Pacific Punched Me in the Face

Today I am going to share with you another Ashley moment.
You may have noticed that I have not posted in like a week.  Well, that is because my plans to post about my vacation to the beach were foiled when the Pacific Ocean punched me in the face. 

My friend Lauren and I were very excited for a long weekend spent in and around Newport Beach with friends.  So excited in fact, that after spending a few hours out at the bars, we wanted to say hello to the Pacific. Tip: you know how they say nothing good ever happens after 2AM?  The saying is especially true at the beach.

I took off my four-inch heels and pulled up my jeans ever so slightly. (I'm pretty happy that I took off my heels, because I had had a little a lot to drink.)  I ran excitedly towards the ocean, taking absolutely no note of how high the water would come.  I was taking it all in; the sand beneath my toes, the salty sea air, the water... the water coming in quickly and soaking me up to the knee, the lack of balance. "Stop running Ashley", I remember thinking (yes, I commonly talk to myself in the third person), but the brakes didn't turn on fast enough.  Then, before I knew what had happened, I had face-planted into the Pacific Ocean and like a stylish submarine, was completely submerged. My blazer will never be the same.   Oh and around my Coach wristlet that once dangled freely from my wrist, was now floating...containing my Iphone.

I sprung from the water unfazed and made my way back up to the beach soaked, covered in sand and smiling.  My friends were concerned, "Are you okay?" they asked.
"Yep, I'm fine" I chirped. 
"What about your phone?" the look of concern flooding their faces (much like the sea water was flooding the inner workings of my precious Iphone)
"It's right here... Oh crap. We need to put in rice."

Things get a little fuzzy from there (hey it was vacation), but the next morning, I found a bowl of rice on the counter.  I dug in and did a silent prayer that my phone would turn on.  I pressed the button with optimism.  Nothing.  I buried it in the rice again convinced my Iphone was merely in a phone coma and it would be revived after a little more time on rice-support. 

Sadly, neither my song (My Iphone just fell in the ocean.  My Iphone just fell in the sea.  My Iphone just fell in the ocean.  Rice bring back my Iphone to me.  Catchy huh?) or my continued optimism brought my Iphone back to life and by the end of the weekend, I had to take it off rice-support and face facts. 

The point of this story is that I couldn't take all the pictures I wanted to blog about.  So here is my trip in minimal pictures stolen from friends. 

Don't worry, I got a new Iphone and all is well in the world again.  I'm not holding a grudge against the Pacific Ocean that totally punched me in the face or the alcohol tolerance that is much lower than I remembered. 


It's Okay Thursday

It's link up day!  If you haven't already, check out Neely's blog, A Complete Waste of Makeup.  I am pretty sure we are suppose to be friends. 

It's okay to...
 watch Sex in the City marathons hoping to find guidance
always buy fabulous heels, but mostly wear the $3 flip flops from Old Navy
 be majorly obsessed with my new Iphone case and it's daily encouragement (it says Have Courage)

 cry when you see a fantastic dance performance.  Because I do... all the time
plan a vacation without actually planning anything.
enjoy your alone time... A lot
dance instead of walk
pretend you are in a movie transition scene when you are driving and a good song comes on
blog instead of therapy

What's okay with you?

Women That Inspire Wednesday

Yes, I know it is no longer Wednesday.  Things have been really busy the last few days, so I am a day late, but that doesn't make this weeks lovely lady any less inspiring.

Sara Blakely at age 41 has done something no one else has.  She is the youngest female self-made billionaire- yes I said billion. And how did she do it?  She got annoyed with with pantyhose- who hasn't?  Well Sara did something about it. 

Sara Blakely
"I think failure is nothing more than life's way of nudging you that you are off course. My attitude to failure is not attached to outcome, but in not trying. It is liberating. Most people attach failure to something not working out or how people perceive you. This way, it is about answering to yourself." - Sara Blakely
After graduating college from Florida State University (where she was a Tri Delta!!!) and scoring poorly on the LSAT's she got a job selling fax machines door to door.  She quickly became accustomed to the word no and doors slamming in her face.  That just fuelled her to become not only a successful saleswoman but a fighter. What she couldn't stand was the seemed-toe pantyhose she was forced to wear.  She tried to make adjustments by cutting the foot off of her stockings, but that just made them roll up.  She designed something to solve her own problem- Spanx.  You know, the savior to cellulite and muffin tops.  While she continued to work a full time job, she began pitching her product to hosiery manufacturers.  In time, someone took a chance on Sara and her footless pantyhose.

