Welcome to Whit's World

Welcome to the randomness that is my life. You can usually find me wandering around somewhere in my head trying to figure it all out. I blog about the loves of my life, my two boys, our new homeschooling journey, and anything else that moves me. I find that writing is the best therapy. Thanks for stopping by, and Be Blessed!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just Jill Cosmetics Grand Opening and Launch

I am writing to let you all know about the launch, and local grand opening, of Just Jill Cosmetics! A new line of all natural skin care and makeup products ten years in the making by Jill Ventimglia, a licensed Esthetician, skin therapist and makeup artist. All products can be found online at www.justjillcosmetics.com.


Local readers, you will be happy to know that Jill Ventimglia, an LA facial therapist, has now opened shop right here in Austin, Texas! She has worked with celebrities such as Maya Rudolf, Jack Black, Darryl Hannah, Jonah Hill, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emilie De Ravin...wow, what a list huh?!

And...

You, yes YOU, are invited this Sunday to a Grand Opening event from 1-4 PM! Meet Jill and the other stylists, help celebrate the launch and opening, and see her new space within Lighten Up Hair Salon & Spa in North Austin at 8229 Shoal Creek Blvd, Suite #107 (just North of Steck Ave.). There will be plenty of free goodies to leave with, as well as raffles and coupons. Too much good stuff to miss out on any of it!

Just Jill Cosmetics are Natural and 100% Mineral, and the brand new Just Jill Skincare is 100% Natural, Organic and Vegan. The entire Just Jill line is designed to prevent breakouts, actually benefit the skin, and is, of course, sweat proof and built for climates like Austin, Texas. It sounds like this is exactly what I have been searching for, so I am anxious to meet her next week! I have scheduled a facial for next Friday! I've never had one, an am so looking forward to it.

So...stay tuned, because I will be writing a lot more about my experience with the fabulous Jill, her journey and her makeup and skin care line. We will also be offering one of you an opportunity to enjoy the same in the next weeks.

I hope to see everyone come out for the fun on this SUNDAY, MARCH 4th, and help welcome Jill to the Austin community! Let me know if you plan to attend.

Be Blessed,

Whit

Can't make it this weekend? Contact Jill here:
www.justjillcosmetics.com
www.jillmakeup.com
(818) 606-7788 cell

Monday, February 27, 2012

Reading the Classics


I love books, my boys love books, we all love books in this home! I have read to both of the boys from day one, and in turn they love to snuggle up for a good book. Early literacy is such an important part of a child's education! I have very fond memories of reading for hours and hours on end as a little girl. By the beginning of the second grade I had read Little Women and Anne of Green Gables cover to cover (I kept them all these years because they're my favs!). My parents often caught me in the middle of the night under my covers with a book light, trying to get through a couple more chapters. Remember the Babysitter's Club, Girl Talk books, and anything by R.L. Stine? I practically lived in the library growing up.

L calls them "B's" and will bring you 10 in a row to sit down and read every last word. That is he and his daddy's favorite thing to do together from day one.


I see J developing the same relationship with a good book that I had as a child, and it warms my heart. When he goes out to play in the backyard, 9 out of 10 times, there will be a book in his hand. He of course loves all of the Wimpy Kid books, The Boxcar Children, Geronimo Stilton, and most recently the Munford Series. We read lots of literature during school because he learns the best through that method.

I just ordered a bunch of classics that I remember reading as a kid including Shiloh, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Indian in the Cupboard and The Island of the Blue Dolphins. There are so many more I want him to read too, this will get us started! We are about to begin a new reading curriculum called "Drawn Into the Heart Reading" and I am so excited to read these classics over again with J. With this curriculum, you pick books and do corresponding activities while reading each different genre. This will be right up his alley and take the pain out of reading comprehension time hopefully! We will begin it in a couple weeks.

Do you have an all time favorite book? What are some of the classics that you want your children to read? Any books you want to recommend or add to the list? Happy reading, and

Be Blessed,

Whit

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fun Etsy Finds

So I am always a little behind on discovering addicting new apps and the newest social media craze, but I have fallen in love with Etsy! No, I was not aware there was an Etsy iPhone app, until 2 weeks ago that is...uh-oh is all I can say now.

