Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bwahahaha! Let's see who's gettin skinny, gettin a new amazing job, building a life with the latest boyfriend... Blah blah blah!!!! Same shit, new year!!! Hasn't worked yet!!!!!:

The best of wishes to you in the New Year! If 2015 was amazing for you, I hope 2016 is just as great! And if you're like me and had a rough year, let's dust ourselves off and aim for a fresh slate and rock star year in 2016!! 

Single Mom Adventures: My First Solo Christmas

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


This year was my first Christmas single and as a single mom. I had to split my time for the holiday with their other mom, and spent Christmas Eve all alone, thinking about them. I finished some wrapping, and enjoyed a quiet night in. Then hit the hay early so that I could just get Christmas Day moving! I woke up to a quiet house; just me and my dog Ella. It was weird, not going to lie. And after whipping up a nice breakfast and watching some Good Morning America, I held my breath and clicked open Facebook and Instagram. All of the families I know were posting pictures of their kids feverishly opening gifts, in adorable Christmas pajamas, the magic of the holiday plastered across their faces. I feel like a part of me was living vicariously through other's celebrations that morning.

Christmas tree full of gifts!

I picked up the girls at noon to start our Christmas journey. I was so excited to see them and wish them a Merry Christmas and have them in my arms. We headed out to my dad's to see him, my grandma and my uncle. My dad had gifts all ready for the girls which is super impressive for my cash/gift card giving family!
Checking out the gifts with grandpa!
Then, we headed out to Indiana to visit with my mom's side of the family (yep, I'm a product of divorce too!). My aunt always has a great big gathering with people in and out all afternoon. We arrived just in time for Harper to chow down (the girl can eat!). Luckily, my sister was there and helped me wrangle the girls, plus they were loved on by lots of family members. It was nice to be around everyone and I wasn't as sad as I thought I'd be. Being around others definitely helped.

We like giving kisses to little cousins.
The girls lasted longer than I thought they would, which is awesome. I was worried it would be melt-down city around bedtime, but although we were a bit tired and started to stare off in the distance, there was lots to do and lots of people to play with so I think that helped. Plus, food.

My nephew, sister, myself and the girls!
The day after Christmas, all three of us were in total zombie mode. We relaxed all day, played with new toys and watched Frozen multiple times. It was nice to spend some time with them and have our own little moments together. Oh yeah, and then now climb up and down on my couch, so I'm high alert for falls, shoves, and food messes! FANTASTIC!


Being newly divorced brings a lot of crud into your life. Some people are relieved and ready to start fresh. They use that experience to fuel themselves forward. Some people act like being married never happened - they just simply move on. And then others still like a piece of their heart has been left behind as they're shoved forward by an unknown force. I'm in that latter part. I miss married life. I miss things when they were good and I'm devastated that our girls now have to split time between us for major holidays. I never wanted this life for them.

But, I also have a life to live, and my life is full of new experiences and adventures - many that I'll do by myself for the first time. I'm glad my first Christmas wasn't too bad. I know it won't always be like this and there are many, many rough times ahead - but thankful for what I have in this moment, at this time with my little family of 3!

How was your Christmas?

The Thrilling Life of a Newly Single Mom

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I'm writing this in the midst of a thrilling weekend. Do you sense the sarcasm dripping from this post? HA! The girls are with their other mom this weekend, and I have zero plans. Zero plans is okay, my friends, but shoot I'm bored without tiny little people around :)

Here's how it's all unfolded: I've hit up Trader Joe's for some $2.99 Pinot Grigio (or pinot greeeeej like I call it). I've finished season 9 of The Office (have no fear, I've seen it before), and have been working on the Gilmore Girls. I thought I'd get all Christmasy and dive into Christmas With the Kranks before getting sidetrack by all.the.laundry. and completed 7+ loads. I had big huge goals of getting a workout in at some point - especially since I have no excuse since I got my wireless Beats2 in the mail. But that didn't happen and now I feel so freaking guilty by not taking advantage of this free time to exercise. Part of me gives zero effs and part of me gets a little upset because I feel like a loser.

Is this what my new single life looks like? On some days, yes. 

Some days I feel strong and I have plans and I enjoy those plans. Some days I don't. But I find myself guilty when I relax or do nothing. I still have deep body issues with my new mom-bod and 20 lbs of postpartum weight still sticking around, and I have a lot of pressure put on myself to lose it. But do nothing to do so. I dunno - I feel like there's a running of list of stuff I need to do and should do to keep my head held up high and moving forward. And then there's this pressure to do all of those things - some of those I have no idea what they area ... and then do nothing. I'm putting too much thought behind this.

Anyways, super exciting stuff. I am happy to give my brain a solid 48 hours to just do nothing. Plus, our laundry is all clean, the apartment is clean, the wine has been consumed. We're all good.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 25, 2015


I hope you're having the merriest of Christmas's - surrounded by love from your friends and family. 

Sometimes You're Not Ready

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Last weekend, I was kid-free as the girls spent some time with their other mom. I used that time to re-arrange my closets and throw some stuff out, make some more room for storage, do laundry and organize. Thrilling stuff in the life of a single mom ...

I have two boxes full of mementos including old pictures of me from birth through college, and a lot of "relationship stuff" full of cards and pictures from the past 8 years of my life with my ex. As I flipped through some of the photos, some ready to toss out and some that I couldn't bare to part with just yet - I found tears spilling from my eyes. I read over promises and professions of love. I remembered the days I received the cards, what was going on in our lives, and saw smiles plastered on our faces from all the different memories we made and times we shared. My heart ached. I found myself snapping a picture of one of the cards and sending it off to my ex, stating that I didn't know how we got to this spot when I find things like that. I didn't receive a response and feel like a pathetic fool. Not my ex's fault - I shouldn't have stirred things up with that text. Our marriage is over, it doesn't matter any more.

Then I stumbled across a pretty thick envelope with my ex's name on it. It was still sealed and when I opened it, I found a card with a post-it note and a 5 page letter inside. I never gave my ex this card or letter. As I read through it I felt anger start to stir. I was apologizing and basically trying to convince my ex to take me back after one of our break-ups. This was from 2009. SIX years ago. I remember what happened between us, and I remember why I wrote the letter. I do not remember why I never gave it to her. It all seems irrelevant now - but I feel like it still shows that I'm a clinger. I cling to things when I lose them. I'm desperate for that love, that acceptance, and have had the same reaction to break-ups for as long as I can remember. I can look at that letter and then open up my journal from this past summer and find the same pattern of thoughts. I don't find worth in what I have to offer to a relationship.

