Today, as I woke up at 7am with my (almost) 10 month old and was watching him through foggy, sleepy eyes as he was playing… I began thinking about how much my life has changed and how different I am as a person now. This reflection led me to realize that I have been influenced and inspired by so many people– actually, every single person that I have ever met. While I was thinking about this I came across an awesome quote:
“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.”
Doesn’t that sum it up perfectly? I’m not just talking about the people who have left great impressions on me and inspired me to be a better person, I am also talking about the less than great people who I have met, at the very least these people have shown me who I do not want to be.
One of my cousins posted a quote on Facebook a few years ago that really made me think… It said, “Live in such a way that those who know you, but don’t know God, will come to know God, because they know you.” Before seeing my cousin post this quote I hadn’t made the connection between her and my renewed relationship with God. There was a period of a few years when I didn’t take care of my relationship with God. I only remembered to pray if something tragic was happening instead of giving thanks to him everyday, it is no coincidence that during the time when I had neglected to care for my relationship with God… I was going through the darkest parts of my life. Upon reconnecting with my family (during the prime of Myspace and the beginning of Facebook) I was inspired to regain my relationship with God and my life has been so much better because of it.
This was just one example of how someone changed my life without knowing it. Another example occurred on a few days when I would get frustrated with my children. On these days I would often run across one of my “mommy” friends posting a story of something they were doing with their children that day. In that moment, I felt like a failure… why was I getting frustrated with my amazing kids when I could be doing something to strengthen our bond? In these moments of failure I learned patience and that being frustrated by life happens to everyone, but it is how you respond to these trials that determines who you are as a person. I have altered my entire parenting style because of these inspiring friends of mine.
Drawing inspiration from negative people is less obvious, but equally important. Have you ever had someone in your life who talked about someone as soon as they left the room? …. I have. They would talk negatively about whoever wasn’t there at the time and then smile and lie to their face when they were present. It takes a lot to not get pulled into this type of behavior, and I’m not saying that I haven’t engaged in this negativity–because I have. I’m not proud of it, but it has led me to realize that whoever has negative things to say about everyone else when they aren’t around… are saying the same negative things about you when you aren’t around too. But why? Why waste time focusing on the negative in people? Wouldn’t it be more productive and rewarding to focus on the good in people? Why is it so much harder to do that? I am still working on this, but I have made such great strides in this area that I refuse to turn back now :)
…I haven’t told most people about the impact that they have had on my life, but I hope that when someone sees something good in me– they are able to attribute a portion of it to their own character and realize the impact they have had on me.
I’m going to be honest…a lot of my “creativity” with my kids comes from pinterest. Most of the fun little things we do together originated from someone else thinking the idea was great enough to share (pin). I will always do my best to credit my sources, and for this particular activity all of the credit goes to Meet the Dubiens.
This bathtub paint kept my two toddlers entertained for HOURS! Aside from the occasional battle over which colors belonged to who, this was a great activity for young kids. I just slapped their bathing suits on and let them do their thing! They didn’t even realize I was brushing them up on their colors and shapes along the way ;)
You will need:
Baby Shampoo (clear)
Baby Food Jars (or other small, air-tight containers)
In a large bowl, take 1 cup of baby shampoo and combine it with 4 tablespoons of cornstarch. Mix well and spread into your small containers. I had two boxes of different food colorings so I put less of the mixture in each jar in order to give the kids more colors to chose from. Once the mixture is in your containers, simply add ONE drop of food coloring into each and mix well. One drop of food coloring is plenty and doesn’t stain the tub ;)
When it comes to online learning, there are a few things I wish everyone knew. When I refer to “everyone” I am speaking about students, teachers and even myself when I first began taking classes.
1.) NETIQUETTE! you’ve never heard of it??! Netiquette is the idea that you should speak in a careful and respectful manner to all of those that you associate with on the net. If you really think about it, how many times have you thought that someone was yelling at you when they type in ALL CAPS? Or how many times have you capitalized a statement when texting or using Facebook in order to emphasize your point? But this is just ONE example (see what I did there?) Another part of netiquette is carefully choosing your words. People you are interacting with online cannot hear the tone of your voice when you write something; therefore, the words you choose are incredibly important. I am only a sophomore at FIT but I have interacted with several PROFESSORS who didn’t abide by the unwritten netiquette rule and it left me feeling as though my professor was unapproachable and if we contacted them in any way– then we were bothering them. How excited would you be about that class? Not too excited, huh?
2.) Dont put off your work until Sunday! …Or whatever day it is due. I know life gets in the way and when something isn’t due until Sunday it is really hard to start it on Monday. However, there WILL be a class in your future where the weekly due date is mid-week and you will find yourself struggling to break those old habits. I am going through this in my current term. After two years of Sunday due dates…. I now have TWO classes where my discussion board postings are due on Wednesday! That means on average I have to read FOUR CHAPTERS in less that 72 hours in order to submit my best work. My inner laziness is battling me as we speak…. I should be reviewing lectures and here I am…. blogging ;)
3.) KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS! If you REALLY suck at math… take math by itself. Dropping to part-time temporarily is better than failing the class and having to pay for it out-of-pocket… trust me on this one. If there is absolutely no way that you can drop to part-time you should definitely take advantage of tutoring services if they are offered. That’s one thing that’s great about my online college, we have online tutoring service available to students– of course I did not take advantage of this when I failed my math class but I really wish that I had.
