Pass It Forward

I am so so super excited to be part of this new project, Pass it Forward brought to us by Ashley of The Shine Project!

Pass It Forward was designed to get people to do little things, everyday, that makes an impact on the community around them. Pass it Forward is designed around a card. Each card is given a unique ID number. Lets say we’re at McDonalds, and I decide to pay for the person behind me in the drive through. I’d give the cashier the card, and tell them to pass it along to the next car when the give them the food that has been paid for. I then go home and log into the website that was on the card, and find my unique ID number. I log into it, and add my information… My first name, city, and a description of what I did….Let’s say the person behind me was you, you would pass it forward to someone else, and then would go home and do the same thing. From the very beginning, you will be able to track where your card goes, and how many people you affect just by doing one simple act of kindness.

I think this project is so great and will have the potential to really impact people’s lives. Everyone gets so involved in what they personally have going on that we often forget about other people who might be going through something that is bigger than anything we have ever had to deal with and maybe, just maybe paying for their gas or groceries or even just a coffee will be the thing that let’s them know they are not forgotten or alone. That might be the very thing that gets them through that tough time.

Thank you Ashley for letting me be part of the launch of this project!!

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Clever Pink Pirate!

I asked my good IRL friend Sara from Clever Pink Pirate to share with all of us some great date ideas on the cheap for Valentine’s day and she obliged! Thanks Sara!!!

Valentines Day is here and some couples go all out with the chocolates, flowers, balloons and fancy dinners but this girl could really care less. It’s not that I am completely against sharing in a romantic holiday with millions of others, I would just prefer to do something a little more personal and a little more simple. Also, my Fiancee and I are on a strict budget so I have been brain storming a few ideas that we could do together. Today I am happy to share these ideas with all of y’all.

A Nice Dinner at Home. This doesn’t have to be another boring night of spaghetti. My friend Sara at MomEndeavors.com shares how to do a cute heart shaped pizza for the whole family with heart shaped pepperoni here . If you are looking for a little bit of a fancier dinner for you and your lover, check out the fondue recipes I found on AllRecipes.com here. Try eating dinner out back under the stars for a little romantic ambiance.

Movie night – in. If you haven’t stopped by a Redbox, you are really missing out. It’s a buck for a one night rental, you really can’t beat that. Combine that with some dinner at home for a romantic night in.

Make a coupon book. I hope these aren’t cliche just yet because I still think they are adorable. Create a coupon book with nice or naughty) things for you and your lover, to give to them to redeem when they wish. You can do a search on the internet or check out this one I found you can print out, so cute! Coupon book!

Plan something for the future. If you aren’t into the whole “Valentines” day thing but don’t want to seem like a grumpy cupid, make your lover a card and include a Groupon deal to use in the future. Everyday sites like Groupon feature deals from adventures such as balloon rides to classes like pottery classes.
Plan a little naughtiness. Okay we’re all adults here. Skip buying dinner or a present and buy yourself (or your woman) some lingerie or maybe a little more and plan a special love attack after the kids go to bed 😉

Okay so spill it, are you into celebrating Valentine’s day? What ways do you make it more personal or save money?

Sara Blake is the mom of two and owner and creator over at CleverPinkPirate where she shares her adventures in living the frugal crafty life. From cheap recipes to quick crafts she shares tutorials and an insight into her clever life. You can also follow her at @CleverPirate on Twitter.

Guest Post – Valentine’s

Today’s guest post is from my friend Nikki over at Southern Mama with a Bad Mouth! Thanks so much Nikki!!

Hi I’m Nikki. I blog over at Southern Mama with a Bad Mouth.

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Being that Valentines Day is right around the corner and that’s all about mushy love and crap. I wanna share some things that I love.

Promise I’ll won’t make it too mushy for y’all.

