VLOG: Thanksgiving 2014

So this year  was our first Thanksgiving without the rest of the family. And it was also our first experience cooking a turkey, which ended up being a lot harder than we expected. We made everything from scratch and it was delicious! But quite time consuming and the kids got really antsy! Thanks to Sabrina, Giovanni and Sophia for saving the day! Anyways I recorded as much as I could, to keep all of our missing family members updated.

-At the very end, you can’t hear it, but I am saying “Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!”

VLOG: from my Wedding

Here is a vlog from my wedding day! It kinda skips over the ceremony and goes straight to the reception. Thanks to the best man Matt Smith for taking the video and posting it on his  convincedbylove youtube account.

Enjoy ALL the things

It seems like our American society really values hard work. Now there is nothing wrong with pushing yourself to work hard. But what happens when our entire culture becomes obsessed with pushing ourselves and striving for more… I mean why does society expect us to work so hard just to buy everything that’s trending? We will end up working ourselves to death. Or we will feel guilty for taking breaks and wasting time. If you are like me, you expect yourself to always be productive, because that what our society seems to promote. But in other countries people do not live this way. In other counties they literally take the time to smell the roses. They take breaks and enjoy life, not because they’ve earned a break but because its a way of life. What if we made enjoying life our way of life? Does anyone on their death bed ever say they wish they worked more or had more stuff? No, they wish they spent it with their loved ones and followed their dreams. What if we changed our mindsets from always being productive, to taking the time to relax and enjoy life? Now I’m not saying quit your job, or encouraging laziness. I’m just saying don’t put off enjoying life until your old, because we are not guaranteed tomorrow, all we have for certain is now. Slow down, spend more time with loved ones and work less. Or try going without all of the must have gadgets and technologies and find different ways to relax and enjoy life. Try getting off the phone or computer, away from the TV and doing something that is completely unproductive, impractical and a waste of time. Simply because you enjoy it!

Because the one thing you can never get back is your time. Instead of letting time fly by, challenge yourself to take the time for the simple pleasures. Don’t worry about trying to keep up with the Jones’s. In the end you will be glad you set the time aside to enjoy not just the little things, but ALL the things.

Little Bucket List


So I thought I would make a bucket  List that my younger self would have wanted. You can make one too! Now this list is not a list that says what car or house I want or how to advance my career and other realistic goals. (Although it is good to have a list of those things) This Little Bucket list is specifically for the impractical and not so realistic goals of a much younger version of yourself. If you could go back in time and make a bucket list as a child, what would you write? What silly unrealistic dreams did you once have? Then you can make a list of whatever you can remember and post it in the comments below. Here is my list:

  • Be a pirate and sail the sea
  • Ride in a hot air balloon or magic carpet
  • Visit every city in the world
  • Go to a masquerade ball
  • Be a princess for a day
  • Be a talented singer
  • Be able to dance
  • Be able to ice skate
  • Discover something that’s never been discovered
  • Explore space or the bottom of the ocean
  • Go see a real ballet
  • Start an orphanage and take care of all the unwanted children
  • Design my own clothing
  • Speak several Languages
  • Get Married
  • Be a musician and composer
  • Have a pet monkey
  • Be a mother
  • Feel what its like to be a mermaid by scuba diving
  • Be able to bake yummy things

So I know some of these are far fetched, but that’s the point. Anyways I can only cross off three things off my childhood bucket list. I married my best friend this summer and a few years ago I got to see the Royal ballet perform at The Palais Garnier in Paris. It was so beautiful I cried! More than once.

And the other one I can cross off is I am on my way to becoming a good singer! I am finally taking voice lessons this year. My whole life I dreamed of singing but was too scared to actually pursue it.  And now I am finally doing it, the surprising part is that I’m actually good at it! Hurray!

So now I am going to pick 2 things off my list and actually try to accomplish them. And when those are all done I am gonna pick 2 more!

1. I am going to restudy Italian, by buying the Pimsleur program from Barnes and nobles for Christmas.  And eventually I will by the French one too. And then hopefully the Russian one.

2. My hubby just ordered a book that has all kinds of artisan bread recipes in it! Once I start baking yummy things, I will put up a new post about how the recipes are coming along.

And there you have it, I am on my way to achieving some childhood dreams!!

So what about you guys? Why don’t you make a list, and share it in the comments. Then brainstorm and dream about how you could actually achieve it. Simplify it and start  with very small and realistic steps, but be as creative as possible! Then after you accomplish one, try do do another! Some of them may take time and that’s OK, just give it your best shot, your inner child will thank you. 🙂

If a Child Can Do It, So Can You!

How often do we dismiss kids? They’re always too little and too inexperienced to be taken seriously. We consider them  too young to understand anything of great importance. Yet with most children there is more than meets the eye. They really are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. My four year old nephew  blows my mind with how alert and smart he is.  Kids actually learn so much faster than adults, but how often do we stop and listen to what they have to say?

