5 Ways to Let Go of Stress at the End of the Day

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Some days are not awesome.

I think I’m very fortunate to say most of our days are pretty awesome – but we also know how to focus on what’s good in life rather than focusing on what’s less than perfect. Perspective is super important. But it still doesn’t change the fact that some days are not awesome. In fact, some weeks aren’t awesome. Some months are better than others.

January has not been my favorite month. I’m never a big fan of this month to begin with, but that’s because saying goodbye to my favorite time of year (September – December) is bittersweet. I’m such a fall/holiday kind of person. I like winter, but only until the holidays are over. Then I like spring.

I do not like summer.

I know. I’m such a minority here. I don’t love the sun. I don’t love the heat. I don’t love bodies of water. I don’t love heat. I don’t know how I’ve lived my entire 34 years in Florida. I just don’t. I like to go outside and not sweat. It’s so simple.

But I digress. What I’m saying is January is always an awkward month for me saying goodbye to my favorite time of year, but this January has been a little less amazing. I’m sorry I’m not going into more detail to share with you why this month has been difficult because the problems aren’t our stories to tell. I will say this; Our hearts are heavy for so many people we care for after so much tragedy and so much bad news this month.

It’s just been a few weeks we’ve made especially certain to hold one another and our kids and the people we love a little closer as well as a reminder that life is so short. This week also included a Dream Team meeting (maybe you call it a PTA meeting?) and a half day today, which is such a schedule-crusher. It’s extra busy.

So…with all the “off-ness” (a word I just made up. You’re welcome.) going around this month, de-stressing has been a priority at the end of the day lately. Just unwinding and relaxing and letting go of the things that weigh me down has been super helpful. I’m sharing my favorite – very simple – ways to destress at the end of a bad day, a busy day, an exhausting day, a regular day, whatever day.

Easy and effective. Total winner.

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Write Down What You’re Thankful and Grateful For

I love a gratitude journal. Nothing is easier than jotting down two or three little things you’re grateful for and then re-reading what you’ve written down in the past. It takes all of six seconds, and it really does make you feel better. What I love most is how easy it is to focus on the smallest, most random, most amazing things in life we’re grateful for when you jot them down. It helps me focus on what’s good rather than what’s heavy on my heart or mind.

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Put the Kids to Bed Early

All right, so I have to be honest. We put our kids to be early every night. Twins at 6:30 and the girls at 7:15. The twins are ready, so that’s not a problem. The girls, however, go into their rooms at this time to unwind, read, watch a little television, or play until 8 when it’s lights out and bedtime. Some nights it’s later since we have dance and gymnastics and our Wednesday night dinner tradition with our friends – but we stick to it otherwise.

This gives us the kind of time we need to straighten up. I like things clean and perfect. Floors, counters, bathrooms, laundry room…and we need 10-15 minutes to wipe everything down and do the floors after they go to bed. Then we get to shower and enjoy a movie, our favorite television show, reading, a glass of wine, an embarrassingly early bedtime…whatever. We don’t care too much since the point is just spending that time together.

My point is this – you have no idea how much better you feel until you put the kids to bed, get your life in order, and actually do something for yourself at the end of the day. Try it. It’s instant feel-good vibes.

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Yoga

I go to an amazing yoga class twice a week in the mornings, but I like to do yoga at night, too. I’ll take my iPad into the living room and put on a 20-minute YouTube video (just search “20-minute yoga” to find one. I don’t have a favorite since I like to mix it up every time I practice) to follow. My husband joins me, sometimes the kids join me. It’s always nice.

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Prep for Tomorrow

I love how much less anxious or stressed I feel after laying out the kids’ school clothes, signing their folders, checking their homework, and getting everything handled prior to morning. My husband and I work together to tag-team these things so we can wake up the following morning as relaxed as possible with so much done. We do it every night, and it’s instant stress relief.

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Get Busy

TMI. Personal. Intimate. I know, but do it. I mean, really. Literally. Do it. You’ll feel much better about all things. Just do it (not your way, Nike, so chill with any copyright or trademark thoughts).

Listen, you can de-stress however you want, but these are the things that always work for me. I don’t do baths – but people swear by them. I have some issues with grout and tubs and just the thought of sitting inside a bathtub freaks me out so much. I can’t. It’s why my husband has given every single child’s bath since our oldest daughter was born more than 9 years ago.

Anyway, drink a glass of wine. Read a good book. Get lost in a funny movie. Cuddle the babies a little longer, read extra bedtime stories to the kids or let them read to you. Ignore all life responsibilities and do what you want. Go out to dinner on a date with your spouse or hang out with your friends. Do whatever you want as long as it makes you feel lighter, happier, and less troubled.

Life is not always perfect – and I certainly don’t want anyone to feel it is for others. It’s not. While we like to focus on what’s good in life and appreciate how fortunate we are in life, we still have bad days. Our hearts are heavy this month because so many people we love are going through unimaginable things – and that just makes everyday nuances a little more stressful when you’re constantly thinking about how you can help, what you can do, and praying for those affected by disease, by death, by heartache. And that’s why focusing on minimizing stress and feeling good is imperative.

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8 Colorful, Fun Scarves to Transition from Winter to Spring (Under $100)

Happy Monday!

I am so happy to start this week – the last month of my life has been the most stressful! I’ve been lying, sneaking around, acting like a shady beach…I’ve been planning a surprise party for my husband’s 35th birthday. And it made me a little crazy.

Let me tell you how difficult it is to surprise the person you’re married to in your own home and keep it together. The lies. The constant fear I’d ask him to respond to a text for me when I couldn’t and I’d forget the last message was party-related, the Facebook invite popping up on my home screen on my phone every time someone RSVP’d or posted.

Anyway, it turned out amazing, and I cannot even tell you how relieved I am not to have to carry my phone around with me everywhere I go out of sheer terror the surprise would be ruined if I left it in front of him and he saw an RSVP or a text or a confirmation email come through.

My heart legit cannot handle this kind of stress. But I’m so thankful it all turned out perfectly, and it was a surprise, and it was amazing! We have the best people in our lives, and we so appreciate all they bring to the table in terms of their friendship and love. We’re fortunate, and I love that.

Back to the point, though: Scarves.

Sure, it’s the end of January and everyone is ready for spring, but I have to talk about scarves. Last week I posted an Instagram roundup and I have never received more compliments or questions about a single item than the colorful scarf I was wearing in my Insta photo. We don’t have much use for scarves here in Florida, especially a blanket scarf. However, everyone was in love with the bright, bold colors.

They were described as refreshing, gorgeous, the perfect color combo, and everyone stated they were so happy to see colors like those in the middle of winter. Unfortunately, said scarf was a gift from my husband more than a year ago and it’s no longer available.

