Welcome to my Champagne Sippin’, Bacon eating, Spankz wearing World…

Mar08MoeChamps-0426 editedMom, wife, business owner, step mom, dog mom, volunteer…just trying to do this life thing..in heels sometimes.  Successfully, at times, balancing 101 things and maintaining my Mardi Gras addiction, major food snob tendencies and Champagne LOVE. One goal is not to have many meltdowns along the way….and I’m not talking about the kids. We all have them, let’s be honest.  I have come to find out, life is just better with more Champagne, Spankz and Bacon!

If you’re a company looking to promote a product or service through reviews, advertising on my facebook, Web Site,  BLOG, Instagram or sponsored posts please shoot me an email at queenbeemarketing1@gmail.com

 

CHEERS!

KP

 

Behind the Green Door

What is behind the green door? It’s not your ordinary New Orleans hotel. This place is FAR from it. When I arrived, I knew it would be special. But, I had no idea just how much I would fall in love with this magical place. Their web sites boasts “Soniat House as a one of a kind experience.  It does not get any more authentic nor does it get any more comfortable.” I have to agree 100%.

So, what exactly IS behind the green door? Let me show you…but first…champagne.

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You enter into an amazing breezeway that leads to check in…which by the way, Ervin, Hillary and the entire staff…OMG, so nice! I got my first glimpse of Claire, the resident kitty cat, upon check in. She has free roam of the grounds…and it was a #goal to get a selfie with her. She is pretty elusive, as I didn’t see her for the three days I was here! She really does have free roam of the place. #sheistherealQueen

My bags were taken to my room, complete with Juliette balcony…

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overlooking the courtyard. This fountain was so very soothing! I could listen to it for hours! In fact, I opened the door and just listened for a long while. #lullaby

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There were so many places to sit, relax and sip champagne. #happygirl

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Around every corner there was a new door, staircase, garden, fountain to explore and enjoy! It was like Nola meets Narnia!

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The room itself was amazing and fit for a queen. When you are in a 4 post, canopy bed…it makes it a little easier to return emails. #YouJustFeelSmarter #ILoveAHotelRobe

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And yes please, I take my breakfast on silver….. #PamperMe #TheOJwasAmazing

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I continued exploring the grounds and common areas….it was a lush, luxurious labyrinth. ww

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But, through all of my exploring…still no Claire the cat. #onamission #SheMustBeREALLYgoodAtHideAndSeek

I think one of my favorite places and things to do is to sit and relax on the balcony and watch the world go by. New Orleans is great for people watching and I am a gold medalist in it.

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Not all things happen good at night in Nola. Some great things happen at 7:30am, like coffee on the balcony….with the hubby.

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He even enjoyed a little morning coffee with me…you can see his knee in the photo below.  He is more of a ‘behind the camera’ kind of guy. #blesshisheart #HePutsUpWithme #coffee #itwas730am #IPromiseItsNotAMimosa

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When we were sitting on the balcony, I mentioned that the Soniat House is in the book 1,000 Places To See Before You Die and “Considered by many to be the most beautiful hotel in town, the genteel, thirty-three room Soniat House is quintessential New Orleans…”  And now we can both see why!

Here is another quote about the Soniat House….

Soniat House has been chosen as one of the top 20 hotels in the world by Fodor’s Travel Guide. 30,000 properties were considered. 20 were chosen because they were unique and offer a one of a kind experience with a style that sets them apart from others. Read the press release or entire list of choice hotels. 

And don’t even get me started on the antique shop.…LOVE! A handpicked collection of 18th- 20th Century French, English, Italian, Mid-Century Modern furniture, light fixtures, and décor. It is open to guests or by appointment.

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I will take one of each please…..:-) #ThatMirror!

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If you are looking for unique, close to the action but quiet, easy in and out, this hotel is the place. Just around the corner are restaurants, coffee shops, even nightlife.

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As I was checking out…and after several days of hard to get, guess who was waiting for me??!!! CLAIRE the CAT! It’s like she was waiting to tell me goodbye. I was much more excited to see her than she was to see me, as you can see from her lack of enthusiasm for the selfie.

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Although the Soniat House is a small 31 room boutique hotel, don’t let it fool you. They have a wine cellar containing handpicked, well priced bottles of French and American wines, a 24 hour front desk attendant and 24 hour concierge. My car was valeted in a secure parking lot just a 1/2 block away.  Safety deposit boxes in all rooms…and there is in-room massage available. Getting this next time. #ILoveaMassage

It was the perfect getaway. I highly encourage this for a romantic getaway, a baby-cation, a stay-cation, girls get-away. And regardless if it’s your first time to Nola or your 100th….this is the place to stay.

Tell them Champagne Spankz and Bacon sent you 🙂 And tag me in your selfie with Claire the Cat! #behindthegreendoor #clairethecat 

xoxo

KP

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A special thank you to all of the staff. You are all amazing! I can’t wait to come back!

 

 

 

 

 

My Wi-fi Code is ‘champagne’

You know your stay is going to be AMAZING when you call the front desk to get the wi-fi code and it is ‘champagne’.  Done and done! #youreallygetme

But let me back up to yesterday. From the moment I walked thru those double green doors at the Soniat House, I felt as thought I was stepping back in time and into a secret garden.

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I was greeted by name, and my bags were taken to my room. I checked in and given a brief history of the property as I was shown to my room. The entire staff was nothing less than delightful. The first 10 munities, and I felt right at home. It’s these little things make this place a true gem. #lovelovelove

As we walked to my room, I could NOT get over how beautiful it was. TRUE Nola charm. Courtyard, balcony’s, fountains…oh my! photo-sep-25-3-07-18-pm.jpg

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And this bed! Fit for a Queen….which every lady is! I slept like a baby. Old Nola charm with modern amenities. (PS…the tub in the bathroom OMG…stay tuned)

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Who likes their coffee and FRESH orange juice served on a silver platter? This girl! #yesplease

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I have SO much more exploring to do, including the Antiques Shop and….a goal is to get a selfie with Claire, the resident house cat. I love a mascot.

Stay Tuned….. more to come.

