Swapoween Happiness

So excited to be included in the CGSwaps Swapoween.  I will be matched with another blogger and will be trading some happiness-inducing Halloween tricks and treats.  Can’t wait to find out my partner and start swapping.  I did the Books N Bloggers swap and couldn’t be happier with the results.  My blog is all about being a happier you and sending a little happiness is definitely on my list.  Come join us!!


CGSwaps Swapoween link

check out Swapoween at CGswaps.blogspot.com Click To Tweet

Monday Motivation #2

I started this series of posts last week and then I found a linky with a similar name so I am so excited.  Now I’ll be even more motivated to post motivations each Monday.


Winners never quit

Keep going…never quit

Good Food

If you don’t have junk food in your house, then you won’t eat it.  Surround yourself with foods that are nutritious and good for you.  Same thing for friends:)



*Can you be motivated by a kitchen appliance because I am pretty sure it is a huge motivator for me right now!!!  If you have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, you MUST get the spiralizer attachment.  I used it last night to make zucchini noodles and I am in heaven…so easy…they come out great…so yummy.  I can’t say enough about the product.

KA Spiralizer Zucchini noodles

Words to live by:

You were born to be real, not to be perfect!

Meditation pin from Pinterest

**Fitness motivation:  Do squats while you wait for your shower to warm up or your coffee to brew each morning.  It will get your blood pumping and is great seatwork too.

Have a fantabulous week!!

Randomly Yaya

Keeping Up with Ashley and Cody – Guest Post by Ashley

Positivity Challenge


The world seems to be centered around negativity. When I watch the news, which isn’t often, I am filled with a sense of sadness and depression. Even social media is filled with negativity. Just the other day I was reading about a friend’s rant and I felt cold and unwelcomed. I feel that social media should portray happiness and a way to connect with family and friends. I understand we all have those moments where we need to vent, but not everyday or every post needs to be filled with complaints, rants, or vents.


Even with that said, I believe in surrounding your life with positivity and happiness, you will be happy. Why be friends with someone who pushes you down in mood or confidence. Instead find those friends and family members who bring happiness and laughter to your day.


About a year ago, I was sitting in a Child Development class, and our instructor said we were going to start a challenge, A Positivity Challenge that would last a month long. I was thinking that is a huge time frame and I already have so much homework. He started talking about the negativity in the world and how it is effecting our students emotions and personalities. When we remove the center attention from the negativity to positivity you will see a difference in your students. ***The challenge was to write down three things or moments that happened during the day that made you smile, laugh, or feel welcomed.***


After the challenge was over we had a class discussion. The results were amazing. We all felt happier and more relaxed. We shifted our focus on the positive moments of life. If it could do that for a class full of college students think about doing it with little ones. Our community would feel a sense of community and happiness. Our children would come home from school and talk about the positive moments of the day.


So now I am challenging you to think positive. Shift that focus to the positive moments, things, or people who make you happy. Share it on social media daily or write in a journal. All that matters is that you write it down.
How would you shift your focus on the positive moments, things, and people? Are you going to join the challenge? I dare you to.

Keeping Up With Ashley & Cody

Fall’s Favorite Drinks

Fall is an awesome season and guess what..it is just about here! I joined with Ashley and her lovely sponsors this month to share a few recipes and favorite drinks to try on a chilly fall day. We hope you enjoy getting to know us and trying our favorites.
My favorite fall drink is called the Blended “PPS” (protein pumpkin spice) Frap. It’s my variation on an PSL frap (pumpkin spice latte). 
In a blender add crushed ice, 1/2 cup of water, 2 scoops of Arbonne Vanilla Protein Powder, 1 scoop of Arbonne Fiber Boost and 1 packet of Starbux Via Pumpkin Spice Latte (instant) and blend well. Top with whip cream or sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon for a healthier and delicious protein frap.  
“My beverages of choice are all over the place. I don’t know if I have a favorite, but I always love when drinks look like they’re ready to party! There’s a restaurant near me that garnishes their drinks with little faces made out of fruit. A strawberry wearing sunglasses and a mini umbrella? Yes! My favorite from this place is their frozen strawberry margarita. So delicious any time of year.”


I don’t mean to be boring and cliche…but….I can’t resist a good pumpkin spice latte…I usually get it decaf with nonfat milk, 2 pumps of pumpkin and no whipped cream.  I know…I took away the best part, but it is still YUMMY!!!!!  


