Instagram Giveaway WINNER! Everyday Amanda

Remember that one time, when I did an Instagram giveaway? Yeah, well meet Amanda, our winner!

Everyday Amanda

Hello, all!

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!!!
Amanda

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

Here are some of Amanda’s favorite posts:

Everyday Amanda's puppyhttp://everydayamanda.com/mommin-aint-easy-because-kids/
http://everydayamanda.com/adulting-i-dont-want-to/
http://everydayamanda.com/mom-paranoia/
http://everydayamanda.com/worst-summer-vacation-2017/

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Doesn’t that Goodie Bag look awesome?

Well, guess what!? I am going to post tomorrow the details of everything that was in the goodie bag. In the meantime, tell me what kind of giveaway you would like to see next!

Super Spotlight, Amanda Foust

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!

Meet Amanda Foust, creator of downsupsteacups.com

Super Spotlight on Amanda

“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.”

The tears cried, bubbling laughter, and genuine connection that occurs around the teacup is something I have always treasured. -Amanda Foust Click To Tweet
Who is your role model?

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/)

Amanda and Son

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 😉

Amanda and Daughter

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!

Super Spotlight; Ups Downs Teacups

 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!

If you would like to connect with Amanda, please follow these links

 Amanda, Simply Love

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.

Super Spotlight, April’s Soaps and Such

Meet April!

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…

April from April's Soaps and Such

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. Oatmeal Soap

Starting your own business is one of the most challenging things you can do

Homemade soap

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.

But regardless you have to push forward, even if it's alone. -April Coleby Click To Tweet
Dino Soap for kids!
These are kids soaps! Do you see that? There is a freaking dinosaur inside of the soap!
What do you think?

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!

April's Family So, you want to connect with April?

Go to her Facebook page here!

Super Spotlight, Rachel Wilser

“My toddler twins are some of the worst sleepers on the planet, and every few months hubs thinks he has a new plan to fix it. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work, and I end up 10 times more tired than before. -Rachel Wilser”

Friends, meet Rachel Wilser. She is an incredible mom of twins that you just HAVE to meet! Here is a little summary of her life, followed by a Q&A with cute pictures of said twins. I hope you enjoy!

Rachel Wilser's Twins

In any case, let me give you the brief summary of my life. The briefest summary is to say that I live the life of a vagabond. I grew up in the Midwest (which is why I love both beer and casseroles so much), and in my mid-twenties got an itch that if I didn’t do something dramatic with my life I might live forever in the same town. (Which sounded tragic at 25, but at 33 sounds delightful.) So I moved to DC. Where I knew exactly 3 people, and 2 of them lived with me.

I nannied, bartended, and scraped my way through my first year until I decided to go back to school for an M.Ed. I spent the next year student teaching and in grad school full time, but was able to finish my program in just a year. Then I got engaged that fall and married in 2012.

We lived a pretty unremarkable life–normal, slightly boring, but satisfying. The fall after I turned 30 the hubs convinced me it was time to attempt procreation, and after a few month my overachieving uterus produced not one, but two babies (yes, they’re twins, yes, they’re boys, yes, they’re identical). Shortly after our boys turned 1, the hubs called me from work one day and asked how I felt about moving to Germany. So now, we live in Germany with three toddlers–two humans, one canine.

What does M. Ed stand for? Can you elaborate?

Masters of Education; I attended a program at The George Washington University that was specifically geared towards preparing teachers for urban schools.What kind of puppy do you have? (Do you have any pictures?)

What kind of puppy do you have?

Sadie, Rachel Wilser's lab mix

Sadie is a lab mix; she’s a rescue, so we don’t know what her mix is, but we joke that it’s shark because she has a serious overbite!

Do you enjoy living in Germany? What is your favorite and least favorite part?