I LOVE THIS PLACE!

xoxo

KP

Take No More

I’m writing this with a heavy heart. Is it to soon? Probably, so I will stay general in my thoughts. We, my circle of friends, have had to deal with the loss, and near loss, of loved ones WAY too many times in the past several years….due to drugs, alcohol and/or depression. I believe they are intertwined more often than not….and frankly, I’m tired of just talking about how bad it is. I’m ready to do something about it. #NotJustTalk #Action

We live in a society where it has become to entirety to easy to walk into a pain management office, complain of a “horrible back ache’, and get a Rx of 30 hydrocodone’s. Or, has this happened to you…? Get discharged for a minor surgery and get the standard 15-30 day supply of some sort of Opioid?  Now that I think about it, it seems almost EVERYONE I know is on SOME sort of brain altering medication. Adderall, Prozac…even meds to kids. It is estimated that 6.1 million children have ADHD, from a 2017 study, up from 4.4 in 2003. And these numbers keep climbing. Why? Maybe because we just keep pumping them with meds, year after year,  instead of treating the root cause? Is this leading to more issues as adults? I’m no Doctor…FAR from it. But, damn. 1-drug abuse is UP. 2-Addiction in general is UP 3-Mental Health issues are UP 4-Nearly 2 of 3 children with current ADHD has at least one other mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder.  Why can’t we, as a society, and medical community, connect the dots and do something other than just pump more meds? Could we be turning our children into chemically dependent adults? I don’t have all the answers. I wish I could wave a wand and make pain, depression and addiction go away.

Now, before the comments start; I KNOW there are medical professionals in the world that do NOT over prescribe, that stay true to their oath. I am dear friends with several. But, on the other end…there are some that only see green—dollar bills. Those are the providers that are featured on Dateline NBC documentaries that when called, ‘decline to comment’. The ones that have their parking lots packed to the max daily, cars with out of state plates….the ones that make you say….hmmmmm.

I am not without reality, in my blonde little head. There will always be issues with street drugs. But, with over prescribing, comes the ability to make meds available to dealers much easier. (on the web, selling Rx’s, selling pills, etc.) #Ifyoudontbelieveme #googleIt

Louisiana has the sixth-highest opioid pain-reliever prescribing rate in the country, according to IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics’ analysis of a yearlong period through June 30, 2016. It found that there were 102.3 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people, when counting new prescriptions and prescribed refills.” https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/article_ce89ac92-bf4b-11e8-bc2f-1f28ee7ca5ca.html

I mean really…. 102.3 per 100 people????? All I can say is WTF.

I don’t recall our parents or grandparents being on handfuls and handfuls of meds that we take these days! I am guilty too. Some days, give me ALL the Champagne and a Xanax. Well, shame on me! #NotHappeningAnyMore

The current opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history. Overdoses, fueled by opioids, are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old — killing roughly 64,000 people last year.

Opioids kill around 142 Americans on a daily basis. This means that, every three weeks, more Americans die by opioids abuse than died during the horrific September 11 attacks.

You want to make a difference?

Look in your medicine cabinet and self reflect.

Call your Senator and/or Representative and let them know you are TIRED of it.

Reach out to a friend that you think is STRONG and tell them you LOVE them.

Much Love & Prayers for my sweet friend and her family,

KP

 

Take a Break

There is no time like the summer time. Sweet, sweet summer time. But, about two weeks into the summer time, we are WAY over it. The kids turn into little “I’m SOOOOO bored” monsters, addicted to Fortnite, and we realize how much we truly LOVE and appreciate the teachers that take them off our hands for 8 hours a day. And now, that they are back in school, it’s time to eat bon-bons and lay in a bubble bath all day, right? What the heck ever!!!!!! Who has time for that!??? (like, for real, if you know someone that has time for that, please introduce me to them so I can find out their secret)

Now, lets talk about you, Mom. There is a lot of debate about working in vs. out of the home. You know what? You do you. Here is a FACT….whether you work IN or OUT of the home and/or both, it is ALL work. Period. You contribute every day and in every way. (unless all you are doing is eating bon-bons) First, don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed. We all feel that way. Anyone that says or portrays differently is lying. #faker  In years past, I  have worked outside of the home and felt totally disconnected and stressed. I have ran businesses from inside the home and felt more connected to my people and have been able to volunteer more in the community and felt more fulfilled. This may not be for everyone…but it has been what worked best for me.  One of the great things about being stay (or) work from home mom is that you have more control over your time. The key is to stay organized. You can make a list of your tasks for the day or create a realistic schedule that you can stick to. When you have a routine, you won’t feel like you’re forgetting anything.

Here are a couple more tips to help you master the balancing act of being a stay or work-at-home mom…or a mom in general, or heck…just a woman! LOL

Set priorities.

You’re a wonderful person, but you do not have the power to be in 100 places at the same time. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Understand that you cannot accomplish everything in one day. Instead of trying to finish all your tasks at one time, spread them out. Make a list of important tasks and urgent ones, categorizing them with top TO DO’s first, will help you make sure you don’t miss anything. And, FYI, you don’t have to answer your text and emails 5 seconds after receiving them; #donttextanddrive #itcanwait #takeabreath #simmadownnow

Work when you are most productive.

You can find your most productive work times and patterns just by paying closer attention to your daily habits, as well as your energy and focus levels. Be mindful of when you’re feeling most alert and attentive—choose that time to do some work. I get the most done after everyone leaves the house in the AM and after everyone goes to bed. Once they get back from school…forget about it; it is a MAD HOUSE.

Your working hours could also depend on your child’s feeding schedule, nap time, t-ball, football, carpool, dance practice, etc. Find that time of day when you are free from distractions.

Need a boost of energy to get you through your tasks? Make it a habit to eat breakfast with a combination of protein and fiber. Try doing moderate cardio exercises, too, like brisk walking. (this is funny for me, because I am LAZY af…I know, I need to change this)

Create boundaries.

Once you’ve established the best time for you to work, create realistic boundaries around it. Turn off phone notifications when it’s not time for you to work so you can focus on other things like cleaning the house, playing with your kids, or preparing the family meal.

Try not to multitask.

Doing several things at the same time sounds like a great idea, but it will leave you feeling drained. Line up your tasks one after the other instead of doing two to three things at the same time so you can be more productive.

Outsource

Do you have a specific tasks that are time consuming? Taxes, Social media, email marketing, payroll? Outsource these! They are very time consuming and worth the time in GOLD to outsource. Find a good, local firm that can help you with each. Soooo worth it.