 But the fight wasn't over.  She designed her own packaging on a friends computer.  She bought a book from Barnes and Nobel and saved herself legal fees by trademarking and incorporating herself.   Sarah put her whole self (literally) into her product. She took pictures of her own butt in a pair of cream dress pants to show the difference between underwear and Spanx and used those pictures on all of the initial marketing materials.  She sold to Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus out of her apartment.  She pitched stories to the media and sent her product to media moguls and magazines.  Then Oprah's people called and said to get her website ready for lots of orders.  What website?  Sara then became her own IT department. 

She invested $5000 into her company and now 12 years later she is 100% owner of a billion dollar company.  She has no debt.

What inspires me about Sara is her tenacity, passion and drive.  Sara proves the American dream is real and not just for the already affluent.  With hard work anything is possible.  Today she still tests every product.  She is a part of every item she puts out.  She is constantly adding new products and expanding her hugely successful business.  She has never let failure define her.  If anything failure has only fuelled her fire.  Who knows what you can do if you never give up?


Nutella Croissants

On Sunday, before I began thinking about swimsuits, bikini's and the beach (oh my!), I felt like baking.  Sometimes, I love to take on a baking adventure and create some glorious treat from scratch.  I have made elaborate cupcakes, pies and every category of treat!  Well, on Sunday, I had spent my morning working at a 5K in 100 plus degrees, so I wasn't in the mood to start from scratch, I just wanted something delicious.  I stopped by the store and picked up two of my favorite treats- Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and Nutella.  It's a quick, cheap treat to make for dessert or a party.  Everyone will think they are delicious and you will feel like a baking rock star with very little work!

You will need:
Crescent rolls (get as many as you want to make.  I get one container so that I can't eat too many!)
A jar of Nutella (If this isn't a kitchen staple, it should be!)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 TBS of cinnamon
2 TBS melted Butter
an bakers paint brush

1. Unroll the crescent rolls and spread Nutella on each one.
2. Roll up your crescent rolls and try to close the ends as best you can.
3. Follow baking directions on canister.  When rolls are done, brush them with melted butter. 
4. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and dip each roll.

Enjoy!  (But not too quickly, the boyfriend burnt his mouth.  It didn't stop him from finishing it though!)


Swimsuit Shopping Will Only Ruin Your Day If You Let It

Today I had a great day.  I felt incredibly blessed.  I got a lot done at work.  I took a leap.  I looked ahead to the fun holiday weekend I have planned.  Not to brag, but my Monday was pretty awesome... up until I tried on a swimsuit.  (yep, this post is going there, the horrors of swimsuit shopping when you are less than fit.)

So far this year, I have successfully evaded swimsuit season.  "Oh no, I forgot my suit", "I don't want to get my hair wet", "I'm sorry, I have other plans", have all worked as legit excuses.  Until now.  This weekend I am headed to the beach. I'm so excited for my trip, except there's the whole issue of having to wear a bathing suit.

So I put on my big girl pants, (literally, my tush wouldn't fit in little girl pants) and headed to the store. I knew my current weight would require more fabric than a bikini, so I went straight for the tankinis and one pieces.  Figuring out my size was a bit of a challenge. (Here is what you should know, I am a tall girl that isn't in the best shape of her life, but carries her weight pretty well.  I have no delusions about my size or how much hard work it will take to get back to a comfortable size.  My build is athletic with a layer of lazy resting between the muscle and skin- yeah some people call that fat.)  The XL bottoms were a little too snug, but when I tried on bottoms from the plus size section they fell off.  Hmmm.  On the same token, tops made for plus size women assume large cup size- which I don't have.  All my fat goes to my tummy thighs and butt- not my breasties.   My size is apparently somewhere in the gap between regular women sizes and plus sizes... Awesome.
This is what the final selection looks like!

After three different stores, I bought a cute stripped black and white tankini from one store, black bottoms from another store and board shorts from another.  And of course a few accessories.  The experience taught me two things:
1. Bathing suit shopping is not fun unless you feel confident in your own skin.
2. I want to feel confident in my own skin.

The good news is we started another biggest loser competition at work.  I have to redeem myself for my loss in the last competition.What better way to kick start my trek to losing 80 pounds?  The goal is to never hate swimsuit shopping again.  Wish me luck!

