Saturday, February 25, 2017

February Lately: My First Collab!


So, I'm super excited to write this post today, because it's my FIRST blog collab! Today I'm working with Divya, the blogger behind EatTeachBlog.com - and together, we're bringing you the roundup of what we've been loving most lately.

I first connected with Divya through a Facebook group we're both in, and through that group, I found her blog. She's a special education teacher and she works closely with autistic kids (and other challenged kids, too?) on a daily basis, helping them to up their skills in the social arena so that they can do better in other ways along the line. I love her blog especially because Eden actually has A LOT in common with officially-diagnosed autistic children - I've actually thought for several years now that she is probably on the high-functioning end of the spectrum, not only because of her behaviors and quirks but also because tactics that work for autistic kids also often work for her. I haven't sought the official label for her, but as her mother, I'm fairly certain it's there.

Anyway, Divya's blog has been a great resource for me on several occasions, and while every single trick she mentions isn't always a perfect fit for my particular family, many of her ideas are sound and well-researched, not to mention being greatly backed up by her work history with kids like mine:

In the end though, she's much more than a teacher, and I love her blog for the other things it has to offer as well ... just like with my blog, Divya's place is a walk through a life, from food to travel to marriage and family, working out, body-and-self acceptance, etc.

And in keeping with Divya's "Lately" posts, here's a walk through MY life:


Cooking Lately:
Recently, my family has been loving this Bourbon Chicken, which is so easy to throw together in the crockpot. It's delicious and affordable, which is great; I serve it over rice, usually with steamed broccoli on the side Yum!



Craving Lately:
Popeye's Chicken. I seriously am all about some chicken these days, and there's nothing quite as good as some spicy Popeyes tenders with cole slaw. And fries. And maybe some of their tea - half sweet and half unsweet. Okay, enough about food - moving on.

Discovering Lately:
I have further to go in my self-love journey than I thought. The other day when I was crying my way through a therapy session, I asked my therapist how I can cry while feeling pretty much nothing. No pain, no sadness (in that moment) ... just ... nothing. And yet, so many tears, especially when covering that particular topic. She said something to the effect of, "Because it's not you really, it's more like the little girl you used to be, the inner child. The part of you that's still hurting." I'm not even kidding when I say that my literal first thought/response to that - to the idea that there's a sad, scared, hurt little girl still hiding somewhere inside me - was, "Man, she's a sissy."

No wonder she's still crying, huh?

Drinking Lately:
Water, mostly. One of my goals for this quarter was to do better with that, and while I am in general failing miserably at this goal, I am still actively trying. About three or four times a week, I skip coffee to go easy on my reflux, and instead I drink water with a packet of Strike Force mixed in. Works like a charm, no side effects, and it tastes good too. Perfect. (You can get some for less than $1 per packet - just click here and make sure to use AFLBRANDI8634 in the discount code to get 20% off.)

Listening Lately:
Demi Lovato's "Warrior" is still my favorite song at the moment - I can put this song on repeat and never get sick of listening to it. I've also been listening to the Build Your Tribe Podcast with Chalene Johnson, the Your Kick-Ass Life Podcast with Andrea Owen, and the Good Trash Podcast, which I turn on on YouTube but don't actually (always) sit down to watch. Instead, I just listen to Sarah Rae Vargas joke around with her brother Jason Vargas, who sounds like the smoothest, most yoga-certified radio-host ever. His voice is somehow deliriously sleepy and deliciously smooth, and when paired with his upbeat and raucous sister ... well, it's entertaining, for sure.

Playing Lately:
Fashion Story. It's kindof a pointless game, but I like it nonetheless. My daughter Josephine started it first, and she was sad that she didn't have a neighbor to send and receive gifts with, so I set it up on my tablet, and then ended up liking it. Eventually, Eden got jealous that Joey and I were playing together, so now she's playing it on her Nabi and we're all neighbors. See? Technology doesn't HAVE to be a deterrent to bonding. Sometimes it's better to admit when you can't BEAT 'em, and just JOIN 'em instead.