I shouldn't have dipped into those boxes. I wasn't ready. There are a ton of emotions and thoughts that still swirl in my heart and head. I'm only two weeks out from my divorce being finalized. I'm at the 6 month mark of when everything finally hit me and I realized my marriage was crumbling. I have a long way to go and a long way to heal. So, even though you might be having some good days and feel that edge of confidence, sometimes you really are at the cusp of something that you've silently tucked away. And peering into the past will drum all of that heartache back up. I need some more time. I need some more healing, before diving back into the past.

Inspirational Break-Up Quotes

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I came across a slew of inspirational break-up quotes from some friends online and thought I'd share for everyone going through some rough times this week. Keep your head up! You can do this!!






Single Mom Money: Working Woman

Monday, December 21, 2015


I work full-time in a corporate job. I've always worked full-time, and honestly I've always worked for my company (seriously, I celebrate 15 years in June). I know I don't have it in me to ever be a stay-at-home mom. There's a level of patience and creativity that is required that I just do not possess. Not that being a SAHM was ever an option, and clearly isn't an option now. I just know my limits. 

My job right now is steady. It provides a good income that allows me to live off of it (nicely) and provide for myself and my two children. But I've always been a ladder climber. I've always had my eyes on the prize and have wanted to accelerate my career. Always. When I first had the girls, that desire slowed down drastically. I was just trying to survive, and building a career was not even near the top of my listed priorities. However, over the past 6-7 months I've been thinking more and more about what I really want to do, what can bring in more income and re-ignite my passion in my livelihood.

I've interviewed for a few promotions (even making it to final stages of the interview process) and haven't snagged any. That's ok - because if they were truly right for me, they would have happened. I 150% believe in that. And after my most recent interviews that didn't turn into anything - I literally sat down and thought about it. Thought about the role, and what I want to do with my career. Thought about the work-life balance I have right now - the steadiness of my current job (I need an anchor in my life and my job is honestly that anchor) and I withdrew from consideration. I was told I was a top candidate for the job - and I withdrew. 

Crazy, right? 

It honestly just didn't feel like the right opportunity. Something in my gut told me that this wasn't the path I was supposed to be taking. And, if anything in the past 5 months has taught me - was that listening to my gut will reveal the truth. I trust my instincts. 

One of my goals for 2016 is to re-ignite my passion in my current job. To invest in myself and the things that make me happy. To have a grateful heart for what I've been given, and to be happy with what I have so that when the time is right - I can move on to bigger and better opportunities. There's been too much change in my life, and the time, right now, is definitely not right. 

I Still Feel Pain

Thursday, December 17, 2015

There's a tug on my heart every now and then - when I see a friend's good news that they're expecting, or see a beautiful photo of a gorgeous family that resembled what I used to have. My heart still breaks for "what was" and "what never will be." My ex and I discussed expanding our family earlier this year, and were aiming to try for baby #3 this winter. We talked a lot about having a big family and the girls really solidified that desire to have more awesome babies like our first. It's now December and my divorce has been finalized. There will be no more trying for another baby. I'm sad about that.

This time of year is so great for focusing on the family - for watching the magic of Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) light up your children's lives, for having those experiences with your family. My family looks quite a bit different than it did 5 months ago - let alone 12 months ago. This time last year, we were feverishly preparing for our first hosted Christmas with our family. The girls were 5 months old, so we didn't want to venture out anywhere. We had a great time ... it was our first Christmas as a family of four. It was also our last Christmas as a family of four.

I feel joy in my heart for my friends that have another year with their spouse. That get to experience the holidays with their family intact. That never have to go an evening without their children sound asleep under the same roof. I feel joy for those expanding bellies, and the promise that life looks much different than it used to - but has the potential to be just as good, if not better. For now, our memories look a bit different. The holidays look a bit different. And, that's ok. For now.

H&H visit with Santa 2015

Good for Your Soul

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

This past weekend I had three really close friends from college come spend the weekend. The entire week before I was a mess - my divorce was finalized, I was running rampant trying to clean and make sure there were enough towels, and balance motherhood, etc. Then Friday hit and when I saw my friends, my heart immediately calmed. These three women joined the same sorority as I did, at the same time. They have seen me at some of my worst moments in life, were there for me when I came out, and have spent some of my best moments in life with me. They are home.

It was so wonderful to just relax all weekend, have our girls play together, and truly enjoy a sleepover with my bestest of friends. When you have people that you can truly be yourself around, where you immediately relax, where life doesn't skip a beat - it's stuff that's good for your soul. It brings you back to your center and and resets yourself. And after the crap I've gone through the past 5 months, it's just so great to have comfort in other people around me.

We all need this from time to time - especially during hard times in our lives, especially during the holiday season. We all need to find proof that there are people in this world that truly love and care about us - that will always be there. And I love my friends for that. I love them for taking the worst week of my life and completely flipping it around. They didn't take away the heartbreak that I feel daily, but they did bring some joy to my life for one glorious weekend and totally hit that "reset" button in my heart.

What's good for your soul? What helps you reset during difficult times in your life?

My Favorite Podcasts

Monday, December 14, 2015



I listen to podcasts a lot - on walks, while washing dishes, while working, etc. I like talk-radio and these are snippets into lives, themes, etc that I thoroughly enjoy. I first got into podcasts when the twins were really little last spring. We were going on walks around our neighborhood and I was bored with regular music. I found some really great podcasts that keep me entertained, enriched and also make the walks go by faster (so we can go longer). Here are some of my faves:

Serial
Hosted by Sarah Koenig, season one was one of the most compelling podcasts I've ever heard. It gripped the nation, moved for change - as it followed the story of Adnan Syed and his conviction of murder of his teenaged girlfriend Hae Min Lee in the 1990's. Season two just launched right in time for the holidays - https://serialpodcast.org/

This American Life
Hosted by Ira Glass, this podcast is published weekly that covers all plethora of topics from refugees, to relationships, to eery events, etc. It's entertaining and changes all of the time! To learn more - http://www.thisamericanlife.org/ 

Strangers
Hosted by Lea Thau, this show focuses on human relationships. They could be relational, they could be stories of people's pasts and the things they have overcome, etc. Lea's voice is really calming and engaging and her stories are on point with looping the listener right into the scenario, as if you're there with her. http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/strangers

The Dave Ramsey Show
Dave Ramsey is a Christian money guru  and his show (and books, and tours, and everything else he offers) focuses on helping the every day person get out of debt. He has a daily podcast (that's 3 hours long!) in which callers call in to ask questions related to paying off of their debt in the "DR" way. I'm not so interested in the churchy stuff (just not by cup of tea) but the information about finances that he provides is invaluable and help you get a plan in place even in the most crazy of financial pitfalls you might be in. https://www.daveramsey.com/show/radio/

Call Your Girlfriend
This is the best "girltalk" you'll ever have, hosted by Gina Delvac, Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow (I mean - tune in to hear her pronounce her name at least!) these long-distance besties cover ever pop-culture and national headline news topic imaginable and provide a smart, eclectic spin on things. They can get raunchy really quick, or provide those heartfelt things that everyone is thinking about. Seriously, some good girl talk going on right hurr! http://callyourgirlfriend.com/

And ... we're done.