On another note, I want to do something fun with my nails for my vacay. What do you think of these three options? Glitter? Ombre? Cast your votes.  Which do you like best?
A                                                                    B                                                                C

Even after the swim wear shopping experience I still feel like today was an excellent day!  I hope your Monday was just as good or better!

Quote Of The Week

Found this on Pinterest.  Obsessed.


Women Than Inspire- Part Six

When I came up with this little project, I had no idea how much fun it was going to be. More importantly, I had no idea how inspired I would be from it. Believe it or not, I kind of think my blog might have begun to found it’s stride this week . 

I have to admit, after reading all the fabulous posts by Jordan, Molly, Nikki, Maggie and Elisa, I was really nervous to start writing. What direction should I go? Well, I started think about some of the women that inspire me. I just couldn’t pick just one. I realized rather quickly that I am inspired by different women every day for different reasons. There is only one solution. I am going to have to make this a weekly feature. I’d love to feature other bloggers too, so don’t be shy if you want to share!

I learned a lot this week. Each post was so unique and so perfectly showed exactly why I asked each of them to contribute. Throughout the week, I was finding myself motivated by women. I mean let’s face it we’re awesome. Here are some of the incredible women that have inspired me this week.

Diane Keaton
"When I was younger I had these enormous vanities about what I expected from myself.
I'm glad to have a comfortable and fascinating life, but now I see it for what it is, so I can be braver and
more spontaneous and say to myself, Oh, screw it, just go out there and do it."- Diane Keaton
This week I watched Father of the Bride 1& 2 and Something’s Gotta Give. If I had had Because I Said So and The Family Stone within reach, I would have watched them too. What do all these movies have in common? You guessed it, Diane Keaton. Keaton has consistently chosen roles depicting free spirited women. These characters have all had to face struggles, but found the strength they needed, not just to get through something, but to find success and even themselves in the fight. I mean seriously, First Wives Club, Annie Hall and all the rest, are great movies about women and how we stay strong even amidst chaos.  She makes all these characters amazing with their subtle strength and perseverance.  Diane doesn’t just inspire me in her roles, but in her life as well. The woman dated Woody Allen and Warren Beatty, but never married. She said it never felt right. She adopted two children later in life and cherished being a mother. This week Diane inspired me by reminding me that I can live the life I want, not the one I am "supposed" to live and her characters inspired me to remember that every struggle will build character and strength.
Dara Torres
“I'd proven to the world that maturity, experience, dedication, and ingenuity can make up for a
little senescence. Muscle tightening is not the only thing that happens to our bodies over time.
We gain knowledge, focus, and understanding, and those things can help us win.”- Dara Torres

Maybe at first you didn't recognize this incredible woman. You have probably seen her more often in a swimsuit and a swimmers cap or loaded up with Olympic medals. With the Summer Olympics right around the corner, I have seen a couple of stories about this extreme athlete. I mean for one, this woman has competed in five, yes I said five, Olympic Games since 1984. If you are doing the math in your head right now, then you know that means she has been an Olympian since before I was born. She's won 12 medals, three of which were in Beijing in 2008, when she was 41 years old, the oldest swimmer ever to have a place on an Olympic team. SAY WHAT?! Oh yeah, and she won a gold medal at the US Nationals just 15 months after having a baby. Is she even human? Now she is attempting to qualify for her 6th Olympic games at 45. I hope she does. This week Dara inspired me to never give up no matter how many people tell you you're crazy and do what you love.

Sofia Grace and Rosie

Technically, my Sophia Grace and Rosie obsession started last week, but their impact is still with me. Okay, lets first talk about the serious set of balls Sophia Grace has. She's 8, rocking a tutu and belting out songs... on Ellen. Girlfriend is freaking fearless! She loves life and thinks everything is "Sooooo good". She is just a positive little bubble of talent. Then we have Rosie. She doesn't talk much, but little miss thang can wiggle. She knows what she does best and she owns it. P.S. if you can make a career out of being a "hype girl" at age 5, you are my dream realized! This week Sophia Grace and Rosie inspired me to love life and do what I'm good at without fear. Oh, and that I need to figure out a way to have British children so that they turn out this stinkin’ delicious.

Thanks for joining me this week. Be sure to check back on Wednesday when I official kick off my first week of Women That Inspire Wednesday!