Take a break!

Don’t feel guilty about taking a breather—your mind actually needs it. Take 30-minute breaks every time you work for four hours. It will help you regain focus and perspective so you feel refreshed and ready to take on your tasks again. Did you know that taking microbreaks can actually increase your productivity by 30%? The hubby and I have “Digital Detox” time. We litteraly have a Tupperware in the kitchen with ‘digital detox’ written on it in a sharpie. We put out phones on silent and drop our phones in it for a few hours. It is SO refreshing!

I am heeding my own advice about ‘taking a break’. Next week, I am headed down to NOLA for my Krewe of NYX General Membership Meeting. I’m headed down a day early to enjoy the Big Easy, and an AMAZING boutique hotel…and to decompress. I has been a crazy past few months; so damnit, I need a little KP time. I am SUPER excited about staying at the Soniat House.  May be more excited about mimosas in this amazing courtyard….heaven!!!!!! I will be posting LOTS of pics and blogs about this beautiful hotel and it’s amenities.

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I can’t wait to people watch from the balcony. I LOVE to people watch. It is my favorite and New Orleans is the BEST place for people watching. Like, the best!

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As a busy mom, you know how difficult it can be to find time for yourself. You have a lot of responsibility to make sure everyone is taken care of and at the end of the day, you may find that there’s little, or no,  time for you. This can leave you feeling burned out, exhausted, and craving moments to do things that YOU love to do. Don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself. It’s important to schedule time for you on a regular basis so that you can feel refreshed and energized. Even as a busy woman…the pressure is on. So take time for you, boo! Remember, you can’t take care of anyone else if your tank is empty. So fill that tank! Take that break!

Much Love,

KP

From Zig to Zone

This past weekend, the hubby and I attended a Zig Ziglar seminar. If you don’t know who Zig is…google him. For those that don’t feel like googling, he was and still is THE guru on everything to do with servant leadership, building up family, fine tuning sales skills, self growth, building and encouraging youself, your team and your community. Zig has always taught that “You were born to win, but to be the winner you were born to be you must plan to win and prepare to win. Then and only then can you legitimately expect to win.”

I knew (or thought I knew) this all my life. Be a winner. Easy, right? Yes or Yes? But this weekend, the Zig team confirmed that you, me, WE can live a life that leaves no room for regret or worry.  It is true that when you have prepared yourself to be the right kind of person, you can do what you need to do to expect success. When you truly understand that you were born to win, you can change the world! And let’s face it, we are ALL a work in progress. #alwaysBeLearning #BeTheChange

One of my favorite quote of Zig’s….
quotes-Zig-Ziglar-lifeOne of his is most notable, and my favorite of his quotes; “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” POWERFUL, insightful yet so dang simple! It all boils down to being a servant. A servant for the Lord, for your family, for friends, for team members and customers….be helpful and serve. I have tried to practice this concept, of helping others, my whole life. But, I don’t really think I “GOT IT” until my late 30’s. Before then, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to be supermom, super employee, super volunteer; taking on SO many things because I thought it was expected of me. AND because I could not say no. It’s like I had something to prove, to society, to family and to myself. I can say today, I have NOTHING to prove. I am who I am and proud of it! Yes, it is hard sometimes to drown out the garbage, the white noise of doubt and doubters….and we all have them. And the Zig team reminded me of this. If you go into a gold mine looking for dirt, you will find dirt. If you go in looking for GOLD, gold you will find! We truly are and become what we put in our minds. Stop looking and focusing on the not so good parts, and start looking for the positive in situations and in people. You get what you look for, so be a “good-finder’.  #LookForGoodInPeople #DontbeaHater

My take-aways from this weekend were 1- How to set and achieve the right goals’  2- How to communicate more effectively and reduce relationship stress’ (not just spouse, but all relationships.) and 3-Exersise The Golden Rule.

I’ve taken several personality evaluation, for volunteer groups and work….but the Zig team GETS IT! How in the world do you know where you are going without a plan? A map? Without a GOAL! If we just wonder around without plugging that goal into our internal GPS, we are doomed to be driving in circles. I am an “I.D.” personality, and don’t like to drive around aimlessly. Now what in the “I.D.” am I talking about? This below…..

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We did this exercise in the seminar and the results were SPOT ON. I am an I, with D tendencies…and the hubby is a strong C. About 25-30% of the population are I’s and they/we tend to be inspiring, fun, interactive, social, have tons of ideas and like to be involved. D’s are determined, doers, decisive and like a challenge. Me. KP. “I.D.” to a tee! Now the hubby, on the other hand, is my personality opposite, a C. Which about 20-25% of the population and are; careful, competent, cautious, likes patterns, instructions and organizing things. I and a C compliment each other. Thank goodness! #peasandcarrots  It was really cool to see that of the room full of participants, their spouse was their personality opposite. During this exersice, a light bulb went off. This is NOT just about the hubby and I. This chart applies to EVERYONE in my life, family, friends, my volunteer associates. GOOD STUFF! There were SO many good nuggets and exercises that I can’t wait to share with my people! Howard & Santiago…you guys Rock!

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After two days of soaking in positive brain vibes, we were hungry. Since we were in Houston; TexMex, right? The hubby said “what about Italian?” After catching myself mid eye roll, I said “OK” and I opened Yelp & Open Table app and started looking. Well, OMG, we stumbled upon the BEST Italian I have ever eaten! Mascalzone on Westheimer. Let me tell you about this place, because if you are ever in Houston…go there! First, I ordered myself some bubbly, having NO idea what we had in store. Our waitress, Laura, from Naples, Italy….the most attentive and joyful person ever! First, the homemade mozzarella cheese (caprese salad ) melted in my mouth!

Then comes the GM, Bruno! He has been in the restaurant industry for 1/2 his life! He brings over their house made balsamic oil for our bread….Holy moly! Liquid gold. Photo Jul 28, 6 36 52 PM.jpg

We visited and he asked what on the menu looked good…we said everything, but the hubby loves veal parm I LOVE with gnocchi, but we can’t decide. Bruno, in his Italian accent, “I will have chef prepare special for you’. And off he goes to put in our order! For a second, we were wide eyed…but what followed was out of this world. First, all of their dishes are traditional Italian recipes, ranging from Focaccia bread and home-made pasta with flour imported from Italy. Fresh made pasta!!!!!!! #ketoWho? LOL

Then our plates arrived…..

