New Year, New Me

New Year, New Me

2017 was a year of rebirth for me.

After lugging around 29 years worth of insecurity, self-doubt, and an innate fear of never fitting in, the contractions finally started to kick in and I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Alas, it was time to birth a new me—she was coming whether I felt prepared or not.

The process was tempestuous. As much as I knew how futile it was, I desperately wanted to keep her in a little longer. I was terrified of what it would take to nourish, care for, and grow this new woman who was pushing her way through the canals of my soul and into the light.

What would she demand of me? What would she altar?

Would I lose friendships? Family members? The love and respect from people who took time out of their day to read my words and follow my story?

Would my sense of humor change? The way I spoke? Was she going to completely dominate my life from then on out?

The idea of giving my life over entirely to her was chilling. Surely, I couldn’t still be me and also be her—and I wasn’t ready to lose myself just yet.

I spent the greater portion of the year switching lead in an impassioned tango with her. Inviting her in and then swiftly pushing her away.

Forward, forward, quick, quick! Slow
Backward, backward, quick, quick! Slow

Every time I gained momentum, anxiety would creep in and I would decide that the rebirthed version of myself wasn’t quite ready to enter this world and needed to cook a little longer.

I knew that once I let her out, there would be no turning back. Once the match was lit, the fire wouldn’t be far behind. The embers would glow among the ashes and set the spark aflame. A roaring blaze would emerge and the crackle of those flames breaking me down would sing through the air.

But what would that song mean for me?

I hadn’t a clue, but it was too late to dwell on that any longer. She was crowning—emerging with or without my blessing. I pushed with each contraction for what seemed like an eternity, and finally, she was born. This me who had been cooking inside the very depths of my being for years.

Turns out that birthing her was actually the easy part. Keeping her alive—now that’s an entirely different feat.


I found myself suddenly accountable for her—just like the tiny infants I brought home from the hospital who placed their entire existence into my restless hands.

If I could nourish, protect, and love her like a newborn child, maybe—just maybe—she would survive.

But nobody ever told me that the minute you decide to become who you were always meant to be, the universe pushes back.

Because life is no longer the same. Everything from the beliefs you were taught as a child to the air surrounding you, feels disparate.

And if you aren’t prepared for a change of that magnitude, it can rock the hell out of you.

I know I’m not alone here. Several others, maybe you, went through significant transformations this past year.


From weight loss, to mind shifts, to getting out of toxic relationships, to the way you speak about others when they are not around.

Rebirth can come in many forms and maybe you’ve already started your journey, or maybe you’re like I was—trying to hold her in a little longer.

I guess I’m just here to encourage you to take control of the tango and put one foot in front of the other.

It won’t always be easy. New year, new me sure sounds glamorous, but nobody talks about what goes into becoming that “new me” version of yourself. It’s tough. But if you’re ready to shed the skin of who you were and become who you were always meant to be, it’s damn worth it.

Lean in. Breathe. Bear down. And meet the new you.

Because when she’s ready, she’ll come whether you’re prepared or not.


If You’re Afraid of What the Holidays Are Becoming, Here’s How You Can Use Christmas to Teach Your Children About Giving

If You’re Afraid of What the Holidays Are Becoming, Here’s How You Can Use Christmas to Teach Your Children About Giving

If You’re Afraid of What the Holidays Are Becoming, Here’s How You Can Use Christmas to Teach Your Children About Giving


I see it happen every year.

There’s a Demolition Derby in the Target parking lot over an open spot.

An Amazing Race to the last toy on the shelf.

A quick trip to grab some gift cards turns Real Housewives dramatic real quick.

The tension in the grocery store line proves more dangerous than the fight for the Iron Throne. 

I know this is nothing new. I mean, I was around for the great war of 1996 when grown adults were literally stampeding and attacking one another over Tickle Me Elmo dolls.

And don’t get me wrong—I understand why people take pride in being able to gift their families with things for the holidays. I’m not knocking a tree with dozens of presents around it by any means.

My concern is not the gifts themselves, but when we start caring more about those things than people.

I won’t pretend that I was a saint or anything—I definitely asked for my fair share of toys, gadgets, and high priced hot ticket items as a kid. But thanks to the example my parents had set for me, I also frequently asked for a portion (if not all) of my Christmas present fund to be used to give back to others.

My parents instilled a sense of generosity inside of me that brought me face to face with the true essence of the holidays from a very young age. Christmas was always more about giving than receiving in my family, and to this day, my favorite memories around our tree don’t include a single gift I received.

