Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge {Vol. IV}

1.  Did you do anything 'memorable' this past weekend?

YES! On Saturday, I went to Charlotte Motor Speedway and saw Xfinity Series Qualifying, Sprint Cup practice, and the Xfinity race. On Sunday I went back to the speedway to see the Coca Cola 600. I had pit and driver intro passes, got to see Lee Greenwood sing "God Bless the USA" up close and personal and was in the presence of a couple hundred of our service men and women. We also had a chance to remember some of our fallen service men/women as they were honored pre-race.

I wrote a little about my Coca Cola 600 day here. But, it's mainly pictures.

2. Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying-

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."  

Your thoughts? Do you somehow acknowledge and appreciate the freedoms you enjoy? Did your upbringing contribute to that sense of appreciation? If you're a parent, are there specific things you do to pass on this sense of responsibility and appreciation to your own children in regard to the freedoms they enjoy?

I was taught to appreciate my freedoms. I do the same for my children. I teach them to appreciate the freedoms they have and to remember the fine men and women who have fought for the freedoms they have. 

3. Loudest noise you've ever heard?

Haha, the race cars as they started racing. Or when lightening had struck something really close. 

4. What was the last thing you ate that might be considered 'junk food'? Did you enjoy it?

Trader Joe's Chocolate "ice cream" made with coconut milk. I did enjoy it. It tasted wonderful!

5. When was the last time you were somewhere the crowd felt 'packed in like sardines'?

At the race. Those little seats make you feel real close to your "neighbor". I can tell you he liked to take selfies and text them to everyone he knew. 

6. Are you organized when it comes to packing for a trip? Do you make a list weeks in advance or toss items in last minute? Are you a carry-on only sort of packer or do you need an entire suitcase for your shoes?

Yes! I have OCPD; my life is all about organization. I even make lists of lists I need to make. I start planning trips months or even a year in advance. I am already planning our Coca Cola 600 experience for next year and that is only a day trip!

7. What was the last sporting event you attended in person? Did your team win? Did you care?

NASCAR race. My driver did not win but my daughter's did. She was upset we got to see his signature back flip in person and she didn't. Of course I wanted my driver to win, but it wasn't in the cards for this week.

If you want another "sport", it was in February of 2013. We saw the Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans (at the time) Hornets. My team was New Orleans and they did not win. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I really, really, really hate statistics. I have decided that if I need to do research as a psychologist, I will hire a research team. Cause, this mess sucks!

This was the formula I had to work with today.......
Rxy = nΣXY – ΣXΣY / √[nΣX2 – (ΣX)2] [nΣY2 – (ΣY)2]

Yeah, it fried my brain. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge {Vol. III}

1.  Did you make someone laugh yesterday? Was it intentional?

Yep. I said hilarious as Hi - larious and my daughter laughed at me. It wasn't intentional. I just say it that way when I want to be sarcastic.

2. What's a simple question with a complicated answer?

Is there a God?
I say it has a complicated answer because many people want you to explain your answer instead of just yes or no.

3. Rhododendrons or have to choose. Are either currently blooming in your yard?

Azaleas. I think. I think these are azaleas. They came with the place, so....
 photo EA6B1B12-2956-438F-A9CD-3617D77B7F36_zpsdrejy8ig.jpg

4. May 21st is National Waitstaff Day. Have you ever worked as a waiter/waitress? How would you rate the experience? What was the best/worst part of the job?

I was a waitress when I was 18 and then again a year or so later. I hated it. It wasn't totally bad but it is not something I would ever do again. I guess the best part about the job was that I actually learned a lot about cooking as well as the restaurant business from the owners of both places I worked at. The worst part of the job was rude customers and being blamed because the kitchen messed up the order.  

5. What fashion trend for women should be outlawed? How about one for men?

For women? I think a tie between rompers and Daisy Dukes aka "booty" shorts. But, maybe not outlaw the daisy dukes but my gosh, set some standards as to when they are appropriate to wear.

For men? Skinny jeans especially skinny leather pants. 

6. Name a writer who inspires tell us why.

Ummmm. T.K. Leigh. She inspires me more in a behind the scenes way.
Edgar Allan Poe because he wrote what was in his head no matter how dark it was. 