Because everyone loved it so much, I spent some time online looking for perfectly colorful, inexpensive, super fun scarves to help transition from the cold, bland, colorless winter to the bold and beautiful spring.

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Free People Scarf – $40

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Kate Spade Scarf – $98

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Seafoam Scarf – $10

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Art of Giving Color Block Scarf – $58

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Violet Del Mar Scarf – $12.50

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Gray and Peach Scarf – $8

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Express Plaid Scarf – $31

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Madewell Color Block Scarf – $55

The Perfect Gift: The Gift of Time (and a GIVEAWAY!)

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Time.

Do you have enough time? I never feel that I do. I manage to use every second to my best ability, and I’ve decided that’s just who I am. I’m okay with that, but I’m hyper-sensitive these days to the things taking up my time.

My kids.

My husband.

My business.

Those are the most important things taking up my time, and those are non-negotiable. I can’t don’t want to get rid of the kids and my sweet husband (Happy Birthday, Babe!) or my business. I don’t want to give up volunteering. I don’t want to give up yoga.

There are things I just love so much, and then there are things that are a total waste of my time.

When the amazing team at JORD Watches contacted me to ask if I’d like to work with them on a GIVEAWAY (head over to my Instagram page to check out the details and enter (tiffanyraiford15), I was super excited. Of course, I’d make time for such a fun giveaway for such a cool product.

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And that’s when my new JORD watch taught me the most spectacular lesson.

I might not be able to create more time in the day, but I do have the power to create how much time I waste and how much time I utilize – and my Apple Watch is making that difficult for me.

Sorry, Apple – I do love my watch. It’s great for my workouts. It’s great when I’m working and my phone is charging and I’m getting notifications I might need otherwise. It’s great when I’m driving.

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What’s not great, however, is how obsessed I’ve become with wearing it since my husband gave it to me three Christmases ago. It’s a time suck. I might be doing anything and stop because my watch notified me I have some new emails. Once I see that email come in, I feel the overwhelming need to respond. The same with texts and notifications on social media.

Wearing my JORD watch while we shot the campaign was fun because I wasn’t interrupted – at all. I had no idea if someone was trying to contact me. I wasn’t constantly distracted by notifications and emails and text messages.

Do you know how nice that felt? It’s the first time in a long time I’ve not worn my Apple Watch, and it was such a nice break. My new JORD wood watch is my new go-to for date nights when we’re out and I don’t want the interruption. It’s like I’ve been given the gift of time, and I didn’t even realize it.

If you’re looking for an amazing gift to give someone you love this Valentine’s Day, why not give them the gift of time? The JORD watch is all wood – and it’s gorgeous. It’s delicate while also being strong, and it’s a perfect blend of feminine and masculine. You’re going to love this because it’s the gift that keeps giving.

GIVEAWAY

You can win your very own chance to own a JORD watch by heading over to Instagram today to enter my giveaway with JORD Watches. Just head to tiffanyraiford15 on instagram, find the photo of this watch and follow the instructions to win. The contest lasts two weeks, and the winner gets a $100 code for purchase as well as free sizing and shipping on your new JORD watch!

If you can’t wait that long, you can visit http://www.jordwatches.com and enter coupon code “tiffanyraiford15” at checkout for an instant $25 savings on your new watch. Good luck!

35 Things You Don’t Know About My Husband (The Man Behind the Scenes of Every Instagram Photo and Blog Post) in Honor of His 35th Birthday

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A Thursday blog post must mean something special is going on.

It is.

It’s the eve of the very handsome Mr. Raiford’s 35th birthday, and I love celebrating his birthday. He’s the best person I know, and I have no shame celebrating him daily. He’s the kind of man you can’t help but love, and everyone does. I’m almost positive they tolerate me only because they want more of him!

Tomorrow Craig turns 35, and this will be the 17th birthday I’ve had the good fortune to celebrate with him. We met on a kind-of blind date when we were 18. He was a freshman in college, and I was a senior in high school. I went home and broke up with my boyfriend that night because I knew this guy was The One.

And if you ask Raiford, I’m always right. Except when I’m not.

Turns out, I was right. We were engaged a year and-a-half later, married two years after that, planned our wedding, went to school, and built our first house all at the same time. We got married in 2005, and we’re going to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary this year. We have four beautiful but sometimes annoying kids, some bad days, a lot of really good days, and some serious magic. And I wouldn’t trade a second.

Craig is the man behind our family, the man who will do anything for anyone, and he is the man behind the camera and my blog. I talk about him a lot (well, we have fun together so why not?) and I thought I’d share 35 things you didn’t know about the man who is always happy to stand behind the scenes of not just me but our four kids and cheer us on, support us, and take care of us. But be careful because you’ll end up falling just a little bit in love with him, too.

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  1. He is an amazing cook, and he really loves to spend time in the kitchen. He loves to try new recipes and make new things – and he’s really, really good in the kitchen.
  2. He’s cuddly. When the alarm goes off at 5 am, he grabs me and pulls me as close as he can to him and won’t let me up until he’s had a few moments like that. It’s my favorite part of the day.
  3. He’s the one who wanted kids. I wasn’t sure. I like them, but I wasn’t sure I really wanted them. To be mostly honest, I still feel that way four deep! (Jokes, people, jokes)
  4. He went to every single doctor appointment I had during all three of my pregnancies. He never missed one and refused to miss one even when I told him he didn’t have to go. He wanted to.
  5. He never left my side in the hospital when any of our four kids were born unless I sent him out for something to eat when our visitors were gone for the night

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  1. He will do anyone for anything. Whatever you need, he’s going to help you no matter what. Sometimes this makes me a little crazy because he’s so bad at saying no, but it’s just who he is at the core of things.
  2. He’s funny. This man makes me laugh regularly.
  3. He’s the best daddy. I can talk about this forever and ever. He is the bath-giver, the diaper changer, the boo-boo fixer, the homework helper, the best hugger. The kids love him so much more than they love me, but I can’t even be mad about it because he’s just so good with them.
  4. Nothing irritates him as much as hearing another father call it “babysitting” when his wife goes somewhere and leaves him home with the kids. He believes that’s called parenting. And he’s right.
  5. He might hear half of what I say. But I’m long-winded, and only about half of what I have to say is even remotely interesting or halfway intelligent the way I ramble – so he’s good.

