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BOOM! Like the phoenix rising from the ashes—okay okay so not that cool.

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Well, well, well….it’s true I have been on a very LONG blogging break. As this gorgeous fall season settles in on me and our bustling routines are underway, I was just sitting here wondering what I was up for “next”.  I have found that going with my “gut” always steers me in the right direction and I’ll be darned if it didn’t steer me right back to my little Cuppa Sunshine & Sugar!  I have to say that following your “gut” certainly keeps life interesting, and honestly, less stressful in the grand scheme of things. So that said, after much consideration of all of the “do’s” and “don’ts” and “tips” for blogging that I have spent countless hours devouring…I have come to the conclusion that my blog is just that “My Blog”! Ha! What a novel idea (insert *sarcasm*)…that I can just roll with it.  Without any rules or do’s or don’ts.  Just me.  What I want to put out there.  When I want to put it out there.  Just let it be an amazing little haven for creativity to share with my awesometastic readers.  The funny thing is, this is what it always should have been.  Ya know, before it turned into something else that I loved but wanted to retreat from.  If that makes any sense at all….?  So here I am.  Onward!

First course of business.  Truth Time!  While in the past I was maintaining a strict posting schedule routine and became a stats junkie…I believe this was an integral part of pushing me to take a break.  I guess it just took the fun and spontaneity out of it for me in a lot of ways. With the time commitment I was maintaining….I realized I had put too much pressure on myself and that was never the goal. SO!  Going forward I am just gonna post when I post and roll with it. ;) Second and final course of business today….I HAVE MISSED YOU—MY READERS!!!!!  I hope you all are well, filled with warm happy fuzzies and looking as dapper as ever!  I look forward to catching up with all of you and leave you with a FUNNY of course! Enjoy your day! ~Lisa

P.S.  In my honest opinion…just say no to selfie sticks.

Redneck Selfie Stick
Redneck Selfie Stick

Meet the Blogger – Lisa

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Well HOT-DIGGITY-DOG! It’s been a busy week so far and I am pleased to share with you my interview on Chanelle Hayley’s Meet The Blogger series. Lots of fun so definitely check it out! Great questions with some honest, authentic and even a few quirky-ass answers. It’s who I am. Love me or leave me. Haha! Have an awesometastic rest of the week everyone and a big thank you to Chanelle for the feature on her beautiful blog.😉

Chanelle Hayley

LisaHello mates! *insert my best fake Australian/British mixed accent*

I am so delighted to be able to connect with all of you here at the very lovely blog of Chanelle Hayley. My name is Lisa and I am the creator of Cuppa Sunshine & Sugar… my little piece of home in the amazing blogosphere. I hope the answers to the questions below help you get to know me a bit and who knows… maybe I will get lucky and you will even like me! If not, it’s cool… just no Christmas card for you. Bygones. Let’s do this.

1. When did you begin blogging?

December 2014. Yep, I’m a newbie.

2. How did you decide on a name for your blog?

It’s kind of a mish mash of a lot of meanings in my life. Plus, my hubby helped put the words together just right. We finally agreed it…

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Behind The Blog… featuring Lisa from Cuppa Sunshine & Sugar

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Big thank you to the most fabulous Karen Rees over at Confetti & Curves for featuring me on her Behind The Blog series. It was a great interview. Loved her questions. Get in touch with your girly girl side (dudes too) and head over there and check out her very posh corner of the blogosphere! She’s a sweetheart and makes you feel right at home!

Confetti and Curves

Cuppa Sunshine and Sugar

Hey Beauty Buddies…

Hope you’re all keeping well & surviving enjoying the week so far?! I’ve been having a huge Spring Clean around the house by bagging things for local charity shops and also adding to a monumental mountain of trash. Is it just me, or is there something completely liberating about having a maahoosive de-clutter? The freedom of opening my kitchen drawers without a landslide of junk spilling out (almost) moves me to tears! As for Emma’s room, who knew a 9 year old could hoard such vast amounts of EVERYTHING?! She’s got a collection of Barbie shoes that would put Jimmy Choo’s entire collection to shame… 2 hours alone wading through a toy chest of dolls, dried up felt tip pens and missing jigsaw pieces *face palm* Thankfully calmness has been restored and we’ve topped up the storeroom of the local charity shop for the entire season!