I had a little extra money that, all of the sudden, began burning a hole in my pocket as I began perusing all the must have things. So what do I do first, but look for something that one of the boys need, new bibs! We were down to one and this little messy guy loves to eat, so I bought 4!

The first 2 are from a local Austin shop called, Our Little Messes . L loves the puppy dog one! They are reversible, adorable, the perfect size, and plenty absorbent. I love them and was sad to hear that they won't be making them any longer, but there are so many other fun things you should definitely check out like the most adorable crayon carry alongs for the kids. Seriously awesome customer service too! They were here in 2 days, and a portion of my shipping cost was refunded!


The other 2 I ordered because they were a steal on clearance and adorably cute! I found these at Mommywear1 .


Now, I had to find something for myself! I was in desperate need of a new wallet, so I searched for well over an hour til I found the perfect one at Tilly's Whistle. I noticed that the description did not state that there was a zipper pocket though and that's a must. I contacted the shop owner and within 15 minutes she created a custom order for me just like I wanted. It's perfect and I am so excited to transfer everything over!


I found this adorable Lego lamp from HappywoodGoods that I want for J's room next and I think we will get L's new toddler bed bedding custom made through an Etsy shop now too! The next time I spend money on myself though, I'm getting an elephant charm bracelet from The Cambrayah Collection...in love with her pieces. I am totally addicted to Etsy shopping now!

I love supporting the independent/small businesses. It feels like your purchase really goes towards the well being of a family, not some corporate honcho. I would love to know some of your favorite Etsy shops, or please share your own shop address with me here!

Be Blessed,

Whit

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Living Within the Spectrum


So many of you have heard me mention that my oldest son lies somewhere on that broad autistic spectrum. We received a definite diagnosis last year, right around this time, of Aspergers Syndrome. Well, a year later, so much is different, yet it's not...

By Christmas time last year, I was at my wit's end with J's behavior. He was not listening to me, his father, or his teacher like he should. A lot of times it felt as if we were talking to a brick wall. It became extremely difficult to even carry on a conversation about what he did at school that day. He was wetting his bed all the time again, becoming very reclusive, and was so hesitant to do or try any new activity. One thing J has never been good at was initiating a conversation or play time with us. We were beginning to become more and more conscious that something just wasn't "right".

Around Christmas, after yet another strange call from his teacher, my husband looked at me and said, "Do you think he may be autistic?". Goose bumps covered my body, but at the same time an incredible peace fell over me. Could that be the answer?

We did a lot of research, weeks of research. I also began taking notes every time I thought of something or saw something that had always raised an eyebrow in the past. Over several weeks I filled up most of the pages of a spiral notebook, we sat down to look it all over and were stunned. I made an appointment with the pediatrician the following week.

We went on a school day, so we could talk to the doc in private. I started by just expressing my main concerns and then began reading from the list I had been journaling. I wasn't half way through the second page, when he said, "I don't think I need to hear anymore, it sounds like your son has Aspergers." The doctor sent us to a "specialist" in the field. We were less than pleased with that visit, but at least we came away with a definite answer.

J finished his school year out in public school. His teacher didn't agree with the professional's diagnosis, which made the remainder of the year a little hard for us all, but we made it, and never looked back. For us, the decision to homeschool from here on in, was an easy one after all of this.

I have not yet sat down with J and explained to him what Aspergers is or that he has it, I honestly don't think he would understand right now. I also don't want him to use that label as a crutch or an excuse, like he is already so good at doing on his own. One day, the discussion will have to be had, and I will know when the time is right.

....Until then, I will continue to revel in the small personal triumphs he has made. I didn't think I would ever see the day he would be able to tie his shoes or ride a bike, today, he can do both (however, I am always a nervous wreck when he's on his bike-we are working on SAFETY, and he cannot be unsupervised). I very rarely change wet sheets in the morning these days, and school is going terrific for the most part this year. Trust me, we still have plenty of "those days", but I am learning to change and deal with it differently and accordingly.

