A Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mothers day gift guide

Alright friends, Mother’s Day is only a week and a half away! We’ve all graduated from the days of macaroni necklaces and artwork with our handprints. It’s time to step it up and get mom a gift she’ll truly love! If you’re still wondering what to get your momma, look no further. I’ve rounded up some of my most favorite things that would make a beautiful gift for mom! Consider this your one stop shop for the perfect Mother’s Day gift!

Lisa Leonard Stackable Rings

Lisa Leonard Jewelry

Ya’ll. You if your momma wears jewelry, you can just stop right here – you’ve found your gift! At $59, this beautiful hand stamped sterling silver ring is a real winner. You can choose from a variety of metals, and they are fully customizable! My husband got me this sweet ring with our daughter’s name on it, and besides my wedding ring it’s the only jewelry I wear every day. You could even have your siblings pitch in, and get your mom a ring with each of your names since they’re stackable! These are seriously so so sweet and I can’t say enough good things about them. If mom isn’t a fan of rings, they also have custom necklaces and bracelets to choose from as well! Shop the rings here.

Custom Watercolor Family Portrait

Watercolor Photo

These portraits are absolutely perfect for the momma that loves her family photos. If I had to pick one item off this list, this would be the one. If you’re mom is anything like me, they likely have photos throughout the entire house. (I even have photos in our guest bathroom. No shame). So instead of getting another enlargement framed, why not get a beautiful watercolor portrait made of her favorite photo? Aubrey at September Ocean creates the most simple, beautiful pieces from any photo you like. You can choose either a 4×6, 5×7, or 8×10 print size and the prices depends on how many are in the photo. She’s even running a special promotion for Mother’s Day, and offering 20% off her whole site! Head over to her instagram page to check out her work, you won’t be sorry!

A Beautiful New Cookbook

Magnolia table cookbook

Let’s be real. Even if your mom doesn’t like to cook, this cookbook would look gorgeous just sitting on display in her kitchen. The Gaines empire has done it again, and Joanna has released a beautiful cookbook full of yummy recipes (and I’m secretly hoping this is my Mother’s Day gift 🙂 .) Also – does anyone else feel like they could just sit down with Joanna, eat her yummy biscuits and jam, and instantly become BFFs? Or is that just me 🙈. Seriously though, everything about this book is beautiful. It’s crafted well, looks and feels beautiful, it’s easy to follow along with, the pictures are descriptive and the recipes are to die for.  I know lot’s of momma’s that would love to receive this as a gift!

A Sweet Mug

coffee mug

Like usual, Target knocks it out of the park when it comes to those cute and trendy coffee mugs you see all over instagram. In store right now they have so many sweet momma themed coffee mugs! If your momma is a coffee lover, pick one of these up and fill it with some sweet treats for her. Maybe some fancy chocolate, her favorite coffee, hot cocoa, whatever! If you’re looking to make it a bigger gift, why not pair it with a new coffee maker?

Mommy & Me Tees

Mommy and me clothes

Matching Mommy + Me tees are such a cute trend right now, and Ooby Dooby Baby is such a sweet little shop to get them! I’m all about supporting small businesses and ‘mompreneurs’ (if you can’t already tell) so I would be amiss if I left this awesome company out. Their sizes range from newborn to adult and everything in-between, and every style can be found in every size. Their t-shirts are even unisex, so dad can match too!

That’s all I have for you today folks! Whatever you end up getting for your mom, she’ll love it anyways because that’s what mom’s do. Spend the day together and make memories!

Your Self Image as a New Mom

The Duchess of Cambridge has done it again, and gifted the world with another beautiful baby heir to the Royal throne. Here in America, we are so drawn to British culture and find ourselves counting down the days to Royal events. The addition of a sweet baby boy to the Royal family is no different.

While watching the Today show this morning, coverage of “baby watch” had begun when Prince Charles and the Duchess were spotted on their way to the hospital. It would be a matter of hours until the little royal’s arrival! Here’s the kicker. Hours later, the Royal hairdresser was spotted entering the Hospital – which meant the baby had arrived. Not long after the hairdresser’s arrival, the Prince and Duchess of Cambridge made their first appearance on the hospital stoop, announcing the arrival of their new baby boy. This was a mere seven hours after she had given birth to an 8 1/2 pound baby. And. Kate. Was. Stunning.

