The Littlest Things

I have 4 beautiful, incredible children. Each one is so unique and brings me so much joy and happiness. There is a 15-year age gap between my oldest and the next one. For a long time I didn’t know if I’d ever have another baby, and then the next three came, every two years, until we decided our family was complete. Our daughter, our youngest, was adopted, but only 8 days old when she came home to us. I was always very careful to pay attention to the end of something. After reading a post about never knowing when it would be the last time you would pick your child up, or nurse them, or lay them in their crib because they grow so quickly, I made sure I paid close attention and marked each occasion in my mind. I couldn’t stand the thought of never knowing it would be the last time. So today, when I realized a milestone had happened without me noticing, it caught my attention and has me thinking. I realized that we no longer need the staple that has been by my side for the last seven years: the diaper bag.

I think it’s safe to say that most of us are pretty choosy when it comes to the diaper bag. After all, it will be with us pretty much ALL of the time if we aren’t at home. For me, I wanted something stylish and timeless, that I’d be able to use for years. I chose one from – Kalencom is a company based out of New Orleans, LA – the city my granddaddy hailed from and one that’s close to my heart. My husband and I Honeymooned there and so, when I saw the bag I loved and where it was from, I knew that was the one. The bag I chose was this one, and it lasted this whole time: : Kalencom N'Orleans Tote Choc/Blue : Baby

I thought it would be perfect for a boy or girl, and the quality was there. So for 7 years, through 3 babies, this was the diaper bag. It made every single trip with us. It was there for the zoos and the hotels and the car rides. The shopping trips, the holidays and the fun adventures. It carried the supplies for my three youngest babies. And then, apparently, without me even noticing – it became obsolete.

I suppose 2020 could be partly to blame. We didn’t really go anywhere over the last year, and during that time our youngest turned 3. Now she’s almost 4. As I said, I was always very careful in marking milestones. In making sure I didn’t miss a thing. It was important to me. I guess it’s not a big deal to a lot of people, but my babies didn’t come easily – so I wanted to make sure every moment was cherished and acknowledged.

Today, when I was cleaning some things out of the back of the minivan, I went to move the diaper bag back into it’s usual resting place, in the back, behind my son’s seat. And that’s when it hit me – I didn’t need it anymore. I stood there for a moment wondering when I had even used it last and I couldn’t recall. My daughter has mostly potty-trained and only wears a diaper at night now. Gone are the needs for having diapers nearby or a change of clothes. The need for Curad to soothe a diaper rash or nursing pads or bottles. The security of having a pacifier, rattle or teether nearby. Those days are over. I felt a funny pull of sadness when I went through the bag. Not much remained inside, but there was a tube of ointment for rashes, a far-too-small diaper, and even a baby spoon. I tossed the baby spoons long ago, so seeing that bright little plastic thing kind of got to me. There was also a bib inside, and a small toy dinosaur.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want another baby. I’m well into my 40’s and, as I said earlier, I truly felt a completeness the day we brought our daughter home. The past few years have been a wild ride – full of fun and laughter and love. And believe it or not, I don’t miss having a baby. I said to my husband, just the other day, that I’d been changing diapers for seven years straight. Seven years! And I am ready to be done. I look forward to my daughter finishing out her potty-training and moving on from that phase of my life. And I wouldn’t want to go back to the nighttime feedings and the no sleep and the constant attention that they needed. But for the first time in awhile, I suddenly missed it.

I realized that, while I’ve been careful to cherish the moments, it won’t be possible to catch them all. Because I can’t always know when it will be the last time. Even with very careful watch and planning. Because they truly do grow up so very fast. And because, like all things in life, I don’t have complete control. It was a nice reminder to me of a time that, while not long ago, is definitely over. And that hurt, just a little bit. Because while I’m proud of how well they are doing and how much they are learning and how big they are getting, they will, in so many ways, always be those tiny babies that I worked so hard to bring into our world. That I held and fed in the quiet of the night. That I love so incredibly deeply, beyond measure. And realizing that that part of my life, of Motherhood, is over, feels a little sad.

I cleaned the diaper bag out and I added it to the pile in the back of the van that’s going to be donated, along with the clothes my daughter has outgrown. It feels odd to have such an attachment to objects, doesn’t it? To touch and see them and be taken right back to another time? I love the magic of that. And I loved that diaper bag. I’ll try to pay a little bit more attention from now on, so maybe I won’t miss the next one. But who knows? These kids keep me pretty busy.

