My Kids Take the Stage

So this spring 2 of my boys (14 & 11) started taking guitar lessons. The had both gotten guitars a couple months prior and really seemed to enjoy playing and had taught themselves a few songs. So when a facebook post popped up about a local teacher offering a free lesson for students to check it out, I contacted him and set up the first lesson. They loved it and learned what seemed like a lot in the first lesson alone. Not long after they started they were invited to come check out the showcase for the other students who’d been learning for a bit longer. They each played 1 song, backed by a full band. I wasn’t sure how long any of the students had been learning or IF my boys would ever really WANT to take the stage like that. But they said they did and when the time came, they both said yes they wanted to. So they each spent a few months perfecting 1 song to perform.

And last Sunday, they did it. They walked up the stairs, took the stage and faced a full house and they both did AWESOME.  I couldn’t be prouder. Not because I think they’ll be famous rock stars anytime soon, or ever, but because they found something they love and they work hard at getting better at it. And they were brave enough to share it with a crowd of people.  They’re definitely a great example of living their best lives and not letting fear stop them!!

Check out their performances…



all photos courtesy of Caplan Studios

November Scentbird #Perfume

Have you checked out Scentbird yet? I’ve experienced some great scents that I never would have tried otherwise. And I’ve gotten a ton of compliments when I wear them. I like it so much I switched my subscription from 1 scent to 3.
If you’ve used Scentbird, I’d love some new suggestions for my queue. I love sweet scents. How about you?





Here’s what I got this month:

Philosophy brings us a delightfully feminine perfume made from fresh bergamot, delicate muguet, and comfy, soothing musk. The modern simplicity and warmth in this perfume is indeed a very graceful way to share your beauty with the world.




Romano Ricci, great-grandson of Nina Ricci, creates a feminine fragrance collection inspired by a modernized version of Shakespeare’s love-struck heroine, Juliette, who has discovered a secret weapon of seduction: perfume. Miss Charming paints a fragrant portrait of warm sun and dry earth, of mason jars filled with fruit preserves, and wild rose petals strewn over an old farmhouse table. Wild berries, Moroccan roses, and bright musks create a fragrant ramble down a country road.


Prada Candy Florale starts out with flirty peonies and a sunlit limoncello sorbet. Slowly the lemon sweetness fades away and a heart filled with rich, dark caramel and honey replaces the citrusy, sugary goodness. A dry down of sheer, bright, musk spotlights the zingy limoncello, and elevates this delicious floral fragrance.

If you’re not familiar with Scentbird here’s how it works:

PICK A SCENT from our extensive assortment of designer perfumes.
JOIN get a monthly supply of the luxury scent of your choice in the sleek Scentbird vial for $14.95 per month.
ENJOY Receive a monthly purse spray with a 30 day supply of the perfume of your choice.

Use my link here to join and we’ll both earn free perfume!




My #Last90Days Challenge UPDATE #MadeForMore #AWhatIfLife

Soooo, after a full month of the challenge I haven’t done perfectly. But I’m making real habits. I’m feeling better.









The things I’ve been doing are working. My anxiety is more under control than it’s been in a couple years. Life isn’t any less stressful, like AT ALL, but I’m still feeling better.  If you haven’t tried doing a daily gratitude list or meditation, I HIGHLY recommend it!

There will be some big changes coming but more on that later. Good things, great things. Things 2 months ago I was letting fear get in the way of.

Date Night Ideas #AWhatIfLove

Whether you’re a new couple or been together 20 years, you need to keep DATING your partner. It’s easy to let life get in the way of intentional time together but don’t let a lack of ideas be another excuse. Here’s a few ideas with something for every budget.