Of course she was stunning. She had her own personal hairdresser tend to her after giving birth. Heck, I don’t even think I brushed my hair until I had been home from the hospital for three days. This is where, as a blogger, I get to be a little sassy and share my opinion.

Now I am fully aware that the Royal culture is in a league of it’s own, and there are many rules and traditions to follow. And I applaud the Duchess for doing so in such a graceful manner. But let’s get real for a second and talk to each other, mum to mum. Can you imagine getting dolled up and addressing an entire Nation (or really world) just hours after giving birth? Forget an entire Nation. Even just your visitors in the hospital.

For the superhuman strong women that labored in a face full of makeup and hair extensions, I give you a standing ovation girl. For the women that don’t touch a tube of mascara for weeks after having a baby, I raise my mug of cold coffee to you. The expectations we place on ourselves and other women during the postpartum weeks are absolutely absurd. We scroll through instagram and see our friends posts from the hospital or birthing center, and their faces are glowing with the perfect highlight and their lashes are curled to perfection. Me? The only glow I had going on came from the happiness of my epidural, and my lashes were crusty with three day old mascara.

That is the reality of postpartum life, and it is beautiful. Yes, the day will come when we find our new normal and remember how to apply winged eyeliner (it’s like riding a bike, you never really forget). But until that day comes, soak it all up and love yourself. Love your bare skinned face and greasy mom bun. Because from here on out, your priorities have shifted.

Your tiny little newborn will only be this small for just a few weeks. That sweet newborn smell will quickly be replaced by the smell of poop and smushed bananas. And the best part is? That squishy little newborn is going to love you with or without mascara. You are their world right now. You are their source of nourishment, love and affection. Those first few weeks are so crucial to building that sweet mommy baby bond, and it is so hard to not let anything get in the way. But I’m here to simply say this. You are beautiful mama. You just gave life to a sweet little babe, and you have just risen to a whole new level of beauty. Don’t let your surroundings set the standard for your happiness. Be patient with yourself and let yourself heal. If I had to guess, there is no Royal press awaiting your arrival, so just embrace the moment and learn to be comfortable in your mommyhood.

3 Must Have Products for Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

I don’t know about you – but I love Spring cleaning. I’m a strange woman, I know. I’m just that type of person that can’t go to bed while the house is a mess, it’s a downfall truly! While I was in college I procrastinated from doing my homework by cleaning my apartment. Let me tell you, I probably had one of the cleanest apartments at that University. Five years later and I still haven’t lost my touch!

After the Winter months are over, it’s time to open those windows and let the fresh Spring air inside! Colder weather causes us to spend more time inside, which means more gunk and dust builds up in our homes. More than likely, you entertained and had house guests at some point over the holidays – leading to even more gunk and grime in your home. The warm Spring weather gives you the perfect opportunity to freshen up your home and give it a good cleaning!

Now I know, everyone has a different definition of clean, so I’m not here to tell how you to clean your house. I don’t have a perfect schedule to help you clean your home top to bottom in 30 days. I don’t have any crazy cleaning hacks to make your home clean itself. Instead, I’ve rounded up some of my most favorite products to help you clean your home – no matter how or when you decide to do it!

A Multi-Purpose Cleaner

Spring Cleaning Multipurpose Cleaner

The first and more powerful item in our lineup is a great multi-purpose cleaner. You want to find a cleaner that you can use on multiple surfaces because let’s be real – you don’t want to be walking back and forth throughout the house with 3 different bottles of cleaner. Find something that is safe and effective for all the surfaces in your home!

I personally love this All Purpose Cleaner from J.R. Watkins. It can be found in many grocery stores, but I usually buy mine in Target. It comes in several scents, I love this coconut one – it will make your whole house smell like the beach 🙂 While this isn’t an all natural cleaner, I love to use it because it’s free of harsh chemicals, dyes, perfumes and bleach. I can use it around my daughter while she’s playing and not worry about the fumes bothering her!

As far as it’s cleaning power goes, I have yet to find a mess that this won’t clean up. I use it on our kitchen counters, kitchen table, shelves, coffee table, you name it. That’s what makes this so easy to use, and that’s why a multi-purpose cleaner is so important! I grab an old wash cloth and spray any surface in my house I want to wipe down. Within 10 minutes I’ve wiped down surfaces in our bathrooms, the living room and kitchen all with one product – and it’s clean and smells fresh!

