A Peek into my Beach Wristlet

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Every time I travel I always have the tendency of over packing..well more like over stuffing to be exact. When I went away to Hawaii for two weeks you could imagine what my suite case looked like…the sucker was practically busting at the seams. Surprisingly it wasn’t over the fifty pound limit.

I remember when I was packing the I packed this really cute orange-red purse that I KNEW that I was going to use…

I ended up using this wristlet from my latest FabFitFun Box! !! It turned out that this wristlet was PERFECT! Definitely carried everything that Sophia and I needed for our daily adventures!

Yeah, I never used the purse I brought, if you’re wondering!

Besides what any female would put in their wristlet… wallet and personal items…. here is what I also added to mine….

What was in my Wristlet:

My Contact Solution I bought the travel size, this was such a lifesaver! I found my eyes were a lot more irritated on vacation than any other time I wear my contacts. So I was able to whip those bad boy out and sport my 4 eyed look if needed. I have really bad astigmatisms in both eyes, that when I do wear my contacts it makes color and detail more vibrant. Which is something that I need when I am doing detailed work on cakes.

Shea Body Butter I actually bought this when I was in the Denver Airport in the travel size. My skin was so dry that it couldn’t wait about 15 hours before I would get to moisturize it. So low and behold The Body Shop were having some fantastic deals on their body butter….a little goes a long way, and I still carry the same one in my purse.

Sun Bum Sunscreen Lip Balm This happens to by my favorite lip balm for the summertime, but if you can’t find this brand at your local Ulta..a must have for me all year round is the Smith’s Rosebud Salve …it’s amazing!!!!!!

Portable Phone Charger I never knew how much I loved mine until I received one as a gift. Many people think that I am just “playing on my phone,” but not everyone realizes that I constantly reading…articles…books…etc. The only two games I have on my phone are Candy Crush and Words with Friends….I love love love word games. But a lot of times if you see me staring at my phone I’m reading. Now, when I was on vacation my battery was dying more than usual….between photos and video recordings it was constantly being used….and needed be recharged! This device definitely was handy.

Dried Mango This is like chocolate to me…when I am at the beach I am really active, so I swear my appetite increases so much! I kept dried Mango in my wristlet like ninety percent of the time, plus Sophia loves it! Definitely helped with Sophia and I would get ‘hangry.’

These are the items I kept in my wristlet most of the time while I was away. Some days I would add more items depending on what we were doing, but these items were the staple in my wristlet.

What do you bring on vacation that is a must have?

 

 

 

Links & Loves & Thoughts

 

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I really miss moments like this. Nothing is more precious than when your child falls asleep in your arms. Sophia used to do this quite often as a baby, but now since she is an active toddler and is…here..there..and everywhere, I definitely take advantage of times like this.

The funny thing is even though she hasn’t slept in my arms in quite sometime, the position she is sleeping in has never changed.  The reality of this photo is quite honest, because it brings me back to the when Sophia was under a year old. Most likely I wasn’t wearing make-up around the house, I was wearing older clothes, hair pulled up and had a baby fast asleep on my chest. This is what my early stages of motherhood looked like.

Quite honestly, it really hasn’t changed too much….except Sophia’s favorite thing to sleep with are her Peppa’ Pigs, Baby Alive or the famous Doc. McStuffins.

So capture those moments even if you don’t look your best. It will be worth it!

Now onto Links:

Have you read this book? I bought this book a couple months back for vacation…and I never read it. But I did finally start it the other day and I love it!!!

I am obsessed with Mindy Mae’s Market  have you heard of it? If not, check it out!!! There are so many sweaters I would looooove to purchase for the fall and winter months!

Beauty and the Beast Make-up Palette perfect for a birthday present! Especially if she loves Beauty and the Beast!

Does anyone know about doTerra Oils? I am actually learning about them and quite intrigued!!!

Have an awesome weekend!!!!

