I want it all...

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Progress Not Perfection

Since I relaunched my blog at the very beginning of July, I've been working hard to get a blog post up every week day. I knew that schedule wouldn't be realistic forever and I would prob go to 3 days a week, but I wanted to start with a bang! If you are avid reader, you probably realized there wasn't a post this past Thursday, Friday, and Monday. At first, I was really upset about it but I soon realized that my goal isn't perfection. I am working on more discipline with my blog and I feel like I've definitely made progress in that way.

We had a lot of things going on this past weekend and I am so glad I enjoyed the moments and the quality time with family rather than trying to get work done. It's important to unplug when necessary. On Thursday, we were able to take T to the Soccer Gold Cup tournament. He plays competitive soccer and loves watching soccer. We watched Panama vs. Nicaragua and US vs. Martinique. It was a long day and night but so much fun!!

On Friday, we headed on a road trip down to my dad's house (he lives about 4 hours away from us) to spend time with family. I have two younger sisters, one is in her third year of medical school and the other one will be starting law school at NYU in the fall. They both were in town so it was great to spend time with them before everything gets really crazy when school starts. We had such a great time and even went to a Marlins game one of the days we were there. The kids love getting to spend time with them too.

Before beating yourself up about things not going exactly how you planned, take a second to recognize that progress is the goal. Take care of yourself and being okay with taking time off when necessary.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

10 Tips On Making It Work

In honor of us hitting 10 years of marriage this year, I thought I would share 10 tips that help our marriage continue to work.

1. As my fellow islanders say: "Don't worry, be happy."  But in  all seriousness, happiness is a choice we have to make over and over again. We can choose to be upset over small details or annoyances or we can look at the bigger picture and choose to focus on the positive. If it's not worth divorcing over, it's not worth wasting time arguing over it.

2. Ignore and Redirect. There will be times when one of us does get annoyed over something stupid and meaningless, I mean c'mon we are human. Arguments or disagreements escalate when the other person feeds into it. So when one of us gets annoyed over something really small or insignificant, the other person continues to be kind and ignores the attention seeking behavior. Its hard to be annoyed at someone when they are being kind to you as if nothing happened.

3. Go back to the beginning. As time goes on in an relationship, we tend to get complacent and forget the things we did in the beginning. Take a moment to write down the things you did the first year you dated and do some of those things again. It may surprise you how many things you all don't do for each other anymore.

4. Get creative. After being married for awhile, life gets in the way. You may have kids and they seem to take over your schedule. The plethora of date nights you had before may not be as frequent as they used to be. Even if you aren't able to go out on a date, make sure you still make date time even if it's at home. Try taking a bubble bath together, having a movie night at home, playing games, etc... 

5. Keep it Sexy. This one is dual meaning. If you have been following me for awhile then you know I've posted about it this before, but always try your best to keep it sexy. Obviously life happens and there will be days when you look a hot mess but try your best to make an effort most days. And the other part of this one is make time for some lovin. We have two kids (and one is a toddler) so I totally understand how crazy life can be but get it in when you can whether its at nap time or right before bed. It's important for your marriage and it provides a different connection then anything else can bring.

6. Express Yourself. A lot of times, we expect our partners to be mind readers and they absolutely aren't. You feel like they're ignoring your feelings when they have no idea your feelings are hurt. If something is on your mind let them know. It's much better to express yourself early instead of letting things boil up inside and then getting extremely anger later.

7. Love Languages. It's important to find out your partners love language. It's so easy and common to try to love someone the way you need to be loved but that won't work. Pay attention to what things make them happy and ask them the things that make them feel loved and vice versa. Make sure they know the things that fill your love bucket as well. 

8. Always be respectful. A major thing in our marriage is respect. We try our very best to (even when we are upset or angry) to always be respectful to each other. If we have a disagreement, we don't yell at each other or call each other out of our name. Respect is huge and it makes all the difference. 