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  1. He always brings me flowers. Even though I buy three or four dozen flowers a week to keep in our house, he still brings me flowers every time he goes out, and he still sends me flowers periodically even though we have so many all the time.
  2. He dates me regularly. He plans a sitter, makes dinner reservations, and he takes me out. He even makes sure the kids don’t come into the bathroom and interrupt me while I get ready so it feels like a real date.
  3. He always opens the door for me and any other woman or child.
  4. He’s a serious gentleman.
  5. He doesn’t yell. Like…ever. He talks loudly when he gets excited or when we’re watching football, but I can’t get this man to engage with me when I’m in a total bitch mode no matter how hard I try. He just doesn’t yell.

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  1. He hates to read. His one flaw.
  2. He doesn’t snore, but he breathes loudly when he sleeps. So I guess that’s two flaws.
  3. He cleans his ears every single day. I think this is weird. Is this weird? Or am I weird? Anyone?
  4. I think he might think I’m a little bit crazy with my obsessive need for total cleanliness in our home and in my car all the time, but he never says a word about it. He just grabs the vacuum every night and runs it over all the rugs, and he grabs the ShopVac and vacuums out my car anytime we take the kids anywhere.
  5. He loves to stick Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the freezer and share them with me when they freeze.
  1. He doesn’t love it when I use too many tomatoes in any recipe.
  2. The twins love the go upstairs at bedtime and hide from daddy every single night in the exact same places. He waits patiently downstairs until they’ve had time to hide, walks up, pretends he can’t see them, and feigns sheer terror when they jump out and scream boo. They giggle like crazy every single time, and he never lets them down.
  3. He packs all the school lunches.
  4. He is the calm, cool, collected person in our marriage.
  5. He drives slow, he’s not aggressive, and 90% of our arguments start in the car when he won’t pass someone or tailgate them or he stops me from leaning over him to lay on the horn and make obscene gestures at them.

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  1. He has such amazing work ethic. He is dedicated to his job, and he loves what he does. He spent 15 years with a bank, and he fell out of love with his job when the bank merged with another. He was offered a new job almost 2 years ago allowing him to work 100% from home from a company he had business dealings with for many years, and he took it. I’ve never seen this man as happy as he’s been since he began working with this company. He is so good at what he does, and he never lets a problem go until he’s able to fix it for his customers.
  2. He’s so book smart. Sometimes his common sense takes a quick vacation, though. Don’t worry – I utilize every possible opportunity to give him a hard time and make fun of him when he does things like wonder why we are standing in a long line of people to take the stairs from the 11th floor of a hotel rather than the empty elevator when the fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night. 😊
  3. He’d prefer to be outside 100% of the time whenever possible, especially if it’s with the kids.
  4. He and I have the exact same travel taste, and he’s the best person to travel with.
  5. He is the man behind the phrase, “Never marry a man unless you’d be proud to have a son just like him,”. He is the most amazing example to our son, and to our daughters. He’s kind, loving, patient, generous, respectful. He’s such a good role model.
  1. He rarely gets dressed. He wore a shirt and tie for 15 years with the bank. Now he’s in an Under Armour shirt and shorts all day everyday unless we leave the house. It’s his favorite part of life.
  2. He does all the laundry in our house.
  3. He makes the best filet mignon ever. We have filet Friday in our house (unless we have plans Friday and it’s Filet Sunday) and he does the most spectacular job. I can’t even order filet when we go anywhere anymore because it’s always a disappointment in comparison.
  4. He is a diehard Florida Gator. He’s never missed a game, win, lose, out of the continental United States 6 hours behind in Hawaii watching a 3 pm game at 9 am…when we’re good, when we are bad, he’s a diehard.
  5. He has to buy all of his own shoes. His feet are like 8 different sizes depending on what brand, what type, and what style shoe he’s wearing. Even he can’t figure out size he wears without trying things on.

Now you know my sweet husband a little better. If you’re still not sure who he is, just know he is the nicest person you’ll ever meet. He’s the guy who stands outside in the freezing cold in shorts and a tee shirt and no shoes to get the perfect OOTD picture for my Instagram feed. He’s the guy who never misses an opportunity to throw the football with our son and our daughters or sit down and watch Wheel of Fortune with our two oldest while letting them solve the puzzles first because they get so excited.

That’s the guy I married – and I love every sweet, kind, annoying, frustrating, funny, strange, amazing thing about him. Happy Birthday, love. Thank you for picking me to be the girl you spend all your birthdays with.

Instagram Roundup: Winter (in Florida) Wear

Happy Wednesday!

This week has been one of those weeks I adore! Things are getting done, my productivity level is insane, and we have a super fun weekend ahead…all things I love! I haven’t done an IG roundup in a while, and I’m not entirely great at linking my OOTD pieces, so I’m bringing up a few for you here and now. A lot of what I’ve been wearing the past week or so – which is winter wear because we had a week of winter in the Sunshine State – is on major sale, which is a huge plus!

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{Jeans: 7FAM | Black Tee | Blazer | Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM | Sunglasses: RayBan | Wedges: Michael Kors |Earrings: SugarFix by BaubleBar | Watch: Apple | Charm Bracelet & Charms: Tiffany & Co. | David Yurman Bracelet }

I wore this earlier this week when the temps warmed up just a bit. It was such a nice day in the 60s, but still not cool enough not to throw on a blazer (though I did cheat the system with some open-toe spring shoes). I am a huge fan of these jeans with their raw hem, and I’m also a huge fan of black in the cold weather. A blazer just dresses up basic jeans and tee outfits.

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{Jeans: 7FAM |Sweater | Hat | Sunglasses: Yves Saint Laurent | Lipstick: MAC D for Danger  | Watch | Suede Heels: Manolo Blahnik }

You know it’s cold when a Floridian puts on a sweater with a cowl neck. And I told you I love these jeans so much.

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{ Jeans: 7FAM | Sweater | Scarf (gift, but similar here)| Watch | Sunglasses: RayBan | OTK Boots, sold out similar here | Earrings: SugarFix by BaubleBar }

I didn’t even know I owned a turtleneck sweater, my face says it’s cold, and my husband picked up this scarf for me last year and I never thought I’d be able to wear it!

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{Jeans: 7FAM | Ballet Flats: Tory Burch | Plaid Shirt (sold out, similar here) | Sunglasses: YSL | Minnie Ears: Disney World | Lipstick: Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood }

This is the time of year I am happiest we are annual passholders, and it’s also the time we use them the most. The weather is gorgeous, we don’t die of heat, and everyone is in such a good mood. The parks are less crowded. It’s good stuff. And this was a sweet, sweet family day.

