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Where to find affordable custom Jewelry!



I’ve been a loyal Etsy shopper for many years, in fact, it is one of the first places I go when looking for a custom piece. I love the idea of Etsy, I like to think of it as going to a craft show in my PJ’s. I get to support families and small businesses without leaving the comfort of my own home. 

About a month ago I ordered my first custom piece from the Etsy Shop #CajunKeepsakes and OH.M.GOODNESS! Kelli is amazing! Not only are her pieces beautifully done, but she is so assessable on Instagram that you can work with her so effortlessly to get anything you want hand stamped onto the piece of your choice. 

Cajun Keepsakes opened in April of 2016 and has made over 1200 sales on Etsy! She is a hard-working wife and mom. She opened her shop to create beautiful pieces specifically for moms to keep a little piece of their babies close to their heart, and in turn make some money to provide for her son. 

As a mom of the three most incredible girls in the world, I so appreciate the inspiration and motivation of her shop. 

I am so excited to be working with Kelli for the next three months to share all the unique and affordable pieces she has to offer. Her pieces are all so affordable, with pieces ranging from as little as $3.00 – $15.00! In addition to her amazingly affordable prices, she has given the readers of StorybookErin.com a discount code to use! 


The code expires 4/26/18 and is good for 10% off the purchase of 5.00 or more. 

Code: STORYBOOKERIN



A post shared by Erin ✨ (@storybookerin) on

This particular piece is part of her Valentines Day Collection and is currently sold out, but she does have some other great costume key chains and necklaces! Be sure to order by Feb. 1st!

My outfit for the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon

Happy Walt Disney World Wednesday!

We are just a few days away from the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon, those who are running the 5K, or Dopey Challenge are already en-route to the Happiest Place on Earth, but some of us won’t be heading towards Orlando until later in the week.

I’m not going to lie, my Instagram feed is full of amazing pictures of people soaking in the fun at the parks before the craziness of RunDisney weekend sets in, and I’m slightly jealous. So, to combat my fear of missing out I’m going to share my costume for the Marathon!

Originally, I was going to be someone very Shiney… 😉

I even bought a shell to spray paint for my Moana Crab (Tamatoa) costume. However, as the race approached I didn’t feel like I’d do the costume justice and genuinely felt like the shell would annoy me. So, I ditched that idea and started over. 
Training with three kids, ages 3 and under proved to be much harder than I thought it’d be. Throw in an exclusively breastfed infant who refused a bottle for most of her life, and you’ve got my reality.

Training for this race was harder than I anticipated, 
but I got it done! 
Around the time I was trying to find a new costume inspiration, my daughters had been requesting to watch Peter Pan on repeat, and I’m glad they did. 
For the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon, 
my costume is inspired by the Movie Peter Pan! 

If I have time, I plan to add a red feather to my visor, and white pom poms to my shoes.  We will see if I can make it out to a craft store for the supplies.
Costume Details! 
  • Shirt: Raw Threads, get yours here.
    • sign up for their newsletter, they always have amazing sales! 
  • Shorts: Under Armour Compression Shorts
    • These shorts are my favorite! They even work well during pregnancy. 

  • Skirt: Sparkle Athletic
    • sign up for their newsletter, they also have amazing sales! 
  • Timer: Gymboss
    • I plan to do 30/30 Run Walk Intervals for the Marathon, I felt it gives me a nice and comfortable pace. One that I can maintain for all 26.2 miles!  
  • Watch: Garmin Forerunner 220
    • Love this watch, it’s super simple to use and has very limited bells and whistles. It’s an older model watch, but it’s perfect for what I need. 
  • Costume Inspiration, Peter Pan! 
Who is your favorite Character in Neverland? 
Pin for later… 


9 Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Today my husband and I celebrate 9 years of marriage. Nine years of being married to the best friend I’ve ever had, nine years of struggles, triumphs, and lessons learned.

When we said “I Do” on that Warm December afternoon, after being together for 8 or so years, we thought we were pretty ready to face the adventure of Marriage and to be honest, we had some amazing adventures, but we also had some struggles and disappointments. So for my post today, I wanted to share 9 things that have helped our marriage thrive. – These are in no particular order, may they be an encouragement to you.

Laugh Often
There are so many struggles in the beginning of a marriage, for example, I didn’t know until I was married that there was a “correct way” to make a sandwich, and I had been doing is WRONG for my whole life!  In the moment, it was upsetting that this man I married would dare to be unhappy with something so silly as a sandwich, but 9 years later we still giggle about the silly diagram he drew me to help me pack his lunch.

