Dogs and Pumpkin

Pet Halloween Costume Ideas

woman and dogs in costumeHalloween is just around the corner and time is limited to find the perfect costume for your dog! The sales have already begun and you need to decide what your pup will wear!

Every year, I try to pick a fun outfit that my dogs will actually wear. Since I’ve had Fiona the longest, she’s experienced many different wardrobe options. She has been a princess, a butterfly, and a unicorn (some years she refused to wear her costume).

For Smokey’s first Halloween last year, he was a Cholo! He even entered a costume contest with my husband at Downtown Summerlin!

Pet Halloween Costume

The choices are endless. Here are some pet Halloween costume options for your pup to wear!

 SuperheroesYou can’t go wrong with a superhero costume for your pup. Whether you’re into DC Comics or Marvel, there are endless pet Halloween costumes to fit your taste. Make it a family affair and dress the whole crew in matching outfits!

Movies

Pet Halloween CostumeNow, I may be a little biased as a huge Star Wars fan, but these pet Halloween costumes are adorable! Dress you pup as your favorite character – Han, Yoda, Darth Vader, Chewy – and be the hit of any party. This is another theme I think would work perfect as group costume.

Seasonal

It’s pumpkin season and we know what that means, Pumpkin Spice Lattes! Why not bring your pup in on the fun with a silly coffee inspired pet costume. You could go as the whole PSL crew if you really wanted to go big.

 Just Plain Funny
Pet Halloween CostumeGiddy-up to your nearest Halloween store and find the perfect conversation starter costume. Traditional pet costumes are always fun, but these out of the box ideas will really get you the trophy in a pet costume contest.

So what are you dressing your pet as?

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Las Vegas Strip

Vegas Stronger One Year Later

A year ago today I woke up to the most devastating event I’ve experienced in Las Vegas. October 1, 2017 58 people lost their lives due to an active shooter at the Route 91 concert.

My husband woke me up earlier than usual to share this awful news. We immediately began scrolling through Facebook and sending out texts. So many of our friends had been at the concert. Thankfully, all of them made it out alive.

But for the 58 people who didn’t make it home that night, we prayed for their mourning families. Today, we’re Vegas Stronger. It’s events like these that make it even more important to hold tight to God.

The song “faith hope love repeat” really resonated with me this morning as I have been reflecting on this anniversary. The lyrics say “I brought you into this world and I know it’s a little bit crazy.”

How scary is it to think that me or my family could easily have been one of those victims. But like the song continues “we need faith, hope, love” to make it through.

Even in the darkest of times, God is there. He has never once abandoned us and never will. He made the ultimate sacrifice in the hopes that one day we might say yes to him.Vegas Stronger

Even if you didn’t lose anyone or attend that concert, you can still feel the pain such an event caused to our city. I encourage you to show some extra compassion and love today to your coworkers, friends, family and strangers. You never know how someone is hurting and how just a simple smile can help them see God.

breastfeeding essentials checklist

Best Products for Nursing Moms

Being a new mom is difficult and overwhelming. Add on learning how to breastfeed and your plate is full! It’s been five months now since I’ve been nursing and it took a while to get a hang. Once I got over the never-ending stress of guessing how much my baby was drinking, I was fine.

In the midst of getting the hang of the mom life, I had a few lifesaving products to help me make it through. Here are a list of breastfeeding accesories and nursing essentials for new moms.

Milk Storage BagsBest Products for Nursing Moms As part of the breastfeeding experience, many moms are also introduced to pumping. When you are away from the baby and don’t want to use formula, pumping is a must. I asked for a few hundred bags on my registry originally and would have added more if I knew how much I would use these. At first, it was only a bag a day. Now that I’m back to work, I’m using 3-4 bags a day, everyday. These awesome bags safely store your precious liquid gold and are freezer safe. This is one item I also make sure is stocked in my house and pumping bag.

