Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11

Image may contain: one or more people, sky, cloud, text and outdoor

I was a week in to my freshman year of college. I watched on live TV the second plane hit the tower. I waited on line to use the only pay phone in the student center to make sure my family was safe (my dad worked for NYC Transit and my mom had a class in northern NJ for work).

It still feels like yesterday.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Healthy Lifestyle


Okay, so I know I keep saying "diet this and diet that, healthy life changes and the like".... but I never followed through. This time, my husband is on board with me and we ARE doing it!!! Eating better, getting out more and working out.

My health issues are slowly creeping up to haunt me. I HAVE to change my lifestyle, or I'm gonna have a lot more problems than I already do!

I got a new FitBit (my old one got soaked on a water ride and died), so I set that all up.... as well as updated my MyFitnessPal app (which IS having issues syncing exercising and food intake with my FitBit so I am trying to figure that out). I will be using MapMyRun when I go out walking/running, too.

And I'm gonna work vitamins in to my life as well. #becausehealthy

Any other health apps you recommend?


LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Friday, August 4, 2017

Are We Kidding?

When the summer comes, I am rarely at the computer. So far this summer has been relaxing and crazy all at the same time. Is that even possible? LOL!!!

Been doing a lot of reading (hit my library's quota of five books last week!), a lot of watching TV and a lot of Pokemon Go. On top of getting the kids to summer camp and back. Busy bee indeed!

My parents moved in with us, until their house is ready in NC.... so they are here until the end of September. It's been........... challenging. That's a whole blog post it itself, haha!

Hope everyone's summer is going great. Catch ya on the flip side.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer Vacation 2017 Is Here!



I didn't have to go in to work today, and the kids have a half day of school (they are usually home by 12pm & 1pm). 

So how do I spend my first day of summer vacation? By cleaning the house for three hours this morning. I am wiped out!

Off to find some lunch..... and hopefully my motivation, lol!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Books!


This post is all about BOOKS, my friends. I've finally been on a reading kick!! Summer will do that, haha!!

I joined my library's summer reading challenge. All I have to do is read 5 books from June 1 - September 1 and log them in. Easy peazy lemon squeezy!

My library got up with the times and updated their online borrowing of digital books. It's much easier to navigate and I can borrow books through Kindle app (or Overdrive, which I have but don't prefer to use).  I'm on the wait list for a few there though.....

I borrowed my first audio book, Six of Crows, from my library. I can only listen to it on my way to work and on my way back home, aka when I am alone in the car and can hear haha! The book is just okay so far. I like the voice of the people speaking, but I feel like one should be just a narrator, one should be one character and one person another.... ya know. It's not set up that way, and sometimes I forget who is speaking lol.

I joined Book of The Month Club back in May. I joined because if you signed up at that time you got Into The Water by Paula Hawkins for free. So far, I am not impressed with the book selections. Yes, I could of just delayed my orders.... but I chose to just get the books and let the subscription run out. It's a three month subscription, so it ends after my July book arrives.
P.S. I really liked The Girl On The Train so that's why I signed up. I read 82 pages and cannot get in to it!!! I also have Since We Fell and The Sisters Chase in my possession.

I just finished I Belong To You by Lisa Renee Jones. Totally wasn't feeling it, but it was the last book in a series I started forever ago. It's in the erotica genre, but it wasn't really sexy enough..... I've read better, honestly.

I am currently reading (Confessions #2) The Private School Murders by James Patterson. I was on the fence with the first one, but I started the series so I gotta finish it up. That's how I do!

Of course, come follow me on GoodReads.... I use it pretty frequently.

One last thing.... I am always taking book recommends. What book has caught your attention lately? Share it with me. My virtual book shelf is NEVER full!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Blogging = Back Seat

Blogging has taken a MAJOR back seat lately. Ugh! I used to love blogging.... and now I feel like SUCH a chore. Bummmmmmmmmmmer!

It's the final push till summer vacation!


So blogging will most definitely be in a hiatus till after the school year is over.

Find me on Instagram & Facebook. That's where I normally hang out.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Random

Spring is in full force here! POLLEN EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!

I am up to my neck in reading novels. I just joined Book of the Month Club. Got my first book (plus an extra for signing up that month).

Work is killer, as it's the end of the school year. I am counting down the days till summer vacation #twentysix


Yep, that's it. Back to laundry.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Back On The Healthier Living Wagon

When you gain 3lbs in a month, and look at yourself in the mirror and get a disgusted look on your face.... it's time to SERIOUSLY make a change to your diet & exercise routine!

That's where I am at people.