Our Place’s Always Pan is AMAZING – And Now Available In This NEW Color!

You won’t be surprised to read the next few paragraphs if you know how much I love Our Place! I’ve stated these facts before, but here they are again if you haven’t seen them yet! There’s a lot to love about Our Place’s products. They recently sent me their newest Always Pan, and here’s why you will want one too!


I love Our Place because they are a company of people who care. One of the co-founders, Shiza Shahid, co-founded The Malala Fund and now works to celebrate and highlight the multi-cultural cuisine that Americans embrace. We are a land of immigrants, and Our Place recognizes that and focuses on how our cultural landscape weaves and intertwines. Our food is one of the major ways that we embrace other cultures and honor them. Our Place knows that, and seeks to bring us even closer.

In addition to their insight, they focus on ethical labor, using responsible materials, and the real stories that make people across America so incredible. Based in Los Angeles, California, Our Place has partnered with the Los Angeles Food Policy Council and is currently working to help people gain access to good food. Not only that, they are environmentally conscious in their packaging. All of their boxes are packaged with biodegradeable and recyclable corrugate, without any bubble wrap or plastic product involved.


I have several Our Place products in my kitchen. But my absolute favorite product is their Always Pan. Here are some of the specs on it!

  • Exclusive non toxic, nonstick ceramic coating made without potentially toxic materials like PFOAs, PTFEs, other PFAs, lead, cadmium, toxic metals, and nanoparticles.
  • Nesting beechwood spatula with integrated spoon rest
  • Custom stainless steel steamer basket
  • Sturdy aluminum body for fast, even heat
  • Lightweight construction (3lb body)
  • A modular lid to let off steam when you want to and lock it in when you don’t
  • Pour spouts, because nobody likes a mess
  • Dishwasher safe (please hand wash your spatula)
  • Compatible with all cooktops
  • 10” diameter, 2.7” depth, 2.6qt capacity

Photos by Our Place, shown here in ‘Spice’

While it states that it is dishwasher safe, I’ve always just washed mine by hand. It literally takes 2 minutes – everything comes right off, I’ve never had to scrub at it or soak it. The pan is available in Spice (pictured above), and the following colors as well:

You can order it here and use my code, MEGANG10 to get 10% off today!

Our Place states that you can replace your fry pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula, and spoon rest with the Always Pan. I can tell you with complete honesty that this is my all-time most preferred pan, and the one I reach for every time I’m going to cook! I’ve had it for 7 months now and it’s my absolute favorite. And launching TODAY, Our Place has added this BEAUTIFUL Lavender color as well!! It’s available starting today, and if this is the one you want, I’d order it. The new colors tend to sell out quickly when they are released.

You can use the Always Pan to braise, sear, steam, strain, saute, fry, boil, serve and store. What I love most about it, aside from the fact that nothing sticks to it, is that the sides are so high. It’s replaced my need for my skillets! I only keep them around in case I need to cook more than one thing at a time. It’s also SUPER light, which is great for my arthritis. In addition, they look GORGEOUS hanging in my kitchen!

The Always Pan has sold out 10 times. It’s truly the best one out there. Again, you can get 10% off of yours here using my code MEGANG10

Three Novels That Are Better Than The Movie

I recently wrote a blog about some films that I enjoyed more than the books they were based on. I think typically we tend to enjoy the book more than the film, but not always. And the three I discussed in that blog far surpassed the story in the book for me. But that’s not typically the case. Today I was thinking about a particular book and it’s film and it inspired me to write this blog. These have been around quite awhile, so not new information, but they were three easy examples for me to write about. As usual, I will try to give my opinions without giving anything away about either story so as not to ruin them for you if you’d like to go back and visit them.

The Tommyknockers

The first is one of the first Stephen King novels I ever read. This was probably over 20 years ago. As you can see, my copy has some wear and tear. This is a fairly scary story, and one that I recall being a page-turner. I read it fairly quickly and really loved it. So when the movie came out I was really excited to see how it translated. I really loved the interpretation of The Stand – but if I recall correctly, that movie is 6 hours long. It’s not easy to get one of King’s books to translate well because the things he puts into your head are far more horrifying than I think can be brought to life at times. Not only that, but his stories are incredibly lengthy sometimes, and it’s tough to get all of that information into a movie. Even knowing all of that, however, and not expecting a miracle, I was sorely disappointed in the movie. I just didn’t feel it was that well done, and it didn’t do the novel – or its characters – any justice.


