Friday, February 15, 2019

National Caregiver Day

I have been slacking on my posts with the crazy weather and the kids home from school, but decided to do a post because it is National Caregiver's Day and wanted to talk about my experience.

When Ray was sick I heard so often, "I don't know how you do it?!" To me this wasn't even a question. When I married him I vowed through sickness and health and doesn't everyone do that for someone they love? Married or not? I watch some of my friends take care of their children or a sick parent. You do it because you love them.

Is it hard? Absolutely! It is the most draining thing you can do. You want so badly to make everything better and you can't. You can only help them through whatever it is they are going through. Emotionally I was a mess watching him deteriorate.

You don't do it for recognition and I never wanted pity. I didn't want people to feel sorry for me...I wasn't sick. I didn't want attention for it because it was something you just do.

Did I feel guilt about some of the things I did while being a caregiver...yes. I remember making him walk longer distances than he should have at times because I felt like it would keep his strength up. I made him go into the store one time with me to pick up scripts because I thought he should do something "normal". I look back and feel incredible guilt about doing these things. At the time I felt they were things that needed to be done so he wasn't giving up and would keep him strong. Now I look at it as me wanting him to have been those things at those times.

Your days as a caregiver are spent taking care of that person. I remember having to be up at a certain time every day to remove his food bag or go to bed at a certain time to put it on. I had to clean tubes and bags, etc. Make multiple slurpee runs a day because that was one of the few things he was able to tolerate. I remember constantly cleaning everything, driving to and from appts, picking up scripts, and trying to be an emotional support all while struggling too.

As a caregiver remember to take time for yourself. You can easily get lost in taking care of the other person and putting your own emotional needs aside. I remember huge guilt leaving town for a few days and him ending up in the hospital at the same time. I think it was a good break looking back because when I came home he was put on hospice and it just got tougher from that point. You can't take care of anyone else if you aren't taken care of.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Spring Cravings- Shoe Edition

I shared these on my Instagram the other night, but decided to do a whole post dedicated to them because they are currently on sale till today!! If you spend $40 on shoes or clothes (men, women, or kids) you take $10 off. This is one of the sales I wait for to stock up.

Truth be told, I was never a Target shopper for myself (clothes or shoes) but in the last year or so that has changed. With the introduction of new brands and styles I do end up buying myself stuff here and there. I like buying shoes at Target because styles change so quickly I don't like to spend too much on shoes. They also sell a lot of "dupe" shoes for a fraction of the price. 

The Cat and Jack brand shoes for kids have a year warranty. Last year I bought a pair for Lily that fell apart the first time she wore them and they didn't even ask any questions and just exchanged them. I always buy the girl's shoes at Target because they again have good prices and are usually on trend. 

I am linking all my favorites below, all you have to do is click the photo to go straight to the item and shop! I added a few more since I did this post on Instagram last week so check the shop the post below to see all my picks! Last time I did a shoe post the boot sold out super quickly and wasn't now is the time to grab a deal and some new spring/summer shoes before they sell out!

Shop the Post!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Pops of pink--casual valentine's day look

I wanted to share these adorable pink slides that add just the perfect amount of color to any outfit. I absolutely love pairing them with an all black outfit or black and white to give it a punch. When I originally put this outfit together to shoot for this post, they were in stock at the original retailer and I had found an almost exact pair at another retailer. Now they are almost sold out from where I bought them and sold out at the other retailer. I did find some other similar pairs to link. I always try my best to shoot outfits for the blog that are completely in stock or I can find very similar items to link but this one was tough. The sunglasses were in store purchase (Target) and those I couldn't find to link anymore either. Maybe the heart and Valentine's Day attire is just selling fast!

This casual Valentine's Day outfit is just my style. I don't usually do much for Valentine's Day besides work at my kid's party (I am always class mom) and then usually take them out. This is the perfect outfit for that kind of day. 

I chose this location to shoot this post because it is right in front of a new pastry shop that just opened up in Downtown Detroit called Cannelle. I planned to shoot in front of this cute Lovers Only restaurant (I mean because I am wearing a heart shirt and shooting a Valentine's Day look) and because maybe I could check out this new pastry shop after. They serve all sorts of pastries, sandwiches, and espresso drinks. While I was outside shooting one of the employees asked if I wanted to come and shoot inside the shop, which was so sweet! I ended up getting a coffee ├ęclair and latte after my shoot and they did not disappoint. We ate them often when we were in France and it was great to find a place here that serves them! The staff was so friendly and it is such a cute shop I can't wait to take the girls back to pick out their own treats! 

