We have quickly reached the middle of December. You know what that means… it is almost the end of another year and another season of holiday cheer.
I don’t know about you, but I have about 60% of all my holiday shopping done. I still have a few gifts I need to purchase, but I am getting close to checking everything off the list.
I am usually the worst at buying gifts on time. Procrastinator should be my middle name this time of year. I. Am. The. Worst.
Personally, I am not a fan of shopping. I hate crowds and I am very task driven when I go to the store; I like to have something in mind, go straight in, execute, and leave.
It is a rare occurrence for me to window shop or leisurely peruse the store shelves. I can think of a million other things I would rather be doing. Like shopping from my computer while laying in bed.
See what I did there?
Alright, I have a confession. I hate shopping, but I don’t mind spending hours shopping online.
Why? Well, because I can take my time making decisions. I can research. I can explore innumerable options. No pressure.
All of this is good and bad because sometimes I struggle to make a decision. I am either compulsive, or so slow to act that I never get around to pulling the trigger.
Every year as we approach Christmastime, I usually have good intentions: buying gifts ahead of time, taking a nice family photo, and sending out a personalized holiday card with said photo.
I typically fail at all of the above.
I did buy a beautiful set of nativity cards to send this year, but guess what? I still haven’t sent those out either. So, if you are wondering if you are going to receive a card from me, please know that even if you don’t actually receive one, I am still thinking of you and there is probably a card in my house with your name on it.
But if you are here, you are probably wondering what these gifts are that I am promising will alleviate your last minute shopping woes, so I won’t drag this out.
If you are still looking for a few unique gift ideas for the holidays, look no further. I am going to break these up into categories with one or more of my favorite options within each.
But first, a disclaimer. I have partnered with several of the brands I am featuring. All of these are items that I currently use, and I have not been paid for any of these endorsements, although some items have been gifted to me. Nevertheless, I stand by my recommendations. These are all items I have been personally recommending to all of my friends as of late and most of which I have purchased with my own hard-earned money!
Gift Idea #1: Tech Notebooks
Notebooks are a great gift idea for anyone, really. Everyone needs to take notes, so why not give them a cute notebook or journal.
If you are thinking, girl, notebooks are boring, I get you. BUT….
I have been recommending these notebooks to everyone because they help digitize everything. No more wasting paper or losing notes. And what about all those pieces of paper your kids leave for you with their doodles? I have enough paper art to fill a closet and they haven’t even graduated from preschool.
Right now they have a special promotion where you can take 20% off your next order with code FINAL20. Plus, free shipping and arrival by Christmas!
Gift Idea #2: Handmade Jewelry
Jewelry can be a hard gift to give, but if you want something extra special that won’t break the bank, check out Simply Sofia.
I have to be honest… My mom owns Simply Sofia, so I may be slightly biased. 😉
But seriously, everything my mom makes is handmade with only the best quality natural stones at ridiculously affordable prices. Quality is paramount and she hand selects the best stones while making every piece with all her love.
Making jewelry by hand is hard work for my mom’s tired hands but she swears it humbles her. It is a true gift to be able to create jewelry by hand for those who want the added special touch.
If I had to pinpoint a collection to check out, I would have to share my personal favorite: Cami’s Rosaries. A line inspired by none other than…me!
I may be partial, but I honestly wear my Saint Peter Rosary everywhere. I do take it off to sleep and shower, though. This particular one is made with Job’s seeds, so they really can’t get wet.
The two featured below can be found here and here.
Simply Sofia has something for everyone – men, women, and children included. The best part is that Sofia will make a custom design to order if you prefer something personalized.
Also, we offer two-day flat rate shipping. That means you can order as late as the 21st and still get it in time for Christmas. (I would probably order by the 20th to make extra sure it gets there in time for no extra charge.)
Gift Idea #3: Skincare and Makeup
Serious question. Who wants better skin?
Let’s all raise our hands, because I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t want to improve some aspect of their skin.
Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? That is right, not every organ is internal, and your largest one just happens to be center stage, for everyone to see. So why not take care of it?
Everything you ingest, and even that which you don’t, like pollution and UVA/UVB rays, reflects on our skin, making it really important that we take care of it. All of it. Inside and out.
As far as gifts go, skincare covers everyone, from teenagers to mature women. There is hardly a more versatile gift.
Now that you see the value in gifting skincare, if you decide this is the direction you want to take, there are a few great options.
I have personally used Rodan + Fields for a month now. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I started having major breakouts in my thirties. I was desperate for help and Rodan + Fields came to the rescue.
When I finally decided it was time to invest in my skincare, I called up my good friend and former baseball wife, Susanne. She asked me a few questions and made some recommendations.
I finish every evening with the Lip Renewing Serum to condition my lips and smooth my lip texture.