9. Physical Touch. It's easy to go through a normal busy day and forget to love on each other. Physical touch is an important transfer of energy and even just a small touches throughout the day reminds us of how much we love each other. If we are driving, Tony will rub on my face or shoulders. If we are watching tv, he will lay in my lap and I'll rub his head. Those little things matter and mean more than you probably realize.

10. Make an effort. Staying married and in love is work. It is something that you have to work at every single day. It takes you being unselfish and giving of yourself even when you don't feel like it. But if the other person is doing the same, it all works out. If both of you guys are working at it and truly making an effort each and every day, love and marriage can be such a beautiful thing. I honestly feel like I am hanging out with my homie every day and its a great feeling to have.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

T's 10th Birthday!

I'm finally finally posting T's 10th birthday pictures. 10 is a big number so we decided to try and throw him a surprise birthday party. His birthday is in April so its always risky with weather but we decided to try a pool party and just prayed really hard that everything would work out. Let me tell you, trying to hide anything from a 10 year old is extremely hard but we made it through.

I rented out the pool at our clubhouse so we would have enough space for everyone. We kept the food light and mostly finger foods: subs, wings, mac and cheese, baked beans, fruit, and chips. I had a life size Connect four and Jenga made. And I also purchased an oversized inflatable bowling set to add some other activities for the kids. T has a lot of different allergies so I had a special vegan cake made for him and did Publix cupcakes for everyone else. Add some music, a photographer and a few decorations and we were all set. For the cherry on top, he actually had no idea and was really surprised. It worked out beautifully! I hope you all enjoy the pics.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Just Beachin It!

I hope you guys had a great 4th of July with your family and friends and are now recovered and back to the normal grind. We have a pool at our house and normally will just have family and friends over and cook on the grill, but we decided to switch it up. We live near some really nice beaches and often take them for granted, so we decided to pack up and head out. Turned out to be a great idea and we all had an absolute blast.

We brought a canopy tent, filled up our coolers with lots of water, gatorade, and drinks. I bought cuban bread from Publix and made homemade mini turkey subs, such a hit for our family. We added some chips and we were all set.

We brought our nieces along with our boys and everyone really enjoyed themselves. Tayden loves playing in the sand, he was content with building castles and houses all day. T and my niece Liyah loved boogie boarding and also did some paddle boarding. Miah (my older niece) loved laying on the blanket in the canopy reading magazines and hanging out. It was really really hot and the water was so warm and nice. It was the perfect beach day!

Next holiday, dont be scared to step out of your comfort zone and do something different from time to time. You might surpise yourself and enjoy it more than you think. I shared some pictures from our day below. I don't have too many because we were just hanging out and enjoying ourselves. I also shared some links to where I get a lot of the boys swim trunks and swim gear for very affordable prices.



Friday, July 7, 2017

Tayden's 3rd Birthday Pics

I know, I know, I am finally posting some pics from Tayden's 3rd birthday party. I love throwing parties for the kids. I really enjoy seeing my kids and their friends having a good time enjoying themselves. For Tayden's party, we rented out the children's before hours and had a construction themed birthday party. I love the children's museum here but the issue I always have is when it's crowded it is always hard for the little kids to have any room to play. At his party it was so nice seeing all the kids having free reign and able to play with whatever they wanted to play with.

Before sharing some pics, I want to share some tips for throwing an epic kids party:

1. Find the venue first: I think that theme is dependent on the venue you find. Even though you may have a theme in mind, sometimes it just won't work if you can't find the perfect venue.

2. Pinterest is your best friend! Once you find your theme, Pinterest can help you flesh out all the details you like and would like to replicate. If nothing else, it gives you a good starting point.

3. Etsy is great for custom pieces that will help take your party to the next level. I always get custom t-shirts made and little extras like custom cupcake toppers, party favor bags, etc...

4. When all else fails DIY, if you can't find what you are looking for don't be scared to DIY. Sometimes the best focal points of the parties are the things that you made for the parties. Not only does it add a custom feel to your party, it also saves you a lot of money.