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{Faux Leather Leggings | Sweater: Michael Kors (old, similar here) | Suede Heels: Manolo Blahnik | Necklace: Old, similar here and here | Sunglasses: YSL (sold out, similar here)| Kate Spade Bow Clutch | Lipstick: Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood }

Date. Night. My husband is the best date night-planner. We do a lot of date nights I plan, but his are the best because he asks me out after he secures a sitter to come over and take care of the kids, he makes the reservations, and he never chooses a restaurant that doesn’t have one of my favorite bottles of wine on the menu (hint: it needs to be a sangiovese). And he always makes it so much fun.

The Benefits of Sweet, Slow Sundays: Quality Over Quantity

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I like Monday.

I love the routine and schedule of a Monday. I love weekends, too; don’t get me wrong. I love the unstructured morning schedule of sleeping in, the fun we have, and the laidback-ness of it all, but I’m so schedule-oriented. I like Mondays because I love what I do, and I like how refreshed and energized I am, and how excited I am to take that creativity into my office and create.

I also like that the kids go back to school. Can’t lie about that one.

The only time I don’t love a Monday is when my Sunday isn’t sweet and slow and laid back. Last weekend, for example, we took the kids to Disney on Sunday. We were home late, we didn’t get any weekday prep work done around the house, and we were just off. It was also a holiday and the kids were home, so that lent itself to the general funk I felt all day Monday.

Sundays are super important days for me. I need them slow and relaxed, I need them unstructured and slow. I like to sleep late (which is anything past 5 am for me, to be quite honest). I like to go to church. I like to spend time in the kitchen making a big breakfast with my husband.

I like an extra cup of coffee. I like to cuddle with any of the kids willing to stop moving for one second to sit down and cuddle with me. I like to grocery shop, I like to play outside with the kids. I like to get our baseball gloves out and throw the ball with my husband, play football with the kids, push them on the swing, jump on the trampoline with them.

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I like to pile our family of six on our golf cart and spend the afternoon taking a long ride around our neighborhood. The kids like to drive by certain houses. The “Loud House” house that looks like a house they see on a television show they like. The fish mailbox house, the rooster mailbox house, the house with the Olaf Christmas decoration (imagine how sad it is to drive by that house and see there is no Olaf Christmas decoration 11 months of every year….always a letdown until it’s not).

I like a slow, sweet Sunday. No scheduled plans on the regular – though there are some things that I don’t mind breaking my no-plans Sundays for. That’s what I love about Monday. On occasion, someone will ask me why I like my Sundays so simple, and I thought I might share all the benefits of a slow Sunday.

We All Relax

We are a family of six, and our schedule is hectic with everyone’s social lives and their extracurriculars. That means we need a break. This weekend we had so much fun have friends over for dinner on Friday night and going to the retirement party for a man I’ve known since I was a child because his daughter is one of my very favorite people in the world (it was 70s themed, we dressed up, it was fun, and there was a lot of dancing, a lot of sentimental moments, and a lot of kids up late!).

We were all exhausted on Sunday, but the day we spent relaxing was amazing. We all felt so much better by the end of the day. Rested and content. Taking a day off of real life is nice once a week. Rest is so necessary, and sometimes the best way to rest is to spend the day being really, really lazy.

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We Have More Energy

Slow Sundays mean we wake up Monday morning with ample energy. A slow day is nice, but it’s not something we can handle for more than a day. By Monday, we are ready to get back to real life being productive and useful and creative. I wake up on Monday mornings with so much energy, and it shows in my work and how much I get done.

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It’s Quality Time

Sundays are meant for quality time, and that’s what’s best. It’s time we spend with the kids rather than running around the kids asking them to please get ready, where’s your jacket, did you grab your whatever you can’t live without at the moment, let’s get in the car and go kind of time. It’s time with them rather than time around them. We all need that.

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It Makes Monday Easier

I find myself in my office every Sunday during the twins’ naptime. I update my calendar for the week. I write down my daily goals for the week. I clear out my inbox of everything, I make a list of people to email, and I make notes for things to do and remember. I update my content calendar, I organize my photos. All in all, I spend a half hour in my office preparing myself for Monday, and I wake up ready to go knowing the little things are done.

We also organize lunchbox stuff, school stuff, and clothes for the week on Sundays. When we get up on Monday, we aren’t rushed and crazed. It’s more relaxed and easy, and it makes the start of the week that much simpler.

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We Enjoy the Rest of Our Life So Much More

When I’m old enough to have seen my sweet babies have their own sweet babies and those sweet babies grow up and start their own families, I want to look at the life I lived and remember just how much I enjoyed it. I don’t want to look back and wished I’d spent more time enjoying life than being busy and getting things done.

That’s the best reason for rest days on Sundays for us. Taking that one day to relax, rest, and recharge allows us to really enjoy the rest of our life so much more. We aren’t dreading plans or wishing we could stay home from something or going through the week in a fog because we’re tired. We are rested and energized, and we are ready to tackle the next week of our lives.

Our quality of life has improved tremendously since we began our slow Sundays. That one simple day brings so much additional joy and contentment to our lives. We’re able to focus more on one another, on our relationships, and on the little things in life. Sunday Funday, as we like to call it, is slow and sweet and simple. And I’m down with that.

Do you plan a day of rest in your life? Do you think you don’t have the time for it? We didn’t think we had time for it. If you’d asked us just over a year ago if we had time for a day to rest every week, and the answer would have been a stressed out, hysterical laugh. We had to learn to make time by prioritizing what was most important to us, what was most important to our wellbeing, and what was most important to our health. You, too, can find the time if you prioritize yourself in your own life. I know…it sounds hard, but it’s so worth it.

5 Daily Self-Care Habits that Make Life So Much Sweeter

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Every day is different, yet it’s remarkably the same in Raiford household. We run a tight ship with schedules and routines for ourselves and the kids. It’s helpful in keeping everyone on track (and me less crazy), and it’s taught our kids some amazing habits. They know to clean up after themselves because messes make mommy twitch. They know the bedtime routine and don’t fight it, and they know our expectations of them throughout the day.

That doesn’t stop them from bickering, telling on one another, or making us crazy in general with the constant question of, “May I have a snack, please?” and the subsequent, “Oh, that big bowl of macaroni and cheese with a side of cucumbers and salad? That wasn’t my snack. That was just food,” that follows.

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They’re cute, but they’re annoying at times.

Our days are structured. It helps us run my business, it helps Craig’s job, and it helps with the kids. We call it organized chaos. But I’m sharing a smallish secret. I say smallish because anyone who knows me well knows this.

I’m a totally anal-retentive, upright, Type-A, perfectionist control freak. I can’t leave the house if there is anything out of place. I can’t handle anything being disorganized. I can’t handle any type of mess. You guys….I vacuum my SUV out the moment I pull it into the garage and get the kids out of it every single day.

