10 Fun Facts About Marissa!

Hey Friends! I wanted to do something fun today and kind of a get to know me type post! I love reading these and wanted to share some things about me.


1. I am TOO optimistic! The glass is always half full in my greener pastures! Everything is sunshine an rainbows 99% of the time.

2. I wanted to be an algebra teacher. I know it sounds super crazy but math was always my favorite subject!

3. I performed in plays throughout my childhood until I was a senior in high school! My favorite was Anita from West Side Story.

4. I married my husband when I was 18! We were BABIES (kind of still are)!

5. I HATE cooking, but LOVE baking! If I’m cooking it’s either a crock pot meal or something very simple, but I will bake you ANYTHING from scratch.

6. I hate winter! It was my favorite season for ever, until last year. Now I long for the days of summer!

7. My favorite color is green. More specifically lime green! The brighter, the better!

8. I used to play a TON of musical instruments! I played the tenor saxophone in band, I played a bit of piano, and guitar once I got older. My favorite instrument is the hammered dulcimer. Look it up if you’ve never heard or seen one.

9. I’m very strong willed! I try to speak my mind as much as possible and stand my ground.

10. Family is THE most important to me, but it’s always God first.


Thank you so much for reading! 💕

Guest Post- As Mom’s, It’s Time To Be Ourselves.

Do you ever wonder what life could be like without comparing yourself to anyone else? 

Well, I think it’s time for us moms to stop trying to live up to everyone else and just be ourselves!

Yup! You heard that right, my friend, just be ourselves. Not our neighbor, not our co-worker, not our mom, sister or best friend and just be ourselves.

Friends, your authentic self is the only one I want to be around.

Your authentic stories are the only stories I want to hear. I want to experience the downright ugly parts of your soul as well as all of your triumphs.

I want to cheer for all of your children’s amazing adventures and goals being reached but also gasp at how awful they have been behaving on a daily basis. 

So can we make a deal as moms? 

Can we stop comparing and rather live our lives as our true selves? Can we stop attempting to live up to all of the online parenting tips, that are often way too hard to attain and allow ourselves to make up our own parenting rules… the rules that work for our family? And rules that take into careful consideration each child living within our unique household.

And please, for our own sanity, can we please stop attempting to live life as a generic woman?

We are all molded, as our own unique selves, but somewhere along the way I think many of us forgot that truth. Or maybe society started to tell us how to behave, how to dress, what our homes should look like and how our children should behave.

But we need to stop this nonsense and just be…

So how do we do this? 

It’s not an easy task, let me tell you. 

But one thing I know is this…if we all support one another it will be much easier to live as our authentic selves. 

Upon a lot of reflection, and there has been a great deal the past year, I have come up with three ways to start living life as our authentic selves.


  1. Take time for reflection: 

Set aside a quiet moment or maybe twenty minutes alone, no distractions, just time with good old fashioned silence.

It’s powerful! Within this time, think about you… not the burnt waffles this morning, the four loads of laundry waiting to be folded, a conference call at noon and how you are in desperate need of a haircut. This is a moment for you to delve deep and remember who you are. What are your dreams? Your goals? Desires? What makes you happy? Truly happy? Have you been hiding anything lately? Pushing it away or numbing the pain? And most importantly how do you love yourself best? 

I found it helpful to listen to my inner soul quietly and reflect, then write out my thoughts on paper. 

My paper was a mess. There were words all over and not organized at all but it was a start. 

The simple act of writing out these thoughts was bringing me back to my true self. 

If I couldn’t recall who I truly was, how was I going to be able to live a life of authenticity?

2. Putting into action a part once lost.

Remember the reflection time where you made a list? Well, now it’s time to choose one or how many you are comfortable with and begin to bring them to light again.

For me, I knew my true self was a writer. It was my passion and the only way I could express myself as the honest woman I wanted to live. So, day by day I started to write more.

At first I began writing down some thoughts, which then lead to poetry… I forgot how much I loved poetry. I eventually realized it was time to take the next step and really let my true self out of the dark and start to share my authentic self, the writer in me. So for me, as scary as it was it meant starting a blog. My friends, for each of us the experience will be different, the time frame will not be the same but one piece will be constant for all of us and that is becoming the women we are meant to be… our true authentic selves.

So I urge you to take action with your list. Don’t let it sit there in a drawer or in the notes on your phone. Take the leap and call into action one or more of the amazing parts of yourself and let it take hold. You may be amazed at how far you will go.


