Guest Post on Us and Him

Recently a fellow blogger Misty Blue featured a post of mine on her blog, Us and Him.  I was very excited to be a guest blogger for her.  Misty is an inspiration for me in the blogging world; I just love her blog!  We share a lot of similarities; she is a wife, mama to a little girl, and a blogger not to mention we both love frugal fashion, Target, cupcakes, and pancakes!
Thank you Misty for using my post on your blog.

You can check out my guest post HERE

You can also check out the rest of her blog HERE

Parent Sanity Savers-Central Valley Today Segment

Today I was asked to host a segment on Central Valley Today called Parent Sanity Savers.  As a very busy mom I'm always looking for ways to save time, energy, and money.  Anything that gives me more time to spend with my family gets two thumbs up.  The first item is the Ronco Ready Grill which is an indoor cooking system that prepares food in about 20 minutes; even frozen food.  So if it's 5:00 p.m. and you forgot to thaw chicken that morning you don't have to order pizza you can throw the chicken into the Ronco Ready Grill and get delicious grill flavored chicken quickly and indoors no less.  It cooks just about anything with Infrared technology.  It's easy to clean as the parts are dishwasher safe.  You can find more info at

Mama Boxes are great gifts for the mom-to-be.  They are care packages geared towards each trimester.  They include 10 products either sample or full size and include items like snacks, morning sickness remedies, and more.  You can find more info at

Food Huggers are a great invention.  If you've ever had to throw away a half eaten apple you will love Food Huggers.  They come in a variety of sizes and are made of silicon.  You put them over fruit and veggies to extend the life and freshness of the food.  They can also be used on jars and tupperware.  You can find more info at

Lastly, I can't stand lugging an infant in a baby carrier and trying to put them in a shopping cart.  It's never secure and I can never see around the baby.  Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammocks solve this problem.  They are super light weight and roll up small so they fit perfect in a purse.  They attach to most shopping carts and you just strap the baby in once the hammock is secure.  You can find more info at

Thank you Central Valley Today for having me; it was so much fun as always!

Supper Sunday-Meal Planning

This Supper Sunday I'm not sharing a meal but a whole month of meals.  I'm getting a head start on October because October 1st kicks off the craziness.  I always love the start of October because it is the start of the holidays.  We have Kevin's birthday, Halloween, Emily's birthday (along with a dozen friends' birthdays), Thanksgiving, Family Birthdays in December, Christmas, and New Year's.  My anxiety skyrocketed when I was looking at my calendar recently and realized we are booked every weekend until the new year, WHOA!  Anyways back to meal planning.  I had a free afternoon today so I knew I needed to get down to organizing business not only because the holidays are approaching but also because I will be traveling for work twice in the month of October and that just adds to the mix.  Meal planning helps me so much with grocery shopping and knowing what to cook each night.  It eliminates the 3:00pm panic of WFD (What's For Dinner?!?!?!).  I hope this meal planning calendar eliminates some stress for you and inspires you to make your own (or you can copy mine).
I'd love to hear your ideas for easy recipes to add to my calendar.

Dancing With the Stars Season 21 Premiere

One of my besties Christina invited me to the Season 21 Premier of Dancing With the Stars.  I have watched nearly every episode of every season so I was pretty excited to say the least.  I moved my schedule around and jumped on board to make the day trip.  I got up at 4:45 am and had to get fully ready.  We left Fresno at 6 am and got to CBS studios about 10 am.  We were the first in line and set up shop on the sidewalk.  Almost right away Karina came out and ran across the street to the gas station.  She was so kind to take pictures with us especially since she was in between hair and makeup.  While we were waiting we also saw Jenna Dewam Tatam, Bruno, Julianne Hough, and Keo drive up.   About 11:30 two of us went to get lunch and we brought it back for a picnic.  Between 2:00 and 3:00 a crew came out to check our tickets and then about an hour later we moved to the bleachers outside the studio.  I believe we got ushered into the studio about 4:00 pm and then we got our spots.  We were put on the 2nd floor balcony and we stood next to Tom and Erin for the opening set.  We stood there the whole show except they moved us once to stand behind Emma and Hayes for a promo shot.  
It was so exciting to see such a production behind the scenes.  It looks quite different behind the camera; you definitely don't see what you see on TV.  It's also somewhat hard to hear.  I was expecting their mics to be connected to several speakers but they weren't.  My favorites of the night were Alek Skarlatos, Andy Grammer, Carlos PenaVega, Bindi Irwin, and Nick Carter.  I was totally rooting for Kim Zolciak Biermann but she was really stiff and nervous.  I hope she makes it back so we can see her open up.  Of course I'm team Real Housewives!!!
After the show wrapped Tom shot some promos so we didn't get out of the studio till close to 8.  We ran over to Unami Burger at The Grove to grab a quick burger and then we headed to the car to head home.  On our way out we ran directly into Nick Carter leaving the back of the studio.  We basically forced a quick picture with him and as we were taking the photo several Paparazzi took our picture.  Fingers crosses we end up in Us Weekly!!!
As we were getting into our car Mark Ballas was leaving and he waved and honked to us.  It was a good way to end the night.
It was a whirlwind of a day from 4:45am to almost 1 am but it was a total BLAST!  Thank you so much Christina for inviting me; I'm hooked.

