Saturday, December 29, 2018

Winter Break Fun!

Anyone else's kids have to always be on the go? Mine like to be out and about and definitely take after me. We are always looking for new places to try and check out or that are highly recommended.

My friend passed this rink the other day and asked us if we wanted to try it out. I had never heard of it and don't go past this area very often. The day we were supposed to go it rained so we didn't end up going and since then the girls have been bugging to go try it out.

This is the Dodge Park Ice Rink located in Sterling Heights. We arrived at around 10:30 (it opened at 10:00) to find it pretty empty except for a few other skaters. The admission is $5 and I didn't have to pay since I wasn't skating. There are plenty of places to sit and put on skates. They also have lockers to store items and a bathroom. They have the ice trainers for the little ones that aren't comfortable on the ice without holding on. I watched the staff offer them to skaters that seemed like they might benefit from them without even having to ask. The facility is very nice. The actual rink is open air but does have a cover over the top.

The staff was extremely friendly. The gentlemen on the ice made small talk a few times and any time someone was entering or exiting the ice he would try to open the gates for them. The girls working at the counter were friendly and when I paid for myself (thinking I was supposed to even watching) she corrected it and gave me my money back.

Across from the rink they have these fire pits and benches, which were super nice and warm. I did see a few other people take advantage of them that were watching grandkids skate.

This is a very nice facility and we will definitely be back! I highly recommend it if you are looking for a nice, close outdoor rink.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Last Party of the year!

I can't believe Christmas is already over! It seemed to come and go so fast. Summer ended up being sick on Christmas Eve night and I was up till 3 am taking care of her. Luckily, she bounced back quickly on Christmas Day and so far Lily and I have not gotten it. The last few days have been filled with cleaning and disinfecting the entire house.

We aren't quite sure yet what we are going to do on New Year's Eve. Most of the time the girls and I lay low because I don't like to be on the roads with the partiers. I just feel safer at home. I did see this outfit though that would be perfect if we did decide to head out and wanted to share.

This dress is so flattering! I love the ruche detail on the front of this dress. Between the ruche detail and the satin material I think the dress is so flattering.

When I purchased this dress and was browsing the site I came across these boots that are so fun! Who doesn't love a little sparkle on New Years? It is breaks up the all black look. I also found this pair that are equally as fun.

Anyone have any super fun plans for New Year's Eve? Do you stay in or normally go out? I personally will probably be in these and in bed by ten!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

My favorite time of the year

I love going to Downtown Detroit during the holidays, especially the Campus Martius area. We usually do a girl's night and see a show and then have dinner and walk around the area. The girls and I also love to go ice skating on the rink. This year Lily even went and worked in Capitol Square at the Mitten Crate pop up store. I just love the vibe in that whole area. It smells like a bonfire and there is cute holiday décor all over. It is the perfect place to just walk around and take in the sites, shop, or grab a cup of coffee and people watch. 

This outfit is a favorite of mine for holiday gatherings. I love sequins at Christmas. I think it is so festive. My pants are a few years old, but I still pull them out and wear them every year. In Michigan, it is hard to wear cute dresses because it is so cold, I like that I can put on these sparkly pants and still get that dressed up look without freezing. 

I have worn these pants with a lot of different tops, but this is probably one of my favorites. I love the high/low of this top. I like my butt to be covered when I wear leggings so this is a perfect shirt. I opted for a petite size in this shirt and it fit just perfect. I love when stores offer a petite option because it usually fits better. 

My hair bow is the same one from my post the other day. I love that it just dresses up the outfit. This again, was an easy hair style to achieve. 

Of course I had to add a little leopard to my outfit because I love all leopard print! 

What are some of your favorite holiday activities? Any hidden gems in Detroit I should check out? Let me know! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Widow Wednesday--Holidays as a single, only parent

Christmas for me is absolutely draining. Ray was diagnosed Christmas Eve, so that has always put a huge damper on what used to be my favorite holiday. As I said in an earlier post, his diagnosis was more like the day he died to me because he was never the same. That aside holidays when you are a single, only parent are a struggle.