Once I have been using the products for several more months, I plan to do a full review with before and afters.
If you have any questions, Susanne can help. She was a wealth of information when it came time for me to jump on the Rodan + Fields train.
Now that I am using it, I can’t believe it took me so long.
I love me some Younique. Younique does offer skincare, but personally, I have only used their makeup. I haven’t tried their skincare, so I can’t really speak to its effectiveness. I can tell you with confidence, however, that they have great makeup.
Younique is touted for being natural, mineral based, paraben free makeup and skincare.
What I love most is that it is never tested on animals. That makes this on-again-off-again-vegan-but-solid-pescatarian, happy. Very happy, in fact.
So, if you are looking for an amazing gift for a lady in your life that is chemical free, and cruelty free, then Younique is an amazing choice.
If you want to learn more about Younique and have an amazing experience, make sure you talk to my friend, Adreanna. We go back… way back… like to middle school, when David and I first started dating.
And if you want the VIP treatment, well then, Adreanna is your girl. She introduced me to Younique months ago, and now I am a full convert.
P.S. I bought my mom one of their gift sets for Christmas. But, shush, don’t tell.
Gift Idea #4: On-Demand Workouts
I gave up going to the gym a long time ago. With kids, my life got so busy, sometimes I only have a few minutes to get a workout in before I go to bed at 10 or 11 pm – and that is on the nights I don’t fall asleep while putting them to bed.
It is a struggle, but I do my best to find the time because my health matters.
I started using on demand apps almost a year ago and I haven’t looked back. For more on that, you can check out this post.
Right now, though, my favorite on demand workout app is Beachbody on Demand. I love that it has something for everyone and right now they have a one year subscription discounted for only $99 when you pay for the entire year up front!
Another great note to add is that it is easily accessible on nearly every device. Sadly, I can’t say that about all my other favorite on-demand apps.
This is what I would consider a gift that keeps on giving. It is something the receiver can use daily, and it gives back to their overall well being.
This is a wonderful gift for those looking to get something up to the day of! All you have to do is purchase it online and bam! It is active!
Gift Idea #5: Books
I love books. Not everyone loves books, but I promise everyone would benefit from having more of them in their lives. That is why I am a big proponent of gifting books.
Here is a list of some great choices this holiday season. Some are written by personal friends, others are just really worth reading. Check them out!
Mark Newman was my editor when I was blogging for MLBlogs. He is an incredible author and journalist. Diamonds from the Dugout came out last year, and now you can get his latest book, Yankees Legends, here.
I have to do a book review on Scary God. I am still in the middle of reading it, but boy is it goooooood. I am loving every second of this book.
So there you have it! My hope is that this gave you a few things to think about that you may have not been considering.
I am so excited about this post. When I decided to start blogging again, I wanted to do it the right way. Instead of keeping ninety percent of my life private and only sharing the remaining ten percent, I wanted to use this platform to really connect with my audience.
In the process of living out my passion of writing, I intend to bring value to my audience and share more intimate details about my life, including things I really love and also those that I don’t. Many of you probably know by now that I love yoga; as I focus more of my time on being with family and freelancing from virtually anywhere in the world – although right now that means my home – I have been practically living in yoga gear. A few months ago, while on Facebook, I came across a post written by one of the baseball wives on our private facebook group. She shared that she was looking for a few ladies to collaborate with on their new campaign for Maidenform. Even though I have been blogging on and off since 2013, I have never done an official collaboration and although this one isn’t paid, they offered to send me some bras in exchange for my honest feedback. Now, my secret isn’t that I had never done a collaboration prior to this, or that I have been keeping a lot of my life private, rather, it is that I actually hate wearing bras!
Bras, for the most part, are uncomfortable; they are extremely restricting and tend to leave indentations on your skin. Now, before you say, that is because you aren’t fitted properly, I can assure you that I have been. I practically gave up wired bras a long time ago, and I usually don’t wear sports bras with a lot of support because that usually means they feel like a binding, so when Hanes sent me their Bali Comfort Revolution ComfortFlex Fit® Shaping Wirefree Bra, I was immediately excited to try it – times two! Not only did the bras feel ridiculously soft to the touch, but they were also something I could wear for yoga that would offer me support and comfort, simultaneously. These bras truly and honestly feel like butter and they are priced very well which is a hard combination to match! In addition, the ComfortFlex Fit bras feature a 4-way stretch fabric that provides a flexible fit that shapes to fit you and they have knit-in zones that provide targeted support.
Aside from feeling like bras are overtly uncomfortable, I seriously always have issues with the straps, too. The Bali ComforFit offer wider straps with Hanes’ no-slip Comfort-U® design for straps that stay-in-place. Hallelujah! I have had these two bras for about a month now and I have been wearing them almost exclusively. Needless to say, I am going to have to go buy a few more!