I love Toni Morrison’s books. No one writes like her and her stories truly take you on a journey. I cried reading Beloved – I was so moved by the characters and the hearbreak. The fear and the uncertainty. This novel moved me so much that even now, over 20 years after reading it, I think about it from time to time. I only read it once. I don’t think I could take reading it a second time. I keep it in my library at home though. It’s one of the most moving things I’ve ever read. So when I learned a film was coming out, I was beyond excited. Hearing that Oprah would be in it made it all the more exciting. At the time, I loved Oprah. We went to see it in the theater. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s not that it’s a bad film. But as you often see in interpretations, things get lost. The film isn’t bad, but the book is so, so much better. The emotions and experiences are easier to absorb when you read Morrison’s words – with this one something is definitely lost in translation.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark is 100% one of my all-time favorite books. It is truly horrifying. The stories are terrifying and the illustrations are so disturbing that more recent publications feature newer, less unsettling imagery. Apparently someone decided it was too scary for its intended audience – children. I read it when I was in 4th grade. I couldn’t ever remember seeing anything like it. I wasn’t like most kids though. I was a fan of horror films and looked everywhere for scary books too. This one blew my expectations out of the water. Years ago my brother bought me this one, with all of books in one. Luckily he got his hands on it before they changed the illustrations. Our favorite part. So you can probably imagine how excited we were when we learned that a film was in the works. We were curious how the would take a bunch of short stories and poems and turn them into a movie. Well, it turns out, they didn’t. They chose a few of them and built a story around a group of kids. I won’t say more than that because I don’t want to give anything away. The movie just came out in 2019 and my brother and I went to the theater to see it. We were definitely not disappointed. It is a well-done film. The acting is good and it’s just scary enough. I even let my kids watch it at home, on DVD. But there is no possible way to truly capture the horror of those original stories and illustrations. I just don’t think it’s even possible. In this case, I did like the movie. Enough to go and buy it even though I’d already seen it, and I’ve watched a few times. Of the three discussed, this is the one film that, while it didn’t live up to the book, it definitely didn’t disappoint. In fact, a second movie is in the works with the same writers and director signing on and I absolutely can’t wait to see it!

Why I Love I Dew Care Skincare

Awhile back I received a couple of sample items from a company called I Dew Care. The items came in subscription bags and boxes that I subscribe to. I loved the items I tried, so when I saw an opportunity to partner with them and review more of their products, I jumped at the chance. I recently all but begged them again to allow me to review their newest line because I’ve loved everything I’ve tried so much. This is not a sponsored blog post. Several of the items I review I did receive for free from the company, but they were for campaigns for Instagram and YouTube and are unrelated to this blog review.

I Dew Care is inspired by K-Beauty, which is Korean skincare. They are 100% cruelty free, as well as free from Talc, d5/ Parabens, Synthetic Fragrances, & Petro Chemicals. They are a brand of Memebox. Their website states, “Memebox is a company based out of San Francisco with outposts in Seoul, Shanghai, and Taipei. Founded in Seoul in 2012 by Hyungseok Dino Ha, who sought to make the best of K-Beauty accessible in the West.”

The first that drew me to I Dew Care is it’s packaging. It’s fun, upbeat, bright, and interesting. That may not matter to some, but for me, my love of a product starts with the container. The names of their products are also cute and lovable! There’s something special about these products that makes me feel happy when I’m using them. The packaging and names are uplifting, and that creates a feeling for the user I believe. Beyond that, I’ve found that their products are of a great quality. They work. In addition, they aren’t ridiculously priced, which I greatly appreciate. I decided to write this post because I wanted to share with you my favorite I Dew Care products, in hopes that I can help you find skincare that you will love, and that is also cruelty-free and isn’t hard on your budget.

Below I will share my favorites, as well as a link to Ulta. I receive no commission, nor will I receive anything for sharing these links. I am simply putting them here for you so that you can easily locate the products!

