Friday Five!

Happy Friday, loves!!

Today I’m sharing my five favorite apps I can’t be without!

1. Instagram

I mean…did it happen if you didn’t document it on the ‘gram? I’ve always been more of an IG girl than FB. Sorry FB, but all the forwarded jokes and messages are just clutter to me. I use FB to connect and stay in touch with friends and family, of course, but I prefer the look and ease of Instagram. Plus, pictures. Lots of pictures.

2. Target Cartwheel

Do you guys have this downloaded? I’m assuming all of my readers are Target shoppers, since we are friends, right? I’ve had this app since it first became available. Now they also have Target Circle, which is connected to your Target account just like Cartwheel! All I know is when I check out via store or online checkout, I ALWAYS have a credit to apply to my total, along with my Cartwheel offers. Target just keeps getting better!

3. MyFitnessPal

I’m a tad obsessed with numbers. I mean, just a tad. By a tad, I mean a lot! I wear a FitBit 24-7. (Santa, please bring me an Apple Watch for Christmas so I can jump into the 21st century with the rest of the world, mmmmk). My FitBit is connected to MyFitnessPal, so all my workouts and steps transfer over from FitBit to MFP so I can see how many calories I can consume without turning into a double wide. I log all my calories. I know some people feel negatively about logging calories but it helps me see what I’m working with. MFP keeps me enlightened on what my macros are all day long so I know when to add more protein or cut back on fats. It’s very helpful!

4. Calm

How many of you struggle with just finding 5 minutes in the day to take a freaking breath? Last summer I downloaded this app to help with my anxiety. Little did I know that I would be unlocking this GINORMOUS portable resource of so much goodness! I actually love it so much that I pay the 60.00 per year for the full version. Don’t worry though, the free version has access to a ton of meditations, breathing exercises, music and even sleep stories. My anxiety was so major that I wanted the in depth meditation series’s. Now that my anxiety is semi under control, I use this app on road trips when get anxious or if I ever feel a feeling of panic start to come on. It’s pretty amazing!

5. Chick Fil-A One App/Starbucks

Like how I combined these two? I cheated since I technically have 6 apps here, but these are the two restaurant apps that I feel offer the best rewards and give back the most to their customers! Also, these are really the only places I go if I’m eating out haha. My favorite days are when I can get a free coffee and free medium fruit salad at Starbucks and Chick Fil-A, respectively. 😊. These apps are definitely worth the download!! You may actually be losing money if you don’t have them.

Alright guys! That’s all I have for today!!! What are your favorite apps and should I download them??

Have a great weekend!!!!

Xoxox

Mary

Everyone Has a “Thing”

If the title of this blog post didn’t get your attention, then, I don’t know what’s wrong with you, haha! (Life with boys will make you laugh at things like this!)

But, in all seriousness, I wanted to write a post on the idea that I know it’s easy sometimes to think that there are all these ‘normal’ people walking around out there, and these people have no issues just because they don’t have the issue that you have.

Sometimes anxiety can make you feel so isolated, and it’s easy for your brain to make you feel like you are all alone and that you are the only one experiencing what you are experiencing.  We all think these thoughts from time to time, and trust me, it’s an easy rabbit hole to go down. I personally feel like there’s a lot of ‘what if’s’. For example, ‘what if my friends don’t understand my anxiety, or worse, what if I lose my friends?’

Here’s the hand-to-the-Bible-honest-truth:  EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING that they feel they are single-handedly figuring out or working through on their own.  Everyone.  Please, please believe this!  I’m not saying everyone has anxiety. I’m just saying that EVERY SINGLE PERSON walking this green Earth has something they are dealing with.

I feel like a majority of this whole ‘everyone else is perfect but me’ thought process comes mainly from social media.  We all get on social media of some type, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter….and see these beautiful feeds, and beautiful websites and success stories.  What we don’t stop to think about is what’s going on behind the beautiful red velvet curtain, that is, social media.  For example, one of the bloggers I follow looks like she has the most beautiful perfect life, the most perfectly dressed kids, the most perfectly decorated house, always sitting right up front at concerts (hello $$$), has really really nice cars etc.  But you know what?  Her husband is overseas, in the military.  He’s never home.  She has to do everything herself.  He was in Afghanistan 8 years ago fighting for our country with no guarantee of coming home.  Can you imagine?

