Enough

Enough.

You know how sometimes, you feel like life is good, everything is moving along with minimal bumps in the road and you feel good about the direction your life is headed. Then there are other times when you feel like God is throwing nearly everything at you to see how you handle it? We are in one of those times, the not so good times. The times that really make you wonder what could possibly be coming your way after all of this crap to make it necessary to go through and even still, knowing in your head and heart that the things you’re going through right now are not nearly as bad as another persons journey is right now. That brings me to today’s topic that’s on my heart and mind.

I know I’ve talked a little bit before of my husband’s job, he works in a level 1 trauma unit in Phoenix. It keeps him busy and he sees all the usual things you’d think he would see working in a busy ER in a big city like Phoenix. He sees the really minor stuff like your average cold and flu type stuff to the really big intense stuff like heart attacks, car accident victims, gunshots, stabbings, domestic violence victims, and drownings. He has days that are longer and more intense physically, mentally, and emotionally than most of us can possibly fathom. He’s been physically attacked, scratched, hit, kicked, bitten; he’s had to wrestle, tackle, and fight off patients who are attacking him and other staff. He’s sat at the bedside of old people as they took their last breath so they wouldn’t die alone and he’s done chest compressions on patients long after there was no hope of bringing them back to life so their family would know they did everything they possibly could have to save them. He has cradled the bodies of babies who’ve died so their parents would know that their baby was being loved and cared for in that deep dark moment of their worst nightmare.

This week was one of those weeks. The ones that make you question why would anyone do that job? So many traumas. So many codes. So many mentally ill who had to be wrestled into restraints so they wouldn’t hurt themselves or others in the ER. That was just one day. He came home weary, just totally spent from his 12 hour shift. His body was tired and sore from wrestling a few patients into restraints, from doing loads of chest compressions, his feet sore from running from one room to another to take care of whatever was needed in that moment. But he got up the next day and donned his teal scrubs and headed back to the ER to do it all again…whatever the universe was going to throw their way. Just so happened that another trauma code came in, but this one was hard. Kids are always hard for people in EMS. Ask any cop, firefighter/medic/emt, or the staff in an ER. After 90 minutes of trying to save this child, they just couldn’t save him.

And then that team who fought to save that child and lost, had to carry on and go about the rest of their day treating countless other patients who don’t generally stop to think about what happens in other rooms in the ER. They have to wait in the waiting room for longer than what they think is right, so they cop and attitude with the staff…the techs, nurses, and doctors who are doing everything they know how to bring people back from the dead and you there with your cough, you think you have the right to curse, yell, demean, degrade, in some cases, get physical, or even in some other cases threaten the life of one of these people who are doing everything they can to hold it together and treat you and make you well….

So, tonight is going to be one of those nights when my husband comes home weary, with tears in his eyes and heaviness in his heart because they couldn’t bring back a little child to his mama. That mama obviously has it so much worse, but I hope she knows that my husband did everything he could and that his heart broke along with hers that he couldn’t save her baby today. So I’m asking you, please be kind and be patient the next time you find yourself waiting in the emergency room for whatever reason…be kind to the techs, nurses, doctors…you don’t know what their last patient was or what that outcome was, just know that if it were you or your loved one, they would be fighting their hardest to keep you alive too.

Bikini Bodies

Bear with me guys, this might get a little rambly and off path a little, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about weight. Not necessarily weight…more like (mainly) women’s unhealthy obsession with weight. But I don’t even really think weight is the issue…it’s more what we look like, how big or small we are…why is there such an emphasis on our size? Why is this a thing? Like at what point did women start deciding that their value comes from how they look on the outside instead of the content of their character?

“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou

I don’t think I fit the societal norms here, to be honest. I am big, plus size, overweight, obese, morbidly obese, fat, whatever term you use for describing my size…however, I have NEVER seen myself as big as I actually am. I am confident in my body. Is it harder to do some things physically because of my size, I’m sure it is, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been the super tiny girl. I’ve always ‘had some meat on my bones’. Was it harder when I was dating, to be bigger than other girls my age? Nope, I never had trouble getting asked out or getting male attention. Do I have low self-esteem or self confidence because of my size? No, not really. I don’t find my self-worth in my dress size…sorry, not sorry that I don’t see myself as less than because I don’t fit what society has deemed as attractive and worthy all because the scale is a higher number than you are comfortable seeing.

