5 Years Of Marriage Lessons

5  year marriage

As of this May, John and I have been together for 14 years, and today is our 5 year wedding anniversary.

I’m in Atlanta for a blogging conference, and he’s at home with Roeybear and Kayabelle.  Que Romantico!

Since we got married back in 2010, John and I have been through so many ups downs and in betweens. That for better or for worse shit is really real. Our first year of marriage was the best (tho ppl claim it’s the hardest) and this past year was a close second.

What I learned about marriage this year:

1. Kids are wicked little cockblockers sent from evil storks to ruin marriages

Seriously. They must not want siblings. Children will drain your energy, and then if you still find a way to feel even the slightest bit frisky, they’ll pop up in your room at night when you’re tryin to get it on like:


2. Quality Time is Crucial

I didn’t realize the true value of quality time until I had much more of it. I know it’s my love language. But now that we’re down here in florida, so close to family, we always have willing folks to watch the kids for us (for free!) John and I are able to get date nights in and daycations in a lot more. That adult-only time to connect, talk, relax etc. is so key in keeping our relationship from turning into a shit show.

3. If you don’t marry your best friend, you’ll be sorry

Honestly. If I hadn’t I’d be in jail. #thatisall

4. Laughter is like glue

If you’re not funny, you can’t sit with me. Luckiliy, this dude I married has me guffawing and kee keeing daily. Life is better with laughter. It gives me all kinds of feels when I make John laugh in return. When the world is throwing its worst at you, it’s good to have levity and laughter to help you through. It brings you closer. I’m good for laughing when you’re totally not supposed to (read: every funeral, ever.) so I’m glad John’s a horrible person with me, and finds the funny in the sad times too.

5. Time Apart is Crucial

Yeah yeah, I know what I said earlier… but….I don’t care how great bae is. Sometimes you just need a break. Time apart to do things you enjoy all by your lonesome, or with family/friends without your significant other is so beneficial for a marriage. As a married person, sometimes you’ll turn and see your spouse and just be like “you again?!” ::sigh::  Time apart makes those moments way less frequent. It’s fun to have a life of your own. Especially as parents.

6. Little things count a whole lot

The Hollywood grand gesture shit is for the birds. (ok I’m lying, I LOVE a grand gesture…but still) Little, tiny, microscopic, every day easy to miss things mean so much. Bringing each other a well-timed cup of coffee, going out of turn with the poopy diapers, those random acts of kindess count for a lot. John does small things that satisfy my random quirks like leave me the ends of sausages (and that’s not a euphemism for anything dirty. I really just like the ends of sausages versus the boring middle part, they get crisper) and I remember I’m loved exactly as I am. That’s a good feeling yall.

So today is 5 years.

Last year it was our plan to take a cruise for this milestone anniversary. Now, we’re spending it apart and just having dinner together when I get back to town. Next year makes 15 years together for us, so we’ll make it up to each other with a nice celebration next summer.

What relationship lessons have you learned lately?

So John, since I know you’ll actually be reading the blog today: Hi. I love you. Thanks for a …pretty decent 5 years. :)  Thank you for the ends of sausages, and two clean mugs, and shutting up about my bad TV. Thanks for bringing home the bacon, for being a supportive husband and for always showering Ro. Thanks for baybays chicken and waffles, joint laziness, and letting me cry about stupid shit. Thanks for the d on the regs, coffee in the mornings, letting me try stuff and you doing all the scary things. Thanks for taking spiders and lizards out, and not caring that I do whatever I want. Thanks for teaching me stuff, being a great dad and also loving me long time. *muah* Happy Anniversary. Check your nightstand drawer for a surprise. :) I’ll be expecting your text. xoxo

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The Secret to Creating Balance In Your Life

secret to creating balance in your life

Motherhood. Family life. School. Relationships. Health and wellness. Home Maintenance. Marriage. Day job. Side Hustle. Night Job. Self Care. Volunteering. Hobbies. Free time. Travel. PTA. Church. Weddings. Funerals. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Appointments out the wazzoo.

And….everything else in life at large.

That’s a lotta shit to handle. All. the. time.

A lot to… balance…. if you will. :)

Balance is a tricky word. We’re given such a narrow window of what it’s “supposed” to look like, aren’t we?  When you pull images of balance you see equal scales, you see people spinning multiple plates equally at once and other similar imagery.

Balance does not mean Equal

Please don’t judge yourself or your level of balance by how equally you’re spending your time in each life area.

Release that and free yourself from that narrow “ideal.”

If you feel off balance, you simply have to reset your definitions and act accordingly.

Balance is similar to success, in that you have to define it for yourself. Decide what it means to you, and let that be how you measure it.

