I’m going to create a category called “dear readers” where I can be transparent and raw with my feelings and experiences for a moment. A way to release all that does not serve me in a positive way. I would like to reveal a vulnerable side of myself to better connect with all that follow this blog.
But as well, I would like to write these to share with my children one day.
I’ve reached a point where I desperately need to express and empty in writing all these unresolved emotions and “traumas” that I have been carrying for many years. I do not wish to past these to my children. But I hope to gain solutions and euphonies to help them when they face these obstacles one day.
I’m not really into your typical therapy. Talking about it can only do so much for me. Writing and reading are my therapy. I have to write it all down. I have think about it. I have to soak myself in emotion and words and allow myself to shiver.
It’s a puzzle that I know only I can truly solve.
Since childhood writing has always been a therapeutic tool for me. A way to strip the emotional pain or negative emotions from myself.
It’s always been a processing tactic for me. The only thing was, I would write it all down and then just completely ignore what I wrote. Well I’m older now and instead of ignoring the problems after I write I’m digging deeper for discoveries to better myself.
Writing was the release…..but as my love for reading has grown I also know how reading others writings can encourage and help others. Which is why I decide to share and write what I do on this blog.
My mom was in an abusive relationship during a good chunk of my childhood. Lots of screaming and crying behind closed doors. And I would hear her get thrown around often behind those closed doors. I know they didn’t want to fight in front of us, but our ears provided plenty of visuals.
This could be where my love for writing stemmed from honestly. I would write as they would be fighting. Expressing my hate for my stepdad. I would write prayers for help. It was all so sad really. The most vivid memories of this are from ages 9, maybe 8 to 14.
I know it was sad because there was a moment where I sat down (I’m thinking early 20s) and read those old childhood journals and it disturbed me so much that I didn’t want to remember any of those memories ever again. So I destroyed those journals.
But just because the words are destroyed doesn’t mean the actual memories are erased. My body still remembers.
Being much older now and developing a more sense of self I regret destroying those time capsules. Because now I’m really trying to heal myself to be a better mother to my children and those journals were like a cheat sheet to healing.
And now it’s like playing a guessing game. Something will trigger me and I’m sitting there left and confused, pondering it all day.
Truth be told I thought I was completely fine and “happy”. It wasn’t until I had children that all my repressed emotions began to expose themselves like weeds during a rainy season.
There’s a great part of me that sometimes feels overwhelmed, like now for example. Where I have to sit in a puddle of feels and just think about it.
It’s like, thinking you aced a test and then getting your test back and seeing that you failed. Sometimes I feel/think like “I’m healed, I’m good. I’m past it all.” I think that I can officially move forward and then I’ll have a humbling moment (usually provided to me by my kids) and I’m left dumbfounded. I’ve been shown that my emotions from my past are still greatly controlling me. That the work is definitely not complete.
It’s extremely frustrating. Parenting. Having “screw up” moments is really hard. Putting your tail between your legs in front of your children is super hard.
You want to be the best mother for your children however life shows you that you’re still a child yourself and that you’ve got lots of growing to still do.
Anyways, today I share and tell and I’m looking forward to sharing more.
I came across Janes story on Instagram just a few years ago. It’s amazing how fast time flies. I was on Instagram and she popped up in my “similar accounts you follow” I happened to watch her Instagram story and on her story that day she was sharing this loss that she experienced a few years ago. It was so raw and I could feel the emotions. I had no idea who this woman was but I could feel her pain and sorrow. Her story completely pulled at my heart strings. I was instantly pushed into the present. Her strength is admirable and she gives hope to so many who have or will face something difficult in their life. Her story is a reminder on how precious and fragile this life is. And when storms come, the rainbows will guide us.
This story has been shared by given permission.
Stories To Share: “Spreading Sunshine For Jaylen”
It was September 21, 2013, we were headed to my sisters house to celebrate my son Jaylen, second birthday. He was turning 2 on September 25.
My sister had a swimming pool and we loved to swim, especially living in Texas with the heat, so we planned a pool party. It was just my family (husband and two kids) and my sisters family (husband and three kids) who were there. An intimate party with just family. Everyone was having so much fun, the kids played in the pool for a few hours. It was getting time for dinner so we started getting cleaned up, got the kids out of the pool and headed inside for dinner.