A day without laughter is a day wasted

Charlie Chaplin

Love your Human

I think sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in the romance of marriage, and being in love. We watch cheesy romantic comedies, that portray perfect love, and grand gestures of love, and begin to picture in our minds how romantic life will be. Truth is, we are human and humans are not perfect. Sometimes your spouse will let you down, sometimes that will sweep you off your feet. Love your spouse during times when you maybe feel disappointed, like when he doesn’t give you a card or any type of acknowledgment on Valentines Day, and when he books a surprise day of pampering at the spa.

Love your spouse and all their imperfections, you yourself aren’t perfect either you know. 😉

*points finger at herself* 


Protect Each other

This one is a big one, it is crucial that you guard one another’s hearts and emotions. My husband is very good at keeping his frustrations with my faults between the two of us, he protects my feelings and encourages me to grow.

Listen

Listen to your spouse as they tell you about their day.
Listen to your spouse tell you about (fill in the blank)

Put down your phone
When we got married, Smart Phones were not in the hands of every middle schooler and above. In fact, I’m pretty sure I had a Sprint Flip phone with no texting.  Now that everyone has instant access to all forms of social media, and our friends it is easy to get distracted and miss out on the NOW. My husband and I recently took a trip to Disney for my birthday and as I went back to my phone to look at the pictures I realized I hardly took any.  Then I thought about all the conversations, and memories we made just connecting with one another, and I felt so content.

Give it a try, disconnect from your phone and just be together once in a while!

Photopass! 
Thanks, Photopass!

Eat together 
No matter what, my husband and I always eat together.  – We find this to be a special time of the day, and one to connect with our children as well. To further the case for eating together, I was just reading a Canadian Study that looks at the long-term effects of families eating together starting in Early Childhood. In our family, we have always put the girls at the table with us when we eat, even before they ate solid food. – Read the study here. 

Travel Together
Have you ever watched couples on the Amazing Race? Isn’t it crazy how much they seem to bicker and argue?  Truth is, you can learn SO much about a person by traveling with them. For example, I am a planner, I LOVE to plan everything out, research menus, check the weather, make an agenda. My husband,… not so much.  Travel together, make memories!

We travel not to escape life, 
but for life not to escape us
anonymous

Cherish your Marriage
Cherish: to care for deeply, to treasure
Let’s be honest, a healthy and thriving marriage is a lot of work. However, if it is something you truly treasure and love it doesn’t feel hard at all. 


Chase the SAME goal
It is so important to be chasing after the same goals and supporting one another. A couple years ago I decided to pursue my Master’s Degree while working full time, figuring out life as a WIFE, and supporting my husband, who was always pursuing his Master’s degree.
It was a mess. – I was doing fine in school, but I was so stressed out.
After many heart-to-heart conversations about our hopes and dreams and goals for the future, I realized that my Master’s in Reading Education would be fun to study, but it wouldn’t get us closer to our dreams.

Here we are, years later living one of the goals we discussed during that time, and it is AWESOME!

So, Happy Anniversary Chris! Here’s to many more memories and lessons learned together!

Sharing is caring, if you found this encouraging would you pass it along? 

Plan with Me: Erin Condren vs. …

From as long as I can remember I have looked forward to getting a NEW Planner in June, and filling it up with plans, class schedules, due dates, reminders, check lists and all sorts of nerdy things. I kind of felt alone in my love of planning until I ran across some “Plan with Me” videos on Youtube and found that there are whole online communities dedicated to PLANNING!

These are MY kind of people…

It didn’t take me long to find the Erin Condren Life Planner and fall literally in love with the versatility of this planner.  After a solid year of using my Life Planner, I have a big decision to make.

Do I order the new one? 
Do I keep using this one for the remaining months of 2018?
Do I ditch EC all together and try something new?

What’s a girl to do?

Things I LOVE about EC Life Planners

  • Customer Service
    • The Customer Service is amazing, if you have a question or an issue you can contact them on ANY social Media platform or by calling and they will respond. 
  • The General Line of Products
    • EC has so many adorable products, all customizable and I’m obsessed! 

  • The Layout of the Planner
    • I love how you can decide on Hourly, Vertical or Horizontal to fit your needs. 
  • The Personalization
    • I LOVE seeing my initials on my planner, it’s just so adorable! 
  • Coupons and Discounts
    • EC has a great referral program, where the person who uses your link gets 10.00 and YOU get 10.00 off too.
Things I don’t LOVE about EC Life Planners
  • The Price. 
    • At over 50.00 per planner, it’s so hard for my to justify the purchase every year. There are great referral programs, but it’s hard to justify for me right now. 
If I don’t order an EC Life Planner, which will I purchase? 

One of my favorite planners was this Pocket Planner from Orange Circle Studios.