7. What well known quote or saying sums up your plans for today or this week?

"Boogity, boogity, boogity, lets go racing boys." ~ Darrell Waltrip

We have tickets to qualifying on Thursday night, the Xfinity race on Saturday, and the Coca - Cola 600 on Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. We also have pit passes for Sunday. This weekend will be full of racing.
 photo 995C7C62-B233-4366-9483-397961A4D4F4_zpssfsm6qcx.jpg

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We did the HeartWalk for the American Heart Association this past weekend. I am proud of all my kids, even the 5 year old, who walked the whole 3 miles.

 photo PicMonkey Collage_zpsg9inzzfd.png

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Happy Birthday, CJ!

Today my baby turns 5. It is hard to believe that it has been that long since he was born. He has grown and changed so much in these 5 years. 

He is such a smart little boy; sometimes he seems too smart for his own good. He loves anything that deals with military and zombies. He loves to play on the PS4 as well as his chromebook. His favorite show is Adventure Time. He loves all things New Orleans and misses his "home". He loves "Mommy food" (aka home cooked meals) and pretends to cook for me too. He loves to do his schoolwork; probably because it's all fun and games at this age. He likes to motivate me when I work out and tries to do every exercise I do. But, after one of each he announces, "I'm done." with that adorable little smile. His wardrobe is 95% camouflage.

He announces "Mommy, I love you to the moon and back!" with an enthusiasm that warms my heart. He is a true little momma's boy. 

Last night, we got a small snowstorm. His sisters teased him, telling him that the snow was his birthday present. He immediately said, "Can I have a new present? I didn't want snow."
 photo IMG_2748_zpskr96oqqn.jpg 
{© Crystal @ The Italian Bella Diaries, 2015}

Over the years he has changed a lot. But one thing has always been the same: He is my little boy and always will be. 
{© Crystal @ The Italian Bella Diaries}

Monday, February 16, 2015

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind {Part 2}

This is part 2 of the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind. This part contains questions #26-50.

  1. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones? I really can't answer this because I think both would be equally traumatizing. 
  2. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first? I always challenge information to determine if it's truth. Just the way I am.
  3. Has your greatest fear ever come true? Thankfully, no.
  4. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now? Yep, I remember. It was August 2010 when we left Louisiana to go to Maryland. I think it does matter since that decision affected my mental health.
  5. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special? I have many, many happy childhood memories. There is no way to choose just one. They are special because they involve my family and other important people that mean everything to me.
  6. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? When I was in Louisiana in 2009 - 2010, 2012, and 2013. Louisiana brings out a part of me that I have never experienced anywhere else.
  7. If not now, then when? I'm not sure what this question is asking....
  8. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? What I have achieved?
  9. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? Nope, I really haven't.
  10. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? This is a question that I cannot answer.
  11. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? No. I've learned that those who are most evil come disguised as good.
  12. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? No. A million simply isn't enough. I have 7 kids to put through college. Even if I were a billionaire, I would still be a psychologist.
  13. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? I'm going to assume that the less work would be something I didn't enjoy. So, I guess more work that I enjoy doing. Although less work sounds good anyway...
  14. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? 99% of my days are actually repetitious.
  15. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? Uhhhh, never?
  16. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? My family and keep my kids with me.
  17. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? Nope. I have no desire to be attractive or famous. I prefer to live a productive and happy life.
  18. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Being alive simple means you are breathing. Truly living means you are enjoying every breath you take.
  19. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right? You should always do what you know is right.
  20. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? Mistakes can be painful even if we do learn from them. It's not the mistake we fear but the pain created by the mistake.
  21. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? Nothing.
  22. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? Every day. I always notice the sound of my own breathing.
  23. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? My husband, kids, family, friends. I hope that they always know that I love them.
  24. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that? It's possible. I remember random days from further that 5 years ago. I also keep a small journal filled with daily events.
  25. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? I make the majority of my own decisions. However, I am a wife and mother; therefore, some decisions are made for the good of the family rather than what I want.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Strengths and Weaknesses

We all have strengths and weaknesses. I have trouble coming up with strengths for myself. But, I could probably name a million weaknesses. I have weaknesses like food, books, pens and paper, TV shows, actors, etc. But, for this post, I wanted to list traits about myself that were strengths and weakenesses. 

