering life changing decisions for your kids. Questions like; When you start solid foods? When to change their car seat? Should I let my son do karate? Is now, in line to check out, really the time to let my kid have a tantrum, or do I go straight to monster mom? Should I switch him to a booster seat?
Unfortunately, the world expects you to do what they want you to do. They want you to raise your children exactly the same way they raised theirs. The days of “Mom instinct” are gone!
So, of course, when considering to transition my son, I got major anxiety about it. But my son kept telling me, “Mom! It’s squishing me! Mom! My weenie hurts! Mom!” I felt so bad! I would loosen the straps to relieve some of the pressure, but then it was too loose for my comfort on his shoulders.
Finally, I said screw it! I looked at the height and weight of the seat he was in versus the booster I wanted to get. He met the requirements for the booster, even though he still met the requirements for the car seat too. I looked it up online and finally decided to ask his pediatrician when he went in for his 4-year wellness check up.
He said, “Well, what do you think? What is your gut telling you?” I thought about that for a second. Part of me wanted to snap back with, “What the hell are the regulations?” But instead, I told him that I wanted to move him into a booster seat for ease and comfort.
So he told me to do it! He said, and I quote, “Mothers are starting to ignore their maternal instinct to do what is “right” by other moms. Don’t let society tell you how to raise your child.” He then went on to tell me that if he meets the requirements for the booster seat, then there must have been tests on that booster seat to make it safe for children of his age, height, and weight.
“You can safely switch your child to a booster seat if she’s at least 4 years old and she weighs 40 pounds or more or has grown too tall for her car seat (when her shoulders are higher than the top set of harness-strap slots in the car seat’s back).” -Stephanie Tombrello Child passenger safety specialist
That is exactly what happened to my son! He weighs about 40-42 lbs, his shoulders were right at the harness-strap slots, and he is 4 years old! Plus, he is a boy, and it was hurting his boy parts… That is reason enough for me. I want my son to be comfortable!
I am not going to ask for your opinions on this because frankly, I am just going to follow my own instincts and ignore all of your suggestions anyway.
BUT, I do want to know, what are the funniest things your children have said to you! I want to write a post about the craziest things we hear come out of their tiny mouths.
My personal favorite is, “Mommy, why are people fat?
Remember that one time, when I did an Instagram giveaway? Yeah, well meet Amanda, our winner!
I just want to give a quick shout out to Lynsey at Real Mom Blogs for thinking I’m worthy to be in the spotlight. It’s exciting and unreal, but I thank her! So, so much!
Anyway, a little about moi.
I’m a wife and stay at home mom to 2 crazy kids. Olivia is 10 and going into 5th grade and Alex is 6 and he will be a big 1st grader! My husband is a very hardworking man that is moody and goofy. We have had some ups and downs but mostly ups in these last years.
I am surprised (and a little sad) to say I will be hitting the big 4-0 this year! Although I look like I’m in my early 20s, only because I’m short! A whopping 5 feet! (Hubs says 4’ 11”, but he’s a liar). But I really don’t feel my age. I still sometimes find myself shocked when I say I’m a mom.
I live in a small town in Pennsylvania.
My husband and I have been together for 20 years this year! Married for 12 years in September. I am 3 ½ years older than my hubs. But I feel like he is the older one. I’m a procrastinator. And I’d rather watch a movie with my kiddos than go outside. I’m an indoor person fo sho! We have a Yorkie named Maggie. She will be 13 this year! And she was our 1st baby. She is a part of our family and is very spoiled!
I got into blogging by accident.
A friend of mine, who homeschools her 5 kids, was always telling me crazy stories about her kids. I’m like, you should start a blog! Share your stories! So, I started looking into blogging to help and share with her some info, and started reading and reading and pinning and pinning and started thinking and wondering… “Hey. maybe I could do this?”. I started toying with it but pushed it off thinking “Nah, no one would read what I have to say”. Long story short, I wrote a few posts, hubs said go for it, what do you have to lose? And here I am! A blogger for about 2 ½ months!
I like to say my blog is a “personal/mom/lifestyle/mishmash” blog.
I write about everyday stuff that when I’m typing it up… it just kinda flows. I do have a million blog post ideas written down, but some only produce a few sentences while others just write themselves. My blog is my first time ever writing, so I was worried about people reading it. But it looks like I have a few people that enjoy what I have to say which is seriously crazy and awesome!