Friday, December 11, 2015

My divorce has been finalized. I'm officially no longer married. I now check that box next to divorced when I see a question about my marital status (who am I kidding, I check single). The past six months have been a complete $hit show chock full of emotions on high, big sloppy tears, lots of little [and big] life choices, and impossible predicaments that you kinda have to plow through (ie. renting your own apartment solo, parenting solo, making every adult decision solo). I've felt the entire spectrum of emotions that one could possibly feel. Sometimes all at the same time :)

Sad - big, depressing, (cue the rock ballad) sloppy sadness.

via GIPHY

Red hot anger.

via GIPHY


Meh. 

via GIPHY


Confusion. I'm sorry, where are we? What are we doing? You want a what?

via GIPHY

Frustration - parenting frustration, co-parenting frustration, singlehood frustration. Where's the wine?

via GIPHY

Let me eat everything.

via GIPHY

Let me drink everything.

via GIPHY

Plus many, many more emotions. It's a rollercoaster - it's a huge life event. It's a shift in mentality, your future and a change in your vision of what would be - and a big focus on "what is". I'm heartbroken, I'm still angry, and I'm scared. But this is a closing of one chapter and entering into a whole new section - with a completely different ending from what I thought was going to happen. 

Recipe: Crockpot BBQ Pineapple Chicken

Thursday, December 10, 2015

This is the easiest recipe in the history of recipes - and you're all aware that I'm a huge fan of crockpot meals. They're so perfect for winter - and for busy families or mama's with little ones! Well - it's great for basically everyone!! There are so many options too, to mix it up! Add your favorite veggies, switch beef out for chicken, serve with rice or noodles! Endless, endless options!! Enjoy!


Crockpot BBQ Pineapple Chicken
serves: 4 | prep time: 10 min | cook time: 2-6 hrs

Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 16 oz can of pineapple chunks, drained
2 cups of BBQ sauce (any brand)
1 cup of sliced mushrooms



Instructions:
1. Place chicken breast side by side on the bottom of your crock pot so that it covers the entire bottom.
2. Pour BBQ sauce over chicken until it's fully covered and add pineapple and mushroom.
3. Mid-way through cooking, grab two forks and shred chicken; mix sauce with sauce and continue to cook.
3. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours - and voila!

See how easy and it turns out super yummy! I used Trader Joe's BBQ sauce and it was a tad watery until I let it sit for a while - it's also a spicier BBQ sauce than what I would normally use which is Sweet Baby Ray's. But you can add your favorite BBQ sauce or try out a few kinds until you get the recipe just to your liking! You can add your favorite spices to jazz it up - I'm a big fan of garlic so I added some garlic salt. Serve over rice or pair with a side of mac n cheese or cornbread!


__________________________________________________________

Print N Snip Instructions

CrockPot BBQ Pineapple Chicken
littleladytribe.blogspot.com
serves: 4 | prep time: 10 min | cook time: 2-6 hrs

Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 16 oz can of pineapple chunks, drained
2 cups of BBQ sauce (any brand)
1 cup of sliced mushrooms

Instructions:
1. Place chicken breast side by side on the bottom of your crock pot so that it covers the entire bottom.

2. Pour BBQ sauce over chicken until it's fully covered and add pineapple and mushroom.

3. Mid-way through cooking, grab two forks and shred chicken; mix sauce with sauce and continue to cook. 

3. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours




"Reason Why" - Rachel Yamagata

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

"Reason Why" - Rachel Yamagata

I think about how it might have been
We'd spend our days traveling
It's not that I don't understand you
It's not that I don't want to be with you
But you only wanted me
The way you wanted me

So, I will head out alone and hope for the best
And we can hang out heads down
As we skip the goodbyes
You can tell the world what you want them to hear
I've got nothing left to lose, my dear
So, I'm up for the little white lies

But you and I know the reason why
I'm gone, and you're still there
I'm gone, and you're still there
I'm gone, and you're still there

I'll buy a magazine searching for your face
From coast to coast, or wherever I find my place
I track you on the radio
And I find your list in a different name
But as close as I get to you
It's not the same

So, I will head out alone and hope for the best
We can pat ourselves on the back
And say that we tried
And if one of us makes it big
We can spill our regrets
And talk about how the love never dies

But you and I know the reason why
I'm gone, and you're still there
I'm gone, and you're still there
I'm gone, and you're still there

So, steal the show, and do your best
To cover the tracks that I have left
I wish you well and hope you find
Whatever you're looking for
The way I might have changed my mind
But you only showed me the door

So, I will head out alone and hope for the best
We can pat ourselves on the back
And say that we tried
And then one of us makes it big
We can spill our regrets
And talk about how the love never dies

But you and I, you and I
You and I know the reason why

DIY: Make Your Own Holiday Card

Monday, December 7, 2015

This year is kinda awkward since sending out my own holiday cards (by myself) is a real thing. I debated using myself in the photos or just pictures of the girls and not wanting it to be completely over-board obvious of my single status, decided just to use some snaps of the girls and sign our name. I looked up some options on Minted.com (because I love their selections) but they were so pricey! My co-worker clued me into just getting a template from etsy.com and printing off my own at Walgreens as a cheaper option.

So this past weekend, I decided to take it a step further and forego the template altogether! Eeeeks! So I found an awesome step-by-step DIY of how to create your own holiday card via PicMonkey (one of my favorite, free editing sites). I just used some pictures from our fall photo session and I love how it turned out!


How do you create this magic yourself? Easy! Pick out 1 (or a few) of your favorite family pictures and head over to PicMonkey.com

Select the "Collage" option and upload your photos to the site!


From there you can choose the layout and where you want your images. For a 5x7 you'll want to make sure the pixels are 2100 x 1500. For a 4x6 (cheaper option to print!) you'll want them to be 1800 x 1200.

I uploaded my pictures, as well as a chalkboard background, but you can use some of their options like I did below!


I tightened up the spacing a bit (via the bottom option on the left bar), as well as rounded out the corners of the images I used. When you have your background selected and your layout perfected, hit the Edit button on the bar above your image to be sent over to the editing section to add text and some cute details!

In the Editor section of the website, you can play around with some cute fonts and even play around with the transparency and colors. For this example, I used EcuyerDAX in white for "Happy Holidays".