Reading Lately:
Mostly, I've been enjoying the shorter, non-fiction form to be found in blogs and memoirs. But when I settle down with some comfort fiction, it's always the Ourlander Series by Diana Gabaldon (Yes, I do read other books, just not usually on repeat like with these.) - right now, I'm working my way through Written In My Own Heart's Blood, which is the 8th book in the series. When I finish, I'll spend a few days pouting about book 9 not being finished yet, I'll read a few other books, then I'll go back to the first Outlander book and start over. They're that good. Seriously - go check them out here.

Smelling Lately:
I know you guys are probably sick to death of hearing about this stuff, but I'm still digging the bottle of Febreze ONE that came in my Resolution VoxBox from Influenster in January. The box was packed with several items, all of which I got for free just to try the products, and this was my favorite by far (except for maybe the PopChips ... yum.) because it's such a fresh, light smell, but it's floral enough to make my space feel girly again. I've got the Orchid scent, but it also comes in Bamboo scent. You can find it at Target.com, or just head out to pick it up at your local store.

Thanking Lately:
My cousin, who went out of her way to help make sure my birthday was awesome. She brought me teacup roses, cupcakes, and Japanese food for lunch, and it really made my birthday a special one. The flowers are still holding out beautifully, too!

Trying Lately:
Last weekend, I tried this Freeman Cucumber Facial Peel-Off Mask with Joey, and it was FABULOUS. We loved how happy our faces felt when we peeled it off, how it smelled on our skin, everything about it. And then just now when I was looking for the link to the mask, I found a variety 4-pack, and I. AM. SO. EXCITED. Look:


I also tried a vegetable sushi roll this weekend. There's no way in hell I'm ever gonna sit down and willingly eat raw meat or fish, but I like veggies just fine, and I thought it might be fun to give it a try. The roll I got had cucumber, carrots, and avocado, wrapped in nori seaweed, which was then wrapped in sticky rice. Which was then wrapped in black and tan sesame seeds. I think maybe I'm not crazy about avocados, and I definitely could have done without the sesame seeds, but all in all, it was a decent experience. And it's nice to know that if I ever found myself in a world where only sushi was edible, I wouldn't have to starve to death.

Watching Lately:
Did you know the White House has a YouTube channel now? No? Well, they do, and I'm loving it. Watching this channel has been a great way to keep up with what's going on in my country, and I've been loving watching so much personality ooze out of my President and his people. But Sean Spicer needs to slow down when he's reading those press briefings, because ... well. He's good at lots of things, I'm sure, but reading aloud REALLYFAST is not exactly one of those things.

Which is okay, I guess. Because I just read this post out loud to Dana to proofread it, and I'm not any better than Sean. So there's that.

So there you have it. Thanks for spending part of your morning walking through my life! Make sure you head over to check out Divya's post at EatTeachBlog.com, and if you're a blogger too, feel free to link your February Latelys at the end of this post so we can come check them out!



Questions for the Comments Section:
  • Not a blogger? That's alright, that's what the comments section is for! Tell me, what have you been up to lately?

*Note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click the links and choose to purchase the products promoted here, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you. However, all opinions expressed herein are 100% honest and 100% my own. Thanks for your support!


39 comments:

  1. I too follow EatTeachBlog on Facebook! I didn't realize the Whitehouse had a youtube channel! Now I'll have to check it out! And I actually have Bourbon Chicken on my menu for this week! I love that recipe!

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    1. Yeah you definitely need to check out that YouTube channel! I feel like all American's should be paying attention - big things are coming in this country.

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  2. Loved your first collaboration post. I think it is a fantastic idea to collab with other bloggers. Especially when you have a similar message to share. PS I love vegetable sushi!

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    1. Thanks, I'm glad you liked the post!

      The sushi on the other hand ... meh. I'm thinking I'll try it again at some point, but it's never going to be my favorite. I did like that there's a veggie version though, for those who are squeamish like me - or Vegan, like you.