Is this to say that I don’t place value on taking care of myself or eating healthy and moving? Heck no! What I am saying is that I don’t think it’s healthy for one to be so consumed with eating healthy and exercising for the sole purpose of losing weight as opposed to eating healthy and exercising because it’s good for you, no matter your size or the number on the scale. I’m pretty healthy, I have no medical issues that are typically attributed to being overweight (high bp, diabetes, circulation issues, high cholesterol) but people don’t see our medical records when they look at us, do they? They just look at me and see how big I am and automatically assume I must consume all the unhealthiest of foods and do nothing but sit on my butt.

weight does not determine worth

As I’ve scrolled through each of my social media accounts lately, it has struck me that even the most ‘healthy’ and fit, the thinnest people I know still aren’t happy with their bodies. Why? Who is telling you that you aren’t good enough? Why are you letting them? This isn’t even about body positivity to me right now. I do want every body to feel good about themselves, but when I think about it, I want everyone to feel good about themselves because they are happy in their life and relationships and career. I am definitely not trying to knock people who are proud of themselves for being the healthiest, most fit, strongest they have ever been because they are taking the time to work and push to accomplish things physically to test themselves. I think that is amazing and awesome! I just worry about the women who are out there killing themselves to attain a smaller size or smaller number on the scale just because they think that will make them happy or make other people happy.

“Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it” – Katie Goulet

I have many friends who have expressed feelings of not being confident to even wear a swimsuit, let a lone a bikini, because they have a belly, or thick thighs, or are just bigger than what society has told them is the appropriate size to be right now. Each time, the thing that comes to mind is how to get a bikini body….have a body, put a bikini on it, now you have a bikini body. I recently took this to heart and purchased a bikini. Not a tankini like has been my go to for the last 10ish years…but an actual bikini. And I love it. I feel confident in it. It makes me happy to wear it. And I hope that when my daughter sees me in it, she sees that she too can wear whatever makes her feel confident and beautiful and doesn’t let other peoples opinions get into her head and ruin her self image.

For a really long time, I followed the crowd – must lose weight so I can be more acceptable to everyone around me, must hide my body because no one wants to see a plus size woman in anything that shows any skin, must perpetuate the cycle of self hate because that’s what society tells women is normal behavior…I thought I was so fat, I thought I was unattractive, I thought I was unhealthy, I thought my value was tied into the number on the scale. In all of these old pictures of me, I thought I was so huge compared to my friends…what the hell was I on?! Looking at them now, I see a beautiful woman who was healthy and was the same size as all of her friends! All those years I spent hating myself, my body, because why?…I don’t even know at this point.

Do I say all of this to say that I never have moments of weakness now when I see a picture of myself and think, wow am I really that big? No, I totally have those moments but they don’t define me. The number on the scale doesn’t define me. I don’t have a single desire to lose weight so that people will find me easier to look at, or more worthy of their attention. I have a desire to be healthy and to work on loving all of myself, flaws and imperfections included. I’m not willing to hide for anyone anymore. My wish for every woman I know, is that she would see herself and love herself, as is. Stop the self hate, start loving yourself so we can stop the cycle of teaching our children to hate themselves if they don’t fit whatever society has deemed acceptable. <3

Hello January - January Goals alittledashofdiva.com

January Goals

Hello January - January Goals alittledashofdiva.com

Hello friends! Welcome back and Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s 2017? I remember Y2K like it was yesterday, and hello, that was 17 years ago…time flies!

Since I turned 40 a couple of months ago, I’ve found myself extremely motivated to make some changes in my life, to start taking on more challenges and pushing myself instead of just letting life happen to me. I want to be the leading lady in my own life and not the best friend…extra points if you can name that movie!

One of the things I’ve decided to do for this year is to start making small monthly goals to help me be the woman I want to be, so today I’m going to share my January Goals with you.

january-goals alittledashofdiva.com

January Goals

1. Read Two Books

I can’t tell you the last book I actually read. I used to read a lot but let it slip away the busier life got with two kids and a husband and keeping the house up…I would really love to get back to reading. I miss it. So, my goal for this month is to read two books that have been on my running list of books to read for months!

