Happy 2nd Anniversary Everyday Marvalous

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The boys looking out from the 5th floor hotel window above Dallas Street, Houston, TX in 2015. This reminds me to keep looking up.

It was 2 years ago today that I first launched Everyday Marvalous.  Despite the joy that I get from working on my blog, a few other things came up this year that kept me from it. Some were of high priority like family and work, and there were some that were just time wasters.

Facing 2018, I realize that a few things need to change.

No. 1 – Aligning my every day with God’s plan for me and not my own. What God has for me is far greater than anything that I can give to myself or get from someone else.

No. 2 – Spending my limited and valuable time on what really matters most, God, myself, and family. (Note: It is not selfish to make yourself a priority before your family. By this ranking, my intent is to fulfill number three below. It is true, that better that you take care of yourself, the better you can care for your family.) 

No. 3 – Maintaining my commitment to a healthy lifestyle. I am a gift to myself and others. Without good health, I would not be able to offer to others as much as God has planned for me.

On this second anniversary, I am prepared to close out 2017 with thankfulness for all of wonderful things that happened and challenges from which I learned . Further, I am committing to make the needed changes so that 2018 will be even more fruitful.

This life we live is beautifully complicated and simple. The complication comes in with the challenges that we face.  However, if we keep our priorities in order, it simplifies our lives, keeps us focused on what really matters, and we find that we can more easily navigate through the challenges.

Blessings to you on this wonderful New Year’s Eve! It will be a “Marvalous” 2018!

 

 

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More good stuff in 2017

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The year 2016 did not quite live up to the “sweet sixteen” that many had hoped.  We can always remember the negative so much easier than the positive. Every year brings it own set of blessings and challenges. This is what we call life. We must live it to the fullest. Let’s make a promise to each other to love more, laugh more, forgive more, grow more, and trust God more. I am starting 2017 with open eyes and an open heart.

Love and God bless to you all!

This past weekend…

Oh how I miss the past weekend and, yet, long for the coming weekend. I thoroughly enjoy the time spent with my family.  I am working to focus on the really important things in life, like family, good health, and a strong relationship with God. When I consider these things, I realize how blessed I really am. Then all of the inconveniences, disappointments, or plans that just don’t quite work out seem insignificant. So on Wednesday, I will fondly remember this past weekend and look forward to the one coming. Here are some pictures from that weekend. Enjoy. Have a “marvalous” rest of the week!

 

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Fancy new hair cut on Friday!

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Watching Ted and the boys pass the football in the front yard on Saturday.

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Sunday, in the kitchen making meals for the family. Dinner was fresh steamed broccoli, shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta, and for sandwiches later I made tuna fish salad. It was all delicious!

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My new favorite picture of my hubby and I ready to leave for church. Who left the power cord plugged into the wall?

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These are my favorite Vince Camuto shoes from  a few seasons ago. Love them!

What I’m Excited About

 

The past few weeks have been full of work and a lot of fun. There are some things lately that I am really excited about and have enjoyed tremendously.

5. Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara – It will make you look like you have on false lashes!

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Copied from: shop.Nordstroms.com

 

 

4. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – It smells delicious and the Fiery (red) is a vibrant and beautiful color.

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Copied from: shop.Nordstroms.com

3. Fruit Smoothies – I have been preparing these at home with bags of fresh fruit that I freeze so that they will be ready to blend every morning. I blend it with coconut water, apple juice, whey protein, spinach, a drop of lemon juice, and my bag of fruit. Healthy and delicious! (Thank to the Real Ladies of Lakeridge below for getting me started on the smoothies!)

 

2. Diner en Blanc Dallas – It is one of the most fabulous night of the year in Dallas. You get dressed up in white, pack your dinner, table, chairs, and are bused to a secret location to party the night away with at least 2000 other people.  If you have not heard about this, please, check it out on Facebook. There are many other cities that host these events, like New Orleans, Altanta, Paris, etc. It will certainly fascinate you. There is no experience like it. I love it!

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We are dressed in white and ready to go.

 

1. The Real Ladies of Lakeridge – These ladies are new friends of mine and neighbors. We share the love of good health, fitness, healthy eating, and having a great time together. Our walks are filled with great conversation and laughter. These ladies are so much more to me than a walking group. We encourage each other with activities to promote good health, support philanthropic events together, socialize, pray for and spiritually encourage each other. These ladies are more like sisters and a blessing in my life.

 

These are some of the things and people that I am excited about lately.  What about you? It doesn’t have to be a big event to get excited. Blessed is the person who finds joy in the small things in life. When you do, it makes the big events even more spectacular. God Bless! Have a marvalous weekend.

 

 

 

Missed you!

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I am back from a very long absence of blogging. There have been major events in our family and my work that required my time and attention. My blog, Everyday Marvalous, is my passion and creative outlet. This is a great opportunity for me to share that things that I love and enjoy, gives me a voice beyond my social circle, and hopefully encourages others to live a life of love and fulfillment. I have also missed you, too. I appreciate all of the kind words and thoughtful feedback that you have given me. I am so grateful and feel so blessed.