Women That Inspire- Part Five

Well we have almost reached the end of my week of female inspiration. Don’t worry, tomorrow I will be posting about a women that inspires me… I better start writing huh?

Today Elisa has agreed to be my guest. Elisa writes Fulfilling A Ubiquitous Need, a blog about the life and times of a twenty-something. Elisa’s blog is fun and sometimes sassy and always honest. Read it and follow her!

Writing about someone who inspires you is a tougher assignment than it seems. I quickly accepted Ashley’s invitation to create a guest post, and then realized this would take some serious thought. “I just signed up for homework?!” To discover my woman of inspiration, I first considered all options: current friends, deceased relatives, talk show hosts, mothers, celebrities, previous teachers, reality show stars, and bloggers. A list of options began to form and I noticed a theme amongst these women; they all exude an I-am-so-comfortable-with-myself-this-is-just-who-I-am-and-don’t-care-what-you-think attitude. Seeing this theme come to light was satisfying and made sense to me; these are the kind of women whose behaviors I study and try to embody. I am inspired by them.

Within this list, one woman stood out who had other qualities I also admire…including her usually obnoxious bright lipstick…

Laurie Keller (aka Busy Phillips) from Cougar Town! I think of both Laurie and Busy as having very similar personalities, almost one in the same. This is probably because I follow Busy on twitter and she tweets things like, “Oh no. I accidentally got drunk last night and now I’m accidentally hung over. And my kid wants me to make pancakes from scratch. Ugh.” That’s a very Laurie/Busy comment.
You may be thinking, “Um, seriously? This was supposed to be a post about inspiration, not liquored up blondes.” But hear me out.

Risk taker.
"You know, Katy Perry wore 12 different outfits at the MTV Music Awards.
I'm gonna beat that tonight." - Laurie Keller
Laurie isn’t afraid of following trends or starting new ones, and she is over-dressed for every occasion. She has fun with her clothing and make-up and wears what works for her body type. Lately this has consisted of a lot of side ponytails, neon, and daytime hot pink lipstick. It is easy to see she is comfortable in what she has on, which creates an unmistakable air of confidence.

Good friend.
"Jules, slap out of it." - Laurie Keller
This girl is an active listening pro. She knows how to put her friends first, and give solid advice (although she usually doesn’t follow her own advice, but who does?). Laurie is a friend who can always be counted on even when it’s not convenient, and that is the kind of friend I try to be.

Dish it and take it.
"Okay, say something judgmental about me.
That always loosens you up." - Laurie Keller
Laurie doesn’t mind being made fun of, especially for being somewhat of an airhead. She embraces this quality about herself, creating a confidence that is difficult to take down. Do you feel so good about yourself others can poke fun once in awhile and get away with it? Yeah, I’m working on that one too.

Dream follower.
"I'm writing a screenplay. It's a cartoon about a plucky termite princess named Molly,
who gets kidnapped and sold into sex slavery. It's not a kids' movie." - Laurie Keller
Okay, we need to be a little realistic here…she started up a successful cake shop in a matter of a few days thanks to the magic of television. But, she left a comfortable job and went for it! I always try and remind myself, if you change nothing, nothing will change.
“Since you recently found out you're a dad, I baked you a congrats on your 
baby-that-you-had-with-a-drunk-that-picked-up-at-your-bar-before-you-started-dating-Jules cake!”
Laurie is accepting of all walks of life. Even though she may seem to be somewhat of a “dumb blonde” she is aware of others feelings, and likes to make everyone feel welcome. I always appreciate a person who can create a sense of hospitality no matter where they are.

See? I told you to hear me out. And in case you are thinking, “whelp, ABC dropped that show, so forget her for inspiration,” it was picked up by TBS. So you have at least two more seasons of Laurie-isms to keep you inspired, even if it just triggers a new lipstick purchase.

Check Out Elisa’s blog HERE!


Women That Inspire- Part Four

Today I am welcoming Maggie from A Few of My Favorite Things. Maggie is a sorority sister of mine. Maggie is very quick witted and spunky and she’s always up for an adventure! Check out what inspires her!

I spent spring break visiting my sister and her family in Nashville this year, and since I don't have a TV at home, I spent a lot of time absorbing as much reality TV as I could. Mob Wives? Caught up. Oh what's that History Channel? There's an American Pickers marathon on? I need that in my life. And most importantly I got super obsessed with The Voice. Can we take a minute to relish in Christina Aguilera's RIDICULOUS plastic, UFO shaped, sparkly headband that she wore for WEEKS? Oooh girl.