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Laura sprinkled with fresh grated parmesan cheese…and we dug in!  I can not tell you how fresh, mouth-watering and perfectly seasoned this was!!! A special, gnocchi, lasagna & ravioli trio. OUT OF THIS WORLD!

If you live in or are visiting Houston…this is THE place for Italian. Add in a HUGE pizza oven with dough being tossed…I felt like I was in a chic bistro in Rome. (and yes, I have been to Rome, LOL)

I can’t stop thinking about it! We ended dinner with FRESH Limoncello and Tiramisu; which was the lightest, creamiest I have ever had.

And to top if all off, the atmosphere was perfect and there is the cutest gratto-ish stone water fountain where you can dine on the patio. Photo Jul 28, 8 32 04 PM.jpg
This past weekend was one of the best and unexpectedly amazing that we have had in a long time. Thank you Laura, Bruno and Elena and the entire Mascalzone. krewe. Y’all are doing it right!

Thank you to Howard, Santiago, Tom and the entire Zig Ziglar family. It was an honor!

Much love and hope everyone works on being their best self!!

Cheers,

Kellie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beach Hacks for Mom

Hopefully your summer includes a nice relaxing trip to the beach with your family. Wait, relaxing? Whatever. How about we wish you minimal meltdowns from the kiddos! That is more realistic. It never fails…we get to the beach and think “I really need this, I should have brought that.” Well, this blog post is going to HELP! If you have a trip planned, and you have kiddos….this BLOG is for you!

This first hack can been spied all over Pinterest. Do you love the beach but hate tracking sand back to your car, hotel or beach house? Just rub baby powder on skin and the sand will immediately fall off. AND it will keep the kiddos from freaking out because they have sand stuck to them!

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Little kids just love playing and splashing in the water, but you may not want to spend the entire day baby-wrangling at the water’s edge. An inflatable kiddie pool is easy to pack, a breeze to set up, and a safe place to play next to your beach spot. Plus it keeps them in the shade.

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Or make your own kiddie pool by digging a hole and lining it with a cheap shower curtain liner. You can get them for a buck at the Dollar Store, so you don’t even have to bring the liner back; just toss it in a trash can before you leave!

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Freeze aloe vera for instant sunburn relief. Even when you slather on the SPF, sunburn can happen. A soothing tip: Fill an ice-cube tray with aloe vera and you’ll have instant sunburn relief back at your beach house. I also recommend KOOL DOWN. It can be bought in any gift/beach store ALL over Florida, their direct web site and on Amazon. This stuff is a VACATION SAVER! But, make sure not to get to close to eyes, mouth. And wash your hands after you apply…the lidocaine works like a charm, but will linger if not washed off.

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Always bring bubbles. 

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Kids of all ages love blowing bubbles and a breezy beach is the perfect place to do it. For bigger bubbles, your dollar store is likely to stock larger bottles with longer wands. This is good for a few reasons…entertainment & can be washed off easy, incase of messes.

And if you are certain you will hear “I’m Bored”….(I mean really kids? We spent $$$ getting you precious little bundles of joy to the beach…and you are bored???! Of course you are.) Bring a sleeve of tennis balls, dig some holes and ‘tennis bowl’. I suggest putting names on the balls with a sharpie. Because you know you will hear “That one is mine!” #thejoysofparenthood #IWantHis

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Chill your cooler with frozen water bottles instead of ice packs. As the day goes on, the ice will thaw and you’ll have another round of refreshing drinks. And, if you have food goodies stored in there as well, it will keep them from getting soaked.
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Give your kid a tattoo. Getting lost on a crowded beach is terrifying for kids and their parents. To be safe rather than sorry, write your cell phone number on a waterproof SafetyTat child ID tattoo, then apply to your child’s skin. (We know parents that have written on their kids with a Sharpie. (That will work, but this is better.) ALSO, these are good to have for Halloween, going to Disney, etc.

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Call your credit or debit card company before traveling so that you’re authorized for vacation purchases. There is NOTHING worse than a fraud alert that freezes your card….and it’s you!
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If you forget the wall plug-in for your phone charger, check the back of your barch house/hotel TV. There’s usually a USB port.
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Getting to your destination can be a chore in itself. If driving,  your vehicle could very possibly look like a dumpster after a few hours of caged animals…I mean kids. Get a shower caddy from the dollar store and use it for easy eating. This is good to take on the beach as well….nothing like a sand covered sandwich. Which will surely lead to a meltdown. #preventmeltdowns
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Ienhanced-buzz-24117-1403643189-34f you’re heading to a theme park or the beach, put your phone in a plastic bag to prevent it from getting wet. A ruined phone is bad enough. A ruined phone on vacation in a different city/state/country is even worse.

 

 

 

 

MOMS…this tip is crucial. There is nothing worse than not being “hydrated”….adult style. Bring along spiked lemonade pouches for the adults or alcohol-free versions for the kids.

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A mesh laundry bag is the perfect container for all your kids’ beach toys! It sifts the sand, leaving it at the beach instead of trailing it into your car, hotel, condo…etc. 3b5ca93a4a195fc2146872b3a303cb43

Jellyfish, the bumble bees of the deep. For minor jellyfish stings, 1st rinse with sea water, 2nd scrape off stingers with a mixture of sand and small shells or a credit card, 3rd treat with vinegar to relive pain. For major stings, seek medical attention immediately & always know where the closest Lifeguard is located.jellyfish-sting-first-aid

FAMILY PHOTOS! Don’t come to the beach without taking photos! This is a clever way to capture a trip…and not the same ole’ “let’s sit in the sand with our matching outfits” photo.
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Snacks…oh snacks. Want refreshing AND healthy? Pre package fruit in zip-lock bags…you can even put them in the freezer for about an hour or so before heading to the beach, so they are nice and COLD and stay crisp in the ice chest. Dry snacks; put them in old creamer containers. The lids are just big enough for goldfish, etc.

