Posted in Thankful Thursdays

Hello, Hello!

I am feeling excited today as I feel free…

Free from my past, free from my thoughts and free in my soul.

I thought about so many things to write about since I haven’t posted since December and of course what great timing to stop posting [sarcasm, ha]. Anyways, I decided instead of battling a thousand suggestive blog ideas in my mind and never getting them down on “paper”, I will actually start writing them and posting them until I got use to writing weekly and/or daily.

There’s no denying that this year has been unexplainably different for all of us. Yet, as my church’s lead Pastor said “we are all in the same storm, but not the same boat”. Boy! That couldn’t be more true! I have to say I am so grateful for the boat I am in. I thought about going month by month of how great and different life has been since the start of the year, but maybe other post will be great for that. I then thought about my word for the year, ABUNDANCE. What a timely and perfect word for the type of year it has been. If you read my past post about how important it is to choose a word to carry you and your family throughout the year, then you will know that I couldn’t settle on just picking one word. Last year we went with courage and intentionality. I wanted to be courageous in doing what was needed to move on in life, and in living my best life possible. More importantly, I prayed about becoming intentional with our serving (volunteer work), with our time, with our money and with our family. But! OF COURSE, 2020 started back in 2019 for us when everything possible could go wrong. Between financial burdens and the testing development of my faith and building of my character, 2019 was indeed the year to become laser focus on becoming courageous and intentional down to the last penny. This year I was determine to “flip the script” and change the narrative. Our word for the year is abundance. Many might think about money when it comes to abundance, and being that 2019 was financially challenging for us, it seems only fitting to want to have financial abundance. However, it was definitely more than meets the pocket, as what I wanted was abundance in confidence, abundance in compassion, abundance in helpfulness (towards others), abundance in love and family, abundance in faith, abundance in understanding and abundance in business.

I struggled with loving and wanting that word because, once again, comparison is the killer of all things good, and it had left a hint of tarty flavor in my heart when I saw a few friends posting their word for the year was “LESS”. My mind went off the mental cliff or down the rabbit hole of hateration “well of course when you have everything you could ask for and more, less is more and less is better”. But I stopped myself from thinking that because I didn’t want to be a hater and I didn’t want to be bitter. I want to be happy for the people around me and for their successes. I want to make sure I’m clapping for them and being happy for them. Not because others will notice, not because my time will come (even though it will) but because I genuinely want to be happy for others, because God’s blessings are for everyone including me and I know that in time we too shall be wanting less… less messes, less drama, less fake friends, less fake supporters, less troubles, and less complaining.

So I looked back at my word for the year and I hugged it out with myself, took a deep breathe and marched forward. I decided that I will catch myself falling into the dark hole of comparison before it does any damage to my mental state. I will stop every negative thought that tries to take over my daily living. I will turn to my Creator instead of turning to people when times got tough. I will be intentional with all that I do with everyone I come across. I will grow and develop no matter what came my way.

Today’s affirmation: “I am abundant in joy, peace and love.”

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Thank you for reading, have a blessed day!

~The Cabello Mom

Posted in Uncategorized

Merry Christmas 🎄🌟☃️

Wishing everyone a blessed and Merry Christmas, from our family to yours.

This year was our second year away from family during the Christmas season, but I have decided in my heart to not let that bring me or my little ones down. This year we were blessed to spend the day volunteering at church and to share Christmas Eve with a dear friend and her family.

After getting home, I asked my little Ethan if he had fun and his answer blew me away… “of course Mom, what do you think?! We had a party, we played games, I won cool prizes and ate good food. How can I not have fun with things like this?!” I was so happy to hear the excitement in his voice.

All of this was way before we even opened any presents, as we had opened them today after breakfast. Do not allow not being with family, not having presents wrapped on time or not having presents at all, or things not going as planned ruin the moment to create beautiful memories with the ones that you are presently with.

Christmas Day is not yet over… You still have time to make it special for yourself and others. Be of good cheer!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! 🎄❄️🥂

From The Cabello Family

Posted in Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

Wishing everyone a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving, from our family to yours.

No matter what the day may (or may not) bring, always remember that you have control of what you choose to be grateful for. 💜 I thank God everyday for the beautiful family He has allowed me to create with my husband and for moments we transform into memories. May today be filled with love, fun and laughter with the ones that make your heart sing. And if you feel like if you don’t have anyone to share with, go find someone! Family, friends, neighbors, church, and charities all could use some love, don’t let yours go to waste!