So when Ashley asked me to write about inspirational women, the first thing I thought of was Juliet Simms performance of It's a Man's World. For the record, Juliet Simms does not inspire me. She might even de-inspire me. All her talk of "Oh, it's so hard making it in rock-n-roll. It's full of boys." Blah blah blah. What about Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicks, Heart, Brody Dalle, Cyndi Lauper, Meg White, Amanda Palmer, and Siouxsie Sioux? Regardless of her de-inspiration, girl can sing.

Honestly, I've never really thought the world was "a man's world." Yes, women are making something like 60 cents for every dollar a man makes, but ladies are getting things done. I graduated in May 2008 with a degree in geology, which has always been a boys club. Notice anything about my fellow graduates?

It's not like there were 15 guys standing around that didn't want to be in the picture, that was it. 6 girls, 1 guy.

I've never been able to pin down an inspirational person, man or woman. Not because I'm not inspired, but more because I admire the qualities of lots of different people, for different reasons. So instead of writing about specific women who inspire me, here are some qualities and skills I've learned (and try to practice) from those women:

1) Ingenuity - there is nothing more useful than ingenuity. It means being able to get yourself out of sticky situations, whether that be a broken fan belt or a shortage of cake flour.

2) Knowing the difference between standing up for yourself and being a b---- - There's a fine line, and I think all women should learn where theirs is. You can be strong without being a hell in heels. (The opposite is true as well.)

Meryl Streep could be a role model, her character Miranda Priestly, maybe not so much

3)No whining - Sure you might be making 40 cents per dollar less than your male counterpart, but are you going to whine about it or do something about it? Whining won't get you anywhere.

4) Knowing when to ask for help - Yes, women can do anything they set their minds to. We can be astronauts and physicists and moms and president, but that doesn't mean we can't ask for help. Lord knows I can't open a jar to save my life. Asking for help doesn't make you weak, it makes you smart.

5) Classiness - Is that a word? Anyway. Classy women command respect without having to ask for it. They are polite and friendly without being fake. They know what to say and what NOT to say and speak accordingly. Everyone should strive to be a little classier.

Love Maggie? Follow her HERE!  Want to stay up to date with all the inspiration?  Follow me too!  Choose an option over on the right side of the screen!

It's Okay Thursday

I was doing a little web surfing today when I cam across A Complete Waste of Makeup.  It was instant Blog-love.  I decided to link up with Neely today for "It's okay" Thursday. 

It's okay to...
stand out
feel glamorous just because of the shade of lipstick you are wearing
be the star of your own concert by dancing and singing any time you are in the shower or car
have no idea what you want out of life yet
wear a watch with a dead battery just because you like the way it looks
tell someone they hurt your feelings
have a glass of wine (or a bottle) whenever you feel like it
not let your happiness be defined by the happiness of others
eat the same thing for 4 days in a row
reinvent yourself
take a risk even if it's a big one
to turn off the computer and the phone and ignore the world for a few hours
believe you will do something others don't think you can
be completely yourself
celebrate...anything and everything
follow this blog because you read it all the time anyway (wink wink!)

What's okay with you today?  Link up with Neely and Amber HERE


Women That Inspire- Part Three

Can you believe it is already day three of my little project?  I hope you all are enjoying reading who and what inspires people as much as I am!  I have been so excited all week as the posts have come in!  I almost feel like a little kid at Christmas as I dive into each post.

To keep the excitement going, I want to also invite anyone that wants to share their inspiration to comment below.  If you'd like to be my guest, and share your inspiration with Oh Wells Instead of What Ifs, email me! I am thinking of making this a weekly feature.  Send me a note at ashley.ohwellsinsteadofwhatifs{at}gmail.com!  Anyway, lets get started!

Today's Guest is Nikki.  While I haven't seen Nikki in some time, I do regularly stalk her on Facebook.  She is one strong, positive, passionate woman.  I just couldn't wait to see who she'd pick!  If you want to follow Nikki, you can find her at her blog Blissful Living.