The good news, it only takes me 30 seconds to keep my car spotless every day and a good 10 minutes for us to turn out home spotless at the end of the day. So, good things come from my really poor qualities.

Even with all my organization and my routines and structures, life overwhelms me sometimes. Four kids is a lot. My business takes a lot from me. Being a present wife and mom takes a lot from me. Being involved in the kid’s school lives at two different schools takes a lot out of me. I’ve learned to recognize when I’m overwhelmed and overdoing it. I start to snap at the kids and my husband without any real reason. I find myself super annoyed with everyone and everything, and I find my already very thin patience unraveling.

And I know I need to step back, chill the eff out, and regain control of my life. Since the twins were born, I’ve learned a lot about myself I didn’t know before. I’m so much more familiar with myself, my needs, my body. I know when I’m overdoing it, and I’ve learned how to rest when I need it. I’ve also learned my breakdown periods are few and far between when I practice daily self-care.

As an insane creature of habit, I’ve managed to schedule a few things into my day every single day that gives me peace, helps me stay calm, and makes me feel in control and good. I didn’t know it at first, but it’s self-care and I’m all about it. Since I get a lot of questions about how I manage to stay (and by stay, we’re talking appear, people) so calm and collected and put together with four kids, I thought I’d share what I do each day to help.

Side Note – basically my entire life is easier and more organized because my husband is 100 percent involved in everything around our house because of his own accord. Dishes, bath time, dinner time, bed time, laundry, the kids, diapers, whatever. He’s the reason my life is easy. And I appreciate the hell out of him.

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I Exercise Daily

I make time every day, even when I don’t have it, to work out. Even if can’t do more than 20 minutes on the elliptical at the YMCA, I’m there doing it. Working my body, sweating it out, and getting my heart going make me feel good. I love the energy I get, and I love how I feel. My favorite is yoga. I take two yoga classes per week and sometimes a third. I love how strong I feel, how good I feel, and how it motivates me. Exercise is so good.

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I Wake Up Early

5 am. That’s my everyday wake up call. I need it. I need it to shower, blow dry my hair, put on makeup, and enjoy a cup of coffee before I head into my office to start my workday. I need it before everyone is awake. I need the calm of being able to start my day quietly with my First 5 App, with some daily devotionals, and to just enjoy the morning in peace. It’s my favorite time of day.

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I Practice Gratitude

This is a fairly new habit I’ve included in my daily routine, but it’s good. I’ve been using a gratitude journal. I’m impatient and easily annoyed and constantly baffled by the number of people in the world who cannot do their jobs correctly, who cannot do what they say they are going to do, and who don’t seem to value the concept of hard work and customer service. And I’m really bad about letting that kind of stuff irritate me.

So I’ve been practicing gratitude by focusing every day on three things I really am grateful for. I have a long list, but I’ve been trying to focus on writing down what really touches me at the moment. The other day, for example, I was sitting at my desk working on some deadlines at 6:45 am when Craig went upstairs to get the twins out of bed to have breakfast. They came downstairs and immediately came to my desk to give me hugs and kisses and “I yuve you, mommy’s,” before they took off for the breakfast they are hungry for the second they open their eyes (am I the only person who cannot figure out how these tiny humans are starving the second they wake up?).

I realized in that moment how insanely grateful I am that no matter what I’m doing or how I’m feeling or how they are feeling, our kids are always ready to come say good morning to me before they do anything else so they can get their love in first and foremost. So, I wrote it down. And then I thought about how sweet that is all day long, and I didn’t even lose my shit when a company made a promise to me they couldn’t keep and I wanted to shake them and ask them what the hell is their problem.

If you say you can have something done in 30 minutes when I call, and then I come in and drop my stuff off and then you tell me an hour later when I come back to pick it up that you don’t even know if you can do it in the next two days, why do you say you can do it in 30 minutes? (Maybe I took my frustration to my car, lost my shit for a minute or two, and defintely ended up the topic of conversation around the dinner table of the guy parked in front of me. “You guys won’t believe this crazy psychopath I saw today. What a piece of work!”)

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I Eat Well

I love a donut or a cookie as much as the next girl, but I really love the way I feel when I make healthy eating choices. I like pizza and junk food, but I don’t like the lethargy I feel after I eat like that. I have more energy when I eat well, so it’s a favor I do myself.

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I Start My Day with Uplifting Music 

I’m easily distracted while Craig is getting the kids ready for school in the morning, but that’s also my most productive work time. I pop my headphones in and turn my music up. Most mornings I listen to a Christian Contemporary station on Pandora, but sometimes I’m in the mood for classical or my favorite Frank Sinatra station. Whatever it is, I love listening to uplifting music in the morning. Craig once said he loves when I listen to Christian music in the am because I sing (oops) and he loves that my good mood instantly makes him feel good. Who even knew?

See? It’s not all that difficult to practice happy and healthy things during the day. These little habits make such a positive difference in my mood every day. What do you do to help you focus and stay on track during the day?

Back in Black: 5 Amazing Black Sweaters You Need This Season

The week is half over, and that means you’re either pumped for the weekend (all the raised hands over here) or beginning to feel frantically overwhelmed with all that’s left to do (all the raised hands over here). Take it or leave it, the weekend is right around the corner, and you can do what I’m doing and crush the rest of this week or decide to make like Elsa and let it go.

I’m pumped this week – most weeks, but a lot this week. My yoga class yesterday gave me a high I can’t even come down from. First – I was early. I’m usually running into my 11 am class at 11:01 sheepishly apologizing without making any noise for being late while everyone else is already in the middle of their deep belly breathing. Oops.

If people actually drove the speed limit…

Yesterday, I was so early the lights in the yoga room were on and the instructor and I walked into the YMCA together from the parking lot. She stopped me to tell me she loves watching me, and she’s really proud of how strong I’ve grown since I starter her class twice a week in July. As if that wasn’t enough to make my head swell, I made class my bitch.

My absolutely effing bitch.

She pushed us hard, and most people quit and laid down in the middle of new poses or modified them. I pushed through and did one leg planks, and tree plank push-ups, and crossed leg planks and push-ups, and balancing on one foot with one foot in my thigh crease and my nose to my straight knee. I don’t even know what these poses are called.

Oh, wait. They’re called “Tiffany’s Bitches” because I killed them.

And then the instructor complimented me like three times during class, again after class, and three people came up to me after class to tell them I was great, one thought I was better than the instructor, and one wanted to know how many years I’ve been practicing yoga.