4.) DON’T MARK THE INSIDE OF YOUR BOOKS! Seriously. Don’t highlight…. take notes in a separate notebook. Write the answers to your practice exams in a separate notebook. Why? Because you can sell your used books when you’re done with them!! The best thing for a broke college student was the invention of half.com. The better condition your book is in, the more money you can get for it. Another benefit of half.com is that you can buy some of your books there instead of paying full price for the new books at school. I would recommend talking to your advisor before buying your book through a used-book site though. Sometimes the textbooks can include discs that are required for the class and can only be used once. If the person that you bought your used book from has already used the disc, then you will need to buy it separately… which can set you behind if you were unprepared for that. I love making money off of books that would just be sitting on the bookshelf collecting dust.
5.) RATE YOUR PROFESSORS! There are websites like Professor Performance and Rate My Professors where you can grade your instructors. You might think that these professors don’t check their grades on these websites, but c’mon… wouldn’t you?? I don’t mean rate your professor badly if they gave you a bad grade…. likely your bad grades have something to do with your poor quality of work. What I mean is let people know what kind of professor they will be getting if they elect to take one of their classes. For instance, when I had the rude and seemingly unapproachable professor I rated them accordingly. You could be saving another student from an undesirable classroom experience. Alternatively, rate your great professors positively! They deserved to be recognized for their hard work and dedication to you and your education. Rating an inspiring professor well can encourage other students to take their class. Do your part, but do it honestly.
….I’ll be adding to this list as time goes on– I’m sure there are points that I would like to make but are slipping my mind at the moment. Stay tuned, but feel free to post what you wish people knew about attending college in the comments section below!
To get this section of the blog off to a delicious start I decided to feature these delicious Chocolate Pumpkin Bars that I made for Thanksgiving. Personally, I don’t care for pumpkin pie but I always find myself making one in order to please everyone else at the table. This year since we were attending a “pot-luck” Thanksgiving with my mother-in-laws family, I decided to spice it up a little. I was lucky enough to catch this recipe on The Today Show (with Kathy Lee and Hoda) and now I will be making these bars every. single. year.
Here is the recipe!
Recipe: Chocolate pumpkin bars
credit: Jansen Chan
Ingredients (Chocolate Bottom)
- 5 ounces chocolate, unsweetened
- 2 ounces chocolate, bittersweet
- 4 ounces butter
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flour
Ingredients (Pumpkin Topping)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 6 eggs
- 1 ounce chocolate, bittersweet, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9″ x 13″ baking pan by greasing the inside and placing a parchment paper or piece of foil that covers the bottom and two sides of the pan, with enough hangover to reach past the height of the pan. Over a pot of simmering water, melt the two chocolates and butter. Off the heat, add cocoa and sugar. Stir. With a whisk, add an egg one at a time. Add salt. Add flour and stir to combine. Spread over the bottom of the prepared pan very evenly. Reserve for pumpkin topping.
For pumpkin topping: In a bowl, combine cream cheese and pumpkin. Add sugar, salt, and spices and stir to combine. Add an egg, one at a time, and continue stirring until smooth and even. Pour mixture directly on the uncooked chocolate layer. With a spoon or piping bag, drizzle melted chocolate on top of pumpkin layer in rows. Using a sharp knife drag lines in opposite directions, across the melted chocolate.
Bake bars for 45 minutes or until puffy in the center. Allow to cool. Remove from pan and cut while chilled.
Serving Size: Serves 10 to 12
Hey there! Welcome to my blog that will have you laughing at my attempt to juggle life :) This blog will not only share my experiences but I will also share recipes, interesting tidbits from my classes, craft tutorials, activities for kids, and so much more!
First- here is a little bit about myself…
I am a mother of 3 beautiful, smart, and crazy kids. My oldest son, MJ is 4 years old. He is the smartest and most kind-hearted child that I have ever met in my life. Next is my only daughter, Kaydence who is 2 years old (almost 3!) and truly believes that she is a princess. She is strong-willed, independent and already knows she will be a “Big Star!” Finally is my youngest son, Jacob. At only 9 months old his smile is infectious and he is the happiest baby in the world. I am married to a wonderful man who has brought out the best in me and I am incredibly thankful for him and the family that we have created together.
In addition to running my household, I am also a full-time student at Florida Institute of Technology. I am currently in the process of obtaining my bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Advocacy. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that because I attend on-line college that I am somehow taking a short-cut to my degree– the workload of my classes are equivalent to an “on campus” experience.
As if being a full-time mother, wife, and student weren’t enough I am also self-employed as a shop owner on ETSY. Doing crafts provides a creative outlet for me and also allows me to bring in additional income (which never hurts with 3 growing children!) When adjusting to life as a stay at home mom I initially believed that I would have endless amounts of time on my hands to run my shop but I have quickly learned that is not the case. During the Christmas season I found myself staying up until 4am working on orders, waking up at 7am with an infant and using every spare moment (that my children allowed) working on constructing my customers holiday orders… all of this was in addition to my school work and household responsibilities.
I hope at this point that you understand just how busy I am and the truth is… I have only scratched the surface. I try to find humor in every situation and I look forward to sharing my hectic, hilarious, AMAZING life with you! My hope is that someone out there gets a good laugh and maybe even finds the inspiration to take on just ONE more task ;)