2018 Reflection


I know it’s so cliche, but how is 2018 over!?!

I did great with my monthly goals and Powersheets post at the beginning of the year but then those feel to the wayside. Here is to following all the way through in 2019. I spent Sunday night doing a workshop with the lovely Danika Brysha digging deep into what we want 2019 to bring. But I feel like in order to look ahead we need to look back at times.

The pain, the negative, the worries, the ugly, the bad and the hurts can occupy more time and energy than the positive, love, light and happiness. Its so easy to dwell on the negatives rather than the positives. 

I feel at times we can let a bad ten minutes ruin our entire day. The same goes for a year. So here in no particular order are things to celebrate from 2018!

  1. Ryan recovered from his broken ankle.
  2. We traveled to Disney (twice).
  3. We traveled to the beach.
  4. I opened the door to some “best” opportunities by closing the door on something good, near and dear to my heart, Neonatal nursing.
  5. We celebrated our 5th anniversary in Greece.
  6. De-cluttered all three bathrooms (it’s time to do it again.)
  7. De-cluttered the kitchen.
  8. Found a secretary desk and painted it. I have wanted one of these since I was a child.
  9. Aerial yoga classes.
  10. Had one of my besties move away but also got to visit Hattiesburg and Laurel.
  11. Celebrated 31.
  12. Hung Christmas lights on our back deck like I have been wanting for years.
  13. Got a new laptop!!!
  14. Had my gallbladder removed. Yay, no more stone pain.
  15. Continued Riley Kate’s Lovies.
  16. Visited Emerald Isle with Em.
  17. Started attending a small group that gives me strength and courage.
  18. Attending The Brunch Series.
  19. Visited the turtle hospital.
  20. Had a boat picnic and introduced Em to the idea.
  21. Visited Savannah with the Copley girls.
  22. Had a new air conditioning system installed.
  23. Completed a Whole 30 round.
  24. Attended Beautycounter’s Leadership Summit.
  25. Blogged more than previously.
  26. Made an epic cheese board.
  27. Found new waterfalls in Alabama we had never seen.
  28. Visited New Bern, NC in the snow.
  29. Watched Alabama win a national championship.
  30. Mastered (well successfully made) cinnamon rolls from scratch.
  31. Started our yearly family photo books that I have been meaning to do since the year we got engaged. So far I’ve done 2017 and two big trips.
  32. Attended Highlands Christmas service.
  33. Updated some picture frames around the house.
  34. Dyed my hair blue and purple.
  35. Got a new front door and had the downstairs door repaired.
  36. Spent a date night with Ryan at Fantasy in Lights.
  37. Arranged some pretty flowers.
  38. Made some crazy good Moana ears.
  39. Soaked in some good baby snuggles.
  40. Continued seeing my counselor on a regular basis.
  41. Ryan and I took a few photos where we were married 5 years ago.
  42. Celebrated Em’s Birthday.
  43. Ryan got a new job and we began planning, packing, and prepping for our move to Beaufort, SC.
  44.  Saw sea turtles in the wild in Greece.
  45. Saw owls in our back yard.
  46. Explored the Enneagram.
  47. Saw The Struts in concert.
  48. Grew some beautiful flowers.
  49. Got a new phone and Fitbit.
  50. Took down the wallpaper and popcorn ceiling in the half bathroom.
  51. Spent some time in the mountains.
  52. Read 36 books.


  • When Breath Becomes Air
  • Promise Me, Dad
  • Braving the Wilderness
  • The Gifts of Imperfection
  • Girl, Wash Your Face
  • Sheer Mischief
  • The One Your Really Want
  • This Could Change Everything
  • Three Amazing Things About You
  • 10% Happier
  • Perfect Timing
  • To The Moon and Back
  • Failing For You
  • The Sacred Ennaegram
  • Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay
  • Rumor Has It
  • The Unexpected Consequences of Love
  • The Note
  • Sm’ore to Lose
  • One S’more Summer
  • The Girl Who Stayed
  • The Road Back to you
  • His Needs, Her Needs
  • The Life Giving Home
  • If You Only Knew
  • The Girl Who Stayed
  • The Light We Lost
  • Beach House For Rent
  • The Circle Maker
  • Whisper
  • Remember God
  • Eat Cake Be Brave
  • Into the Wilderness
  • Dawn on a Distant Shore
  • What Stands in a Storm
  • Lake in the Clouds

Riley Kate’s Lovies Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas! I hope your day and season is filled with joy, love and peace. I know the holidays can be an especially hard time for many. I pray you find some pocket of peace and joy today no matter how small. 