You can also add some "Frost" to the edges of the image to give it that wintery vibe that's really cute!


For this example, I also added an adorable snowman graphic.


Then finished up with a signature (from Ella, of course). I used Bilbo Swash Caps for the signature.


Then save and voila! You can upload to your local photo finishing store and print out 4x6 glossy (or matte!!) for pretty cheap - like 19 cents a photo in some places compared to the $1.29 or 79 cents per photo on the Minted.com or Shutterfly.com websites. You can also snag a box of 50 4x6 envelopes from Amazon for around $6! And of course, you'll have the awesomeness of creating something unique and heartfelt from you!

Single Mom Adventures: Solo at the Movie Theater

Friday, December 4, 2015


In this series, I plan to document "single mom" adventures that I tackle solo. Random things that you maybe would do as a couple, or even wouldn't do at all solo - but that I did anyways. The point is to still experience life, even though I'm single. To do things that I want to do and like to do - even when I have no one to do them with. To empower myself and not feel limited in the things in life I can accomplish because I'm single. Maybe it'll inspire you to get out there too!

Recently, I hit up the movie theater solo. I can't tell you the last time I saw a movie in theaters and really wanted to see the newest [and final] Hunger Games movie. I've been to the theater solo before - on really long work trips to California, when I needed something to do in the evenings, but this was different. This was my local movie theater, during the holiday season - when families and couples run rampant around me.

But I held my head up, bought one ticket with confidence and enjoyed the movie - it was sooooo good!!!  Afterwards, I felt proud of myself. I didn't feel like anyone stared at me and honestly when I bought one ticket, I thought the 16 year old ticket seller would smirk or balk at me - he didn't even flinch and handed over my single ticket. Why? Because I'm the one drumming up these connotations. No one else cares. I do have some basic tips, though - if you want to venture to a movie solo while going through a divorce... just a few things to keep in mind so you don't find yourself dreading your decision before the movie even starts.

1. Go to an early showing. Who goes to 7 pm movies? Couples. So save yourself some longing and heartbreak and go early to avoid the bulk of couples. You'll still intermingle with some families, especially if you are going to a family movie but I went to a 12 pm showing and saw a lot of groups of friends mixed in with couples and families.

2. Arrive about 5 minutes before show time. I found that sitting in that theater while all of the advertisements played and the lights were still on was kinda bummy. You don't have anyone to lightly chat with, and if you're like me you'll eat all of your popcorn before the opening credits even begin. Most movies have about 15 minutes of promos anyways - so arrive right before the movie starts, grab a small popcorn and take your seat just in time for the lights to dim and your movie to start.

3. Bring your own snacks. Save your single mom money and bring some snacks in your purse! Yep, I'm that person! But whatever when the ticket cost $12 for Imax!! I snagged some treats and a pop at a local retail store and then purchased a $6 small bag of popcorn at the theater. That compared to the $15 I could have dished out - no thanks!

4. Plan an after-the-movie activity. It can be something super small or just an every day activity like grocery shopping. But sometimes I find that after the movie can be kind of sad because you don't have anyone to talk to about what you just saw. I literally just stopped at a Homegoods afterwards to walk around and think about Christmas present ideas - aka window shopping. It was refreshing being around other people and an opportunity to take my mind off of leaving the theater solo. I wasn't on a movie-high after I left Homegoods, but rather scored an awesome $6 11X17 picture frame so was more on a bargain high that I couldn't wait to get home and hang that bad-boy up!

It can suck, I promise you that. But if you try to go into it with a positive attitude, you can have a really good time by yourself! The movie I saw was aweeeeeesome and even though I saw every other installment with my ex - it was nice to end it by myself ... ironic, right? And now I don't feel sad having to wait for it to come out on DVD.

Have you even seen a movie by yourself? If so - what kind of movies are your favorite to catch solo?

Book Review: The Arrivals

Thursday, December 3, 2015

"The Arrivals" by Meg Mitchell Moore was one of those books that was easy to relate to and fall right in step with. It's laced with various issues all intertwined within one family during one summer.

Based in Vermont, Ginny and William enjoy a peaceful life in their retirement age. But soon, they find that their adult children have returned home and each are battling different struggles. Lillian, the oldest, returns to her parents home with her young daughter Olivia and infant son Philip in tow. Lillian discovered her husband's infidelity and in an effort to get some space, blow of some steam and figure out what her next step in life is, has retreated to her parent's home for refuge.

Stephen, the second oldest, and his work-aholic power woman of a wife Jane, planned a quick visit to Vermont from New York to visit his parents. Jane is pregnant with their first child but soon hits some complications in her pregnancy which places her firmly on bedrest and far away from her job.

And the youngest, Rachel, is going through a bad break-up, in her job that she feels uninspired with and dealing with emotional issues from a recent miscarriage have brought her to her parent's home. Holding that secret to herself and struggling to make ends meet - Rachel is figuring out what her future holds and what her next steps in life should be.

This novel spins each story quite intricately, like many family novels do, and balances the family unit as each child deals with their own personal struggle - and even Ginny and William grapple on trying to pull it all together, while having their peaceful home overrun.

Single Mom Money: Down the Toilet

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


My toilet has been acting weird for a few weeks - like constant overflowing which throws me into a panic because - ew. I thought I needed to upgrade my plunger, and went out and picked up one from Target and that worked for a while until last week when the water spilled out from the toilet all over the floor. Imagine my chaotic house and me ushering the girls out of the bathroom, who just wanted to play in the fun water. Gross. 

I rent - so I called my leasing office for maintenance help and when the guy arrived, he tried to super-plunge it with a snake. He couldn't get it to release and figured there was something stuck in my toilet and whenever paper was used, it was wrapping around the item and causing the plug. (Cue Maintenance Guy's side eye at my 15 month old twins) They could try to fish the item out but likely, wouldn't be able to retrieve it in which case they would need to replace my toilet because the only way to get the item out would be to smash the toilet. If it was a child's toy or pacifier, then I would have to cover the cost of the replacement for the toilet. If it was something else, the apartment complex would front the fee. Great. 

So I tried not to fret all day while they figured the issue out. I do have a small amount in savings which could cover the toilet - but didn't want to spend my savings on buying it because one of the girls tossed something down the drain. But I really did not try to worry about it too much. So, when all was said and done - they showed me pictures of the item that was stuck in the toilet. It was a red plastic triangle thing that I've never seen before. Honestly - I have no idea what it was, but of course the apartment people don't believe me because I have twins. 