My Strengths:
  1. Loyalty. I am loyal to those I love. I will protect them and defend them with everything I have. 
  2. Intelligent. I don't proclaim to be the smartest person out there, but I am very smart (the IQ test said so). I also love to learn. 
  3. Empathetic. I tend to sympathize a lot with others. 
  4. Compassionate. I am a very compassionate person. I will help you as much as I can. But, beware. My compassion can only go so far. If you screw me over, my compassion - and help - ends.
  5. Passion. My passion for living, learning. The passion I have for raising my kids to be the best that they can be. 
My Weakenesses:
  1. Perfectionism. My perfectionism causes a lot of problems in my life on a daily basis.
  2. ADHD. My mind? Scary place to be. It runs nonstop. 
  3. Jealous. I have a very jealous nature. I am protective over the people in my life, my possessions.
  4. Rigidness. I am very rigid in how I expect things done. 
  5. Procrastination. I tend to put almost everything off until the last minute. If I manage to accomplish something early, it's a miracle. My perfectionism has a lot to do with this trait.

 photo 30Things_zps8a319447.png

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Organization: To-Do Lists and Bills

I get asked frequently how I stay organized. There is a method to my madness. I don't know if any of this will work for anyone else, but this is what works for me. 

My method of organization will be divided into four sections:
  1. To - Do Lists and Bills
  2. Cleaning
  3. Blogging
  4. School
This is Part I: To - Do Lists and Bills

I have tried several methods until I found one that worked for me. I tried phone apps, extensive printables, etc. But, the method I use now is really simple.


I use a simple To Do List that I found online years ago (if this is YOUR template, please contact me so I can give you credit and a link back to your site). I have a tendency of using things for other purposes than their intended purposes. Here I just list the date a bill is due, the name of the bill, and the amount owed (that part is covered up). My bills are real basic. I check them off as they are paid in full each month (I forgot to check off the ones already paid before snapping a picture). At the bottom of the page I keep a running total of my rent and phone because I pay on them each week until they are paid off for the month. I keep this list on a clipboard and then file it in a binder when the month is over. 

To - Do Lists:

This is my To-Do List for Tuesday. I write my list by hand and check them off as I complete them. I do not add my cleaning tasks to this list because I do use an app for that. I also include bills that need to be paid on this list as a reminder for me. I usually write the bills in on the first of the month and I write out the next day's list the night before.

The pink sparkly book in the very top picture is used for my to - do lists. I found that particular book at Dollar General for about $3. I tried to use apps for this but it just didn't work well for me. There are some things I prefer to still hand - write. 

I'm sure that others have methods that work better for them. But, for me and my mind, this is the best way for me to keep up with my to - do's and bills. 

How do you keep up with your to - do list? Or do you just wing it everyday trying to remember what needs to be done?

12X30 Challenge January: The Love Yourself Challenge

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge {Vol. II}

1. Have you ever written a love letter? Have you written one recently? Had one written to you? Did you keep it?
  • I have written love letters before. My husband and I used to write them a lot in the earlier part of our relationship. I saved them but not sure where they are. I used to have them in storage. Heaven only knows if they are still there. Haven't really written any lately. We usually just text.
2. What's a movie that ends in a way you especially love?
  • Sweet Home Alabama, I guess. It ended with Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) with the right person. 
3. Something that makes your heart sing? And for those of you who are parents, I mean something besides your children that makes your heart sing?
  •  Learning psychology. I feel completely happy when I am learning in class. I know I am headed in the right career path with each passing class.
4. What's the last event you had to attend, phone call you had to make, routine task you needed to complete, or meal you had to prepare, that you did do, but only half-heartedly?
  • Probably a school assignment. Sometimes, I only do some of my assignments half-heartedly. Luckily, I still get good grades on them, but my heart just isn't into them. 
5. Tuna fish salad-yay or blech? If you said yay, how do you like your tuna salad prepared? Hey, this is the Hodgepodge, right?
  • Blech! I hate tuna all around!
6. What's something you 'know by heart'?
  • My kids' birth information down to the exact day of the week. I will never forget them. 
7. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, what two or three word phrase would you write on a conversation heart for someone you love? That someone could be a spouse, child, parent, cousin, bestie...anyone at all whom you love.
  • To my friend, Kathy: "Stay Strong"
  • To my Husband: {Sorry it's technically 4 words} "Forever and a Day"
  • To my kids: "To the Moon"
8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
  • Please do not read any further if you are a The Walking Dead fan and have not seen Sunday's episode. 
{Photo © AMC}

            They literally ripped my heart out, broke it, and then threw it on the ground, and stomped all over it. 
            Tyreese had been one of my favorite characters since he first appeared on the show. Sunday's episode
            completely broke my heart!