So I have been away from this place-my place for a long time.  Somtimes that is because I am busy, sometimes its because I don't have much to talk about, sometimes is because I don't know what to say.  The last few months have been busy being a mom, taking the kids to activities, and doing all the things that come with being a teacher and a wife.  The two year anniversary of my dad's death came and went and although I thought I was ok...I am starting to realize that maybe I wasn't as good as I thought.  From Mid October till now with all the holidays are stressful for most people but add to this my navigating these holidays and milestones without my dad is an odd thing.  I have found that this holiday season...the third one....has been a lot easier.  I was able to handle the ebb and flow of the emotions a bit better but this year more than the others the kids have really been missing my dad which takes on a whole new special kind of hard.  What I started to realize a few weeks ago was that I was experiencing a lot of anxiety.  For me it comes on fixating on things.  Silly things. Most often that anxiety comes with worrying over money or questioning myself.  What I noticed was it was getting worse. I started worrying about the cracks in the floor-that there was something wrong with our house.  I started to obsess over health related stuff.  Silly stuff like there was something wrong with that I hadn't gotten my period in months-The normal explanation was that its the pill im on....my brain on anxiety---I am totally pregnant with a miracle baby (I am on the pill for my cycle and Ryan had the snip snip years ago).  I question why someone doesn't text....are they mad at me, do they not like me, is our friendship ending.  Really reason everyone is busy with their shit!  

I hate that I get this way.  I hate how I get upset over things that don't need to be upset over. Rather than come up with new things to do or think about....I am stewing over and over again over the same crap. I know this is anxiety.  I tried doing a hypnosis for anxiety-that seemed to work but then I stopped doing it.  I think I need to try again.    I also think I need to begin exercising more....or lets be real at all.  I know in theory that these things should help but sometimes I am so exhuasted from work and the kids that all I can do is be a blob. Being that blob has taken its toll.  I am not really any where close to my health goals and that makes me sad.  I am sad that I allow my brain and this anxiety to get the best of me.  I think what I hate the most is that it makes me doubt myself, my healthy, my happiness, and my relationships with others.  I am always questioning and worrying and then I wonder why I got so sick right before Christmas.  I am stressing myself out for no reason.  

I think that my goal for the New Year is going to be try and be more calm in the upcoming weeks. I will try and take better care of myself.  I also decided that if this doesn't settle down in the next few weeks that I will probably ask my doctor about it because normally my anxiety isn't this bad for that long.  One little step at a time towards health is my goal.  What are your goals for the upcoming year? 

'So I totally hit the jackpot in reviews for this stunning bag!!!  I was contacted by Pheonix Trading Company to see if i would be interested in testing out and reviewing their handbag line by Joy and Iman.  Well he had me at handbag! Hello!!!!  So before I even received by bag I spent a little time checking out what the Pheonix Trading Company was.  As I had never heard of it I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only did they offer unique and staple handbags the also had a lot of HomeGoods, clothes, and home appliances.  It appears that this is a great site for both your unique and staple clothing and HomeGoods.  It seems to almost have an online TJ Max or Marshalls feel to it.  Lots of selection of tons of stuff at really good prices.  According to their website they buy overstock and off-season items at a discount of designer and home shopping products which explains the amazing varity of products on thier website.  But lets talk about what is really important....THE BAG!!!  So here it is fresh out of the box.

My first thought dang this is a nice bag for a website that says it specializes in homegoods and applicaiance.  Not only was the bag a super rich black leather (yes leather) it was very well made. The handles were a perfect length to go over the sholder even with a sweater or jacket (which is a must in New England) it was also well contructed and could be used as a tote..  Best part-it comes in several color choices, my favorite looks is the gray which is totally in this season and it is 70.00!!!!  No seriously a well made leather bag for 70.00 its a steal!!!  You can't even get pleather for that price for this quiality of bag.   Another wonderful quality it is a big bag-and I love a good big bag.  

Here is a better shot to see the richness of the leather and the great gold zipper detailing.  Below are some inside shots to show you have spaciious the inside is.  

Here you can see the various compartments.  There are two compartments with a middle laptop compartment that is lightly paddd.  There are generous pockets on both sides for all your phones, keys, etc.  Also notice how much is in here and there is room to spare-my big wallet, sunglasses, jouranl, papers.  