Nursing Pads best nursing products for new momsThese are seriously a life saver. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had leak accidents because I forgot to put these on. Any brand will do, but make sure you stock up. The worse thing you can do is run out and have to go into the office without support. If you’re like me, you’ll surely need a few shirt changes.

Hands-free Pumping Bra

I really don’t know what I would do without this. My sister originally recommended this to me and boy am I glad. I can’t imagine having to hold the pumps during each session! It’s great to have my hands free to just relax or soothe the baby who almost always cries right when I begin pumping.

Pumping Cleaning Wipes

best nursing products for new momsIf you’re pumping near a sink, these may not be in your pumping bag or station. If you’re pumping on the go, these disposable wipes help to keep your pump clean and ready for the next session. I keep these in my bag for work because I don’t always have access to a bathroom. It also wasn’t something I thought about when I created my registry. My sister gave me a pack and I love them!

Nursing Bra and Cami

Regular bras don’t always work for breastfeeding moms. A nursing bra is a must for me when I’m anywhere near my baby. Trying to fumble around with a traditional wired bra is just annoying. Nursing bras have a simple snap on either cup that allows you full access to feed your baby. Nursing camis work the same way, except they don’t have a wire. I highly recommend some camis for bedtime.

Boppy

best nursing products for new momsI can’t say enough about my Boppy pillow. As my son gets bigger and bigger, he also gets heavier. This little pillow is perfect for propping him up during feedings and taking the weight off my arms. I also used it and a smaller version for tummy time. Now, it even helps him sit up when he needs a little back support.

What items would you deem as the best products for nursing moms?

As part of the Target Affiliate Program, I earn from qualifying purchases.

‘Naaaamaste’ at Goat Yoga Las Vegas

IMG_8657Have you tried the newest craze in fitness? Goat Yoga. Yup, you heard me right. These four-legged furries are taking over the yoga scene with Goat Yoga Las Vegas. And let me tell you, this isn’t your average yoga class.

I signed up for a sunset yoga class and headed to Western Trail Park. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was pretty excited to see a pen full of baby goats when I arrived. I walked into the main enclosure and set my mat up facing the outside of the fence. Note: don’t bring anything into the class you don’t want the goats to mess with.

goat yoga instructor with goats

Holly and her goats

Holly was our instructor and directed us on exactly how the class would run. She had prepared a simple, beginner series and filled it full of goat selfie opportunities. You’ve probably seen the Instagram pictures of people holding fabulous poses with goats on top of them. I planned on getting exactly that. So, I was ridiculously excited to say the least.

We began our series with some down dogs and folded forward stretches and moved to our first photo-op. We took all fours and worked in a few cat cows before holding the pose and inviting the goats to join in a photo. Holly’s assist was well prepared with food to lure the goats into our pictures.

And let me just say, these little goats are very food motivated. At one point, I had more than one goat trying to climb on me at a time! But, I still got some awesome photos.

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We even joined shoulder to shoulder and made a goat train. Holly and her assistance sprinkled treats along our backs and the goats started running!

goat on girls back - Goat Yoga

We then headed back to our mats to continue some sun salutations and get a least a little bit of a workout in. Then, photo-op number two was being created. Depending on our comfort level, we could either hold a wheelbarrow and bridge pose and have a goat stand on our stomach. I was a little nervous about several baby goats jumping on my stomach, but I went for the wheelbarrow anyways.

woman doing wheelbarrow yoga pose with goats

It was actually calmer than I thought. The goats were getting a little lazy and didn’t want to jump up that far. Instead, Holly’s assistant placed a little goat on my stomach and she waited for her photo. Once she was up there, some of her goat friends did decide to swarm underneath me though.

woman bottle feeding goats - Goat YogaAt the end of class, we were all invited to line up and feed the baby goats their bottles. At this point, I have plenty of experience bottle feeding but these goats were 100 times hungrier than my son has ever been. They were going crazy for their bottles!

Despite only doing beginner moves, I was pretty sore the next day. It was probably from trying to hold still while goats jumped all over me!