However this morning it’s back to…

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Weekly Whims: 5 Types of Friends Everyone Should Have

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It’s true that as I get older I find that I am more selective it the friendships that I choose.  I say choose, because when I was younger…particularly in high school and well into my 20’s…I found myself accepting friends because they were people that were friends with my peers and not because the friendship chemistry was necessarily there between us…at least not to a point that it was always authentic and meaningful.  I was hurt by many of these “friendships”.  As maturity sets in and we see that we always had a choice…making those choices feels liberating!  I believe that friends come and go in life.  Some stay for a lifetime while others have their “season” if you will.  I think all have equal importance in the journey of my life and in theirs.  The friendships that are not lifelong are still there for a reason whether it be for a lesson or support as needed by one or the other at that time.  The lifelong friendships….well those are the family members that we get to choose!  Woo hoo!  I am so very blessed to have some amazing friendships in my life and I am grateful for those that have had their season as well.  I wanted to share the below article that I very much identified with and thought it would be valued by my readers here.

Side Note: #4 below -To my direct friends: I’m up for anything….except spa day in the buff…just sayin’! Hahaha!

Final thought: To have a good friend, you have to be a good friend.  I strive to be the friend described below and hope that others will consider what kind of friend they are.  Enjoy the read! 🙂

~Lisa

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The 5 Types Of Friends Everyone Should Have

Source: Shelley Emling, Senior Editor, HuffPost 50

It was like one of those “meet-cute” scenes in a Hollywood movie, minus the romance. I met Susan, an author, through a mutual friend a few months ago. She was from Dallas. I was from Dallas. She’d lost her mother. I’d lost my mother. She’d written books. I’d written books. A few coffees led to dinner with our husbands and the friendship chemistry was apparent. If I’d have met her in my 20s, we might have been godmothers of each other’s children. But now that we’re older, the friendship thing doesn’t work quite as well as it used to. Kids, jobs and, well, just life get in the way of forging a real connection. Yes, we’ve gotten together, but not nearly as often as I would have liked.

And that’s just how it goes as you grow older. The urgency you felt in your 20s, when every overture from a new beau required a 30-minute analysis with a friend over the phone, is gone. Or there’s just not time for it. Perhaps it’s that people simply grow more discerning as time becomes more scarce. Spending hours in a bar drinking margaritas with an egomaniac — or with someone who can’t let go of something I may have done wrong five years ago? Who has the time?

Thanks to Facebook, the idea of “de-friending” someone is not a foreign one. With a few simple clicks, you can wipe someone from your “friends” list and never again be faced with a seemingly endless stream of birthday party photos from someone you’re no longer close to. But in the real world it’s a lot harder to “de-friend” someone — but it can be even more important to do so.

It’s an interesting process, reaching such a level of self-awareness that you finally realize which friendships deserve tending — and which are a drag, wearing you down. As someone who considers her friendships as life-sustaining as water, it’s been difficult to take a hard look at the relationships I’ve cultivated through the decades and realize, with a heavy heart, that they’re not all going to last.

Precious time must be spent taking stock of the like-minded people in your life. Just because I attended elementary school with someone, do I really need to keep reaching out to them? As I juggle work with kids, the answer often is “no” if we no longer have anything in common. So what kinds of friends do I want to hang onto? After giving it some thought, I came up with the following list. Have your own ideas about friendship in midlife? Let us know in comments.