I do enjoy living in Germany; I’ve always considered myself independent and self-reliant, and I think that this experience is stretching those limits. My joke answer to my favorite part of living in Germany is that there’s never an inappropriate time to have a coffee or a beer. The real answer is that it’s so easy and affordable to do so much traveling; our boys will have full passports before they’re in kindergarten! My least favorite part is definitely the distance from family and close friends. I’m really close to my parents and brother, so only seeing them once a year is tricky. Luckily, it’s 2017 and I can FaceTime the crap out of them. =)

Your life sounds kind of crazy, how do you keep it together? Do you have any advice for moms around the world to help keep their cool?

Twin boys, playing

Confession time: I’m actually super old school, and am honestly the only person I know, besides my mom, who still uses a daily paper calendar. I don’t really count her, though, because she uses those super tiny ones that you just slid in your purse. Whereas mine is a little larger so that I can fit playdates, doctor’s appointments, deadlines, social commitments, etc. on it. It’s color coded because I’m into that. But seriously–when people ask me if we’re free to do something that’s the first place I look. It helps me stay balanced, organized, and prepared. My advice for moms is one of my favorite quotes: “Comparison is the thief of joy”. It’s easy to look at someone else and they think have more, but a) you have no idea if that’s true or not, and b) you’re doing great, too, mama! Just look around at all you have and find your joy in it.

Why did you start blogging, and what is your niche?

I started blogging because people always ask a ton of questions about twins, but it’s evolved slightly from there. I would say that my niche is family travel and raising multiples. It’s important to me that we’re still having fun, and didn’t end our previous lives to raise children.

Even for those who know you, what is something about you that usually surprises people when they find out?

This is totally random, but my parents (mostly just my mom) were really strict//vigilant about the shows and movies we watched as kids, so there are gobs of movies from the late 80s and early 90s that everyone talks about all the time that I still haven’t seen.

Smiling Twins, See Rachel's post!Alright, now you know the drill! Follow these links to get more from Rachel Wilser!

Blog: https://twokidsforthepriceofone.wordpress.com/
IG: https://www.instagram.com/rve0423/ (or @rve0423, whatever is easier)
Pinterest: These are just a few boards that I feel would be most relevant. https://www.pinterest.com/rve423/holidays-celebrate/
https://www.pinterest.com/rve423/tm/
https://www.pinterest.com/rve423/planes-trains-and-buses/

Super Spotlight, Gingy Love

Hello, Friends!

It has been quite a while since I posted a Super Spotlight! Today, I want to introduce you to, Meg Miller. She is the founder of Gingy Love. A blog about life and love. I’ve really enjoyed Meg’s blog, and I hope that after you get to know her here, you will check out her blog and fall in love too.

Meg from Gingy Love and her daughter.

Here is what Meg has to say!

My name is Megan, but I prefer Meg, I am a young mom, having my daughter Tinley at 23 but I look like I’m 16 so I constantly get stares still. I am also a fur momma to a Shih Tzu named Dean, after James Dean, and hopefully to a new puppy soon. I am married to my high school sweetheart (we met at 16) and we are stronger in our marriage today than in our whole relationship. We just bought our first home and plan on doing some minor remodeling projects.

By day I’m a bank teller and by night I’m a cupcake lady and blogger extraordinaire. Baking really helps me unwind but also allows me to be creative. Blogging lets me stretch my writing muscles since I did go to school for journalism and have my degree in English and Political Science. I put my career as a political journalist on the back burner to be a mom and right now I don’t think anyone would take that job. I enjoy my small town life and I am glad I’m raising my daughter here.

Gingy Love Family

Find more spotlights here, and hop over to my contact page if you or someone you know deserves to be spotlighted!

Super Spotlight, Lindsay Prieksat

Hello, world!

Lindsay P.

Let me introduce you to Lindsay Prieksat. I love meeting other women with the same name as me. Well, I don’t know if it is all in my head, or if we really are all wonderful and awesome! I asked Lindsay, the founder of Just Simply Happenstance, to give us a brief summary and answer a quick Q&A.

So, here’s a little bit of info about Lindsay:Just the Kids

I am a Mama to three cute littles! We have a four-year-old boy, and two baby girls: an 18-month-old and 4 months old. We have our hands full!
My husband and I are both active duty Nebraska Army National Guard. I have been a recruiter for just over five years and I love what I do.
I’ve been in the service for 12 years, and will definitely retire with it!