A Powerful Disinfectant

Spring Cleaning Disinfectant

Germs germs germs. Nobody likes them. Nobody wants to share them. Yet they spread like wildfire. That is where a great disinfectant comes in! Specifically, a spray disinfectant. A spray disinfectant is one of the most efficient ways to cover all the surfaces in your house, and keep them germ free (relatively 🙂 )

This spray disinfectant from Seventh Generation is relatively new to me, but I LOVE it. I currently have it in the Eucalyptus, Spearmint and Thyme scent. They also have a Lavender one I’ll try next! The beauty of this specific spray is that it cleans without using harsh chemicals, meaning I can use it on all of my daughter’s things. Unlike other sprays, it doesn’t require rinsing – even on children’s toys and food contact surfaces! In other words, you can literally spray this everywhere. Remotes, toys, faucets, counters, couches you name it. It’s definitely a one stop shop in terms of the disinfecting department!

A Microfiber Cloth

Spring Cleaning Microfiber Cloth

Last in our lineup, and probably the most versatile is a microfiber cloth. These little babies are truly awesome! I try to use paper waste as little as possible in our home, so microfiber cloths have been a great addition!

There are so many brands out there that you can buy, some more expensive than others. People tell me I need to dive into the Norwex world, but honestly these little $5 cloths from my local grocery store work perfect for me! I keep two different colored cloths in our home. I use this brown one for dusting, and I keep green ones in our bathrooms and kitchen to wipe down surfaces daily.

The main purpose of microfiber cloths is to clean surfaces without any added chemicals. I find that they’re perfect for the more tedious tasks around the house! I’ll wet them and wipe down the baseboards, cabinets, windowsills, blinds, pretty much anything you don’t want to spray a cleaner directly on to. They also are perfect for cleaning glass and mirrors without leaving streaks. Once you’ve used up every bit of the cloth, simply toss it in the wash! I will add, most companies recommend not to put their microfiber cloths in the dryer, as their static charge can be ruined.

And there you have it! Three simple products to help you get your home freshened up and ready for Spring. I love all of these products because they serve multiple purposes, work effectively and are safe for me to use around my daughter. They can tackle any area in your house from the everyday wipedowns to the nasty forgotten baseboards.

What are some of your favorite items to clean your home with?

Wiseman Family Photos

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to photograph the Wiseman’s before they move across the country. My husband Brandon and I have taught in our children’s ministry at church alongside Tonia for the past few years, and we have taught their children as well. They are such a genuine family with real love for one another, and you can see that through their photos! Family photos are probably my favorite shoots to book, mainly because they’re so near to my heart personally. Every family deserves to have recent, beautiful photos with one another!

Wiseman Family PhotosWiseman Family Photos2

Wiseman Family Photos3

Wiseman Family Photos4Wiseman Family Photos5

Wiseman Family Photos6

Here’s just a few of my favorites from the collection. Be sure to head over to the gallery to view the full collection of photos!

A Spring Skincare Guide

A Spring Skincare Guide

It’s no secret, the harsh Winter air and cold temperatures can wreak havoc on our skin. We bust out the heavy moisturizers and slather ourselves all Winter long in desperate hopes to keep our face soft and moisturized. That one of the many reasons I’m always happy to see Spring roll around! Now that temperatures are warming up and our skin is bouncing back from the dry heat, it’s time to change up your skin care routine. I think it’s just as important to have a strong Spring skincare routine as it is a Winter one! Spring is a time to focus on restoring the moisture and prepping your skin for the Summer sun! Here are a few products that I think make up the perfect Spring Skincare Guide to get you ready for Summer!

A little disclaimer before we get started. Every single person has different needs for their skin – so what I recommend may not be the best option for you! It is best for you to know and understand your skin in order for you to treat it. I have extremely dry sensitive skin with minimal acne (thank you Lord!) I also have found that the less heavy products I use, the better! As soon as I started cutting out any products targeted towards acne, products with harsh chemicals  and heavy perfumes, I noticed a huge difference in my skin! So take my suggestions with a grain of salt, and make sure to keep your own skins needs in mind when choosing products to use.

A Great Makeup Remover

Spring Skincare Cleanser

I cannot stress this one enough ya’ll – and it’s number one in our lineup for a reason. We load our faces up with makeup, and they absorb so many chemicals and pollution throughout the day. It is SO important to remove it all at the end of the day! You already know it, so you don’t need to hear it from me, but your skin is your largest organ. It is so important to let it breathe while you sleep at night – which is why you have to make sure you cleanse well before bed!