Ever tried dragging an icechest 250 yards in the sand? It will drain you! Here are two options. 1-big tire beach buggy and 2-Put your ice chest on a snow sled. If you are from the south and don’t have a sled lying around, you can always load it in the soccer mom, collapsible wagon.

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Do your sweet kiddos like playing with keys? This hack is a sure-fire way to keep them OFF the bottom of the ocean. Small screw hooks will do the trick. Now…start collecting corks! #drinkup 395a66209a83718e8db6af03ddcbe465

I hope these tips will help you have a more relaxing and enjoyable trip to the beach! If all else fails, drink more.

Cheers!

KP

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Girls Weekend in New Orleans

I always have fun in NOLA…how could you not? Shopping, world-class cuisine…and NEVER a dull moment for people watching! New Orleans is a city unlike no other…no other.

A few weeks ago, the bestie and I headed down for a show at the Sanger Theater and OF COURSE we had to go a day early and enjoy the city! You can eat at a different restaurant and stay at a new hotel every trip. Here are some of my tips and suggestions from my most recent…which we had a blast BTW.

We stayed at the Ritz-Carlton on Canal St. I like staying close to the action, but not on top of the action. Momma likes her sleep and sometimes Bourbon St is way to loud. We LOVED the rooms and the room service!Photo Jul 01, 3 02 43 PM (1)Of course… Mimosas after breakfast, to get the day started right! (in a to-go cup)

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No trip would be complete without a stop by the Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar! This is my FAVORITE drink in NOLA, the .007! Made with champagne, of course…and it packs a punch! Photo Jun 30, 3 05 30 PM

One of my other favorite things to do is Pedi-Cab rides. If we have to go shorter distances, we will jump in a Pedi-cab! So much better than walking, in the heat…what can I say, Its Louisiana. It’s hot and I can be lazy! So why not have a shaded chariot?

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A quick little tour of the ‘good’ suite at the Saint Hotel…LOVED it and will be staying here soon for sure!

This FUN chair is next to the bar at the Saint Hotel…great photo op! 🙂

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Now, I LOVE to people watch. New Orleans is the capital of people watching, never a dull moment. Yes, that is a bulldog being pulled in a wagon. (and yes, he is standing up like a boss!)
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We also LOVE photo ops around the city. You can’t even tell it was 107 heat index….not kidding. It is hotter than he(( right now in the south.

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So, the main reason for the trip was to see a show at the Sanger Theater, Theresa Caputo LIVE, she’s the Long Island Medium from the TLC Channel. Her show was amazing! This chick is the bomb.com. She is known for her big hair…so we decided to ‘wig’ out in her honor! Of course we made friends with our seat neighbors and LOVE the bestie as a blonde! Shout out to Fifi Mahony’s for the amazing wigs and service! Fitting, a trim if you need it. SUPER GREAT!

I don’t have any photos of us on the way home…trust me, it wasn’t pretty. But it sure was fun. We all could use a little weekend get-away for some GIRL TIME!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

Cheers

KP

 

My “Raw” Week

Sunday evening, and it seemed like a good idea…after at glass of rose’.  “I’m going on a cleanse!”…I bellowed to my husband. He has been on a ‘eating healthier and working out more’ routine. He randomly drops to the floor and does sets of 40 push ups. He has also been knocking out more reading; which is NOT my thing. And he listens to a lot of Podcasts…which I do enjoy. But one of the books/podcasts he told me about was “Fit for Life”, in which the dude eats ONLY fruit until noon every day and has for 20 years! Twenty. Twenty years. If some dude can do it for twenty years, surely I can do it for a week!? Right? So, Monday morning…off to the grocery we went (before I changed my mind) and bought ALL of the veggies and fruits we could agree on, and some we didn’t…and coconut milk, coconut water, coconut blend. Here we GO! This blog will be a daily recap & proof of me not killing anyone due to lack of intake of pasta and champagne…. #pray #alliby

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See…random push up sessions. Moe is NOT impressed.

Monday 4pm. Well,  I kind of want a huge bowl of pasta and bacon right now. Really, it’s not too bad. Breakfast; I had a smoothie. Got the banana, strawberries and mango out and I was ready to go. Now, I have never cut a mango. And apparently there is a method and I didn’t do it right…so the little punk ended up butchered and in the trash. Fail #1. But I sure did enjoy my banana, strawberry and orange smoothie! Lunch was a tomato and avocado salad….if I closed my eyes, I almost fooled myself to think it was cake. #AtLeastIdidntCutMyself #damnMango #EveryoneISstillAlive

Tuesday Morning.  I’m not “I need to eat a snickers hungry”…but I sure would like some bacon. Instead, I took my frustration out on a watermelon. I was not happy finding out that it was not seedless. But I guess that means it has not been genetically modified? Hell, I don’t know. I do know that it took me twice as long to cut it up and clear all the seeds out before storing it….that was fun. I better feel like Superwoman at the end of this week.

Tuesday Lunch. I just ate enough watermelon to sustain a small vegan army….or at least to make me pee every 20 minutes for the next several hours. Sidebar; I really need to wash my hair, but I am not mentally prepared to blow dry it. #ugh

Tuesday night. I broke. A soon as the hubby got home from work…”Open the liquor cabinet”. You see, we have it locked because we have two boys, and we aren’t stupid. But, I didn’t fall tooooo far off the ‘raw wagon’. In fact, it wasn’t even off the seat of the wagon! It was a 1/2 a shot of Tito’s (Gluten, fat, carb & sugar free), sparkling water and watermelon…and I do have to say it was quite tasty. Dinner wasn’t to yummy, I am not going to lie. I can’t even type it out…the poor hubby ate it with me. #blessHim

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Gluten Free, Organic 🙂 and VERY refreshing!

Wednesday Morning….we are on the road to NOLA. (business dinner) But, I mean really? I have to do this in the BEST place to eat in the country? shit. But, no worries…this OCD chick already looked at the menu online and I know exactly what I’m going to order for dinner. Lunch consisted of sashimi & mineral water with lime at Tsunami’s…I can’t complain about that!!! And I got a compliment on my outfit as SOON as I walked in the door. That will put some wind in your ‘raw’ sails! #yaaasQueen

I am realizing that it is VERY hard to come to NOLA and be at our favorite hotel, even thought this trip is for business for the hubs, and NOT drink and eat my heart out. This is the ultimate test. I mean, that is what you do…when in Rome.  At the current moment, I am trying to convince the hubs to stop working for 15 min and come downstairs with me to the Carousel Bar, sit in our favorite spot and people watch with me. #hesNotMoving #WorkWork #MayhaveToshowSomeCleveage #Kidding!