January Goals alittledashofdiva.com

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

January Goals alittledashofdiva.com

Silver Girls by Elin Hilderbrand

2. Make SELF CARE a Priority

January Goals - self care alittledashofdiva.com

I have a whole post coming on this one, but for now I’ll just say that I have so much clarity right now about how much self-care means and how damaging the lack thereof is to each of us. I’m making the choice to make myself a priority and that doesn’t make me selfish or self-centered, it makes me a woman who loves herself enough to know that taking care of herself means she will have more to give to others.

3. Invite one family over for dinner

Back in the day, I loved to have people over. Didn’t have to be a special occasion, I just loved hosting. I’d invite people over after church, or on a Tuesday. I loved to have friends come over to enjoy a meal and sit and chat over a glass of wine or a shot of tequila, while the kids ran around and played. I haven’t done this in a really really long time and I miss it so much. So my goal for January is to invite one family over for dinner or a bbq or something. It makes my heart happy to serve other people and make them feel loved.

4. Test four new meals to add to our monthly menu rotation

January Goals try new recipes alittledashofdiva.com

Ha! This makes me laugh

In all seriousness though, I don’t know about you, but my family gets in a food rut really easily. We eat the same meals week after week because they are easy and we get into a pattern because they take no effort. Then we start getting really bored with meals because we’ve been eating the same things so much, so then we start eating out and spending money we don’t need to spend on eating out. So, I’m going to start testing out one new recipe a week to add to our rotation to give a little variety from the same old stuff! I’d love to know your favorite recipes so I can give them a try!

5. Continue my 30 day challenges – no soda, plank a day, and no junk food

January Goals 30-day-plank-challenge-chart alittledashofdiva.com

I’ve been kinda stealthy about this one…I wanted to have a couple of successes under my belt before I talked about them. Back in November, my mom had challenged me and my daughter to a no-soda for 30 days challenge. This was a big one because I was drinking so much Pepsi, y’all. Like an unGodly amount of Pepsi. So, we took the challenge and I’m proud to say not a single drop of soda has crossed my lips since November 12th and I plan to keep it that way. When I was about 25 days into that challenge I was thinking about what the next 30 day challenge should be and decided to do a fitness related challenge next. I found the Plank – A – Day challenge and decided that was it. Basically you start with 20 second planks and work your way up each day until at the end of the 30 days you are holding a 5 minute plank. Now, before anyone makes any comments about holding a plank for longer than 3 minutes has no benefit, once we reached that 3 minute plank we started to change up the position. We start in a regular plank and work into a side plank and do other things like that during the 5 minute time frame. It’s amazing how even a 20 second plank can make you feel muscles you had long forgotten ;). Once that one was over, we moved onto a combo 30 day challenge that incorporates the previous challenges of no soda, plank 30 seconds in the am and 1 minute in the pm, adding in drinking 1 gallon of water a day, and 25 squats every time you go to the bathroom. So far, so good but I’ll let you know how we do when it’s over!

6. Be a better friend, check on people when they cross my mind

January Goals - friendship alittledashofdiva.com

We’ve all been there, we get busy with our lives and stop making an effort to check in with our friends. Or maybe we haven’t all been there and it’s just me…either way, one of my goals not just for this month but for every month this year, is to be a better friend. To take time and call or text or meet up for coffee with friends, to be genuinely interested in their lives, in the good times and the times they may be struggling.

I would love for you guys to share some of your goals with me and come back and check in with me to see how I’m doing with my own goals!

Holiday Lookbook – Thrifted Outfits

Hello my beauties! I can’t believe it, Christmas is this weekend! This year has been a hell of a year, am I right?! All of the tragedies and the celebrities who’ve passed…it’s just been on hit after another all year and I for one am looking forward to 2017 being better for everyone.

So I know I’ve shared very few fashion posts on this here blog, but I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone and do things that scare me, so in that vein, I’m sharing a fashion post today! I recently did a YouTube collab with a few other ladies from the YouTube Mommy MeetUp group on Facebook, it was a Holiday Look Book, 3 thrifted *or partly thrifted outfits. So, I’m sharing the outfits I pulled together with items I found at a few of my local Goodwill stores.