Instead, I hold on to my dad crying over a card I wrote him. My mom, shocked when the entire family takes off their shirts to reveal a Multiple Myeloma one underneath in support of the stem cell transplant she’s about to go through. My husband wiping his eyes after finding the ornament that I made for him with his cousin’s eulogy in it.

I think of visiting my grandma in the hospital and giving her the soft blanket and socks I purchased with my own money—the last gift I would ever get to give her. Cooking breakfast for the homeless and getting the chance to actually sit and talk with them through our church outreach.

It is the giving that stands out in my heart and breathes life and joy into me during the holidays, and that is something I hope so dearly to pass on to my children.

So this year, Derek and I decided to start a new tradition with the kids. We took the boys with us to the store and collected goodies to fill up stockings. We explained to D the importance of taking care of other people and he got really excited to be a part of that. When we got home, Declan and I put together each one—ready to distribute to the homeless men and women in our town.

He took pride in carefully collecting each thing and gently placing it inside each stocking, and my heart was beaming watching him gleefully take part in something so special.

The stocking supplies came out to a little over $100 for 20 people. Derek and I decided to opt out of getting each other gifts this year and instead put that money toward others which allowed us extra money to do this sort of thing, among a few others.

But if you don’t have cash to spare, you can still teach your children about the importance of giving. Here are a few of my favorite free options:

  • Grab a big bag and let the kids help you in choosing some toys of theirs that they want to donate to other kids. Share with them that since they will be getting new toys for Christmas and some children don’t, it would be really special if they gifted some other kids with their gently used toys that they no longer play with.


  • Help the kids make homemade Christmas cards to pass out to neighbors and strangers alike.


  • Join your little ones in picking some flowers and then use a little ribbon, twine, or whatever you’ve got to create bouqets! You can put them on people’s cars in the grocery store parking lot, or even have the little ones hand them out to folks (with your supervision, obvi)


  • This one depends on the age group, but volunteering to feed the homeless for the holidays is always an excellent option as well.

There are so many ways to teach our children the importance of kindness and giving and our world needs those things more than ever.

And it’s not too late! We are passing out our stockings today and tomorrow and you can totally hit some last minute giving too.

Tell me, what are some of your favorite things to do with your kids to give back? I’d love to hear from you!

13 Myths Uncovered About Marriages

13 Myths Uncovered About Marriages

Marriage has quite the reputation around it, don’t you think? Some see it as a drag, while others spend their entire lives with a cutout photo of their head glued to a wedding dress clip out on the very top of their dream boards.

But what happens when the wedding bells have chimed and the Pinterest worthy “I Do’s” have passed? We are told so many great things about what marriage is and what it means, but with that, comes a lot of terrible advice and straight up myths that leave many couples in a position of stress and distress in their nuptials.

My hope is that by tackling some of these myths, we can all move towards fuller, healthier marriages.

So here is my list of thirteen myths about marriage:


This one, I swear. Sometimes I want to write very strongly worded letters to the people who think it’s hilarious to write this myth into movies, television shows, talk-show-host-jokes, etc.

There is no written rule, clause, or even guideline that states marriage is some sex-sucking vortex that will undoubtedly deny you of physical pleasure. Unfortunately, so many people subconsciously believe this, so the minute there is a hiccup in their sex life they assume their marriage is just naturally progressing to a state of no sex (as expected) and don’t bother to challenge that.



Grab your torch and pitchforks, because I’m about to bust this one wide open and I know there are plenty of people who won’t like it. A few years ago I wrote about how I believe your spouse should come first and I stand by it.

Your marriage is a foundation for your children. It will teach them about romantic love and guide them to their own spouse one day. And at the end of the day, it’s going to be you and your main squeeze living out your days together while your children are grown living their own dreams. So it is absolutely vital that you continue to nurture that relationship and make it a priority in your life.



Look, marriage isn’t always easy, but it is also not hard work. This is a dangerous phrase because it implies that your relationship is a job, rather than a connection with another human being. You don’t punch in and out of your marriage, get holidays off, or have reports due by Monday—why then, do so many people refer to it in terms of an occupation?

Our language matters, so pay attention to the way you speak about your marriage as well as the other relationships in your life (parenting, for example). Just like with all connections we share with other people—be it our parents, our friends, our spouse, etc.—you are bound to run into roadblocks. Nobody’s personality meshes with anothers 100% of the time. You can work hard at communicating and overcoming obstacles in your marriage, but that doesn’t make the marriage itself, hard work.



Expecting your spouse to be able to read your mind is like going to a foreign country and expecting them to be fluent in your language.

We, women, like to believe that we are all straight up psychic when it comes to our relationships with others. And honestly, there is some merit to that. Women, in general, tend to be more in tune with other people’s emotions and mannerisms, as well as more empathetic. But to expect your spouse, or anyone for that matter, to be able to decipher what your shoulder shrug means is not only unrealistic but also super unhealthy for your relationship.