Here is me trying to show you the inside side pockets that can hold your phone etc

Also if you are traveling this can hold your important cards so maybe you don't even need a wallet for business women it can hold cards etc.  

A personal favorite touch is the light that is attached to the strap so you can find things in a bag of this size!!! 

Here is the other side shot...it really is a lushous looking bag and I cant get over that it is only 70.00!!!

I love this bag and have been using it as my work bag for two weeks now.  It has held up beatifully nad have packet it to the gills includin a  laptop, a liter of seltzer, my lunch, and a stack of papers, plus my regular stuff.  It is super durable.  My one and only complaint would be that this is not an ideal bag for every day.  It is super well made leather so it is a bit heavy and big for your every day purse (unless that is your style).  I think this is an amazing bag for work-especially with the choice of colors-I also love this in blue.  Also go check out the link because it has all the specs on the bag! Tons of features.  In full honesty I would have thought this bag retailed for at least 150 based on the fact that is contructed of nice quality leather and has so may features.  So my suggesions is this-go travel over to Pheonix Trading Company poke around all of the awesome clothes and homegoods and fun home applicances add a few things to the cart along with your favorite color of this bag plus its free shipping!!!!!  I know I am probably going to get this in brown or gray to use in the spring!!!   A great big thank you to Pheonix Trading Company for allowing me to try this bag!  
Several weeks ago I was shipped an amazing little surprise!  Several bags of freeze dried fruit to try and post a review about for my blog.  At first I was a little leery of some of the chips (hello beat chips) but having tried them all I was quiet impressed.  In each bag you got several servings of these tasty little dried fruit treats.  What I loved most about them is there was no added sugar like you sometimes get in dried fruit.  It was just the fruit themselves.  These were also non-gmo which for me is an added bonus.  Having tried them all my favorite ones were the medley ones with banana chips in them.  See below.  The reason I loved those were the bananas were so good!!!!    The only ones I didn't really love were the just strawberry I thought the strawberry alone were a little too tart for my liking.  Yet, my strawberry loving girl did enjoy these so maybe it was just my personal preference.  I think this make for a nice light after school snack or to go along with lunches as something different.  As most parents do I struggle with what to feed the kids that is easy to pack, they will eat, and is not junk!  These fit the bill.  So if you are looking for something new to try I would highly recommend Crunchies to try.  They are a nice healthy snack to add into your rotation.

So despite my love of organizers, planners, and lists-I am often easily overwhelmed and scattered.  This summer I have really begun to notice this more.  I make lists of the things that I need to accomplish and the things that I want to do-yet somehow.....Most of them don't get done.  
I often forget things I wanted to do and find myself doing other things.  As much as I would love to blame this on all the small people that live in my house....I think its me.  My lists are fine, my ability to do those things is fine, I just get distracted.  

Most often that distraction comes at the hands of my phone. Sometimes it comes in my desire to relax and kick back over the summer.  Sometimes it comes from getting-started-itis.  That is totally a thing.  I am a person that once I start something I can often get it done quickly and well-but getting started is hard.  No like I am the person that takes 10 minutes to pick out nail polish because actually putting on my nails isn't hard....its the starting.  I have a hard time starting coloring pages...why because its getting-started-itis.  

I think this summer I have a few things on my list that are "scary" or "emotional" and that is why I put them off.  Organizing and paying the bills stresses me out.  I want to make Josie's baby book but I know seeing pictures of her as a baby-especially with my dad will be hard for me.  I want to start sewing projects but sewing is new to me and hard so I am worried I am going to mess it up.  So like I said-Getting-started-itis.  

Even blogging and writing is like that for me....I want to write.  I have lots that I need to get out of my brain so I can think better.  Yet, sitting down to type is a whole new ball game....Once I start I am good.  Clearly anyone who reads this can see that I don't have issue with saying things!!

So what about all of you?  Do you have this issue?  Any tips for organizing?  For getting ahead?  Maybe I need to put my damn phone down and just get to it!


So as I mentioned in my previous post a few months ago I crossed something off my bucket list.  I took a sewing class.  Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to sew-my mom and grandmother couldn't.  When I did the 4-H fair as a child a great aunt helped me.  As I have gotten older I have loved quilts.  I love the colors, the fabrics, all of it.  When my dad died I even had a friend of Ryan's make quilts for the kids because I didn't know how but I wanted to.

