Missing Martino: Love & Loss 15 Years Later

I will always find it interesting how a turn of events can shift one’s life completely, and 15 years ago today was one of those moments. We said goodbye to my dad. My dad who had battled stomach cancer for 2 years prior, but whose body just couldn’t keep the fight going no matter how hard he tried. No matter how much he wanted to keep up hope that maybe this last chemo treatment could be the one. The one to make all the cancer disappear. But that’s just the thing with cancer – it doesn’t give a crap how wonderful of a person you are, or how healthy otherwise you’ve been your whole life. When it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go – and cancer doesn’t wait til you’re ready. Believing this in some sick, twisted way was the only thing that got me through those excruciating first few years. That, and the fact that I met my soulmate a few days before – which you can’t tell me that wasn’t a “God thing.”

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Mom Jean Confessions: To My Son On Your First Day Of Kindergarten

You know how before a big life event happens (getting married, having a baby, or in my case – your first born starting Kinder 😭), it’s like all the sudden you can’t open Facebook without a thousand articles aimed right at you with the sole intention of making you ugly cry for 10 hours straight? Yep, you know the one, it doesn’t even mess around with click bait – it goes right for the ovaries until your poor unsuspecting husband’s suddenly finds himself agreeing to another baby. Don’t worry Mark – it happens to the best of em and she’ll forget about it by morning. So you’re probably wondering what my point is with all this? Well instead of reading another mama’s words, I told myself I would try and suffer through writing an ode to my own son – cuz at the end of the day, we’re all a little glutton for punishment 😉

Back to School Mommy & Me Bracelet Set c/o Hattie Now Designs

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Cha Cha’s Two-nicorn Birthday Party

This post contains affiliate linkswhich means I receive a commission if you make a purchase usingthe links in this post.

If you told our little Cha Cha that she just turned two, I’m pretty sure she’d look at you like you had three heads. Cuz as far as she’s concerned, she’s been ruling this roost for a hundred years at least, and we’re all just here for her entertainment 😉 But truth be told, as much as we joke about our little “boss baby,” I must tell you – she’s also the kindest and silliest soul. She loves her bubba the most, and calls out to him every morning from our bed. She adores daddy and frantically waves at him with exclamations of “HI DADA!!” barely letting him in the door every day he gets home from work. As for me, I always knew I wanted a daughter, but I never would have imagined she’d be the sheer spitting image of me and I live for her sweet mama snuggles.

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How to Style an Animal Print Skirt for Fall

CH2T Styling: 4 Ways To Wear An Animal Print Skirt For Fall

In case you haven’t noticed, animal prints are everywhere, and I mean e-ver-y-where. I held out for as long as I could, but once it hit the “suburban runways” and made it cool for us stay-at-home moms to rock a leopard print – you better believe I jumped on it like a kid on Christmas. But I’ve always been one to make a trend my own. Meaning – I don’t like to just go along with it just cuz it’s popular. Let’s just say – I draw the line at socks with heels. I also usually sit on a trend for a few months, sometimes even a year, to make sure it’s sticking around before I take the plunge. Even if it’s something I love right off the bat, like animal prints, I still feel the need to put my own “CH2T Styling” twist on it to make it truly feel like my own.

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Mom Jean Confessions: Why I’m Proud To Have A Strong Willed Child

It’s been nearly a year since I wrote about this topic, and my how things have changed. If we thought Cha Cha was strong willed before, then we absolutely, without a doubt, and whole heartedly know this to be true now. But here’s the thing. At what point did “strong-willed” become synonymous with “bad-behaved,” or “stubborn,” or even worse – “problem child?” My child is anything but a problem. My child is strong-willed, Yes. But she’s also mind-blowingly perceptive, and what if some day she wakes up and starts perceiving that this world isn’t meant for her? That her strong will is yet another thing society tells us we need to correct for her to “fit in.” Well screw fitting in (pardon my French). I honestly think we need more children like Cha Cha, and here’s why…

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Visiting the Magnolia Silos in Waco, TX

The Murray Family Guide To The Magnolia Silos

Like half the population of 30-something year old women – I’ve been fostering my love for Joanna Gaines for some time now. It hit its peek right around the time when we moved back home to Texas and started living out our “Fixer Upper” dreams. I’d like to think if JG ever strolled past our little Murray cottage – she’d give me a wink and a thumbs up 😉 So naturally, the sweet hubs that I have has been scheming a trip to Magnolia Market at the Silos for the past couple of years. The first time we tried, it was for my bday when Cha Cha was a mere 3 months old, so that was out. The second time we were coming back from our quick trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, but unfortunately they were closed on Sunday 😕 So third time’s a charm and as luck would have it, we made it back early enough from our July 4th Virginia trip (which I’ll be blogging about soon!), and were able to swing by the Silos with the kiddos earlier this week 😊 Just for fun, I thought I’d round up a quick guide if you’re planning a visit to the Magnolia Silos in Waco – hope it helps!

Visiting the Magnolia Silos in Waco, TX

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Farmhouse Kitchen Revamp x ShelfGenie

This post is sponsored by ShelfGenie; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I still remember the first time we laid eyes on our little “Clear Lake fixer upper.” We didn’t know much about it – just that it was a foreclosure and had sat on the market for years. Kinda scary as first time home owners, and most people would have probably ran in the opposite direction. Nope, not us. Cuz we’re crazy like that 😉 We closed on it two weeks later and started renovations the very next day. After we tackled the poor excuse for a pool in our backyard, we knew the kitchen would need some work too. It was still sporting the “bathroom-like” ceramic tile backsplash from the ’90s, and the 50 coats of cream colored paint on the cabinets just had to go (see proof below). But just like any renovation – you can’t do it all. So we learned to live with the not-so-terrible Corian countertops, and I knew my kitchen storage/organization project would have to wait. Until now, thanks to ShelfGenie and their custom shelving solutions.

Before, Before

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Mom Jean Confessions: Dear Younger Self, Be Grateful

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine shared a meme in her Facebook group & it’s stuck with me ever since.

I scrolled past it at first, until literally the next post on my feed was an article shared by my sister-in-law. All I had to do was read the title “Neuroscience Reveals How Gratitude Literally Rewires Your Brain to Be Happier.” I went right back and commented on my friend’s post – “Be Grateful.” It seems so simple, and as I read through the dozens of other comments, “Have Faith, Don’t Stress, Slow Down,” I couldn’t help but wonder – why does it take us so long to realize these simple life lessons?

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How We Get Our Pool Summer Ready in 4 Easy Steps!

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own. 

This spring has been the mildest weather here in Houston – I’m talking, reminiscent of our SoCal weather days 🙌 We’ve even joked that if it stays like this, we may consider living here forever 😉 But that joke’s on us, cuz in a bout T-minus two minutes it’ll be 95 degrees for 100 days straight this summer, and all I have to say is – thank goodness for pools!!

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Stetson Cologne

So I Married A Stetson Man

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ClassicStetsonDad #CollectiveBias

Coming off of celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary, I thought I’d do a special ode to Mr. Grant Murray – the man, the myth, the legend. I really could go on and on about what an amazing husband, father, brother, son, and friend he is. So this Father’s Day I’ve partnered with Stetson Original Cologne for men to give the perfect gift to a husband who epitomizes the “Stetson man.”

Stetson Cologne

 
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