(Watch around minute 3) 

Christina, Me, Natalie, and Sophie

The line that we were at the front of.

You're not allowed to take a phone or camera in but we all snuck our phones in and after the show wrapped I took pictures.  I figured nothing to lose at the very end.  If they kicked me out I wouldn't miss much.  By the way not looking at my phone for a few hours was like crack withdrawals- so sad!

Samantha from Bachelor in Paradise-Ugh yuck!

We overlooked Rumor Willis, Danica, Robert H (Shark Tank), & Maria Menounos from past seasons.  Next to Maria was Robin Antin.  On the other side of the floor was the cast from The Real and Brielle (Kim's daughter).
The Real Cast

His manager/friend/whoever sure doesn't know how to take a picture.

Introducing Chic Little Thrills

I've teamed up with fashionista Lisa Swelback of Chic Little Thrills to introduce her custom T-shirt line.  Graphic Tees are on FLEEK right now and Lisa has the greatest ones.  When I came across this tee I had to have it because it's my current motto "Every Day I'm Hustling" (who am I kidding; this has been my motto since birth)!  The latest on trend sayings are available but you can even put in a custom order.  Lisa is extremely helpful and responsive and has 5 star reviews on Etsy.  It was such a pleasure working with her and I encourage you to check out all of Chic Little Thrills' social media and site.

Follow Chic Little Thrills on FacebookGoogle+InstagramPinterestTwitter, and RSS.  You should also check out Lisa's blog for fashion ideas and new products and brands. 


Grab a graphic tee at their Etsy site.
This is my daily HUSTLE!

Please tell us a little bit about your company and how you got started: 
I started up this company with the goal of making timeless tee's that will not become dated and can truly be worn now or a few years from now. Me and my boyfriend, we invested in a tee shirt printer and the sky was the limit from there. I do all original designs.

What has been your greatest lesson in running your own business? 

Kindness truly goes a long way. I have also managed to keep a delicate balance between kindness and being taken advantage of. Communication is key. Unfortunately we have to say 'No' sometimes. I had a tough time with this at the beginning. But always, always treat your customers right.

What’s your greatest tip for entrepreneurs?I learned three great things. A- Do not second guess yourself. You can do it! And If you have a hunch, your probably right. B- always be honest and clear when communicating with customers. There's nothing worse than confusing or misleading the client or being confused yourself. Take the guessing games out of the equation. They will love you for it. But always be kind.

What does your normal day look like?Constant designing and networking. I love to create designs that a great for anyone and everyone. So there is a lot of designing involved. Some make the cut and some do not.

Who inspires you?
Etsy does a lot! I would ask myself. What would I wear? Could that be made into a tee? And I put my own spin on it. Generally speaking, something will just pop into my head. I will then immediately ask myself, will this be timeless? Will this work for someone 3 years from now? Does this work for my shop? There's usually a process to this. Then I will create a mock up. and if it works it goes right into the shop. :) I have such a great time playing with fonts too. I usually stick to just a few but one things always leads to another and I will have a new creation suddenly!

The following photos are adapted from Chic Little Thrills:
These are some of my favorite!

Fresno Friday- Disney Live

I feel lucky that living in Fresno we have quite a few opportunities to see live shows that come to town.  Recently Emily, my Goddaughter Tinsley, her mom Pam (one of my best friends), and I went to Disney Live at the Saroyan Theater.  It was our first time seeing this production and it was great.  The girls dressed like Anna and Elsa so of course Emily was in heaven.  We loved the set up of the show and it was a great length; 1.5 hours which wasn't too long for our toddlers.  Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy come out throughout the show to introduce 3 stories: Snow White, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast.  Each story was acted out with the main parts; some parts were cut out.  After the show we came back to our house to play a little bit.  It was such a fun night.  Thank you Auntie Pammy and Tinsley for joining us!

Post show selfie as requested by Emily.