Shortly after dinner, my sister and I started cleaning up so we could sing to Jaylen and have birthday cake. I watched Jaylen walk outside and sit on his dad’s lap. A few moments later I looked outside and saw that Jaylen was not on his dads lap anymore so I immediately walked outside and asked Mike where Jaylen had gone. He mentioned that he had followed his brother Ian, who had just walked by, to the garage.
Our lives changed forever that night because Jaylen had not followed his brother to the garage, instead he found his way to the pool (steps from my husband) and lost his life that night. It was a matter of seconds that he was out of our sight. No splashing or screaming. No crazy loud night with distracted parents. An extremely peaceful, calm, enjoyable night that turned tragic.
Since that day life has never been the same. Trying to navigate life after losing a child is absolutely the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Many nights I would sob, wondering how I would make it to the next day. I distinctly remember nights pleading to God to help me through to the next day because I didn’t know how I could go on. Miraculously, little by little, day by day, slowly putting one foot in front of the other, life became manageable again, although never the same.
Days after losing Jaylen, a family member had the idea to “Spread Sunshine” on Jaylen’s behalf. It’s started out as family and friends spreading sunshine to our family, which warmed our hearts during such a tragic time. Since then, our family has continued “Spreading Sunshine for Jaylen”. Each September, we do random acts of kindness in honor of our son, sharing a card with his story on it, hoping others will pass the kindness along to others. In a time that can be extremely hard, it has brightened our month by continuing this beautiful act of kindness in honor of Jaylen.
We are now about to enter our eighth year without our son. It’s hard to believe we have made it this far, but on our journey, we have been blessed to find so much beauty along the road. When you experience something so tragic, you can’t help but see life through a different lens, and what a gift each and every day is. Live life to the fullest, love harder, cherish the moments because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
Jane GarnerRodan+Fields Consultant
If you have a story that you would like to share please contact ‘The Wild Gems’ . You can always remain anonymous as well. I believe sharing our stories has the power to not only heal ourselves but others as well. We need to always be reminded and to remind others that we are never alone and that love continues and will continue to push through even the darkest of moments.
Here is a list of healthier snack options for whatever the need be. Whether it’s for you or your children you’ll be sure to find some good snack choices!
1. Sliced Apples With Peanut Butter Or Almond Butter
Apples are rich in fiber which means they are filling! Also a great snack for a child who may have a little constipation. When it comes to peanut butter stick with natural (check the ingrediants) some peanut butters have added sugars which is what you want to avoid. The apple has enough good sugar in it. If you’re not much of a peanut butter person almond butter is another great option that taste great on apple slices.
2. Multigrain Toast With Nutella, sliced strawberries and chia seeds
This is one of our favorites in our home. This makes for a great snack or hearty breakfast. The chia seeds is an added dose of fiber for your little to keep them full longer.
4. Sliced cucumbers; lightly salted
A little salt brings out the flavor. You can also take the cucumbers and serve it with a dip. Or on some avocado toast like the picture above! My kiddos love ranch. Some like to peel the skin I prefer to give them a good scrub and just slice them with the skin on. Most of the nutrients are found in, you guessed it, the skin.
Some kids like them, some kids don’t. Try it out and see how they react! I forgot all about raisins until my kids came home with them from school. Obviously they weren’t too interested since they came home with them.
Yum. A snack I often forget about, but what a great snack! And if you ask me, highly addicting! Refrain from eating strait out of the bag and just put a handful in a bowl or small jar.
7. Beef Jerky
A great school snack for lunch time. Full of protein and something that keep you full until your next meal. There are so many different kinds and types. Beef jerky can be expensive, but if you ask me you get what you pay for when it comes to jerky. If you can afford to pay a little extra for the good stuff it’s worth it.
8. Dates or Prunes
Believe it or not one of my daughters LOVES prunes and dates. I tell her though she can’t too much though, otherwise she’ll have diarrhea. Am I lying?
9. Crackers (look for wheat or multigrain)
There are so many crackers to choose from. Specifically look for multigrain or wheat. Eat them plain or load them up with meat and cheese, peanut butter, hummus, tuna, whatever your little heart desires!