Space Kitten $23

Space Kitten is a peel-off mask, specified for your T-Zone area. I find that the softness it leaves my skin is just incredible.

Plush Party Lip Mask

Plush Party $16

Plush Party is my new best friend. I began using it awhile back, when Clinique discontinued my favorite night-time lip mask. Plush Party moisturizes beautifully and is still on when I awaken in the morning!

Berry Melting $23

My favorite makeup melt. A little of this guy goes a long way. I use it for removing my lippies and eye makeup before I wash my face. The formula is amazing and the smell is incredible!

Saw you dew Jelly Cream Moisturizer

Say You Dew $23

This is a Vitamin C Gel + Cream. For my personal taste, it leaves my skin too dewy for the day. I’m more of a matte lover, personally. However, I use it at night on my face, neck and décollete areas. It makes my skin so incredible supple and hydrated.

And I’ve saved the best for last. My absolute favorite I Dew Care products are from their newest line, the Yogi Kitten collection. It’s a line based on balancing skin and using plant extracts  including cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, heartleaf, and power greens – to help detoxify, clarify, and calm blemish-prone skin. And I can say for a fact that it works. I’m in my 40’s now and, happily, don’t have a lot of issues with acne. However, every month in tune with my cycle, as well as in high-stress times, I do break out. Typically on my chin, around my mouth and, occasionally, elsewhere. Using these products calmed my skin and stopped my breakouts. They arrived, but they were minimal and went away quickly instead of blossoming into painful, red, irritating blemishes. I am keeping this trio handy so that anytime I hit that part of my cycle I am good to go!

NEW!  Namaste Kitten Clarifying Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil Cleanser

Namaste Kitten Cleanser $19

This cleanser is awesome. I can honestly say that this cleanser makes my skin feel more clean than any other cleanser I can remember. Plus, it’s fun to use! When you use it you should wet your hands, put a dab on them and rub it around to fluff it up!

NEW! Yoga Kitten Balancing Heartleaf Clay Mask

Yoga Kitten Mask $23

This mask is AMAZING. I honestly cannot stop touching my face after I’ve used it! It’s so, so soft and smooth!

NEW! Juicy Kitten Purifying Power-Green Serum

Juicy Kitten Serum $25

This serum smells amazing, and it feels incredible on my skin. It absorbs beautifully as well, and doesn’t leave a sticky residue behind.

I Dew Care is currently one of my favorite brands. Their uplifting, light approach to skincare is bright and fun, but they don’t sacrifice quality or performance for that cuteness. Don’t let the adorable packaging fool you, I Dew Care is bringing it. Their pricing is fair, and it’s honestly a brand I love using and have recommended highly to my friends. If you are looking for great skincare without a hefty price tag, give them a try. I think you’ll love them as much as I do.

Why FabFitFun Is The Best Subscription Box Out There

FabFitFun is a quarterly subscription box service. They deliver a box to your home once every 3 months, for Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. The also have Editor Boxes. These boxes are available if you join in between the seasonal boxes. The are comprised of the favorite items of, you guessed it, the Editors. Members are able to purchase these boxes in addition to the seasonal boxes if they wish. However, you aren’t required to.

Fabfitfun has a wide range of items in their boxes. You can get jewelry, wraps, scarves, socks, makeup, haircare, skincare, tech items, fitness items, and so much more. Every box I’ve received has been worth over $300. (Each box costs $49). Some of the items are a surprise, but some you are able to choose. If you are a select annual member (meaning you pay for the year upfront) you will get to choose more of what is in your box. You also get priority shipping. Contrary to what people think, this is NOT more expensive than paying quarterly. As a matter of fact, it’s a little cheaper as when my bill comes it’s $180, which means that each of my boxes are $45.

FabFitFun also has an Add-On sale at the beginning of each season, where they offer products at up to 70% off of their retail value. They also have Edit Sales, in conjunction with the release of the Editor Boxes, that do the same thing. Again, you aren’t required to purchase anything at the sales, they are just available to you if you want to shop them.