So around my birthday I signed up for an intro to sewing class.  We learned some basic sticking and cutting.  Then when I got home I started looking up some simple patterns and I found this pattern for a cute easy to make headband. It was great because it came with step by step instructions on what to do.  I also found one for a doll dress that I made for Josie and her new American Girl doll.    I was so proud of these things.  It was something I wanted to do, I set my mind to it, I went and I did it.

I have found over the years that as a Mom and wife I have neglected to spend time on me.  I don't mean in that selfish I am going to be all about me-but in a way of bettering myself.  Lets be real knowing to sew doesn't serve a huge purpose other than I like to do it...but in a way that is good enough.  Something that mom likes to do and enjoys.  Below are pictures of my first few items I made!  The only issue with this sewing thing is that I am no instantly fabric obsessed and need to buy all the fabric.  Below you will see some of my recent purchases!
My headband....which now that I cute off all my hair doesn't look as cute! 

Doll Dress

Dog print!!! I need to make something special with these!!

More fun prints-I made Dylan a little coin purse with the dinos and the stars and crabs will be a bucket purse I am attempting to make into bag.  

What are the things that you have been wanting to do?  Is there something that you have done for yourself recently.  I would love to hear!

So I was going to start by apologizing for not blogging but guess what its my blog and I do what I want...Ok just kidding.  I was a senior class and advisor and a teacher at the end of the school year....life stops lets be real here folks.

So last summer I spent most of my summer grieving.  Not like sitting around weeping but finally allowing some of my new reality minus my dad to sit in.  That also caused me to have a case of all the feels-in fact that still happens.  Sometime after the holidays and after my birthday I started to wake up.  Almost like I was walking around not 100% there for a year and half.  Well as time marches on so does life.  I started to realize the promise I made to myself the day my dad died wasn't actually happening.  The day he died I was being driven home by Ryan, looking out the window at a beautiful sunset happening over my favorite farm on the ride home and swore to myself that I would not let my dad's sudden death ruin me.  I wouldn't allow this to be the thing that crippled me, it wouldn't lead me to a life of bad behavior, it wouldn't be my excuse to be unhealthy it would be my motivation to life my life.  Well what I realized a few months ago was I haven't really been living I have been surviving.

So lets be real-any parent of young children is in sort of survival mode in terms of their own well being.  We do what we can when we can.  Yet, when reflecting on my life since my dad's death I hadn't been doing as much as I could.  I wasn't taking time for myself, I wasn't doing things I loved, I was experiencing life-I was going through the motions. Some of that was out of need that a lot of times emotions are still too overwhelming for me-but I owed myself and my dad's memory more.

So I promised myself as much as I could this summer-it would be the summer of ME!  Not in a selfish-F-you to everyone else-but that I would work on me.  I would do the things I had been putting off doing, I would do things I wanted to do-why because I wanted to do them, I would be the kind of mom I wanted to be, I would do things that scared me-why because I was alive to do them.

So this spring I started planning.  I threw out my old planner and got one that I could bullet (look up bullet journals-life changing).  I began by taking a sewing class shortly after my birthday.  I have always wanted to quilt so I started with a basic class.  Next week I will most likely be taking another and I am signing up to take an intro to sewing class in August!  I am even buying a sewing machine as soon as it gets instock!

Next thing was I promised myself I would begin to take care of my health a bit more.  We all know that is a sore spot with me.  I realized I need to work on being ok where I am and make changes for health.  I committed back to WW last week and although I will show a gain this week (July 4th and Chinese before weight in) I am going to be going all summer.  I scheduled a physical to discuss some of my stomach issues, my weight, my ankle issues, and scariest of all the possibility that I need to have my heart checked in case I have the same thing my dad did (it is from birth so most likely I don't but need to be safe).  I also signed up for yoga and have been working out several times a week.

Along those lines my good friend J told me about MELT fitness.  It is a bootcamp style class but they also help modify for the big girls like me.  I signed up for a 21 day challenge with 3 extra optional weeks.  This will bring me to the start of school.  To join is every expensive so my plan is to do this till school then join a gym and do MELT when money allows.  