As always have a blessed day,

The Cabello Family

Posted in Uncategorized

How we do back to school…

Back to school means splurging on discounted school supplies, getting back on a rigid schedule, and having that bittersweet feeling we all get at the first day of drop-off. Back to school was also the time I used to hide my face inside my shirt and run around with a bottle of Lysol spraying everything, everywhere inside my home. Doorknobs, bed-sheets, sofa cushions, remotes, my kid, even the hubby got caught up in my crazy compulsions. The moment I heard either one of them coughing, I was determined I would not allow myself to get sick. However, no matter how much I washed, cleaned and sanitized, we would all fall prey to the back to school germs.

Fast forward to this year, we now have Ethan in his second year of preschool and a one year old at home. During car line pickup I noticed Ethan, in all of his wonderful innocence, loving on his little brother as soon as the car doors opened. Not two weeks into school, I had my baby coming down with the sniffles. Not long after that, my husband and I were starting to feel a sore throat coming on, meanwhile, little Ethan has been walking around with a hop to his skip, all happy and healthy. Naturally, one would think I should have my face-in-shirt and Lysol-in-hand defense position ready. (Can you imagine how ridiculous I looked doing so? I have!) However, this time I found a healthier, safer, and natural way to up our immunities. 

I always had an interest in essential oils and their “magical power”. Turns out it’s the power of basic science that makes essential oils so effective. Essential oils are natural as they are extracted and distilled from plants. Pure oils are safe as they can communicate with the body to address root causes, without building resistance, and can cross the lipid bilayer at the cellular lever to combat even viral threats. They allow their users a peace of mind and serve as an enhancement of physical and emotional health without the side effects that accompany the modern approach. For these reasons, and many more, I couldn’t help but to join the dōTERRA community of essential oil users.

With pre-diluted oils made especially for babies and young children, doTERRA made it easy for this mama to make back to school a breeze. No more hiding from school germs, instead we have been able to keep them away by using the special blends in the children’s oil kit to keep my boys healthy – naturally. Simply applying Stronger (similar to the popular On Guard blend) down Ethan’s and the baby’s neck and back everyday before school and before bed, we have been able to prevent both boys from getting sick even though they continue to share germs – I mean LOVE each other… 

Not only do we love Stronger but also have learned to incorporate the other wonderful blends into our daily routine. Along with the protective blend, Ethan enjoys applying Thinker every morning on his temples to help him focus his mind while he is at school. He’s even gotten several compliments of smelling great from his friends. I also love carrying Rescuer (the blue soothing blend) for any sudden aches and pains, not only for them but, for me as well. Lately, Ethan has been having growing leg pains, the baby as he learns to walk has bumps from falling down and even I, with just tension on my own shoulders and neck, a simply application has definitely rescued us from long hours of unnecessary aching. My two favorites to use with the baby are Calmer (the purple restful bend) and Steady (the green grounding blend) as he tends to be living with FOMO (fear of missing out). He fights for hours just to nap and when bedtime rolls around, he starts playing and laughing from pure exhaustion. Some Calmer on the bottom of his feet and on his little wrists and Steady on the back of his ears helps tremendously to relax my little one and to be on his way to restful sleep, giving us all a peace of mind.  

**BONUS** yay!

Probably the best protective blend yet – with FLOOM, I no longer have to worry about being on the look out for a cough or a sneeze, and I definitely don’t need to have my Lysol ready either. It is a magnificent blend of powerful Frankincense, cleansing Lemon, protective On Guard, antiviral Oregano and antibacterial Melaleuca. Equal parts of each, topped off with your choice of carrier oil gives you a pocket-sized intense immune support. I rub some of this FLOOM magic down the neck and the back of the ears on my husband and myself and I kid you not, this stuff really works. Erick goes from having a scratchy throat and potential ear aches to being completely better within just 20 minutes. And I don’t take any chances, instead of hiding from the germs they all love sharing, I just apply some FLOOM on myself and my oils take care of the rest. I can proudly say I am five months strong, without getting sick. As a stay at home mother, I cannot afford to go down with the flu or to call out. I need to make sure I am taking the necessary steps to protect myself and my family. I appreciate that doTERRA has made this a reality for us and I can rest assured  that I am not adding toxic chemicals to our bodies or to the air we breathe in order to protect our immune systems. 

Well guys, I loved sharing a little of what we do. Please stay tune for the next blog on what oils I like using in my diffuser to keep the air clean and set the right mood at home.

As always, have a wonderful day!

Posted in Mommy & Me Mondays

Survival Mode

Hello Everyone!