3. Make peace:

Finding one’s self is not always an easy task. For some of us the thoughts of who we truly are may be easy to find, but for others, muddling through the murky waters of our own self can be daunting. I’m confident though, we can do this as long as we make peace with who we truly are as ourselves and love ourselves more than we expect any other person to love us.

It’s time, my friends, to live our lives fully and to the capacity which works for us… not for the comparison of what we see on HGTV or Pinterest, not for the comparison of ourselves and the other mom at the playground and how she parents. It doesn’t mean we are selfish. It doesn’t mean we should feel any mom guilt. It simply means we should be proud to finally show off our true authentic selves and the phenomenal women we are.


So friends, I pinky promise you this… our authentic selves will bring about more light than we ever imagined and what a blessing for our loved ones to experience. They will be blessed beyond measure with a woman who loves herself and radiates it out for the world to see.


Ali Flynn lives in New York with her four teenage daughters and husband. She is excited to share with you the joys and hardships of motherhood with an open heart, laughter and some tears. Ali is a monthly guest contributor for Westchester County Moms and has been seen on Filter Free Parents, Grown and Flown, Today Parents, The Mighty, Her View From Home and His View From Home, where she shares inspirational stories about motherhood while keeping it real.

You can also find her on:

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https://www.Facebook.com/hangintheremama

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https://www.Instagram.com/hang.in.there.mama.

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Top 4 Beauty NEEDS for Busy Moms

I am celebrating 10 years of being a mom this week! I still remember the moment that I first looked into our little girls big eyes. It’s crazy how fast that time flies!

This week I wanted to tell you my top 5 beauty must haves. If there is one thing that I’ve learned in the past decade of “momming”, it’s that some time self-care isn’t a long luxurious bubble bath, or a day trip to the spa. Sometimes it’s simply getting your self presentable within the 10 minutes you have before bolting out the door in the morning.


Revlon One-Step

This little device has changed my life SIGNIFICANTLY! It has literally knocked a half an hour of time off my routine. I had asked my husband to get it for me for my birthday, and he did, and I have used it every day since. The best thing about it was I could dry and style my hair at one time, and for being a busy lady, it drastically improved my life!

Nuetrogena Hydro-Boost Line

I cannot recommend this product line more! I started using the moisturizer the moment it came out. I have dry skin, but in the winter it turns extremely dry! This line has literally saved my skin. It gives me that nice dewy glow without looking oily and greasy. It is perfect under makeup, but quite honestly it’s made me comfortable in my own skin too. That’s a lot of pressure for a product!

Vaseline

I think Vaseline is a very under rated product. I use it for literally everything! Lips, eyebrows, even on my cheek bones to give an extra glow. My hands have been dry and cracking for the past year now, and at night time I will coat the top of my hands. So soothing!

Good Concealer

I don’t use foundation anymore. Even before masks over took our faces. I started buying a good concealer. I started with Tarte Shape Tape, and then Elf came out with a dupe. It’s the 16h Camo Concealer. I honestly can’t tell a difference, but I’m no expert. I just apply under my eyes, depending on how dark the circles are, blend it out, and go!


Wow, I’m not going to lie. I totally inteded doing my top 5, but it’s “mid winter break” and they are still responsible for school work “virtually”.

Hope you enjoyed my top four beauty tips!

Soup Saturday’s! Loaded Baked Potato.

My family and I started a tradition this past fall. We love soups around here, so we decided that every Saturday (almost), we would all help make some soup!

We’ve done chili, cheddar broccoli, chicken noodle and our absolute favorite Loaded Baked Potato!

This loaded baked potato soup is so so simple, but so so yummy!

No one in my daily complains about what we eat, which is a rarity when you have a 9 & 7 year old!

I’m going to share my recipe with you! It is something so simple, you could throw all the ingredients in the crock pot in the morning & it will be ready when you’re home.

We like to eat ours with a baguette or some type of bread. I’ve even served it with carrots and celery.


Here is what you will need! I just throw it all in the crock pot and set it on low for about 6 hours. You pretty much just want to make sure it’s all melted together.

  • 1 bag Hash browns
  • 1 block ofCream Cheese
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
  • 2 bags Cheddar cheese (we like sharp)
  • Chicken broth
  • Bacon bits

I do save some bacon bits and cheese for on top once it’s in my bowl. You could also add chives or even sour cream if you wanted.