   
Things I like about this Planner
  • Small size, perfect for the diaper bag, purse or backpack
  • Economical – At less than 15.00 you can have an adorable planner without breaking a budget
  • Bright Colors and Quotes – Similar to the Erin Condren, it is filled with bright colors and quotes. 
  • The Layout – This planner has a full month view to jot down big plans or appointments, and also has weekly spreads
  • Extra’s – In the back you will find notes pages and pre-made lists such as “books to read” “movies to see” “vacations to take” 
Another Planner I love and have used in the past is the Lily Pulitzer Planner
This planner also has lots of fun prints, quotes and even includes Stickers it’s a great choice for the student or mom who loves to have a paper planner.  
The Final Planner I’ve been looking into and thinking about purchasing for 2018 is The Happy Planner
I’ve seen this planner all over Youtube and Instagram lately and seems to be very close to by beloved Erin Condren Life Planner. It seems to have plenty of space for me to write my daily to do lists, blog ideas, meal plans and other mom life items. 
What about you? Do you still use a paper planner to keep it all together? 
What planner would you purchase? 

*This post contains affiliate links*

Zoo Miami, Florida: Mission Everglades

Raise your hand if you LOVE the Zoo? 
Our family LOVES the Zoo and has been members of the Zoo Miami off and on since the year 2009, and now we are sharing our love for the Zoo with our three children.

At the Grand Opening! 

In late 2016, Zoo Miami opened their newest exhibit Florida: Mission Everglades and it is stunning! This exhibit brings families as close as you can safely get to the animals and creates some of the most exciting experiences. Where else can you slide through an Otters tank, crawl under a crocodile and feel like you are inside a bear cave all in one exhibit? 

Inside the Everglades Exhibit, there are a few must-do activities:
  • Slide down the otter slide!
The Otters are so playful and fun, we’ve spent a lot of time going down the slide and playing with the otters. Sometimes they will even follow you back and forth along the glass so be sure to spend some time interacting with the Otters. 
  • Crawl through the Crocodile Tank
  • This is is SO much fun, we’ve gotten up close with the crocodile a few times with this activity! 

  • Go see the Bears 
Go visit the Bears and crawl inside their habitat! Parents, don’t be afraid to crawl inside the little cave with your children, the roof slants up and adults can stand all the way up in the back corner and be with their children as the hunt for bears. 
  • Walk Across an Aligator Tank on a Rope
  • Ride an Airboat! 
    • For $5.00 per person, guests can ride an airboat through the exhibit. 
  • Play on the playground! 
There are so many things to do in the Everglades Exhibit, you will want to budget a lot of time into exploring this Exhibit.  
_ _ _

In February 20017, Zoo Miami hosted a Grand Opening for the Florida: Mission Everglades exhibit and our family had the best time! At the event, we had a chance to meet the newest member of the Zoo Squad, Ellie the Crocodile.  We vlogged the experience, so be sure to check our Youtube Channel to see the event. 

Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot – Race Recap, Family of 5!

Last Thursday our family did as many did, we woke up extra early, ran a local 5k, watched the parade, stuffed our faces with delicious food and chatted about the Gilmore Girls over a slice of pie.

It was a beautiful day, one I will always remember.

My husband and I ran our 5th Turkey Trot together, and our first as a Family of FIVE! Weren’t we a sight to see. I with my #teamsparkle tutu and matching visor pushing a regular (non-running) stroller with our 2-month-old daughter tucked in, sleeping peacefully. Him in his running gear pushing a bulky double jogger, filled with two girls who would simply rather be anywhere but IN the stroller.

We start the race with a light jog to keep with the flow of runners, and just as we got a stride, it rains!

In a state of panic, I run to the side and throw my body across the stroller and shout to my husband to pass me the nursing cover so I could cover our precious baby and protect her from the cold rain.

Of course, the rain stopped as soon as we got back to running.

Did I mention the two toddlers begging to walk? Well, the stroller protest was just starting to get wild as we turned into a major road.

Back in the park, we pull to the side once again to let the girls walk with us.

 “You’ve got a long way to go” I hear someone shout to their friends who were walking nearby.

My sweet baby girl (19 months old) did a run/walk for about 3/4 of a mile. I was so proud of her, she was so proud of her.

As she ran, anyone who was actually behind us cruised right on by, leaving us and a few other families behind.

I offered to cut a corner in the race, horrified my husband said “no way!” So, on we went.

We convinced her to take a ride in the stroller for the rest of the course. Weren’t we something… Jogging through the parking lot section of the course, dodging cars filled with families ready to leave and enjoy some Turkey.

We thanked the volunteers and enjoyed ourselves as we entered the final section of the course.

Then let the girls out once again to run across the finish line.

It took us 1 hour to complete the 5k and you know what, I wish it was longer!

Why? Because for the hour, our family of 5 was completely engaged in the same activity and my husband and I were showing our girls that being healthy and active can be fun!

It’s easy to get wrapped up in PR’s and goals to improve our running, I’m totally guilty of it. Let’s take it easy on ourselves during the next festive race, and celebrate the finish line NOT the finish time.