When I’m not messing with the blog…
…or sharing it on social media, I’m usually watching TV or reading. I also love listening to music and singing along… reeeally loud! (In the privacy of my own home, of course!). I love holidays. Especially the ones that gather all the family together. I like to spend time with my family and relax, especially over summer because school time can be pure chaos. With both kids in school and soccer and my daughter in piano, some nights are crazy! So, summer is a nice, slow time for us.
That’s about all I have about me! I hope you stop by and check out my little slice of the internet, laugh and relate with my everyday parenting shenanigans.
Thanks again for having me Lynsey @ Real Mom Blogs!!!
Isn’t she SO funny! Everything she writes is super intriguing. She is really good at captivating her audience. I definitely want you all to go check out her blog everydayamanda.com
Alright, have you ever met someone and been like, “Dang, they are doing so good!” So you stalk them to find out all their secrets to success. Well, that is how I felt when I discovered our next super spotlight!
“I am married to a fun-loving, resourceful husband and am a mama to two contrasting kiddos whose complete opposite demeanors end up making them perfect partners in crime. My son is an adventure warrior while my daughter is a thoughtful caregiver.I value freedom, connection, growth, change, and creativity. Traveling, journaling, and trying new things are my top three favorite self-care rituals. Beauty is something I can easily recognize even in the messy parts of life. My writing journey started with imaginative short stories as a young child from a small town in Indiana. It later turned into a professional website, resume & cover letter writing, and numerous blog post contributions to various sites. I wanted to find a way for my writing skills to be of value to those around me, and that’s when I started Downs Ups & Teacups.”
This was a harder question to answer than I anticipated! I would say my role model varies for the different hats that I wear. As a mom, my mother and grandmothers are my role models. As a writer, my role model is Hannah Brencher (https://hannahbrencher.com/). As a life coach, my role model is Megan Gilmore (http://www.larkssong.com/)
I see that you have written for quite a few sites including one of my favorites, Scary Mommy. How was that experience for you? And how did you go about landing those writing gigs?
It was so exciting! I had submitted four other pieces to them over the past year and on the fourth piece, they told me that they liked my work but that they had a similar piece already scheduled. They asked me to submit something else. I was a nervous wreck because this was my first real response from them! So I submitted again telling them about their request (hoping that would help get me in the door) and it did! I would just encourage other writers not to give up! As someone who reads through guest posts every day, there are great writers whose pieces simply don’t fit the site. Become really familiar with the voice of the site and write for that exact audience when you submit. Be open to feedback, and don’t give up!
What is your favorite animal and color?
I would say that dogs are my favorite animal. Purple has been my favorite color my whole life! I’m die-hard 😉
Why did you start blogging? Is this your full-time job, or do you work outside of blogging?
Blogging is a full-time job. It started part time so I could stay at home with my kids, but it has morphed into a full-time gig between the sites I work for and my personal blog. I also am a part-time life coach. I plan to make that my full-time business once my kids are in school! Let’s just say, I don’t sleep much ha!
When your husband cooks, what is your favorite thing he can prepare?
My husband is definitely the better cook! I would say my favorite thing he makes is enchiladas! But really, I like it all! Just happy not to have to cook!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, first and foremost, I see myself continuing to learn and grow as a mama. Then I see myself as a full-time writer and life coach who is launching her first book to the dreamers.
Last question… If you could have dinner and dessert with one person, alive or dead, who would it be?
If I could have dinner and dessert with one person alive or dead, it would probably be my husband ha! I wish I had an answer that was deeper and more “purposeful” but I really love my hubby and wouldn’t pass on a chance to have a date with him because they are rare!
Here’s what people are saying about Downs Ups & Teacups:
“Every story ends with encouragement or insight that prompts me to get back on my feet when I’m down in the dumps. Your stories are honest. They’re not all sunshine and they’re not all rain. I think that’s what makes Downs Ups & Teacups so special. Your stories show life for what it is but still offer optimism that I think we all appreciate so much!” –J.M.
“Amanda’s stories are real, relevant and they always encourage me to think a little deeper in the busy everyday life. Her approach encourages reflection, positivity, and gratitude, and I like that it’s always without ever passing judgment.” –A.E.
“I love reading [Downs Ups & Teacups] stories because they can be deep and they can be funny. It really makes my heart swell.” –A.G.