While it is true that there should be a healthy balance in your relationship, this does not mean that every task should be distributed evenly. You need to be willing to play off of one another’s skills and availability in order to find a groove that works right for you, rather than keeping mental tabs of who takes out the trash the most or does the dishes every night. If your spouse leaves at 5 am every morning and you don’t get up until 8 am, it makes sense for them to be the one to take out the trash bins every week. Likewise, if you stay at home and your partner works, it makes sense for you to contribute more to household chores than they do.

Highlight each other’s strengths and respect one another’s time rather than focusing on the areas your partner lacks in. My husband hates doing the dishes and I hate sweeping, so he rarely touches a dish and I rarely touch a broom. Things are not always going to come out 50/50, but you shouldn’t be keeping score anyway.



It’s a sweet picture: You and your spouse become parents to a perfect little angel baby and you spend your evenings giving that little ball of squish calming lavender baths. Then the three of you cuddle up in bed and read bedtime stories until sweet squishy gently melts away to dreamland. Then you look into your partner’s eyes and think, “how perfect our life is!”

Don’t get me wrong, moments like these do happen, but they are mixed in with a mess of other moments that are guaranteed to rock your foundation if it isn’t solid. Exhaustion, late night feedings, excessive tears, limited mobility, diaper changes, I-don’t-know-what-the-heck-I’m-doing-moments, and everything in between often make for two adults who barely spend any one-on-one time together anymore.

Children will challenge you in incredible ways, but they will also challenge your marriage as you learn to navigate life as a wife and a mother.




 “You make me feel like I’m talking to myself!

“You made me really upset when you said that.”

“I’d be happier if you would just…”

Too often we believe that our happiness is deeply rooted in other people’s words and actions. But in truth, you and only you are responsible for your happiness. Expecting your spouse to control your emotional wellbeing would be like asking them to swallow and digest your food for you.

If you place your happiness in someone else’s hands, you will be disappointed every single time. Not because they don’t love and care about you, but because they are a separate human being from you and they already have a full-time job being in charge of someone else’s happiness—their own.



People do change. I myself have completely transformed from the timid woman I once was. But here is the kicker, and it’s a big one: People do not change unless they want to. At least not long term.

It’s easy to convince someone for a week or two to improve their habits to meet your needs. And because they love you, often times they will make the attempt. But at the end of the day, unless they see it as a problem themselves, nothing will change and you will both end up in a vicious cycle where both parties feel like they aren’t worthy. You feel like your spouse should love you enough to change, and your spouse feels like you should love them enough to accept them the way they are.



If I had a dollar for every relationship that was ruined by the expectation that romance should come naturally, I would be one rich bitch. I get it, I do. John Cusack’s boombox serenade makes romance seem effortless. But if you’ve ever carried a boombox, you know that those things are not light, effortless, or easily portable. Homeboy put some serious thought and planning into that ish and that’s because romance isn’t always as simple as pressing an on/off switch.

We all speak different love languages, which means that what might be romantic to you, may not be at all to your spouse. So make sure you get clear on what romance is first, and then remember to have grace for your partner (and for yourself), because life isn’t a movie and romance isn’t natural for everyone, all of the time.



This is sort of a hidden belief that nobody really talks about, but it’s a huge one that causes so many underlying issues in relationships. Why are we so afraid to talk about sex with our spouses?

America still treats sex like a taboo (despite it being one of the most natural parts of our existence) and because of this, so many couples feel embarrassed or ashamed talking to their partner about their needs and desires in the bedroom. But when you don’t communicate about sex, how is your partner supposed to know how to please you? The answer is simple: They can’t.

Our bodies are all unique, which means there isn’t a “one size fits all” for sexual pleasure. That is why it is vital to get a conversation going with your spouse about what works and what doesn’t in order to experience the level of closeness and connection that your marriage was designed for.



The Beatles paint a pretty picture of love being all that we need, but unfortunately, they’re wrong. While many of the things we need all route back to love, love itself is not the only basis for a solid marriage. Many people stay in damaging relationships because they believe that love is more important than mutual respect, communication, and desire. Obviously, love is a crucial piece to the puzzle, but it is not the only piece. The trick with love is that it is often left up to interpretation.

If you grow up in a home where your example of love is your father yelling at your mother, apologizing, and kissing her on the head, you will likely grow to see love as a tempered and apologetic. If you grow up with a single parent, love may look like devoting yourself to providing for your family. If your parents are super mushy, love will look like a sappy chick flick to you.

