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In memory of my Dad, Charlie.

As some of you know my Father passed away very recently and it has been a really sad thing for my family to endure. He was a source of light and joy to our lives and now that he is gone it has left a hole in our lives that can never be filled. I may need some time before I am ready to resume the blogging I usually do weekly.

I know I typically talk about my day to day life in my blog and all the positive and fun things my family and I experience. I don’t intentionally leave out the negative in an attempt to make my life look “Ideal”. Life is messy and ugly sometimes. I chose not to talk about the decline of my father’s health simply because it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to deal with. In the last 5 months I watched my Father decline in hospice care while the people closest to him all rallied around to help him with things that he was once able to do on his own. He was a strong, capable man for his entire life, so watching him lose his way and be in pain was unimaginably hard on all of us who loved him, who still very much love him.  My father took care of me, and now I was helping in whatever way I could to care for him, and that alone can be hard to wrap your mind around. 

My mother is the strongest person I have ever met and this changed her life. Not just the loss, but the journey through the loss. Not being able to do simple things like go to work, or the store or some days even leave their bedroom. I don’t know how she did it because even with the help she had it was painful for her. Out of respect for her and my Father I also chose not to detail their personal life in my blog. 

I just want to let you all know it is ok to leave things out. it is ok to detach some of you life from the world and save it for YOU. It is ok NOT to share, ever if that’s what you want, or until you’re ready. There are parts of my everyday life I will never tell anyone because those parts are for me. 

My Dad was a big part of my life and I don’t want to leave him out any longer, so I will leave this here:

We will never forget you, Dad.

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Tuesday Morning Ramblings w/Robyn

Good morning and Happy Tuesday! I hope you have all had a great week, mine has been pretty great.Our family started out with a fun night out to celebrate my brother-in-law’s 16th birthday. Ben had so much fun seeing everyone and eating cake. He said his favorite part about the trip was being able to stay up late and that he was allowed to drink orange soda with his cousin. Typical 8-year-old. 

I spent most of Wednesday prepping for Friendship Club and I did something that I typically never do, I went and got a fancy manicure at V-Tech Nail Spa. I have talked about trying to treat myself and take care of myself more often by doing things like getting my hair colored at a salon and I feel like getting my nails done was a pretty good way to get some “Me Time”. My nails were not in the best shape and the nail artist told me I need to work on making my cuticles healthier which is a very true statement. I am always working with my hands so I don’t think about how bad they get.  I ended up getting a gel manicure in light pink and got some tiny little mickey’s on them. I will definitely be going back to get them done again in the near future. 

Thursday was so much fun! It was International Women’s Day and I got to celebrate it with all the kids during Friendship Club. I found these amazing printables at Education.Com of famous women in history such as Sacajawea, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Eleanor Roosevelt, Cleopatra, Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks and many more. The sheets not only had the women to color but they also had their stories explaining why they were famous and what impact they had on the world. It was so cool to watch the kids reading and learning about them and I loved the questions they asked me about them. One little boy asked me “Why isn’t there a Men’s Day?” and I explained how we just celebrated some amazing Men in history on their honorary days such as Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and that Women don’t usually get their own special days so this is one to celebrate them all. He seemed so pleased with that answer so hopefully I explained it well enough. I am so lucky to have a school that lets me help these kids learn and make friends in a safe and exciting environment. It was definitely a successful Women’s Day!

Friday was so cool because it was donut Friday and we got to try a brand new spot right by our home, Judy’s Donuts! It was the first week of it being open and it was kind of busy but the selection was amazing. I got a very decadent donut due to it’s Instagram worthy appeal, lucky charms cereal topped with a marshmallow frosting. I couldn’t finish it but I was glad I got a chance to try it. Ben got a dozen donut holes and was thrilled to see so many of his classmates there before school. It looks like we have a new fave spot for our Friday’s together! On Friday evening I was feeling like I had major cabin fever and needed to get out of the house and have fun so we all went to try Dave and Busters. It was intense. Ben had an amazing time in the arcade area, we even played a bigger than life sized Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots! The food was pretty basic but got the job done. I realize that this is kind of an “adult” fun zone as well but it was really weird to see so many people drinking beers in the arcade area with all the kids around. My family doesn’t drink at all for our own personal choices and I definitely don’t judge those who choose to do so, but I wish people would use better judgement around children, especially after someone nearly spilled their drink on me when we were playing arcade Monopoly.  All in all it was fun though, and Ben was happy he got to select some cool prizes with his arcade tickets. In the future we will probably stick to places catered more to kids. 