Riley Kate’s Lovies are our little girls legacy and remembrance. I started these act of love as a way to help spread the light and love she brought into our lives in her 13 short weeks. It has become therapy and healing for me and I truly hope the recipients feel loved and cared for. This year I did the 25 days of Riley Kate’s Lovies, doing one or more random or sometimes not so random act of love in her honor. It brings me such joy to share her with the world and to honor her. 

This year would have been her second Christmas. I can not imagine what a joy that would have been. It is hard not to get bogged down in the what ifs. I’m striving to see the beauty in the ashes and be a light for the world around me, in order to spread her light and love.

We hope your season continues to be filled with love, light and joy. May 2019 bring you exactly what you need. Merry Christmas! Happy Everything! Wishing you a Joyous New Year! Lovies!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2018

Last week we attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. It is my favorite. Of course I am head elf so it is easy to love since we are combining Disney and Christmas.

We headed into the park a little before 4. With a party ticket guest can enter the Magic Kingdom at 4 pm without a separate park ticket. Often times they start letting people in a few minutes early. We grabbed our wrist bands and headed to the right towards the street behind Main Street. Here you can grab a cookie and exclusive photo opportunities. 

We grabbed three Fastpasses. I have read some people have a hard time getting Fastpass with party tickets but we have not had a problem. You do have to strategically time them to fit in three. For example, Ryan’s Space Mountain was 305-405 use that grace period! Then we moved up the times of our other Fastpasses. 

Around 6 they start clearing the park. They will ask to see your party arm band while you are getting into ride lines and walking around the park. It took til about seven for the crowds to decrease. 

We grabbed a front row  Main Street spot for the first parade around 7 or 715ish We literally grabbed the last front row spot. Ryan took the big girls to eat while Amy and the little girls held our spot with me. Amy and her family ate while waiting for the parade and holding our spot. Ryan and the big girls brought me my food. After I ate we did some shopping in the stores on Main Street. The Christmas parade is my all time favorite. It is magical and smells like cookies, for real. 

Amy and her family left after the parade. If you have big kids who can hang I recommend doing the later parade and riding rides during the first parade. We ran and did the cars after the first parade then grabbed a spot for fireworks. Fireworks and parades at Disney trump rides in my mind but my little ride loving family disagrees. 

The girls grabbed cookies and snow cones. There are stations set up throughout the park with special cookies and drinks that are included in your party admission. The ginger molasses cookie and eggnog is one of my favorites. They definitely had more variety this year than two years ago when we went. There was chilled cider, hot coco, snow cones, mini soft pretzels and different cookies. 

Holiday Wishes was spectacular as always and reminded me how much I miss regular Wishes, not that Happily Ever After is not great in its own way. 

After Holiday Wishes we tried to rush back to Mine Train but the line was crazy so we did tea cups the Mine Train. We stood in line for about  30 minutes the first time, which as many of you know is short compared to normal. The girls wanted to circle back again to do Mine Train as their last thing. We did and spent about 20 ish minutes in line that time. When we left the wait was back up to 45 mins already because the second parade had just finished.

We took our time leaving the park, taking some photo opportunities. I do recommend leaving the park a few before midnight if you are using the Disney buses, monorail, or boats. The lines get long at closing. Or if your family can hang even later, then get in line for one last ride about 10 minutes before park closing and in order to let the transportation crowds clear out and you will have some magical pictures with less people in them. 

The Barefoot Mermaid’s Christmas Gift Ideas

I am no fashion or lifestyle blogger but here are a few of my picks for Christmas gift ideas.

The Birmingham Candy Company is hanging out at Santa’s workshop this year. You can grab corporate gifts or just a small treat for neighbors or friends. I recommend grabbing a peppermint bark or praline pecan candle for yourself. Ok they make great gifts too.

Gardenia Pillow by Adam Trest

Gardenia Pillow not going to lie I love this pillow but I thought it was a magnolia flower.