5 Types Of Friends Worth Keeping Forever

1) Friends who make the effort.
I have one friend who — although she is swamped with career and childcare duties — never fails to reach out via text, email or phone every few days, no matter what else is going on. Even if it’s simply something succinct — like “just wanted to touch base and say hi” — I truly appreciate these signals that I’m being thought about and that our friendship is important to her. I also appreciate my friends who are forgiving. I’m not saying that someone should forgive an offense quickly — or superficially. It takes time to forgive. But if too much time is taken, bad feelings fester, and the friendship may never get back on track. No one is perfect and a true friend will understand that.

2) Friends who are genuinely happy for me when something good happens.
I’m fortunate enough to have at least a few friends who are sincerely and openly happy for me when something nice occurs. (You’re probably wondering… shouldn’t every kind of friend be happy for others? You’d think so, but that’s not always the case.) Friends who are genuinely happy exhibit not a smidgeon of jealously, but seem truly thrilled about the sale of my book — and the various accomplishments of my three children. They watch and revel in my glory — without any inkling of bitterness — and I do the same for them. (After all, friendship is a two-way street.)

3) Friends who are upbeat.
You know the opposite of this type. They are those folks who ruminate over every little problem in their life again and again — and yet never make one move to change their situation. They are Debbie Downers. And they bring me down. Misery loves company and downbeat friends generally are more interested in your bad news than your good news. People who are positive and motivated and optimistic and who lift up those around them are worth hanging on to. I have one friend who never fails to compliment me on something — even if it’s just “wow, are you parting your hair on a different side? Nice!” — when she sees me.

4) Friends who are up for anything.
Earlier this month, I went with five girlfriends to a Korean spa in New Jersey called King Spa. The facility is like a mall, with three floors composed of all types of hot and cold spas. The night before our “spa day,” we checked the website and realized we’d be naked — and so would everyone else. But rather than cop out, we decided to go for it. And it was one of the best times I’ve ever had. There is something completely liberating about sitting with friends, chatting about our lives, while totally naked. Talk about shedding one’s inhibitions! I left there loving the fact that my friends were willing to try something completely outside their comfort zone.

5) Friends who are authentic.
This is the steadfast friend who is anything but pretentious — the one who’s not afraid to see you without makeup or after she’s been crying or when her house is a mess. She’s not averse to showing you her true self — or seeing yours. She’s “real” and honest and will tell you the truth when asked her opinion. When your behavior is questionable, there is a fine line between expressing concern and expressing judgement. A true friend will tell you the truth — and will let you know they’ll always be on your side no matter what decision you make even if, in their opinion, it’s the wrong one.

 

Sunday Scoops: DIY Sensory Table

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WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 Heavy Duty Utility Shelves (Can sub with milk crates or small tables)
  • 2 Shallow Storage Bins (with snap-on lids if planning to cover when not in use)
  • Toys, cups, utensils
  • Buckets to hold toys, cups etc.

HOW TO DO IT:

  • Align the shelves side-by-side paralleled.
  • Place shallow storage bins on top of shelves.
  • Fill bins with wet or dry option you have chosen.
  • Add toys, cups, utensils to bins and have extras placed in buckets underneath shelves for easy access.

Here for my son’s first birthday party I used 6 boxes of Toasted Oh’s from Trader Joe’s and filled the storage bins with the oh’s, toys, cups and kid safe utensils.  He munched on a  few too because he loves Oh’s and these tables were “Oh Heaven” for a babe!  There are endless possibilities of what you can fill them with.  I am probably going to do spaghetti noodles one of these days…cooked and cooled first of course.  This slimy option will be a hit I am sure.  If you use good sturdy bins with snap on lids…it is easy to clean up and cover to keep contents clean and critters out for the next day of play.  Have fun!

~Lisa

P.S. Here is a quick shot of the shelves I use.🙂

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Weekly Whims: Miss the days of drinking from the water hose? Me too.

