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Still Looking For the Perfect Gift This Holiday Season? I’ve Got You Covered…

Still Looking For the Perfect Gift This Holiday Season? I’ve Got You Covered…

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. 

Done.

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….

Check out Rocketbook.  This is no ordinary notebook. I am literally obsessed with my Everlast Rocketbook.  Not only do I have my own Everlast, my boys each have their own Rocketbook Color

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. ūüėČ 

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.

I hate to admit it for as much as I love my rosaries, but the most popular designs right now come from a collection inspired by my sister, Katrina:  Kat Wraps.  You can see all the options in that collection 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. 

Rodan + Fields

Rodan + Fields has some amazing gift packages that come ready for gifting. These bundles come with a big savings and they are guaranteed to please. Whoever you gift one of these babies to will be seriously ecstatic. 

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 started off by purchasing Unblemish, the Active Hydration Serum, and Lip Renewing Serum.  So far, I absolutely love all of them. 

I usually start my mornings with Unblemish. It has really helped clear my current blemishes while preventing new breakouts from forming.

At night, I alternate between a micro-dermabrasion cleanser and this AHA/BHA cleanser and then use the Active Hydration Serum, which pulls moisture from the air while I sleep, keeping my skin hydrated and subsequently boosting the performance of my layered treatments.  (Right now I am using Peter Thomas Roth’s AHA/BHA Clearing Gel.)

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.

Younique Makeup

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.

My favorite products are their foundation and mascara. Right now, I am using their Touch Mineral Liquid Foundation and Epic Mascara.  Whatever you do, make sure you buy their mascara.  It. Is. EPIC

Naturally-Flawless.com

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.

It’s a true win-win. 

If you want to learn more about Beachbody, and their On Demand App, you can go here. My good friend, and yet another amazing baseball wife, Dara LaPorta, introduced me to Beachbody long ago.

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.

Seriously, A MUST READ. 
This is such an inspiring read.  Dawn is a spectacular writer and she touches on some heavy topics as they relate to her special needs child.  

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.  

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 

Camille

How One Practice Changed My Life and How It Can Change Yours

How One Practice Changed My Life and How It Can Change Yours

I started practicing yoga at home for two reasons: I felt like going to a yoga studio was selfish of me, (more on that later) and I didn’t want to spend $80-$100 a month for classes.  I knew that if I was going to commit to doing a daily practice, I would need the flexibility to fit it into my schedule.  Sometimes that means first thing in the morning, and other times it is at 10 PM at night, yet regardless of my schedule on any given day, I can always find fifteen to thirty minutes for yoga when I am intentional about it.

I had no idea the positive impact that practicing yoga daily would have on every aspect of my existence.  Simply put, it has changed my life and the lives of those around me. Ever since having children, I suffer from chronic mom guilt. Taking time for me always felt like a luxury I could not afford to give myself. Sense tells me that taking care of myself IS NOT selfish, and still I found myself struggling to allow myself to do so.

Prayer hands
Prayer hands with ShopSimplySofia.com Bracelet

Then one day, when my oldest was four and my youngest fast approaching three, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I didn’t like how I looked or felt and knowing that I wasn’t getting any younger, it was time to take the reins of my life.  Taking control and effecting change is simple, you need to be intentional and have the support of those around you.

Two months ago, I wrote a post on How to Succeed with an At-Home Practice. In that post, I promised that I would address the different Yoga apps I have been using, as well as devices.  So far, the only devices I have used are the Amazon FireTV and Apple TV 4K. Both of these products are great options, but if you are a Yoga lover, the AppleTV has a better selection of apps for download, making it the clear winner.

I started off with the FireTV -which is also a lot more affordable than the AppleTV – using Beachbody OnDemand.  At first, the Beachbody OnDemand app on FireTV seemed amazing.  It was all I needed until I purchased the new AppleTV (my old one isn’t compatible with the new applications) and I started practicing yoga in my bedroom instead of my living room using my newly acquired Apple device.  Initially, I really preferred how Beachbody OnDemand worked with the FireTV but I grew accustomed using it on the AppleTV just the same.  Then one day, courtesy of my children, I had to move my practice to my living room. At this point, Beachbody came out with a new and improved app for the FireTV that I was forced to download before proceeding with any practice. After only one use, I would say that it is by far the best interface I have experienced. It is far improved compared to the original version and much easier to navigate, making finding the perfect workout a breeze. Because the new version is so much cleaner, I wouldn’t be surprised if Beachbody comes out with an updated AppleTV app in the future.

