The Storm Will Pass. The Spring Will Come.

Spring is a time of new beginnings for all of us. Never make rash decisions based on the winter storm’s events. The storm will pass. The spring will come. Embrace the warmer weather. Embrace the blooming flowers. Embrace what you love the most and be the change.

The Storm Will Pass. The Spring Will Come.

Every spring, I seem to re-evaluate my life. I guess we all do.The storm will pass. What changes can I make in this world, to my life, to make it a better place? I’m often tempted to throw in the towel and just give up after braving the winter storms. I think we all are. Being cooped up, both literally and figuratively, makes us all feel that way at some level, I guess. That overwhelming feeling of, is this really all working out for me, is it all worth it, kind of gets to you, you know? I know you know.

So, what do you do?

Do you throw in the proverbial towel and just decide that the struggles aren’t worth it anymore and start anew with a whole new life? I mean, we’re all getting old (as we read my dribble), so is it all still worth the fight? Are the struggles really worth the pay off? Would it be easier to just start over, just like the flowers in spring?

Or do we take the lead from the most beautiful season that nature has to offer? Do we just stay where we are and enjoy, and nurture, the rebirth of the new season in our lives? Do we just grow back, annually, despite the diversity?

I choose to stay. I choose to bloom. Again. Because my life isn’t always beautiful, but overall, it’s a beautiful life.

My family, my marriage, has a lot of struggles. We’re human. We make mistakes. We all make mistakes. Forgiveness, rebirth, and remembering what matters the most is what keeps us all going in life. I take my strength from the season of growth. Springtime.

The flowers are blooming. The weather is heating up. There’s a freshness in the air. There’s a freshness in my step too. This time, unlike the spring epiphanies I’ve had in the past, I plan to keep that freshness alive.

I don’t know how much time I have left on this earth. None of us do. I’m embracing spring. I’m embracing life. I’m embracing an awakening in myself, my marriage, my family.

This year, the only spring cleaning I’m going to do is from within. The cobwebs can wait.

My family comes first. They’ve always come first, but I forget to tell, show them enough. No more forgetting to tell them that they come first. No more forgetting them because I have just ONE MORE task to complete. No more putting them off. No more skipped biked rides. No more ‘in a minute’ or ‘we’ll see’ replies. No more forgetting them.

Ever.

Hello spring! I’ve missed you and I’m ready to make the change.

The storm has passed (for good). The spring has come. I’m happy, I feel playful (for the first time in 100 springs), and I’m ready to never cut down a tree again.

Boo-tify Your Home with Affordable Halloween Decor

Terrorize your neighborhood this Halloween season by having the most spectacular (spooktacular?) haunted mansion with affordable Halloween decor, ghouls, and party goods from Oriental Trading. Just so you know, I received product from Oriental Trading to facilitate this post. All opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own.

ot halloween big reaper hero

I love Halloween. Like, love it, love it. There’s a term my close friends and I use to explain how excited I get about this holiday, but I digress because that term isn’t suitable for my family-friendly site. Anyway, there are three “holidays” that excite me beyond belief…Halloween, Christmas, and Mardi Gras. For my three favorite times of year, I always turn to Oriental Trading for all of my festive home decor, party goods, craft supplies, and in this case…ghouls! Seriously, your one-stop shop for affordable Halloween decor and more. Like ghouls…have I mentioned the ghouls?

Darkness falls across the land, the midnite hour is close at hand.
Creatures crawl in search of blood, to terrorize y’all’s neighborhood.
And whosoever shall be found, without the soul for getting down.
Must stand and face the hounds of hell, and rot inside a corpse’s shell.
The foulest stench is in the air, the funk of forty thousand years.
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb, are closing in to seal your doom.
And though you fight to stay alive, your body starts to shiver.
For no mere mortal can resist, the evil of the thriller.
Can you dig it?!

I totally dig it, do you? If you do and you’re not quite ready for All Hallow’s Eve, I’ve got some last-minute ideas for you. For the record, if you sign up for Oriental Trading’s newsletter, shipping is free (shhhh…don’t tell everyone because that offer is too good to be true and we want to save that freakish deal all to ourselves).

ot halloween house iinao

Since we moved into our house last August, we’ve been rebuilding our holiday decor and Halloween is no exception. It’s starting to get a little scary around here and I’m totally digging it (get it…digging…grave yard…hell yea). Anyway, let me take you on a little tour. We’ve still got a ways to go, but it’s frightfully delicious so far and I’m stoked.

halloween cemetary iinao

As soon as you enter the front gate, you’re immediately haunted by this Crawling Zombie Groundbreaker with the rest of his friends. Watching people walk by on the sidewalk to his motion-sensored screams every night makes me giggle-snort uncontrollably. If you take the cemetery route in your yard, don’t forget the tombstones and skulls because no Halloween yard cemetery would be complete without those!