One of the other things I love most is that I can slide the bra on from the front and use the adjustable 3-option hook-and-eye back close. Its traditional style saves me the usual struggle of having to get it over my head that comes with all other sports bras. The bra also comes in a lot of fun colors so there is something for everyone.
Head on over to One Hanes Place for the full line of Maidenform undergarments and let me know what you think!
Fall in Love with Bali ComfortFlex Fit® Bras!
Fall in Love with Bali ComfortFlex Fit® Bras!
Bali Intimates, my new favorite bra!
Fall in Love with Bali ComfortFlex Fit® Bras!
Fall in Love with Bali ComfortFlex Fit® Bras!
Practicing Yoga in my Bali Intimates Bra.
Practicing Yoga in my Bali Intimates Bra.
Lounging in my Bali Intimates Bra while reading Flannery O’Connor.
Today is one of my favorite holidays of the year, America’s birthday! The fourth of July is sandwiched perfectly in the middle of the year and it is the ideal time to reflect on all we have to be grateful for, including the beauty and freedoms America affords us. Per usual, David is at a baseball game as I write this. There is always baseball on the fourth, and pretty much every holiday that takes place during the season, for that matter.
Truthfully though, we have been so fortunate the last two years because he has coached with the Gulf Coast League and been able to live at home. Even better, his game started at ten this morning, so he will be home early enough that we can go light some fireworks with the kids – or preferably, watch them. The boys keep asking about buying fireworks, but I can’t help but worry that someone may accidentally catch on fire!
Note: I am not a fan of anything hot or sharp! I am about as risk-averse as they come.
Regardless of your plans today, I hope you get the chance to enjoy the beauty around us on this special day. This is a great time to have fun with your friends and family, and to remember that we have so much to be grateful for!
Hi everyone. Believe it or not, this is the first opportunity in weeks that I have had to sit down in front of an actual computer and put enough words together for a blog post. Baseball season is long and every day is groundhog day, so writing these posts takes conscious effort.
Before I get into my love and appreciation for the Yankees, I want to spill a little news I have been keeping quiet for some time. David and I spent the better part of April and May apart while I was filming a TV show that is set to air on August 6th. The show has officially been named Hot Listings Miami and it will air on Style Network. David and I are rather private people, but nonetheless, this year has required our doors to be open to the public more so than ever. This is something I am learning to take in strides and it has only made me emotionally stronger.
Moving onto the title of this post. David and I have been extremely blessed in life and being a part of the Yankees organization is just another example of how God has chosen to bless us. David and I know that tomorrow is not promised to us and we consciously try to live every day grateful for the gifts we have been given. The Yankees have been nothing short of amazing during our transition from AAA to the big leagues. Everyone from the staff to the owners do a superb job of making you feel at home – despite the nerves that come with being a rookie. I have nothing but great things to say about the time we have spent with this organization and I want to truly thank them for making it a point to care.
That being said, David said it once in an interview – “I can only control what I can control. We have to take it one day at a time and if I am meant to be here for 15 years or 30 days, it’s not my choice. If I had it my way I would play baseball my whole life. It’s a matter of taking it one day at a time and hoping that you can do whatever the good Lord has planned for you and spread his word.”
Throughout my blog I have touched on my lack of interest in social media. Having moved this year for baseball season to be by David’s side has opened up my eyes to things I wish I never knew. The expression ignorance is bliss is so utterly true yet with everything out on the Internet, being oblivious takes great effort. The harsh reality I have come to accept is – this is life. Or I should say, life in 2012.
All through college and for David’s career prior to his injury in 2010, I paid little attention to his day-to-day life. We spoke on the phone as often as possible but our schedules were, for the most part, opposite. This year, however, has been overwhelmed by change and by learning experiences. I see David every day that he is “home” and I watch all his games from the stands. When he is on the road I sometimes listen to the radio or watch game tracker. No matter how much or how little attention I pay to his career, the pressure is on and it’s relentless.
About a month or so ago my arm was twisted into joining twitter and in an instant I was on the bandwagon I once professed I would never jump on. I took to it right away and started following all the baseball media outlets. Although I was following some great people, I should have never given so much attention to the baseball scene. Suddenly, my phone became a walking newsfeed for all the happenings in the sport. While this was ok for the first few weeks, after some time it got old. I think that, we, as wives and family of athletes, sometimes forget that our husbands/sons/brothers/etc. play this amazing game for a living. It is no surprise to me that the MLB has strict social media guidelines for players. Even though it is much more exciting than that of most jobs, it is still that – a job. We need to respect it and know where to draw the line. This is a line that becomes ever so vague with outlets like twitter, that expand our accessibility.