IMG_6940The hubs is on call after call for work… So I go downstairs to get inspired. Notice my ROAR organic drink in the corner of the pic? OMG…SO good! He is NOT moving from this spot anytime soon….he loves his job, thank goodness! #lovethatman

Now I’m sitting in a window seat…writing, watching. I LOVE people watching. And in NOLA there is a never-ending stream of entertainment. Locals, NOLA regulars, tourists, street performers, suits…and it was about 3ish and this is the time where the ‘day shift’ is heading out of the French Quarter and the ‘night shift’ is heading in. Oh…and of course, a bachelorette party. Complete with open toed high heels and headed straight for the street slime of Bourbon Street! Hep C here we come! Kidding…but for realz. Bless their little 24 yr old hearts. #NightTime #OnlyPediCab #orUberforMe #ILOVENolaButIDontlikeSlimeOnMyShoes

Thursday…I wake to the hubby typing away, getting ready for an early business breakfast. He hears me stirring and offers me a “hot tea”. HOT TEA? “I would like a coffee, please put me a k-cup to brew.” I am a coffee drinker. Even with this raw diet thing, coffee is a NON negotiable. First I drink the coffee then I do the things….and I am NOT very pleasant before coffee. The hubs looks at me with this cute grin and says “I drank both of the coffee cups…you can run one of the pods again…?.” (my eyes are about to pop out of my head).  “No” I say in disgust, disappointment, “I will order room service and it will be here in 2 hours…”  Good thing Monteleone room service has always been quick and within 20 min I had my coffee and fruit tray. Praise the coffee gods! In the hubs defense, he did offer to shower and go downstairs and get me a cup of coffee. But, in my coffee-less decision-making, I opted for room service. #ItwasAGoodChoice

Friday. Still eating fruit.

Saturday morning, I went to a local organic farmers market, Inglewood Farms, and stocked up on veggies, some chicken, eggs, even bacon! I picked up what I thought was squash & zucchini …turns out it was cucumbers. #fail #IDidntKnowThereWereYellowCucumbers? #farmersMarketGoober #IdespiseCucumbers

For lunch, we went to our usual Saturday lunch spot. Spirits food & friends in Alexandria, LA. It is a SUPER yummy restaurant and locally owned. If you are ever in Alex, stop in and eat/drink there. Really cool outdoor patio, pet friendly…if your dog is cool, LOL. Now, it is VERY hard to go here and not just chow down. But I was very good, had the Tuna Poke. Great as usual and I had only one champs cocktail, not as usual. I mean, I have been good for 6 days! My body is sooooo used to champs almost everyday. It was so good, not going to lie.

Sunday. Trip to Monroe for Fathers Day church and lunch for the hubs grandfather who is a young 94. Backing it up a few…while we are getting ready, I ask the hubs “Where are we going for lunch?” He tells me…they are just doing something easy and picking up pizza. (Well, that is just great. I am glad I asked! Men….) So, in a rush, I pack up my lunch; fruit, an avocado, etc. in my chilled bag and we get on the road.  It was a lovely day and the hubs even stopped at a grocery before church and I picked up some fresh sushi…all was forgiven. (got rid of most of the rice)

Sunday night. Chicken Cordon Blue-ish was on the menu. Now I call it ‘ish’ because I adapted the recipe…on the fly. I hammered out the pasture raised, organic chicken breasts and stuffed with fresh, organic dino kale, that had been lightly sautéed in non-salted, organic butter and garlic. Then laid down Turkey slices and a small amount of shredded mozz cheese. (the only think that was not organic on this dish was the sliced turkey, mozz cheese and bread crumbs). Rolled each up and secured with toothpics…in the oven for 50 min at 350. In the meantime, I decided to try something I had NEVER done before. Now, I am a night owl, and my nighttime routine, after everyone else gets fed and to bed is a little TV time. I DVR my shows and BRAVO, HGTV and Food Network are the majority of the recordings. I have been on a “The Next Food Network Star” kick and recently they made hollandaise sauce from scratch and topped over a perfectly poached egg. Like old school way, in the pot, with vinegar, stirring and dropping in the egg… I AM ON IT! I can DO THIS! So out comes the organic eggs I just got the day before at the farmers market…and I am ready to make some sauce and poach some eggs!

HOLY MOLY…nothing will show you how OUT of shape you are in your forearms like whisking a hollandaise sauce for 5 minutes straight, then over the water for 15 seconds…then off…then more wisking… then adding components and wisking the whole time. I felt like a beast! Now on the poaching. Im not going to bore you with the details, but lets just say I may have missed my calling! My first three poached eggs were perfection. I placed them on top of the Cordon Blue-ish….and sweet mother of organics, it was heaven on a plate! I wish I would have videoed the moment we cut into the egg. I was really proud of myself! Here is the recipie for Gordon Ramseys Eggs Benedit..it has the poach & sauce directions. I encourage you to YouTube if you have never done it before. I didn’t use tarragon, and added more lemon juice…I like my sauce tangy.

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Monday….I made it. One week of eating RAW. I weighed myself and I gained a lb. WHAT the heck? But I FEEL different, I am sleeping better, my clothes fit better. My IBS isn’t toooo much better, but that is a whole different issue. I didn’t do this to loose weight, although I can see it having that effect in the long run. I did this for health, to feel better.

So what did I learn and what will I do from this point on? I learned that I CAN do what I set my mind to do, no matter how difficult it may seem at first. I thought…No Champagne for a week? RAW for a week? WHAT??  It is one day at a time, one meal at a time, one choice at a time.  I will continue with the fruit until noon, occasional splurges, I’m sure. (#brunch) I will READ labels more. We put CRAP in our bodies and in our kids bodies. Stop that shit! I will use organic more…and we used organic a lot, but I can do better for me and my family.  If only there was organic champagne…

You, me, we…WE CAN do what we set our minds and bodies to do. Are you scared to challenge yourself? To try something new? Whatever you are finding yourself up against…just try it. What is the worst that could happen? You could fail, yes. So what! Who freaking cares. You could also totally win and rock it! And friends, it is so worth trying. 