As I mentioned earlier, Beachbody and Yoga International are available on both devices, but YogaGlo, my new favorite, is unavailable on FireTV.  This is a HUGE bummer. A quick search for “yoga” on either device will show you the discrepancy in available programming. For instance, another popular app among the yoga community that I am looking forward to trying soon is CodyApp, now rebranded Alo Moves, and you guessed it, it is also unavailable on the FireTV.  For this simple reason, I am going to dive deeper into each app, leaving out my preference for which device to use.

Beachbody OnDemand

After two years of no yoga in my life, I started my at-home practice using Beachbody OnDemand.  At $99 for the year, this was an affordable way to ease into starting a practice again while still having a lot of other workout options available to me and my family.  From day one, I fell in love.  Everything about their classes flowed with me.  I eased into my practice with the 21 Day Yoga Retreat, followed by the 3-Day Refresh and finally the 5-Day Yoga Challenge with Caley Alyssa.  After almost a month of yoga, led by an amazing group of instructors, I was well on my way to a healthier life and a stronger, more limber body.

Because I had an immensely successful transition into yoga, I encourage everyone I talk to about it to start here. Beachbody has continued to add classes to the “Yoga Studio” and every one of them is spectacular.  I have yet to try one I didn’t like.  Overall, I if I had to give Beachbody a grade, it would be an A, because their classes are visually and audibly superior to most other options and the quality of instructors and classes are top notch for the smaller selection they offer.  I did Beachbody almost exclusively for three months, so even though their classes are limited, there is enough to keep you challenged for a while.

Yoga International

Yoga International is one of the apps that I have a love-hate relationship with.  Firstly, it is an amazing resource for the advanced yogi or for anyone looking to learn more about the practice; in addition to their large number of classes, they offer many courses which set them apart in the teaching world. Yoga International is undoubtedly superior to other companies when it comes to their educational content, but in my case, I just want good 20-40 minute classes that are easy on the eyes and ears because, despite my desire, I don’t have the luxury of time to educate myself on the effects of yoga by means of their courses.

That being said, I am still a subscriber because my husband does like their classes, and I like their educational programs – time or not for them.  All in all, I like what they are doing, but I just don’t know if we are the right “fit.” I haven’t taken very many of their classes so I may just need to give them another chance. If anything changes I will make sure to update it here.

On a side note, Yoga International is $14.99 a month, which is a lot more than Beachbody, however, it is 100% yoga related content.  Also, I discovered that if you try to cancel, they will offer you a discounted subscription at $9.99 if you will stay. Because of their educational content and relatively affordable price, I give Yoga International a B+.

YogaGlo

Last, but hardly least, I want to talk about YogaGlo. I am currently IN LOVE with YogaGlo. Frankly, I am upset that it took me as long as it did to subscribe. At $18.00 it is the most expensive subscription, but it is by far the best.  It also beats paying $15-$20 for a single drop-in class at your local studio.

YogaGlo has been around for a while, they have amazing teachers and a TON of amazing programs. I have taken a few of their regular classes, but right now I am obsessed with their programs.  So far I have completed, “Strong & Empowered” with Claire Missingham, and “Up the Intensity” with Dice Iida-Klien. On Sunday I started “Level Up with Ladder Flows,” also with Dice and am alternating it with “Morning Groove” with Amy Ippoliti. There isn’t a single program that has disappointed thus far.  I highly recommend this to anyone who is serious about starting or building on their yoga practice.  YogaGlo gets an A+ from me!

There you have it! As I try other subscriptions I will make sure to add to this list.  I hope this helps you, whatever part of the journey you are in.

Status Update…

Status Update…

Since reviving My Life As A Baseball Wife (MLBW) several months back, I have experienced slight growing pains. At the time, I was managing another blog and I was struggling to find a balance between the two; I had to determine what each blog would be about.  On my other blog, Dama Camelia, I was focusing mostly on writing about my love for reading and writing, but I was also throwing in a little bit of health and wellness advice.  It didn’t feel right, however. All posts unrelated to the art of writing or reading felt out of place.  I have since decided to re-post those on MLBW, since this is the home of my lifestyle writing. 