Goat Yoga Las Vegas has been around for two years and has been making their way around the city. They have recently added Tivoli Village to their stop and are now booking private events. All of the goats are well taken care of and live at Jeffry’s Farm and Petting Zoo 2 U. Classes are $30 a person and can be booked here.

Shine God’s Light in the Darkness

Shine God's Light.png“But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” –  John 3:21

I’ve recently started a bible study to learn how shine god’s light in the darkness and attended a very inspiring sermon referencing scriptures about being a light. In the sermon, the pastor gave very basic examples of the darkness God is talking about in the scriptures. Although it can mean very scary and serious crimes, it also refers to those things we don’t think are sin.

Here’s the example he gave. He went to a party with very wealthy and beautiful people celebrating their success. Throughout the entire night, the guests were constantly boasting about how lucky they were. They bragged about their hard work and accomplishments – basically thanking themselves for their fruitful lives. When it came time to eat, all of the guests ate and drank merrily and applauded the host for the great meal.

As the pastor mingled with the guests, he couldn’t help but feel like something was off. Not one time did the guests truly reflect on who made their lives so enjoyable. It wasn’t by their own strength and grit. It was by God’s loving nature that he chose to bless them.

Can you relate to the guests in this story?

It’s easy to get distracted by own lives and forget to give the glory to God. As it says in the Bible “Every good and perfect thing comes from above.” When we choose not to give God the glory he deserves, we are cheating him and choosing the darkness. And he didn’t send his son to the cross for us to live for ourselves.

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” Ephesians 5:8-14

This scripture encourages us to expose those deeds done in the darkness and bring them into God’s light. As a follower of Christ, we are expected to be transparent. Jesus hid nothing from his followers and remained sinless when he was tested far beyond what we could ever experience.

Living by the light is easier said than done sometimes. Our sinful nature encourages us to fulfill our fleshly desires instead of doing God’s will. I speak for myself first and foremost and some days, I just want everything to be about me. These are the moments when God calls me higher to live for him and not myself.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”- 1 Peter 2:9

Get Your DIY on at Corks ‘N Crafts

There’s a new DIY player in town, Corks ‘N Crafts! Brand new to Downtown Summerlin, Corks ‘N Crafts specializes in helping your Pinterest dreams come true. And promises, no Pinterest fails on their watch.

DIY Corks and Crafts Shade tree fundraiser event
I attended Corks N Crafts for a fundraiser for Shade Tree Las Vegas. Dozens of men and woman showed up for the event and filled the long wooden tables through the room. From corner to corner, different craft inspirations hung on the wall. In the front of the room, was the coveted bar stocked with popular drinks and wines.

When we first walked in, we were given instructions to find a table, grab an apron and choose a stencil. The craft for the night was a wooden sign. My mom and two other friends joined me for this ladies night out.

We headed over to the art wall and sorted through the piles of stencils. They included kitchen quotes, beer and wine quotes, Vegas Golden Knights logos, inspiration quotes, family quotes and general sports designs. Inspired by the Kendrick Lamar song “Humble, I chose “Work Hard, Stay Humble” for my wood.

Once we grabbed our stencils and headed to our seats, the class began. We started the process with smoothing out the wooden block with a bit of sandpaper. Inside the filled room, wood dust began to rise like smoke in the air. We were preparing the wood to be stained.

POPPED LAS VEGASIn an effort to get out some stress from the week and round out the wooden corners, we were all given hammers to slug our wood with. Sound erupted as everyone pounded out their week’s worth of frustration.

Next, we chose our stains. There were a variety of colors to choose from including: neutrals, pastels and neons. Most of us chose a few colors to intermix into our design – mine were barn red and dark brown. Once back at the table, we got to work rubbing on the stain with a thick cloth. Then, it was time to dry.

A food menu sat on our tables and a server made her way around the room collecting these and filling drink orders. This drying time was one of our first breaks to enjoy some conversation and snacks. I tried some gourmet popped corn from Popped.