  • Zoo
  • Museum
  • Tours (winery,brewery,candy factory)
  • Local Festivals
  • Escape Room
  • Bowling
  • Golf (mini OR regular)
  • Take a class together (painting, cooking, dance)
  • Sports game (don’t have a PRO team near you, look for semi-pro, college or even high school games)
  • Paintball
  • Zip-lining
  • Concerts (we LOVE large arena concerts but they can get tough on a budget but find and follow local bands near you for lots of fun at a fraction of the cost)
  • Comedy Club
  • Spa
  • Arcade
  • Video Games
  • Ice Skating/Rollerskating
  • Bike Ride
  • Hiking
  • Window Shopping
  • Netflix Night In
  • Game Night In
  • Date Night box service (DateBox and Date Night In are two I’ve looked at but haven’t yet tried)
  • Try a new restaurant (we keep a list on our phones of places we want to try so that when we have the time we have a ton of options to pick from)
  • Paint Night
  • Library or Bookstore
  • Movie (if, like us, you don’t EXACTLY have the same taste in movies, take turns picking)
  • Play/Musical
  • Make a new recipe together
  • Find a place to watch the sunrise or sunset together
  • Pack a picnic
  • Drive out to the middle of nowhere to look at the stars

And don’t forget to take advantage of seasonal events like apple orchards, haunted houses, sledding etc

If you’re still stuck for ideas, check Groupon for local things to do at a discount. Or I love to find and follow local Facebook pages and am always marking ‘interested’ in events so Facebook suggests tons of events that I might be interested in.


#AWhatIfLife My #Last90Days Challenge #MadeForMore

Yesterday I shared, just a bit about where the #AWhatIFLove hashtag came from. But I was inspired to share about my experience as part of the Rachel Hollis challenge #Last90Days. If you’re not familiar with her, Rachel Hollis is a well known author and motivational speaker. She (and her husband) encourage people to be their best selves because they are #MadeForMore. To do this well the challenge is a way to actively work on goals not just at the beginning of the year but to also set ourselves out for success for next year by finishing THIS year strong!
Part of the challenge is doing #5tothrive. Which is 5 daily habits to start focusing on.

The five things are:

  • Wake Up…waking up an hour early for “me time” to start your day off well.
  • Workout…30 minutes of activity EVERY day
  • Water…drinking half your body weight in ounces
  • Food…giving up ONE type/category of food that you KNOW you shouldn’t be eating
  • Gratitude…writing a list of 10 things you’re grateful for everyday

I’m adjusting them a little for myself…

  • I am working on going to bed at a reasonable time so I can get at least 7 hours of sleep every day.
  • Instead of working out, I’m meditating. (I will also be trying to move MORE but because decreasing my anxiety is a bigger initial goal for me I believe meditating is a better idea to focus on first)
  • Water … doing it!
  • Food … giving up sodas and coffee
  • Gratitude…doing it!

I can’t wait to see where this challenge takes me. I started late so I’m only 2 days in but I am feeling amazing today. Last night I wrote a list of short term and long term goals (as if they were already true as Rachel Hollis suggests) and I already feel more focused and positive about the future than I have in a LONG time.





What does “A ‘What If’ Love” mean?

About a year ago I fell in love, with a man and also the song “What If.” The man loved me like I’d never been loved before. But I still let my past hurts, lack of self worth and general anxiety make me worry about every little thing. The song, which I listened to ALL THE TIME (along with ALL of Kane Brown’s stuff), was a reminder to not let fear stop me from taking a real chance.





This is MY ‘What If’ love. It’s not perfect, because we’re not perfect but I believe we’re perfect for each other. That being said, I plan to do the work to make it the best it can be and THAT is what I will be sharing under the hashtag #AWhatIfLove

Day at the Zoo

This weekend the Racine Zoo had a kids day so all kids (15 & under) were free.
We used to this zoo ALL the time when they boys were little. It is smaller than some of our other (localish) options but it’s close and it used to be just an optional donation for entry. It’s now $8 for adults and (normally) $6 for kids. And there’s no charge for parking however there’s not an official lot, though there’s a decent sized lot with in a couple blocks and on a cooler day like Saturday was finding close street parking wasn’t an issue.

Because it was a cooler day some of the animals weren’t outside but it also meant there weren’t TOO many people to contend with to get to see stuff.