 

Summer to do List

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Summer bucket lists are popping up like crazy, they just so happen to be one of my favorite things to read. It gives me ideas as to what Sophia and I can do this summer. Now, a lot of people have bucket lists that are 50 things that they want to do this summer, but realistically speaking I know I won’t be able to accomplish 50 things…..maybe before kids, BUT I am more realistic nowadays…and I think 5 things Sophia and I can accomplish.

If we get through our list, I can also add a few more that would have made my 5 things more like 50 things.

  • Going to the Carnival seems like it would be ultra fun for Sophia. I can’t express my fear of carnival rides though. I have this vision in my mind that I am on a ride that is called “The Spider,” where you are going in a circle and it’s arms are launching you in the air…my fear that a bolt lets go and I am launched across the carnival somewhere. But I know my over-active imagination get the best of me. So if you know any decent carnivals in the Pittsburgh area please share!
  • Outdoor Movie Night just seems perfect for the summer. I am definitely going to be giving Sophia a outdoor movie night with some of her friends. I actually can’t wait to start planning it. I am thinking Pizza, popcorn….sleeping bags…twinkle lights…Root Beer Floats. And as for the parents…LCR and maybe some wine. Gotta’ love summer nights. Oh and how can I forget…..BUG SPRAY! I believe this is the closest to camping that we are going to get.
  • Hiking with Sophia now I think she will enjoy this…me, maybe not so much….BUT… Sophia is a nature girl so this might be perfect. We can explore different parks around the area…and I can take photos. I think that is a fair trade. If I had a kayak maybe hit up a large lake….but I think Sophia would be afraid of that.
  • Hit the Gym YES PLEASE! Nothing makes me feel better than a sweaty workout….totally gross I know..BUT…it just makes me feel better all the way around. I am dying to get my ass and stomach to the way it was before pregnancy. You mama’s out there know what I am talking about. Things are just different ya know?! Take up some Yoga classes…and there is a class called Pound at my gym that I am dying to take…you use drum sticks…basically had me at hello.
  • Wine and Paint Class is actually one of my favorite things to do. When I was in high school many moons ago…gosh 11 years now…I always took a painting class. Now that I am well over the age for legal drinking and I still have the passion to paint…this is perfect. So I want to gather up some friends and paint…the wine makes it more fun!

Do you have any fun summer plans?

 

 

Stalker Level….

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Can anyone guess who this man is in the picture? If you are a Walking Dead fan then you  will notice it’s HERSHEL!!! And his head is attached! Back in April my best friend in the entire world texted me and said that Steel City Con is coming to our area, and one of our favorite Walking Dead cast members was going to be there.

So…we had to go! I swear when we saw him we were like teenagers….we wanted to meet him considering he was the whole entire reason why we went….we were ‘gitty’ and absolutely nervous…

I remember thinking if I am like this over an old man, I can only imagine what dating will be like the future….it’s been well over 6 years since I dated…but that is for another blog post. Ha.

So after we totally “geeked out,” and probably looked like two stalkers….we finally worked up some courage to go over and say hi.

Hershel or Scott was very nice….tall…but that doesn’t take much for us to think someone is tall. He looks absolutely the same as he does on the show.

To tell you what we talked about, I can’t remember….I think we were just nervous….I mean we were one step closer to Daryl and Rick. Lord I don’t even want to know what we would be like if it was Daryl and Rick….

We didn’t get our professional photo taken they were really expensive (even if you used your cell phone..they charged you) and this mama is on a very tight budget so that was out of the question….but the photo I did get was pretty much stalker level..so that works right?

Later on…

When we went back to Charnayes’ apartment her boyfriend Dominick was there and we kept saying to him..

Guess who we hugged today?

HERSHEL!

It felt so good to get out of the house and have some down time. This doesn’t happen that often for me so it was definitely overdue.

What did you do this weekend? Anything fun? If you are a Walking Dead fan who is your favorite cast member?

Stay tuned for some more blog posts this week!

 

Seeing a Therapist Saved Me

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When I decided it was time to get out of my marriage, I didn’t realize what kind of impact was it going to have on myself..or even Sophia. It has been a really rough couple of years, I hid it from many people. Only a few select people actually knew what kind of a mess my personal life was in.