I love FabFitFun’s boxes, of course, and I’ve found so many of my new favorite products this way. However, there’s a lot more to it than just the boxes. FFF has a community page on their website where members can go to talk. It’s called the Community Forum. They talk about FFF, of course, but they also use the community to find support, talk about problems, trade items, and make friends. The discussions are so wonderful, and it makes me so happy to see strangers coming together the way they do in the community. There’s even a group who does a Christmas in July gift exchange. There’s so much to be found there, and it’s completely free when you join FabFitFun. I’m also currently in a Book Club and a Cooking Club through the Forum!

In addition, FabFitFun has a TON of workout videos available to its members, again, completely free with your membership. They also send out newsletters with helpful tips, healthy recipes, and fun information. They have other videos as well for cooking and a range of informative things!

I actually love FabFitFun so much that I became an affiliate. We say #fabfitfunpartner. Which just means that I have a link to use to sign up (and I do earn a small commission on sales). I’ll post it below if you are interested in joining. I’ve taken several pictures of the actual boxes I’ve received as well, so I’ll post those here too. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, as I’m happy to help!

FabFitFun is more than a subscription box service to me. It’s inspired me to live a more happy and healthy life. It’s motivated me to connect with people all over North America, and it’s helped me find some incredible products that I’d probably never have found otherwise.

Get yours here and receive 20% off your first box using the code WOOHOO
(This is my personal referral link.)

RIght now the current box is the SPRING 2020 box. Here are the items I received in my Spring 2020 box!

If you want more than one item in each category, you are able to purchase additional items. The cost varies in each category, and typically it’s $15 for higher-priced items, $10 for mid-priced, and $7 for lesser priced items! During this sale I chose to add a mystery item as well as a set of tea towels to my box!

Here’s my personal referral link! Get yours here and receive 20% off your first box using the code WOOHOO and join today!

Sites You Have to Visit in Canada’s Capital!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Personally, I’ve never been to Ottawa, Canada. But I understand it to be an incredible city with tons of beauty and culture. If you want to visit there, here are some things to know!

Ottawa stands as the capital of Canada, making it an important part of Canada’s politics, history, and culture. Due to its importance, many important sites have popped up in the city, sites that tourists and residents can both enjoy. Some of these sites are important political and historical sites, while others simply provide entertainment or something more. If you ever find yourself in Ottawa, you absolutely have to visit the city’s best sites. So what are the top things to visit in Canada’s capital? Here are the sites you have to visit in Ottawa. 

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill is the seat of the Canadian government, making it one of the most important buildings in the entire country. The building is much like the U.S Capitol Building in Washington D.C in this regard. However, Parliament Hill has many other things going for it as well. The area constantly has events going on, most of which are open to the public. This includes seasonal events like Christmas Lights Across Canada, an event that sees the area bathed in beautiful seasonal lights. Even if you don’t come at a specific time of the year, the building still hosts daily events. This includes the Changing of the Guard Ceremony in the day and the Sound and Lights Show at night. Both display important parts of Canada’s history and culture. When combined with Parliament Hill’s political importance, this makes the site a must-visit for all tourists. 

Rideau Canal

When in Ottawa, it’s hard not to notice the Rideau Canal. The waterway connects the city with the massive Lake Ontario. It was originally constructed as an emergency route in case the U.S ever invaded Canada, but is now primarily used for pleasure. Small boats can sail up and down the river, making it the perfect way to spend a sunny day on the water. In the winter, the waterway freezes and becomes a large ice rink for skaters to enjoy. Even if the water and ice aren’t for you, just walking by the canal and seeing all of the different sights can be a great way to spend your day.

ByWard Market

ByWard Market is a retail and entertainment district that tourists will love to shop in. If you’re someone who loves to shop and splurge, then this is the perfect location for you. Merchants, farmers, and vendors bring their goods and wares here to sell to the public. In addition, you can find some of the city’s best coffee shops, restaurants, and bars in the area. One could make an entire day out of simply browsing the wares of vendors and enjoying the cuisine the market has to offer. If that’s not enough, the ByWard Market is host to a wide variety of festivals and events, allowing you to have some great experiences. 

Fairmont Chateau Laurier

If you need a place to stay, the iconic Chateau Laurier is a great way to combine history with functionality. Even though it is a hotel, the Chateau Laurier is a designated National Historic Site of Canada. It’s not very often where one can reside in a historical site, but this hotel offers precisely that opportunity. The hotel was constructed in 1912, making it well over a hundred years old. However, don’t fret about whether the hotel is out of date, as it has exchanged hands several times and has received multiple renovations. This allows the location to be the perfect combination of history and practicality. If you’re not looking for Ottawa homes for sale and are simply looking for temporary residence while you visit the city, then you can’t go wrong with this hotel. 