Outfit number one

Holiday Look Book - Thrifted Edition Look One alittledashofdiva.com

Look One – Shirt and Jeans from Goodwill

Outfit number two

Holiday Look Book - Thrifted Edition Look Two alittledashofdiva.com

Holiday Look Book – Thrifted Edition, Look Two Top and Leggings from Goodwill

Outfit number three

Holiday Look Book - Thrifted Edition Look Three alittledashofdiva.com

Holiday Look Book – Thrifted Edition Look Three jeans and top from Goodwill alittledashofdiva.com

And just cuz I feel like sharing, here is the actual look book I did on YouTube πŸ˜‰ I hope y’all like it!

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona alittledashofdiva.com

Travel Log: Goldfield Mine Arizona

adventure

Hello and welcome to another installment of the Travel Log! Today I’m sharing some pics and info about our road trip to Goldfield Ghost Town in Apache Junction, Arizona. Goldfield is an old mining, ghost town that is near the base of the Superstition Mountains, it was originally settled in 1892 when it was discovered to have rich, high grade gold ore. A town was established soon after in 1893.

Goldfield Ghost Town Chapel #goldfieldarizona #ghosts #sundayfunday #familyday #familyadventureday #arizona

A photo posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on

The official find in addition to the legend of the Lost Dutchman led dozens of miners to the area which led to saloons, boarding houses, schools and other businesses.

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona alittledashofdiva.com

Goldfield Mine, Apache Junction, Arizona

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona Old West Mining Town alittledashofdiva.com

Goldfield Mine, Arizona

After a few years, when the mines veins of gold ore were played out, the miners started to desert the town in search of the next town with lots of gold to still be had…

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona alittledashofdiva.com

Goldfield Mine

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona Union Pacific Railroad Sign alittledashofdiva.com

Union Pacific Railroad Sign, Goldfield Mine, Arizona

After a long time, a local bought the land and decided to make the Goldfield Ghost Town what it is today, a tourist attraction with a restaurant, gift shops, zipline, train ride around the town with a guide who tells you the history and also about the Lost Dutchman. We really enjoyed spending a day out at Goldfield, learning a little about the history of mining in our state, being outside and spending the day as a family was the best part. I love spending days taking short road trips with my little family to learn about the little podunk towns across the state. One of my favorite ways to spend time as a family, actually.

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona Southern Pacific Lines alittledashofdiva.com

Southern Pacific Lines, Goldfield Mine, Arizona

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona alittledashofdiva.com

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona Superstition Mountains Lost Dutchman alittledashofdiva.com

Superstition Mountains, Lost Dutchman, Arizona

If you like finding little, out of the way places to have a great family day, I’d definitely add Goldfield to your list of places to check out in the valley.

ELF Skincare Review

Disclaimer: All products mentioned in this blog post were purchased by me, with my money, this is NOT a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts are 100% based on my own personal experience.

Hello beauties! I wanted to talk a little about skincare today. The older I get, the more I’m paying attention to the skincare products I’m using and focusing less on the makeup products. If you don’t have great skin, all the expensive makeup in the world is not going to hide that fact, so I’d rather focus a little more on skincare first, make sure the canvas is the best it can be before we paint it up with the art that is makeup, you know what I’m sayin?

elf-skincare-review-thumbnail

I had been seeing people all over the beauty community talk about the ELF Skincare line sold at Walmart or Target, wherever ELF products are sold, but I was reluctant to try it because I had a routine that was working well. I am not someone who gets a lot of breakouts, as long as I’m thoroughly cleansing and moisturizing my skin, generally the only time I get breakouts is when I’m pms’ing (ah the joys!). I generally stick to the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ when it comes to skincare, but after hearing so many good things the ELF line, I decided to give it a try. The products are all pretty affordable, I think they are around $12 for each product in the line.