10. String cheese
String cheese is a child favorite. It’s delicious and it’s just fun! Who doesn’t enjoy pulling it apart and dangling it in your mouth like it’s spaghetti. I’m not the only one, right?
This is great snack for on the go or lunches. Protein and fiber in a little nut. Eat them plain or flavor it up! Have you tried the wasabi and soy sauce ones!? So good!
12. Popcorn (lightly salted or buttered)
People forget about popcorn. As long as it is not saturated in butter and salt then it’s not that bad of a snack. We enjoy the smart food popcorn or just the lightly salted pop secret.
13. Trail mix
This was one of my favorite snacks back in the day. I actually don’t buy this too often because my kids right now will just pick out the m&m’s and leave the rest. Those little stinkers.
14. Yogurt/yogurt parfaits
Eat it plain, make a smoothie, make a parfait, mix it with fruit, granola, we love yogurt!
Perfect snack for school lunches. Opt for sugar free if you can. Add a little cinnamon, that’s our favorite.
15. Carrot sticks
Love me some carrot sticks! My kids enjoy dipping them in ranch! I’m always telling them it’s good for your eyes! Which they are! Carrots sticks are a great school lunch snack.
16. Celery sticks
I’m not going to lie, I’ve never really enjoyed celery sticks. But my husband likes them and so does one of my daughters. I know eating them with peanut butter is popular among the cool kids.
17. Chopped up fruit like strawberries, canalope, watermelon
Spice it up a little and add some tajin! If you’ve never tried tajin seasoning you need to try it. Or put a little whip cream on the fruit. Another thing to try is a yogurt dip. Of course eating them plain is good too.
“They help you poop.” I’m constantly saying this to convince them to eat their blueberries. My girls usually eat them as it but they are also yummy mixed with chopped strawberries. What a fun idea too to put them in an ice cream cone!
19. Sweet potato chips
When you’re craving something salty and crunch these make a great snack to curve that craving. And I believe this is something your child can get away with taking to school for sure! Store bought or try making them yourself!
20. Veggies straws
Another salt and crunchy snack to satisfy the craving. Light and airy. My kids love these. Preferably the ranch flavor. Usually found in the chip aisle at the grocery store.
Such a yummy salty snack. I like to put Nutella on the side for my girls or peanut butter. We also love DOTS highly addicting pretzels or the cheddar flavored ones. So good.
I like to make homemade granola. And my kids typically eat granola like they do cereal. They love when I make granola. I like that I get to control the content. Incredibly filling and great for constipation.
23. Chex Mix
Try making a Chex mix yourself! Get the kids involved! Homemade muddie buddies are so good!
24. Wasabi peas (if you can handle them)
These are so good! Might be more of a snack for you than your kids though. They have kick!
25. Ritz crackers with peanut butter
Another fan favorite. Perfect for on the go and I can count on it to fill my kids stomach. Make them yourself or let your child do it. Make it into a fun activity.
Red or green. Which do you prefer? I know some parents like to put the grapes in the freezer. They say it taste like candy. You be the judge!
27. Avocados slices with everything bagel seasoning or soy sauce
So simple. So delicious. You don’t even need bread. Soy sauce also taste great. My two year old loves avocado slices with a little bit of soy sauce. Try it out !
28. Dried fruit such as mangos
Yum! Can’t get enough of dried mango! Perfect for snack time, lunches, or even car rides!
My go-to when I want to get some veggies in my kids. I also tend to sneak spinach in their somewhere and they don’t even notice. Or what I also love to throw in is avocado. It’s creates such a creamy texture. It’s delicious.
30. Banana chips
Buy them or make them yourself! I’ve never made them, but they can’t be that hard right? Right????
31. Peanut butter on a spoon
Sometimes you just gotta keep it simple. My kids love peanut butter on a spoon and I did as well when I was a kid.
32. Frozen banana pops
Break a banana in half, insert popsicle sticks, and freeze! If you really want to get creative you can dip in peanut butter or chocolate.
I never considered oatmeal a snack but I guess it could be! My girls love strawberry and banana flavored oatmeal.
34. Hard boiled eggs
Have you ever had a hard boiled egg with everything bagel seasoning! This snack is full of protein and fun for the kids. What I mean by fun is kids enjoy picking the hard shell off. Snack time meet sensory activity. Win win lol!