I am not going to sugar coat it..it was some of the hardest times of my life, that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. I know I keep saying that it was “hardest times of my life,” because it was. I felt that no matter what road I took, I always ended right back to where I started. It was an endless road of obstacles, that really started to take a toll on me, but I put myself on the back burner for years and focused on what was at hand.

After I told Adrian I wanted a divorce, I didn’t know what to expect from myself. How was I going to react? Was I going to be okay? Was I going to shut myself out from the world around me? And that is exactly what I did. My personal reaction to my divorce honestly didn’t hit me for about a week, the pure shock of a divorce didn’t hit home. Why you may ask, because you loved him? Yes, I loved my husband with all my heart and soul and when I married him I gave him my heart. The cold honestly of it was, he scared me so badly that I didn’t feel safe. The one person that I loved for years suddenly became someone I didn’t know. So, if I could hide away in my house and disappear I would. Once the feeling of being scared subsides, you are left with the raw emotions to follow. And it completely hit home and hard.

Everyday Sophia was taken care of and when she was playing with her toys, I would literally sit on the couch and watch the snow just fall. I didn’t do anything. A box of kleenex became my best friend and I completely shut myself off from the world. I hardly saw friends, did anything, went anywhere. My mom would make me go out with her on the weekends to run errands, if it wasn’t for that I hardly left the house. Unless I needed too. The ugly truth is, I wasn’t very pleasant to be around. I felt like a failure and I absolutely blamed myself constantly. Thinking of ways I could have done something differently. I made everything my fault and in my mind Adrian was the victim of my cruel words “I want a divorce.” I felt worthless, scared and very alone. There were many times that I didn’t even get out of bed…Sophia and I ate in my bed (typically we don’t)…she played in my room and I just watched her. The first two months I hardly slept, I would lay in bed just staring at my the ceiling, and if I did…it wasn’t long. I tossed and turned all night long. Mornings felt like a hang over, except there wasn’t a fun night to blame. I was in my own hell. Over time I learned my favorite place to cry was in the shower, because I didn’t have to explain for the hundredth time why I was crying. If no one heard you, then I must be feeling better…right?

I was slowly hitting rock bottom and not even noticing it. It took Sophia to tell my mom one day when she came home from work that “mommy cries a lot.”

Right then and there I knew I needed help.

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After taking a friends advice and getting therapy, I honestly didn’t think it was going to help. I dreaded my first session. How am I supposed to open up to a complete stranger? It isn’t going to help anymore than talking to a friend over coffee or to a parent. I was very adamant that it was going to be a wasted sixty dollars down the drain and and hour of my life that I wasn’t going to get back.

The possibility of feeling better seemed unattainable.

My first session I remember as if it was yesterday, I wore all black, hair in a messy bun, glasses on…I looked a wreck, but I was at the point that I didn’t care if the president himself walked in…this is how I am going to look. Everyone else can kiss my ass. I was very bitter, and it showed. I walked into this little room unaware of how I was going to react, I sat down and the first question she asked me was “how are you?” That was it, I totally lost it. I cried like a baby…hard..sobbing to the point I used all her kleenex. My answer was to her question “No good,” I was so emotional that I could hardly catch my breath. Over the course of a few sessions that is how they went…I cried…used her kleenex all up…and slowly I was opening up. Very slowly.

I still didn’t feel back to “normal.” Opening yourself up to a complete stranger is some of the hardest things to do. You are telling them your deepest darkest secrets, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to a complete stranger. It’s like falling down scraping your knee…leaving the flesh underneath exposed…it hurts and stings all at the same time, but overtime that wound slowly starts to heal. You have to be willing to admit there is an issue in order for therapy to work. At least that is what I think.

Over time I was finding myself starting to feel a little lighter; it didn’t happen overnight, as I hoped it would have. It probably took about a good two months to really start feeling a difference. I was leaving my sessions feeling lighter..not bogged down by emotions that would get the best of me. I was starting to feel hope again.