And today, I’m just over here ready to share with you my favorite cold weather trend. It’s called All the Black. I’m super obsessed right now with all black. Maybe because it’s actually cold in the sunshine state and it feels appropriate for the freezing weather or maybe it’s because all my warm weather clothes just happen to be black. Could be…

Usually this time of year we Floridians are already ordering new swimsuits and dresses, but it’s just cold. It’s so cold my electric bill went from $250 last month to $415 this month….and it’s never been more than $230 this month in the three years we’ve lived in this house! That’s how cold it’s been in the Sunshine State. So we’re just over here buying more sweaters.

I’m sharing some of my favorite, favorite, favorite black sweaters for cold weather today. They’re fun, they’re a little flirty, and they are making my life feel complete right now. I’m in love with monochromatic black at the moment, so do yourself a favor and pair them with some black faux-leather leggings and black acessories for an all black monochromtic ensemble. So chic.

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{photo by Nordstrom}

This simple black tunic is a must-have this season. You can pair it with anything, and I do love Halogen. Their tops are always sized well, always hold up no matter how many washes they go through, and I’ve never known one to shrink.

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{photo Neiman Marcus}

This simple Eileen Fisher sweater is light and perfect for layering, and it’s on major sale right now at Neiman Marcus ($90 off!).

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{photo JCPenney}

I love the asymetrical hem on this classic black sweater, but I love the price even more. It’s only $22!

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{photo by Bloomingdales}

This C By Bloomingdales sweater has a fun sleeve detail I love. It’s classic with a twist, which is my favorite.

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{photo by Nordstrom}

This black sweater hits all my favorite points, and it’s so soft. The detail on the sleeve is fun, and it’s a v-neck. We Floridians get a little uncomfortable when we have clothes aroudn our necks and over our collarbones, so this one is a little more our style.

Working from Home: Answering FAQs About the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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{Photo: Her Creative Studio)

If you follow me on Instastories, you may have noticed I posted a story last week of me sitting in my dining room with my laptop, iPad, and notes working away after being forced out of my home office in annoyance. In fact, I know you noticed because I receive so many DMs about it. Rather than try and answer all of them individually (especially since so many of them were the same questions) I thought I’d rearrange my blog schedule and add a little work from home FAQ in here today.

I hope you’re all enjoying your last day of a long three-day weekend! Our weekend was gorgeous. Lots of quality time at home on Saturday before date night Saturday night, and we spent yesterday with the kids at Disney. They had a blast, the weather was cool and gorgeous, and it was a pretty sweet day.

Today, we’re back in our office working hard while the kids run rampant around the house like animals. Actually, they mostly play quietly together aside from the “Can I have a snack?” break they take every 30 seconds or so. I’ll cut my day short in my office this morning around 10, which gives me a solid four hours or so to work and the rest of the day to keep the kids happy. I have some errands to run, we have dinner with friends tonight, and prep for the kids to go back to school tomorrow to handle, so short day for mama.

And now that I’m completely off topic, you’re bored. It’s cool. No one thinks the mundane life of Publix runs and gym time and kid stuff is as interesting as the actual person handling it – and honestly, I’m not super entertained by it myself right now. So back to the work-from-home stuff. You have questions, I have answers.

  1. What do you do and what does your husband do?

I’ll start with me, since I’m the writer and, well, ladies first. I’m a writer. No, not a book author. I have the blog, but what I do is web content creation. I’ve been doing it almost 10 years now, and I’ve been building a client list that’s extensive over the course of that time.

I write a little of everything. There were a few years I wrote parenting articles for What to Expect. There were a few years I worked with the NFL traveling to NYC to their offices every few months to work with a panel of other creators on the Heads Up Program. However, most of my clients are either website owners looking for me to create their content.

Most of my clients are automobile dealers, insurance companies, law firms, dental offices, rehab facilities, limo companies, television spoilers, plumbing and HVAC companies, and even a few landscape design companies. They’re located all over the country. I write their landing pages, their blog posts, and anything else they contract me to write. My blog is my creative outlet, and I really enjoy my clients.

What does my husband do? That is a good question. I honestly don’t have a damn clue. His official title is Senior Systems Engineer. He works for a company based out of Tampa, and he sits quietly at his desk all day long working away doing God-knows-what and talking on the phone using language I don’t understand. I understand so very little of what he actually does I can say, “Sounds like a rough day,” and he’ll be like, “What? No, it’s been a great day. So productive,” and I’m over here thinking if his day was my day, I’d have scratched my eyes out by now. But he loves it, he’s super smart, and he’s a total geek.

He’s been doing this since 2016. Before that, he was IT for a bank for 16 years. He’s loyal. He works hard, and he’s smart. He’s also never been happier than he has been working from home, interrupting me constantly with his loud phone calls, and occasionally glaring at me when the doorbell rings again because another package has been delivered.

If you asked me what’s hard about him being home working with me, it’s that. He is unimpressed our UPS and Fed Ex guys know my name, and how many times a week they’re here. But, he doesn’t ask questions. And I’m totally off topic again.

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  1. How do you work together in the same office all day?

Most days we work really well together and there’s no problem. Occasionally, however, I find myself kicking myself out of our office (um, sometimes I like to point out that I’m self-exiling myself from MY home office that he crashed considering I’ve been working from home almost ten years and he’s been here like 2, but only when I’m really annoyed and potentially a little petty) to work elsewhere.

Sometimes it’s just because I’m a creative person, and a change of scene is good for me. I might work on the front porch, on the lanai, in bed, in the family room, the dining room, the back deck. I might even take my computer and go work out of the house if I’m really feeling distracted or in a rut. Other times I just have to get out of the office because there are a few clients my husband speaks to on the phone that must speak very loudly, because suddenly his indoor voice disappears and his conversations are loud. I can shoot him the same, “Shhh,” warning look I use on the kids, and it works just as well; sheepishly quiet for a second and then back to decibels that make my ears bleed. He can’t help it, though.

He feeds off whomever it is he’s speaking to. If he’s speaking to his dad on the weekends or at night, he develops his dad’s North Carolina accent. If he’s speaking to a client with a naturally loud and boisterous voice, he’s also loud and boisterous. And sometimes that drives me nuts, but most of the time I’m cool with it.

To get back to actually providing a useful answer to the question; we work well together. He works for someone else, I work for myself, so we don’t do the same thing. I work. He works. We are both workaholics, and we both focus hard on our work.

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{Photo: Her Creative Studio}

  1. Don’t you get sick of one another being together all day every day?

Nope. It’s kind of hard to get sick of someone you don’t actually speak to all day long. Again, we do different things. I need to concentrate because I’m writing, and my train of thought is going at a rapid pace. He’s on the phone, he’s on the computer, on conference calls, whatever. Believe it or not, we communicate less now that our desks are in the same room only 10 feet apart than we did when he worked at the bank 45 minutes away from our home.