Now I’m not a totally “crunchy” person, but I like to use as little chemicals as possible on my skin – which is why i absolutely adore these makeup removing washcloths from Sephora. They work just like the Makeup Eraser cloths, they’re just much cheaper! These little babies come in a 2 pack, and they’re better than disposable wipes because they’re completely free of chemicals and reusable! Just pop them in the wash with the rest of your towels to clean them. I usually wash mine once a week, so rotating between the two in this pack is perfect. Ignore the appearance of mine, I promise it’s clean, just well loved 🙂 But all you have to do is wet these under warm water, rub it in circles around your face and BAM – your makeup is gone! I honestly hardly ever use an actual cleanser because between this and my next product, my makeup is completely gone. You can buy these beautiful babies here.

Coconut Oil

Spring Skincare Moisturizer

If you guys get anything from this post – make sure it’s this. COCONUT OIL YA’LL. I absolutely adore coconut oil, and I use it for so many things in my beauty routine. It is the absolute best makeup remover and moisturizer all together in a sweet little jar. We all want beautiful radiant skin, especially as Spring and Summer are approaching because we typically wear less makeup. This is seriously the best way to cleanse your skin without drying it out!

I keep a jar of coconut oil on my bathroom counter and use it daily. For the days when I wear heavy makeup, I’ll scoop out about a quarter sized amount and emulsify it in my hands. Once it’s warmed up, I simply rub in small circles, really concentrating on my eyes (that’s usually where the most makeup is for me). It’s gentle enough to use on the eye area, and it conditions your lashes instead of ripping them out (can I get an AMEN). AND when you’re done cleansing, you smell like a tropical vacation.

Between this little beauty and my makeup remover cloths, I can easily remove all my makeup within minutes. I buy this Simply Nature Coconut Oil from my local Aldi. It’s 100% refined, Cold Pressed, Virgin oil. You can substitute it with any other Coconut Oil you like to use! I would just suggest that if you cook with Coconut Oil, to buy yourself a separate jar to use in your beauty routine.

A Purifying Mask

Spring Skincare Mask

There are so many masks out there, and they all have these amazing claims – and I feel like I have tried them all. From the classic green mint julep mask from Queen Helene, to the crazy peel off charcoal masks that were all over instagram, I always have some sort of mask in my beauty regimen. I can honestly say that this little beauty is the best one I have ever had in my arsenal. And let me just throw out there – I am not in any way affiliated with Beautycounter, nor do I sell it or plan on selling it – I just love this that much. If you are interested in trying out some Beautycounter products, here’s a link to my Beautycounter Rep’s website!

Anyways, this charcoal mask is the bomb.com ya’ll. I use it twice a week, usually on Wednesday’s and Sunday’s. It has such a fresh invigorating scent and leaves my skin feeling so soft and replenished, not dry and tight!

Beautycounter Skincare Charcoal Mask

The real magic of this masks happens while it’s drying. (Don’t mind this gorgeous glamour shot 🙂 )If you look closely on the bridge of my nose, in-between my eyebrows and on the sides of my nose, you can see where the mask has pulled excess oil out of my skin. And I have super dry skin ya’ll. Even in the dead of summer I use a pretty heavy moisturizer, and I don’t get that oily. This mask still manages to pull out extra gunk and oil every time I use it! It’s truly worth it’s weight in gold – I highly recommend it!

A Good Toner

Clinique Toner Spring Skincare

I feel like toners get neglected in the skin care world. And that is so sad, because they can make such a huge difference in the quality of your skin! After cleansing and using masks, your skin is stripped of some of it’s natural moisture – no matter how gentle of a cleanser you use. Toner’s help to restore your skin’s PH and replenish moisture back into your skin. That’s why even if you have oily skin, it is so so important to follow up your cleansing with a toner!

I have been using this Clinique Clarifying Moisture Lotion for over 2 years and there’s no turning back anytime soon. Clinique skincare is one of the most customizable lines out there, and I LOVE it. You can mix and match between products based on your skins needs. This toner is “Number 1” in their toner line, and provides the most moisture of them all. I simply squirt a few drops onto a cotton pad and gently wipe it across my entire face (minus the eyeballs). My skin feels so great after I use this, and it even helps remove any makeup that my cleansing routine left behind!