I started my lifestyle blog officially this year and named it, Just Simply Happenstance. I started blogging two years ago, but couldn’t narrow down anything about it, haha! It was taking me forever to figure out WORDPRESS, photography, what I wanted to write about, etc…Then once I went on my maternity leave with our last baby, Paisley, something just clicked. I felt like I had the need and want to blog. I fell in love with everything about it and suddenly had the confidence to do it! That’s why I went with, Just Simply Happenstance:) Took me a long time, but I made the dive and I’m so excited to continue this crazy journey.

I also do photography part time…when I have the time:)

Being a working mama who has her hands in about everything can be difficult at times, but I’m slowly figuring it out:) My husband is amazing and really helps around the house, so I am blessed to have that help.

Lindsay Prieksat

What made you want to join the National Guard?

I LOVE getting this question asked because the National Guard is my entire life!  Well, when I am not spending time with my hubby and our three crazy littles!  I joined the National Guard when I was just 18 years old and a Senior in High School. As we all know, we have no idea what we want to be at just 18 years old, but we think we do:)
Growing up in a small midwestern town, I have always had a love for our country in more ways than one. Showing pride and believing in our nation was instilled in me through the community, family, and friends.  I just knew I needed to give back in some way, and I fell in love with the mission of the National Guard!
However, I didn’t think it would turn into a career.  In fact, I thought I would get out of the service after doing my initial 6-year enlistment.  But, here I am 12 years later and a full-time recruiter for the organization.  I am so glad I took the plunge at such a young age as it has helped shape my life in such a positive way.

Is the National Guard how you met your husband?

Yes!  We met in 2009 in the Chemical Company and I am so thankful that we both landed in that unit together.  I am beyond blessed that somehow and someway we started dating. We have so much in common, including a love for our country.  The military is a huge part of our lives, and I love that we get to both share some of the same experiences.
It’s great having a spouse who actually knows what you are talking about in all aspects of my job. The military can get confusing at times with the customs and culture that we experience! Having a husband who is also a military member is extremely beneficial with communication for the both of us.

With your life so crazy busy you must have found some way to relax at the end of the day. What do you do to take care of yourself?Just the girls

I LOVE to workout.  Of course, it is difficult to squeeze in a workout, but when I do, it makes me feel so much better. I like doing just about anything active: running, walking, lifting weights, cardio, etc..However, I recently started taking a barre class that I really enjoy!  It’s such a stress reliever!  I’m also a big believer that you will be the best version of yourself when you are healthy and in shape. For me, I’m a much happier and confident individual when I feel good about my body.

You mentioned that your husband is a big help. Does he help cook? If so, what is your favorite thing he can prepare?

I can honestly say he does most of the cooking…score, right? He can cook just about anything, but I am in love with his love of the grill!  Our two older kids and I both love grilled meats and vegetables.  Some of our favorites are chicken and potatoes or pork chops and asparagus.  Our 4 year old just told us the other day that he only likes pork chops with black on them (from the grill). Looks like we must be doing something right! Haha!

What is something about you that always surprises people when they find out?

A lot of times people are surprised that I do photography part time.  I think mainly because I work for the Army National Guard and photography is so different than my full-time job!  It’s fun getting to photograph weddings and family sessions as I get to do something totally different. I’m very passionate about photography, and love being able to do it for more than just a hobby!

If you could spend the day with a famous figure, alive or dead, who would it be?LP Baby

I’m a huge Jackie O fan.  When I was in the fifth grade, I chose to dress up as her for a class activity, and I started admiring her from that point on.  She lived such an interesting and hidden life, and she has always been someone I have loved to learn about. And let’s be honest, her style and elegance was captivating:)

If you enjoyed getting to know Lindsay, then you should check her out her website and Instagram:

www.justsimplyhappenstance.com @lindsayprieksat
Precious moments

As you might have noticed; It’s not Sunday. When I was preparing this spotlight on Lindsay Prieksat I decided that Sundays were not the best days for spotlights. So I am changing the name to Super Spotlights! If you like it, let me know. If you think we should change it, put your suggestions in the comments. For now, you can still find all the spotlights here.