Getting Through The Holiday Season After A Loss

You may have noticed that I haven’t written in awhile, and there’s a really good reason for that. At the beginning of November, my mother died. Technically she was my stepmother, my mom died when I was 5, but she’s been my mom since I was 8, and I’m 42 now. Our relationship was complicated, and the blow I suffered at her loss was surprising and profound.

She had a heart attack at the beginning of November. The day after Halloween, actually. Halloween was the last time I saw her. Her heart attack was major and the doctors did everything they could, including placing her in a medically induced coma in order to try to lessen brain damage. We were by her bedside for an entire week before we finally had to say goodbye. She never woke up.

There are a lot of things I could say about that, what it was like to go through that, but right now I wanted to try to give some advice on what helped me get through the holidays, in case anyone else out there is looking for help. Because right after we lost her we had to get through both of my sons birthday parties (they turned 4 and 6), Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve. For me, these were especially difficult, not only because of the typical reasons, but because of our relationship, the holidays were the best times I spent with her, and because of her crippling anxiety, they were some of the only times I spent with her.

My first piece of advice for you in getting through it is to lean on others. The day after her heart attack my dad insisted I still have my 4-year-old’s birthday party. I’ll be honest, I don’t really remember it. I was still in shock I think, but my dad said that she wouldn’t have wanted us to postpone, that our lives couldn’t go on hold. So we moved forward. New friends and old friends of ours were there. They brought the food, they put up the decorations, and they made sure that his birthday was super fun for him. I wasn’t capable at the time of organizing anything (very unlike me), so I let go and let others handle it for me. That was the best thing for me at the time, and it all worked out.

I have a therapist and I talk to her about once a month. I have anxiety and I find it helps to have those discussions to maintain good mental health for me. Getting into therapy is my next piece of advice. Even if you don’t know what good it could do, you need to understand that navigating grief can be tricky. It’s not just a set group of steps you complete. It has ups, downs and sideways’. It comes and then it goes and then it comes back again. If you don’t want regular therapy, you can look for a group that focuses on grief. Oftentimes they are little to no cost as well.

My husband gave me my third piece of advice for you. Normally I am crazy for Christmas. Typically the day after Halloween I’m ready to decorate, and it takes everything I have to wait until after Thanksgiving. But this time, there was nothing where that feeling usually was. No excitement, no happiness, and as my therapist stated, no joy. And she was right. The thing that was missing was my joy. I told my husband that I didn’t feel like myself. That I was trying everything I could think of (watching my favorite holiday movies, staying after church to help decorate the sanctuary, listening to Christmas music) but nothing was working. That feeling just wouldn’t click. My husband said, “Forget about the click. Just keep going through the motions.” And he was right. That was what I needed to do. Once again, the world couldn’t stop. I still needed to create Christmas for my children. And so I did.

My therapist’s advice? Don’t overdo it. She advised that I do as much or as little as I felt like. She told me not to put too much pressure on myself. That the joy was missing, and that it was normal. So don’t push yourself. I would say I put up a little over two thirds of what I normally would do for Christmas. This year I didn’t put up our Christmas village, the tree in our front room (we still had another tree up in the living room), nor did I decorate the staircase. When I felt like I didn’t want to do anymore, I stopped. Because not only was I missing my joy, but I was tired. Grieving is hard work and it’s exhausting. And I allowed myself to just have a break.

Another thing that helped me was switching things up. Every year after my kids open their presents, my parents and my brother would come over and we’d open more gifts. I couldn’t stand the thought of her not being there, so this year we had Christmas in our family room instead. And instead of everyone going to my Grandfather’s house (her dad), they all came to our house. Changing things up a little took the edge off of her not being there. It wasn’t the same situation where her loss would have been so profound. It was a different situation and that lessened the blow for us.