I HAVE to eat better. HAVE TO!  I also need to get out there and freakin' exercise. I have a lot of back, knee, and joint pain lately.... I'm overweight and miserable!

And I'm gonna work vitamins in to my life as well. #becausehealthy

I've been pinning exercises and healthy diet things. Find me on Pinterest.

I am on MyFitnessPal as well, to keep track of my intake and exercise. Lets be friends there!




Friday, April 7, 2017

Lets Play Catch Up!

Okay, readers.... I haven't been around much. Life, ya know. I'll do a general recap on what's been going on since my last real update (Valentine's Day post). Here goes!


19118711
My friend started up a group on Facebook, where we'd all purchase a book called The Husband Project: 21 Days of Loving Your Man-- On Purpose and With A Plan, and we'd 'virtually' read it together every day in February. Each day you would read the chapter, and then like "follow the directions" to put something nice together for your man. It was really to show your man that you care about him and to put a little something extra in to your marriage. I did really well with following along, until into the last week (it was a crazy week where Steven worked late a lot of nights and there was no time to do the things I had scheduled). I enjoyed the book and would do something like it again with my friends.  I had plannnnnned to make a big post about the entire thing, like keeping up and telling everyone exactly what I did each day, but that obviously never happened. 



 photo freddykreugercollage_zpsgay7gbwn.jpg 
Dylan joined the Drama Club (for the first time) in middle school this year. He had a non-speaking part, but had to join in on the opening and closing dance numbers, and had to sing as well, lol! The name of the play was called "Oh Horrors! It's Murder!"-- an audience interactive murder mystery play. He was an exhibit at the 'Hamilton Museum', where the play took place. He did an absolutely wonderful job and my whole family is so proud of him! My parents came to the last showing of the play and were super excited for him!


Work has been ridiculous lately. We are a team of three in the kitchen. My coworker had to stop working because her husband has cancer and he needs around the clock care now. Totally understandable! But then the higher ups hire these awful people who either don't wanna be there or don't get the concept of what's going on around them. It's awful! The cook and I are just over it! On top of our freezer constantly being on the fritz...... Winter Break it blew and flooded the entire kitchen and cafeteria. The cook just texted me (she had to be in work today) saying the freezer almost blew and the maintence people are there trying to fix it. Today starts Spring Break for me, so I have an entire week off of work, and it's more welcomed than normal because of all the work drama.


March was a very hard month, marriage wise. I'm not going into any details here, but it's really the main reason why I wasn't at the computer blogging. Moving on........


 photo kindlefirst_zpsoipgh1vl.png
I've read seven books since January. That puts me ahead two books ahead of schedule in my 2017 reading challenge.  I read the thriller The Couple Next Door, which I literally couldn't put down. I think I read it in three days. I also read the futuristic sci-fi Ready Player One, which spoke volumes to the geeky gamer that I am! My go-to author is James Patterson and I saw The McCullagh Inn in Maine on the bookshelf when I hit up my local library and just went for it. Didn't care for it, to be honest.  Now I just started a book I found through Kindle First. If you're a Prime member you have access to a very small list of books Amazon selects before they are published to the public. I found out about it by accident so this is my first time using it. You get to choose one free book a month. The book I chose (the list only had 6 books on it) is called All The Lies We Tell by Megan Hart. So far, I'm 25% in and I am on board.


I am in between playing Final Fantasy XV and getting back in to Destiny. We bought Dylan a Nintendo Switch for his birthday, so we won't be playing that until the very end of April.


 photo Michelton_zps4bcmwmp6.jpg
I have not heard from my sponsor child since September. Haiti was devastated with Hurricane Matthew back in October. Compassion International had told me that Michelton and his family weren't directly affected by the hurricane. Thank God!  But Compassion International as a whole just updated their letter writing system AND with all the destruction going on in Haiti, letter delivery has been slow. But another Haitian sponsor I connected with on Facebook said to write them an email and they can do an inquiry to find out if a letter is on it's way, or to encourage Michelton to write another one. Normally, sponsors get at least two letters a year from younger kids.
Please continue praying for Michelton.


The kids are doing very well in school this year. Dylan's soccer season starts in two weeks. He also goes to youth group once a week and volunteers at AWANA once a week. Delaney is almost done with her first year of Juniors in Girl Scouts. She attends AWANA and loves it! She might join Gymnastics again come September, but we will see if that idea sticks.   The kids go to school, come home and do homework, eat dinner and then Steven and I are playing shuffle to figure out who needs to be where and how they are getting there. They are busy people and I wouldn't have it any other way!


Okay, off to enjoy my first day off since like Christmastime. Have a blessed day, everyone!
 photo signature_zpsuh8l1nhv.png

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Life, man!