In those days, he’d text me throughout the day to tell me he loved me, to see how my day is going, to check in, whatever. I’d respond. We’d chat. Now we can see how one another’s day is going, we’re 10 feet apart all day long, and we don’t text throughout the day anymore. We keep strict schedules and we both love what we do, so we’re working.

“I love you, be safe,” “I love you back,” “Do you need anything from Publix?” “Can I get you another cup of coffee while I’m up?” “Oh, look, Fedex/UPS is here. Again,”

Those are kind of the only words we speak to one another throughout the day. We do try to make time to take a walk and have lunch together most days for a little fresh air and quality time, and we’re good about it most days. It’s nice, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the day.

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{Photo: Her Creative Studio}

  1. Do you work the same hours?

Kind of and not really. We do, but we don’t. Again, he does not work for himself, so he technically works certain hours throughout the day from 8 to 5 where I work when my creative juices are flowing most freely. I’m exceptionally motivated and most creative in the morning. I’m a morning person, so I’m up at five working while he and the kids sleep. My husband is amazing handling the lunch packing, school-readying, and the kids in the mornings so I can work uninterrupted until it’s time to leave the house at 8 to get all four of them to school.

One of my biggest complaints as a work-from-home mom for the 8 years I did this before he started working from home was missing out on my most creative work time to get everyone fed and dressed and take to school. When he began working from home, he offered to take that over so I could have that time to work in the mornings. It’s been amazing, and he so appreciates everything I’ve ever done handling that part of the day on his own. Mornings with four kids are exhausting. More accurately, they’re a bitch.

While he works all day, I’m in and out. I handle anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 words per day, though I try not to schedule myself more than 15,000 words per day most days. I only need five to six hours a day to work to meet my deadlines, get my life in order, and answer emails, and update my checklists and calendars. So my day looks a little different.

I leave at 8:15ish to take the kids to school. Three days a week I’m home around 10 because I go to the YMCA to work out in the gym after dropping them off at their respective schools and I work the rest of the day. Two days a week I’m home by 9:10, back at my desk until 10:50 and then I leave for yoga. I’m back by 12:10, and we have lunch, I’m back to my desk by 1, and I work nonstop until it’s time to leave at 3:20 to pick the kids up. He’s at his desk all day unless we take lunch together and walk. I’m in and out.

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{Photo: Her Creative Studio}

  1. Do you really work all day or do you find yourself doing other things because I’d never get anything done if I worked from home?

Let me be clear; working from home is not for everyone. You must be disciplined. Craig works for someone else, so he has hours he needs to work – and he does not leave his desk unless he needs another cup of coffee or he is getting something to eat or we are taking lunch together. I work for myself, so my schedule is definitely flexible, but I also have a rigid schedule working around the kids and working out. We aren’t distracted.

We are surprisingly good at not allowing things to distract us. We’re in our office, so we can’t see the rest of the house to be distracted. We have no television in our office. We are tidy people, so there’s nothing that needs our attention throughout the house. We keep the laundry done every day, dishes are washed as they’re used or put in the dishwasher, the kids pick up their things before they go to school. Everything is always clean, so there’s nothing to distract us.

I don’t have to be in my office all day long, but I have contracts with my clients. I’m paid not only by word, but also by the quality of my content as well as my ability to meet all my deadlines. If I take time off during the day, I’m making it up that night. I don’t love that, so I don’t do that often. I don’t get vacation or sick days. We love to travel and do so often, but I’m working double, nights, weekends, skipping my workouts, and even cancelling other plans to get work done so we can travel, and I don’t have to take my computer with.

Running a business is a 24/7 job, but I love it. I’m disciplined like you would not believe, and so is Craig. It takes serious work ethic to get up at 5 am every morning and get into your office even when you don’t ‘have’ to. I try so hard not to work at night or on the weekends so I can spend that time with my family and keep a healthy work/life balance, but it’s almost always impossible. I love what I do, so it’s hard for me to put it down.

  1. What’s the worst thing about working from home?

Um…I want to eat all day. That’s a struggle. The biggest struggle is other people. I think it’s hard for some people to understand that our jobs are no different than theirs other than we’re doing it from home rather than from someone else’s office, so we are not free all day long. We can’t just stop what we are doing to answer the door for people and let them kill an hour because they’re between appointments and have nothing else to do, or help them with their errands, or whatever. I get it, but it’s an interruption of our workday. We both have calls, we both have deadlines, we both have things we need to have done at a certain time during the day; and we can’t just stop. It’s hard to explain that to people (and I’m sitting here waiting on a call from my mom asking me if it’s her…it is).

The other problem is days off of school. When the kids don’t have school on a day like today and they’re all home – struggle. It’s hard when it’s two kids, but it’s impossible when it’s all four. I usually have to find a creative way to get things done all day while they’re home, and it’s a problem. Love them, but omg.

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  1. Why do you get dressed every day if you don’t have to?

All right – so, yes, I do get dressed every day. Craig – nope. He’s gone from suit and tie for 16 years to basically wearing nothing but basketball shorts and tees all day long unless we’re going somewhere and he puts on real clothes. I get dressed every morning. Even on mornings I work out right after dropping the kids off, I still put on real clothes when I go pick the kids up. I just don’t feel comfortable leaving the house without dressing. I love fashion, I love to look nice, and I never leave the house without hair and makeup. I don’t love the way I feel when my hair and makeup are not done, and I find it puts me in a bad mood if I feel sloppy or lazy.

But in the interest of being transparent, I don’t leave my clothes on all day. If you see me on Instagram in the morning with a pair of five-inch Manolos on my feet, it’s because that’s what I’m wearing that day. I’m not dishonest about my OOTD posts, but I’m not in it all day. I’m literally naked about three seconds after I walk in the door until I can get to the bathroom to get my robe. I’m in my robe all day long working. Clothes on the leave the house, robe the rest of the day. It’s my jam, and I’m not ashamed of that.

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  1. Are you totally crazy in the house all the time?

No! Are you kidding me? I would literally never leave my house if I didn’t have to leave my house. I’m a total recluse. The real struggle for me is making myself leave. I get to so comfortable at home, and I never want to leave. I love our home so much, and I just want to stay home and enjoy it. But…I force myself to leave the house so we can keep a healthy balance for the kids and for ourselves.

  1. Does your marriage struggle because you work together, you live together, you spend all your time together?

Not at all! Do you know how hard it is to be unhappy when you both love what you do and when your husband is so happy? He loves his job so much, and he is so happy not missing out on all the things he missed out on before. He spent 15 years driving an hour to work, an hour home from work, not seeing the kids before he left in the morning and seeing them for less than an hour at night when he got home.