Sunday Spotlight, Jackie Hauer

HAPPY SUNDAY!

Welcome back my friends! Today I am so excited to tell you about another fellow blogger I have met. Her name is Jackie Hauer. Jackie is the creator and content curator of Haute Mess Life. When starting this process I got so excited when I started to get to know her better. Her website is so cute and exactly what I needed. She blogs about life, fitness, and style. She has a unique style that just draws me in. Here, why don’t you find out more for yourself.

Meet Jackie Hauer!

Haute Mess LifeI married my husband in 2005, a year and a half after we met at church. In 2007, we got pregnant with our first baby, who was born in July, more
than 12 weeks shy of his October due date. The pregnancy was tough, but it was nothing compared to the following 98 days in the NICU, with several surgeries and multiple close calls where we were told to round up the family to say their goodbyes. Thankfully, God had different plans and our boy made it. We were sent home with a long list of “he will never” statements, but armed with hope we set out to pray and work them away, one by one.
A year after that, we got pregnant with our second, and even though we had been assured that what happened with the first was not likely to reoccur, it did– so another hard pregnancy, with lots of Mess, miscarriage scares, and bed rest later, our second son was born.Boys will be boys
Flash forward to today,
we are raising 2 boys with a genetic condition who are also on the Autism spectrum, but are doing much better than any doctor could have imagined. They are all things wonderful, amazing, challenging, adorable, smart, strong-willed, and crazy rolled into one, and even though life is hard at times, I wouldn’t change any the wild ride they’ve taken us on or how we have been changed for the better as a result of being their parents.Family life
For the past 12 years I have owned and run an event planning company focused on weddings, which I launched in 2005. In addition to that, I recently launched a site aimed at women who are equal parts fashionista and train wreck, navigating life somewhere in between… balancing work demands, family life and relationships, while still trying to carve a little bit of time for self-care into their hectic days.
 Speaking of self-care, one of the things I write about is fitness, mainly because of my own health journey where I lost 130 pounds and went from a size 22 to a 4 in a year. I blogged about it here, if you want more info: http://www.hautemesslife.com/177-2/Weight loss
I hope you enjoyed meeting Jackie as much as I did! If you wish to know more about her, check out these links below! Want to read more spotlights? Click here! If YOU want to be spotlighted, click here.

Thank you, Lovelies!

Sunday Spotlight, Ashley DeHart

Happy Sunday!

Are you ready for another awesome Sunday Spotlight? I know I am!

Today is a very special momma. Meet my wedding photographer, Ashley DeHart! I got married back in August of 2016. The most important thing to me was to have amazing pictures that would last us a lifetime. I found Ashley and fell in love with her photography. Throughout the process of my wedding, I got to know her more and she spent a lot of time and energy to learn more about us. That really impressed me! Ashley cares about her clients and that makes her different and special!rings please

I asked Ashley if she would let me spotlight her, and of course, she said yes! So I asked her to start us out by telling us a little bit about herself

Haha. I’m kind of the worst at talking about myself, but here we go!

I met my husband (Jeff) when I was 16, and we dated for 4 years before we got engaged, and then we married almost a year later at the age of 21 (me) & 23 (him). I graduated from theUniversity of Utah with a Bachelor’s in Marketing and worked at an ad agency for a few years until I had my daughter, Evelyn. She’s a spunky, sweet, and sassy little 4.5-year-old girl now, and it’s just crazy how fast time passes!Ashley DeHart

I am a portrait and wedding photographer, which is so so amazing! I love capturing that spark between two people, and being able to tell their love story through my images means so much to me. I love that my photographs will be passed down from generation to generation and that what I’m doing matters. I’m so lucky to have such a flexible job, as it allows me to stay home with my daughter, but also gives me some time away from the house to have “me” time and interact with adults 😉 I love shopping, treats, living room dance parties, and feel most at peace when I’m near some water (lake, river, ocean) and with the sun shining on my face. Beyond that, my family loves good food and trying new restaurants, hiking, and exploring this beautiful state we live in.