Another blogger/influencer I follow has tried for 8 years to have a baby, and had 3 miscarriages and multiple failed IVF attempts. Can you imagine how many times she probably felt alone and like she was the only one dealing with that situation? PS, she has since had a baby, but it has been an extremely traumatic road to get to where they are now.

There are people in my personal life that I’m around all the time that are dealing with an incurable illness or horrific family issues or have immediate family members going through a stage of life that’s extremely difficult. On the outside, you would never know. If you walked by them in Target you would think their lives seemed perfect.

When we have an issue, however small or big it may be, we have this tendency to feel like we are the only ones dealing with the issue. I don’t like to think of it as being self centered, rather, I think it’s just human nature to have some ‘not so optimistic’ days. If we could only walk in others’ shoes, right?

What I think is important is that we open our minds and consider the thoughts of our neighbors, family members, friends, co-workers and even the stranger standing next to you in the Starbucks line. Be kind. Be forgiving. We are all human and not meant to be perfect. We are flawed and need to realize our actual real life isn’t something we should compare to someone else’s highlight reel.

That’s all it is friends, a highlight reel. Makeup, good lighting, the right photo op, professional photography, a really beautiful house (let’s be honest, it’s only clean for photos and all the clutter is stashed in another room) or a career that seems fun. Also these people have full time assistants, house cleaners and nannies most of the time to run their business online so that you continue to see the pretty highlight reel.

Think about this? What if a stranger stumbled upon your social media and looked at the last 10 photos and posts? What if the same barista at your local coffee shop saw you come in day after day and thought they had you pegged? What would that look like? I can almost say with certainty that there are people out there that would think YOU had the most perfect life, and watched YOUR highlight reel.

I was tired of the comparison game, personally. We live it enough in real life that the last thing I wanted to do was live it on social media too. So, I did a social media ‘dump’. I went through Instagram and looked at each and every person I followed and if they made me feel like I could never compare or if I felt if we met in real life, we would never have anything in common (or if their faces were full of filler and they used a filter all the time), peace out ✌🏻!

It honestly felt so good to get rid of almost 100 people that didn’t contribute to my life in a positive way. I challenge you to do the same!

I’m going to wrap this up by giving you a few things to think about this week, especially since we’re so close to Christmas; places can be more overwhelming and people can be more emotional than usual.

**I CHOOSE to speak out about my struggles with anxiety (panic disorder and OCD) because I know, for me, being open and talking about it helps! I also love that my voice is helping others!!! However, keep in mind that not everyone is like me, and there are a lot more people out there going through something that don’t want to talk about it.

SO

**Be empathic

**Be sincere

**Be understanding

**Be an ear for someone

**Be a support for someone

**Reach out to friends and family that may need a support system

**Keep your patience

**Be aware of what your surroundings entail. Maybe there’s someone out there that may need a helping hand more than you realize.

**Be thankful. A thankful heart can never be anxious.

Xoxoxo (& Merry Christmas, friends!!!)

To the Beach, ya’ll!

This year we took a family vacation to our tried and true beauty of a beach, Madeira Beach in the St.Petersburg/Clearwater area of Florida. I have been visiting Madeira since my freshman year of high school…& if you have trouble doing that math, I can tell you that it’s somewhere I’ve gone for …let’s just say…more than 15 years.

The goal of this post is basically to post a few of the 500,000 pictures I took while there for 6 days. Oh and to tell you that this was Mason’s first visit to the beach. He was a huge fan of the beach and the yummy goodness of the sand that he dined on almost every day for breakfast lunch and dinner. Brayden is a beach veteran now, and was in complete heaven for 6 days! He could run in the sand until his little heart was content and to do things like get up at 8 AM to jump in the pool (sorry that you were the one picked to assist in these 8 AM swims, dad). Brayden also managed to accomplish the impossible – which was getting my dad to agree to eating dinner outside on a dock so that Brayden could watch the dolphins play at sunset. Brayden wins, every time. Life fact #890653.