Android.
My tablet and my phone. 
I love them every much.
oh yeah and cupcakes!
I love my some pretty make-up.
I can’t go a day without putting on something.
So true!
I have to eat me at least 2 bowls a day!
My blog.
and my bloggy friends.
Y’all keep me going sometimes. 
Thanks!
Tattoos.
I love love love them. 
Just wish I had the money for more!
I take donations! LOL.
Holy Pink Batman!
I have had a love affair with pink for some time now.
The hubs knows if he buys me something pink, 
I’ll be happy for days!
Now in true Valentines Day Fashion 
….
….
I love this man right here.
This will be our 4th Valentines day together! 
I love him from the bottom of my heart.
I don’t show him as much love as I should.
He’s amazing.
He works so hard and deserves a hot dinner every day and to be greeted at the door with me in something sexy holding a drink.
Hahaha Maybe one day.
Happy Valentines Day People!

Guest Post – Laura

Hi, my name is Laura Hernandez from Our Reflection! I’m a blogger, a full-time working mom, photographer, and wife to an amazing husband and two beautiful daughters. I’m really excited about swapping blogs with Chrissy today! Thank you for blessing me with the opportunity to guest post here today.


With Valentine’s day right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share a little about our “loves”. Being a photographer I love to share everything in pictures.

1. My first love is God. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:8

2. My Family. My Life. My Everything. 

3. Photography. Here are a few of my personally taken favorites. You can view my entire collection on my blog Laura Hernandez Photography

3. Music. Especially the piano. I want to lean to play someday. “Music says the words we’re to afraid to speak out-loud.”  

4. Bikes. If you know our family, you know we take our bikes with us everywhere. 

5. Starbucks. I have a weakness. Non-Fat Peppermint Mocha weakness.
These are my little “loves”. Thank you Chrissy for letting me share today!
You can come visit my blog here! You can also “Like” me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter and Bloglovin. I love meeting new people and making new friends. 



Blessings,


Happiness is a Choice

I’m sure that we’ve all heard it said that Happiness is a choice but I don’t think everyone chooses to believe this to be true. However, I do. I absolutely believe that while we may not be able to immediately change our situation in life (job, financial status, relationships) we CAN immediately change our outlook.

I don’t always have the best attitude, I know, shocking. I worry about everything…a lot. I don’t always see the things I do have because I am so focused on the things I don’t have. This causes me to be crabby and nobody likes a crabby mama. Believe it. So I am making a conscious choice to be happy. To find happiness in things around me…like these things

It doesn’t cost me a cent to sit and look at the clouds..and how cool is it that this one is shaped like a heart?! It doesn’t cost me a cent to go out back and play with my dog and to watch her run at me full speed with a ball in her mouth and her ears flopping in the wind. To see her eyes light up when I grab that ball and her whole body starts to shimmy cuz her little nub is wagging so fast she can’t control herself…all because Mama is gonna play ball with her! It doesn’t cost me a cent to sit and snuggle with my precious baby girl who is getting so big and soon won’t want to snuggle with her Mama. It doesn’t cost me a cent to sit on the couch with my Hubby after our girls are in bed asleep and just be near each other and talk or snuggle while we watch tv. These are the things that I love the most, the things that don’t cost anything and are the most precious and valuable things on earth.

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Date Night at Home

You know how people always say how important it is to go on dates with your spouse, especially once you have kids. Well sometimes that is just not an option for a variety of reasons. Either you can’t get a sitter, or money is tight or someone is sick or whatever. For us, we don’t get a chance to go out on dates very often, but we try to have dates at home after Princess is asleep. I know we aren’t the only couple who gets in ruts of just sitting around in your pj’s after you put the kids to bed and channel surfing or going online to kill time before bed. ..right? Let’s just pretend you agreed that I am not alone in this!

Hubby and I like to smoke cigars. Not an everyday type of thing, but for us we will enjoy a cigar a couple of times a month. I really enjoy wine, but Hubby is more of a Jack and Coke type guy. Occasionally he will have a glass of wine with me though, especially if its a Moscato! Yum! Anyway, last night we decided to have a little date after Princess was down for the count so we grabbed a bottle of wine, a couple of good cigars and headed to the backyard.