Luckily, they felt sorry for me and said they'd cover the fee associated with the toilet this time. Firstly, I was really excited because I didn't have to spend my savings on purchasing a new toilet. But I'm kinda annoyed because it wasn't my item stuck in it! Lesson learned though - have some savings built up because they you don't have to worry about things that pop up like random stuff stuck in your toilet! It's freeing to know that you can cover the cost of something without charging it or worrying about how you'll front the costs!

Recipe: Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

One of my favorite recipes for the winter is crockpot chicken pot pie - it's easy, it's delicious and it's perfect comfort food for those ultra chilly days. Just put everything into the crockpot - stir every now and then and forget about it! 6 hours later - deliciousness! Here's the recipe for you!



 Ingredients:

2 10 oz cans of Cream of Chicken soup
1 12-16 oz bag of frozen veggies
1 small onion (diced)
1-2 stalks of celery (diced)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of whole milk
spices to taste



Instructions:

1. Add chicken breasts to the bottom of your crock pot and pour over cream of chicken soup. 

2. Add cup of milk, frozen veggies, onion and celery, plus spices to taste! I used rosemary, thyme, and some basil. 



3. Cook on high for 4 hours and stir occasionally. At the 4 hour mark - test chicken to pull shred with two forks. Once chicken is shredded, I cooked on low for an additional 2 hours (you can keep on high for an additional hour). 

4. Serve with biscuits or crescent rolls! Enjoy!



We added some rice to make a little a la king! The girls loved it and ate it right up! Holland even requested additional servings which rarely happens with that picky eater! Plus we have leftovers for a second day! Print and trim instructions below! 


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Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie
Prep time: 10 min. | Cook time: 6 hrs. | Serves 4

Ingredients:

 2 10 oz cans of Cream of Chicken soup
1 12-16 oz bag of frozen veggies
1 small onion (diced)
1-2 stalks of celery (diced)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of whole milk
spices to taste

Instructions:

1. Add chicken breasts to the bottom of your crock pot and pour over cream of chicken soup. 

2. Add cup of milk, frozen veggies, onion and celery, plus spices to taste! I used rosemary, thyme, and some basil. 

3. Cook on high for 4 hours and stir occasionally. At the 4 hour mark - test chicken to pull shred with two forks. Once chicken is shredded, I cooked on low for an additional 2 hours (you can keep on high for an additional hour). 

4. Serve with biscuits or crescent rolls! Enjoy!



The Maiden Voyage

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving this year was the first one solo in a long time. I consider it a little bit of my maiden voyage - navigating the holidays on my own, with my family and my traditions. It was okay - strange, but okay. I had the girls during the day and we trekked to see my dad, grandma and uncle. My dad whipped up a really good meal and the girls tore their home a part like 16 month old toddlers do. It was the first time my uncle had seen them since they were a few months old - it was great to see him interact with them.


The twins are so mobile and understand things and are really their own little people. It was the first time that my family has seen their personalities really blossom and it was so fun. Crackers scattered across the carpet, and I diligently following behind trying to collect as many crumbs as a I can; toys tossed around the living room as my blind uncle tread slowly hoping not to step on one; two little girls giggling and exploring their little world. It was really nice.

We scarfed down a traditional Thanksgiving meal, but weren't able to all sit together because my grandma has a pretty small house, and I didn't have high chairs there. But we made it through and the girls ate a big meal, played a lot, and it was a great day spent with family. After all was said and done, we headed back home to meet their other mom for their drive to Ohio to spend Thanksgiving with her side of the family. I'm thankful that I was able to spend the day with them - but it's still sad that they're having their own maiden voyage without me too. I guess this is the new normal.

I had three days solo - Friday, Saturday and Sunday. All kid-free, and all plan-free. 72 hours with not one thing to do - not one person [besides my dog] needing anything from me. Time spent trying to fill up the hours so I'm not sad and lonely and depressed while my children are two states away. I resisted the urge to go shopping - that has long been my go-to when feeling down. I stayed in on Black Friday except to run out and go grocery shopping and pick up gifts for my Secret Santa kid at work [you can buy a gift for a child that is in need], then returned home to start wrapping gifts, plowed through six episodes of The Walking Dead [catching up from last season], and relaxed.

Part of me is glad for this me-time. Moms don't usually get that. But then part of me is guilty because I haven't spent that time eating right or working out or doing stuff on a check-list that's to help be supermom, ya know? I've lounged. I've drank wine. I've watched a lot of tv and spent time on social media. I zonked out at 8:30 pm. Is that time wasted or well-spent detox "me" time? I dunno. But this is my first year out and I still have Christmas on the horizon to tackle all by myself with the girls. My plan is to surround myself with family and stay busy busy busy. I'm thankful for what I have, and in a time when I can easily be dragged down or spin into a depressed state, I'm trying to keep my head above water and stay focused on having a good holiday season with my girls.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! This year, in the midst of divorce, I still have some awesome things to be thankful for:

  1. Supportive and loving friends + family
  2. Two amazing little girls that I get to call my daughters
  3. A good paying job to keep a roof over our head + food on our table
  4. Being [pretty much] healthy
  5. A reliable car
  6. Starbucks coffee + Target shopping sprees [when I can afford them]
  7. Midwest living - changing seasons and bright fall leaves!
  8. My education - although it was expensive, it provided me with a lifetime of friendships, opportunities and knowledge
  9. Freedom - isn't it amazing that we get to live in the land of the free?
  10. Marriage equality - although my marriage didn't work out, I'm grateful for marriage equality to exist in all 50 states so that my beautiful friends have the opportunity to experience the government acknowledging an amazing partnership and love
What are you thankful for this year?


Single Mom Money: Twenty Bucks

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


For the past month or so I've started budgeting - like seriously budgeting - and sticking to a cash only plan for myself. As in, I don't spend it, if I don't have it in an envelope and it's been budgeted for. No more swipe-a-roo-hoo at the grocery store or mindless shopping trips. No more auto refills to my Starbucks cards. No sir-eee.

I've taken out a bulk of cash and keep it in my envelope and track how much is taken out and for what, right on the envelope. This goes for gas, groceries, fun money, etc. It's totally made me more mindful of my spending and makes me second (and triple) think purchases. The other day I did not want to make dinner for myself. After working all day, then getting the girls dinner going and then into their bedtime routine, the last thing I wanted to do was stand at stove and make a meal. (And this is why I'm not losing weight, people!) So - I thought about ordering a pizza. I checked out my local Pizza Hut for deals (could I get a pizza delivered under $10??), then switched over to checking out prices at a smaller local pizza joint (no go ... they're cheese thin crust started at $11.50) and landed on good ole college days Domino's.