I’m a PSL girl all the way, and who could blame me that thing is liquid goal.  But I recently tried Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Coffee and holy moly I’m in love.  Y’all it is flat out amazing.  In fact, I think I’ll go get myself another one today.  Blame it on the middle schoolers, this girl runs on the good Lord and lots & lots of coffee.
My favorite drink is simple-I like a nice glass of white wine, as long as it’s not too sweet.  These days I’ve been leaning more towards Chardonnay.  I feel like it’s part of growing into Wine, because I started out drinking super sweet candy wine like Moscato and Lambrusco, and then I gradually have worked my way back up to the more tart and crisp wines.  Now when I go back to the sweet ones they feel like syrup and it’s too much.
My favorite fall drink would be a hot caramel macchiato from Starbucks. Although it’s not specific to fall, during the summer I mostly get cold drinks so when fall rolls around, I start getting hot drinks… so to me, it’s somewhat fall. I’ve never been into the pumpkin spice drinks, but definitely willing to try it again this fall!
I am obsessed with hot apple cider in the fall. There is something so soothing about the warmth of the apple flavor that is comforting and perfect for snuggling into a blanket with. It’s even better with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a small shot of caramel. I’ve even made my own batch for parties in the crockpot with store-bought spiced cider; just add a few cinnamon sticks, dash of nutmeg and a few orange peels. Mmm…
My favorite fall drink is Butterbeer (alcoholic)! It’s super easy to make and it’s especially great for those Harry Potter marathon weekends on ABC Family! You need: Butterscotch Schnapps, Vanilla Schnapps + Cream Soda. Just mix them together and BOOM. Magic 🙂 
I love to feel warm inside on a chilly day. I go to the local coffee shop and order the Toasted Marshmallow Mocha. It is so delicious. It sounds like it would be super rich, but its not. It takes like a roasted marshmallow from the camp fire.
It is now giveaway time! Enter to win a $35 Starbucks Gift Card and Set of 3 “Fall Greeting Cards” from Ashley’s new shop! She will be releasing the greeting cards next week, so until now its a mystery.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out Fall's Favorite Drinks and a giveaway at http://www.myhappierplaceblog.com Click To Tweet

Sundays Down Under

Monday Motivation #1

Here are some things to help motivate you on this Monday!  I hope they spark joy in your life and make your day/week a little happier.



This is my 8 year old Golden Retriever begging for food..his favorite pastime:)


Words to Live By:  “Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.” – Rita Schiano

Inner Peace pin on Pinterest

This is the most inspiring, smile-inducing dog I have encountered…follow her story on Underbite Unite.  How could you look at that face and not smile??!!  LOVE her.


40 Ways to Live, Laugh, and Love like a Child

**Do a plank every day this week.  Each day try to do it for a few seconds longer.  It will make you feel great and is also GREAT for your core!!!!

Have an awesome week!!

Ten Things of Thankful 9/12

  1.  I heard about a new website going live on October 1 where you get items free for writing reviews on Amazon.  On Reviewsio, you earn points which get you gift cards and other rewards.  Click here to check it out and sign up.
  2. Thankful for all the firefighters, police and first responders, including search and rescue dogs, and their tireless efforts after the horrendous events of 9/11.
    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 11: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY - NO COMMERCIAL SALES) Firefighters raise a U.S. flag at the site of the World Trade Center after two hijacked commercial airliners were flown into the buildings September 11, 2001 in New York. (Photo by 2001 The Record (Bergen Co. NJ)/Getty Images)
    NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 11:  (Photo by 2001 The Record (Bergen Co. NJ)/Getty Images)


  3. Survived 4 full days of kindergarten with 2 of them being in temperatures over 90 degrees…phew!!!
  4. My friend opened a women’s only gym so I can finally get to the spinning classes that I have been missing for forever!!!   fitness balanced
  5. Books N Bloggers on CG Swaps…got 3 ebooks from the blogger I was partnered with.  They were all books on my Goodreads books to read list.  They have a Halloween swap coming up and I can’t wait to participate.
  6. Cooler temperatures…I LOVED the summer, but I’m so glad that it is a little cooler.
  7. The Patriots won their season opener vs. the Steelers New England Patriots
  8. Seinfeld reruns seinfeld
  9. The season premiere for The Walking Dead is getting closer:)
  10. Of course, writing this post each week.10 Things of Thankful...www.thistledewfit.com...make a list of 10 things you are thankful for… Click To Tweet

Ten Things of Thankful

Sundays Down Under

Books N Bloggers Swap Review

I have nothing but good things to say about my Books N Bloggers experience. I was matched up with Heather from Based on a True Story. She did a great job choosing books for me. She also told me a really easy way to send gift ebooks. If you go on Amazon and find the book you want, you can choose email to a friend and…voila…done!!! I gave her my Goodreads list and she chose books that I really wanted to read.