This recipe is so quick and simple, but it’s cheap too! Who doesn’t love a meal that you can throw together for under $15!

If you don’t know me personally, then you don’t know how MUCH I love Target. I am actually able to buy all the ingredients at my local Target, and it only has a very small grocery section.


I just wanted to say thank you for your patience as we navigate this crazy life of being working moms! We have a wonderful support from our friends and family!

Next week, I’m posting about my top five beauty must haves for being a busy mama! See you soon!

The Imperfect Mom.

Wow, it feels good to be back on the blog this week!

I took a much needed break from the blog, and the socials. We have had a lot going on these past few months.

A lot of hard decisions were made regarding school, and work. I don’t necessarily regret decisions That I’ve made, but if I could go back and make those changes I probably would.

However, I am learning things about my expectations aren’t necessarily attainable or something I can make a reality. I’m trying to form this “perfect” life that is an Instagram highlight reel.


Having a clean, perfectly organized house was something that I have always strived for. Now don’t get me wrong here, my house is far from it. However, I do think that having a well organized house, definitely helps with having a happy environment. It is so nice that when we go to do a craft or want to play with our Barbies, that I know exactly where to go to find the stuff we need for the activity.

I’ve recently reminded myself that my daughters are not going to remember how organized, or disorganized at the moment, the house was, they’re going to remember how warm and joyful our home was.

I’m also trying to stop comparing myself to other moms or women in general on social media. Amanda has touched on this subject before, and she said it so well in this blog here. She also wrote a good one about Expectations v. Reality!

Let’s face it, our faces (no pun intended) are in our phones and iPads more now then ever. I find myself constantly scrolling through social media saying to myself how I wish I could have all those clothes she has, or I wish I was as skinny as her, or even asking myself why would someone need that many hand bags?!

The world of social media is a wicked one. People post the good, not the bad. I am trying my hardest to not compare myself. I’m taking more breaks from social media (and our blog apparently). I am enjoying the quality time I have with my family.


Being a mom is rewarding and hard as hell. Every mom will tell you that. There is no “perfect” mom. We all have our spectacular mom days, where you are exhausted because you did all the things your kids wanted to do that day, but we also have our imperfect mom days where you sat on the couch watching The Home Edit while they played (argued) for four hours in their room. It’s called balance, ladies and gents!

So, drop the hard expectations you have for yourselves and be the mom you want to be. Create the childhood you want your kids to remember.


I couldn’t leave the blog without wishing you all a Happy & Safe Halloween! It is hands down our favorite holiday. We are too excited! I will post our costume on our Instagram and Facebook, so make sure to follow us on there, but here’s a pumpkin picture!

Thanks for reading, and I’m glad to be back! ❤️

My Fall Bucket List!

I love fall, y’all!

Pumpkins, apples, Halloween, THANKSGIVING! It’s my favorite time of year.

I love waking up on a chilly morning with coffee in my hand, taking the pups out for a morning run (the dogs, not me!). I go check on the chickens, and Pauly our rooster let’s put his cock-a-doodle-doo!

Fall mornings seems like everything moves a little slower for me.

My youngest had me print out our fall bucket list! I’ll insert it below!

I created my own bucket list for fall. Mine is going to look a bit different.

Slow down

Enjoy the little things. Enjoy the way the leaves turn, and enjoy how the air gets more crisp. Enjoy family time with the hubby and my daughters. They grow so quick, so enjoy the little moments.

Make time for my husband.

We get so lost in taking care of the kids. We do everything we can to make sure they are happy and healthy. We often lose sight of what started it all, our love. Making time to enjoy each other is essential. Wether it’s date night, or just a quiet night on the couch.

Prepare for Winter

Winter is dark and depressing, honestly. It is not my most favorite time of year. I’m going to enjoy and mentally prepare for the dark ahead. Start taking care of my body, and my mental health. Do things for me, to make winter a little more bearable.

Get more organized

I can’t stand clutter! My goal this fall is to get more organized. That should always me my goal, but like I said, I hate winter. Hopefully being more organized will make me enjoy the winter months a little bit more!


Little changes can make a big difference. Hopefully my bucket list for fall will help me enjoy it just a little bit more!

Don’t get me wrong, my youngest girls bucket list sounds fun too!

Keeping busy while social distancing!

We are still trying very hard to social distance.

It’s been tough not surrounding ourselves with the many people we love, but also trying to find things to keep our girls occupied!