Athletes, in particular, live under a microscope. People are always going to have their opinions and understandably so. Nevertheless, those opinions really don’t matter, therefore, why feed into them? Why pay them any attention? Whether they are good or bad, they serve no purpose to us as human beings with bountiful God-given potential. It may be difficult to ignore the articles littered with judgments about your beloved, but that is precisely what needs to be done. In the end you cannot gain anything from reading them – positive articles ignite even the slightest bit of pride inside the best of us and negative ones provoke doubt and fear.
Over and over I have expressed how critical it is in this life to zone out all the “noise.” I have even addressed how adamant David is about paying it no mind, yet, with twitter, this became virtually impossible. While the media is great and here to serve a purpose, it is swarming with gossip. Early yesterday I went through the people I was following and did a mass purge. This was not because I wanted to alienate myself from them, but because I wanted to maintain my focus – our focus. No matter how much I fought having a reaction to all of the gossip, I couldn’t help but suddenly consider myself a hypocrite. Up until this point I was on such a good path and then, in what seemed like a flap of the wings, I was doing the very things I abhor. By paying attention to it I was giving it the power it didn’t warrant.
Fortunately for David and me, I have been able to nip this at the bud. After a liberating day from nagging news, I still felt it wasn’t enough. So with David giving me the nudge, I deactivated my twitter. I can’t say that I will be absent from twitter forever, but I am acknowledging that it really serves me no purpose – not right now anyway. As a society we are extremely over stimulated and losing touch with reality – the things that are truly important in this life. I am making my husband and myself a promise through the stretch of this emotionally and physically draining season, to zone out all the “noise” around us.
I must say, however, that this experience has deepened my understanding and appreciation for social media. Having said that, my gut has never failed me and it is the reason I find myself abstaining from unfulfilling abstract sources. This was yet another experience I can walk away from having learned something greater about myself, and the strength of my relationship with both David and God.
“Talent is God given; so be humble. Fame is man-given; so be grateful. Conceit is self-given; so be careful.” – John Wooden
No one ever said life would be easy. In the last few years I have been working on a daily basis towards becoming a better human being. I want to know that every decision I make and the image I portray is one that God would smile upon. I don’t pretend to have all the answers and I am by no means perfect. Maybe even one day I will reach the pearly gates only to learn that I have been wrong all along. Nevertheless, we have all been given the choice to make our own assertions on life and as of late my faith is stronger than ever.
I am a firm believer that we should all accept one another for who we are. Whether you are Jewish, Christian, Atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, etc…. I can go on forever… I accept you. I am and always will be, a VERY open mind. I love educating myself on the wonders of the world – religion included. I think that as a whole, we should practice more humility and understanding of one another. The beauty of life is in our individualism, we are different in our own ways, and we don’t have all the answers. No one is better than anyone else and we all leave the world the same way we came in, alone and without a thread of clothing on our backs.
Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD
This brings me to the quote made by John Wooden. In my beliefs, God is he who gives us gifts and blesses us in this world. Just as Job said in verse 1:21 “the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.” Absolutely!
God has given each of us so many amazing gifts and it is our choice to use them in a way that honors him. I also know that God does not like boasting and I think most would agree that it is a very ugly behavior. Boasting goes hand in hand with pride, which I am sure you know is one of the seven deadly sins. Whether it is wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, or gluttony, we as humans are likely to commit one, if not many of these sins at one point in our lives. The one I am honing in on today is Pride.
The quote by Wooden then says that fame is man-given so be grateful and conceit is self-give so be careful. In the world of baseball specifically, pride can consume you, especially as fame sets in. Whether you are prideful or you are surrounded by prideful people, it is a sin that can overwhelm your day to day life. If you ask me, humility is the greatest gift you can give someone. C.S. Lewis once said, “humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” That couldn’t be more on target. When you are humble you are more willing to listen and more willing to give back.
At times I have said things and then thought back only to wish I could retract my words. Not because it was rude, but because it wasn’t said with humility at it’s core. Sometimes I find myself wanting to talk about my husband’s successes because I am so happy for him and proud of his hard work, but at the same time I know that while we can be at the top of a mountain one moment, we can be at the bottom of a valley the next. I also empathize incredibly with others who may not be experiencing the same fate as me. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I almost feel bad for achieving success while others don’t. I have been like this my whole life but I am pretty sure it’s not how God wants me to feel.
In baseball and in life in general, we have to live one day at a time. So much can change in the blink of an eye and having humility saves face when you least expect it. At the end of the day we are all equals, so I urge you to take a step back before speaking. It is important to listen to the words you are about to say before they leave your lips and assess how they would make you feel if the tables were turned.
To humility and beyond!