A “Little” Inspiration

When Ashley first asked me to write a guest post I felt both honored and challenged. Of course there are many women I find inspiring – Mom, Grandma, Oprah, Emily Blunt, and the list can go on. I inevitably found myself stuck and racking my brain for the “perfect female” to feature. Although I am able write many beautiful things about the women previously mentioned, I wanted to write about someone who has inspired me on a less obvious level.
So, who exactly is this little inspiration? She’s a very powerful female. A four-year-old covered in smiles, cuts, and marker stains. She laughs a lot and rarely knows the difference between Monday and Thursday. Wish I could get away with that… but, I digress.

I have been Samantha’s nanny for two years, and she is hands-down the cutest little girl I’ve been able to share my days with. In fact, my most recent blog post touched on her ability to teach me a lesson in the midst an afternoon thunderstorm. I’ve undoubtedly been reminded that toddlers can teach adults some of life’s greatest lessons. For the sake of time and simplicity I want to share 5 things Sammy has taught me - which have more than inspired me. We’re human and definitely need a refresher every now and then!
  1. Laugh at yourself: At first glance this may seem pretty easy, but if you’re anything like 99% of the female population… you’re far too critical of yourself. As we age we are taught to become more responsible, professional, and possibly even more “serious”. It’s a natural progression, but also something that is certainly ingrained in us by society. Sammy laughs at her own jokes, giggles when she falls down, and even chuckles when I have something stuck in my teeth. Next time you make a mistake or feel embarrassed, I urge you to just embrace a deep belly-laugh. I promise it’s therapeutic!
  2. Don’t sweat the small stuff: Ever stress over something that is minuscule or out of your control? You have two X chromosomes – of course you do! Time and time again I find myself fretting over the silliest things… i.e. – slow drivers in the left lane and Sunday mall hours. Just last Thursday, Sammy and I had planned on going to the Denver Public Library. Much to our dismay, we found the window decal stickers reading “Thursday: CLOSED”. My mind immediately went to What the Hell Mode. “That has got to be the dumbest thing I’ve heard of… closed on a Thursday!?” Meanwhile, Sammy says aloud, “Oh well Nikki, there’s always tomorrow. Let’s go to the park!” Sometimes I wish I could have her by my side permanently. Kids have this innate ability (most of the time) to rebound from just about any experience. I encourage all of you ladies, and gentlemen, to take a chill pill and tell yourself “there’s always next time” when things don’t go as planned.
  3. Play: One word, numerous opportunities. Children don’t think about playing - they just do it. Often times as women, we feel it’s necessary to have a purpose behind everything we do. When’s the last time you really let loose and played around? And I don’t mean day drinking for Cinco de Mayo. You know, the kind of play that entails getting creative with chalk, tossing a Frisbee around, or one of Sammy’s favorites – hop-scotch! You’ll instantly feel young at heart and be proud of yourself for doing something out of the norm.
  4. When in doubt, SMILE: There’s no disagreeing with Elf here. I think smiling should be everyone’s favorite! It’s a positive gesture that not only has you happier within seconds, but it’s also contagious and can make a stranger’s day. As growing women we deal with a lot. Dreams to follow, bills to pay, hormones to tame, and a biological ticking clock (a.k.a. – Mom asking when she’s getting her grandchildren). It’s easy to let our racing thoughts take over, and suddenly, we’re wearing our not-so-happy emotions on our sleeves. I’ve been fortunate though. Samantha probably has me smiling 20 times a day. Just this morning we picked Fisher up from school - another little one I nanny for – and he was in absolute tears because he bonked his head pretty hard. Leave it to the wisest little girl I know… “Fish, give a smile on that face!” Now, although there are some grammatical errors in her statement, the meaning is all the same. Make a conscious effort to smile more often. It’s a gesture that every person – regardless of their age, race, or gender - can identify with.
  5. Enjoy the simple things: 7 For All Mankind, Gelish nails, $150 bottle of designer perfume, and/or a steak dinner at Elway’s. All great things. Kids; however, don’t need the best selling toys in order to have fun. I’ve watched Sammy enjoy the sprinkler for 30 minutes, play with a roly-poly like it’s her new best friend, and almost wet her pants from one of the most intense tickle sessions. All for free! This serves as a good reminder that some most of life’s treasured moments are raw and simple. No price tag attached.
Thank you for reading – have an inspirational day!
Lots of X’s and O’s,

Spring 2011 – Sammy laughing at herself for making a “cream cheese nose”.
Summer 2011 – Sammy and I playing in the backyard together.
Fall 2012 – Sammy loving every minute of “crunchy” leaves.