Who is your role model?

I’ve never really had one haha. I’m of the mindset that admiring people is kind of a waste of time, and you should be your own hero. Always try to be better than yourself, because comparison is the thief of joy! I always try to be better than I was yesterday, and just work hard toward my goals.

How did you get started in photography, and what drove you to be a wedding photographer?

I always loved looking at pretty photos, especially when I was choosing my own wedding photographer, but I never really thought about it as a career. I bought my first “fancy camera” when my daughter was born so I could take pretty photos of her “with the blurry background” haha. I knew nothing about how to use the camera, but I worked and learned and through trial and error eventually, I mastered shooting in manual mode (all self-taught!) and started to learn what my preferred aesthetic was for editing.Family

I started out just shooting family and friends, and really anyone who would get in front of my camera haha. I practiced and practiced and practiced, and a few months into starting an actual business, I got asked to shoot my first wedding! I got flashbacks from when I was getting married, and I just fell in love with the whole process! People who are in love as so happy, and so fun to work with! I love all the details – from the bride’s dress, her pretty flowers, the rings, the first kiss, the sweet little looks – all of it! It’s just the best, and such an honor to be apart of one of the most special days in a couple’s relationship!

What is your favorite animal and color?

I am obsessed with giraffes!!! They are just the cutest things alive! My wedding gift from my husband was a pass to go feed the giraffes at the zoo, and I about died! I was feeding the giraffe, and she leaned her head down and let me pet her and I was seriously on the verge of tears I was so happy haha. It’s sooo hard for me to choose a favorite color because really I love all colors! They all have their place and purpose! I really love gold though! All gold errythang!

How far will you travel for weddings?

Anywhere and everywhere! I loooove traveling and exploring new places, so if I was able to combine that with my love for photography, that would just be the icing on the cake!

When your husband cooks, what is your favorite thing he can prepare?Ashley and Jeff

So I hate cooking meat and truthfully don’t eat a lot of it, so that is my hubby’s job for sure. I love when he makes me crepes!! Mmm, Nutella & strawberry crepes are the best!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I would love to still be photographing happy people in love. It’d be fun to see my business continue to grow, and be able to add some more people to my team so that I can serve even more brides and grooms! Hopefully, we’ll have added another cute little babe to our family! And definitely, lots more traveling – to Europe for sure, and possibly even living outside of Utah for a little while! I love our state, but it’d be fun to live somewhere else for a little while!

Do you have any tips for ladies when they are planning their wedding?


Enjoy the process, and try not to get too stressed! Of course, the little details are fun, but it’s not really what the day is all about. The wedding is about joining your lives together. Spend more time planning a happy, solid marriage, than a pretty wedding, and you’ll be set!

Last question… If you could capture anyone’s wedding, alive or dead, who would it be?

Gah, I’m the worst at these questions haha! I kind of think Taylor Swift and I would be besties if we ever met, so while I’d love to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, I also think it’d be a blast to shoot! You know it’d be all sorts of amazing!

Sunday SpotlightHere are Ashley’s social media links:

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If you enjoyed this post, you should check out more Sunday Spotlights! Stay tuned for more about my wedding and photos from Ashley, coming very soon! In the meantime, comment below what your favorite part of weddings is!

Sunday Spotlight, Kourtney Bond

Welcome to another Sunday Spotlight! Today, I present to you Bond, Kourtney Bond!

Ha she might kill me for that one, but I had too! I work with Kourtney, and that is how we met. This girl has an incredible story. When I first met her, I envied her life. She is pretty, upbeat, outgoing, has a great husband, smart, etc. From an outsider looking in, her life looked perfect! I started to get to know her and soon realized that she was SO much more! Kourtney’s life has been anything but easy! She worked really hard for what she has today, and that is the true accomplishment! Another thing I love about her, is that she is open and willing to share her story, because she truly believes that it could help someone else.

So, enough lollygagging, here is Kourtney’s story!