This morning, I want to share one of my favorite Psalms with you. I have incorporated this into my daily prayer. I hope it blesses you, as it has me.

XOXO

Marva

 

Psalm 150 (NIV)

Praise the Lord.

  Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

 

The BombMom.com

Sometimes thinking about the past weekend really helps me get through Mondays. This past weekend was a great one. I was able to enjoy watching my sons participate in a swim meet on Saturday. They are really good swimmers and continue to amaze me. My children are truly blessings to me.

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Motherhood is the hardest, most fulfilling, and best job that I will ever have. So, I treasure the moments when I get to watch them and pat myself on the back for doing a great job with them. Yes, I said pat myself on the back. Although, they make me feel appreciated. I fully recognize that I am the “bombmom.com.” That may sound a bit overconfident. However, too often, we, Moms, look and the bumps in  our children’s lives and think that we have failed them in some way. Our children, like us, are not perfect. Ideally, we would all like to learn from the mistakes of others. However, there are times that we are at the center of the lesson. Therefore, I take these situations as opportunities for my children and I. Note: I am not talking about severe life lessons as the result of criminal activity or worse. I am referring to the natural bumps along the way, like forgetting to put their homework in their backpack, talking to much in class, or finding out that someone was not really their friend, etc.

We, Moms, need to give ourselves credit for doing our best. Our best is what our children need. When we give them our best, so do they in return. You can enjoy the fruits of your labor now and in the future when your children are older. To all the mothers who read my blog, I officially proclaim that you, too, are the “bombmom.com.” Have a great start to the week!

The Unexpected Remodel

Our family took on a small home remodeling project due to some recent water damage in the media room. As a lover of interior design, I saw this as an opportunity to upgrade the space. If the work has to be done, why not add to the budget a bit to get the most out of it. So we did.

To help me figure out what I wanted to do with the space, I spent quite a bit of time on the Houzz app to determine my colors for the space, etc. I wanted something to make the stained glass windows really POP!  By the way, I love the Houzz app. It is so easy to loose track of time when viewing the beautiful images of the homes from kitchens, baths, bedrooms, outdoor landscape and any area that you can imagine. I appreciate being able to search for specific looks, too. For example, after I decided to paint the room a dark chocolate color, I then searched for brown media rooms. That search lead to pages of images with varying amounts of brown from the walls to the furniture, and even the pillows in the room. I do recommend that you try it to give you ideas on future projects or even just for fun.  The best part…. The app is free! You can also access Houzz from the internet at http://www.houzz.com.

 

Here is a before picture… midway through the remodel.

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And here are the after photos.

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The media room after the installation of the carpet.

 

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My beautiful stained glass windows!

 

I took a bit longer than I anticipated. We upgraded some of the light fixtures, carpet, texture on the ceiling, and the baseboards.Even still, I have a few more things to do to complete the decorating, such as artwork on the walls and upgrading the bookshelves. However, I am extremely happy with the outcome. My family has a renewed desire to watch movies and enjoy the room. I even enjoy working out in the space more than ever!

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Hope you enjoyed the pictures and found some inspiration for your next planned or even unplanned remodel.  May you, too, have a Marvalous time decorating.

Black History Month

Black History Month 2016

As Black History month comes to a close, I wanted to share a few thoughts that I have on this matter.

  1. Black History is American history. Such can be said of all the races and cultures that make up the beautiful fabric called the United States of America.  Shouldn’t it be that the advances of one race and/ or culture raises the standing of all Americans?
  2. No more hiding and disguising. We must stop trying to hide the shame of slavery, segregation, and other civil right injustices. It happened. Acknowledging the wrong doing is necessary for healing of the country and future growth.  Allowing those who feel the impacts, even generations later, to be free in their grief.  Just like how a parent hurts, when their child hurts, so does the child for the parent, grandparent, and past ancestors. It is natural to feel pain for another, even more so, when it touches your family. Grieving is the first step in healing. Then, we can focus on building a better future for all of our children, where discrimination, in all forms, is abhorred and outlawed.
  3. See the beauty in others. The only standard of beauty is love. Hate obscures and distorts one’s vision. God choose for each one of us to be here. We are all different and here with a purpose. The greatest commandment Jesus gave us was to “love one another, as I have loved you” ( John 13:34).

I am so thankful for all of those who sacrificed for the freedoms that I experience today. I do not take it for granted, I  know that, in many ways, I am very fortunate. Yet, in some areas, I still face the struggle. I promise to not give up, lose hope, or stop loving. For I do believe that the love God gave all of us is the answer. Let’s stand in truth and love. By doing so, we’ll watch our children blossom.

God bless.

 

Happy Valentines Day!