Don't forget to share who inspires you!  And check out Nikki's blog HERE!


Women That Inspire- Part Two

Today I am thrilled to have my friend Molly as my guest.  In addition to being one of the funniest women I know, she has also always been a support system when I really needed it.  Molly has recently started a blog (I’ve been waiting for this blog for years.) She has the best stories, seriously witty commentary and a blunt tell it like it is personality that I just adore.  Get to know Molly at A Certain *Je Ne Sais Quoi

By: Molly Fuzat
So I’m supposed to write about a fellow woman that inspires me. There are SO many options, how could I possibly choose just one?

I’m inspired by Reese Witherspoon’s bangs because they’re just gorgeous.
I’m inspired by Rachel Zoe’s ridiculous and amazing style, even though I secretly hate half of what she wears and wouldn’t dare attempt to try the other half.
I’m inspired by Diane von Furstenberg and her iconic wrap dress that launched an amazing career and can only hope I have my own “wrap dress” moment in this lifetime.
I’m inspired by Julia Roberts’ grace and beauty and all of her amazing roles throughout her career that she plays so well I can only assume she is made up of bits and pieces of them all.
And speaking of fictional characters, I’m inspired by Carrie Bradshaw’s perspective, insight and attitude.
I’m inspired by the women in Paris who can run around in Louboutins like they’re walking on a cloud and girls that have the willpower to say no to seconds and dessert. I’m inspired by girls who refuse to settle for anything less than the best and girls that chase after their dreams with reckless abandon. But who takes the prize pig?
Meet my sister, Annie. AKA Super Mom.
She’s a year younger than me and about a million times wiser (and that’s a conservative estimate). She is a wonderful mother of four little angels – Caden, Connor, Avery, and Lucien – and I mean it, they’re absolute angels because they are being raised by a saint.
She’s even the cutest little pregnant gal ever!
Raising four kids that are 3 months old to 6 years old is quite the task. It takes some crazy kind of mom to be able to live to tell the tale of raising all of these little rascals. But somehow she does it brilliantly with endless patience and love and so much grace and ease that sometimes it gets to be a little annoying. I mean come on sister, no one would blame you if you lose your shit for once.
Her days are a whirlwind. Driving Caden (the oldest) to school with the three other baby Rangels in tow. Dealing with lots and lots of diaper duty – three out of four are in diapers – and lots and lots of hungry babies. Keeping such a clean and organized home that you just hope to catch her OCD walking around the house (and man does she give me crap about hiring a cleaning lady because I of all people “don’t have enough time”). Making sure that each boy gets all the love and attention they deserve and never playing favorites. Somehow surviving Costco or the movies with all four kids by herself while her husband is at work. Frankly I think Costco is a pain in the ass no matter what and the thought of going there makes me cringe, so for her to take on that venture with four kids? Like I said…a saint. (But aren’t they so stinking cute?)
Oh yeah…and she is a baking wonder because she knows the kids love it!!!
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I can’t even imagine being in a place in my life right now where I am in charge of another person. I can barely manage being in charge of myself sometimes. Maybe that’s why I love being an aunt so much – because I don’t ever have to say “no” and be the bad guy, I still get all the hugs and kisses I want, and then the parents take over when there’s a meltdown (or dirty diaper – which I hate to brag, but I have only had to change three diapers out of six nephews which I think is a pretty impressive record). But my sister makes it look so easy to be a mom (don’t worry, I know it’s not) that I am eternally grateful that she’ll be on retainer for that day in the faraway future when little Mollys are running around. Yes, dear family, I will do everything I can to have girls to help balance out the army this family is breeding.
So cheers to you, Annie aka Super Mom. Thank you for teaching me the value and fulfillment that being a mother can bring, because one day I will be ready for that too. Thank you for having the cutest little babies and even though we are not biologically related (we’re both adopted) you have given me hope that I will have the cutest little Asian babies someday too! Thanks for showing me how to be more patient with the hidden message that I need to be more patient (I’m working on it). Thank you for being an amazing role model for these kids and giving them every ounce of love you have. You’re the second best mom I know – only second to our own mother, of course.
Thank you for being an incredible woman whose legacy will live on in her children and through all of us who have been lucky enough to know you. You truly inspire me (along with everyone that you leave awe struck and speechless because they’ve witnessed the miracle of four extremely well behaved children in public). I LOVE YOU!
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