If you’re outchea thinking balance means spending equal amounts of time each day on each of the various areas of your life… then… you’re setting yourself up for failure, shame spirals and disappointment. You can take your scale and go the hell on.

Time to redefine balance.

Think about what you want balance to mean to you. What does YOUR balanced life look like? How much time do YOU spend each day, week, month, year, on each area of your life?

Tip: You don’t have to do every single thing every single day.

My Balance Strategy:

I like to work in quarters/months for some areas: giving back, travel/outdoor adventures, extended family visits, financial planning, home improvement.

Weekly in others: quality time with John, funtime/lazytime, business pursuits, creativity, home-making, self care, personal development, friendships.

Daily in the rest: quality time with kids, work, spirituality, fitness,

For me, my life is balanced if I satisfy these various life areas within the respective time frames. It works with my priorities because my daily #1 is Roey and Kaya.

What is it for you?

Balance is fluid.

Meaning, if something pops up (an emergency or event, or the holidays) you can pour your energy in different areas temporarily, and then get back to your “normal” balance once those events are over.  (Example: jobhunting, home renovations, travel, etc)

Balance is about being realistic and honest.

It would be lovely to give everything the same amount of attention… but that’s not feasible. When life happens, certain areas take on more weight than others. Example: When I’m on a deadline with a writing project for a client I will prioritize it above reading for personal development for that day or week.

Be honest with yourself about what you value, what you want to include in your life and what you want to release. Be realistic about your priorities and it’ll be easier to create your definition of balance and have your life reflect it.

How do you define balance?

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Pollo Tropical Balsamic Tomato Salad

pollo tropical balsamic tomato salad

You know who’s not getting any more of my coins?

Pollo Tropical.


I don’t need them anymore.

I can pull my own pork with ease. (thank you, crock pot)

And now I can make my favorite side at home on my own… and … dare I say… It’s better than Pollo Tropical’s version!

Don’t ask me for exact measurements, cuz your girl doesn’t operate that way, but here’s my version of the easiest bbq side dish in the world:

Pollo Tropical Balsamic Tomatoes


  • Tomatoes
  • Red Onions
  • Brown Sugar (or agave nectar…or white sugar if you don’t care)
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper


Rinse and chop your tomatoes to your desired size and pop in a bowl


Thinly slice your red onions and add it in

tomato and red onion

Sprinkle on salt, pepper, sugar, and pour a lil balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top

tomato onion balsamic olive oil sugar

Mix it together and let it hang out for a few hours (best if overnight)

all mixed together

I forgot to take a pic of it the day after before we actually ate it this time.

You’ll have a lot more liquid and it’ll be all yummy and flavorey. At that point you can taste and season to your liking.

IF you want you can sprinkle on some italian seasoning or something but I kinda like to keep this super plain since we usually eat it with really flavorful and spicy meats.

So there you have it. Healthy, yummy and generally clean. Sorry Pollo Tropical, see ya never!

What’s your easy go-to side dish?

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Hello October

hello october

Happy October Everyone!!

Never thought I’d say this, but… I miss the October chill of New York. It’s just one constant summer down here. (Not complaining. I love the heat…and humidity… yeah I’m that person.) I just miss the sweater and boots weather. I miss the light trench weather. I wear shorts all the time. No that’s a lie. I wear gym clothes all the time. BUT… if I weren’t in gym clothes, I’d be in shorts ALL the time. :)

September was cool. It was a fresh start for me (Like I mentioned here)

  • Restarted exercise after my hernia surgery
  • Enjoyed being home with my two lil munchkins
  • Attended Blogalicious for the first time (I’ll recap it, I swear!)
  • Turned 34 years young :)
  • Got revved up in business

My goals were to: 

  1. Get in a groove w/ SAHMing – Done!
  2. Pare Down House – Done and still in progress
  3. Make Biz plan for duration of year – Done!

How was your September? 

Now October is here and I’m ready to take it on! I sat down yesterday and went over my plans for the quarter. I have a lot of work ahead, but all good things for good reason. I’m excited. I won’t bore you with it all though, just a tiny bit:

My top goals for October:

  • Health/Fitness: Gym 3x week and do ab challenge
  • Business: Launch new project and increase email list.
  • Home: Continue to Simplify and Beautify
  • Family: More outdoor time as a group

I don’t exactly have a special focus word for October, but I will use: Grind! Cuz I’m on mines. (yes, MINES)

Scope-tober and Abs-tober are two backup words tho :)

I’m doing these two Periscope Challenges:

october-scopers periscope-with-purpose

And I’m also doing this Abs Challenge along with the hot mamas in the free Momshells Facebook Group. Join Us!!!


