Category Archives: mom

Dressing a “tween” for back-to-school

As much as I hate to admit it, it’s time to start preparing for back-to-school.  I have two children, a boy and a girl, both in the “tween” stage of life.  Luckily, my son is care-free and will wear whatever I purchase for him without complaint.  He’s not into fancy smancy name brands or the hottest looks.  He’s prefers shorts, t-shirts, and flops or sneakers (depending on the weather), making shopping for him a cinch for me!


My daughter, on the other hand, is the ultimate fashionista.  She loves all things girly and can’t wait to get her hands on the newest and hottest fashions.  So, back-to-school shopping for her can be a little tricky.  I love helping her find hot styles for great prices.  So, before we head out to take advantage of some tax-free savings, we decided to do a little web browsing as to reduce the number of eye rolls and arguments that we might have while out shopping!


So, here are some of her favorite back-to-school items:

Rare Editions Girls 7-16 Hi Low Dress

One Step Up Girls 7-16 Printed Crepe Button Down Blouse


My Michelle Girls 7-16 High-Low Hem Top










YMI Girls 7-16 Floral Printed Skinny Jean


Well, now that we’ve spent time looking for things that fit her “style”, I’ll go mentally prepare for the fact that her mind will have completely changed by the time we get to the mall.

What styles are your tweenaged girls begging for this fall?

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones may break my bones…you know the rest, right?  How many times have you heard that saying?  Countless times, I’m sure.  But, have you ever really stopped to think about it?  WORDS will never hurt me.  Words will NEVER hurt me.  Words will never hurt ME.  No matter how many ways I spin it, the fact still remains:  words can hurt.

The other night, I was at church talking to a friend about our kids and how they are growing up so fast.  Both of us were able to think back on hurtful things that people said to us when we were in middle and high school.  We also talked about how our children come to us when someone says or does hurtful things to them.  I hesitantly admitted that I find myself using that same old tired phrase with my children in attempts of helping them bounce back from the pain caused by someone’s careless mishandling of words.  When in fact I should be honest with them.  Instead of trying to make them pretend that words mean words are not hurtful, I should be teaching them to cope with the pain caused by hurtful words and action.  So, the next time one of my children comes to me and lets me know that they have been hurt by someone’s words, here’s my advice to them:

1. Don’t take it personally.   Hurt feelings are a part of life.  Everyone experiences hurt from time to time.

2.  Express your hurt feelings.  Keeping your feelings bottled up is not the correct way to deal with them.

3.  Let it go!  We are not defined by other people’s opinions.

4.  End it.  The”Pay it Forward” concept is great when it comes to everything EXCEPT saying mean things.  You know how it feels when someone says something hurtful to you, so make a vow to let it end with you.  Don’t say mean things to or about other people.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who is hurting because of something that someone has said?



Friday Five/Fourth Friday Edition

Once again, it’s the final Friday of a summer month.  That means we’re getting closer to school starting back we still have a few weeks of fun left before school starts!  It was hard to narrow down my Friday Five list this week.  This was an action-packed week full of fun and excitement. Well, here we go:

Friday Five

1.  Cheerleading:  I put my pom poms on the shelf back in 1997 after being selected UCA All-Star, serving two years as captain of the Varsity squad, and having six memorable seasons as a WHS Cheerleader.   This week, I started my new position as Jr. High Cheer Coach, and I’m really excited about it.  Please know, I am smart enough to know that my cheerleader days are over.  But, it’s nice to see these girls who have the same passion for the sport as I did 16 years ago.


2.  Football:  I’m an avid lover of football.  I LOVE my Auburn Tigers and it’s difficult to tear me away from the TV on Saturdays in the Fall.  But, I’m feeling some kind of way about football now that my son is playing his first season of football.  Despite what I thought, he’s loving the sport, so I guess I’ll just have to learn how to enjoy football while watching the game through my fingers!  (It’s different when one of the boys on the field is your own…)


3.  Family:  Normally during the summer, I am inundated with things to do.  This summer, I vowed to take it easy and spend time with my family.  It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.  I’ve enjoyed waking up and seeing my husband off to work (and then quickly jumping back into bed to try to grasp hold of any little sleep that may be left inside of me) and spending time with my children (when they weren’t busy asking to go to a friend’s house or having a friend come over).

Family4.  Dance:  Soon, I’ll be headed to the beach for Fire & Ice National Talent Competition.  My daughter’s dance team has had a great dance season and I’m ready to close it out with some wins at nationals this week!


photo by Coeybella Artistry

and the BEST part of nationals is that it’s being held at….