Life has been so crazy. I've totally fallen out of the blogging wagon. Be back soon!

Meanwhile, I am still on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and GoodReads. Links are on the right side of my blog. Follow along!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

World Water Day #safewaterforall

Since 1993, World Water Day has been observed on March 22 as a means of focusing
 attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable
management of clean water resources.



 photo IMG_7596_zpsngnieobk.jpg
Back in January I bought myself a limited edition Lokai bracelet. I believe everyone should have access to clean water, and have read that my sponsor child may not always have that luxury. That breaks my heart! This specific bracelet supports charity: water,
 a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries. They use 100% of public donations to directly fund sustainable, community-owned water solutions in areas of greatest need. Seeing the bracelet on my wrists reminds me of Michelton's struggles of daily life and I always send an extra prayer for clean water his way.

World Water Day #WorldWaterDay #WWD2016 #safewater #cleanwater:


Compassion International has some great info on helping sponsored children have access to clean water. Here's the link. There's a video and stats about how you can help!

Monday, March 13, 2017

No Book Reviews

I had all intentions of writing up reviews for the last two books I read. But! They both were amazingly bad. Not even worthy of my time to sit here and review them.

Lunar Chronicles #4: Winter by Marissa Meyer

The Callaugh Inn in Maine by Jen McLaughlin and James Patterson


I gave them only a stared rating on GoodReads. I'll get around to writing up reviews for that... eventually.


Now on to read READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline

P.S. I'm two books ahead of schedule for my 2017 Book Challenge, so that's a plus!


Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Valentine's Day Post

My post never published on Valentine's Day. WHAT is that about?!?!?!?!


No automatic alt text available.
Block Party in Queens
September 2003

Here's the story of how Steven and I met: He was working for HT in January 2003. The day I actually met him it was his "going away party" because he was leaving to go back to Louisana to work. The next day he decided to not move to Louisana and stayed working for HT. I knew his boss and she let me help around in the office because I was in college but needed money, lol. I barely talked to Steven, to be honest. I only helped out in the office for like two weeks before I thought I was better than to show up to an office after going to school for half a day #iwasacrappyteenager  ANYWAY! Fast forward to the summertime (July) and Steven was running the summer camp. I applied to be a camp counselor and got the job. So everyday I'd go to the camp and see him walking around, doing whatever it is he did all day, lol. I kept looking around for him so I could see him. Yeah, I'm that kinda stalker lol!  The girls in my group were all like "Why don't you write him love notes, and we'll give them to him!" So that happened. We'd come up with questions to ask him, the girls would run over and pass him notes. This silly man would actually write back!!  On the last day of camp (beginning of August) we started really talking. A week later he had a staff end of the year party at a restaurant, and afterwards, while walking out to the parking lot he asked me to be his girlfriend. I actually told him "I'd let him know tomorrow" because I'm a huge freakin' loser like that. I actually just got out of a three year serious relationship the month before and wanted to be sure I was in it for the right reasons.  The next day we had plans to hang out and I told him I'd be his girlfriend. He mentioned he had two dogs in the 'love notes', but I let that slip my mind because I wasn't a pet person. That was August 16, 2003.
A month and a half later I was pregnant. God is a funny guy. His perfect timing, not ours, lol!
The rest is history.

No automatic alt text available.
My mom took this picture of us, after my birthday dinner date.
We were dating 2 weeks.


Okay. I'd say we are both romantics. Normally we go out on a fancy date for Valentine's Day. A few years back I decided that the kids should be involved too, because we love them and they are old enough to be well behaved children at a restaurant and to celebrate with us.

My plans for this year had gotten messed up due to a family member, BUT ANYWAY, I decided we'd all go to the movies on Sunday and see The Lego Movie. It was hilarious!  On Tuesday night, I ordered Italian food from the local pizzeria. Went home, set the table up all nice, and we had family dinner on the table when Steven walked in the door. After dinner we played board games with the kids, and then we all crashed into bed early. Yep, total snoozefest over here, haha!

Steven got me a gift certificate to get a massage at a new place that opened up by us, Raspberry Verdi (my favorite), and a reusable bag my church was selling (which I told hum numerous times I wanted, haha!)

It was the perfect holiday for our family. <3 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

NetGalley Review: Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James

30258320
Gilded Cage on GoodReads


My Review: I was interested in reading this book mostly by the look of the cover. NetGalley gave me the go-ahead, and away I went! It did start off slow, as Book 1's normally do. There was a lot of explaining background details and things, which was sort of blah. But it absolutely got better as it went on. I was okay with the main character Luke. And I normally am a fan of the "bad guy", so call me #TeamSilyen. I'm looking forward to reading Book 2, which comes out in September 2017.  