Lunch meat once was one of my favorite snacks. I use to love bologna. Although being older I don’t eat it now I do enjoy turkey or ham and my kids do too. I’ll cut it in strips and let them eat it as is. They seem to enjoy it.
What’s funny about pickles is I couldn’t stand them before but once I became pregnant I grew a love for them. I love pickles now. Strange right? Pickles don’t have to be just a snack you get at Disneyland!
There are so many different types of hummus dips you’ll be sure to find one your kiddo likes. Serve it them with some grainy crackers and fresh veggies.
39. Peanut butter and banana quesadillas
You know, I’ve never tried this. But I keep hearing good things. I need to make this!
40. Half of a Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Make your child a full sandwich. Cut in half. Pack one for school and the other half can be eaten after school. No food wasted.
My husband loves to snack on olives. I personally can’t eat them plain. On pizza, sure! A pasta? Yum!
42.Frozen fruit pops (check the sugar content)
So many different types of fruit pops. I think this would be a great after school treat. Save it for Friday’s!
Typically we only eat these when we go out for sushi. But this is a great healthy snack to eat after school or whenever!
44. Baby Bell peppers with dip
45. Multi grain bread toasted with some unsalted butter (a little sugar and cinnamon – optional) and some sliced bananas
46. Cottage cheese
Honestly, I don’t eat cottage cheese. It’s the smell or texture….I just can’t. However my husband enjoys this and I know many others do as well which is why it’s on the list. I think many people eat it with fruit preserves.
47. Tuna Melts
This was my ultimate favorite childhood snack. Tuna, cheddar cheese, and tomato! So good!
48. Fig bars
Filling, delicious, full of fiber, a great snack that doesn’t make much of a mess either. Score!
When I was in grade school there was a girl who alway brought kiwi to school. I thought it was so pretty, the vibrant green. But my mom never got kiwi I have no idea why. Kiwi is so delicious! My girl love them! Eat them with a spoon, squeeze the fruit out, or slice it up.
50. Pretzel nuggets filled with peanut butter
I forgot about these! The little pretzel nuggets are a fan favorite! These are great for the lunch boxes or a snack after school.
If you have another healthy snack in mind please comment and let us know!
This amount of frosting is good for 24 cupcakes or a 9×13 size cake. There may be a little extra just to eat! Yum!
What You Need:
1 8oz pack of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup (1stick) of unsalted butter (softened)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
A small squeeze of a lemon (optional)
1. Combine all ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl except for the lemon. Mix well until smooth and creamy.
2. Now take the lemon and squeeze just a little bit of lemon juice to give the frosting a sweet tangy taste. Mix well. Taste, and add more if needed.
3. Spread on cupcakes, muffins, breads, whatever your little heart desires.
Note: store any left over frosting in the fridge. Frosting is good for 3-5 days.
If it’s looking like this picture below the cream cheese or butter may not have been softened enough. No worries though! Just let the frosting sit out for a bit. Then mix again with an electric mixture.
I let it sit out and then we re-mixed it. Smooth and creamy, just what we wanted!
To my daughters; Demi, Ella, Wrenn. I love you girls so much. I scribbled these pieces in a notebook awhile back and I decided to share these and make it accessible to others who may need a little piece of advice.
May each of you continue to notice the lights in your life, always.
Pay attention to children. Study them and watch them with great intent. They will remind you how to live.
Always appreciate your surroundings. Compared to another, you may be living a dream.
Create friendships that will last a lifetime. Cherish that best friend you have, those kinds of friendships are like finding treasure.
It’s more than okay to cry in front of others, don’t ever be embarrassed.
Keep this in mind, “this to shall pass.” The bad things, and the good things. Embrace it. Enjoy it.
Cut the distractions and enjoy the moment.
Always respect yourself. You are so worth it, never doubt that.
You are not merely words, you are poetry.
Life will disappoint you sometimes, and you are never alone in that disappointment. What are you going to do about it?
Falling in love is worth it.
Think before you speak. Words stain like lipstick.
Don’t judge others. Just don’t. Everyone has a story and everyone has value.
Stick with the people who make you belly-ache laugh.
Love is a choice, choose love, always.