Kourtney
Well, I have grown up in South Ogden all my life! I got married about 4 years ago, seriously we are best friends! We love to be outside!! Skiing, hiking, biking… we love adventures! We also love to travel!! We try to take one big trip a year! Last year we went to Kauai, and we almost never came home! It’s by far our favorite place to go! I came home and have applied for job there ever since? seriously if the right one became available I wouldn’t hesitate to move there!
After returning home from Hawaii our life changed dramatically. After a 2 1/2 year battle with infertility, and several miscarriages we found out we were pregnant again with our little boy Bode.
Since this week is National Infertility Awareness Month I thought I would open up and share our struggle with a year and a half battle of reoccurring miscarriages, one right after another. Every loss was devastating, and it was so difficult to keep trying. After loosing our little girl Hope (2nd miscarriage) in our second trimester I didn’t want to try again. It took us a while to get back to having the courage to try again.
We experienced one more early loss before finding the perfect OBGYN to help us get Bode here. After countless labs, A LOT of progesterone, some bed rest and weekly visits to either our OB or the our high risk perinatal doctor IT WAS DELIVERY DAY! Our little guy made it safe and sound! He is 5 month old this month and this is life as we know it, everything is different, and hard and wonderful and I wouldn’t change a thing! Being a mom is truly not meant for the weak, it’s a never ending job!!
After pregnancy I quickly found myself dealing with some sever Postpartum depression.
For a long time is was very debilitating, some days it still is. I hope by sharing this anyone who is dealing with the same thing can realize it’s OK, it’s normal, you can get through it but to get help! I went to a new doctor that specializes in hormones and finding the root cause of your anxiety or and other health problems.
After a few visits, tests and labs we found the answer not only to my PPD but to the infertility and reoccurring miscarriages. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease and with Hyperthyroidism. Making a successful pregnancy almost impossible. Since receiving treatment for these I have felt SO much better! And I realize just how big of a miracle it was to be able to have a healthy, happy BABY!! Hopefully we will be able to manage and control this disease and in a few years be able to try again to give Bode a brother or sister!
On my journey through PPD and being a new mamma getting ready and taking care of myself was something I didn’t even want to do, and didn’t have the time to do either.
My friend introduced some quick Mommy Makeup!!
It has saved my appearance ? without it I would have nothing on my face and actually look like I’m sleep deprived and tired ALL the time!! It’s called Maskcara Cosmetics and it has changed not only my morning routine but has boosted my confidence completely! It has been that “something” just for me!
Maskcara
After using the product and loving it I wanted to share it with other busy women! I joined the Maskcara Beauty family in February and I love the sisterhood that came with it, the flexible schedule it provides and the residual income that has helped pay more than half of our mortgage within the first month. Our owner and our team leads are so uplifting, friendly and very helpful! Being apart of this has helped me gain my confidence back, plus helped me feel like ME again, which i think many women loose when they become a new mom.
So easy, kids can do it!

I am so excited to see where this new chapter in our little families life will take us.

I am so grateful for our journey, even the heartbreak that has led us to where we are today. Struggles, losses and hard times definitely change you, and transform you into a better person. -Kourtney Bond Click To Tweet They can do one of two things, destroy you and make you miserable or as you go through them if you have faith and hope, you will come out stronger, learn lessons, gain friends and will lead you to a place in life you didn’t know you even needed to be!

#realmomlife

Moms like Kourtney really make it easy to see that not every pregnancy is easy, or picture perfect. Life can be hard, but it’s what you do to handle the stress that defines you. It’s important to always look up. Always look on the bright side. Thank you Kourtney for sharing your story with the Real Mom Blogs community!

Now, if any of you are interested in Maskcara, let me or Kourtney know! We are going to be doing a live video chat sometime (hopefully in the near future) on the Real Mom Blogs Facebook page. So make sure you go “like” us, and follow so you don’t miss it! We will both be talking about our experiences with Maskcara and how it works differently for every person. There will most likely be a demo, to show you all how quick and easy it is too!

But wait, there’s more!

In the mean time, go check out Kourtney’s Instagram!