Shop My Look

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Widow Wednesday--The fever

My biggest fear when Ray was sick was him dying while I was there alone with him. I knew he was going to die, but I had this fear of him dying and I not knowing what to do. They don't prepare you for this and you never know when it is going to happen. In the beginning, I thought he could just succumb to his cancer at anytime not realizing that it slowly overtakes the body and organs shutting them down. I mean I guess you can say I did KNOW this, but for some reason I had this irritational fear that it would happen super quick.

While he was in hospice my mom talked to a family member that had been through this before and she said that the hospice nurse informed them that normally the patient will spike a really, really high fever before dying. It usually is right before the body starts to shut down.

One night his Mom and I found him in bed burning up. It was the highest fever I have ever seen on a person and it scared me, but knowing this was part of the process actually made me less anxious than I think I would have been had I not known this would happen. We called the hospice nurse and she told us to put cold towels on him. I remember he was talking and not making much sense at that point.

The next day the fever had lifted and he would go in and out of making sense when he was talking. He did say a few things during this time though that I will never forget and I will always respect those wishes. I knew we didn't have much time at this point and it was apparent his body was shutting down.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Spending the night class

*Cell phone pics because I accidently deleted all my pics I took that day :((

What is Spending The Night Class?

Spending the night class started after Ray died and my sister would come over every Wednesday and spend the night. Summer was obsessed with school and being the teacher and they would play school every Wednesday. They would plan crafts and activities to do every week, sometimes even going on field trips. This slowly evolved into holiday parties as well. 

Holiday Party Spending the Night Class

When a holiday comes around the girls plan a special class and do all holiday activities. They decorate and even dress for the holiday. They make special treats and even a few extra people usually show up. These are some of their favorite days of the year. 

Where We Shop for the Party?

We usually buy all our party supplies in the Target dollar bins or the Dollar Store. Sometimes Walmart has cute things too! We don't spend a lot of money on supplies it is more about having fun doing them. 

The Activities

We normally play bingo and have prizes. This is one of their favorite things! We buy cheap prizes and it is funny who ends up with what and how competitive it can get! Sometimes we will have other games too depending on what we can find that sounds fun. They usually have at least 1 craft project to do because everyone likes to craft and take something home. Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration or sometimes just walking through the store something catches our eye to buy. For our Valentine's Day party we found some cute LOVE signs at the Dollar Store that we thought could be painted and decorated. They all turned out so different and everyone loved them! 


I think this is the other part everyone looks forward to...what the treat will be! Sometimes we will have homemade treats and other times we just buy them. Sometimes special drinks are involved in equally special glasses and straws! It all depends on what we find and decide on. 

After Ray died I stopped throwing parties for the girl's birthdays because it was just too much work or me. I gave them a choice between going someplace for their birthday or having a party and they always chose the vacation. I think it is better money spent as well as more memories. I know in 10 years they probably won't remember who was at their 11th birthday, but will remember they went to California, etc. I always spent my birthday on vacation and have the best memories. I know that these spending the night class memories are also something they will never forget.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Valentine's Day Outfit Inspo Kid's Edition

With Valentine's Day right around the corner I thought I would do a post on the girl's Valentine's Day outfits. I told them I wanted to run up to Target to snap a few pics and pick out some stuff for our Spending the Night Class party (for those that don't know what that is I am going to do a whole post on it on Monday!). Of course any excuse to go to Target and they are in. 

I am used to shooting in public places, but inside of one of my favorite stores made me nervous...I mean what if we got kicked out and told never to come back!? I think I snapped these in all of 2 mins and afterwards realized not one person even walked by the whole time. Afterwards I had a ton of ideas of what I could have done....oh well! I guess I will have to do another Target shoot!

Summer picked a very Summer outfit. If anyone knows Summer they know she is most comfortable in leggings and tennis shoes. She is my comfy casual girl. Her shoes are now sold out online in that color so I added them in black. Her sweater was from last year, but I linked a few that they carried this year that are just as cute to wear with the leggings.