Then finally, I started working with a Disney advisor to plan our Disney trip.  This is something I have dreamed about doing since Josie started to get into pricnesses.  Not that I didn't want to take Dylan but I knew he would love the ride etc for longer then princesses would be magical for Josie.  So I am booking that this week. Yes, the kids are young and it is super expensive and I am still trying to pay off our debt...but I just have felt this need to go.  Years before my dad died I was talking to the daycare workers and I said "I am going to wait till they are older since it costs so much" they looked at me and said "don't wait-you can always  make it work and do stuff cheaper if you need-don't wait because you never know what could happen God forbid" When they said I brushed it off to sentimental old ladies.....but this has stuck with me since my dad passed. Its not like he would be going with us to Disney-hell no he hated that sort of stuff.  He could have probably paid us just to make sure he didn't have to go!  Yet, that thought of why should I wait.  If I can make it happen then why wait.  I have a student now who is 16 and her mother is terminally ill.  Her mother's biggest regret is not being able to take her to disney-there is even a go fund my page.  If my ass didn't need a push to go here it is now.

So much rambling later you can see I am really making an effort to find myself.  Find out who I am now that I have lost my dad and I am navigating this world in a whole new way.  For those of you who still read this...get ready for lots of rambling because I need this space more than ever now that I am working on me!  


So in the last few months or really focusing on my health I took another big step in that journey.  I decided to join my sister in law in selling Pure haven essentials home and body products.  This company formerly known as Ava Anderson.  Before my sister in law started selling I had begun to slowly convert my house over to less chemical options in our home with our food and cleaners.  Well when I went to this party I knew that these products were for me.  Even if I never sold anything to anyone-I loved the company and wanted to support them. 

So what is this all about you might wonder.  Well PHE sells all sorts of body, skin, and home products and are made with organic products and all non toxic chemicals.  The process by which these products go through is crazy strict to ensure that there are no chemicals in them.  The best part about selling the products is I got to get educated about what chemicals I should be focused on getting out of my home and finding affordable solutions to living as much as I can in a healthy, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly way as possible.

My favorite products so far is the face care line (I use the toner, wash, and moisturizer and it has helped my yucky winter ski), I love the body lotion-not only does it smell amazing it makes my skin so smooth and gets rid of any winter dryness, as well as the hair care line.  I am using the anti-frizz serum and it works about 10 times better then Frizz-ease and my hair has looked amazing even without mouse or scrunch spary.  That is saying a lot for this curly hair girl. 

No I know some of these prices seem high but they are on point with any high end brand and other "non-toxic brands that still are full of chemicals"

I think that I will occasionally feature products on here that I really love-but I am most excited about sharing how you can easily make some healthy changes for your family.   If you want to check out the products here is the link www.purehavenessentials.com/ericahunt if you want to order use number  140335  I also would love to share what I have learned with you so please email me at ezamskyhunt@gmail or comment below with any questions.  This has been such a positive experience for me even though I haven't had my first party (had to cancel because of the plague at my house last month).  
So what things have you been doing to improve your health...let me know!   

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the people over at Greek God's asking if I wanted to try out one of their new products-Greek yogurt with Chia.  I of course said yes-both Miss J and I love yogurt and add in Chia seeds for adding saying power why not.  

Now on the new Weight Watchers Smart Points program yogurts have gone up in points values so I was a little concerned about that but each yogurt was worth 5pts.  Now that is a lot for a snack-but considering it has 12G of protein in every cup it might be a good snack at work.  

As I have mentioned I am lactose intolerant but I can usually do Greek Yogurt-it contains less lactose.  According to the people at The Greek Gods each cup contains 120 calories, 12g of Protein, its high in calcium, Gluten free, no rBS and rBGH in the dairy, and it has fruit on the bottom.  They are retailing for 1.59-1.79 a cup.   Flavors currently are Strawberry, Peach, Blackberry, and Vanilla.

 So far these have passed the Josie test she really enjoyed them.  For me-they have been a great snack that has kept me full for hours.  I know for a lot of people on weight watchers and those watching their sugar this is not an ideal snack but with the amount of protein that you get I think that means its totally worth it!  

Check out more details here or pick some up at your local store.  

I can't believe its been so long since I have written a post.  Life has been good and complicated and not so good at the moment.  In terms of my healthy journey I am doing well-I have lost almost ten pounds since Janurary.  I know that doesn't seem like much but I am feeling a little bit more in control then I have before. I even gave up sweets for lent and despite a fall "off the lentin wagon" on my hubs bday I haven't really eaten any sweets or candy.  

My own journey with grief etc actually has been going really really well.  I have been doing ok but the kids have been having a rough time.  I will save that for another post.