The other parents always said, "Your little boy is so sweet, but just so different than any other kid I've ever met." I heard it so much, that I wasn't sure it was a compliment anymore, but they were all right! He is different, he is amazing, he is so smart, he is so many things besides a kid with Aspergers!! I am truly blessed to call him my son.

Be Blessed,

Whit

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: My Sidekick


This is by far my new favorite picture. This is my view for the majority of the day.

Be Blessed,

Whit

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Thank You God, For Blessing Me": A BookSneeze Review!


This book looked too adorable to not request a copy of it! Unfortunately, it was only available in an e-book format instead of in print. I love my technology, but I am always going to love actual books more...there's just something about them. Anyways, I digress, back to the adorably cute book "Thank You God, For Blessing Me".

The author of this one is one of my favorite writers, Max Lucado. Yes, his children's books are just as great! The main character is the cutest darn caterpillar you have ever seen, Hermie. This is one book in a series of 2 by Max Lucado, the other one is "Thank You God, For Loving Me." The book is geared towards the youngest of readers, ages 0-4. It teaches simple Christian based lessons that your baby, toddler or preschooler is sure to love.

My little man, 21 months old, loves reading this story. The only complaint I have about this book is in my iBooks, the pictures of the book are a little small. This makes it hard to keep a little ones attention when there are other things going on around them. Besides that, the fun rhyming pattern of the book and beautiful illustrations make this a must buy for the little one in your life. You can pick up your copy through Amazon here.

Happy reading, and...

Be Blessed,

Whit

Mamavation Monday: How do I Relax?

So our weekly writing prompt for the Mamavation Monday blogging carnival asked this week: "How do you relax?". Well, as the homeschool mom of an 8 year old and a toddler boy, I'm not sure that word is much a part of my vocabulary, lol!

I have been making myself take more time for me lately because I know I need it! But, moms, let's face it, 10 minutes of quiet time in a day may be all we are asking for, or capable of getting.

I do have a couple of activities that I like to fill my free time up with though that bring me relaxation:

1. Crank up some good music! I love music, all different genres, and nothing relaxes me more than some of my favorite tunes. (Which completely depends on my mood.)

2. A pedicure! This happens about twice a year, so when I do get to go enjoy one, total relaxation.

3. Blogging or chatting with my Facebook and Twitter friends is always something I enjoy and find relaxation in. Happy Social Media Week by the way!

4. Cross-stitching. It is one of the most relaxing things out there to me. I find such peace in stitching and ending up with a beautiful piece of art in the end!

5. Spending time in the Word and tuned in to God. This is where I can find the most relaxation if I only allow myself to go there.

I don't spend enough time finding relaxation, but I cherish those moments when I do. How do you relax?

This week will be busy and free of relaxation probably, but that's alright. Wish me luck as I start my second #2weekchallenge today. Not sure when that workout will get squeezed in, but it will!

Have a great week Mamavation sistas!

Be blessed,

Whit

This post is sponsored by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Did you end up with the career you always dreamt of?

What did you want to be when you were little? When you were 7 or 8? Before you really had a clue? Me? Well...a CNN anchorwoman and a ballerina. I was quite clearly reaching for the stars back then, but I dreamt about my future careers a lot as a child.

Photo courtesy of yvonnecr on Photobucket.
Obviously, I am not currently a CNN anchorwoman or a ballerina, but, I can say that I am living out my dreams for the most part.  Following high school graduation, I took a couple years off.  It wasn't until I became pregnant with J that I decided it was time to go back to college for a degree.  After several years of serious thought, I decided to follow in my mother's path and get my teaching degree.  My Biology teacher encouraged me to focus on the Math and Science spectrum in education, and so that I did.  Going to school while J was young was very hard, mostly because he was so sick during those early years.  Unfortunately, I never finished that education degree.  I only lack a couple of semester hours and some student teaching to complete it, but now I'm not sure that will ever happen now...