I’m gonna share some of the things we’ve enjoyed doing.


Crafts

Painting, modeling clay, slime making, bracelet making! You name it, we’ve done it! We love doing crafts, it’s been something the whole family can enjoy. Our favorite has been the clay, though. The girls love making little sculptures, and painting them. I’ve already gotten a few new jewelry dishes. 😉

Lots of Reading

Who doesn’t love curling up with a good book? I know we have really enjoyed it. A lot of our summer reading is done outside in our hammocks. It’s our favorite spot to chill. My youngest (A) loves the Mercy Watson series, written by Kate DiCamillo. My oldest (C) loves The Never Girls series! I will read anything, but I’m a true die hard Twilight series fan. I know 🙈

Video Games

I know what you’re thinking, video games?! Really?! But we honestly enjoy playing so many video games as a family. Minecraft is one of our all time favorites. We also enjoy all of the Super Mario games: Mario Kart, Super Mario World, Mario Party, etc. I also started getting the girls into Animal Crossing, although that’s not a multi player so we don’t play it often.

Outside Play

Sprinklers and pools were a huge part of our summer fun! Riding bikes, scooters, roller blading, swinging on the tree swing, playing fetch with the pups! So much fun stuff to do outside, and the fun is honestly endless when you’re outside. We also have a wooded area on our property which is fun for nature hikes and scavenger hunts! In September all the mushrooms around the yard pop up, and it’s fun to go around and identify some of them.

It’s definitely been an interesting year for us all. Trying to find things for the whole family to enjoy can be challenging.

Hopefully this gave you some ideas if you needed them! ❤️

A Decade Of Marriage.

In my last blog I shared that my husband and I shared our 10 year wedding anniversary.

I cannot believe it has been 10 years.

August is a big month for weddings in my circle of family and friends. I know of at least 5 who have gotten married in August over the past 10 years that we’ve been married. Another couple we are great friends with is getting married this weekend, so I thought I would share some things I’ve learned this past decade.


Communication.

Communication is honestly the biggest thing about marriage. There are so many arguments that I could’ve avoided by simply communicating my feelings. When we attending our pre-wedding marriage counseling, that was a huge focus.

We are not perfect, and have to continuously remember “communicate like two lovers, not two lawyers.”

Keep dating.

Yes, you may have been married for 1 month or 35 years, but you have to continue to date your spouse, and keep learning about them. I still learn more about my husband everyday. You don’t have to “go out” to have a date night. Just turn on a good movie, or have a quiet dinner after the babies go to bed at night. Just keep dating your husband.

Never stop trying.

Marriage is hard. Especially if you have kids, careers, bills, etc.

You just have to remember the reason you fell in love with that person. We can’t ever go back in time, but I am a firm believer that marriage is forever, for better or for worse. Love your partner the way you want to be loved.

Enjoy your life.

Life is always changing and evolving. I am so lucky to have found my partner when I did. We have had so many good years, and are continuing to build a life that we enjoy. Our kids make this, life so much more enjoyable.



I’m still in shock it’s been a whole decade, and I’m so excited for what’s to come.

Time flies when you’re raising children…

Sitting at dinner the other night, and we were talking about how fast this year has gone by.

It could be because of COVID, and most of our year was “wasted” by “quarantine” or simply because our littles aren’t so little anymore and they are growing SO fast!

It’s hard to sit back some time and REALLY enjoy these little moments.


I’m not going to lie, I had a mini breakdown last week. Full blown toddler tantrum…

I finally had some time off of work, to enjoy my 10 year wedding anniversary (holy shit, how has it been 10 years?!).

Day 1 of vacation and I start getting texts from work (I can’t get away from this place). I really wanted to get away for the big decade anniversary, but let’s face it, two kids and a global pandemic later, and no one has the time or money for that shit!

To top it all off, my kids we’re making me INSANE with their constant arguing and pestering about every… little… thing!!!

I finally broke down, and LITERALLY called my mama crying!

She talked me down, and we laughed and cried. Finally she asked me if I remembered going to my aunts house for the weekend every other month or so… because she too had the same moments I had. Every mom, or dad, NEEDS time to be an adult, and enjoy alone time wether it’s with a spouse or by yourself.

Then she said, get yourself a Starbucks (or whatever over priced coffee you like), get home, and get on with your day because you are going to remember the time spent with your family, more then you’ll remember this breakdown.