No, I’m not mad or annoyed with you or your mean kid. Your kid is 2, mine is 4. I can see that you are worried and paranoid that something will happen, or someone will judge you. Stop it! You are working your ass off! I see you constantly watching him, and making sure he is okay.
I can relate.
All new moms go through that phase of constant worry. No sleep, not enough water, way too much caffeine. You are doing a great job, so don’t even worry about it! More moms need to be like you! Patience and peace come with time. Then there will be more chaos, but you will be able to handle it like a boss!
Here is the glorious thing about parenting. Most people are doing it right. You have to be a really terrible person to get it wrong. There are so many different types of parenting, and no matter how good you are, your kid is still going to have their own personality. I was impressed that you didn’t just sit there and let it happen. You jumped up, grabbed him, and asked my son if he was okay. You also explain in such a sweet, but stern way, the reason why it’s not nice to hit. Then, you even apologized to me! Which was not needed.
You are doing such a great job!
Like I said before, there are so many ways that situation could have gone worse. I want to thank you for being an awesome mom to that adorable 2-year-old! You keep doing what you are doing and don’t even worry about anyone else!
I’ve known Ape since middle school! We used to hang out and get in trouble together. We’ve come together and fallen apart multiple times, but never far enough that we aren’t still friends. Social media has been a huge help for us, keeping us connected. If it weren’t for Facebook, I would have never been able to bring you her story! Here’s what’s going on in April’s life…
Gosh, I’m not exactly sure where to start,
Maybe for the last year or so I’ve really been thinking about what I am meant to do, obviously being a mom was a given. Haha. But something was just missing after I had my youngest son I really started to get some PPD and I happened to run into the chance to get my tarot cards read, so of course, I did.
Cards kept coming up with regards to finding my passion outside of me and within me.
I thought about this for days figuring out what exactly IS my passion, what am I good at? How do I keep a fire lit on my passion if I am unsure of it, later on I run into a soap making kit at the store, being a stay at home mom I was willing to give just about anything a try with the amount of time on my hands, I got home whipped up my first soaps and have been obsessed ever since, all I can think about is what’s next what flavors what style, I even dream about it because I exhaust my mind with it all day, I decided one day maybe I could make a little bit of money from them and started to sell them.
Starting your own business is one of the most challenging things you can do
It makes you vulnerable and opens your eyes. The hard parts are where you see that the people closest to you can be the ones who don’t support you. But regardless you have to push forward, even if it’s alone. It definitely gives me a better sense of self and those who are really on my team as I create lovely hand soaps for all my lovely supporters. It’s important to find your passion, try something you have never done before and fight for your dreams don’t get lost in a “normal life”. I put a lot into this, and I am finally seeing my hard work pay off. I’m proud. I’m proud that I had it in me to do all of this while being driven crazy by a 5-year-old and a 5-month-old all at the same time. Passion is everything, find it.
I think it’s pretty incredible that she found her passion and is working towards making that passion a reality! What is your passion? Feel free to leave links in the comments. Just note, spam and/or inappropriate links will be deleted. I love you guys, and that’s why I gotta keep you safe here!
…you have seen a little snapshot. I recently took my son and my little siblings to Boondocks. It’s a massive arcade with laser tag, go-karts, mini golf, etc. We had a ton of fun doing all those things and more!
Then, of course, there was the 4th!
Independence day is probably my favorite holiday. I love the fireworks, spending time with family, the food, the community, EVERYTHING! This year we finally had our own little firework show. We bought a small, $20 box of fireworks. We waited until bed time and then shot them off. Well, here in Utah, bed time is still light out… Ha! It was still fun, and my little man loved it!
Also on the 4th!
Every year, we go to breakfast in the park for Cherry Days in North Ogden. We’ve developed this tradition that we go to breakfast, go the car show, and go to the park before going to the parade.
Now, about that cover photo…
That picture is from the Dinosaur Park! Papa, Mama, and the little man decided to go check out some old bones. It’s a really cool park because there is so much to learn there! They even installed a new dinosaur statue that is the only full-size statue of it’s kind! The one we are with happens to be my favorite dino.
All in all
It has been a lot of fun. This is just a brief summary of what has been taking me away from the blog lately. I am sure you are all busy too! Leave me a comment letting me know what has kept you busy this summer!
Don’t miss out on all the fun, make sure you follow me on social media!