Me- "Look! It's funny!" Goose- "I don't like stuffed crust pizza." Me- "You don't like dating either, so...":

I picked out my pie and even threw in a side of bread sticks for good measure. My total was like $11 but with a delivery fee and tax it came out to just over $16. Crap. Then add tip and that's $20. Look how easily that $20 can be spent! And on what? A binge-worthy night of greasy pizza and bread sticks - all of which I shouldn't be eating anyways?

Not gonna lie - it was a nice treat. They even sent over a plain cheese pizza instead of the Hawaiian I ordered and I didn't call to complain because - TREAT PIZZA! But afterwards I felt guilty that I spent a whole $20 on that one meal when it could have gone to anything like gas, groceries, a night out with friends, etc. And felt even more guilty because I slammed the meal myself and then felt bad about that too. And greasy. Literally, there was garlic coming out of my pores. I hate that.

Idk why I even bother grocery shopping honesty.:

So, I'm glad that now I think about the value of $20 more. It's made me more aware of what is needed and what is a want, and then more thoughtful of my want purchases. You just can't get far with twenty bucks now a days but you get a lot farther if you're not blowing it on pizza.

Thoughts on Dating ... After Divorce

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The thought of dating makes my skin crawl. And, honestly, my divorce isn't even finalized yet. I have a yearning to be okay with myself - to not dive into placing my value/worth into the hands of someone else. Yet - I still want that companionship. I want those butterflies in my belly. I'm not sure I'm anywhere near ready for that yet.

I signed up for Plenty of Fish - honestly, just to browse and be nosy to what's out there. My profile is hidden (so don't try to find me, creeps). The moment faces began popping up, my stomach dropped and I wanted to vomit. It honestly made me miss my ex more. It made me miss the comfort of my marriage and the person I was with for 8 years. The thought of starting over with someone new is nauseating. But I know it'll happen someday - or I'll be alone for the rest of my life :)

I'm not ready. I don't know when or if I'll ever be ready. It's weird being in this limbo - of wanting something (comfort?) but still wanting to be by myself. I guess at the end of the day, I just want to be happy and I don't want to need another person for that happiness. I'm trying to practice patience with myself and give myself time. Sometimes I'm flushed with the urge to "be somewhere". Such as, "Shouldn't I be moving on by now?" "Shouldn't I not be crying any more by now?" "Shouldn't I start working out by now?" None of this has happened quite yet.

Some days it feels like a race - will my ex move on and fall in love before me? How will that leave me feeling? It's honestly the most ridiculous thought ever. Honestly - I hope she's happy. I want to be happy. I shouldn't be worrying about anyone except myself. And if someone else is meant to enter my life - they will, and likely that'll happen when I least expect it. Not on PlentyofFish.com.


Freshly Picked Black Tuesday Deal!

Monday, November 23, 2015

This is a sponsored post, however all opinions are 100% mine. 
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Freshly Picked is having an awesome Black Tuesday sale {T O M O R R O W}. Yep - you read that right! Snag select moccs at 25% off, plus even bigger discounts on apparel!

We have been huge fans of Freshly Picked moccs! They're quality is stellar - my girls wore their moccs all summer and fall. Durable, adorable colors and patterns and a mom-owned business! How can you not get behind that! Plus, they were all cool and stuff and featured on "Shark Tank"! Head on over tomorrow start your holiday shopping early - deals start at 10 am!

Getting Through the Holidays

Recently, I found a post on Blogher that was titled 10 Ways to Survive the Holidays After Divorce. Ahhh! Right. Up. My. Alley.

Thanksgiving is this week, ya'll! And Christmas is hot on it's tail. It's the first year in 4 years that I'll be doing holidays solo. It's also the first year that I have to not only coordinate my family's availability - but now have to hand my kids over at a certain point because they have another side of the family to celebrate with. Part of me is excited to just be with my children on both holidays. Part of me dreads creating my own traditions, but it only keeps pushing myself further and further away from "the life that was." 



I want my girls to want to spend the holidays with me and sometimes I have the expectation that we will have that awesome, annual family tradition. But mostly I'm fearful of failing in that area of tradition for them and just having a "blah-holiday with mom." I know, ridiculous.

Some of the tips from this article that I really liked were:
  1. Give Yourself Permission to Suck. I laugh at this because I was not the chef or even the ringleader of my marriage. My ex was great at whipping up a delicious meal and always had fun ideas of things to do with the family during holidays. I'm not so creative and although I can follow directions to cook a meal, I'm not Julia Child. So, I know I need to give myself some lee-way and make the most of this new adventure.
  2. Create New Traditions. There are a ton of things I wanted to do when we were a family of four but the girls just weren't old enough. Like looking at Christmas lights, making Christmas cookies, doing holiday arts and crafts, etc. They're still not quite old enough for some activities, but that doesn't mean the 3 of us can't have our own little lady family traditions. If you have some cool ideas for what I can do with two toddlers, let me know!
  3. Don't Just Sit at Home. I think one of the easiest traps to fall into is staying at home and feeling sorry for yourself and your "lost" future. Who wants to be depressed during the holidays? Not me! I know I'll be sad enough as it is - but I want to still be able to have a life and enjoy the season, if anything for my girls.
Have you gone through the holidays post-divorce? What helped you get through the season?

Single Mom Money: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Friday, November 20, 2015


I'm on a budget. I have specific goals in mind and I want to reach them by a specific time. I've switched to cash-only purchases and zero balance budgeting which is super scary and stinking hard. But I'm also going through a super hard, emotional time in my life and with the holidays coming around - I feel the need to treat myself so I'm not totally depressed. I deserve it, right? Well, how do I manage that without exploding my budget completely?

Some ways I've opted to "treat myself" without ruining my budget is to look little or no-spend opportunities that I'd enjoy. One of those opportunities recently was a $10 student haircut at Mario Tricoci for my haircut! I have an inverted bob hairstyle and I've had it for years. It looks good on me, it's super easy to maintain (I can even blow dry and iron with the twins running around because it takes minutes!) but it's hard to keep up with since it grows out fast, and it's even harder finding a hair stylist that can actually do the cut correctly.

When a student for MT posted on Facebook that she needed a hair model and the cut was only $10 I was in!! It did take about 2.5 hours of my life, but it was well worth it. I got a great haircut at 1/5 of the price. And I'm super duper happy about it and it helped me feel excellent about myself - a much needed perk in this emotional crap-show I'm currently experiencing.