I picked up the daily cleanser, serum, and moisturizer. Personally, I use them in the morning and have a totally different set of products that I use for my nighttime skincare routine.

elf skincare

Overall, I really have liked this line for a couple of reasons:

They are super gentle – I don’t feel like my face is being scrubbed raw, the scent is pleasant and not overwhelming.
They are not greasy or heavy – When you apply the serum and moisturizer, they are not sticky or tacky or heavy.
My skin feels really clean and hydrated after using these products.

I love finding products that work well with my skin, that are really affordable, and are easily accessible. As I’m getting older I find that the less scented and harsh the products are the better my skin does with it. I’d love to hear what skincare products you use and why you love them, leave me a comment with your favorite makeup remover, that’s something I’m still on the hunt for!

1 Palette 5 Looks – Morphe x KathleenLights Palette

Hello my beauties! Today I’m sharing five eye looks using just one shadow palette! Now, I realize this palette sold out super fast on the Morphe website, but I do know they are bringing it back one more time before Christmas. It’s a really super affordable palette, plus you can find a discount code on Kathleen’s YouTube channel that gets you an extra 10% off. The only thing I wasn’t super enthused about was the nearly $8 for shipping…OUCH. But I still only paid just under $23 bucks total for the palette and shipping, so that’s not awful.

Yes! Got my hands on the new @kathleenlights @morphebrushes palette! #makeup #beauty #makeuplover

A photo posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on


Anyway, let’s get into it, shall we? I know it’s really easy to get into a rut using that same palette you just love over and over, you find a look you like and it becomes easiest to just use the same products and do the same look everyday to save time, but I thought about it and if I have all these colors in this palette, why not try and just create a few different eye looks all using just this one palette. It has everything you need from a matte white to a matte black to shimmers and transition shades, something for everyone!

collage-morphexkathleenlights

day-2-look-kathleen-lights-morphe-palette

day-1-look-kathleen-lights-morphe-palette

day-3-look-kathleen-lights-morphe-palette

day-4-look-kathleen-lights-morphe-palette

day-5-look-kathleen-lights-morphe-palette

I have heard mixed reviews on this palette, and I’ve gotta be honest, I really like this palette. I have found it to have great pigmentation in all of the individual pans, I find them easy to blend out, I don’t find them overly powdery or soft – with exception of that gorgeous green (the second from the left on the bottom row), that shade is a lot softer than the others, but in no way chunky or crumbly. I do really like this palette and have found myself reaching for it almost every day since I got it. I love that it’s affordable but I don’t love that it’s limited edition so if you want it you gotta make sure to keep an eye on social media – KathleenLights instagram and Morphe’s instagram will most likely have all the info about the new release date if you want to pick this palette up!

What is your go – to palette lately?

Travel Log: La Jolla

la-jolla-cove

Hello my loves! Today let’s talk about La Jolla, California! It’s gorgeous. The views are stunning, seriously. It is a must for all of my trips to Southern California. The view doesn’t really change, but it’s just breathtaking to stand on the cliffs and look out at the ocean.

lajollacoves2

Admittedly, the La Jolla area is a little more ‘high end’ if you know what I mean. But I really don’t mind that, we just don’t do a lot of shopping when we visit the coves. I love to drive along the hilly streets and look at the cute little cottages and the big beautiful houses. I just find it peaceful. It’s not a big ‘surf’ location, there’s not a lot of actual beach access near the coves, so it’s mainly just people walking along the sidewalks, or having picnics on the grassy cliffs.

lajollacove

For me, this place, it makes it easy to just stop and take it in. It makes me happy to hear my daughter talk about the ocean being her happy place, where she just feels at ease and doesn’t have a care in the world. That makes my mama heart burst with joy that she recognizes the awesomeness of this place. It is something that we have in common, and at this point in time, there is precious little that she will admit to having in common with her mom πŸ˜‰

hannahatlajolla

While we were in La Jolla, we decided to make a trip to Birch Aquarium, part of UCSD. It’s not a super large aquarium, but it’s definitely a nice little place to take little ones who might not do well with really big crowds or a lot of activities or things to look at. There’s a nice outdoor tide pool where you can actually touch the stuff that lives in the ocean. Really cool if you have a kiddo who is interested in that kind of thing. There are smaller aquariums to view specific marine life, there’s a larger aquarium with a big old sea turtle (I think that was my favorite part and go figure, I don’t have a picture of it!). In another area, there’s a shark and sting-ray feeding tank where they bring you in and tell you about the different types of ray’s and sharks in that tank and what they eat and how they feed them. Outside, they have a cool little area for kids to play and learn about renewable energy at the same time.