Serum Serum Serum!

Beautycounter Serum Spring Skincare

After my toner I apply this little beauty – the newest member of my skincare family. I can’t speak on the longterm effects of it yet but I’m already a raving fan.

Serum’s are so hot in the beauty community right now, and after using this I totally understand why. This is the Rejuvenating Radiance Serum from Beautycounter, and it is a rockstar of a product. I apply it after my toner and before my moisturizer, and I feel like my makeup goes on SO much smoother after using it!

It claims to help even your skin tone, improve hydration and diminish the appearance of wrinkles. It has become such a great pair with my moisturizer, I can’t wait to see what long term effects I see!

A Tried and True Moisturizer

Clinique Moisturizer Spring Skincare

Ah, old faithful. In my 26 years of life, I have gone back and forth between so many different facial moisturizers – it’s almost disgusting. And somehow, I always end up coming back to this little guy. This is the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +. Once again, Clinique carries several different moisturizers based on your skin type and this is the perfect one for me. Even if you’re an oily skin girl, it’s still so important to moisturize, you just have to find the right one!

This moisturizer applies so lightly and blends into your skin like butter. It absorbs in a matter of minutes, so you don’t have to sit around and wait before you apply your makeup! I apply it in the morning and at night as the very last step in my routine. I can genuinely say that if I miss a few days of using this moisturizer, I definitely notice a difference. It keeps my dry patches at bay, doesn’t break me out and keeps my skin looking radiant! If I had to choose one holy grail item from my skincare routine, hands down no question, it would be this moisturizer.

A Gentle Exfoliant

Aveeno Exfoliator Spring Skincare

Ah exfoliants, a dry skinned girl’s best friend. Exfoliation is probably my biggest tip to you when it comes to having radiant, Spring ready skin. I’ve honestly used countless exfoliators over the years, and all of them seem to perform fairly well for me. The past few months I’ve been using this Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub, and I really enjoy it. I use this little guy while in the shower, mainly because I hate to try and rinse an exfoliant off over the sink (I always end up flooding the bathroom. Anyone else?)

The exfoliant particles in this scrub are gentle enough for me to use as often as I need and they have never irritated my skin!

And that my friends, is all I have for you today. I hope you’ll do some research on these products and find something similar to give your skincare routine a good boost for Spring! I love being able to feel confident about my skin in the Spring and Summer months, so I don’t feel like I have to cake up the makeup every time I leave the house.

I’ve repurchased the majority of these products time and time again, and will continue to. I’m definitely an advocate for less is more – especially with skincare. My skin is currently in the best shape of my life and I honestly think it’s because I cut out the unnecessary products, and stick to the few things that work for me!

What does your skincare routine look like, and what are some of your holy grail products?

Babies First Easter Basket

Let’s be honest guys. Every first holiday with a new baby is so exciting – but it’s really for us, the parents. There is no way our little ones will remember their first holidays, and maybe even the second or third ones. Now this is where I feel conflicted. We want those sweet photos of our babies first Christmas surrounded by presents wrapped in pretty paper. We want cute spring pictures of our little one sitting next to their first Easter basket – but they’re less than 12 months old. What in the world do they need? This Easter, I’m doing my best to create a cute and practical Babies first Easter basket for my daughter!

The Basket

Let’s start with the basket itself, and where better to look for one than our faithful motherland Target.

If you want a traditional wicker Easter basket, I think these are absolutely adorable. Target has so many different baskets to choose from this year, but I love the simplicity of this one! It has a very Pottery Barn feel with the added monogrammed liner. My husband and I wanted to buy a nice basket that we could use for as long as possible with our daughter, and I just think this one is so sweet and timeless! It will definitely be used for the years to come. You can find the basket and liner here.

If you want more of a trendy basket, I absolutely love this rustic wire one. It’s smaller in size than the wicker, but sometimes that can be better! It all depends on how full you want your basket to look. We won’t be using this one as our daughter’s basket, but it makes the perfect centerpiece on our table!

The Goodies Inside

Now comes the hard part. You don’t want to waste tons of money on things your baby won’t use, so what in the world do you put in their first Easter basket? They’re too young for chocolate eggs and can’t appreciate a good Easter Egg Hunt, so you’re stumped. Well let’s get creative! Think of some things your baby needs now, and might need in the coming months.