Lily really wanted to wear a tutu, but we never found anything that was super cute. She ended up with heart embroidered jeans that we found on a super clearance at Old Navy and a Valentine's Day colored coat. I linked some similar jeans since hers have since sold out since I bought them. Of course she had to add glitter to her hair, which was also a Target find. 

I always check Target when we are looking for holiday themed clothes because they usually have the cutest stuff at great prices. I linked everything below to click and shop and some other items that we considered!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Travel Essentials

Maybe it is the -0 temps we are supposed to be getting this week that has me thinking of warmer weather or getting out of town. I thought it would be the perfect time to share some of my favorite travel items!

1. Travel Charger- I bought this before going to France a few years ago and it has been quite useful. It comes with multiple foreign converter plugs, but can also be used in any outlet. I know when I travel I am always looking for outlets to charge all my electronics and this comes with multiple ports.

2. Samsung Camera- I prefer to travel or use this camera day to day than my DSLR. This little camera takes a great picture and can easily be thrown in my purse. It has changeable lenses and can be used in manual setting. With built-in wifi I am also able to upload my photos to my phone at the end of the day to edit and share.

3. Packing Cubes- These have changed the way I pack. I use a different cube for each category of clothing I am pack. When I am looking for clothes to wear I can easily find what I am looking for because they stay folded and organized in their cube. It also keeps everything from falling all over when I open and close the suitcase.

4. The Widow- Now that the girls entertain themselves during travel I love to catch up on reading. I usually bring quite a few books with me for downtime.

I recently picked this book up to read and if you like a book that keeps you guessing this is a good book. It tells the story from a few different character's point of view, which allows you to see what everyone is thinking and keeps you guessing. The story was disturbing, but kept me from wanting to put it down till the end. I am currently reading The Child, which is another book by the same author that also uses one of the characters from The Widow.

5. Tote- I received this tote as a gift and love it. I was using more expensive, similar sized totes to travel and they were getting destroyed. This bag has a zipper closure, which I prefer when I travel. I like to keep my bag closed so it doesn't spill out all over the airplane floor, etc. It is the perfect size to throw a ton in. This company allows you to personalize the bag with multiple different pattern choices and trims to chose from. I even have mine monogrammed. It still looks new after using it all last summer and traveling with it.

6. Passport Case- The retailer that sells the tote also sells accessories. I have one of their passport cases to keep my passport protected when I am traveling. I love that it can be personalized to match the tote.

7. Marble Suitcase- Last year when I came back from California the airline destroyed my suitcase. It was no longer rectangular and had holes in it. I couldn't even roll it to the car. I decided to replace it with this suitcase after looking at a ton. I had always used soft case suitcases, but was looking for something that might be more durable. This case so far has stood up to my expectations. I like the marble texture because it doesn't show the dirt from travel as much either.

8. Travel Steamer- This is a must now for me. After waiting in line to use an iron on a cruise I will never travel without this little thing anymore. It saves so much time and makes things so much easier. I no longer have to stand in lines to use irons or worry about what else was ironed before my item. The kids and I now have nice wrinkle free clothes without a headache.

9. Luggage Scale- Another must! My sister stood in the check-in line at the airport weighing and moving things around in her luggage so it wasn't overweight. Everyone in line was asking where I got the scale. It is one of those items you don't realize how useful it is until you own one. I always check my luggage before leaving for the airport to make sure it is under weight and if it isn't I move stuff between the suitcases. It also makes a great gift for a traveler!

10. Power bank- I keep this in my purse day to day, but definitely make sure it is ready to go when I travel. You never know when you will be stuck in an airport or delayed and need to charge your electronics. I also like to keep it in my bag in case my camera battery starts to get low to give it a quick charge.

11. Travel Wallet- I featured this wallet in another blog post already once, but since it is actually a travel wallet it had to make the list. I love this wallet. It is reasonably priced and perfect for travel. It has spots for everything you would need to have with you, keeping things organized. It comes in tons of colors and I picked one to match the stripe on my tote.

Hopefully, this list will come in handy if these are things you haven't thought to pack or are looking to make travel easier. I will be dreaming of my next vacation while we get snowed on in the -0 temps this week!