Because we all view love differently based on our environments, love cannot be the final say in a relationship’s well being. Because love by itself, while powerful, is not perceived the same universally. Love must be coupled with things like mutual respect and communication in order to work through those barriers and find a common ground of what love means as a couple, rather than two individuals from different love backgrounds.



Don’t freak out! I’m not here to tell you that you’re headed for divorce if you fight. We absolutely, 100% all have fights. Hell, we fight with everyone in our lives at some point, so why would our spouses be any different? However, consistent fighting is not normal or healthy. Does that mean you’re headed to Judge Judy to fight over who gets custody of the giant flat screen in the living room? Not quite.

Occasional fighting is not a cause for concern because, hi, we all get on each other’s nerves now and then. But if you find yourself repeating the same fights over and over again, this is likely due to issues that have not been fully dealt with between the two of you, that need attention. Sometimes this can be resolved by having a heart to heart and laying everything out on the table with some constructive, open communication. And if that doesn’t work and you find yourself in the cycle again, don’t be afraid to seek outside help.

One of the best things a couple can do for their marriage is get counseling when there is an underlying issue that keeps seeping its way back in the form of anger and frustration. Talking with an unbiased third party is a strong, productive way to give your marriage the opportunity to thrive that it so deeply deserves.



I know I talked trash about love movies in this article, but there is some merit to their overall message. Happily ever after may not look like Cinderella suddenly being able to buy every pair of shoes in the kingdom because she’s #rich and in love with the wealthiest, dreamiest dude in the land—but it can look like a modern day fairytale where you spend the greater portion of your days feeling hashtag blessed and truly enjoying your marriage.

I’ve spent nearly a decade with my husband and I can honestly say that I still feel like I can’t get enough of him. We have been through absolute heartbreak together but I truly feel like the joy we have experienced outweighs the sorrow, tenfold.

Happily ever after does exist, you just have to believe that you are worthy of it. (Which, you totally are).

Does your love life need a recharge?

If you’re looking to totally transform your love life and find yourself in the process, this book is for you! Several women have already begun their adventures to a fuller marriage. I double dog dare ya to join us 😉

Big Changes Are Coming

Big Changes Are Coming

Big changes are coming, and I’m bursting at the seams with excitement!

A month ago I crept back into this space after a hiatus, letting you know I was ditching the niche and officially writing about whatever I wanted when I wanted.

And then I went silent again.

As I got further and further into the writing process of my eBook, I realized that I was blossoming and it was time to take this space with me as I grew.

For five years I’ve blogged under the title, “Lend Me Your Kite”.

I wish I could say it had some meaningful background, but in truth, it was something I came up with on a whim one day while writing, and it stuck.

But my journey no longer revolves around the once timid women searching for her voice. I have since come into myself and discovered what I am, who I am, and where I belong.

I no longer need to hide behind a “screen name”, a false title, or a character so-to-speak. Instead, I am fully embracing the “I am woman hear me roar” mantra and I’m ready to bring you the fullest, best version of everything I’ve got.

So with that said, we’ve got some pretty big changes happening around here!

First, you may have noticed that I’ve officially archived the name “Lend Me Your Kite” and opted for a more straight forward title.

Secondly, the entire site is in makeover mode. I can’t wait for you to all see the finished product within the next month or so.

But in the mean time, take heart—I’ll still be here bringing you content and hopefully getting you jazzed up for my eBook release in September.

I am forever grateful to this community for following me on my journey the last five years and I look forward to diving into even more exciting things with all of you.


Come Hang With Us At The 2016 Cake Expo (Local Giveaway!)


loveeeee cake. In fact, it’s a bit of a running joke in my family because whenever it’s someone’s birthday I’m pretty much guaranteed to be sitting next to the cake with a fork in hand, just shoveling away at it as opposed to putting it on a plate like a civilized person. So when I got invited to attend the 2016 Cake Expo in San Diego this year I was like, “YEP! Sign me up!”. Then I found out it was actually on my birthday weekend and I knew it was fate. A weekend of cake for the birthday girl? SOLD. 

And what’s cooler— they gave me extra tickets for you!

So hey— Want to come hang out with me at the 2016 Cake Expo at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for my birthday? Because I totally want to hang out with YOU, which is why I am giving away 2 ALL ACCESS PASSES to ONE lucky winner! 


You can have your cake and eat it too when you celebrate your favorite confection at the CAKE: The Sweets & Party Expo.

Celebrity guests will be in abundance to enjoy the festivities along with you. Participate in cake decorating (and eating!) contests, indulge your sweet tooth, and hone your skills at demos and make-and-take stations.