What should be a joyous family day you are constantly reminded of that huge part that is missing. No matter how many people you are surrounded by that emptiness never goes away. There are always the feelings of missing out. What he is missing out on, what my girls and I are missing out on with him not here. He LOVED the holidays, didn't matter what holiday it was. So that makes it even tougher. Being surrounded by whole family units and seeing the photos on facebook etc. you see the part that is missing. What my girls are missing out on by not having their Dad. Even divorced families, most spend time with both sides and aren't missing that part of their life.

I always imagined spending a day Christmas shopping with my husband as they got older. Talking excitedly about what we were buying for them. Putting up the decorations as a family. I have downsized my tree and decorations because it is so hard for me to do alone. I have been offered help, but relying on others hasn't always turned out for the best. Waiting for a time when they are free to help instead of when we want to do it. Elf on the shelf, playing Santa are all extra difficult when you all sleep in the same room and are light sleepers. Thankfully, the girls have a great group of aunts and uncles that are up to help with that challenge.

Trying to make time to see everyone is hard and tiring. I am only one person to be driving from one place to another. Getting them dressed, food together, presents in the car, etc. My time before Christmas is swamped by photoshoots. I am constantly working or taking the girls to activities or helping with schoolwork. I don't have the help other people have. Even divorced families normally have rotating schedules and a break. In between I am cleaning, wrapping presents, and trying to make memories. I am not complaining because I would do anything for my kids, but it is tiring. I know a lot of people also have busy schedules but when you are also the only person to be worrying about all of this without anyone to talk to about any of it it causes strain on my mental health. It is exhausting.

I also never thought that one of our stops on the holidays would have to be to a cemetery. We see Ray every holiday. The girls like to bring books to read and depending on the occasion make him new flowers. Yes, we make our own arrangements so they can pick out things that are meaningful to put in the arrangement. This is something we would never skip doing no matter how busy we are.

I have started to learn that as time has gone by sometimes it is easiest to stop and do what is best for the girls and I and not worry about everyone else. Hard because I naturally do, but saying no sometimes has to be done. I am only one person and do most things on my own. I am all the girls have and have to be a happy, healthy mom for them.

I know the holidays are draining for everyone, but sometimes it is best to slow down and just enjoy things at home.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Holiday Hair

Super fun post today for the blog with holiday hair ideas! A HUGE thank you to Jeni from Kimi K Salon and Spa in Downtown Rochester for styling my hair for the shoot. If you are looking for someone that is great with updos (or really anything hair related) she is definitely your girl.

She did some easy, quick hair styles that are great for all types of holiday events. Each one took under 10 mins. Before doing any of the styles she quickly curled my hair to give it some waves and then all the styles were created from that base.

This was probably my favorite look and it was so easy to achieve. I bought a few of these bows a while back and wore one for Thanksgiving. Since buying these bows I have been seeing them all over Instagram. They are something so easy to add for something a little extra. For this style she braided both sides of my hair and brought them across my head and secured with a rubber band and then added the bow clip. 

This is a really easy, classic look. All she did was take the braid out and add the clips for a little sparkle. Doesn't get much easier than this!

If you can't tell I am a bit obsessed with braids! The top was pulled over and pinned and then the rest was achieved with a very loose braid. After braiding it she pulled the pieces to make it even looser and added another bow to the end.

This look is perfect for a dinner party or more elegant affair. She pulled my hair into a loose bun at the nape of my neck and added a few pins. A little messy and pieces left out up front make it put together without being overdone.

Anyone going to an ugly sweater party? Another braid across the crown of my head and then this light up necklace was pinned in. How fun is that!?