Boy has it been a tough five months! Since New Year’s Eve, I can assure you I have been the test subject in some divine scientific experiment on how long a human can go without decent sleep hours. My youngest child has definitely pushed me to my parenting limits in ways my oldest never did. I have been struggling with reoccurring double ear infections, cluster feeding, sleep regression, a growth spurt and four new teeth (a total of six now). And that’s just one kiddo!

My first one also has had his share of pushing buttons, as of late. Between trying to keep him active, maintaining my daily schedule and keeping up with preschool, I have become a steaming hot mess. Thank God for Netflix. Oh, yes, go ahead and judge me, I dare you! I am just so happy that my little one has finally started to pay attention too so I can leave them both watching funny kid movies while cleaning up my seemingly, never-ceasing, ever-growing mess I call home.

Not all is bad news, I mean there’s always something negative to focus on, right? Remember that fitness journey I said I wouldn’t be documenting every step of the way? Well, back in January, I was given a free two-week trial to an online workout program. After the trial and a lot of thought, I decided to give it a real chance and start giving myself the care I deserved. Although it was hard because it had been a long while since the last time I exercised (about a year), I managed to make it 40 days into my first program, lost three pounds and imagined myself skinnier. However, this was not encouragement enough to keep me going. In fact, I had given up about three times the last two weeks until I finally convinced myself that my kids were on a mission to keep me fat. One hour sessions were turning into two hours of trying to work out with a fussy baby who demanded nursing when he was supposed to be sleeping. For those skeptics, I had tried working out at 9:30 am after Ethan went off to school, at 5pm while making dinner and the most realistic timing 11:45pm after the baby finally stopped chewing on my ( . ) ( . ) … ugh, seriously I was just plain miserable.

Wait! I thought this was a positive reflection?

Oh! Yes, right. UMMM so where was I? Miserable… yes, I was completely miserable and even tried to sacrifice working out for a few hours of sleep but that too was a complete failure. It seemed like anytime my head touched the pillow and imagined a beautiful night of blissful sleep, my angelic infant sensed it in his soul to fuss and make me more depressed and sleep deprived. All until a few friends suggested a popular gym nearby that offers childcare. Although only four weeks long and three weeks in, I can positively say I have died in every single workout, have felt the motivation to show up every time and can happily say I am down a little over ten pounds from the original weigh in. I feel weaker every time I walk in through those doors, but surprise myself with how much I actually accomplish in just 45 minutes of an intense workout. It’s true I don’t feel stronger at all, but I also cannot deny the progress I have made in such a short time (no matter how small). At the end of next week, I have another focus meeting to determine how much body fat I have lost (if any) and if I have to tweak my nutrition, which I am sure will need assistance.

As fun and amazing as this gym is, however, I feel ready to tackle the home workouts again, mainly so I don’t have to bribe my kids to get dressed and leave this house every day. Though, when we do have the chance to go outside to a park, they have been filled with pure sunshine and calm fun. Check out this photo of the boys on this amazing circular rope swing that I will totally be getting for our future home…

That was just a slice of what I have been dealing with and the reason why I have not been able to post with the desired frequency. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to post again once this kid settles again into a decent sleep schedule. I have read two more books and plan to leave reviews for them along with two more exciting pieces I will like to post sooner than later.

As always have a beautiful day ❤️

Posted in Saturday Projects

Pantry Clean-up

A year’s worth of messes, recipes ingredients, snack boxes, food cans, opened cereal bags and lots of unhealthy choices can drive a mom bonkers.

How I managed to fit an oversized box filled with baking supplies, a few cleaning solutions, an overload of protein powders, a stash of bounty towels and a whole lot of tomato sauce is completely beyond me.

Looking back at this photo, honestly, I cannot understand how things got so bad. I am usually a very clean and highly organized person and moments like this one reminds me that my OCD is only partial.

However, I was determined to fix this problem and didn’t want it to overwhelm me in the future. After long consideration on how to reorganize my pantry, I finally watched a few episodes of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up in hopes of finding an easy way to clean up the mess my pantry had become.

I was not completely impressed at first because I didn’t want to understand the way she chose to help others clean up. I was expecting her to come into the person’s home and just torch the place. Fresh, clean slate. But, that was not the point of her method. Several episodes in, I realized her intentions were to instill habits of long-term cleanliness, not just temporary solutions.

In a few of her episodes, I noticed she would bring empty boxes to the person’s home. I thought, “Humm, this is weird. The last thing I want to do while getting rid of stuff is to find more places to store things into.” But you guys! It was all about having a place to put the items you decide to keep. Almost like giving it a rightful home within your home.