On MLBW, I will continue to document my life as a whole.  This includes my life as a mom and a wife. I will touch on an array of topics that interest me, and eventually, I hope to include some travel blogging.  Consider this the one stop shop for everything related to the Adams family.  What does that mean for Dama Camelia? Well, she is going to be dedicated to my writing. Over there I will continue to share my thoughts on the writerly life, as well as book reviews and annotations.  I haven’t shared work from school lately, so I will likely do that too.  That website, however, is more business focused.  Aside from this blog, I work as a freelance communications specialist;  I help other businesses write press releases, articles, and blogs, while also manage social media accounts.  Dama Camelia, is suited particularly for that and for those who have a love for writing and book, as well as those who are looking for help with their businesses.

If you have any questions or comments you can me via email at hello@DamaCamelia.com or Camille@MyLifeAsABaseballWife.com.  To follow me over at www.DamaCamelia.com, visit the site and sign up for updates.

Thank you for following!

-C

This is why I didn’t want to share our lives with you…

This is why I didn’t want to share our lives with you…

When I decided to take a break from writing about my life as a baseball wife back in 2015 – ¬†and if I am honest, 2013 when David could officially call himself a major league baseball player, because everything I wrote after that point was smoke and mirrors and empty promise after empty promise to actually write – and declared this blog “retired,” I never thought I would find my way back. I was done. I didn’t want to put my world on display any longer, and I just wanted to enjoy my life as the wife of a baseball player, in private. ¬†But there was a far greater reason for my desire for privacy than my psyche would admit – fear. I was afraid that David would fail. ¬†I was afraid that WE would fail. ¬†I was afraid of living life in the very moment that God had gifted us, unafraid of what the future held. And I was afraid of doing all this failing in public – where everyone could see.

After David made his MLB debut and spent a good portion of the 2013 baseball season as the Yankees third baseman, I was unsure how to write about our experiences and excitement without feeling like a prideful dodo.  I always struggled with this aspect of living the baseball life.  How do you share excitement for your husband and all his successes without making others feel poorly about their situation or lack of success?  Baseball is ultimately a game Рa very competitive one.  Not unlike life itself. Everyone seems to be gunning for themselves, fighting and clawing to reach the top.  It is ugly at times and I never wanted to give others a reason to look at us as prideful or too self-absorbed.

But the irony of it was, that despite my struggle to combat pridefulness, that is exactly what I became. ¬†How? You ask…

Well, I became so apprehensive about sharing our lives so that others didn’t think we were bragging, that I became more focused on preserving our image by NOT sharing our lives. ¬†Suddenly the reality of failing in front of thousands of eyes became real. When David first got called up, he was like a moth to a flame. He was even trending on Twitter. ¬†It was surreal. ¬†He went from the Yankees prospect that grappled with injury after injury and managed to kill the Cliff Lee trade, to the hopeful homegrown rookie, a rarity! WOW, the New York Times, talking about David like he is this rare commodity, talk about a whirlwind.

His first two weeks in the big leagues were a dream. ¬†He was breaking records and on track to make a big name for himself if only he could stay consistent throughout the season. ¬†But when things slowed down and the adrenaline wore off, he got in his head and couldn’t¬†get out. It was my worst nightmare and probably his worst nightmare, too. He was up in New York, with some of the most passionate fans in baseball, under a microscope, and he started spiraling out of control. He went from hitting streak to hitless streak overnight. What the heck?! I tried so hard to stay positive and reassured myself that this is exactly why I never liked getting excited when he did well, knowing rightfully that there was always another side of the coin that could flip in an instant. ¬†But as days became weeks and he was inevitably sent back to Triple-A – on my birthday, no less – I started to panic.