My final piece of advice it to just feel it. Don’t try to push it down or ignore it. If you need to cry, do it. If you don’t feel like doing something, don’t. But be very careful that you don’t shut down. Depression can be a quick follow up when we are grieving, and it can be very easy to let it pull you down. You don’t have to force anything, but you can’t let it bury you. The important thing is that you realize that life goes on and as it goes on the grief will subside. It will become less heavy. It will come less often. So in the meantime, don’t let it suffocate you. Keep getting up, facing your day, and getting through it. Don’t worry about the click. Just keep going through the motions. And eventually, you will come out the other side.

Five Interesting Facts About Ohio!

I’ve lived in Ohio my entire life. I love it here. I love the people, the seasons, and the weather. There’s so much to do in Ohio, and there are some incredibly beautiful landscapes to see. I love living here, and thought it might be fun to share some interesting facts about my state!

Ohio is definitely a state worth visiting. Planning a vacation there will be a treat you’ll remember. There are so many fun and different things to do; it’s no wonder that people who visit sometimes wind up staying. The state truly has something for everyone, whether you are into the outdoors, history, or even culinary delights.  

You can have the convenience of city life while paying the real estate prices of the county. Just take a look at some of these Cincinnati houses for sale that may inspire you to make Ohio your new home. If you still need convincing, check out these five interesting facts about Ohio.

Mother of Presidents

Ohio is the birthplace of seven US presidents so far. Eight if you include William Henry Harrison.  Although Harrison was born in Virginia, he lived most of his life in Ohio. And two of the presidents, Ulysses S Grant and William McKinley, are on US currency.  

Longaberger Basket

One of the craziest tourist attractions is visiting the Longaberger Basket Headquarters. While this doesn’t seem like a crazy place to visit, the seven-story building is built to look like a basket, complete with handles.  If you are visiting Ohio, you must make time to check out the “Big Basket” as the locals call it. There are even tours that you can take of this wacky building. 

Wall of Gum

Another weird thing that Ohio has to offer is the Wall of Gum. This is located outside the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop in Greenville and has been around since 1934. Tradition is that you stick your gum on the brick wall of the building before eating. This has been going on forever and is a famous attraction. Bonus is the Maid-Rite has an excellent burger and other delicious options that have made it a favorite among locals for over 60 years. Make sure to check it out and bring a pack of gum!


Ohio is known as the Buckeye State. Ohio has a considerable population of Buckeye trees in the Ohio Valley. The buckeye tree produces nuts that look like the eye of a deer, hence the name. Locals believe that carrying a buckeye in your pocket will bring you good fortune. And of course, locals cheer for their Ohio State Buckeyes!

Birthplace of Rock and Roll

Rock and Roll did begin in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952. DJ Alan Freed was the first DJ to promote a rock show that took place at the Cleveland Arena. That’s why it was a natural choice for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. This museum is so big you can make a whole day or two out of it. You can even check out a live show if you are lucky enough to visit during these individual performances. If you have never visited this museum, you should put it on your destination wish list. There are tons of cool themed restaurants and hotels located right around the area that you can check out.

These are only a few of the incredible things that Ohio has to offer. If you are ever in the area, or there is something happening here that you are interested in seeing, I highly recommend a visit! I think you’ll find the state to be beautiful, the people to be friendly, and you’ll find that there is so much to see and do!

The Algonquin Mill Festival – A Perfect Fall Outing!

Not terribly far from where I live is a Fall festival that is typically the kick off to our season. It’s the Algonquin Mill Festival in Carrollton, Ohio. The Algonquin Mill is seated inside an historic complex with several surrounding buildings. More about the history and the buildings can be found on their website here:

The festival is a fun way to spend the day, and my husband and I take our children every year. They have delicious foods, fun things for children to do, and crafts and goods from local artisans! Each year we are excited to eat different comfort foods and see what the crafters have to offer. We often eat either the sauerkraut and potatoes dinner or we get some chicken and baked potatoes. We always make room for some bean soup and cornbread as well! If the kids don’t want to eat that, there are more kid-friendly options like hot dogs and french fries as well. For dessert we always get the same thing – a homemade apple dumpling with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream!

My husband and I tend to pick up Christmas ornaments every year. In part because one of my best friends is a crafter there, but also because we have an affinity for Christmas ornaments! The kids also typically pick something fun for themselves as well. The crafts range from crafts to handmade soaps, leather goods, holiday crafts, local honey, and so much more. One year I bought a CD from a band that was there. I bought their Christmas music CD and it’s amazing!