Books

No matter your babies age, books are the perfect big items to put in your little babes basket. My daughter will be 7 months old this Easter, so these thick board books will be perfect for her chunky little fingers.They’re all Spring and Easter themed as well, so they’re the perfect addition!

Socks

Now I know. This totally makes me the uncool practical mom, but oh well! Socks get eaten in the dryer and left behind in grocery stores – babes can never have to many. This sweet little socks are in fresh springy colors, and will fit my daughter through Spring and into Summer!

Something Educational

I’m totally that mom who is convinced her child will be the next Albert Einstein, so I am always up for the opportunity to teach my little one – even when she’s still little! Target has these sweet little flash cards in their Dollar Spot right now, and I thought they’d be absolutely perfect.

Food Food Food

Since my little can’t eat Cadbury Eggs yet (my favorite), we’re tossing some of her favorite food into her Easter basket. She absolutely loves all of these puree blends from Happy Family Foods. I picked out a few of her favorites, and she’ll probably eat one for lunch Easter Sunday 🙂

And there you have it! A quick and easy to put together babies first Easter basket. Will my daughter remember what was in it? Absolutely not. But she will have some sweet photos to look back on of her first Easter!

What about you? Did you make an Easter basket for your babies first Easter? What did you choose to include?

Free iPhone Wallpaper

Happy International Women’s Day – and Freebie Friday! Well, Freebie Thursday. I’m so excited to start sharing freebies with you, I had to share this first one a day early! For the first ever Freebie Friday, I give you a free iPhone wallpaper download! All you have to do is fill out the form below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox!

Free iPhone Wallpaper download

Want to get Freebie Friday goodies sent to you every week? Be sure to subscribe!



Floral background provided by Torrie at Fox & Hazel

Simple Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl

Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl

Let’s be honest. Do I want to eat clean every morning and start the day off feeling good about myself? Yes! Does that always happen – no. Most mornings I find myself cramming a cold Pop Tart in my mouth while washing last night’s dishes and keeping my daughter entertained. Eating well is one of the biggest self care tips I can give you. It’s cliche, but in order to get good results, you have to fuel your body with great food! I know. It can be so hard most mornings to get everyone ready and out the door on time, so your needs likely get pushed to the back burner. To solve these breakfast woes, I came up with a delicious treat that combines both your healthy and simple breakfast needs! Smoothie bowls are all the rage right now, but I can’t pay $7 for one every morning! I give you, the Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl.

Smoothie Bowl Frozen Fruit

Start off with your berry base. You really can use any fresh or frozen fruit you like, I usually buy these Simply Nature frozen berries from Aldi. They even carry pre-made smoothie packs that you just blend with juice, but that takes away the creativity 🙂 Lately I’ve been enjoying their organic strawberries and raspberries. They’re super yummy!

Frozen fruit in the blender

To blend my smoothies, I use my handy magic bullet. It isn’t as fancy or powerful as a Ninja – but I love the simplicity of it! I find myself using it much more often than my full size blender.

As far as measurements go, the small self-serve cups with the magic bullet make measuring out your fruit so simple. I never measure anything exactly in my smoothies, I just eyeball everything. So for the berries, I will fill the cup almost halfway full. You want your smoothie bowl to be a little thicker than a normal smoothie so it is easier to eat with a spoon as opposed to a straw. That’s why I usually make sure the majority of my cup is full of frozen items. If you’re using fresh fruit, just throw in some ice cubes.

Smoothie ready to be blended

On top of the berries I cut up a whole banana, and add in some almond milk. You can of course add whatever milk you like! Just make sure you add enough to cover your frozen fruit. Lastly, squeeze in a little honey and you’re ready to blend.

Smoothie bowl toppings

Once everything is blended, you’re ready to pour your yummy smoothie into a bowl. Here is where things get yummy. I love smoothie bowls because you can add so much texture to them through your toppings. Usually, I drizzle some honey on top. I’ll also add some sort of granola for a good crunch. Lately I’ve been loving this banana nut granola from Aldi! It has yummy whole grain granola pieces with dried bananas mixed in. I love the Simply Balanced vanilla granola from Target too. I’ll also add any fresh produce we may have in the house like blueberries or sliced strawberries. Of course when I decide to write this post, we have zero fruit in the fridge so this mornings smoothie was a little bland.