It was a great vacation and I’m so glad that we were all able to go together! The boys loved spending so much extra time with us and with my mom and dad every day. They even got some much needed time with their Uncle Chris and Aunt Chelsea.

Every trip we take to the beach just reminds me that I need more of it in my life. It’s good for my heart and my soul. I know that everyone says that, but I really, really mean it. It’s where I most content.

Photos for your viewing pleasure:

Thirty One products exploded in our flex room!  Ready to go!

Thirty One products exploded in our flex room! Ready to go!

 

When you are 11 months old, traveling is exhausting.

When you are 11 months old, traveling is exhausting.

First day on the beach.  Brayden was in love!  Though, I had to bribe him to smile "normal" for this picture!

First day on the beach. Brayden was in love! Though, I had to bribe him to smile “normal” for this picture!

A shower can work wonders when you are running on 5 hours of sleep. :)

A shower can work wonders when you are running on 5 hours of sleep. 🙂

Looking at all the fish by the docks with Grampy and Grammy.

Looking at all the fish by the docks with Grampy and Grammy.

Mason was loving the boardwalk music.  Trying to get his groove on.

Mason was loving the boardwalk music. Trying to get his groove on.

Beach selfie.  Do I need a reason? :)

Beach selfie. Do I need a reason? 🙂

Brayden at one of his morning swims with Grampy --sorry dad.

Brayden at one of his morning swims with Grampy –sorry dad.

Reason #395947 why birds creep me out.  Their claws, I mean..feet.  This is a dinosaur, not a bird.  That is all.

Reason #395947 why birds creep me out. Their claws, I mean..feet. This is a dinosaur, not a bird. That is all.

One of the cutest little fireworks you ever did see.

One of the cutest little fireworks you ever did see.

 

Mason and I hanging touch at the beach after dinner.  Aka, I'm trying to work off the massive dessert I just consumed.

Mason and I hanging tough at the beach after dinner. Aka, I’m trying to work off the massive dessert I just consumed.

 

Brayden was able to go deep sea fishing a few days with Brock, my brother and my dad.  It was his first time on a boat in the ocean and he rocked it!

Brayden was able to go deep sea fishing a few days with Brock, my brother and my dad. It was his first time on a boat in the ocean and he rocked it!

On one of the last days, we decided to visit the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.  Brayden's response was "mom, I'm disappointed.  Where are the whale sharks and hammerheads?"

On one of the last days, we decided to visit the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Brayden’s response was “mom, I’m disappointed. Where are the whale sharks and hammerheads?”

Brayden's happy place.

Brayden’s happy place.

My brother and I.  Every time we have pictures together I wonder how I got the midget legs of the family.  Not fair!

My brother and I. Every time we have pictures together I wonder how I got the midget legs of the family. Not fair!

Love this picture of my hubby and I.  Isn't his tan sickening?  I mean, really?!

Love this picture of my hubby and I. Isn’t his tan sickening? I mean, really?!

Beach babies and best buddies.

Beach babies and best buddies.

This is the first mirror selfie I've ever taken.  I wanted to document the fact that 1--I had taken the time to style my hair and 2--that I actually had a tan for the first time in 3 years.

This is the first mirror selfie I’ve ever taken. I wanted to document the fact that 1–I had taken the time to style my hair and 2–that I actually had a tan for the first time in over a year!

The hubs caught a grouper out on the boat.  Yummmmmmm!

The hubs caught a grouper out on the boat. Yummmmmmm!

This picture makes me smile.  Did you know there were white salt water catfish in the ocean?  Ya me either, but it was the perfect size for one of Brayden's first fish to catch!

This picture makes me smile. Did you know there were white salt water catfish in the ocean? Ya me either, but it was the perfect size for one of Brayden’s first fish to catch!

 

That’s a wrap all!  Until the next mirror selfie.  Just kidding.

 

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