That women was so right! We had an AMAZING day exploring Frankenmuth, MI (see picture below)!

Then on our ACTUAL anniversary, we shipped the kids to my hubs mom’s house for the night, we ordered take out, and watched ALL the bad TV we could fit into the 16 hours we had ALONE!!!

It was HEAVENLY!


ANYWAYS, Back to my original thought about how FAST time is moving… I just wanted to share that story because it was raw and real, and it is not all sunshine and rainbows here!

I am in the trenches of motherhood. I am at war with myself because these are their most formative years, and I want to make sure they look back on their childhood and say, ‘wow, I was respectful and respected, but we also had a GREAT childhood.’

I’m definitely not one to give advice. You will not see me at any baby shower telling that new mama-to-be how she should only breastfeed, and use cloth diapers because it’s better for the environment, etc.

However, I’m passing along advice from my mama who raised 6 kids…

“Take time for yourself. It is one thing to be so in love with your child and do everything for the baby, but you have to not lose sight of yourself as a woman to balance out motherhood.”

Sounds simple right?!

But how many days have gone by since you’ve last taken care of YOU?!

Let’s just try harder. Every day is a new day for growth and opportunity.

You hear it all the time, “self care”, but do you really do it?!


WOW! How many cliches can I put into one blog?! 😂

But, thanks for hearing my heart! ❤️

Amanda (the boss bitch that keeps me motivated) and I, want to do a Q&A with all our readers! So if you have a question for us, leave it in the comments below!

COVID and School

We want to keep this page fun, but there is a big fat elephant in the room, and I’m here to talk about it and share my thoughts and feelings!

School.

As you know, I am a mom to two amazing school aged daughters. My oldest is in the 4th grade, and my youngest is going into first. We love our school so much!

We had just gotten back from a spring break trip March 13. We had so much fun, but little did we know, we’d be coming home to pure chaos.

The night we got home, our Governor held a press conference stating she was shutting down our schools. What were we going to do with our two daughters while my husband and I work full time hours?!

If there’s a will, there’s a way.

A week after the schools shut down, my boss decided to shut down my work. It was scary, but also really great because we were able to focus on getting a routine established for “remote learning”. There were still SO many fears and concerns.

I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it, but it was rough. It was so new to the teachers, the students, and for most parents. We sort of had a good idea on what to expect as we had done online school for our oldest daughter in the past (that is another story for another time…).

Honestly, our girls did not handle the shut down well. At. All. For the first few weeks, there was little to no routine.

My oldest hates school. She is so smart, and she knows it. However, that doesn’t mean school comes easy to her on all subjects. She loves using the computer, and prefers learning through apps, and online videos and instruction. She was THRIVING once we figure out what apps were “OK’d” by her teacher and the school. Getting her to sit down and read, was a challenge, but she loved having books read to her via Audible. (That was a Godsend.)

Now, my youngest is completely opposite. She loves sitting down in her bean bag chair with her books, and journals. She loves using flash cards and doing her work sheets. The online stuff was cool, because it was a little more interactive, but she definitely is a pencil and paper kind of learner.

By the end of the school year, we had established that we were going to keep our girls learning, but we did it in our own way. We used materials given to us as a guide, but really built our own methods.


SO, Summer is wrapping up here this month, and that leaves us with a HUGE decision. What in the H-E-L-L are we going to do about the 20-21 school year?!

Who the hell knows!

As of right now, we are definitely leaning towards online learning. It will be hard to find a balance, between work, school and home life, but I truly feel in my heart, this will be in the best interest for my family.

I know my daughters more then anyone else, and I know they did NOT do well with the shut down. It took a lot of persistence to get my kids going on a good schedule. There was a lot of yelling and tears, not going to lie!

I know that if I can get my kids on a good schedule right at the beginning of the year, it will make having another “shut-down” a lot easier IF we end up having one. If not, and COVID “goes away” then we won’t be behind, and my kids can jump right back into the school year in the classroom in January.


I understand there are A LOT of different opinions about school, and COVID. I’m not trying to make a political statement by any means. I’m truly doing what I feel is best for my family during these unprecedented times. No one understands what we are facing, and no one is making a right or wrong decision wether you are doing virtual, or not.

Amanda and I truly appreciate all of our followers, and we hope you enjoy our blog!

Thank you so much for reading, and if you feel like throwing your opinions in the comments, by all means, please do!

Next week, I’ll keep things a little more light and fun! 😉