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  3. This was a great first Collaboration. Very interesting and fun to read about

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  4. What a great idea for a blog post... I love the whole fill-in-the-blank lately! Thanks for the info, and I'll check out your EatTeachBlog collaborative friend as well. xoxo Robin

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    1. Yeah it was a lot of fun actually, and I liked having prompts to work from. Not because it made the post easier per se, but because it was interesting to see where my thoughts went when guided in that way.

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  5. never knew the white house had a utube station. Very interesting. I love answering and asking questions was this part of a hook up if so where at
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

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    1. They didn't have one until this President, actually. Trump is trying hard to have a very transparent administration, and although I don't love everything about him, I do love that when he speaks I feel his honesty. I also love this new openness - things like this YouTube channel that allows me to educate myself on what was said and done, rather than just listening and absorbing what I'm told on the evening news.

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    2. As for the rest of your comment - yes, this was part of a hook up. It says so several times in the post.

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  6. The Freeman Face Masks are SO good! I love how affordable they are too! I get them at Walmart :)

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    1. I am so in love with them right now - I think they're probably my most favorite product lately. I can't wait to try the others!

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  7. seeing this post makes me realize that february is about to end! lol its ver interesting!

    -OUR FAMILY WORLD

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    1. I know - it went by so fast, didn't it?

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  8. I love these round up posts- they're such a great way to learn about new things out there, tried and tested by real people. Congrats on the first collab too! :)

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    1. Thanks - I'm glad you liked the post! And the collab was definitely a great time - I hope to do more in the future!

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  9. I enjoy reading Divya's posts as well and it's nice that you decided to adapt this segment. It's always nice to get to know fellow bloggers more.

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    1. Yeah it has been fun. I really like her blog quite a lot, and it was fun getting to know her as we worked together on this.

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  10. Omg that crockpot burbon chicken looks absolutely delicious!!!! Of course being the foodie I am I was drawn to that instantly!!!

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    1. It's definitely delicious! It's a favorite in my family!

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  11. I love a good crockpot meal and that burbon chicken looks fantastic. love the roundup and the collab!

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  12. That Bourbon Chicken looks so good. I've been wanting buy a crockpot and already found one that I like. I'll start with that recipe the moment I take that crockpot home.

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    1. I definitely recommend it. It's a great meal, and I love that it's so simple to put together.

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  13. Great idea about collaboration - it's nice to share your thoughts with others and gain more audience :) I have to check this white house channel - wonder what's that about!

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    1. Thanks - it was a lot of fun working with Divya! As for the White House channel, definitely check it out. They post the press conferences and briefings, speeches, weekly addresses, executive order signings, swearing in ceremonies ... it's amazing to get to see it all.

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  14. Your fantastic recipe tasty for sure! It's really looks good, and everything are brilliant idea especially about the collaboration.

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  15. I love posts like these. This was an awesome roundup/collaboration. I think the "lately" idea was brilliant! Learned quite a few things. My drinking lately would be lots of water. LOL!

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    1. Yeah, I loved this whole concept from the minute I first saw it on Divya's blog, and so I was really thrilled to get to work together with her on it.

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  16. the feb-lately idea is nice! what a great collaboration, there is only few hours to go for the first day of March! My month of feb is excitig!

    -MY TEEN GUIDE

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    1. I know - February seems like it just blew by! I was just saying to someone earlier today that I'm beginning to feel as if the world is spinning faster and faster.

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  17. Oo I had Popeyes yesterday for lunch because I was craving it. It was delicious!

    And I love crock pot meals.

    I had no idea the White House had a YouTube channel. I'll need to watch.

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    1. There really is no fried chicken quite like Popeyes. It's just the best!

      Definitely check out the White House - I think you'll like the sense of being well-informed as much as I have.

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  18. Congrats on getting to collaborate with someone else that you respect so much. I would love to work with another blogger to get more experience and expand my reach. Thank you for the inspiration.

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    1. I'd love to collab with you, maybe on the single parent angle or something - I love your blog!

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  19. lovely post and well done with collaboration:)

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