*This book is expected to be published on February 14, 2017*


Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received a complimentary electronic book through NetGalley.com.
I was not required to write a positive review, only an honest one.
The opinions I have expressed here are my own. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Three Weeks Later - Healthier Lifestyle Update


Okay people, I need some real motivation to get outside and exercise. This weather has been awful lately (lots and lots of rain).... and I'm sure it's only gonna get worse as the winter goes on. UUGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!

Still tracking my food progress on MyFitnessPal to track my food intake and progress. Are we friends there yet? If not, check me out! 80% food, 20% exercise, am I right?  The weekend is my killer, because we normally just eat whatever (and not stick to healthy meals and snacks).

Starting weight: 185.0lbs
Last week's weight: 182.4
Current weight: 182.0



How are you doing on your healthier lifestyle goals?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Writing To My Sponsor Child


You all know about my sponsor child in Haiti. If you don't, I wrote a post about how we came to sponsor him is here. The kids and I wrote to him last back in November, responding to the letter we received from him and to wish him Merry Christmas. Now with Valentine's Day is approaching, I wanted to write Michelton a letter letting him know he is loved, thought about often and constantly prayed for by our family.

The other day I found myself reading Compassion International's blog and ended up writing him a short letter asking him all about his education. Schooling is so important to a child in poverty, so they can learn the tools they need to be successful in life and break the cycle of poverty within their family. "Please pray that God will give him more intelligence in school"-- Michelton specifically asked us to! (Michelton is only 8 years old and his project gave his mother a template sheet with questions on it to be filled out and sent to sponsors. His mother asked the questions and he responded, then she filled it in.) My children enjoy school and they'd love to hear how Michelton's doing in his studies.

I was also all over Compassion's Pinterest board, pinning like a freakin' maniac! They have SUCH great ideas, submitted by them and sponsors alike. I plan to take some of these pins and get a letter package ready to send Michelton. Just in time for Valentine's Day, woohoo!!  If you'd like to see what I pinned, come check out my Pinterest page.


 photo photoofhim_headshot_zpsx1jvcoz7.jpg 
Please pray for our sponsor child. It's mean the world to him!

If God is calling you to sponsor a child, or if you'd just like more information on sponsorship or the group in general, please visit Compassion International's website. They have tons of helpful info!

God bless.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Two Weeks Later - Healthier Lifestyle Update



While I don't want to make any excuses, it snowed a lot on Saturday. The roads in my neighborhood weren't plowed the best either. So I was afraid to go walking alone at night because if I slipped and fell #disaster. Therefore, Monday and Tuesday were not exercise days. I did however, get over 12,000 steps each of those days. The rest of the week I didn't go out for a walk either, cuz #life. This week is definitely back to the grind, though! Come check out my MapMyRun profile and see my workout success!

I am still tracking all the food I eat on MyFitnessPal. I love it because you can scan bar codes of the food you eat and it imports all the nutrition quick and easy. Plus it links up to MapMyRun and my FitBit, so it keeps track of everything! I like being able to see my calorie intake, how much protein I eat, carbs, ect... so I can monitor what I need to cut out. It keeps me accountable and I need that!
P.S. I used the phrase I heard ("Eat less and move more") in a conversation I was having with my mother.

Starting weight: 185.0lbs
Last week's weight: 182.4
Current weight: 180.6




How are you doing on your healthier lifestyle goals?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I Read, Then Write Reviews

NetGalley

I joined this website in May 2014. I read titles that I am interested in (they have tons to choose from, and they are easy to find by category). Then I post a review of the book on their website. I am allowed to post the review on my blog, GoodReads and through my social media. Plus, some of the books are very newly published or are available to read before they are available to the public.... how COOL is that! Win, win for all!  I am a huge fan of this company because of the ease of finding books and getting them to my device #kindleapp #ipadmini. It's so simple and that's what people like!

For more information on the program, or if you'd like to sign up, click [here

Books I've reviewed through NetGalley: If I Were You   No In Between   The Negotiation
Yours to Uncover: ES Siren 1   Private Down Under  Play Me #1 - #5    Irresistibly Yours
Sydney Housewives #2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Slashed  Life's A Beach  Flawed

Currently Reading with NetGalley: Gilded Cage




Back in April 2014, I signed up with Bookplex.comto be paid for my review of free books they have available for download. You must choose a book from the list they provide (which normally isn't too long but lately has been expanding), download the book to your e-reading device (no paper copies available at this time), read that book and write a review, good or bad, before the deadline date listed. They just want real, honest reviews from people. New to the site-- AVP: you buy the book through Amazon and you'll be reimbursed for the book, as well as earn an extra $1 when you get paid (through paypal). Some rules though: reviews must be posted on your blog, you have to have an Amazon account, a GoodReads account, and a Barnes & Noble account (all to post reviews on). Who doesn't have those already?  