Introducing Mouse & Moose

My girls love playing in their kitchen and I'm always looking for new toys to add to it.  The girls have spent many hours playing house and restaurant and I love seeing their imaginations at play.  Toys that spark that imagination are the best.  The handmade toys from Mouse and Moose do just that. The creator, Kristin behind Mouse and Moose was so kind to send my girls two popsicles each.  They were so excited to see individually wrapped presents for them.  It just adds another layer of excitement to not only receive a new toy but to find it in a lovingly wrapped package.  Emily opened hers and and shouted, "My favorite color is purple!"  You can see the time and love that was put into these bright colored creations; they are handcrafted and well made.  Kristin was extra sweet to send this mama a little gift as well.  It's quite amazing that Kristin doesn't know me well but sent me the perfect gift.  I love Christmas and especially love a dove on my Christmas tree.  I always have one on my tree to represent peace.  I can't wait to add it to our family tree this year.
I love the heart behind this company and the reasons why Kristin started Mouse & Moose.  She started with her new baby in mind and wanted safe and fun toys for her little girl.  She only uses the best products and keeps children and the environment in mind.  Please see the section below to learn more about Kristin and her company Mouse & Moose.  You will be inspired!
My passion with this blog is fellow mamas and promoting local faces, places, events, etc.  So sharing Mouse & Moose with you is exciting for me because it's a fellow mom like me who is trying to balance family and work and is hustling every day.  Go moms!!!

Follow Mouse & Moose on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to see all their latest projects and products.

To purchase their products check out their Etsy site.

"Let me see how my sissy does this..."

Tasting her popsicle.

Both taking a bite.

The following photos have been adapted from Mouse & Moose.


Please tell us a little bit about your company and how you got started:

- I never imagined that I'd be a toy maker. 

I went to school to study social sciences and to go into family preservation and social work, but after graduating and taking the summer to wrap up my job, I became pregnant with my daughter. 

I longed for my daughter to have quality toys. Toys that didn't have lead paint, toys that were made with the environment in mind, and toys that would grow with her rather than replacing all the toys in our house every 6 months when we reached a new developmental milestone. I wanted toys that wouldn't fall apart, toys that wouldn't take over our small apartment, and toys that were meaningful, educational, and that would inspire her to create, imagine, and tell stories. So there it was, sitting around the dining room table, that Mouse & Moose was born.

Mouse & Moose aims to create educational and inspirational toys that will encourage little ones to use their creativity and imaginations - to recapture what has been lost in contemporary culture. Using only the finest wool felt, Mouse & Moose creates a wide variety of handmade toys from pretend play food, to dress up crowns and accessories, masks, and stuffed animals. Stuffed items are also stuffed with wool from a local farm in Alberta, Canada.

While I may not having a paying job where I use my education, I definitely use it every day that I raise my daughter, and now my son. And in the mean time, I have the privilege to create beautiful, sustainable, and inspiring toys to not only inspire my own children, but yours as well. 

What has been your greatest lesson in running your own business?

- It's a lot of work! Over the last few years I've had to learn to balance work and family, but it's still something I continue to struggle with. Having a business that's run from home is wonderful, but also challenging. It's inevitable that someone will need a clean t-shirt while I'm in the middle of sewing, someone spilled their milk while I'm in the middle of sketching, or I have to put the cutting aside to pick up my older child at school. It's definitely a precarious balancing act - but it's worth it. 

What’s your greatest tip for entrepreneurs?

- Read. Read. Read. There are so many sources out there to help you with online and retail selling. Etsy has their own blogs to help you with everything from SEO's to photography and writing product descriptions. Online selling is difficult because you have to be able to convey to customers what your product looks, feels, and even smells like, without your customer actually being able to pick up and touch your item. After you've read everything that you've been able to get your hands on, reread it and keep revamping your items, descriptions, and product lines to keep improving. 

What does your normal day look like?

- My day is usually a mixture of mom duties and creating. Getting kids fed, dressed, and off to their various activities, chores like any other regular house, getting our dog out for a walk if its not raining (it rains a lot here in the Pacific Northwest) and fitting in designing, cutting, sewing, and processing orders in between the rest of the hustle and bustle. I usually try and leave the evenings open for family time, but sometimes sewing toys or designing new ones sneaks into this time once the kids are in bed, haha. 

Who inspires you?

Hands down, my kids. They were the reason I started Mouse & Moose, and it's their imagination that keeps it going. Just the other day my daughter was imagining that our toy shelves were a mountain and she had named it Uni Mountain (she was playing with a toy unicorn). The next thing I heard was that the bad guys had stolen all the rainbows from Uni Mountain and her and her brother embarking on an adventure to save all the rainbows in the world. Listening to the two of them play and overhearing the stories that they're able to make up, inspires me to create inspirational toys to keep their imaginations turning.