Saturday, February 27, 2016

How One Book Changed My Whole Life

It's not very often when we can say that a book has truly changed our lives. A few weeks before I found this book, I thought my marriage was ending. I felt what so many women have felt before. We weren't connecting, I was feeling unappreciated and I was hurting. I thought the end was near, how can you stay in a marriage where you're suffering, and the life you want or the life you imagined with someone isn't what you have. Why should we sacrifice our happiness because of a decision we made years before?

My husband is in the military, I don't get to see him much. At the time we had a one year old and a two year old. Most days were a struggle for me, being a stay at home mom. We struggled a lot trying to cope with the difficult schedule that the Navy had my husband on, as well as taking care of babies. It seemed like our marriage was always the last thing that we bothered to make time for. Looking back now, that wasn't true. It wasn't my marriage I needed to make the time for, it was myself.

When this book became available to me, I was desperate. I felt lost, alone, and hurt. I read it over quickly and implemented as I went. Then I read it again, for good measure. I took a lot time to let those lessons sink in, and really change my life. The first thing I tried was self care. Replenish your spirit with self care. The author recommends making a list of twenty things that make you happy, then doing at least three of those things every day. This is the greatest gift I have ever given myself. I began planning in an Erin Condren Life Planner I purchased for myself, doodling, hand lettering, eating chocolate, having lunch every day, and letting my husband parent the kids while I go to Target by myself because I want to. At first, I wasn't sure how it could help, putting more on his plate, so I could selfishly go look at $1 stationery, and imagine what fun things I could do with them. But my happiness carried over to my husband and my children quickly. I didn't sit there counting down the seconds to have an extra pair of hands to help me deal with my children anymore. I wasn't running on an empty tank, I was enjoying my children and they were enjoying me. It was refreshing. My happiness was responsible for saving our marriage. I implemented the first chapter into my life, and this is how I felt. I couldn't wait to start working on the rest of it. There is another five steps that the author encouraged me to take to rescue my failing marriage. I watched my husband change in front of me, without asking anything of him at all. I could see the steps I was taking making a lasting effect. Some of these steps I found silly, and others I found to not be possible, but I was encouraged every step of the way. This book is full to the brim with examples I hadn't thought of, and ways I was unknowingly guilty of some things I didn't realize was making my husband react to me the way he was. I was shocked when I changed a few small things about my behavior and it actually worked. 

I would rate this book a 9/10. It has so much great that it's hard to understand the negative feedback I've seen. When recommending this book to others (read as, recommending this book to everyone I speak to for several months)  there has been a small amount of backlash, specifically on the internet, when people can say whatever they want behind a screen. There are people who think this author wants you to surrender your entire self into your marriage, and no longer have thoughts or opinions, and become a puppet of your husband's control. I didn't get that impression upon reading this book, nor would I recommend that line of thinking to anyone. I think it's important to speak your mind and I am not a person who will give in to every whim of anyone, or back down just because someone doesn't agree with me. I have not read any of Laura Doyle's other books, so I can't speak to them, but I know that this book is absolutely not a "lay-down-all-the-work-we-have-done-as-women-to-get-where-we-are-today-for-your-husband" book. 

All of that being said, if you're reading this, and thinking you need a pick me up in your marriage, give this book a read. If you feel like your husband isn't the man you married anymore, pick up this book.

If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it on Amazon here:

I received this book to write a review of my personal feelings about it. I was not compensated.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Top 7 Round Up: Last Minute Valentine's Day Fun with Children

Here we are, days before Valentine's Day, and I've completely lost track of time. I know I can't be the only one! So here is a great round up of nice, easy, children friendly Valentine's Day crafts and recipes. I hope you enjoy! 

 Free Printable Valentine's Day Matching Game
1. Valentine's Day Matching Game - Via Practical Mommy 
It's so simple, you just print off these adorable sheets on a printer, using normal paper (or even some card stock if you want them to last longer!) and then have a fun match game with your children. We love playing this, so I imagine they would love it with little birds too! For other great ideas for Valentine's Day, you should look at what else she has, there is a wealth of simple and fun V-Day ideas for everyone.

Valentine Bird Feeder Hearts DIY

2. Heart Shaped Bird Feeders - Via Thrifty Jinxy
These are a great way for kids to get messy, but still create something functional. My son loves birds, so this is a great way for him to be able to see them more, and learn a bit, too! This should set overnight, so be sure to remember that while making it! 

melted crayon art valentines
3. Do It Yourself Melted Crayon Art - Via Gym Craft Laundry
These are a fun way to use up older / too small crayons. I plan to use the crayons we have received in gift bags from birthday parties. They're smaller and perfect for something like this!

Valentine's Day White Chocolate Bark Bites

4. Valentine's Day White Chocolate Bark Bites - Via No. 2 Pencil
This craft is great for when you have a little extra time to go to the store and get things, and you want to have something that really wows people. These are so pretty, and only take a few minutes to prepare. You can also change what you put in them to make them fit different holidays. 

easy hand pie recipe feature

5. Easy Valentine Hand Pies - Via Nerdy Mamma
This is the absolute definition of easy. You aren't crafting these things from scratch, you're using things you already have at home, such as SLICED BREAD and PRESERVES. It's so simple, yet the finished product is so pretty!

6. Date Night Jar - Via DIY Budget Girl
I love this idea, so I'm going to tweak it for things with my children instead of my husband. As a stay at home mommy, we need to "spice things up" to keep our every day life from being too boring and tedious! But there are a lot of great ideas if you wanted to do this for your spouse too. ;)

Strawberry Rolls 14

7. Strawberry Roll - Via Megs Everyday Indulgence
Look at those. JUST LOOK AT THEM. I think anyone who can make these, should. How beautiful and fun! I can't wait to make them! I'm going to wake up early and get them all baked and ready for my sweet little children to engulf upon waking up. YUM!

I hope you love what you see! Let me know if you make any of them, I'd love to see! 

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