1. The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah Mccoy Synopsis: When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.
Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance.
Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.


2. The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth Synopsis: A captivating tale of life, loss, and love…Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy–including the identity of the baby’s father– hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. The more Grace prods, the tighter Neva holds to her story, and the more the lifelong differences between private, quiet Neva and open, gregarious Grace strain their relationship. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva’s situation thrusts her back sixty years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s–one which, if revealed, will have life-changing consequences for them all. As Neva’s pregnancy progresses and speculation makes it harder and harder to conceal the truth, Floss wonders if hiding her own truth is ultimately more harmful than telling it. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal with the inevitable consequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?


3. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd Synopsis: Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women. Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love. As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.

I’ve only just started The Mapmaker’s Children and I am a little confused with it right now, but know that the story will meld together at some point. I’m excited to see how the historical part and the current day part are connected. I’ve wanted to read the Sue Monk Kidd book forever so I can’t wait to start that. I’ve also be intrigued by the midwives book. I want to thank Heather for her great choice and Beth and Angie for putting on a great swap:)

*All synopses were found on the Amazon.com website

Chaotic Goddess Swaps

Ten Things of Thankful 9/5


LOVE doing this list every week…in no particular order 🙂

1 – I got a regular “gig” as a positive lifestyle writer on a blog that is coming out in October/November…thank you Cat Crawford for believing in me and including me….so excited

2 – School started and I survived the first 4 days…I should really put this on the list as #2, 3, 4, & 5, but I’ll just give it one spot

3 – I got great books from my partner in the Books-n-Bloggers swap.  I’ll review them in a later post


4 – My new theme song is Keep Your Head Up by Snoopy..JK…by Andy Grammar…not a NEW song, but great lyrics and very upbeat and motivating.


5 – I have been texting positive sayings to some of my co-workers every morning. We all decided we’re done with the negativity and we want to concentrate on positive thoughts and energy.  It makes me feel good and they love it too.  (One of them is above this paragraph.)

6 – Got this response for sending above mentioned texts:)


7 – My guest post on Sparking Thought.com was published…thanks so much Brittany



9 – I texted out pictures of my students on their first day of kindergarten to their parents and I got a lot of nice responses back.  It made them feel good, which in turn made me feel good that they felt good??

10 – I know I write this every week, but I am thankful for it every week…writing this post.  It ALWAYS makes me happy:)

Ten Things of Thankful

Guest Post – The Petite Mrs.

The Petite Mrs
I was paired up with Nora from The Petite Mrs….this was her guest post on my blog.
20150902_115418 IMG_20150723_204937

This week I have Nora Spaulding from The Petite Mrs. guest posting on my blog.

What  does your blog focus on??                                                                                  My blog focuses on lifestyle and the day to day basis of our lives. I blog about all sorts of things really, recipes, DIYs, pets, linkups or about me posts and some personal stories too that I think will help others.

What motivates you??
I think the thing that motivates me is getting done. Because I do enjoy writing, a lot actually… but I’m a notorious half-way kinda person. I love to start but have trouble focusing or forgetting to finish posts, projects or errands. I am working on that by being much more diligent and blogging daily in September and truly carving out daily time for it.
What is your favorite way to handle stress??
I love to listen to music to mellow out. I enjoy a good hot shower or bath soak with bubbles. I crave anything sweet and sour, I’m a candy-oholic. Being with my husband and friends is always a lot of fun and so is just meditating and focusing on my breath.
What is your favorite go to healthy food/snack/meal??
Veggies! I love munching on them. I will often pickup a veggie platter and eat the whole thing over a day or two. Or salads loaded up with everything I like (trying not to overdo the dressings). I also like Panera and Sweet Tomatoes salad bar, if I go out as a semi-healthier option, I never feel sick or too full from there.
What is something that readers may not know about you, but you want them to know it??
I started blogging because I got married and I didn’t have a hobby, nothing at all. I’ve only been blogging for 5 years and I’m just now focusing on making my space the best it can be for you and I both. But I continue to blog and share more personal things because I know I can help someone else in a bunch of stressful and traumatic situations through my life- I just want to share and I love when people relate to me.
What is one crazy, fun fact you know??
Officials in Portland, Ore., drained 8 million gallons of water from a reservoir in 2011 because a buzzed 21-year-old peed in it.- I know this because I live here and heard about it on the news…