For more information on the program, or if you'd like to sign up to be paid for reviewing books, click [here]

Books I've reviewed through Bookplex:   Severed Threads   Shattered Hearts   





I've been a member since May 2014. Pretty much the same concept of choose a book you want to read, read it, write a blog post about it, and then post your review on their website (they require a link back to your blog post when submitting your review on their website). It looks like they mail out physical books to you (but they are hard to come by since they only have so many), or you can get an ebook through download on Edelweiss *from their website- Q: Are eBooks available for review? Yes. eBooks are available through the Blogging for Books program. You will need to have an Edelweiss account set up in order to download eBooks. The Blogging for Books program works seamlessly with Edelweiss to deliver your eBooks. Requests are made through the Blogging for Books program.*  You may only read and review one book at a time through this site (it will close you off from most of the site until you submit your review). The Blogging For books website's FAQ actually has a lot of good info for bloggers, so check that out.  

For more information on the program, or if you'd like to sign up, click [here

Books I've reviewed through Blogging For Books: S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed   Shylock Is My Name



Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Show Us Your Books - January 2017

Life According to Steph






Here's what I've been reading:


Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James

GoodReads synopsis:
Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England's grandest estate lies a power that could break the world. 

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England's most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family's secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price? 

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi's brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution. 

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?


I belong to NetGalley, a website dedicated to people who read books and write book reviews. It's free to join. I've been a member there since 2014. I am reading the e-book version that I was selected to be allowed to read early. The book doesn't come out until February 14, 2017.



The Girl on the Train

This was a popular book last year, so I thought I'd start the year off right by reading it. I blew threw it in four days. Written well and decent characters. I didn't see the end coming, so that was a plus.




Disney After Dark (Kingdom Keepers, #1)
Book 1 of the Kingdom Keepers series

I started this book, because I thought my son would like it. He has NO INTEREST in it whatsoever. But I wanted to see what the hype was all about. GoodReads synopsis is here.  And yea, I'll read a teen/YA book.... I'm in my 30's but I like to think I'm younger than that, haha!



What are you reading? Come link up and show us!

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Week Later - Healthier Lifestyle Update



So while I did cheat here and there this week (it happens, lets be honest), I am proud of myself for making better food choices and getting outside & exercising as much as I could.

I started off the exercise routine slow........ only worked out twice for the week, Monday & Wednesday. I wanted to work out another day, but #life. I forgot I wasn't gonna be home Friday night, so then I thought I'd do it on Thursday and I wasn't home that night either. Oops! Then we had snow all weekend. Like c'mon!  But, two days is better than none.  I'm on my feet for 5 hours at my job, constantly moving, so that helps too.  Come check out my MapMyRun profile and see my success!

I track all the food I eat on MyFitnessPal. I love it because you can scan bar codes of the food you eat and it imports all the nutrition quick and easy. Plus it links up to MapMyRun and my FitBit, so it keeps track of everything! I like being able to see my calorie intake, ect... so I can monitor what I need to cut out. It keeps me accountable and I need that!

Starting weight: 185.0lbs
Current weight: 182.4




Keep up the good work. I heard the phrase "Eat less and move more" and I like that! #gonnabemynewmotto

How are you doing on your healthier lifestyle goals?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

YouVersion - The I-Factor, a 7 Day Reading Plan

640x360

Yesterday I started The I-Factor, a 7 Day Reading Plan on the Bible app #kindle. I chose this reading plan for two reasons.... 1) because I wanted to start off slow, and a 7 day challenge seems easy enough. 2) because of the explanation from their website "This reading plan explores the importance of developing a healthy relationship with yourself so that you can fully enjoy the purpose and plan that God has for you."  Twenty seventeen is the year of ME, so this is perfect!

Are you planing on doing, or already into, any Bible reading plans? 
Share with me some good ones!

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Years Goals 2017

I guess I'm gonna start this post off with all of my New Years Goals. I always make them, and then practically forget about them by February....but 2017 is going to be different! I'm optimistic!!


My New Years Goals, 2017 style:

  • To further deepen my relationship with Jesus
  • To write to my sponsor child more often (than I already do)
  • To be a better wife and mother
  • To read 20 books this year
  • To be more positive, in general
  • To lose weight so I can be more fit and healthy




Hope everyone reading this has a blessed New Year!!