I remember my first session when I didn’t cry. I never thought that it was going to happen, because that’s all I did for months. I can’t tell you what I talked about because I honestly don’t remember…but I do remember thinking “wow I was able to talk about that without crying.” At that point I was then leaving my sessions happy. Even if that happiness only lasted for a few minutes it gave me hope that there is happiness at the end of this tunnel…and it is okay to feel happiness. It’s okay to laugh and it’s okay to be happy. I can’t stress that enough…IT’S OKAY TO BE HAPPY!

The best piece of advice I received during my therapy sessions were to be mindful…mindfulness. Concentrate on what is important to you..be present in the moment. That was a little harder to do, than what I initially thought, because my mind was so consumed with the divorce…Adrian…that I just seemed to instantly think about the negative. I had to retrain my brain to think and notice the positive aspects in my life. The big one was Sophia, this little girl has helped me more than I could ever explain. She is the just a pure joy to be around and I wouldn’t want to miss out on her. She saved me, she doesn’t know it, but she’s my angel…my inspiration. When trying to be mindful one thing is don’t ignore the negative feelings of sadness or the feeling of a good cry. If you need to cry…gosh ‘darnit’ freakin cry…acknowledge those feelings for what they are then refocus yourself. Be present. There were days when being mindful was easier said than done, but if you practice it…it will happy naturally. You’ll find yourself looking at the positive in your life more rather than the negative. Even to this day I can still struggle with being mindful, but the more I refocus myself the easier it is becoming to be mindful.

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If you are curious if I am still in therapy…I am…and I love it. Throughout my therapy sessions I found some other personal aspects that I want to work on. I haven’t focused on myself in years that I felt totally lost with who I am. I remember during a session my therapist asked me “who are you? Besides being Sophia’s mom and Adrians wife?” I looked her straight in the eyes and replied “I don’t know, I’m blank….I’m lost and have been for quite sometime, I don’t know who I am anymore beyond being Sophia’s mom and Adrians wife.” This is something that I am struggling with everyday, it’s hard…not easy…but when it happens I will be complete.

I simply wrote this post for a couple of reasons; one was to share my story that it may help someone or even inspire someone to get help. There are millions of people on this earth, you are not alone. You can get help but you need to make that decision for yourself, and no one else. If you know someone that is getting out a rough relationship male or female, please encourage the extra help of a therapist. There is nothing to be embarrassed over, it will help. Sometimes all you need is someone of a neutral party to listen to you. You have the divine right to be happy and to lead a happy life and that starts with you. Only you can make yourself happy.

I listened to a ton of Carrie Underwood and there are two lyrics that stuck in my mind was :

Jesus Take the Wheel- Carrie Underwood
Jesus, take the wheel
Take it from my hands
‘Cause I can’t do this on my own
I’m letting go
So give me one more chance
And save me from this road I’m on
Jesus, take the wheel
And

 

Starts with Goodby – Carrie Underwood 

I guess it’s gonna have to hurt,
I guess I’m gonna have to cry,
And let go of some things I’ve loved,
To get to the other side,
I guess it’s gonna break me down,
Like falling when you try to fly,
It’s sad, but sometimes moving on with the rest of your life,
Starts with goodbye.

Hope and happiness are never lost, they maybe forgotten but you can always regain that back. When you are your lowest and dealing with the darkest of days please remember that at the end of the tunnel there is light. It’s going to take some work, but in the end you’ll get there.

I am living proof.

**If you need to talk, please feel fee to email me at Sarah.Bellalife@gmail.com…You’re not alone**

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Steel Cut Oats Ever

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It has been particularly chilly in Pittsburgh this month so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share this replica recipe with you that I made. But I must share its backstory with you first!

Last month…wait…almost two months ago when I was traveling for vacation that started in the Cleveland Airport, I remember being freezing cold that morning and starving. I feel like no matter what airport I’m at my terminal is never near a Starbucks..BUT I quickly forgot about Starbucks when Potbelly Sandwich Shop was literally right next to our terminal.

Initially I was skeptical about purchasing their oatmeal, but I figured it can’t be any worse than what I would be given on the airplane. Plus, Sophia and I love oatmeal so I could possibly kill two birds with one stone…don’t need some funky flight food…and possibly be surprised with some good oatmeal.