I think kids can do some truly amazing things, they just need someone who believes in them enough, and gives them a chance to try. Here are some fascinating young people that will inspire you and prove to you that incredible things can come in very small packages.

Adora Svitak is considered to be the most clever kid in the world. She’s just your everyday little girl genius, giving a lecture to intelligent scholars.

Charlie Simpson raises 100,000 to help Haiti, oh yeah…. he’s only 7 years old.

Laura Dekker breaks a world record by sailing around the world alone.  At only 14 she traveled around the world by herself and made a movie about it.

Greg Grossman started working in kitchens at 8, then at 12 started his own cooking and catering business. No big deal just your average 12 year old getting a jump start on his career.

Brooke, only 11 has already set 4 climbing world records!  …..And I can’t even climb a tree.

So Jake Barnett is a self taught genius studying for his Masters Degree in Quantum Physics. He is now 14 and has the possibility of winning the Nobel prize…. wait What?!?

Akiane Kramarik, my personal fave, is a self taught artist. Her paintings are just stunning. She started at 8 and over the years shes gotten better and better. Go check out her recent artwork!

This 7 year old Elias is an incredibly talented pianist! So adorable, he is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Angelina Jordan’s voice transports me to a different time. Her unique,  jazzy  sound is so mature, compared to her 8 year old body. How is this even possible? Mind blown.

And then theres this little girl in Ukraine, Emily Moskalenko. How does she dance like that?

Just skip to 6:00 mins to see her impressive moves.

Jackie Evancho started at 9 and sings opera like a professional. Her voice sounds like the voice of an angel, and yet she is so humble.

I hope this inspires you to do something you’ve always wanted to do! If these kids can do it… so can you. Just find someone who will believe in you and encourage you.

The Life Of A Snail

Here is a poem I wrote;


I am alive, I am new,

I crawl over the soil propelled by curiosity.

I pave my very own trail.

I am unique.

I wander thru the autumn leaves on an adventure!

I am tender, I am vulnerable in every way

I am free to discover, to risk, to try.

I climb up a flower to revel in its beauty,

But I fall…

I am exposed to the brutality of the cold, unsympathetic ground.

I face the pain, without barrier

Who am I?

I am now bruised, And partially shattered.

So I slide inside this shell on my back.

Ahh, I am protected.

Therefore my wounds begin to heal,

I am finished, but my scar looms above me like a heavy gray cloud.

Hesitantly I leave my shell,

I am overjoyed to breathe the fresh air, and smell the lush green

grass, to see the beautiful, bright sky.

How I missed the feel of the warm soft earth beneath me!

So I continue my journey, deciding to follow a pre laid trail in hopes of avoiding disaster.

As I journey along the ground, a large figure looms ahead,

I am trusting…

I am young. I move towards it.

It screams at me, with a fierce threatening tone I don’t comprehend, and lunges at me in hunger.

I am afraid, I recoil inside my shell

Who am I?

It’s dark in here, complete silence.

I am safe, I am alone.

So I wait it out. Is it gone?

Days go by…

I am cramped in here, unable to grow,

I am suffocating.

Is it safe? I stick my head into the outside world, as fresh oxygen rushes into my lungs.

And back in I go, as paranoia sets in.

In the dark of night, I crawl out to find a meal,

I am famished, I am full. Back in I go.

Who am I now?

I hear the faint sound of an old friend,

But I don’t leave the shell, why?

I am taught by experience not to trust.

To avoid pain at all costs.

I am lonely and it’s soo dark in here..

Yet I am protected.

I paint a smile on the outside of my shell, to trick nature into believing I’m still outside.

Who am I?

I am molding, I am in hiding

These two worlds begin to collide.

I no longer know the difference.

There is no dividing line, it’s all blended into grey.

My skin is molding to fit my shell,

I am becoming just as calloused as the walls I hide behind.

We are one.

I begin to miss the sunshine, as hunger pangs overwhelm me.

I long to feel something, hear something, see something….anything!

Can anyone hear me?

I am lonely.

I am sabotaging my own efforts for freedom

I desire to feel life once more!

But oh the horrid things that might prevail against me are

enormously overwhelming.

I mustn’t leave.

In here, there is nothing new to discover, nothing to feel, only lifeless solitude.

My own solitude.

so I mustn’t leave this shell…

I don’t quite remember how I got in here,

It’s much too dark in here,

But, well……

my eyes have adjusted.

Who am I?

I am the human experience.


I think we all experience this on some level and although we learn a lot from the experiences, the pain and fear can keep us isolated. I want to give you all permission to come out of your shells, let your inner child come alive. Do something that normally scares you. Be brave and let your self live. And I mean really live! Do something that you have always dreamed of doing, but thought you could never do.