Fall Style, Facing Fears, & a Giveaway

Navy and Yellow Aztec Cardigan on www.girllovesglam.com

It is finally getting cold enough here to pull out the sweaters. That is a blessing and a curse for me. You see, I love the Fall/Winter fashion. I love all of the layers and the goodness that it comes with. BUT… there is one thing that I know is coming with the cold weather that I know is coming. [Read more…]

Brave and Beautiful

I am Brave and Beautiful – a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie’s song says, “Take your make up off. Let your hair down… Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you… “

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.

Me along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag – #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat’s attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!

With makeup…

Girl Loves Glam McKenzie 600x600

Without… [Read more…]

My Social Media Cleanse

“Disclosure: This post was sponsored by ABC through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about ABC Selfie, all opinions are my own.” This truly was a game changer for me and although it was sponsored, I would do it again!

I’m addicted to social media. There, I said it. I think most of us probably are addicted to it. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Social media is how I met my husband, it is how I make a living, and is how I am able to stay in contact with friends who no longer live close to me. However, there are plenty of times that I know that I miss out on conversations that would be much more worthwhile if I took a step back from my phone and really listened or if I put the phone down to do an extra activity with my daughter.

That is just what I did one day. I took a social media cleanse. I was inspired by the new show on ABC called Selfie. It is about a girl named Eliza Dooley who is obsessed with the amount of followers she gets, likes she has on her pictures, etc. She loses her touch with reality and wants a cleanse! The show is about her journey to become someone who can have real conversations and relationships, without social media. When I watched the pilot episode, it really hit home for me. Not that I have had as many crazy events happen to me like she does in that episode, but I could kind of relate somewhat.

I decided that I would do a social media cleanse. I didn’t turn my phone all the way off, but I put it on silent. Because I do work online, I did allow myself to check my email during the day, but I didn’t do it as often as I typically would. I also didn’t allow myself to get on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter all day long! It was pretty hard at first. I think it just became such a habit that I often times didn’t even realize that I was about to get on social media until I found myself opening up my social media tab on my phone and had to stop myself!

Once I got over the initial shock, I realized how nice it was to be able to take a step away from social media for a day. I was able to have fun with my daughter distraction free. We played, sang songs, and enjoyed lunch together.

Hop Porter Park

I drove to my parents’ house and saw my grandparents while I was there. Normally, I probably would have zoned out after a while and checked my phone while they were there. Instead of checking my phone, I had meaningful conversations with them. It was fun to be able to talk to them without the distraction of phones… well, at least not my phone. It is always fun to see them ask questions about their smartphones while my dad tries to help them figure out their questions. That alone was worth putting my phone down to watch!

I partook in a social media cleanse and guess what? I survived! It was almost strange looking at social media the next day. Of course I went back to looking at my phone, but I feel like I am able to take a step away from it for longer periods of time now. I realized how important it is to take a tech break and spend time just enjoying life.

Can you believe that all of that came from one episode of a comedy? Who knew that you could have a life changing moment over a funny TV show! Check out Selfie on ABC starting on Tuesday, September 30th at 8pm/7pm Central. You can even do what I did and watch the pilot episode online before it airs on TV.

Could you handle a social media cleanse? Have you watched the Selfie pilot?

YouTube Monday: Be The Good

Be the Good. How will you spread goodness? on www.girllovesglam.com

Every once and a while, I am contacted about something that truly touches my heart. That is exactly what happened when I was asked to join in on the “Be The Good” movement that Cents of Style and Jane are kicking off today. Courtney, the founder of Cents of Style has got to be the most kind, genuine person around. You won’t ever see her without a smile on her face and she really does work to be the good in the world. That is why she decided to design a shirt that would spread the message that she is so passionate about living each day. [Read more…]

The time I lost over $900 got it back.

All photos were taken by the talented Ann of Cliq Photography.

Flower

God is real. He listens and answers prayers. I have seen his loving hand make itself known throughout my life. I have had incredible experiences that have strengthened my testimony that there is a Father in Heaven who really loves me. Those experiences have all been somewhat small, but have always meant a lot to me. Even my smallest answered prayer to find my keys or to be able to put my mind at ease so I can fall asleep has meant a lot to me and has given me the knowledge that he really is there and that he loves me.

This especially was the case when I lost $920 last week. We don’t use our debit card for very much. We choose to use cash for almost everything we need during the month because it keeps us more responsible about our budget and where my husband only gets paid once a month, it is our way to stay accountable so we have money for what we need all month long. Because we are in the middle of a move and have lived in two places for 4 weeks, we have had to budget a lot more money than we usually do. Typically we are able to live on much less cash than $940, which is exactly what I took out for this month.

Last Monday, I went to the bank and took out the $940 and put the envelope in my purse. [Read more…]

Teaching Toddlers Laundry Skills. Stop Sorting Laundry!