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Remember the days before scheduled play dates, iPods, cell phones, hand sanitizer and bottled water?  Oh how I miss those days.  Not just for myself, but for my little ones.  I tell them all the time….”Ya know…when I was a kid…..” and I get “the look” in return.  However, the more often that I introduce them to an “old school” activity or way of doing things, it is almost always more fun and captures their attention and interest.  I find myself reflecting more and more on what it was like back then compared to how it is now for kids.  I know times change, but this highly electronic era that has come to be for our children has changed the realm of “childhood” so much.  Not all bad, just different.  I guess I am just striving to see more grass stains in the laundry!  That will  be a sure sign that I am bringing a little richness to their lives by putting things away, unplugging and having them romp about and get dirty…and of course not having a worry in the world about it.  Here are a few of my favorite memories accompanied by my own personal childhood photos!

(1) Drinking from a sprinkler (or often a water hose).  (2) A birthday gift of a “stonewashed” purse…not an iPod touch.  (3) Getting dirty and cleaning my hands off by wiping them on my pants rather than hand sanitizer.  (4) Fun outdoor activities…especially when my mom added bubbles to the wading pool!  Good times!

Here are a few family photos of my kiddos enjoying some of my favorite childhood experiences as well.  Sledding, snowmen, snow angels, eating and feeling sand for the first time, running in the surf, and blowing “wishies”…

 

What do you remember from your childhood that you think of fondly?  Are there any that you have brought to your little ones childhood experiences?  Please share. 🙂

Weekly Whims: Pj’s In The Parking Lot—confessions of a lazy mom

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You know that mom you see every morning up at your kid’s school?  The one dressed to the nines, hair done perfectly and make-up on?

stiletto mom

Okay…so just to be clear, that’s not me.  I see her too and sure if I had a job that I had to be at in the morning hours (rather than evenings) then yes, maybe that would be me….BUT…..no.  It’s true.  I confess.  I leave the house every weekday morning in my pajamas.  I have no good excuse and realistically I don’t need one.  I just don’t want to get dressed that early unless I absolutely have to.  Oh the thought.

Don’t fret…I’m real safe and look both ways before I run through the driveway and quickly jump into my car to preserve my secret.  Ha!  Every time I make it before a neighbor or driver-by sees me, it’s like a ridiculous euphoria of accomplishment.  When I don’t make it, I feel the embarrassment and shame wave over me.  Eyes looking down…shoulders low…no eye contact.  Just get in the car and go like the shameless jammie wearing mommy slob that I am.

Now, I have been known to camouflage from the waist up with a jacket.  Brilliant, I know.  I do what I can.  When folks see me through my car window, I can tell that they have no idea.  No idea that from the window sill down I am donning a pink pair of polar bear pants and giant fluffy slippers (or my fab easy to pull on perfect lazy day Ugg boots)!  Of course the carpark volunteers that help the kids get out of the car at the curbside drop-off….well…they most definitely know my secret and I am 108.2% sure they are jealous of me.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.  Ask my husband.  I’m always right.

image**In this case the proof is in the polar fleece.  I have quite a variety, but thought you’d like to see the ones mentioned.  They exist!**

So does this guilty pleasure make me lazy?  You can say it….oh don’t be a wimp.  Fine, I’ll say it….absolutely!  And I don’t care who knows it!!!…eh hem…on my blog.  I just don’t want Mrs. Mommy Rockin’ Stilettos to see me.  I’m sure if she ever does, I will feel like I have been “busted” BIG TIME!  Which is funny in itself, because I have no idea who she is.  However, if she spots me…any awesomeness that I still possess will be ripped from my clutches in an instant.  Shhhh…keep my secret….pleeeease!  I mean, if we’re going to be BFF’s you gotta be able to keep a secret.  That’s a golden rule of BBF’s ya know.

Fess up!  Are you in the “Parking Lot PJ Club”?  Do tell.  I promise I won’t tell a single soul. 🙂

~Lisa