Much Love

KP

The Demons Inside Us

I don’t really know how to start this blog. But, I am compelled to write after reading the news about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, just a few minutes ago. Kate Spade gone to young a few days ago, and now Anthony this morning?! It is time we start to talk about the demons inside us. Now, where to begin?

My first ‘big girl’ purse, that I bought for myself, was a Kate Spade. It was white with huge black polka dots and I LOVED it. I remember how FUN & fabulous I felt carrying that bag. “Start Every Day Like It’s Your Birthday!”….was one of her quotes and I felt like it WAS my birthday when I used that bag! I stopped by a friend’s house once and I left it on the front seat of my car. I was away for 15 minutes and I came out to a brick through my driver side glass and my purse stolen! My heart was as shattered as the glass. My polka dot LOVE was GONE! I looked around and didn’t see it anywhere. I was heartbroken.  The police were called and they came and took a report, of course. One of the officers did a ‘sweep’ of nearby dumpsters and alleyways….and low and behold–THEY FOUND IT! My polka dot LOVE had been dumped in an ally, like yesterdays trash. The contents rifled through, money and cards taken…. poor Kate was just thrown to the wayside. The ‘perp’ didn’t know that Kate Spade itself had value. Thank goodness! They didnt know that ‘Kate’ was THE true valued item.

The recent suicide of Kate Spade, and Anthony this morning, got me really thinking. How many times have we overlooked a ‘Kate’ in our lives? How many times has a ‘Kate’ felt undervalued/alone? How many times has a ‘Kate’ felt thrown away in an ally? Or felt like yesterdays trash? It is FAR past time that we STOP with the stigma about mental health, depression, anxiety, etc….becasue it is literally killing us.

CNN wrote this about Anthony; “Through his TV shows and books, he explored the human condition and helped audiences think differently about food, travel and themselves.”.   I know nothing of his personal life, but I know that when I watched his shows, he had the story telling ability to transport you, INTO the TV. The ability to make you feel like you were right there next to him, experiencing what he was, tasting what he was, smelling the food, seeing the sights. It really was like you were on a dinner date with the man. He would ask simple questions to the people he interviewed…”What makes you happy?”  In hindsight, this question saddens me. All the while he was battling his own demons. Why could he not ask himself that question? Why could Kate Spade not ask herself? SO MANY QUESTIONS! What is the answer?

There is no right answer and I am NOT a therapist or an expert. But what I do know, is here is a growing epidemic of 1-mental health issues, 2-opioid addition 3-chronic homelessness. And the three are intertwined more than we care to admit. If we, as a society, don’t take of our rose-colored glasses and start taking a hard look at it; these will just get worse. And by ‘society’, I mean, you-the reader, elected officials, non-profits…it takes a village. #truth #dontJustTrustmeGoogleIt #Facts

It should be noted that some people who die by suicide do not show any suicide warning signs. But about 75 percent of those who die by suicide do exhibit some suicide warning signs, so we all need to be aware of what the suicide warning signs are and try to spot them in people. If we do see someone exhibiting suicide warning signs, we need to do everything that we can to help them. Here are some signs;

  • Depression
  • Talking or writing about death or suicide
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Feeling strong anger or rage
  • Feeling trapped — like there is no way out of a situation
  • Dramatic mood changes or acting impulsively
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Losing interest in most activities
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Performing poorly at work or in school
  • Giving away prized possessions
  •  Feeling excessive guilt or shame
  • Writing a will

The families and friends left behind have to ask themselves questions every day. What could I have done? What ‘sign’ did I miss? You might replay “what if” and “if only” scenarios in your mind, blaming yourself for your loved one’s death. Grieve in your own way. Do what’s right for you, not necessarily someone else. There is no single “right” way to grieve. If you find it too painful to visit your loved one’s gravesite or share the details of your loved one’s death, wait until you’re ready. Don’t rush yourself. Losing someone to suicide is a tremendous blow, and healing must occur at its own pace. Don’t be hurried by anyone else’s expectations that it’s been “long enough.” #YouDoYou #LoveYouChels

Suicide is a growing problem in the United States. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a survey Thursday showing suicide rates increased by 25% across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%, the government report finds. If you of someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

I usually have a witty closing, but not this time. From the posts on social media, I think we can all agree that we have all been touched by suicide, in one way or the other.

Let’s listen more to Plato…”Be Kind; For Everyone You Meet is Fighing a Hard Battle”.

xoxo

KP

 

 

Water your OWN Grass

Life. It’s hectic. We all have a million things going on. Work, home, pets, friends, family, volunteer, keeping the tiny humans alive. And the relationship that usually suffers the most, the one that we take for granted more than others is our mate. Why? probably because we are the most ‘comfortable’ with them. The most comfotable with our life status quo. But our mates should be nurtered, watered like plants, like the lawn. If not, they will wither up and get all dry and crunchy. There are plenty of sayings about the grass. Some say “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.” I say ‘the grass is greener where you water it.’  Doesn’t everyone want a nice, green, plush lawn? One that you can take your shoes off and walk on with your bare feet? I sure do!

Now, don’t get it twisted, I am NOT a step ford wife. I am far from Martha Stewart at cleaning, cooking and I can be quite the lazy a$$ on the weekends. And I need to do better at showing (not just telling) my hubby that he is numero uno. I am watering the grass, but I need to turn up the water pressure a little.  Sometimes I look around and see/hear the trials of this person and that person and think “hey, we are doing just fine”. I mean, at least we don’t have separate houses, live in seperate states, we aren’t screaming at each other, he’s not sleeping with my assistant and we sleep in the same bed (for the most part, unless I fall asleep watching trash TV).

So, how? How can you jumpstart, bring a little bit of a spark back, make it better? Because the SECOND anyone says my life/my marriage/my relationship is PERFECT….First, you are lying & probably hiding something. I’m not saying put your business on the street. But, just be real with yourself, boo.  Second, good for you liar. You can stop reading here and go back to your lie of a life because no one is perfect. 😉  Third, for those of us that live in reality, here are some tips from people WAY more qualified than I am.