We passed one another in the night three or four nights a week because of the kids and their practice schedules, and date nights weren’t so frequent because while we loved them, Craig had so little time with the kids and it was so hard for me to expect him to spend more time away from them. He was stressed about it, I was stressed about it; that’s gone now. No commute means signing off at 5 pm and getting to go outside with the kids and ride bikes, talk the golf cart out, play in the yard, and just spend time together. It’s so much better living this life without those stresses. He’s happier, I’m happier, the kids LOVE it. It’s good.

There you have it. For us, it’s what’s good. It’s not something that will work for everyone, and that’s what makes us all so cool. We can do what works for us and live the lives we want. Working from home is a challenge, but I can’t imagine living any other way.

Friday Fifteen: Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Happy Friday!

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Does everyone have amazing plans for the weekend? We’re doing the date night thing tomorrow night. My husband booked a sitter and he’s taking me to dinner, and then we are spending the rest of the weekend at Disney with the kids. It’s going to be COLD, but what a nice change from our usual Disney weekends filled with sweat and sunburn – and we haven’t been since before Christmas and the kids are a little impatient.

We’re two weeks into the New Year, and it’s been good thus far. We’ve been busy! I’m always saying we need to slow down, but I’m over here signing new clients and agreeing to new collaborations and basically keeping myself busier than ever.

So I thought it might be fun today to do some Friday Fun Facts for my new subscribers and followers to get a better idea of the woman behind the blog (hi) and because sometimes I think of random things and need somewhere to put them. On that note, here we go.

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  1. I can always pick out the meth-makers – Anytime I see a drug bust on the news with photos of the people they arrested for running a meth lab out of their “home,” I’m just over here thinking I could have pointed them out to you in the middle of the grocery store and told you they were cooking meth in their bathroom. I don’t even need evidence…I can tell.
  2. I am a super cuddly sleeper – My husband and I go to bed together every night, and I need to be all up in his personal space or I can’t get comfortable. In the morning when our alarm goes off, I have to go right back into all his personal space for a few minutes if I’m not still there.
  3. I am filled to overflowing with very random knowledge – I’ve spent almost 10 years now writing for clients from the NFL to What to Expect to law firms to dental practices to insurance companies to real estate firms to tech companies to personal blogs to rehab facilities. I have researched just about everything you can imagine, and I am now capable of providing you with the most random facts ever. And if anything ever happens to me, my computer history is going to confuse the hell out of the police.

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  1. I always say I’m going to get plastic surgery, but I really wont – I’m always telling my husband I need Botox to get rid of my judgment lines and that I might buy myself a pair of small B cups, but I won’t do it. I really love a woman who ages naturally and beautifully. My grandmother is almost 100, and she is gorgeous – and the rest of my family has some pretty damn good genes, too. I like to think I’ll age as gracefully as they.
  2. I cannot tell how old people are – Adults. Kids. Whatever. I’m always shocked to find out how old people are. I either place them entirely too young or think they’re 15-years older than they are. Every. Single. Time.
  3. I love to play sports – Most people won’t believe that, but it’s true. I’m exceptionally athletic, and I love to play baseball, throw the football around with my husband and the kids, play volleyball, you name it. I love sports, and I love anything that brings out the competition.
  4. I cried the day of our oldest daughter’s first competitive cheer competition – Because putting makeup on my beautiful then 8-year-old daughter’s face killed me. Killed me. I loathe makeup on children. It made me sick to my stomach putting purple makeup on her eyes and bright red lipstick on her face. I made her wash it off the second they were off the mat after awards. I didn’t cry when I put it on her at any of the other competitions, but it still hurt.

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  1. I really love Disney – I love taking the kids. I love how much they love it. I love their smiles, and I love that they’re never jaded about it even though they’ve been a million times.
  2. I get a little sad in January – While I don’t have a problem with the months of January through August, I just really love September – December. I love the fall, even though we don’t have it here in Florida. I love the anticipation that ‘any night now’ might be cooler weather, we won’t sweat as much anymore, and the spirit of all the holidays from my September birthday to Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas.
  3. I would rather drive a stick – I’ve always been preferable to a manual transmission to an automatic. I like the feeling of power.

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  1. I might have a little road rage – And by a little I mean so much. Not in general, but I have this overwhelming rage when someone cannot follow simple rules of the road, such as driving slow in the left lane and refusing to get over and/or driving right next to the person in the right lane so no one can pass anyone. Also, when the speed limit is 45 driving down the main street in our neighborhood and someone is going 25-30 mph in front of me, it actually makes me hate them. Get off the damn road.
  2. I’m an obsessive neat freak – But I don’t spend much time at all cleaning our house. I read an article recently on Facebook (they suck you in, don’t they?) about tidy people, and it touched my actual soul. The author stated that she’s noticed something about tidy people, and it’s that they’re just always tidy all day long without even realizing it. You see, I’ve spent years trying to figure out how some people’s houses get so dirty and people talk about spending hours cleaning their home, blah, blah, blah. We have a lot of space, but it doesn’t take us 10 minutes to make sure our house is spotless after dinner. It’s because we tidy all day. Dishes immediately put away. Messes immediately cleaned up. Everything has a place and it automatically goes to its place rather than sitting on the counter. So maybe I’m not obsessive, but I’m super tidy.

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  1. I’m an online shopping addict – I’m staring at my inbox on my phone right now, and I can see my 8 most recent emails. Five are from Nordstrom (three emails confirming package deliveries, one shipping confirmation, and one order confirmation), two are from Wayfair, and one is from Amazon. And not one of those emails has any association with the four packages delivered throughout the day today.
  2. I wish I was half the parent my husband is – I don’t think I’m awful at mom-ing, but he’s just really, really, really good at being a dad. He’s patient. He’s kind. He’s always on the floor with the kids, always throwing the ball, always wrestling with Carter, pushing them on the swing, patient while helping with homework, happy to answer their annoying random questions like “Why?” and “Why?” and “Why not?” They love him best of all, and it’s easy to see why…and I find myself wishing I was as good at parenting.

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  1. I’m very, very gray – After the twins were born almost four years ago when I was 30, my hair began growing in gray all around my face. Now it’s migrated to the back of my hair, the middle of my hair, and everywhere in between. I immediately went blonde to make it a little less obvious, but it’s gray. When I’m 50, game on. But I’m 34 and not particularly interested in being asked if I’m the kids’ grandmother, so I have a standing hair appointment with my 15-year-hair gal every five weeks. And I think we might need to start booking every four weeks for color since my hair grows so fast and my gray is so prominent.

 

Fifteen completely random things about me on this Friday Funday. Have a gorgeous long weekend!