 SN: Can't believe my baby is already three!!!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Current Skin Saviors

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, then I'm sure you remember for the past year or so I have been struggling with my skin. It started with breakouts, and when I finally felt like I had the breakouts somewhat under control, I had all the scars and spots to deal with. I was using the Murad dark spot corrector for awhile but I stopped seeing results from it.

About 6 months ago, Tony and I were out on a date night and happened to walk into Kiehl's while we waited for our table. I had used their Dark Spot Corrector a few years back and I wanted to give it a try again. One of the sales associates let me know that if I combined the dark spot corrector with their Nightly Micro-Peel Concentrate, I would see results much quicker. I was pretty desperate so I purchased both.

This combination has changed my face dramatically. Literally after two nights of using them, I was able to see a difference. I have been hooked ever since. I no longer am getting breakouts and all the spots I had are either gone or have faded dramatically. The peel isn't strong at all and I don't feel any kind of sensation when I put it on. I normally cleanse my face and then I use the dark spot corrector on the areas with any spots (which is normally on my cheeks). I let that dry a bit, put the nightly peel serum all over my face, and then apply my nightly moisturizer. The combination has been working so well for me and I am so thankful!

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Lunch... Handled!

As many of you may know, I used to compete in fitness competitions. It's been a long, tough road since then (more on that later) for me. I've recently got back into meal prepping a lot of my food for the week especially for lunch. I'm trying to find the balance between eating healthy and not feeling in prison or crazy restricted like I did when I was competing.

Normally on Sundays, I will roast a ton of different veggies, bake some sweet potato bites, and cook some grilled chicken and/or fish. I will then combine those things in different ways during the week.

I have found my perfect lunch combination and I will probably be eating this until I literally can't stand it anymore. I even made some for the hubby and he agreed it was delicious and he usually doesn't like what I like, so that says a lot lol.

For my veggies I roasted onions, broccoli, peppers, and zucchini with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, himalayan salt, paprika, and white pepper. I also picked up some butternut squash that was already spiralized. I threw the noodles in a frying pan with garlic and oil. I then added some of the roasted veggies and some of the grilled chicken to the pan. I added a little bit of teriyaki sauce and mixed it all together for a healthy version of stir-fry. It was absolutely delicious. If you are looking for something tasty and healthy for lunch, give this a try and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence day from the Gaskins fam bam! I hope you and your family have a fun day celebrating America today!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Self Development is EVERYTHING

A little more than a week ago, I went to the BlogHer17 conference. It was totally on a whim and my husband literally told me about it a few hours before the event. I normally wouldn't go to events like this, I am a bit shy around a lot of people I don't know, but for some reason I decided to go. It was a three day event about an hour and a half away from our home, but I figured why not.

It was a great experience for me for a number of different reasons:

  • The most obvious is I learned a lot of new things that I can put to use with my own business. I also learned how to better implement the things I already do.
  • I met a lot of new people. It's great to do things that push you out of your comfort zone. They definitely won't be easy but will for sure be worth it. I also met someone that lives pretty close to me and we have become each others accountability partner, which is great. It's good to surround yourself with women who are in the same grind as you who can be your sounding board when needed or just give you that extra push when you start to get off track. So often, women tend to be in competition with each other when supporting each other benefits us so much more.
  • The most important thing I gained from the seminar is I left so motivated and inspired. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about your business, inspiration and motivation is always something that can help keep us on track. There were some amazing keynote speeches from some phenomenal women like Serena Williams, Carla Hall, Laurie Hernandez just to name a few. It was great to hear their stories and to see how much they have accomplished.
 I had been kind of in a rut and feeling like I didn't have the time to keep up with blogging and the other ventures I have going on right now. That seminar gave me that extra push I needed to get back on the train and keep pressing. So if you are on the fence about attending a seminar or a function that can help you, take a chance, and go for it! You may gain more from it then you would've expected.

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