Oh, and before I hear any… “OMG, I am SO sick of being the one ALWAYS making the effort. Why can’t HE be the one to make plans and take me out? Why can’t HE be the one to see I need more ‘water on my lawn’? Why can’t HE just let me take a dang bath for 15 minutes without all the kids watching???” Well, ladies, because sometimes men just don’t think. There ya have it. You want things to change? Change them. #BeTheChangeYouWantInYourHouse

Now, back to tips to get that grass GREEN-er. You can learn a lot about a person, in as little as an hour of conversation. Take some of these 36 Questions to Bring you Closer together and write them down on slips of paper. Ask them to each other during happy hour, or during the hour before ‘sleep’ time, or during date night. You never know what you can learn about your mate…even after years of being with them.

Talk about the good ‘ole days. Nothing gets those butterflies fluttering like thinking back to what brought you both together! Say something like “I loved that trip we took to ____” or “that dinner you cooked me on our second date, it was amazing”. Don’t go in for a dig like “Why don’t we EVER go on trips any more like we used to?” or “Why don’t you cook like that any more?” That is a SURE way to dry up that grass….

Speak well of each other! There is nothing more of a TURN ON, than when you hear through the grape vine of how nice your spouse/mate was talking about you. Of course, we all have our close friends that we vent too…your deep personal issues need to stay just that–personal. #talknice

Drop your old issues. We all have scars and damage from our dating days, but don’t use an old fight as a weapon in a new one. It’s unfair to throw unresolved issues at one another — drop those sensitivities by avoiding hot button issues that you’ve already discussed (and hopefully resolved). If you’re still having trouble letting it go, consider journaling or talking to a counselor to prevent these bygones from weakening your marriage.

Fight fairly. This one is hard, especially for the ones of us that have Irish/Cajun tempers, LOL. Avoid using absolutes like “always” or “never” to accuse your spouse when you’re revved up and kind of irrational during a particularly bad argument. Within the argument, establish a “take it back” code whenever either of you says something you don’t truly mean. You both need to know when to apologize; love does mean saying “I’m sorry” sometimes.

Be financially responsible. Money is one of the top marriage stressors, especially in challenging financial times. You both need the security of knowing that you’re each paying bills on time, and not making unnecessary purchases. Be honest with one another, no matter what. Don’t show up with a new car…that would be put in the ‘not good’ column.

Don’t stall on each other’s requests. Life is hectic, but if your partner asks you to look up something online or find a piece of paperwork for him, make it a high priority to do so as soon as humanly possible. When you show your spouse that his requests are important to you and you value his needs, that makes your partnership even stronger. Example: I drink my coffee while I check my emails in the mornings, in bed. My husband HATES when I leave my coffee mugs & water cup on the nightstand.  It does not bother me, but really, really, really bothers him….and has for 9 years. Finally, after me realizing that is REALLY does bother him; and after several requests (a final plea rather), I have an alarm set in my phone, every day, reminding me to remove them from my night stand. The alarm is named “CUP”. And if that little thing helps his sanity and helps me to remember, then “cup” alarm it will be.

Accept that you’ll both have bratty moments. Sometimes when we’re stressed, we get snippy. It happens to everyone, and that ultra-bratty response may even be a surprise to you. So if your spouse replies with a crappy comment, don’t come back hot! Just accept it as a sign that maybe he’s stressed and not able to respond more maturely at the moment. Maybe his baby momma just came at him with something? Maybe the boss just gave him an earful, maybe he just had to deal with an unpleasant patient/customer, maybe the kiddo just had a little ‘a-hole moment’….you never know. Try not come back the same way. Yes, that is HARD. #TrustAndBelieveIKnow
And if he blames your bratty remark on PMS, it’s better to walk away than get into a fight over something silly. Apologies can come a little bit later. #DontBiteHisHeadOff #MenCanBeStupidBecauseTheyAREFromMars #WeArentPerfectEither

You get more fly’s with sugar. My grandmother told me this over & over and it is VERY true. IF you want something done, don’t come in hot…(or just do it yourself! ha). There is something to be said about using manners and sweetness to get things done in life. It’s the same things with your mate. But, we take our mates for granted and just ‘expect’ things to just happen…but we shouldn’t. Get out that sugar! Give more sugar and get more sugar! #SugarSugar

What is your love language? There are 5.

  • Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

If you don’t know yours or your mates…then you really are on Mars & Venus. These are outlined by Gary Chapman in a 1995 book, “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.” Its like $12 on amazon…get it, read it….it will BLOW your mind. My husbands love language is ‘acts of service’. Now what the hell does that mean?? It means he shows LOVE and receives love through acts of service. Doing chores, helping people with handy man stuff, he is a hard worker. This is also how he perceives and receives incoming love. (remember the damn cups on the nightstand? Removing them daily makes him SO happy) Some people have more than one language. I love quality time and physical touch, with some gifts thrown in! (Poor hubby #poorJP) My hubby isn’t my first hubby, got the mistakes out of the way and then found a good one! We are going on 9 years. Are things always lollypops and daisy’s? Hell no. Anyone that says their marriage is perfect…#WhatTheWhat? But, I wouldn’t trade him for anything! (Well, maybe Channing Tatum, he’s single now)

Your L.L. is usually different from your mates; and once you learn what theirs is; your can start communicating to them and giving them what they need.  Example: If your L.L. is quality time and all you are getting is gifts, and NEVER getting quality time with your mate…then you are probably feeling pretty empty. Maybe because your mates L.L. is gifts, and they think that fills you, because that is what fills them. (MIND BLOWN RIGHT!? LOL)  I have read the book and I bought the book for my hubby to read about a month ago…it is still in the plastic wrapper. #HintHintJP

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There is a myth that marriage will just sustain itself…that is more than a myth, it’s a total lie. Marriage is work. Hard work. And like any other work, it takes two people willing to work AT it. Marriage is also an evolution. Two people willing to evolve through the years together.  It’s learning yourself, learning your partner. What you are at 24 is not what you are at 34 and not what you are at 44.  DON’T sweat the small stuff. JP’s says “I never did mind the little things.” He usually says it when there is something that is/was bothering him. LOL. There is nothing more beautiful knowing, that at the end of the day, you have someone that has your back 110%. #YouBetterWork #WaterThatGrass #StayInYourYard 😉

Cheers to Green Grass!

XOXO

KP