Saturday Ben and I had a lunch date at Yoshino’s in River Park. I had a vegetarian style lunch, my effort to eat healthier and consume more veggies and I have to say it was amazing. Veggie eggrolls, miso soup with seaweed and tofu and a Shirley Temple hit the spot, while Ben had the teriyaki chicken and steamed rice. We indulged in a See’s candy free sample afterwards and browsed some of the stores before heading to a movie. I finally got the hang of using our MoviePass and it was a snap this time around, and it has already paid for itself! Totally worth it. Ben and I saw A Wrinkle in Time and it was WONDERFUL! Mindy Kaling is my spirit animal and I was so excited to see her in this movie and she brought her A-Game. The makeup, the costumes, the acting and visuals were quite literally out of this world. It sent a clear message that hit home with both of us and Ben was so excited he has already asked to go back and see it again, so we need to take Chris with us next week hopefully. If you haven’t seen it take your kids! I believe kids as young as 4 could probably understand the plot and message behind it. 

We continued our wild weekend with a trip to Merced on Sunday to celebrate our nephew’s 7th birthday at Rockin Jump, a trampoline and party center. It was fun to watch all the kids jump and play dodge ball and eat a giant Minecraft themed cake together. Afterwards we went to La Nita’s in Atwater. La Nits’s is and will always be my all time favorite place to eat. The people all know me and my order by heart and they are so welcoming and the food is perfect. I always end up getting a bag of ships and a huge thing of salsa to bring home because La Nita’s salsa is the best salsa in the universe and I could eat it everyday.  When we got back to Fresno we stopped at the new Tractor Supply Co by our house and watched the employees feed the baby chickens. Chris said we need a farm someday because our son is obsessed with animals. 

I spent most of Monday cleaning and budgeting before Ben came home from school. He has a biome project in class and has chosen the African rain forest as the location. We did a lot of research about the Congo Basin Rain forest and this week we are going to build his biome. It is so exciting to see him working on these projects and learning how to do the research involved. He loves science and nature and I am obsessed with crafting do this is the perfect assignment.  

Thanks for checking out the blog and keeping up with my little corner of the universe! Until next week, have a great one!

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My Everyday Must Haves

Good Morning! I wanted to share with you some of my go-to things I use on a daily basis that make me feel ready to tackle my day and feel happy and prepared for what’s ahead.

Kodiak Cakes!!! I literally eat these 6 times a week for breakfast. I am also that girl at Target who buys up the whole shelf because I HAVE TO HAVE MY KODIAKS!! This is basically a pancake in a cup. You can add milk, almond milk or water ( I use water) and heat it up in the microwave for a quick morning bite! I like to throw in a handful of fresh blueberries in mine for some extra antioxidants and yummy-ness. These little cups of flapjacks are 250 calories and use 100% whole grain and contain 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.

 Starbucks Brand Mocha iced coffee. I drink this daily, usually in one of my many Disneyland mugs over ice. I don’t like hot coffee and I don’t like leaving my house for coffee so I discovered this at Target and fell in love. It is pretty sweet so if you don’t like sweet stuff I’d try something else, but if you enjoy sweet iced coffees this is one to check out. I drink maybe 4 oz of it daily only because I prefer a ton of ice. It’s also my only source of caffeine 90% of the time because I don’t drink soda unless we go out to dinner or something. They sell these drinks at Target and Savemart and have multiple flavors (mocha, caramel, and seasonally pumpkin spice or peppermint mocha).

Daily Vitamins!!! I love my vitamins an I think it’s important for everyone to get them. I take biotin for my hair, nails and skin. I have hair down to my waist and I love that is is still thick and healthy despite the fact that I have started coloring it. My colorist always tells me how healthy it is. I use Garlic for my heart health and immunity. I am not always the healthiest person and women need to be proactive about their heart health on a regular basis, especially when you have major issues with insomnia like me.  Insomnia has been noted in nearly 45% in cardiac patients in the US, so get some sleep and take care of your heart! I also take green superfood capsules which help in the veggie department….I hate eating vegetables and I am constantly failing at adding them to my diet so I take these to make sure I get some green in me! I have even thrown them in my fruit smoothies with a handful of spinach. I take selenium for its antioxidant properties, heart health benefits and and for my thyroid health. Last but not least I take  Women’s multi-vitamin when I’m going on trips and can’t pack my plethora of vitamins I typically take. These encompass most of the daily vitamins you should probably be taking normally, I got this bottle for $3 at Target.

 I am a mess without a To-Do list. I always have about 5 or 6 notebooks on hand to make lists or scribble notes in daily. I have daily chores, projects, shopping lists, calendars and budgets all in my notebooks. My family says I am obsessed with lists and I have to agree with them, but they work for me. I have a million thoughts and ideas running through my mind every day and I can’t always keep rack of it all so I I rely on my ability to write it all down. A woman with a plan is equal parts smart and dangerous.

 Nyx Jumbo Eye shadow Crayons in cashmere and yogurt shades. I have zero knowledge of what I am doing when it comes to applying makeup. I typically wash my face, lightly brush powder on my face, smear some of this amazing eye shadow on my eyelids and add some mascara and hope for the best. These are about $3 each and make me feel pretty. They’re very lightweight and simple and for someone who isn’t into wearing a lot of makeup I’d say they’re just right for me.