So with the help of a few Pinterest pins, I realized this project was a lot smaller than I expected and much easier to complete as well. A quick trip to the dollar store and two days later I was able to see my pantry be transformed. Having separate bins for my toddler’s snacks and baby’s food definitely improved the look, along with taking my pasta shells out of the boxes and putting them into matching plastic containers.

Ex: Instead of hanging the baby food from a plastic bag off the door handle, I used the square bins to keep them readily avilable.

I am proud not only of the way things turned out at the end but that even after weeks of shopping and adding to the pantry, it has remained fairly organized. Additionally, I was able to set up a large white basket with pre-assembled snack bags for my son to grab on his own before we head out. I removed the big box of baking supplies and I am still fussing over how to store it properly, but at least it’s not on the pantry floor disturbing my peace.

Still not the most healthy looking pantry but at least we have food to eat and it’s pretty to look at 🙂

I’ve pretty much been able to do this kind of organizing to my personal closet, my dresser, and the boys’ playroom. Now if I could manage a way to organize my craft corner and keep my kitchen counter from overflowing with junk that would be divine and would remove unnecessary stresses in my life.

But one can only dream 🙇🏽‍♀️💭

Posted in Sunday Reads

Book Review: Investing QuickStart Guide

I was given the opportunity to review a book titled Investing QuickStart Guide written by Ted D. Snow. I want to thank Ben for making it possible for me to receive a copy of this book.

I will start with being completely honest… investing? ehh thanks but no thanks. A whole chapter book on investing?? NO WAY! That was my mentality for most of my teen years and young adult life. Anything that had to do with money, business, economics, in general, was the greatest of bores for me. I figured if I just ignored it long enough, it would disappear… just like everything else in life AM I RIGHT??? WRONG!!

Until one day not too long ago, the hubby started a conversation about his interest in investing. We were already preparing to dive deeper into real estate which I faintly understood to be some form of investment, but knew absolutely nothing about. Then it came to me… I am usually really good at knowing a little about everything and I am the type of person that once something grabs my attention, I throw myself at it. But, see, investing was a topic I knew absolutely NOTHING about because I have been avoiding it for so long.

I came across the opportunity to receive a book on investing and I thought wow! This is my chance to learn about this GREAT GET RICH QUICK IDEA everyone keeps yapping about. A week later I have this book in my mailbox and I am thinking… what did I get myself into?

Let me just tell you right now if you were avoiding learning about this “extremely, confusing and complicated topic” and found yourself completely (let me just say it…) ignorant on anything investment, go grab this book and read it now!

loving all this note taking space!

When you read the front cover, it says “The Simplified Beginner’s Guide …” and I cannot stress how important it was for me that the inside actually matched the information provided on the cover. Whether you are totally new to investing or a seasoned investor, I trust this book will be a great resource for understanding not only the basics but seeing how they translate into real-life scenarios. I appreciate that it was written with the fresh learner in mind without being condescending. Even though the writer is clearly experienced in the topic, he does not rush through nor does he bombard the reader with unnecessary information. The introduction has a simply stated thesis and each point is developed clearly throughout the book.

One of the things I really enjoyed was seeing the dictionary definition of special terms (for learning specifically what it means) and reading a suggested way to see the definition in action. For example, when we are given the definition of what a stock is – a representation of your share of ownership in a corporation – we are also told to think about stocks as a “kind of corporate currency that reflects the belief that its issuing entity will perpetuate itself and justify its value.” (pg.3) It is an out-of-the-dictionary approach to understanding what is being taught.

The writer makes me comfortable with the flow of information given and nothing I don’t completely understand is far from a quick google search (for example, famous people or what do stock splits look like). There are many helpful charts, specific examples, the writer’s notes and takes on the topic at hand and a few words of caution sprinkled throughout the book to further help the reader fully understand what is being explained. The writer smoothly goes from simple points like the several types of treasuries (pg.15) to more complex factors that make up mutual funds (pg.68). He touches on several market indexes along with his take on types of financial advisors. The writer doesn’t shy away from giving some beneficial investment strategies (pg.115) and briefly goes over a few portions on trading (pg. 129). Although there are specific sections in the book dedicated to advising against making fast, impulsive decisions (pg.146) and the importance of keeping a balanced portfolio (pg.144) they are themes that are stressed throughout the entirety of the book. Probably the best part is the free digital resources included in the book, providing lifetime access to investment guides and more.

All in all – this was a great read! It is definitely a book I highly recommend to anyone, both starters, and experienced investors, looking to gain knowledge on investing for a secure financial future. I can now open my 401K mail and information update letters without fear of not understanding where my money is being invested. I can read and comprehend the decisions being explained to me and now can take proper actions if need be. If someone like me, previously completely ignorant and indifferent to the topic, can be fully and correctly informed to the point to flip my interest and actually make me want to invest, you know it is worth the read.