Scary moments will arise, but you can do it. Have faith in yourself, have faith in others.
Help whenever you notice the opportunity, but be cautious. Please don’t pick up hitchhikers.
Read. Read. Read. Gain knowledge and understanding. The world needs that.
Your body is perfect. Absolutely perfect and full of magic. Believe it.
Never lose sight of who you are, stay true to yourself.
Love God with all of your heart. Nobody loves you the way God does.
Get outside every chance you get and BREATHE. Close your eyes and just breathe.
Write whenever you can. Write your ideas, your dreams, things you have learned. Share it and pass it on.
Give gifts for no reason. One simple way to show another how much you value and treasure them. But the best gift is your time and attention.
Mama says use your manners but also eat with your hands and burp. It’s good for you.
Forgive yourself. Mistakes are going to happen. And when you begin reflecting, forgive yourself.
Dream big. Not everyone gets to the dream (or maybe they do) but you know what, most of the fun is the actual dreaming.
Have fun and get muddy.
Listen to others. You can hear and not be listening. Listen to what someone is saying.
Count your blessings, and count them often.
Tell the ones you love them, ALL THE TIME.
Learn about space. It’s a little terrifying, but absolutely miraculous.
Grudges are not good for the soul. Let it go baby, let it go. Practice forgiveness.
Cake for breakfast, why not? Sometimes you eat dessert first.
Be highly conscious what you are feeding your body and your soul. But make exceptions. Some day are for movies and pure comfort food.
No one is a mind reader. Steer from making assumptions and learn to talk it out.
Practice independence. It will benefit you.
You could be a billionaire or millionaire and still be unhappy. “The best things in life cannot be seen or touched but only felt with the heart.” Helen Keller.
Swallow your pride and say sorry when you need to.
You make an impact every single day. Even the days you don’t get out of bed.
Explore. Travel. NOTICE the world. There is so much beauty even in your front yard.
Cherish time, because you don’t get it back. But then again, you kind of do, just in a different way. A smell can make you time travel.
Be yourself, always. Because there is nobody who will ever be you. So embrace who you are, you beautiful creature!
Embrace your path. Comparing will only make you lose focus. You have your own purposes in this life.
Practice calmness verse becoming angry. Breathe in, breathe out. I know its hard, I know. But you are stronger than you believe.
Be a hostess, and host often. And it’s okay to go to bed and clean up the next day. Pay attention to who helps though and offers to clean up.
“I hope you dance.” by Faith Hill. Listen to that song and when you become a mom one day you’ll really understand it. I love you.
Don’t go looking for trouble, but get in a little trouble. It’s fun. Some trouble is worth it.
Let your voice be heard. You have so much to say and so much to share. You will inspire and change the world. You’ve completely changed mine.
Don’t surrender to peer pressure. If you are ever in a situation where you are feeling pressured, get out. That’s a red flag.
Fight back what you are passionate about. You’ve always had the fire. Don’t let anyone dim your light.
Don’t believe everything you hear. Ask questions or just smile. Take it with a grain of salt. And don’t things too personally. How a person treats you is a reflection on how they treat themselves. Show compassion.
Don’t ignore your intuition. But if you do, learn from it.
If you don’t want anyone to find out, there’s a good chance you shouldn’t be doing it.
Don’t be afraid to come across as foolish. Ask the questions, be the first, remain curious, try new things, and laugh at yourself.
Walk in light, be a light for others, and help others shine.
Be patient with yourself. A tree doesn’t grow that tall and give that much shade over night.
Go through your things often, and donate whatever you can. You can survive with less than you may believe.
Love life. Love it all. The bad and good. I mentioned this in number 14. Choose love over fear.
Never forget how much your parents really do love you. You are what gave them life.
Once you figure out how easy this is the possibilities are endless!
I’m so excited to try more flavors and to really get creative!
Let’s just get to it shall we.
All You Need Is (for this specific pop-tart)
• premade pie crust
• smuckers natural strawberry fruit spread
• The egg white of ONE egg (all you do is brush this over the pastry before popping into the oven)
• Cookie Icing
Maybe one of these days I’ll try making these with homemade dough and icing but I don’t have time! Do you!? This method of using store bought and pre-made makes this super easy, especially with your kids!