SPOTIFY IS LIFE. I can’t go a day, or even an hour without listening to music. This is my favorite app on my phone and laptop and my entire family has an account, even Ben (he made a playlist called Homework Jams and it is amazing). I have used Spotify since it came out years ago and have cultivated so many crazy playlists with it that match my moods. I use every single feature I can on the app and pay for a family plan subscription monthly. I have added my “Positive Mondays” Playlist for you guys to check out and help get your week going.

So this is what gets me through my busy days. What kinds of things help you get through the week? Do you keep it traditional and stick to the same go-to’s or do you switch it up to keep things exciting? Whatever you do, I hope you have an amazing week and get things done!

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Tuesday Morning Ramblings w/Robyn

Good morning and happy Tuesday! This week has been pretty calm which is a nice change of pace for our family. Ben got to celebrate his Dr. Seuss reading week by dressing up each day at school (Green day, crazy socks day, etc) so that kept things interesting for him. Chris had a ton of work he needed to do so on Ben’s minimum day of school we headed to Merced to visit all of his grandparents. He got to have lunch with my parents and play with one of his cousins we don’t often get to see, and then Chris’s parents made us dinner and we spent some quality time catching up with everyone. Even though we live just an hour away it’s difficult to find time to allow Ben to spend time with our out of town family and we have been making more of an effort when we get the chance. 

On Wednesday my friend Tawona of The Well Dressed Curl and I announced the winner of the Forever 21 Giftcard: @Naturallykrich (Karlotta) on Instagram! I had so much fun working on the blog collaboration and running the giveaway with Tawona and I hope you were able to check out the makeover she gave me at Forever 21! I challenged Tawona to a #BlogChallenge for this month where she posts every single week, so check out what she’s up to when you get a chance!

I wasn’t able to do Friendship Club this week due to rainy day schedule at the school but luckily I was able to use the Dr. Seuss materials I had stockpiled at the school on Friday when I read “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” to Ben’s class. I had so much fun reading to the 3rd grade class and giving them some cool stickers. I even had time to read a second story and ended up making up my own so they could see how much fun it is to use your imagination to come up with your own stories.  And yes, we did Donut Friday before school as a family at our local spot and it was the perfect way to kick off the weekend. 

On Saturday Chris and I tried out a couple new things. We checked out Quesadilla Gorilla in Tower District and it was A-MAZ-ING!!! The shop was so clean and chic with really cool wall art and delicious choices. We got one chicken and one chille verde quesadilla and tried the avocado salsa and the habenjero salsa, and we were beyond  happy with our selections. I can’t wait to go back and try their other quesadillas! After lunch we wanted to try out  our new MoviePass cards and went to see Black Panther again!! We signed up for MoviePass a couple weeks ago and the cards got to us pretty quickly. The app was really buggy and difficult to use unfortunately. We started out by heading to Sierra Vista theater in Clovis and “checked in” to the movie time we wanted but nothing happened. We ran out of time to get tickets so we decided to try another location, and headed to the Manchester Cinemas in Fresno on Shields. We tried checking in to a movie time there but the app said we already had a reservation for the movie time we selected in Clovis! I know that when you check in to a movie the funds for the movie ticket are put onto your movie pass card so we decided to give it a shot and buy the tickets anyway there at the Manchester location. It worked fine. So as long as you buy a ticket within the 30 min time window I guess you’re good to go. I’m going to need to try it a few more times to get used to it, but I feel like once we figure it out it will be a good investment. ProTip: If you are a Regal Crown Club cardholder and want points from your purchase with MoviePass, save your receipt and input the code on the receipt into your Crown Club app to get your points!! And don’t forget to link your Disney Rewards membership to the Regal app so you get even more points when you go to see a Disney movie, like Black Panther!

On Sunday we said goodbye to our best friends who are moving to SoCal for some exciting new ventures. I really feel like we were so lucky to have our best friends live right next door to us for 4 years, not many people get to say that! We enjoyed a nice lunch together at the best taco spot in Fresno, La Elegante! Then we met with them later that evening so the kids could hang out and say their goodbyes before they hit the road. It really sucks to say goodbye, but luckily we head down to SoCal at least once every couple of months so we will definitely be visiting them and probably dragging them to Disneyland with us at some point in the not too distant future.

Last night our family spent the evening eating tri-tip and watching Captain America: Civil War….because we are SO EXCITED for Infinity War, which has moved it’s premier date up to April 27th!!! If you are a marvel fan then I bet you are ready to have your mind blown just like our family! I can’t wait to see these characters meet and see how Disney has redefined the Marvel Universe, yet again. The only movie I haven’t had a chance to watch is Doctor Strange, which I will be remedying this week when I have time to check it out on Netflix. I have a lot of fun stuff I’m doing with my family this coming week and I have some other cool stuff I want to share with you all very soon. Have a great week and Happy Tuesday!