5.  THE BEACH: My favorite place in the whole wide world is the beach.  I love relaxing and being care free. I love hearing children (mine and others) playing in the sand.  I love hearing the crash of waves as  they retire on the shore.  I love getting lost in a good book without the disturbance of the television and other things.  I love admiring yet another of God’s most amazing creations.


Oh yeah….I also love eating great seafood, hanging out at cool spots, and shopping!  (shh…)

There’s my week in a nutshell.  I’m ready to enjoy the weekend!  Enjoy yours.

My Favorite iPhone Apps

I absolutely LOVE my iPhone.  So much so that I’ll turn around and go back home if I discover that I’ve forgotten to toss it in my purse.  This relationship is real, albeit one-sided.  The phone is always giving me what I need and I’m always right there waiting to receive the awesomeness that it always supplies.  If loving my iPhone is wrong, I don’t want to be right.  I’ve been on the iPhone bandwagon since the first generation.  I’m a bit tardy at taking the plunge to the iPhone 5, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before I upgrade.  (I’m still a little salty about Apple changing the charger ports on it’s newest iPhone.  Upgrading my phone will mean upgrading chargers and docks and everything…)

My love for my iPhone made it impossible for me to resist Alabama Women Bloggers’ invitation to link up with their “Talk Appy to Me” Tech Tuesday post.  I couldn’t wait to unveil my absolute favorite iPhone apps.  Well, without further ado, here they are:

Facebook – I LOVE having this amazing social network at my fingertips.  I can check statuses, send messages, add new friends, send birthday wishes, and more with the help of this great app.  Definitely one of my favorites.


Twitter:  Another of my favorite social networks easily assessible through an app.  This is another app that I use on a regular basis.

twitter logo

Cozi:  I’ve blogged about this great app before.  The Cozi app allows me to keep up with everything that I have to do.  Additionally, my family can add their activities and instantly, our calendars are connected!  I love being able to see who has a meeting, practice, or an event all at a glance.  Cozi doesn’t stop there.  I’m able to add shopping lists, plan meals, and take notes.  I don’t know how my family stayed organized before Cozi!


You Version Bible App: Incorporating daily Bible reading into my life is so much easier with this great Bible app.  You Version makes it easy to read daily verses, write notes, view videos, or participate in reading plans.  You Version allows me to set up reminders, which is very helpful when I embarrassingly forget to take time for God’s word.  You Version helps keep me accountable to reading the word every day.

Youversion logo

WordPress:  This app recently became one of my favorites.  I started blogging in late May.  I discovered this app in June!  It is awesome.  I can write and edit blog posts, read my favorite blogs, and check the my blog stats!  I love being able to blog on the go with the WordPress app!

wordpress app

ebay:  I love finding great deals on ebay.  The ebay app makes it easy for me to browse and shop anytime.

ebay app

Rhapsody:  I love music.  I love apps.  So what’s better than a music app?  Nothing!  Rhapsody lets me listen old favorites as well as the newest releases from all genres of music!


Well, those are a few of my favorites.  To find out what apps other women bloggers in Alabama are loving, click the picture below.  Before you go, don’t forget to share with me some of your favorite apps.  I’m always looking for more!


I Stand Corrected

This week has been a busy one for me.  So busy, that I’ve only blogged once this week!  My long-awaited graduation day is rapidly approaching and one of the requirements is an electronic portfolio.  The aforementioned portfolio is to consist of my responses, reflections, and artifacts proving thorough understanding of all of the objectives that have been taught in all of the courses that I’ve taken for this thirty-three hour educational specialist’s degree.  Keep in mind that I’ve been working towards this Teacher Leader degree for a little over a year and that in addition to pursuing this degree I’ve also been a wife, mother, teacher (high school and junior college), dance mom, basketball mom, tutor, you get my drift…


I’m a self-professed Superwoman and sometimes I think that I take on extra tasks just to see if I can outdo myself.  Seriously, I don’t think I’ve uttered the word “no” in so long that my lips and tongue may not even know how to form the shape needed to successfully say the word.

Yesterday, I excitedly pressed the submit button to turn in my portfolio to my advisor!  Boom! A whole week early!  Superwoman has done it again!!  Time to celebrate!  Then, just as my toe was pointed, lifted, and headed into the right grapevine to begin the electric slide, I heard the buzz of my iPhone indicating that I had received an email.

The email was not one I was expecting.  Not at all.  It was a message from my advisor asking me to set up a call with her to discuss my portfolio.  Seems that it needed a little more work.  Why I initially got so upset, I’m still trying to figure that out.  When I got off the phone and truly evaluated how much time I’ve spent working on the project, I felt silly that I, even for one second, got offended.

I’m a teacher.  If I don’t know anything, I know that teachers  have the gift that tells them when students hurriedly complete assignments so as not to interfere with the other things that they have going on in their lives.  Why would I think this instance would be any different?