We also took advantage of an opportunity we’d never done before…the boys got to feed giraffes (an additional $5 fee at the time of feeding).

You can do this at several times through out the day, times posted at the giraffe exhibit. They teach you a little about giraffes in general, like did you know their tongues are dark purple so they don’t get sunburned, and the specific giraffes there. We learned that the larger one is actually the smaller one’s uncle.

Such a cool thing to watch!!


kangaroos and wallabies



penguins (my fave!!)


And of course we had to visit the petting zoo!


On the way home we stopped in downtown Kenosha for dinner (and donuts for dessert) and took a walk by the lake.

Final Forty MNO Chicago

And just like that the last of our foursome turned 40 in November. So we celebrated with a overnight trip downtown Chicago. One night, 4 friends and lots of food and drinks…

on the walk to dinner

We checked into our hotel with it’s beautiful city view and then walked over to The Purple Pig for dinner.

There was a wait there so we headed across the street for a drink at Dylan’s Candy Bar while we waited.


Birthday Cake Shots!!

Dylan’s Drink Menu:















We tried the Chocoholic, the Pop Rocks Explosion and the Cotton Candy Clouds.  All super fun and yummy!!









Feeling good after drinks and some candy shop shopping

Back to The Purple Pig…


After trying a TON of stuff at the Purple pig we weren’t quite ready to call it a night so we stopped for some wine…

I did the Candyland flight!

After a lot of giggling, and finally cracking open that ’40’ pinata, which was filled with little bottles and liquor candy we called it a night.  The next morning we were back out wandering the city, shopping and EATING of course.

Although we had to wait OUTSIDE in line for a bit, I would highly recommend checking out the Nutella place.

Seriously soooo yummy!!!

Mother’s Day Gift Idea: Purpose Driven Essentials

Admittedly, I’m addicted to subscription boxes right now. But I really do think they are a fun gift giving option.  There is literally a ‘box’ for everyone.

Purpose Driven Essentials is filled with items to help support mom’s faith and encourage daily devotion like Christian-inspired Books, devotionals, journaling tools and Christian music. Each box is actually a beautifully designed burlap bag.

What’s In a Purpose Driven Essentials Box:

  • Christian-inspired Jewelry – beautiful, tasteful pieces that will inspire and bring a smile. Show the world what’s important to you with these fashionable pieces.
  • Devotionals and accessories – provides inspiration for daily devotionals.
  • Journaling tools – these tools will make Bible study fun and creative.
  • Tasty Treats- coffee, tea, chocolate or candy because everyone needs something delicious to enjoy during study.
  • Christian music – Uplift your spirit with today’s (top charts) Contemporary Christian music.
  • Christian Inspirational Book of the Month – Read about other people’s stories to help grow as a Christian.

10% of all proceeds go to help missions.

Door County WI Trip

I’m not sure how it’s possible that my older boys have been going to Door County for YEARS each summer but in 40 years, I’ve never been.  It seems like everyone in our area has vacationed to Door County at some point in their lives, with many friends sharing their favorite spots or memories when hearing I was FINALLY going to go.

My first trip would be a quick one, just one night, staying in Ephraim.  But we made the most of it and I can NOT wait to go back. We drove up from Milwaukee Saturday morning. We’d technically missed the PEAK fall colors but it was still a really pretty drive. Saturday was a little rainy and windy and cold. But we made a couple stops at shops and orchards and sampled wines and cheeses. And had lunch as Husby’s in Sister Bay.











Then we checked into Somerset Inn & Suites and packed up and bundled up to do the one thing I REALLY wanted to do while there. See the sunset over the bay.  It was COLD and windy but still totally perfect.











We spent the rest of the evening by the fire in our room enjoying wine and cheese etc.

Sunday morning it was beautiful. Much less windy and sunny! We stopped for breakfast at the Old Post Office Restaurant and one more visit to the water before heading home.

And of course one last stop on the way home for some custard!!!