Artifact Uprising Gift Card I have been using the lay-flat album for my yearly and special trip photo books so a gift card would be lovely to use on the 2018 book as well as ever year but 2018 and Greece, that I need to go back and do.

Shade Rays I have a pair of these. You may have seen them in my Greece pictures. I would love this pink version too. After losing my Raybans at Disney I wont buy expensive glasses again.

Fuzzy, soft grey electric blanket I have one but its not as cuddly fuzzy soft. It is definitely time for an upgrade.

Digital Picture Frame because can you ever have too many photos displayed.

Rodin Mermaid Collection Luxury Body Oil

Mermaid Oil I have had and used this. It smells just like the ocean without tickling my nose like some ocean scented candles do.

Alabama Goods in downtown Homewood is great for local state made products.

My ultimate favorite gift, time. Dinner out together, a concert, a trip and event. Ryan and I are getting a Disney trip this year.

I also love picking up local gifts from the farmer’s market. Pepperplace has a few more Saturdays left. There’s candles, pottery, kombucha, cheese, soaps, honey, and other handmade items.

A few of my out of town family loves getting Jim N Nick’s Biscuit Mix. Or I think they do. Its great to have on hand for those holiday guest.

Beautycounter’s Best of Beautycounter holiday set, Instant Awakening Trio holiday set, and Counterman. Something for everyone on your list.

Another great thoughtful gift is to have people write down their recipes on matching cards and gift in a cute recipe box. There is something about a handwritten recipe. It makes a great memory and keepsake.

Tell me what is your favorite gift you have ever received and given? Also what is you most treasured gift? They could be the same favorite and treasured but mine are different.

*Photographs are from websites.

Loving Lately: Happy New Year

Happy 2018. The older I get the more I love the fresh start of a New Year. A renewed sense of excitement for a year ahead full of possibilities. If you haven’t thought about your goals or maybe just have not started what you intended, do not be discouraged. January 1st is in reality no more special than any other day. You can use any day, hour, minute or second to declare a fresh start and conquer your dreams. But yet there is something magical and refreshing about a New Year. I hope you have the day to reflect back on where you have been and dream of where you are going. May 2018 bring you love, hope, courage, strength and wellness.

As a New Year rolls in we all make grand plans to keep us happier, healthier and wealthier in the new year. Here are some tools and products to help. The key is they are no good tucked away. You have to use them and use them often!

Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner I adore this planner and have been using the daily version for a couple of years now. Emily also has a blog and an Instagram which are full of information to simply and start 2018 on a good note.

Cultivate What Matters Power Sheets is a goal setting workbook and progress tracking tool by Lara Casey. Again she has a blog and her team have wonderful resources for goal setting and chasing your dreams.

Val Marie Paper Prayer Journal I linked the yearly but the undated 6 month journals fit perfectly in the pocket of the Simplified Planners.

Paperblanks make some beautiful journals. I ordered a fresh one for a cleans start this year. I am going to attempt to journal more to track my thoughts, feelings, and goals this year. A wonderful way to check progress and continue to grow.

Three15 My favorite workout studio in Homewood.

If you want to get more water in Swell and HydroFlask bottles are my favorite.

I am a fan of the Whole30 Program and I plan to complete another round early this year.

Check your local library for access to great books. I have created my 2018 reading list and already placed some title on hold. Jefferson County Alabama has one of the best system ever. I imagine other places do as well. You have one library card to access any library in the county. You can go online request items and they will be delivered to your preferred location within a few days if available. Also, they have free checkouts of audio and ebooks through Hoopla. Check into this great service if you are local or check your library for a similar service.

in reality you don’t need any fancy planners, just a pen, paper and some time spent with your mind, heart and soul thinking and dreaming. Thursday I will be sharing my 2018 goals and a peak into my Powersheets. Check back then. One of my intentions this year is to check in once a month to share my action steps progress for that month and the ones I plan to do in the coming month. I am hoping that will hold me more accountable.

The Barefoot Mermaid’s Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole

As we gear up for Christmas I can not help but reflect on Christmas memories. One of my most frequent and prominent memories is Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole. I have vivid memories of helping Papa make this casserole. It is a staple on our Christmas mornings. Now that I have to work some Christmas Days now I make it for work. There is not anything revolutionary or different from other breakfast casserole recipes other than the memories and love scrambled with it.   Continue reading “The Barefoot Mermaid’s Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole”

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