I stand corrected.  I stand corrected that I can slip some work by a teacher and he accept it as my best because I’ve submitted nothing but my best all semester long.  I also stand corrected in thinking that I’m Superwoman.  I’m figuring out that being a jack of all trades makes me the master of none.  At this very moment, I’m making a list.  I’m going to check it twice.  I’m erasing all the things that prohibit me from having the best life possible.

Friday after the Fourth

For me, the Fourth of July is a day to relax and enjoy the day with family.  We celebrated the day by watching fireworks at the lake.  Other than that, we did a whole lot of barbecuing and eating, just like most other families in the South.

Today, we slept in to recover from all the Independence Day fun.  Since my Internet is still not working, the kids and I drove over to Barnes and Noble so that I could submit some homework assignments.  They also picked up new books, and I must say that I was pretty impressed with their selections.  My son chose Out of My Mind and my daughter chose Trading Faces.  It only took them an hour to make their final selection.

After spending a little time reading and surfing the web in the Barnes and Noble Cafe, we came home to enjoy some leftover barbecue.  Then, I treated the kids to The Special Place Ice Cream Emporium.  If you live close to Pell City, you absolutely MUST give it a try.

I had to double check my phone to make sure that it wasn’t still July 4.  The neighbors are finishing off their last rounds of fireworks and I can still smell a hint of hickory in the air as I step out on the back porch.  It’s kind of hard to say bye bye to yesterday when the celebration continues today as well.  So, this phrase seems only fitting for today:  Happy Friday after the Fourth of July!

Final Friday of June

Today is the final Friday of the month.  I can’t believe that I’m already halfway through my summer vacation.  Although it has flown by, June has brought with it some memories that will last for a lifetime:

Hometown Block Party


Starrz Performing Arts Center at the Pell City Block Party

Swimming with Friends


My oldest perfecting his underwater handstand

Dance Recital


Starrz PAC 2013 Recital – The World Tour

Mission Trips with First United Methodist Church


At the Animal Shelter

Alabama Gulf Coast Vacation

photo 2

Fun in the sun at Gulf Shores’ beautiful beaches

Basketball Camp


Birmingham Southern Middle School Basketball Camp

I have definitely lived up to my blog name this month:  Diva on the Run!  But I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my family.  I am so blessed to have a profession that allows me to spend so much time with them.  Right now, I get to run with them.  Soon, I’ll be running after them, longing for these days that we are living now.  For that reason alone, I make it my business to make every moment with them count.

Grin and “Bare” It

As you know, I’m heading to the beach soon to enjoy a few days of rest and relaxation.  I was chatting with my mother earlier today about what to pack and what not to pack, and she reminded me that since we were going to the beach, I didn’t need to pack any makeup.  As scary as it sounds, she’s right.  I’m a sweat machine, and mixing that with the gulf coast’s humidity would be a nightmare for my MAC foundation, Covergirl mascara, and Mary Kay lipstick.  So, I’m going to suck it up and go barefaced for the duration of my vacation.

Me with a makeup-free face

Me with a makeup-free face

Since I’m giving up makeup for the week, I’ll have to be sure to pack my Clarisonic, Purity Made Simple, and Hope In a Jar–also known as Cherith’s trusted trio.  I have to work hard to compete with Mom’s effortlessly flawless countenance.  Somehow, she forgot to pass on the gene that yields perfectly smooth, blemish-free skin.  I’m still working on forgiving her for that!

I do, however, think that I’m going to sneak a lip color in my bag.  Recently, I’ve grown addicted to Mary Kay’s Creme Lipstick in Rich Fig.   But wait, I wear that with Pink Parfait Lip Gloss, so I have to bring that along, too.  Right?  And, surely, it won’t hurt to smooth on a little of MAC’s Powerpoint Eye Pencil.


Come on.  Give me a break.  Divas have certain standards to live up to.  You expect me to go five whole days without my makeup?  Really??

What’s the longest you’ve every gone without makeup?


I’m Not a Diva, I Just Play One on my Blog

I’ve quickly fallen in love with my blog sister’s page The Sowell Life.  If you haven’t checked it out, I encourage you to do so very soon!  She’s awesome!  Her blog post entitled “Getting to Know You…” inspired my post today.  I think it’s important for people to get to know the people behind the blog.  So, I’m going to answer some questions that Joy posed in her post today so that you can get to know a little more about me.  Ready?

1. Out of the 24 hours in a day, what is your favorite time on the clock and why?

My favorite time on the clock.  Hmm…. That’s a tough question.  I would have to say my absolute favorite time on the clock is 6:00 a.m.  That’s the time of the day that my alarm clock goes off each morning.  If I hear that alarm, I know that I’ve made it to see another day!