After the stain dried, we slowly applied our stencils and chose colors to paint it. For mine, I chose a warm red and chestnut-brown to mix together. I actually ended up adding a pastel purple to make some of the words stand out.

DIY Corks and Crafts Las Vegas art

I loved my experience, and the opportunity to donate to a local cause. I will be coming back very soon.

Corks ‘N Crafts is open daily and offers a variety of classes and events. You can book private events, do drop-ins and host a fundraiser for your nonprofit or company.

Head to their website to checkout what craft they are doing next.

Discipleship One Day at Time

pslam 63Perfection in not in my vocabulary. Persistence, prayer and God’s timing are. Being a disciple doesn’t mean my life became simpler. Many times, I feel like I deal with a lot more complicated things now than I ever did before. Following Christ means my future in heaven is guaranteed because He died for me.

We recently started this study series at church about the real meaning of repentance. What many of us think repentance means (including myself) is falling to our knees begging for forgiveness or using our own strength to make a complete change. Neither of those are correct. Repentance is about joy. It’s about a mind change (AKA Metanoia) that helps reveal what God has been trying to tell us all along.

The other piece to this is that repentance doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t go to bed hating the world and wake up the next day throwing up sunshine and rainbows. This is where discipleship comes into full effect. God doesn’t expect us to do everything correct. He knows we will mess up A LOT. That’s why His son went to the cross. He forgives our sins before we even know where going to make them. But He does expect us to give our best effort (AKA first fruits – Proverbs 3:9).

When I look at my own journey, I couldn’t even imagine that this is what my life would look like. The day I got baptized, everything seemed perfect. No one could bring me down and I was ready to take on the world. And when reality set in that this life I chose would have rough patches, I learned to take this journey one day at a time.

Sure. I work hard to do what God calls me to do. Do I mess up? All the time. I can’t rely on my own strength. And when I do, I fail. But God never gives up on me. Just like He did to the Israelites in Nehemiah, He lets me make mistakes, but always responds when I cry out for Him. This doesn’t give me an excuse to keep sinning (Romans 6); it gives me motivation to repent from that way of thinking that got me in the jam in the first place.

That’s what discipleship is. It’s trying your best to love and obey God and let him mold you into the image of son. Jesus is the standard. He was the only human ever to walk this earth and never sin. I know I will never be perfect like him, but I will choose to follow his footsteps everyday. And God has blessed my life so abundantly that there are not enough words in the dictionary to describe how grateful I am. I literally owe EVERYTHING to God.

If you already know God, Amen. I pray that your disciple journey is filled with joy and blessings. If you don’t know God yet, Amen. I was in your shoes before. I pray that one day you will get to experience this splendid life and also make the decision to stop living for yourself and live for Christ. I made that choice almost four years ago and I’ve never looked back.

Classic car at Water Street Car Show 2018

Engines Roared at Water Street Car Show

I arrived at Water Street and couldn’t believe my eyes. Old school and tricked out cars lined the road in downtown Henderson. Much like Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, Water Street is the spot for tourists and locals.

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From side-walk to side-walk, people “oood” and “ahhhd” over the spectacular cars. Since this was my first car show, I was also stunned by the work put into these vehicles.

Water Street Car Show

Everyone brought out their best to take home a prize. Here were the categories:

  • Best In show 1st 2nd 3rdwater street car show

  • Top 25 ( categories TBA)

  • Mayor’s pick

  • Best special use

  • crowd’s favorite

  • best vintage trailer

  • best original

  • best truck

  • best American car

  • best import

  • best rat rod

The show also hosted its first annual Pin-Up contest host by Water Street Pinup and my friend LindyLou was the first place winner!

Water Street Car Show

In addition to the contests, there was a kid zone and multiple local vendors to grab a bite or drink at. We gave Las Vegas Snow a try and their Bahama Mama was amazing!

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Water Street Car Show host their event annually so make it a point to head to downtown Henderson next year.