This year my kids had fun with several different things. They got their faces painted, which was only $2 each – fairly cheap for facepainting in my experience! And they both loved it so, so much. When it came off that night in the tub, they really wanted me to paint them back on. Max chose a spider for Halloween, but Bennett went with sparkly balloons.

Typically we go to a little pumpkin patch for pictures and so that the kids can pick out a little pumpkin. This year we ran out of time, unfortunately, and weren’t able to do that. We also missed out on creating sand art. However, we made it in time to see the animals! There were chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, bunnies, and – my favorite – the alpacas!

We also allowed the kids to take their first pony ride this year! At first I was concerned about the welfare of the horses, but after talking to their owner I realized that they are happy farm horses who only do this on occasion. He said they seem to enjoy the attention, and that if they didn’t like doing it, they would flat out refuse to move. The kids LOVED riding the ponies, and it was definitely worth the money. At first I balked at the $5 cost per ride, but the ride actually went on for several minutes, and the kids truly loved it.

Towards the end of the day we stop to have our apple dumplings, and then I head into the little bookstore that’s onsite. It’s a tiny house filled with wall to wall used books. I could spend all day in there, but since my husband and children have little interest, I typically pop in and search out some old Reader’s Digest books. They are one of the things that I collect. They cost fifty cents each, which I think is pretty good. Once that was done this year we stopped for a quick family picture before heading home. This is one of my favorite Fall activities. It’s fun for the whole family and, if you’re in the area, I highly recommend it!

Prepping For Black Friday?

It’s only October, but if you’re anything like me, the next couple of months are going to fly by! I love the holiday season. From October through December we have plans almost every weekend. This is the time of year we spend the most time with friends and family. So even though it’s only October, I’ve started thinking about Christmas shopping. Because Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. And the day after that is Black Friday – the day the stores pop into the black because we are shopping our little hearts out! For me, Black Friday has become a holiday all it’s own. And I’ll tell you why.

Black Friday is the best day that I’ve found to get the best deals and prices on so many of the items that I purchase for Christmas. But there’s more to it for me than just that. Years ago on the night of Thanksgiving, my brother would bring out the store ads from the newspaper. We would sit and read through them, circling the items we wanted. And he would be making a game plan for early shopping the next day! He is the type of person to stay up all night or get up at the crack of dawn for those deals. He’ll stand in line until the store opens and shop all day. I am the opposite. I tend to wait until the flurry has died down a bit before venturing out in the afternoon. I’m more interested in the overall sales than the big ticket item deals typically.

Now, however, there’s a more modern approach if you don’t want to purchase the ads in the paper, or if you do, but find that they are sold out everywhere. This has happened to us in the past. I have partnered with a website this year for this particular blog to bring you the best place to search for the best deals this Black Friday! Slick Deals offers an incredibly easy way to prepare and shop Black Friday deals. You can see their website here:

Slick Deals has done the work for you. As information on Black Friday comes out, you’ll be able to find it on their site. They have compiled all of the information you are going to be looking for this Black Friday. They provide information from the store hours themselves to the deals you’ll find there, as well as coupons and coupon codes. Not only that, but they provide advice on how to shop smart so that you can spend your money wisely and get the best deals out there. It is likely to be your best friend this shopping season!

This year, you can get a head start on your holiday shopping with Slick Deals. It’s the best website I’ve found for information on the best deals for Black Friday, and it’s easy to navigate and find the information you’re looking for. It’s a great tool for planning and budgeting, as well as creating your Black Friday shopping strategy! I find it incredibly helpful for finding all of the information I need in order to enjoy my shopping experience on Black Friday.

For me, Black Friday is a fun and exciting day. It is the kick-off to the Christmas season. I don’t just love the deals though. I love the people. I have had wonderful experiences out shopping on Black Friday. I enjoy talking to and laughing with the strangers I am standing in line with. I love the hustle and bustle of the people. I love the togetherness, the holiday music and decorations, and the excitement that comes from finding the perfect gifts for my loved ones.

This year, keep Slick Deals in mind as you prep for your Black Friday shopping. You can access the site here – or save it or bookmark it for easy access, because if you’re anything like me, the Autumn season will fly by and Thanksgiving will be here before you know it!