Another way I treated myself was cashing in my United frequent flyer miles. In a role I previously had at work, I traveled - a lot. I racked up tons and tons of miles and for the past 2 years where my traveled dwindled to maybe once a year - I've kind have just been sitting on the miles. Well, instead of saving them up for a trip I'm not taking any time soon, I decided to spend them on myself. Selfish, but worth it. After wracking my brain deciding what to spend it on - there's a catalog you can choose items from with mile values associated with the product ... everything from jewelry, to travel bags, to designer bags (Kate Spade, swooon!) to Mac Books. I finally picked two things I truly, truly have wanted. One is a pair of wireless, sweat/water resistant ear buds that actually sound good and I can use for working out. I've been pained to spend $30+ on a good set of earbuds. So, by using my miles I was able to score a $200 set of earbuds for free. It's a true splurge, but something I'd never in a million years buy for myself. Now - I hope it gets me to the gym more often!

The second thing I picked up with my miles is a Michael Kors black zip wallet. I've been eyeing a Kate Spade one but didn't have enough miles. But I've been wanting a new wallet and this again, was the perfect splurge because it's something I'd use every day that I'd never buy for myself. A $150 wallet? Psh, no. But to cash in my miles and treat myself - you betcha!

It's too bad, though that I didn't have 70,000 more miles or a Mac Book Air would have been mine like WHOA! #allthehearteyes

I'm just excited that I was able to treat myself with miles that were just sitting there - and I didn't have to spend a dime! Not even shipping costs! Merry Christmas, to me!

This Big Scary World

Thursday, November 19, 2015

If you have been paying attention to any current news lately, you're aware of the attacks on Paris, France, and the numerous other attacks on innocent civilians across the world. It's truly heartbreaking to know that people going about their daily lives, are being taken out of this world by senseless acts of hate. Because that's what's fueling this - hate. And as a mother, it makes me wonder what my beautiful, innocent children will have to endure in their futures. What is this world turning into? What will the world look like when they are all grown up? Will they have to fear traveling abroad (or even more appalling - just going to work or running daily errands) because someone decides to take out innocent life on this planet?

It's horrifying.

Do I think the world has always been like this? Yes. Think about it - all of the World Wars of the past, the Berlin Wall, disputes with Russia ... we've always had this kind of terror existing in this world. But now, we're more in-tuned to what's occurring across the world. With instant news coverage available at our finger tips via our cell phones and the internet in general, to people live Tweeting the horror and chaos that occurs. You can't even go on Facebook without tributes to those that lost their lives as Facebook now allows you to even change your profile photo to a background of blue, white and red in honor of the national flag of France. It makes it more terrifying because it's all so real and real time.

It's terrifying also because never have I literally seen and felt racism so real and alive as it is today. I'm not ignorant to think it doesn't exist - but now it's slapped in our faces and the horrifying things that people do and say to each other out of hatred for another race (or religion!) breaks my heart. It breaks my heart for my children to know that type of darkness is out in the world that they live in.

My only wish is to raise two strong women who will bright light and love into this world. Who will be able to help others and soften the edges of the dark things that happen every day. I wish for them to find their place in this world, have an empathetic and giving heart - and to radiate all that is good in this world.




The Person You Should Marry

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


 I came across a TedX presentation online that was titled "The person you really need to marry," and was immediately intrigued. Did I marry the wrong person (for me)? Cannot I select the right partner? Did I set myself, my marriage, up for failure? Maybe this Ted Talk had all the answers I was desperately seeking.

Speaker Tracy McMillan is a 40-something three time divorcee and she has some advice for those of us that are going through divorce. For those of us lost in the process, and those of us who have lost ourselves. Tracy knows - with her relationship history, she figured out what she was reaching for in each relationship, and why each one did not work out. She now has come to the realization of the person you really should marry - yourself.

It's a powerful statement. To accept yourself in sickness and in health. To love yourself through the good and the bad - at your best and your worst. To invest in yourself and not bury your worth in another person ... because you'll only really guaranteed to be with yourself for the rest of your life. If you don't love yourself, how do you expect to have a healthy relationship and allow someone else to love you like you should?

I really liked this Ted Talk and if you're looking for some powerful advice post-divorce, especially if you're feeling lost - this is a great pick me up to help you head into the right direction.


World Prematurity Day

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Every year World Prematurity Day falls on November 17th - and it's a day to remember how strong tiny little bodies fight to stay in this world. A day to remember all of the families currently spending countless days and nights in the NICU praying over their little babies born too soon ... urging them to keep the good fight going.

I remember when I was told that I needed to deliver the girls early. I was 33 weeks, 5 days pregnant and was being monitored for pregnancy induced hypertension which was leading to preecclampsia. It all started around 28 weeks of my pregnancy, when I was sent overnight for observation. The MFM (maternal fetal medicine) doctor came to chat with me - discussing the possibility of delivering at 28 weeks but thinking I had time to bake them a little longer. Luckily, I lasted 5 more weeks. I had steroid shots literally injected into my butt to help the twins' lungs develop and prepare for the big scary world, since it was inevitable they were going to be delivered soon.

And even as I was wheeled into the OR - it was all really surreal. I will never forget how tiny they were - how jittery their skinny bodies were in their clear plastic box. The raspy screams they made as their nurses changed out their IVs or the fussing they put up as their NG tube was inserted back into their nostrils because they snagged it out. The beeping that was incessant and the panic that rises up in your chest when an alarm goes off - praying a nurse runs in and fixes everything.

But finally after 16 and 18 days, we got to take our sweet girls home. They made it up to the required release weight of 4 lbs, 5 oz and they mastered eating from a bottle by that point. On their last days at the NICU, the nurses proudly paraded them around to say g'bye too everyone that was on staff during that shift ... everyone so excited and so proud of my little girls for going home. And now they're 16 months old and thriving. They're amazing little people with big personalities that grow every single day. They're the best thing that's ever happened to me and my whole reason for being on this earth. I'm massively proud of them and how far they have come.


Recipe: Easy Orange Chicken

Another throw-back recipe I wanted to share from my former blog Sunnyside Shlee - easy orange chicken that is super yummy! I've also included a printable version of the recipe that you can print and go!

Easy Orange Chicken
Serves 2 | Prep time 15 min | Cook time 30 min

Ingredients:

1-2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (for frying)

Marinade:
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tbsp. water

Orange Sauce:
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
¾ cup pulp free orange juice

3 tbsp. BBQ sauce

Instructions:
  • Cut chicken into squares/small chunks and put into mixing bowl. Add soy sauce, cornstarch and water. Let sit for 5 minutes to marinate.
  • While the chicken is marinating, start the orange sauce: in a small mixing bowl combine vegetable oil, orange juice and BBQ sauce. Mix well.
  • Start frying pan on medium to high heat and add vegetable oil and marinated chicken. Let pan fry for 5-7 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and crispy.
  • Add orange sauce mixture to pan and stir continuously until sauce thickens. Should be about 4 -5 minutes.
Voila! Serve with white rice and enjoy! You can also add sesame seeds and/or sliced green onion as a garnish! 