What’s your #1 Goal for October??


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Eight Secrets To Creating More Time (Without Waking Up Earlier)

creating more time

I need more time!! I have no time!!

The lament of all us mothers…fathers…aunties…play cousins…people with jobs…people over the age of 18…people alive…ever…

We have so many obligations, and numerous areas of our life requiring huge chunks of our precious time. Whether it be jobs, children, spouses, volunteering, or just a full social calendar, we need to maximize our time so we don’t get burnt out or feel consistently behind the eight ball. That’s added stress we don’t need.

Please don’t tell me I have the same amount of hours in a day as Oprah. That doesn’t do a thing for me but make me dislike you.

I’m still working on breaking the time space continuum so we can get more than 24 hours in a day. Something about my math aint adding up though, and I didn’t take physics in college… so we may still be a few years away from my Nobel prize winning breakthrough. Until then I’m just going to continue to wake up early and get sh*t done.

Heard a rumor though…. A little birdie told me… some folks don’t like to wake up early! Who’da thunk it?! Honestly I’m not sure what’s unappealing about rising bleary eyed at the call of a shrill alarm an hour or two before necessary. On your feet earlier than the sun…and roosters. Sounds great to me! (Are you rolling your eyes yet?)

Since some folks wanna resist the early rise… I got something for ya. A few easy peasy ways to create more time and space in your life without waking up earlier.

Shop Online

I suspect if you’re reading this blog you already are a web savvy chica. So I’m sure you’re doing at least a lil comparison shopping online. Using the interwebs to do your shopping saves time (and gas, and money…. and gas money) that you can spend elsewhere. If you “shop like a man” online it’s even more of a time saver. Just head to the store’s site for the exact item you need, pop it in your cart and be done with it. If you’re like me, and compare for the best deals… you may not end up saving much time at all! (But at least it’ll be convenient!)

(Click here to find out how to save money shopping for anything online)

Review Your Calendar

You have a million events, appointments and obligations filling your days (and nights) so take a moment to review your calendar for the week. What can you gracefully remove? Cut out what makes you groan, or feel anxious, or whatever you’re dreading. (Unless it’s work, don’t cut that out. Even if you’re dreading it.)  Is there a party you’d rather not attend? A date you’d rather postpone? Do it if you’re moved to. And do it guiltlessly.

Recurring Delivery 

Set up recurring delivery of items you consistently use. This saves you time, and a headache. Amazon has a great program and also saves you money when you order your items on subscription. Jet, a newer company, also has subscription service available for your commonly used items.


If you have less choices, you spend less time in indecision. Simplify your life to gain more time to do what you want. A simplified wardrobe means less hours wasted finding something to wear. A simplified eating plan makes food choices easier and meal prep and cooking shorter. What items in your life can you simplify to save time? Every day it seems another convenience product pops up that can help you simplify your life to save time. The meal-in-a-box subscription services are a lifesaver. Check out Blue Apron, Plated or Hello Fresh if you’re interested.

Grocery delivery

If you’d rather have more control over your meals but still want the time saving and ease… try having your groceries delivered. I went a full year using fresh direct every single week back in NYC. It is such a time saver to grocery shop online from anywhere and know your food will arrive within a specific window of your choosing. You save hours! If Fresh Direct isn’t for you, try Peapod. There are more services popping up all over.

Trim a habit

What habits do you have that you can shorten? Trade a long jog for a shorter HIIT workout. Omit a few (un-necessary) steps from your haircare routine. Opt for a Rachel Ray style 30 minute meal instead of cooking up a longer feast. Think through your habits and see how you can tweak them to be a time saver. Note: this must be a real habit. Something that you do by default each day (or week)  and don’t have to force yourself to do.

Rethink TV

I spoke to a doctor, and he informed me that you actually will not die if you don’t find out what happens with Lucious and Cookie, Olivia and Fitz, Analise Keating and her wig, or The housewives of wherever. So, with that in mind. Rethink catching your shows as they air (or at all). You can free up 1/2 hour up to several hours a day, depending on your TV-watching lifestyle. If you’re getting hives just thinking of missing your shows all-together, just DVR or watch them on-demand on a day you have less obligations pulling on your time.

Schedule it in

This is my favorite tip because it gives you a nice chunk of time that you can use as you desire without activating any feelings of guilt or “shouldda couldda wouldda” syndrome. If you schedule your “free” time into your daily planner, and treat it as if it’s any other agenda item, you are golden. What will you do with your chunk of time?

If you get creative and press the easy button with some things, it’s not too hard to create more time in your life. Start with some of these tips and go from there. Now the big question. What will you do with all that time you free up?

How will you create more time in your days?

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