2. What is your favorite magazine to get in the mail or buy in the store?

My favorite magazine is O! Magazine.  I absolutely love all things Oprah Winfrey!  Her magazine is always filled with advice, information,  and resources related to  self-empowerment.  It also has beauty and fashion tips and health and finance information.  It’s just a great magazine overall.

3. Twitter or Facebook?

Really?  I have to choose just one?  I spend way too much time on  both so it’s difficult to choose.  I love that I can connect with my high school and college friends on Facebook.  But, I absolutely love getting retweeted or receiving comments from celebrities on Twitter! 

4. What’s your best memory of high school?

My best memory of high school (dang, I’ve got to think back 16+ years) would be UCA Cheerleading Camp 1996.  I tried out for UCA All-Star Cheerleader, along with hundreds of other awesome cheerleaders, and I made it!  I was so excited.  I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment that I felt that day!  The camp was at Auburn University, which is now my Alma Mater.  So, that makes the memory that much more special!

5. What’s your go to website for shopping?

Amazon.  No doubt.  I can find everything that I need there!  I love Amazon!!

6. A blogger who inspires you?

Katie Frost over at Hems for Her.  Katie is a great blogger.  She’s actually the person who encouraged me to give blogging a try.  She has also endured my crazy questions and has been super supportive of me.  Thanks Katie! 

7. Who is your celebrity crush?

Idris Elba!   My husband knows that he’s in big trouble if I EVER get a chance to meet Idris! (Just kidding.  Not really…)  I mean, just look at him!  Don’t you love him, too???

Cherith Elba just has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? LOL

8. What’s a book you’d recommend to read?

Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks.  Hey, I’m a sucker for a love story! 

9. A favorite recipe you love to make?

I’m not really a big fan of cooking.  But, since I have to choose a favorite recipe, I’ll go with meatloaf.  My son LOVES my meatloaf, and I have to admit, I think it’s pretty good myself. 

10. Your favorite app on your phone?

Ruzzle.  I’m such a word nerd.  I love playing word games.  By the way, my second favorite is Words with Friends. My third favorite is Bookworm.  

11. You’ve got an afternoon kid free and job free, what would you do?

Mani/Pedi, a little shopping, and lunch out with friends. 

12. The restaurant you always crave?

Any Mexican restaurant!  I could eat Mexican every day of the week!  Love it!!

Never Say Never and My #1 Beauty Product(s)

Back at the beginning of the year, my church participated in a 21-day fast.  We followed the Daniel Fast plan.  For twenty-one long, long, days,  we were only to eat fruits and vegetables, and water was the only beverage that we were to consume.

Immediately after my pastor announced this activity, I marched to the car and voiced to my husband that I would NOT be participating.  There was no way this steak-loving, cupcake-eating, wine drinking lady was going to deprive herself of these things.  Not happening.  No way.  No how.  End of discussion.

Then, from the back seat of the van, my eldest child asked, “Why not?”  My husband looked at me and waited on my response.  I didn’t have one.  At least not one that I wanted to vocalize.  The only reason that I could think of was that I didn’t want to .  The type of answer that every would-be parent longs to give when their child asks a question.  “Why can’t I go to the movies with my friends?”  “Because I said so!” (Well, maybe it was just me that couldn’t wait to be able to give those types of answers.)

Since my husband and the kids were all in, I had to pull it together and endure this adventure with  my family.  For twenty-one days, I traded the cupcakes, potato chips, fried chicken, and fast food with fresh vegetables, organic soups, beans, fruits, and water.  It was a bit of an adjustment, but it was an experience that I will never forget.  It was life changing in so many ways.

It was during this time on the Daniel Fast that I discovered my #1 beauty products:  water and fresh fruits and vegetables!  While on the fast, I quickly began noticing changes in my body.  My hair was at its healthiest, my skin was at its clearest, and extra pounds that I had been carrying for months melted away.  My body was a direct reflection of what I was eating and drinking.  We’ve all heard it before, but actually seeing the changes was amazing!

I was probably the most reluctant one in the house to drink water.  I had to get creative towards the end to keep the momentum going.  I began to add cucumber slices and lemon juice to my water to give it more flavor.  From time to time, I’d add fresh fruit to my glass of water and pretend that it was some sort of tropical treat.

Now, I’ll admit, I was counting down the days until the end of the fast.  But, I am glad that I listened to my gut feeling (i.e. my husband and my son).  Since the fast ended, I’ve done much better about including more water, fruits, and vegetables into my diet.

By the way, I wish that I had been blogging back then.  You’d get quite a few laughs out of the stories I could tell of those twenty-one days!

Attila Ovari

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