New Expectations

Monday, November 16, 2015

Life is now a constant readjustment to new expectations for my future. Everything is uneasy and unplanned (not like it was ever really planned) unlike when you're in a marriage and it anchors you down. I feel like my marriage grounded me. It had me on a path - grow our family, be great parents and eventually retire so I can drink wine seaside for the rest of my days. ::::ahhhhhh!::::  #thelife

But now it's all up in the air. Part of it is exhilarating - knowing that I can make my future anything that I want it to be. Sometimes I'm really excited about the possibilities and I just feel free - the freeness from not being in a relationship. But, if I'm being honest, most days are just plain terrifying. Things are wide open and I have to start over again. If I want to be re-married someday, that means I have to eventually date, right? Ha! If I want to plan for retirement, I have to think about what me, myself and I needs for that period of my life. I have to plan it all as if a future spouse doesn't exist (which one doesn't) and then I'm smacked with the reality that I'm alone. Shit, shit, shit. How did this happen? I'm single.

I will always have my children (well technically 50% of the time per the custody agreement) but I'm a single woman. There's no plus one. There's no co-adult here to drink wine with. There's no one to share my life with - to build something with. And that's one of the things I liked most about marriage, the building of a life together. There are days where I struggle to stay positive. When I miss my ex (not just the companionship - but her). There are mornings where I wake up hoping it was all a bad dream. But it's not - it's all my current reality.

I feel pressured with so much to do and having to do it all myself. Keep my home up and running, stay positive, lose weight, be a good parent, plan for my future, eventually try to date in some far off future - blah, blah, blah. It's enough to force me into hiding ... you think I could hibernate with the girls all winter?  I'm scared I can't handle it all. That all of my crazy, sad, feelings will re-emerge at some point and just take me down into a fit of tears. I've maintained a strong front for a while now, but I dunno, sometimes I can feel it licking at the back of my throat.

But I'm trying to stay positive, and I'm trying to focus on the good. I'm trying to realize my worth and invest in myself. I'm trying to not let my emotions take me down. I'm trying to take it one day at a time so that I can look back and remember how strong I was that I made it through all of this.



Great Break-Up Music

Friday, November 13, 2015

You ever have those nights where you're doing housework, or just hanging out, sipping on a glass of wine and you need the perfect playlist to go with your mood? I've recently started running the below playlist on loop and I think it's that perfect angtsy, wine-sipping music that just gets everything all out (even tho some of it has nothing to do with breakups, like the Empire song lol). So tune up your pipes, pick out your favorite glass of wine, turn the lights down low and just let it out, girl! You deserve it.

Adele - "Hello"  (who isn't in love with this one?)


Gwen Stefani - "Used to Love You" (I'll always be Team Gavin, but this is a good one)


Carrie Underwood - "Relapse" (Perfect for that attitude, gurrrrrrl - she has the best Girl Power ballads)


Empire Cast, Jussie Smollett - "Good Enough" (this is about a parent-child relationship but relatable still!)


Justin Timberlake - "Drink You Away" (Do they make a medicine for heartbreak?)


Selena Gomez - "Same Old Love" (Biebs needs to get a clue :) )


What are you favorite break-up tunes?

Naked

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blogging is an exposing experience. There's a fine line between putting yourself all the way out there (and wondering if people will judge you because of it) and keeping things mostly to yourself for protection. I think if you're going to be a lifestyle blogger (like I consider myself) then it's important to be real - it's important to not hide behind a facade. Here's a real snippet for you: The other day, in the midst of texting with my ex, I just started bawling in the middle of Homegoods. Nothing of significance happened, and it was a pretty normal day anyways. But here I was finding big fat, huge tears well up and burst out of my eyes. I don't always have it "together," I'm pretty sure I'm far from that. But I do worry what other people think of me and the experience that I've been going through. I write because it's cathartic for me - it provides a release that I haven't been able to get from anything else (therapy, crying, etc.).

But, there have been days when I'm tormented by embarrassment, days when I feel I should be handling it all better. Days when my eyes gloss over, red with rage at what I feel "happened to me." Then, I'm ashamed for being a "victim." And even though I'm aware of my part in everything, and even in all the aftermath - it's hard not to fall into victim mode sometimes. I'm human though and can only control so many of my feelings.

It's all kind of like being naked - exposing yourself, your fears and doubts and your life to people you don't even know ... even more terrifying to expose yourself to people that you do know (hi all!). I just hope there's someone out there that can relate to me ... that finds comfort that they're not alone in facing their demons. That what they're feeling is real and normal, even though it's sometimes exposing ourselves to the judgement of others.




Single Mom Money: Divorce Debt (or the Double D)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

When many couples part ways, they are left with sorting out any debts and assets accumulated throughout the marriage. If you're debt-free, you're awesome. But that's not really a reality for all of us. The ex and I sorted through all of our credit card bills, medical bills and any other miscellaneous debt we may have had over the course of our relationship and then found a way to divided it between the two of us so that we were both happy. That's not always how it happens though and many "could-be" amicable divorces can turn nasty when people are arguing over money. And once it's all finalized in court, there may be either side of the parties involved unhappy with their lot - or just buried in debt in general. And now you're on 1 income. What the heezy?

I wanted to gather some resources that I found online that addresses other people that have gone through divorce and left with a pile of debt. Personally, I'm sifting through a personal loan and credit card debt valued upwards of $7,000. Yuck. That's not including my car payment and student loans I still owe on. So resources like these help me see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that I can crawl out of debt and it can be manageable to tackle!

7 Ways to Deal with Divorce Debt - I've been a long-time reader of "And then we saved" blog and in this post, she welcomes guest blogger, Kady, to discuss how she crawled out of debt after her divorce. She gives some tips on how she purged that $45,000 out of her life for good!

Balance Transfers - "Trash the Dress" is a blog for the 20-somethings that have hit the divorce path. This post, although financially controversial because you're basically just moving money around, even for a lower APR reviews some benefits with paying down that debt at a lower interest rate.

13 Things to Do Once Your Divorce is Finalized - Babble is a great resource for random posts on a variety of topics. In this post there are tips on what are some things you should do the moment those papers are signed and you've breathed your first breath of fresh freedom air. Some of them financial, like opening your own checking account!

There are some other standard resources out there to get yourself back on track. Many financial gurus like Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey have their own ways to help you chip away at your debt. The key is to find what works for you and stay dedicated! We now have to plan for ourselves, by ourselves and keep an eye on our future.

What are some ways that you try to save money or work down your debt? I'd love to hear it!
 
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