birchaquarium

sharkfeedingbirchaquarium

Of course, being that it’s right in La Jolla, it has a killer view from the patio of the tide pool area. I don’t think I could ever get tired of looking out at this, no matter how many times I’ve seen it I am still in amazement at the awesomeness of the ocean.

lajollafrombirch

Travel Log: Oceanside

oceansidepiersunrise

Hello my loves! If you know anything about me, you know that my happy place is being at the beach. I don’t even have to have my feet in the sand, but to just be sitting near the ocean and feeling the breeze coming off the water, hearing the waves crash on the shore, seeing the sun dance on the waves and the surfers sitting on their boards on the horizon…all of these things make up a huge part of why the ocean is my happy place.

sunriseoceansidepier

Last weekend, we decided to get out of Phoenix for a few days. Sean had worked 19 days in a row with no time off, which meant I too worked 19 days in a row with no time off (from the kids). To say we needed to escape for a few days is the understatement of the year. For us, we try to get to Southern California at least once a year. My Inlaws live over there so we go to visit them and of course to enjoy the ocean.

oceansideharborsign

Usually we stay with my inlaws, but this time we decided to stay in a hotel for the 2 nights. It was awesome and stressful! I forgot how hard it can be to travel with a toddler! Asa is a good sleeper…when he’s in his own space and room. He doesn’t sleep much if he is in a room with other people, let alone having to share a bed. Plus, we were on the 3rd floor with a gorgeous patio that overlooked the Oceanside Harbor. It made me nervous because of course Asa wanted to be on the patio at all times and can open all doors these days. Overall, he did really well, but anytime we were in the hotel it was a little more stressful dealing with him.

oceanside harbor suites

All through the night, whenever I was awake I could hear the sea lions barking in the harbor. I couldn’t see them, but boy could I hear them! In the morning on our way out of the harbor we drove past the docks where the sea lions were chilling out and barking. They were the cutest things, seriously. Just sitting there on the docks barking at the other sea lions who were frolicking in the water! Both Hannah and Asa LOVED the sea lions and Asa has asked several times a day for the ‘seayions’ and we show him video we took of them.

21

Oh em gee too cute! #oceansideharbor #oceanside #travel #boats #sealions

A video posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on

Later in the afternoon, Nanny and Papa drove over to Oceanside to have lunch with us and then hang out at the beach for a while. We went to Souplantation and had a delicious and healthy lunch then made our way back to the beach a few miles away. When we got back to the ocean, this crazy intense fog had rolled in making everything nearly impossible to see! I’ve never seen a fog like that in the middle of the afternoon! It made for some cool pictures though.

Asa was walking down to the water with Nanny and I loved how this picture turned out…except that weird blue dot in Asa’s shadow. It’s in the next picture too and I don’t know what it is…how weird!

11

3

The fog cleared up within an hour and it was beautiful again and we got to enjoy a gorgeous sunset before we headed back to the hotel.

1

sailboatsunset

sunsetoceanside

The next day we headed to the Oceanside Pier to watch the sunrise, since you know, Asa had us up at 430am both days we were there. We had plenty of time to get up and get all of us ready, get some breakfast, and get to the pier before the sunrise.

sunriseoceansidepier1

sunriseoveroceansidepier

There were so many surfers in the water! After we watched the sunrise and had our bagels on the pier, we headed out to do a little souvenir shopping before we headed inland. We spent the rest of the day with our inlaws, my mother in law made a delicious brunch and invited one of her sons and his family over. The kids all got to play at Nanny and Papa’s farm, taking turns driving the tractor around and going on the zipline and trampoline. A few hours later, we got on the road to head home. It was a really great little weekend away, I’m so thankful for my family and the opportunities we’ve had to spend time doing things that recharge our batteries to get back to real life.

surfersoceansidepier

wavesoceansidepier