Turning into a NARSissist for Beauty

“Beauty Obsessed. Rule Breaker. Image Maker.” NARS cosmetics has me hooked from their taglines. I experienced my first makeup and shop tour last week during an Vegas Lifestyle Influencers beauty event at NARS in the Forum Shops. You might have seen my trip on my story – Wonderful World of Bree.

Beauty

The store is small but mighty. Barely the size of a bedroom, this little shop is covered wall to wall with goodies: eyeshadows, liners, mascara, lipsticks, etc. There was even multiple pop up spots for demonstrations.

NARSissist

I’ve had eyebrow envy forever and just can’t seem to get the fuller brow look down. So, as soon as I entered, I grabbed a makeup artist and started learning new tricks. Junior was my designer and he showed me a simple and quick way to get a strong brow without over doing it. Less than ten minutes later, I was looking fierce. Of course, I also had to add the NARS brow perfecter to my shopping bag.

Beauty

As I roamed around the room snacking on specialty cake pops and grooving to DJ Miss Joy, I walked right into an “On the Go” demonstration using the Climax mascara (also now in my makeup bag).

Bomb Hair Salon was also on site offering cute braids and accessories. I headed to the back room to get a bohemian braid to add to my outfit by Lindsay Harlak. It’s even got a little bling!

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After checking out just a few of their products, I’m sold. My new favorite mascara and brow perfecter are water-resistant and do not smudge. If you’ve never tried their products, head in for a demonstration. Their staff will even give you a full make over and show you just how high quality their products are.

The Truth About the Mom Bod

The Truth about the Mom Bod

Fitness and being in shape have always been really important to me. I can remember as a kid going through my 5th/6th grade chubby stage and feeling not confident about myself. Being a chubby pre-teen girl was not as easily accepted years ago as it is now. No one bullied or body shamed me, but I was very hard on myself.

Thanks to puberty and learning better habits, I grew several inches in middle school and lost all my baby fat halfway through 7th grade. Since then, I’ve made working out and trying to eat right a priority. I indulge now and then on my favorite treats but I have learned a healthy balance.

When I became pregnant, I was very proud of my fitness level. I attended an aerial fitness gym several times a week, participated in fitness challenges like Spartan Race and avidly practiced yoga and Pilates. Luckily, I was able to keep up most of my fitness during the majority of my pregnancy. As my stomach grew, I modified my workouts and practiced more prenatal yoga. This focus helped me keep my weight gain at a manageable level.

Despite all that hard work, by the time I went to deliver, I had gained 35 pounds. Stepping on the scale was very scary for me. A few weeks postpartum, I had dropped 20 pounds just from nursing and naturally getting rid of excess fluids. Then, I was left with the dreaded 10-15 pounds that seem to take forever to come off aka the mom bod. That’s when I started working out again.

Getting back into fitness was harder than I thought. Even simple movements seemed to be difficult. My balance was off and my core was so weak. It honestly took a full month just to get myself to a beginner level. It was defeating to see the number on the scale suddenly frozen week after week. I struggled trying to dress this temporary body. Thankfully, I had a lot of encouragement from close friends and my husband.

To get back into shape, I wanted to do something challenging that wouldn’t take all of my time. So, I tried T25. And finally after a month of working out, the scale started moving. The inches started falling off and my cute skinny jeans fit! I didn’t stop there. I’m still continuing the program and eating healthy, but it’s not gotten any easier.

Scheduling work outs while working full-time and nursing a hungry baby is exhausting. Some nights I have to force myself to get on my mat and turn on the video. Many times, my husband will jump in and sweat right next to me.

I don’t work out for vanity. Knowing that I can be the healthiest for my baby is the best motivation. I know that my body is different from what it was a year ago and I’m working towards building this new me.

So, if you’re a mom that is in the struggle of loving your mom bod, I can relate. Every BODY is different. Some women lose everything right away, others, like me, have to work for it. Wherever you’re at, remember to love the journey and yourself. Find your why and focus on it. I don’t want to be that chubby little girl wishing she could be happy. I choose to be happy right now and fight for my health.