Right now I am struggling to live in the moment.  We have a lot of credit card debt...not the unpayable kind just a lot more than I would like and the kind that makes me hate to have it.  The debt means we can't get a different house, it makes me feel like a failure financially.  I have a plan moving forward but right now it seems to cause me a ton of anxiety.  I know that debt is part of American culture but I hate it.  Part of it is piss poor spending habits on our part.  Always wanting more then what we have.  Always thinking I need to keep up with the joneses.  I hate that I can't take my kids on a big expensive disney vacation.  I hate that I can't do those things till this debt is gone.  I hate that I keep paying and paying and paying but then some major shit storm of finances hits and all the progress I made just goes right back on that stupid piece of plastic.  I know I need to tighten the belt but I hate doing that.  

But back to the living in the moment.  If my dad's death has taught my anything-it is that you don't know when your time is up.  Why spend your last few days worrying about money.  I know that eventually that debt will be paid off...someday and there is no sense in spending hours worrying about it.  As long as I am paying it off slowly and steadily we will get there.  Not maybe in the time frame I would like but eventually.  

So right now things are up and down...but mostly ok


So in an attempt to be all in with my healthiness journey I decided to start posting some recipes here on the blog of some of the things that I am eating.  Below is one of my favorite go to recipes.  Although many would think of this as a breakfast dish-for me I often take it for a quick protein packed lunch at work.

Easy Vegetable Frittata-5 Smart Points for 1/6 of the dish

Four Whole Eggs
Four Egg whites
1/2 cup of almond milk unsweetened 
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese
2 cups Frozen hashbrown potatoes (or you can use shredded potatoes)
2 cups frozen veggies ( your choice-I used peppers and broccoli)

Step One-Set over to 350 Scramble the eggs and egg whites and almond milk.  

Step Two:  Spread the hashbrowns in the bottom of a pie plate so that they are in an even layer then top with the veggies.

Step Three:  Cover with the egg mix and bake until the center is set.  Most times this takes at least 20-25 minutes.

This is what it looks like when fully set

Step Four:  When set take out and sprinkle with cheese and pop back in oven till cheese is melted to your liking.  

This piece shown is smaller the the 1/6 that is accounted for in the Smart Points.  I just forgot to take a picture of it and this was my mid day weekend snack-Hence the paper plate!  

Hope you like this dish!!
I don't think I actually have any real resolutions this year.  You know smart goals of I will do X thing in this time.  I decided that after a year of being in mourning and trying to find my bearings...more survive then anything else.  That this year would be the year I take care of me.  I don't mean this in a selfish all about me all the time....I mean doing the things that I need to for me to be the best version of myself I can be.  

For that to happen I am really going to focus on getting healthy.  For me that is obviously the commitment to weight watchers (I lost the weight I put on over the holidays this week and was very happy with that).  It means exercising regularly because it helps center me and makes me feel better.  It means getting enough sleep and taking naps on the weekend if needed.  It means doing things that I enjoy and time for myself.  

I bought myself a lovely workbook to worth through my goals and desires to work on.  I have a journal for all my food stuff.  I am trying to blog more.  I am trying to do things that bring me happiness.  Sometimes that is stuff with my kids.  Sometimes that is stuff with friends or with Ryan without the kids.  Sometimes that is being alone.   As much as I love and need to be around people as an only child you often forget how used you are to being quiet and having time by yourself.  Since I have had kids that time has been non existent that is why I take the worlds longest showers-to enjoy the quiet.

I feel that sometimes towards the end of summer and I felt it again over Christmas break that I really have lost part of me.  I think its more than a working mom feeling overwhelmed lost part of me.  I think it loosing part of my identity when I lost my dad.  Almost if I lost a huge part of my life that anchored me-centered me.  I hate to sound cliche as shit but I feel this need to reinvent who I am.  Or maybe less then that.  Figure out this new me-this mom of two growing kids, a teacher in an ever demanding and sometimes heartbreaking job that is so different then it was 10 years ago, a wife in her 30's not a idealistic newlywed of 24, and a daddy's girl without her daddy.  

So I decided that this year is going to be about me.  Taking time for me....allowing myself to discover or rediscover the things that bring me happiness and joy.  So I hope that all of you my readers and the people in my real life who read this have a joyful new year.  That you find yourself spending this year in more happiness then darkness.....oh and that maybe you win that powerball that is now up to a Billion dollars (and if you win remember me people)