Read more Sunday Spotlight’s here. If you know of anyone you want me to spotlight, even if it’s YOU, please contact me. You can find all that info here! Don’t forget to like and Share! Sharing is caring!

Sunday Spotlight, Kevi Eby

Happy Sunday!

April and Baby

As you all know, there is a new baby giraffe in the world! April had her baby on April 15th. I had a little contest going to see who could guess the closest! Kevi and Mckinzie were the closest! I have already done a Sunday Spotlighted Mckinzie, she was my very first spotlight. You can go here to read about her. I thought I would spotlight Kevi today! What a great idea too! Kevi is an awesome mom!Winning guesses

Here is a little bit more about her.

“Okay so for starters I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 5 1/2 years and we have two kids. A 2.5 yr old girl and an 8 month old boy. I am a pediatric nurse doing home health. I take care of kids with different types do disorders or disabilities and that require tracheas, feeding tubes, ventilators, etc. work graves so that I can a mom during the day.

Being a mom has always been my number one dream in life. My husband and I work opposite shifts so that we don’t need childcare. Between the two of us we have our kids 24 hrs a day and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Eventually I want to work in labor and delivery. But for now I enjoy my job and the time it allows me to be with my family. Pregnancy and birth is absolutely amazing and fascinating to me.

For fun we love to go camping and golfing. My daughter could live at the park so we spend a lot of time there. We try to take our kids out a couple times a month to do something fun as a family but over all we love being home bodies. Putting the tent up in the house and having camp outs with our 2 yr old and late night movies in mom and dads bed. Other than that my life is boring. Same thing different day.”

 

Who is your role model?

Kevi and Mom“My mom is my role model. She has always been my favorite person. I was always known as her cling on child and I never left her side. She is very independent and knows how to do everything! My mom is the most selfless person I know. She has always put her kids first and never does anything for herself until her kids are happy and satisfied. As a single parent raising my sisters and I, she had to sacrifice and give up a lot in her life, and I am forever grateful. I can ask any favor of her and she will always yes no matter how bizarre of a project I come up with. I can always count on her and hope to be half the woman she is.”

Why did you become a nurse?

Pediatric Nurse

I became a nurse because I love helping people, and I love knowing I can help someone when they may feel their weakest. I do pediatric home health and often people ask me how I do it and if it’s hard seeing kids in the state they are in. My response is, no its not hard. I don’t look at them for their disability or medical needs, I see them as the happy smiling girl that likes playing with her toys or the boy who loves movies. They are happy and and full of life just like any of us. They have lived with these conditions their whole life and don’t know any different. So I enjoy being there to help them live life to the fullest.

If you could be anything (else) when you grow up, what would it be?

Honestly I am not much of an animal person but I think it would be so fun to be a zoo keeper and learn and interact with all the amazing exotic zoo animals that we don’t get to see every day.

Do you have an irrational fear?

Most definitely mice and spiders. I don’t think I could ever go on fear factor and sit in an enclosed area with them crawling all over me. I can’t even walk within 5 feet of a dead mouse. Also, I absolutely hate the dentist. Not sure if it’s the drills or the noises but it gives me anxiety really bad. Nitrous oxide is a must.

When your husband cooks, what is your favorite thing he can prepare?

We do a lot of cooking together but one my favorite things he cooks by himself would be French toast with strawberries and whipped cream on top. I am a sucker for breakfast foods.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In 5 years I see myself exactly where I am today. Being a mom and wife by day and a nurse by night. I wouldn’t change anything in my life, so besides being a little more debt free I hope to be as happy and healthy as I am today.

Last question… If you could go anywhere in the world, with anyone (alive or dead), for just one day, who would it be and where?

If I could anywhere for one day I would go with my husband somewhere in Italy with shopping, delicious pasta, and end the night with chocolate covered strawberries on a romantic gondola ride while the Gondolier sings to us.

Thank you to everyone who entered! Even Jamyz who was EXACTLY to the date, a month off, haha!

If you or anyone you know, deserves to be spotlighted (and I think everyone does!) then please contact me! Have a great day!