Perfect for foodies, hobbyists, or people who just love sweets, parties,and crafty creations. this event will grant you access to the newest baking supplies, party-planning ideas, deliciously sweet recipes, samples, creative gift idea’s and swag to take home, too.


Cupcake challenge: ACCEPTED.

Spoiler Alert: Mine will most definitely be worse than yours.

Seriously, it’s going to be a blast and watching this video from last year’s Expo has me so excited to attend this year!

Talk about hitting the birthday cake mother load. And the cherry on top will be getting to meet one of you!

Rules to Enter:

– Must be available to visit the Del Mar Fairgrounds (San Diego, CA) on October 29th or 30th. (Transportation is not provided, so you must have your own way there).

– Must be 18 or older to enter.

– Must love cake.


And even if you don’t win, you can still come hang out with me at the Expo. I’ve even got a discount code for you guys, for HALF OFF admission.

You can choose from one of the following offers: Half OFF WITH CODE: BlogFan

• $5 ($10 value) for one child (ages 6 to 12) admission ticket with trick or treating and Halloween celebration

• $29.50 ($59 value) for one single-day adult general admission pass with samples, VIP Branded goodie bag, and access to all demos and stages

• $39.50 ($79 value) for one two-day adult general admission pass with samples, VIP Branded goodie bag, and access to all demos and stages

• $74.50 ($149 value) for one all-inclusive PERK pass, including all general admission benefits on both Expo days, plus access to the VIP lounge with exclusive samples and a autographed digital copy of the Holiday Hostess party-planning and cookbook, Cupcake decorating with celebrity personality Baking With Melissa

Get Tickets Now! use code BlogFan for half off all ticket options.

NoteKeep an eye on the website — Sweetlebrity guests will be announced periodically as the event approaches, and they’ll participate in meet-and-greets, demos, book signings, and more!

Activities: 2 stages with demos every hour, Trick or Treating Sunday night for kids in costume, Cupcake Decorating, Hands On Stations, Samples from sweet vendors, 100 + unique vendors.

Winner will be announced on Sunday. Good luck!


Twenty-Wine Birthday Party

Derek's Twenty-Wine Party

Remember when I said I wasn’t going to let the last birthday of my husband’s twenties just sneak on by? Well, I was serious.

It’s been a while since we’ve hosted a party at our house (read: we have two small children) and we recently redid our deck in the backyard (blog post coming, probably never)— so I decided to throw a little shindig.

I have a disease where I can’t do anything without a theme, so this one was Derek’s “Twenty-Wine” — I cleverly catchphrased the event saying, “watch him whine, wine, and turn 29.” I know guys, I know. Hire me now.

For our wine tasting party, I thought it would be really fun for everyone to have their own custom wine glass to drink from. So I went and got some from the dollar store and hopped on Pinterest for a way to customize. I found this tutorial for chalkboard paint bottoms and it looked easy, so I bought the paint and got to work.

Chalkboard wine glasses

Um, hi— not easy and also, way more time consuming than I anticipated. You would think that dipping something into paint isn’t rocket science, but after my attempts I’m convinced that it actually is, and I’m pretty sure the astronauts have to chalkboard paint their helmets as part of their training.

Luckily after some serious trial and error and giving myself the ugly class, I managed to get most of them to look halfway decent. Once painted, all I had to do was use the permanent chalkboard pen I already had and write the names on each one. The total project cost $15 and only two days of swearing at the glasses in frustration. I’m glad I did them though, they really added to the party and it came in handy always being able to tell who’s drink was whos.

Derek's Twenty-Wine

Next, I printed out some photos of Derek’s awesome shoot with Brenda and used dollar store frames. I also found this fantastic printable on Etsy, and snagged it because it was too perfect.

Crown Prints

Derek and I had been collecting wine bottles for days weeks, and I used them as decorations on the table as well. Then I filled the entire thing up with deliciousness.

We had salami, proccuitto, grapes, berries, crackers.

Various cheeses spread across our gorgeous custom cutting board from Timber + Main. Crostinis in dollar store plastic cups. A crazy haired toddler.

Timber + Main cutting board


Derek's Twenty-Wine Party

We also crockpotted some meatballs for a little extra substance.

I missed about 80% of the party because my mom ended up getting really sick the day of, causing my parents to have to cancel babysitting. So I spent most of the evening with them, since B kept waking up every 45 minutes or so wanting to nurse. But that was okay, because everyone had a great time— especially the birthday boy.

Derek's Twenty-Wine

I was really pleased with how the party turned out and I can’t wait until I have an excuse to throw another one!

What about you guys? Do you like throwing parties or do you prefer to just attend them? Tell me below in the comments!