When David got back to Triple-A, he started hitting the ball again, Hallelujah, and things just clicked. It wasn’t long before they called him back up, but as the story often goes your first year in the big leagues, it can be a game of ping-pong, where you are sent up and down all year. Being tossed back and forth was something David¬†scuffled with. Even when he played well, the team needed to make moves and sometimes that meant he had to go back to Triple-A for some time. ¬†He soon became resentful of being jolted up and down, and this resentment wreaked havoc on his game. ¬†(Anyone who questions the impact of the mind on physical performance, need not go far for a quick lesson.) ¬†He ended his year on a terrible note – just check out this¬†quick read¬†– even though he will tell you the home plate umpire was making terrible calls. Well, that is baseball for you!

Now that David is retired (I know I still have to share what happened between 2013 and his retirement in the fall of 2016 at some point) I can look at these years with a greater appreciation.  What fun would all of these experiences have been if we had known the outcome in the end? This is why I believe it is so important to enjoy every little moment we are given.  We must not live with a hovering concern that we may fail, because it extinguishes your fire and inhibits you from living the life you were meant to live.

Life is full of mystery and wonder. ¬†We can’t be entirely sure of what the future holds and as terrifying as that is, it is also what makes life wondrous. ¬†Can you imagine? ¬†A life where everything was monotone, or black¬†and white and lacking all color? ¬†That doesn’t sound interesting at all, so what would be the point?

Living through all of this has brought me back to writing about our lives in baseball, the good, the bad, and the ugly. All of it.  Sure, it will be from a slightly different perspective, but I am glad for that.  I am proud of my husband, and I will acknowledge it.  He deserves my praise and admiration every so often. He is on his path, one that I feel confident is the right one for him. And me?  I am living my best life, open and honest about what this life brings and what is yet to come.

The only picture I took at David’s MLB debut. That is him playing third between 2nd and 3rd base. I am starting to take a lot more pictures now!

 

David's First Homerun. His mom got this ball.

David’s First Homerun. His mom got this ball.

David's first interview the day he was called up.

David’s first interview the day he was called up.

David Adams #39 of the New York Yankees is congratulated by teammate Ichiro Suzuki #31 in the dugout after he scored in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 17, 2013 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (May 16, 2013 – Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

Hi everyone! For a while now, I have considered My Serendipitous Life as a Baseball Wife¬†a retired blog. ¬†But the truth is, I never stopped being a baseball wife. ¬†David retired from playing baseball after the 2016 season with the Blue Jays and he jumped in head first to coaching. ¬†He is in his second season as a coach with New York Yankees’ Player Development and WOW, are there a lot of differences between playing and coaching! ¬†To say that the last few years have been an adjustment would be an understatement. ¬†That being said, I think David is exactly where he is supposed to be. ¬†I have decided that I want to pick up where I left off and continue¬†blogging about our life in baseball and I hope that you will join me.

Since I have been silent for the last few years, I will have to reminisce a bit and give you some backstory until I can catch up fully to where we are in our current experiences.  I really do hope that you will stick with us through our evolution.  In order to grow this blog, however, I have decided to branch away from WordPress.com and create my own self-hosted blog which you can follow at www.MyLifeAsABaseballWife.com.

If you will notice, I dropped Serendipitousfrom the title. ¬†Although I love the word serendipity, it just doesn’t align with my beliefs anymore. I believe a lot more in fate than I do serendipity and so it seems appropriate to drop the word altogether and stick to My Life As A Baseball Wife.

If you found your way here, please sign-up to receive updates moving forward on the top right of the page.  Thank you!

xoxo

Camille

Consistency is Key

Consistency is Key

Hi everyone! ¬†I know it has been some time since I have written a post so seeing this may come as a surprise. ¬†I guess being absent on social media¬†has been my M.O. since having Jet so I won’t pretend that I haven’t put this blog on the back burner before. ¬†I can admit that one of my greatest weaknesses is the lack of consistency. I am great at starting things but not so great at staying consistent and pushing through when things get stale or tough.

In an effort to live a more purposeful life I have decided not to put so much pressure on myself to talk about baseball and what I do as a “baseball wife,” but¬†rather, to¬†give you insight into my life as a wife, mother, daughter, and child of God. Subsequently, I hope to¬†inspire a few people along the way, because at the end of the day we are here to leave this world a slightly better place than the day we graced it with our presence. ¬†And with a little consistency, I hope I can accomplish this.

*Above are the top 5 topics you can expect me to write about in the future.
Blessings,
C