This is something fun then can make by themselves too! With adult supervision with the oven of course.
4IngredientBaked Pop-Tarts with pictures
Step 1. Follow steps on the pre-made dough, on the box of dough I bought it said to roll out and let rise for 20 mins.)
– once dough is ready, cut out the size of rectangles you wantand as many as you want (doesn’t need to be perfect).
– in this picture there are 6 rectangles which will make 3 pop -tarts.
Put a dollop amount of strawberry spread onto the rectangles. However many you are making you want to make sure each rectangle has a plain one to go on top.
Place a plain rectangle of dough onto each rectangle with strawberry spread. And seal each pastry with a fork. Poke some holes on top with a toothpick.
Brush egg white wash all over the pastries. (whisk egg white a little before brushing)
(I made these with my girls so they aren’t the prettiest but I’m sure if you have time you can do a nicer job!)
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes (oven time may vary) allow to cool
First, I just want to say this is a super easy DIY. And I don’t know why but I felt it to be kind of soothing pulling out the jean threads.
Anyways, I had a pair of black jeans with a little bit of white paint on them and because of that white paint they just became dormant in my drawer.
I have no idea what prompted me to pull them out and to decide to do something with them but here we are.
(I can be very impulsive. Sometimes I’ll decide I want bangs so I grab scissors and cut.)
I cut a big hole in the blacks jeans and thought, well, this looks stupid. I better YouTube this.
And I learned how to make your own ripped jeans! Honestly, it makes sense why they charge an arm and leg for ripped jeans when you buy them. It’s really easy but it’s a bit tedious.
Let this be your craft for the month!
DIY RIPPED JEANS – All YOU NEED IS SCISSORS, A STEAK KNIFE, AND TWEEZERS
Step 1: Identify where on your jeans you want to place holes or distressed marks.
(Tip: Try on yours pants, and mark with chalk if needed.)
Step 2: (for just a distressed look) Take your steak knife and run the steak knife side to side on parts of the waste, tops of the pockets, and a few random spots on your jeans.
Step 3: To achieve the “ripped look” take your scissors and cut horizontal lines where you want the holes to be. One horizontal line on top of another.
Step 4: (this is the soothing yet tedious part. Turn on some Netflix) take your tweezers and begin pulling the vertical jean threads out, so eventually all that will be left are the white threads in the middle.
THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO DO THIS, GET CREATIVE AND HAVE FUN WITH IT.
This is the perfect lunch or dinner when you need something quick and super easy!
When the husband approves, it’s a win and worth sharing.
Although, I can’t really take full credit for this. I was inspired by this salad I get every so often at this restaurant in town. Unfortunately I don’t get to eat out often and enjoy it as much as I’d love to because I have 3 little ones that take up a lot of time and energy!
Sometimes you have to improvise when you can’t get your hands on the real deal. But sometimes you come up with something even better! And easier!
Honestly, it’s just buying stuff at the grocery store and combing it all to get this delicious salad full of flavor.
I’m sharing with you all this easy recipe you can make at home that everyone will love.
You won’t feel guilty after eating, perfect for enjoying outside in some nice weather, and pairs well with sangria!
Ultimate Rotisserie Chicken Caesar Salad
Serves 4-6 people
(Takes less then 30 mins to prepare)
What you need:
One rotisserie chicken
1 box of suddenly pasta – Caesar flavor
1/2 can of black olives chopped finely
1/2 can of pinto beans
1 bag of Caesar salad kit
1/2 to 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 large ripe avocado chopped
1 bottle of your favorite Caesar dressing (you will not use the whole bottle)
Dried cherries or sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
(What to look for)
(You only need one large bowl)
Prepare pasta as it says on the box (include the seasonings)
Add the chopped olives and pinto beans to the tricolor pasta and add the Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Add more Parmesan cheese if desired.
Add the lettuce from the salad and the other ingredients included such as the seasoning, croutons, cheese. Mix with the pasta salad
Add the Caesar dressing from the salad packet (add additional Caesar salad dressing till you get your desired flavor- careful not to add too much dressing)
Top with cracked pepper, chopped avocado, and sundried cherries or tomatoes.
(I don’t have dried cherries or sun-dried tomatoes on this salad below only because I didn’t have any on hand)