Thank you for taking the time to read this review. You can find more information about the book and order your copy from Amazon using this link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1945051868

As always have a wonderful day ❤︎

Posted in Mommy & Me Mondays

Sleep will come

As I rock my baby boy to sleep in his bassinet 15 mins to 1 am, all I can think about is how difficult it will be adjusting to a five day schedule for my toddler’s new school year. How hard it will be to plan a schedule AND actually stick to it. As I rock my baby boy to sleep I dream of sleep myself; so foreign and unobtainable is dear sleep to me. And yet with fewer hours of sleep each night, I am still required to function as a mother, as a wife, as a human being.

What’s worse is when I feel like giving up nursing because he’s using me for comfort (awww cute sleepy face 😑)

When I start to question my life wondering if I’m doing it right,

I don’t mean to pry, but

Why can’t you stay sleeping through the night?

Why must you awaken every ten mins for hours on end?

Why are your cries for me, consoled only by my scent, so endearing?

How do you draw me in with your soft, tiny, baby hands?

How can such little human fingers grasp my heart and squeeze so tight?

Then it all comes flooding back…

It’s only for a moment.

A moment that might be our last,

In our life, in this world.

So I take a deep breath and take you in,

Into my lungs so deep and let you

Onto my side.

I cuddle and embrace you knowing This will only be but a moment

Of need and comfort

Because soon you’ll be a big boy,

A teen and then a man

And though you might never remember

Know I will never forget,

How much you wanted me and how I needed you,

All these restless nights ♥️

Sleep will come, maybe in bits now and later in full but I will continue to love on you little baby until I am no more.

Posted in Sunday Reads

Book Review: Choosing Me

I was given the opportunity to review a book titled Choosing Me: Love Letters from a Poet, Vol 1 authored by @billweberauthor. I want to say thank you for allowing me to receive an advanced copy of your book.

I was a bit skeptical about reading a book on sex and love from a man’s point of view, but I will admit this has been one of the best books (of this topic) I have ever read. Weber has touched on a topic that was once taboo but is now so common among this generation, that there is no reverence for it anymore. He has, in my opinion, opened up a beautiful and detailed way for spouses to communicate and has brought back the meaningful connection scared love-making has on the souls involved. Reading his poems brought a feeling of amazement over me, I couldn’t believe that someone was able to truly encapsulate the emotions that overcome a person when in love. If you feel as if love has died out in your relationship, I will recommend reading this book and share it with your spouse. I believe it may even be able to reignite a hidden or suppressed passion within. Totally worth reading and sharing.

To get your copy of this beautiful book, you can search on Amazon.com

Details below:

Choosing Me: Love Letters from a Poet, Volume 1 by Amazon.com
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/099713173X/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_FipoCbVVK1WP3

Posted in Funday Fridays

Poinsettias

Hello everyone!

I have a poinsettia that I took on our 16-hour U-Haul trip from New York to North Carolina. It surprisingly survived the awful journey with just one broken branch out of the three it had. I said to myself I wasn’t going to quit this plant mama thing I had going on and was determined to have this plant survive. I quickly taped up the broken branch and to my surprise…

IT ACTUALLY MADE IT!!

Well, it didn’t die, it starting growing and began sprouting new leaves. My heart was full. ❤️

Long story short, I believe it has been a little over a year I’ve had the plant and I was so eager to show off its beautiful red flowers for Christmas. Unfortunately, those bright red leaves never came in. 💔

I have been watering my plant and watching it grow vertically but it seems like the stems just keep on growing and leaves keep falling.

The leaves are a beautiful green but under my kitchen light they look yellow.

I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to fix or help my poor little baby stop growing just to die. See, the stems are growing fairly quickly but as the second photo displays, as soon as the leaves fall off, I am left with this long stem with little knobs. The only leaves are the ones up on top of each stem and still no flowers. Just this morning, I was cleaning up the plants, I found that this one had milky latex sap leaking out of the part where the leaves fell off. It broke my heart to read that the sap means the plant has suffered an injury. WHAT!? HOW!!?? Leaves falling off while still green I can only assume is what this plant considered an injury. Regardless, I would love to find out what am I doing wrong and how to help this plant thrive. An article I read said to cut below the flowering stems and replant but I am afraid of killing my plant after having it survive all this time.

Please share any tips you may have on keeping poinsettias alive and happy.

As always, don’t forget to enjoy your life today.