After we bring everything outside, we turn on the ‘twinkle’ lights in the backyard and just sit and chill. We talk about things we want to do in the future or fun things we have done in the past. We have a rule that we don’t talk about kids or problems or anything that would ruin the moment. This is our time to just enjoy being a couple without all the other distractions of daily life as parents and partners. If there is something specific that we are having issues with we will schedule a time that is just the two of us to work through that is not a ‘date’. We have found that really invaluable to make our dates OUR time.

What do you do for at home date nights? Goodness knows we could use some ideas for something new to do when we can’t get away for a date night and find ourselves at home for a date. C’mon, fess up! Help a sister out!

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Marriage Monday: The Beginning of Us

I am going to jump right in with Kirsten from Pure Joy for Marriage Monday! I think this is such a great idea!

I met Hubby on my 25th birthday, in a chat room. How old does that make me sound, seriously?! Anyway, he had just moved to Phoenix from Iowa and didn’t know anyone. I was bored and found myself unattached from gayboy (that is a story for a whole different kind of post though). I wandered into a Phoenix chat room and Hubby started chatting me up. We talked online for a bit and then decided to meet for a lunch date. I know, scandalous!

We met up at a TGIFriday’s in Scottsdale that was half-way between both of our houses. I remember I was wearing a tight black sweater, black a-line skirt and black knee high boots. Totally hot right?! I was a fashion plate back in those days…sigh.

I found Hubby waiting for me so we went in and sat down. Over lunch we talked about our families and what had brought him from Iowa to Arizona. He had been a firefighter back in Iowa and was working on an ambulance now that he had moved here. Hello Mr Fireman! We had a great time on that date and decided to go out again. Our next date I had to cancel because I was sick, but instead of letting me cancel he offered to come over and just hang out with me. Our third date we went to the outlet mall, he wanted to look for a leather jacket. I will never forget this date. We were walking along, happy as you please when all of the sudden, he grabbed my hand! Horrors! I panicked. Seriously. I bolted across the mall to a store and ran inside, luckily it was a store that sold leather jackets so I could try to hide play it off.

After that date, he moved back to Iowa and we didn’t talk much. A few months later, during the summer we started chatting on IM. Then we started talking on the phone, for like 3-4 hours at a time. He decided to come out and see me over Labor Day weekend. I picked him up at the airport and we went back to my parents house so my family could meet him. He tells this part of the story a little differently than I do. He claims it was like walking into an interrogation room with a chair in the center of the room and a giant spotlight on him and my dad, mom, brother, grandmother, aunt and cousins all sitting around the chair to grill him. I remember it this way, I brought him home to my parents house where everyone was waiting to meet him with a little party. Everyone loved him from the start though, and they can be a tough crowd to please. So that was saying something.

We hung out that weekend and when it was time to take him back to the airport I felt a little differently than I had when I picked him up. When he got out of the car at the curbside check in I got teary-eyed. As soon as he walked away I started bawling. What the hell was all this?! That is what I was thinking. I drove over to my friend’s house and she comforted me while I cried for FOUR hours!! Then we ate pizza and laid down to take a nap. When hubby called me to tell me he was home, he told me that when he walked in to the airport he got physically sick having to leave me. Hmm, interesting.

We continued to talk on the phone everyday for hours at a time until I went out to visit him over Halloween. He picked me up at the airport and took me back to his house in Mt Vernon, Iowa. Such an adorable little town. Anyway, he had planned a fantastic date for us that night so we got ready and headed out to a Greek restaurant for dinner. After that we went to a movie, We saw Mystic River with Sean Penn. Totally not a great date movie, btw! After that he took me to the fire station that he volunteered at in Mt Vernon. While we were there, he proposed with a gorgeous princess cut diamond ring. I of course said yes! While I was there, I met his mom and his best friends and tons of other people that he has known his entire life. It was really a great time.

After that, we started making wedding plans and moving plans. There was so much to do! Stay tuned next week for part 2!

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