sonic man iinao

And Sonic Man eerily warns all unsuspecting guests about something spooky ahead! His jaw moves, his eyes light up, and he spouts spooky warnings all at the command of a moving passerby. Again, patio evening entertainment at its finest as people walk by…for me.

ot mummy rat iinao

Scary little items like this Mummy Rat and skull pop up all over the place to add to the frightfully fun ambiance. It’s super important to weave inexpensive decor that fits your theme inside and out to make the most of the experience and maximize the spooktacular on a budget.

ot halloween witch iinao

No, I’m not fooling myself into thinking this Tree Trunk (or porch fly) Witch is scary. That’s just funny right there, and I like funny, even when I’m trying to be scary. Dig?

ot halloween door iinao

A good entrance to your haunted house is a must. This sets the mood for the fright fest your unsuspecting guests are about to enter. Make it count, but be sure to add a little humor in there too to keep things light if you’re anything like me. Drink up, witches!

ot halloween skeleton iinao

A rattling, hysterically laughing skeleton just outside your door never hurts.

halloween desk iinao

Wow them with your totally mad (and completely affordable) Halloween decorating skills as soon as they walk in the door with simple set ups throughout the house. Get creative with skulls, spiders, bloody cloth, and webs that light up eerily with a well-placed strobe light.

halloween small reaper iinao

This creepy little reaper hanging over the staircase scares the snot out of the kids every morning…SCORE! I should feel guilty about that. I totally don’t.

halloween handprints iinao

The best and final details are typically the most affordable and often the most effective. These bloody handprints leading into our guest bathroom…

bloody feet iinao

Are preceded by these bloody footprints…

halloween blood on floor iinao

That left this crime scene. You’re welcome.

It’s that simple and affordable to have a freakishly haunted Halloween this year. Want to get $250 worth of free affordable Halloween decor from Oriental Trading this year for your fright fest? If you act now, you can when you enter their spooky giveaway.Hurry though…contest ends 10/17/15. Don’t be scared, you have as good a chance as any “body”.

What’s your favorite Halloween decoration? What’s your favorite holiday to decorate for? If you don’t say Halloween, Christmas, or Mardi Gras, we can no longer be ghoulfriends. See what I did right there? Overkill? I can’t help myself. Sorry.

Peace out and Happy Halloween!

It’s Fall! Are Your Kids’ School Uniforms Ready?

If your kids are in need of new school uniforms for fall, don’t go from store to store looking for something in their size, visit FrenchToast.com instead. They sent my babies fall uniforms to facilitate this post and we’re hooked!

French Toast School Uniforms for Fall

School uniforms. They’re a great equalizer and I’m kind of a fan. Well, I’m a fan of equalizing the haves and have nots and the no drama morning outfit debate that I don’t have to deal with, but I’m not a fan of trying to find these uniforms at my limited local stores in the right colors, the right sizes, and the right seasonal attire. Until now. Now that I’ve found French Toast, that hopping from store to store to never find what we needed struggle (the struggle was real, y’all) is over!

French Toast School Uniforms for boys and girls

You see, my babies are tiny, and our weather is crazy on the island this time of the year. By tiny I mean, Bug just turned 9 and she wears a size 7 in clothes, but the pants are way too short, and so are the shorts, so we always get skorts with leggings. Bubby will be 7 (be still my heart) this month, and the little guy is still in a size 5…with elastic waistbands. I have no clue where they get their tiny stature from *ahem* but I hope they grow (literally) out of it one day. Until then, we deal with it. But we don’t have to deal with the endless hours of shopping for ill-fitted school uniforms that aren’t seasonal anymore.

Can I get an…

H

O

R

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Y

Please and thank you?

French Toast Uniforms Benefits

French Toast gets that kids come in different sizes, they get that seasonal uniforms are hard to find since the seasons are so different across the nation, so they accommodate year round with a wide variety of school uniform choices and items that can even help my littles out. I easily found long shorts for Bug (not an easy task since she’s got an itty bitty waist and bean stalk legs) and pleated shorts for Bubby that don’t fall off since they have those adjustable waistlines that I can’t find locally. And even though we don’t need them just yet (hello Houston 90º weather in October), I was able to stock up on long sleeved uniform shirts for both because I can never find them when the cooler temps set in. All without leaving the comfort of my living room (and my laptop).

French Toast Uniforms 3 IINAO

I feel really accomplished, y’all. I’m ahead of the game this year when it comes to the babies’ preparedness and if you’ve been following along at all, you know that’s a really huge deal for me this year! We’re ready for fall (OK, not the cold weather, but everything else), are you? Get the kids school ready for fall and *e-gads* winter with the help of French Toast School Uniforms this year. My kids are ready. Are yours?