You see, I guess I am living out my career dreams.  I am now teaching my very own children Math, Science and all the rest, in the comfort of my own home.  Right now we are thoroughly exploring the oceans and learning how to properly use dictionaries and thesauruses, I love teaching!  I get paid in hugs and kisses and I Love You Moms...I will be forever wealthy for this.  (Now if those hugs and kisses would only pay off the huge pile of student loans.)

I won't lie to you though, there are still those days that I dream of being a ballerina, or a CNN anchorwoman, or anywhere other than in the craziness of my often times complicated life.  But at the end of the day, I feel that I am truly blessed with my career of choice.  How about you?


Monday, February 6, 2012

I Don't Iron

I don't iron! As a matter of fact, I don't even own an ironing board, an iron yes, just no board. I had to find a picture of one on Flickr, and if I did own one, this would be a much better use of it.

Photo courtesy of ninahale on Flickr.
No, my family does not walk around in wrinkled, sloppy looking clothes either. (No one would even know, if I didn't share.) You would be surprised how nicely everything comes out of a hot dryer, if you fold it or lay it flat immediately after removal. There is also the bathroom steaming trick for those pesky garments that have been hanging awkwardly in your closet for a while. They make incredible wrinkle free clothes these days. The dry cleaners is right down the street as a last resort too, you just aren't going to find me standing next to an ironing board.

So why this non-existent relationship with ironing you may ask? I believe it stems back to my childhood for sure. You see, to put it nicely, my mother was a tad anal about house work, especially ironing. It wasn't enough to have all of our pants and shirts ironed. My weekly weekend duty was to stand in my room, watching CMT, and iron for hours. Iron pillow cases, sheets, work uniforms, and the handkerchiefs my dad blew his nose on all day at work. Seriously, a snot rag ironed into a "perfect square." I would iron all day Saturday and Sunday to get it all done, as I was in charge of the entire family's load each week. This ironing business went on for years!

When I left home, I did not take an ironing board with me, and all these years later, haven't found the immediate need for one. Just thinking about adding that chore to the full plates I am already balancing, makes me feel a little crazy.

So in this home, there will be no ironing! Not today or in the foreseeable future. What about you, is there a household chore you loathe as much? How do you skirt around doing it?

Have a beautiful week dear readers, and...

Be Blessed,

Whit

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

All Falling Apart

Hello dear readers! The past few weeks it has all been falling apart...good thing we took a week off from school.

About a week ago, my vacuum died. It was old and had duct tape on several places, needed to go, but can't go splurge on one either, so I held on as long as I could. Now, remember, I live with 3 boys: a toddler, a young boy, and messy man; as well as 2 big dogs and 2 loud guinea pigs. I need a vacuum, it's a daily job around here! But, we still don't have one. I've been using a shop vac to clean up bad areas.

Last night, I was settled in, watching Season 1 of the Sopranos, and paused to change over my 5,000th load of laundry for the week already. The washing machine was plum full of water, and dead too. Nothing worked to get it going again either, has power supply, just dead in the water. Seriously, the amount of laundry in our home is unbelievable!! Just like the vacuum, I MUST have a working washing machine! CRAP!! That same shop vac I referred to earlier will also be used to suck out the standing water in my washing machine in just a bit.

Now, if that amazing little shop vac (thank goodness for this thing right now!) could just help fix my knee. Yes, my knee is broken too. No clue what I've done. I've had issues on and off for years with it after years and years of ballet, but this time is worse. It hurts to bend it, stand on it, walk on it or even touch it right now. I stayed off it all day yesterday, and iced it regularly. After I empty the washing machine and do breakfast (my kids slept in this morning at least!) I plan to have a movie day and stay off it again.
I guess more than we need a vacuum or a washing machine, we need a functioning mommy.

Hubby will tear into the washing machine tonight, because if it can be fixed, he can do it! Cross your fingers for me, because that's gonna be a pricy checkout if not. If you know of any bargain shopping appliance places in the area, do share! When it rains it pours, right?

Be Blessed,

Whit