I remember waiting in line for my order and the guy behind me asked if I ordered their Banana Nut Oatmeal and I replied “yeah for my daughter and I so hopefully she likes it. We have a long day of flights ahead of us.”

He then replied “you guys are going to love it, I get every time I travel.” I did take his recommendation and order another side of brown sugar!

It turns out that Sophia and I loved it…I mean it was amazing! We liked it so much that when traveling back home I looked to see if there was a Potbelly’s next to our terminal, but there wasn’t.

So I came up with the idea of recreating my own! And boy was I happy I did!

What You Need: 

1 Banana (sliced)

1 to 2 Tsp. Brown Sugar (really to taste)

Whole Pecans (your desired about)

Steel Cut Oats

How to Make It:

  1. Follow the instructions on the back of the Steel Cut Oats. I always use milk instead of water.
  2. When your Steel Cut Oats are at the desired texture you want them at, pour some in a bowl and add your Banana, Brown Sugar and Pecans. Honestly the Banana, Brown Sugar and Pecans is your own judgment call as to how much to add.
  3. Enjoy!

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Sophia and I shared this bowl, because it is a rather large portion for one person. It tasted just like the one we had in the Cleveland Airport! So good! Surprisingly enough I really liked the Steel Cut Oats, the texture is amazing. I did notice that I should have kept mine on the stove a little bit longer.

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This recipe is definitely a keeper! Adding to my collection of recipes!

What is the best meal you have ever had in a airport?

 

Moving On and Letting Go

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I have kept what was going on in my personal life quiet for so many months, because I was unsure how I honestly felt or how would explain anything. It has not been easy by any means, but I feel the hardest thing to overcome is moving on and letting go.

I can’t tell you which one hurts worse…moving on or letting go. Moving on to me is the ability to let go of the past and work towards your future without that other person. Letting go is allowing yourself to be okay with the past, and let go of what plans you had for the future with that person. Make sense?

Through the months I have really struggled with these two, because this was supposed to be “our year.” Everything was going great, we had plans. We planned to get a new apartment, we planned on our first family vacation…and the big one…we wanted another baby when Sophia was around 4. I finally felt in a long time that we were heading in the right direction…and we were. Then suddenly those plans are stuck in the past and the future is…well…unknown. For me it is at least.

Some days I feel like I have moved on and other days not so much. It hurts like hell to think of the good times and think of what we planned, knowing it will never be like how it was… nor will our plans ever happen.

Part of me is still standing in that apartment on December 26 wishing that, that night never happened. I wish I walked through the front door that night to see Adrian standing there to help me with my bags…and greet me with a hug and kiss. But that never happened. Instead I am standing in a dark living room looking out the window with tears running down my face…thinking and knowing things will never be the same from this point on. I am still stuck there…I go back to that night constantly and remembering every emotion I’ve felt. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. As much as I want to forget it, I can’t.

There are times I wake up in the morning with an instant pit in my stomach thinking how is this my life? How did I end up here? This was so not the plan…so not ideal. When I married Adrian I vowed…better or for worse…richer or poorer..sickness and in health for as long as we live. I pulled the plug on our marriage…I ultimately pulled the plug on our marriage. Would we be here if I didn’t mutter the words I want a divorce to Adrian…I don’t know.

How many times in life can you think back to a particular moment and think that’s when everything changed? I can, because mine and Sophia’s life was never same the day after December 26th. My only choice and obstacle is to move on and let go, no matter how much it hurts and no matter how much it seems impossible. It is something that needs to be done for myself and Sophia.

My main focus is to create a better future for my daughter and I. Nothing is set is stone, but I am doing the best with what I have. I don’t know what the future holds and that is scary. Sophia and I will get through this, and we will move on. One day at a time…one foot in front of another….and keep truckin’ along.

It’s going to take sometime, but it will happen.

So for right now when Sophia is in bed you’ll find me drinking a glass of wine and watching reruns of One Tree Hill on Netflix.

E.E. Cummings wrote “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.”