Until next time…



#miamifamous Monday – Week 1

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are roughly 9 weeks away from my first baby number 3 postpartum half marathon!!!

<excuse me while I have a tiny panic attack>

Last year we had SO much fun at the #miamifamous Marathon and Half Marathon, that we registered during the registration blitz! Little did we know, God had some BIG plans for our family and we welcomed Baby # 3 in late September.

I am quite excited to participate in the Miami Half Marathon again this year, last year I had an absolute blast, and it is my current PR for the Half Marathon! A year ago I was hoping that this would be my annual PR race, a race that I’d work to get better and better at each year. However, since we have a newborn and two toddlers at home, I think crossing the finish line in one piece is enough for me.

Each Monday, up until the Monday for the race, I will be chatting about training and fitness! I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

Fitness Recap

Goals for this week! 
  • Be active all 7 days 
  • Drink 60 oz of water a day 
  • Limit treats to only on Thanksgiving Day and the day after! 
What are your goals for the week? Link up with my good friend Mindy with The Weekly Chase to share! <3 

Professional Newborn Photos, Yes or No?

Yes. So much yes!

We’ve had the opportunity to work with Vinny from LXA with all three of our girls and the results are always priceless. 
Here are three reasons I believe newborn professional photos are a good idea.

1. Throwback Thursday. 
Because who doesn’t want to throw it back to when you were just a few days old? Your child will thank you for these awesome pictures some day- trust me!!
Not only that, but YOU will thank you for the photos. The first few weeks of motherhood are a blur, between 24 feedings and sleeping in stretches of 45 min to an hour you somehow lose track of just how small your precious baby is. 
2. Road Trip!  
Chances are the only place you are going these days is the pediatrician and maybe the grocery store. 
It’s a fun memory to get all dressed up, put together some meaningful trinkets and outfits to bring to your baby’s first photo shoot. 
A good photographer will make the whole experience fun, and it will be fun. 
3.  Instagram will eventually be a memory, Professional photos are forever! 
Anyone remember MySpace? Barely…right? Just as the season of MySpace came and ended social media will fade as well. Those cute photos you snapped on your phone and edited with an app will be lost or too small of quality to print out and display. Professional photos are high quality, edited to make your baby shine and can be printed clearly to display for years to come!

Question of the day: Did you, or do you plan on taking newborn photos?

Simple Spaghetti Bake


In the fall is 2013, I was anticipating the arrival of my first born daughter. I had NO idea what to expect, what to anticipate, how to prepare, nothing. Not.A.Clue. I had spent hours upon hours on pinterest trying to figure out how to prepare for life as a mom. One of the tips was to prepare meals for the freezer.

I think I got as far as a potential shopping list, and then got completely overwhelmed and didn’t make a single dish. In fact, I didn’t even have groceries in my house when I left for the hospital. Thankfully, my in laws lived down the street and were always stopping by with food. 
When baby number 2 arrived in the Spring of 2015 we were in the middle of a move to a new city, my husband was starting a new job, we were selling our condo, and life was a little chaotic. Needless to say, I did NOT have any meals prepared in advance.

So, here we are… Baby 3 will be here somewhere between now and mid October. I have two toddlers, running around, I’m potty training, and still overwhelmed by the thought of cooking a bunch of meals at once, or even shopping for supplies to make the food.

So, what’s a girl preparing for life with three kids under the age of three to do? Follow the advice of Tim Gunn, and Make it Work!

I decided that a whole day of filling my freezer with meals just wasn’t going to work, but what I could do was cook in bulk while I was cooking dinner for my family. So far I’ve put three meals into my freezer in preparation for Baby Jimenez # 3 to arrive.

My girls LOVE Spaghetti, it’s probably a good thing, because it’s ridiculously easy to make and all the ingredients are pretty much always on sale. I’m sure there are real chef’s who have mastered the perfect Spaghetti bake, but this is my version. It’s simple, and my family enjoys eating it.

Question of the day: How do you make your spaghetti?

FAST FOOD: Breakfast Ideas

As a Mom of two young toddlers and a newborn on the way, I’m often asked “how do you, how will you…”

To be honest, one moment at a time. It’s not easy, but it’s our life and it’s beautiful! 
So, for the busy human I thought I’d share one of my favorite breakfast ideas! 
This is something you can make for babies, toddlers, tweens, teens and adults! It’s simple and delicious! 

1. Cook Oats to taste 
2. Slice Apples
3. Add a spoonful of peanut butter 
4. Enjoy! 
With a baby you can easily skip the peanut butter and just mix in some apple sauce. 
I love the way peanut butter mixes in with oats, it gives it a cookie dough like consistency and makes you feel like you are eating a dessert! 
Enjoy! 
Question of the day: what’s your favorite breakfast?