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #LaundrySimplified #CollectiveBias

It is every mother’s dream. The day that her kids can do chores. The day that mom doesn’t have to do absolutely everything to keep the house in order. Well, that day may come sooner than you think! I believe that toddlers are capable of having chores of their own! Recently, I have started teaching my 2 year old how to do laundry. She absolutely loves it! It makes her feel like a grown up, while she is honestly helping me out with one of my least favorite household chores. One of the biggest frustrations early on, was trying to teach her to sort the laundry by certain types of colors and if the item would bleed more than others. Thankfully I was able to stop sorting laundry all together and I don’t have to go through that frustration anymore!

Teaching Toddlers Laundry Skills

Enter Purex® No Sort™! The rules have changed in laundry! We have to reprogram our brains with this laundry detergent. We no longer have to sort out our laundry like we used to. This detergent has anti- color-transfer technology that traps loose dyes in the wash and doesn’t let them get on other fabrics. Of course it is always good to put strongly colored fabrics like new clothing and jeans in a separate load for at least 5 times, but beyond that, there is no sorting required!

That is why it is perfect to help teach toddlers to do laundry! Teaching them the ins and outs of laundry sorting can be tough and can be something that they could learn later, but for a 2 year old it was just too much right now. Here is what I taught my two year old about doing laundry.

Teaching Toddler's Chores

First, we bring her laundry hamper out to the laundry room and I let her put all of her dirty laundry into the washing machine. Remember the no sorting thing? I can just have her dig right into those dirty clothes and put them all into the washing machine at once!

Teaching Toddlers to do chores

Then, I get a chair for her to stand on and get the laundry soap out.

Todder Chores

I measure out the amount of laundry soap that we need and then I have her dump the laundry soap into the compartment. She feels like such a big helper when she does this part.

Toddler Laundry Chores

I tell her what buttons to push to get the washing machine started and she gets to start the load of laundry up!

Cleaning list free printable

Next we head over to the cleaning list that I have. I recommend having a cleaning list for your family to see what needs to get done so that it can be a very visual, hands on experience. You can find my free printable cleaning list HERE.

Teaching Toddlers Responsibility through chores

I give her the dry erase marker and show her what chore to mark off. She feels like she is helping out our family by doing what she sees mom doing all of the time. It has been a really fun experience to watch her learn and grow as I let her help me with little chores around the house. Laundry is definitely a favorite of hers.

Remember to keep your kids safe! That is always going to be the first priority. Don’t leave any stools or chairs near the washing machine when there isn’t adult supervision around. Don’t ever leave your child by the laundry machines without adult supervision either. It is important to teach children how to be responsible, but it is more important to keep them safe!

Purex No Sort Laundry Detergent at Walmart

You can find the Purex® No Sort™ laundry detergent at Walmart in the laundry detergent section. I found mine up on the very top shelf, closest to the edge.

Rethink how you do laundry too by following Purex on Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook!

What chores do you teach your toddlers?

Extraordinary Gifts

I tried playing the piano. I was in piano lessons for years. Nothing good came from me being in piano lessons. No, for reals. Nothing good came from piano lessons for me. We are talking lots of fights about practicing, my baby brother pulling himself up to the fireplace and severely burning his hand while my mom was trying to get me to practice, and my dog getting hit by a car on the way to a piano recital. See what I mean by nothing good came from me being in piano lessons? I took piano lessons because I wanted to have a talent. All of my friends were taking piano lessons. When it came to reading music, I just couldn’t do it. My brain couldn’t seem to grasp any of the notes that I had been quizzed on time and time again.

As I grew older, I learned that I absolutely loved music. When I say that I loved music, I mean that I LOVED music. I loved all music. I learned that I loved country music, I loved pop music, and I especially loved punk music. I hated that I couldn’t create music myself. I took a guitar class that I was able to survive, but it just never clicked.

I felt like I had no talents. If I couldn’t write music or play any instruments, I had no talent. Right? Wrong. It was once I took a step back, that I realized that talents aren’t just if you can play the piano or the guitar. We all have been given talents here on earth that we need to use to bless our lives and the lives of those around us. I realized that I was really good at creating things. I was really good at interacting with people. I know those sound like strange talents, but they are talents. By embracing my talents, I have been able to share my talents with others. I can consciously work on improving my talents so that I can help others develop their talents.

I love this video about the extraordinary gifts that we each have. It talks about one young man in particular that is absolutely incredible. You will love it!

Our extraordinary gifts were given to each of us by God. What are your talents? How can you use them for good?

Be the good in the world. Share your talents with someone. You can bless your life and the lives of others around you.

Learn more about my faith in this post HERE and get answers to any of the questions you might have about faith HERE.

Being Proud

We are always taught to be humble. To hide our accomplishments. Not to show off. To beware of pride. But when is it okay to be proud of what we have done? I think that there is a time and a place for everything, including being proud of ourselves. So often we find ourselves almost being embarrassed by compliments. I say it is time to stop it. Although I do think it is important to stay humble, I think there is a time to celebrate our accomplishments. With that being said, I am going to tell you about something that I am proud of.