Smoothie Bowl

So there you have it! This yummy bowl literally takes less than 3 minutes to whip up. That may be a little longer than the time it takes to open a packet of Pop Tarts, but I promise you it’s worth it! The base of these yummy bowls are so simple, it’s easy to customize it however you want! Just remember that you want your smoothie to be a little thicker than normal. Here’s a final list of ingredients!

1/2 a cup of fresh or frozen berries of your choice

(Ice if you use fresh berries)

1 sliced banana

About half a cup of your choice of milk

Toppings of your choice

 

And that’s it! What would you add to your own smoothie bowl?

Britney Read Senior Portraits

Say hello to the beautiful Britney, one of this years Senior Models for Lensy Life Photography! Britney and I enjoyed the beautiful Spring weather we’ve been having here in North Carolina last weekend while we took some gorgeous senior portraits! Britney is a Senior at South Rowan High School and is a member of the Varsity Cheerleading Squad. She will be attending Belmont Abbey College in the fall where she plans to continue her cheerleading career.

Britney Read Senior Photo1

Britney Read Senior Photo 2  Britney Read Senior Photo 3

Britney Read Senior Photo 3

Britney Read Senior Photo 4

To view Britney’s full gallery, click here!

To book your own session, e-mail me at lensylife1@gmail.com

 

How to Start Your Day with Jesus

We’ve all been there – and you’re lying if you say you haven’t 🙂 We begin to regress and slack off our time spent with the Lord no matter how hard we try. If you have a Bible reading schedule you follow, a devotional journal, or just prayer time – it’s time to get back to it! If you’re looking for a new way to start spending time with the Lord through daily devotions, don’t feel down or discouraged. We’re human, and with that human territory comes imperfections.

First, Set an Alarm

Yes I know. You probably have an alarm set in the morning to wake you up – and it’s the worst sound in the world. It’s time to associate your alarm with something to look forward to – your time with Jesus. Get your booty out of bed, turn on that Keurig and pull out your Bible, devotional, whatever! If you know that it takes a little while for the fog to settle in the mornings, set your alarm a few minutes earlier than what you really need.

Once you have your timing planned out, set a recurring alarm on your phone to go off every day. And here’s the kicker – when that alarm goes off, don’t just snooze it! Make it a priority to get out of bed and give your undivided attention to the Lord.

Find an Easy Format Devotional

Now this is kind of loaded. By easy format, I mean whatever is going to be easiest for you to access early in the morning. If you’re an early bird and like to get into the meat of the word first thing, that’s great! Pull your Bible out and get ready to dive in. If you know you aren’t as attentive in the mornings, maybe save your deep reading for later in the day and find something quick to read in the mornings.

Personally, I’m not really a night owl or a morning person. My prime is 2pm, and then I quickly crash between 4:30-5. Because of that, I found a wonderful app that I love to use in the morning call She Reads Truth.

She Reads Truth

Let me tell you – I adore this app.  It is so simple to navigate with four simple tabs at the bottom. There are tons of different studies to choose from! The app itself is free, but for $1.99 a month you can access all plans as much as you like.

She Reads Truth

I am currently reading through their study of Esther. It is divided into around a chapter a day, so you can read through the book effortlessly. You also gain access to several author’s commentary on the chapter as well. After completing each day, it places a check mark next to the day so you know exactly where you are in the plan – and who doesn’t love check marks? Ahh, completion.

She Reads Truth

You can supplement your reading through the second tab, where you have access to the entire Bible in your preferred version. You can highlight, take notes, place a bookmark and more all in this tab.

This app is essentially the cream of the crop when it comes to a daily devotional. You can even configure the app’s settings to send you a reminder during the day do read your devotional – no excuses! The content of the commentaries in the app may not go as deep as you would like for them to, so this may not be your main Bible study resource. But I think it is absolutely perfect to open it up first thing in the morning instead of facebook 🙂

It’s All About Accountability

As with many other things in life, you are going to be much more successful if you find yourself an accountability partner. Find someone that you can trust and rely on – someone that you know isn’t afraid of hurting your feelings. Make sure that they will hold you accountable every day and follow up with you by text, e-mail, snail mail, whatever. We all need someone pushing us to be our best. Someone to come behind us and ask “Hey, did you read your devotional today?” “Did you eat your vegetables today?” “Did you drink enough water?” Find a friend that will hold you accountable, and do the same for them.

 

So what are you waiting for? Drop your excuses in a comment below, and start every day the way you should!