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As we approach Valentines Day on tomorrow, I wanted to share some simple wisdom about love. There are businesses, books, movies, and careers based on helping others find love, share love, and understand how to demonstrate love others. The one best description, I have ever read on love is as follows:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 (NIV)

That is the standard of love for which we strive. Love is perfect. However, we are not perfect in our demonstration of it. So when you say you LOVE someone, stop and consider if your actions towards the one you profess to love is as described above. If not, make a change and do better. Demonstrate the love you have for others not just on the holidays, but everyday. Reach out to your Mom, Dad, sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles, aunts, dear friends and let them know you care. Further, demonstrate it with acts of kindness, for example a card, a letter, a phone call, a visit, and forgiveness, where needed. I realize for some of us this may take courage. Know that when we act out of love, God protects our hearts, as well. I pray that this Valentines day is not just about the material gifts, but focused on the love that we share with each other. May God Bless you and your loved ones! Happy Valentine’s Day!

XOXO

Marva

 

White Pottery

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Developing a collection of anything can be quite fun. The joy of the hunt for particular items. The excitement of finding a piece to add to your collection can be addictive. Then the satisfaction of displaying for enjoying your collection makes the effort worthwhile. One of my favorite collections is white pottery. I love white dishes, vases, bowls, sugar and creamer sets, etc.  The contrast of the white and the painted or darker background is just beautiful. Sometimes the intricate detail or the curves of a piece really speaks to my creative side. I have purchased my collection online, in stores (for example Horchow, Dillards, Mikasa, and Tuesday Morning), antique shops, Goodwill, and many more. You would be surprised where you can find additional pieces for you collection. Here are a few pictures of my favorite pieces in my collection.

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Items in a collection do not have to be perfectly matched. In the picture above, the sugar bowls, a creamer, and gravy boats are partnered based on the color.

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In this photo, I mixed two collections, white pottery and brown transfer ware. (I LOVE brown transfer ware, too.)

The only don’t in a collection is to not over do it. Too much of a good thing, can sometimes look messy. I have bought pieces that I later donated to Goodwill. I keep my absolute favorites. The main idea is to have fun with your collection. Happy collecting!

Pancake Goodness

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Almost every Saturday morning, I make my youngest son’s favorite breakfast, Pancakes. He loads the down with syrup and really enjoys eating his breakfast. I started to worry about all of the sugary sweetness and lack of nutrients in his breakfast, so I decided to change things up a bit. I am still making his pancakes. However, I added rolled oats to the mixture to provide more fiber and nutritional value to the breakfast.  Now, if I can get him to cut back on the syrup. Perhaps, once a week is not so bad.

Below is my recipe for making these pancakes. They are delicious as taste like regular pancakes.

2 cups any brand complete pancake mix

1/2 – 1 cup ground rolled oats (I grind them in my mini food processor. I recommend that you start with 1/2 cup. I like more rolled oats in ours.)

1 1/2 – 2 cups of water (One and a half cups of water will make the pancakes thicker. Add water to your liking.)

2 teaspoons of sugar.

Mix all ingredients.

Cook on the griddle and then voila…

rolled oats pancakes

Here are the rolled oats that I used.

Rolled oats

Enjoy your rolled oats pancakes. You can add fruit, jam, etc. I love them, too, with just a little dab of butter and syrup.  This is a great way to start the day. I hope that you have a “marvalous” Saturday.

My Favorite Hair Styling Tools

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Sunday morning, I looked down upon my favorite paddle brush for my hair. If it could have talked, it would have said “I’m done.” Quite a few of the bristles were bent and after 4 years of use, the time had come to say goodbye. Honestly, I used the brush way past its life expectancy. It is recommended to replace your hair brush when worn or every 1-2 years. However, mine worked quite well over the past few years. The bristles felt great against my scalp and detangles like a charm. I cannot even imagine using another brush. So I made a special trip to the Aveda store on Sunday to purchase a replacement. I love the Aveda stores, the products, the scents, and the staff are great. Aveda is a blog-worthy topic all on its own.

After I arrived back home, I used the brush immediately. My scalp enjoyed every stroke. I will probably not wait as long to replace it again, as it felt remarkably better than the old one. The replacement paddle brush was welcomed into the collection of my favorite hair styling tools. Pictures above are the few combs that I use, as well.  The first comb on the left, whatever it is called, is great for loosely moving through curls. A professional stylist could probably tell you what it is called. The second comb is a pin tail comb,  which I use to create my long smooth swept bang look, to make perfectly straight parts, and for separating my hair for flat ironing and placing hair rollers. The fine tooth comb side of the pin tail is not for everyday use to comb through all of my hair. The comb on the far left I use to move hair conditioner through my hair. You can use the Aveda brush for that, but I do not want to get conditioner underneath the paddle of the brush. If you want more information on the paddle brush, check out the site below. It will be $25 “marvalously-spent” dollars.

Aveda wooden paddle brush, image copied from Aveda.com

http://www.aveda.com/product/5292/16651/Hair-Care/BrushesAccessories/Aveda-Wooden-Paddle-Brush/index.tmpl