More like SOMEONE I am proud of.

Dave Headshot

I am super proud of Dave. He is not only a crazy awesome husband and father, but he has accomplished so much in the last year. He was just nominated for a Bammy. The Bammy’s are the Oscars for teachers. He was nominated in the Education Commentator/Blogger category. He wouldn’t have been nominated for that a year ago. One year ago, Dave took a giant leap of faith. He left his career as a classroom teacher to become an online middle school teacher and online grad student. Because he took that giant leap of faith, he was able to pursue his dream of writing too. He became a contributor on the well known education blog, Getting Smart and has been had featured articles posted on Edutopia and the Education Week blog. None of this would have happened if he wouldn’t have taken that leap of faith just one year ago. I am grateful for him and his great example of following your dreams. He has worked really hard to get to where he is and it is his time to be proud of his accomplishments.

The Bammy’s work a little differently than the Oscars. They partially rely on votes. It would mean the world to him if he got your vote. It is simple. Just go to the site, sign in with your Facebook account, and give Dave your 5 star review. Easy peasy, right? Well, it could change his life. If he makes it as a finalist, he will go to the Bammy event in Washington DC in September (and hopefully take his wife!) and will have an incredible thing to add to his resume. Please take a minute of your time to vote for him HERE.

Do you struggle with being embarrassed by talking about your accomplishments? How do you choose to celebrate them?

I’m Coming Home

Through the month of November and December, you may have noticed a change on my blog. I brought on a lot of guest posters (those of whom I thank dearly!) and I posted several sponsored posts. I didn’t write many posts that were personal and very few with photos of me or my family. There is a reason for all of that. Up until this point, I have kept it all pretty private, but I want all of you to know what has been going on.

About 9 months ago I received some pretty disturbing comments and emails about my body. I won’t go into detail about what they say, but they were all pretty specific about certain parts of my body. When I got those emails, I was extremely upset. I chose not to respond and to ignore them, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of absolute disgust that filled my body. I became pretty closed off to touch. From everyone. Hugs weren’t quite as welcome as they once were. I suddenly felt very dirty. Like I had been used for some sort of show.

The first thing I did (after sobbing my eyes out to my husband), was contact my blog host. I found this person’s IP addresses they had used and had them blocked immediately. That made me feel a little better. Day by day went by and I was finally able to forget about the whole thing.

Then November came. I was checking my email and felt like I should check my junk mail. I do that on occasion to make sure I didn’t miss any important emails that were put in my junk folder accidentally. That’s when I saw the screen name I hoped I would never see again. It felt like my heart stopped, dropped, and found a new home in the very deepest pit of my stomach. I knew that what was in that email couldn’t be good. I opened it and what I saw and read was quite frightening. I knew I needed to find help. I reached out to a dear friend of mine with a lot of knowledge about blogging and she urged me to get the police involved. Honestly, that scared me. That would make this whole ordeal much more real if the police came into the picture.

I put off calling the police for a few days. Then I got another email. Only this time, it was much scarier than before. I suddenly became scared for my life. I picked up my phone and called the police. They were quite concerned with what I told them and they told me they would do what they could to get this stopped.

I caught my husband up to speed on everything and he went to work finding out everything he could about this individual. The next day, he was able to find out where this person lives, what kind of interests he has, and where he lived before he moved to his current residence. I didn’t know if I felt better or worse knowing all of that information. I kind of liked pretending that the emails were coming from a computer, not an actual person.

I went ahead and found the IP address that the last emails were sent from and had them blocked as well. I removed the images that were spoken about in the emails and started to feel better. I knew I needed to approach blogging a lot differently than I had in the past. I needed to approach with caution. I have pretty much taken 6 weeks off of blogging for the most part. I have had a lot of guest posts, lots of sponsored content, and very little about myself. I was afraid.

After taking such a long break, I have realized a few things. First, my family means everything to me. I would never want to put them in any sort of danger. This situation made me rethink what I was doing because I felt like I was somehow putting my family in some sort of danger. Another thing I have learned is that it takes time to heal wounds. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” No. That isn’t the case. Words hurt. Words stick. Those words will forever be in my head, but I am doing the best I can to forget them and move on with my life.

One big thing that I have taken from all of this is… I know that I can’t let this person win by taking away my happiness. I need to keep doing what I love doing. Although I will be blogging with a little more caution, I won’t stop because of one person. It isn’t worth my time to worry about it. I need to find a place where I can be both happy and safe. I feel like I am coming home again. I am coming home again to my blog. I have missed it. Although I have been here “physically”, I haven’t been here mentally for a very long time and I am really happy to be back.

Things will probably still take a little time to get back to normal, but I hope to be able to get back to normal eventually. Please understand that I will post great content, but may be a little more guarded when it comes to images that I share. I am so grateful for all of you. Your support has really helped me get through this nightmare. I know you will help me to be able to continue though this journey back home and I am forever grateful.