This look would be perfect for a night on the town or New Year's Eve, but more than likely you will find me on the couch watching Hallmark movies. Unless you can find me a bar that serves mochas and donuts and has on the Hallmark channel. A low pony and glitter was all this look needed to have me looking a little extra. 

Hopefully this post will inspire some holiday hair looks for you. I didn't realize that I could look so glam with only a few simple hair accessories and about 10 mins. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Holiday Outfit

I wore this outfit this week while visiting one of my favorite places...Frankenmuth. If you are local then I am sure you are familiar with this little Bavarian Village with their famous chicken dinners and huge Christmas store. I have been here more times than I can count, but don't remember ever being here at Christmas. It was the perfect time to visit! Everything was decorated inside and out. Visiting Bronner's, the famous Christmas store, really put me in the holiday mood. I, of course, couldn't leave without eating a chicken lunch. This location was a perfect spot to shoot a holiday outfit, but I am sure I had another motive. If you know me you know I could live on fried chicken.

I wanted to wear a warm, comfy, festive outfit for the day trip. Do you see a common theme in my posts? Warm and comfortable are definitely my go-to outfit choices. This outfit was no exception. A few of the items I styled for this outfit were from last year, but even the ones that are more recent have been sold out. I tried to find similar items to link. I love the mixed pattern look of the leopard and plaid. Plaid to me always screams holidays! The red sweater was a Zara kid's section find from last year. I have worn it with so many different bottoms. I always check the kid's section when I am looking for things. Being tiny has its advantages when it comes to shopping. The pieces are normally cheaper and sometimes even fit my petite size better than adult sizes.

I have another fun holiday post coming up tomorrow! I am so happy to finally be able to get back to doing some blogging again. If you have anything you would like to read about or see let me know!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Widow Wednesday--What life is like when you hear it is terminal (at least for me)

When I heard the words terminal, was when Ray died to me. Life after that diagnosis was never the same. He was never the same person after that. He didn't want to believe it was true and that he could beat it. I tried to stay positive as I watched him get sicker and sicker.

My one-time big broad husband, was now skinnier and weighed less than I did. He was able to do less and less. He went from trying to at least live somewhat normal to sleeping all day.

The day he was diagnosed was the day he died to me. I still mourn that day more than I think I do his actual day he died. After that day we were just waiting for him to die in my eyes. Time stood still. Everyday was the same. Living in a sick world with no escape and all our hopes and dreams going with it. It is such a helpless feeling to be around someone that you know is dying. You can never do enough, you can't save them. I felt guilty for crying and telling him all my fears of losing him and living without him. I wasn't the one dying he shouldn't be burdened by my feelings. It was hard not to cry though when you watch someone be that sick and nothing is helping. The only thing that will help is finally dying and being at peace.

Since he didn't want to admit he was getting sicker and sicker he tried to still maintain doing the things he had always done. He didn't want me to handle any of the bills or banking. He continued to talk about the future and how his biggest regret was working too much. He wasn't going to work so much and would cry over it. How he finally realized that it wasn't worth it like I had always told him. That was our one argument we would have...that he was always working. He continued to talk about the future and how when he was better he wanted to take a trip.

It wasn't until he was on hospice did he finally admit he wasn't getting better. He tried during that time to show me all his online codes, switch bank accounts, etc. I hear some people say that it is better to know someone is dying because you have time to tell each other everything. That isn't always true because talking about it makes it real and he wasn't accepting it and I didn't want him to think I was giving up on him either. It wasn't till the very end did we talk and it was very little. He had little energy to even talk. He told me things about who he wanted our daughters around in his family and his wishes regarding their upbringing. He also told me he never wanted me to be like my Grandma and stay single the rest of my life because he knew I would and just focus on the girls. He said I deserved happiness again. I just wish some of what he did tell me he told others and I wasn't supposed to be the person to relay his wishes. I still haven't told people what he has said because it would hurt feelings. Being a widow you are left with so much more than just the loss.