Thursday, May 30, 2013

Workout Journal 5/20 - 5/26

Monday 5/20

Lately, I have really been struggling with motivation.

Tonight brought an unexpected change to my workout....but oh so wonderful. I completed a late night walk with some moms from my neighborhood around 11:00pm. We all have little kids so this super late hour works perfectly and is normally when we are up enjoying our 'free time' anyway.

It was great conversation and a great workout.

Tuesday 5/21 

Tonight was a repeat of the neighborhood mom walk. It is good to exercise physically and socially :)

Thursday 5/23

I did a combination of Club Dancin' Cardio and strength training. I am really enjoying music from Robyn, who I featured in May's playlist. More from her to come in future workout mixes.

*** It has gotten quiet out there from my online workout buddies. I need to hear from you, Are you still following my workout journal? What did you do this past week to workout? I need your support! Leave a comment below or on Facebook to let me know you are still with me :)

Writing with a Purpose

I wrote of the reason why I started this blog. But beyond the reason why I started - there is a purpose to my writing. The #1 purpose of my writing Mama Bee No E is to encourage.

to give support.....
by highlighting resources that help me to be a better woman, wife, and mom.

to reassure.....
you that you are not alone in feeling, at times, awkward, insecure, confused, overwhelmed, ineffective...(and the list goes on and on).

to stimulate.....
you to encourage others.

to embolden.....
you to be the best woman you can be.

to give confidence....
in who God has made you to be..........not in what others want you to be.......have told you to be.......or expect you to be.

I wish to encourage you, because my life has been blessed with many encouraging women through the years (some of you may be reading this post right now :). Their encouragement has helped me understand who I really am, despite other voices to the contrary.

Thanks for reading.

- brook.

Definitions for this post were taken from here.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

DIY [Stationary] - From a Toddler

This week I had to catch up on thank you notes from my son's 2nd Birthday party. I wanted the notes to be personal and as much [F]'s creation as possible - out of that came some DIY stationary that I wanted to share with you.

Step 1: Take some card stock paper (I used water color paper, because that is what I had) and place a piece of FROG TAPE in any area you want to save for writing a short note.

*Tip: the tape is extremely important. My husband uses Frog Tape to paint murals and found it to be THE BEST painters masks perfectly and doesn't damage the original surface.

Step 2: Apply art media. Allow your toddler to be creative in what ever way they want :) [F] used finger paint, stickers, watercolor, and rubber stamps.

Step 3: Pull tape off immediately. With the stickers, you have to use an X-acto around the edges before you pull the tape up.

*Tip: Although Frog Tape is amazing, it works best if it is not left on there too long. One thing I learned is that you have to be super careful not to allow wet material on the tape to get on your fingers and damage the toddler artwork. So.....proceed with caution.

Step 4: Allow artwork to dry.

Step 5: Write the message. My toddler isn't old enough to I wrote for him :)

Viola! Beautiful, customized notes from your little one.

You may also enjoy....

Egg Week 2013
Lorax Themed Birthday Party

This post is part of my Diary.

Thanks for reading.

- brook.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

"Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices."
- President Truman

American Flag by Steve Penley

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Please Knock" Sign

For all of you out there with napping littles.....or for the new mom in your life - this is a must have.

Right after I had [B], I went over to my friend Alyson's house and she had this wonderful little sign hanging from her front door. Immediately I knew that I needed one of them. My husband has his own business and we are forever getting packages delivered to the house for that reason.

With a new baby and trying to get two kids to take naps, I was going crazy already without the Fedex guy ringing the doorbell :) I went home and made my own version of the sign.......

I had every intention of ordering the one she had, but a few days later there was a knock at the door and this beautiful thing was handed to me by the Fedex guy. My dear friend ordered one for me, knowing that I was to my eyeballs in diaper changes and laundry.

This little piece of wood has saved me so much weariness. So, next time you are heading to a shower or remembering a mommy friend's birthday....pick up one of these. Such a great gift for only $11.50!

You can order them from SaidInStoneOnline.

This post is part of my Mama Toolbox.

- brook.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Workout Journal 2013: 5/6 - 5/19

Yes, this is me....slinking in to post my Workout Journal for the last two weeks. My goal is to post once a week (good or bad) and I did not fulfill that goal :(

The last time I posted I did okay...but could feel myself slipping.

There hasn't been a lot of working out going on in my neck of the woods. Hopefully, it is different for you. The main reason I haven't worked out ---------> I haven't wanted to. 

Yep, this workout thing does not come naturally to me. I kind of have to force myself most times to go through with it. 

AND, I have been eating poorly :( What I mean by that is....eating at midnight, having Taco Bell for lunch and then Zaxby's for dinner. Yes, I have fallen off.....bad.

Wednesday 5/8
My sister in law, Ashley, was staying at my house and worked out with me :) We did the Post-Pregnancy DVD. It was great. Two mama's working out together. Makes me wish I had the room to conduct a Mama workout class at my house. I love having someone to workout with me.

The only (slight) downfall.....laughing. Yes, laughing. We would throw comments back and forth during the workout....a couple of times I almost peed in my pants :)

Friday 5/10
I did the Post-Pregnancy DVD, again. It was fine. I do feel stronger every time I do it. Nothing new to report.

Then........a whole week went by.

Friday 5/17
I did the Post-Pregnancy DVD tonight. It felt good, but I was really missing the gym tonight. I miss taking classes and working hard with other people. One day, I will hopefully be able to do that again. Until then...I will work with what I have got.

Hopefully next week will bring a renewed commitment to working out.

Thanks for reading.

- brook.

The Life of Zach Sobiech

Today I came upon a story that is wonderful.  I wanted this story to have a permanent place on my blog.

A while back I wrote about things I have learned since I have turned of those lessons is:

"People die young and healthy and kids get really sick - be grateful for each day because The Lord doesn't promise tomorrow or an easy road."

Zach Sobiech is the embodiment of this lesson. He died this past Monday (May 20, 2013) at his home with his family. He was young and so full of life.

Here is his story.....


This is a gift given to him by the producers of the documentary above....

You can purchase his song, Clouds on Itunes. All proceeds go to the Zach Sobiech fund.

Time is short, friends. Let us strive to live life to the fullest and make others happy.

You may also enjoy...
Kindergarten Didn't Cut It...
It Is Over - Life As You Know It

This post is part of my Diary.

Thanks for reading.

 - brook.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Favorite Finds [A Beautiful Mess Photo App]

Recently I have come across a couple of things that I absolutely love. If you have been reading Mama Bee No E - you know that my family is on a TIGHT budget, so I am always looking for cheap ways to entertain myself and our family.

Favorite Finds is a new series of posts that will include things I have come across that I love. They won't always be a 'family find', many will be things that I find to be great for myself. I hope you see something here that you will enjoy.

First up......A BEAUTIFUL MESS PHOTO APP!!!!!!!!

This Favorite Find is brought to you by Elsie and Emma the authors of the A Beautiful Mess blog.

[A Beautiful Mess]
I love this little piece of 99 cent heaven. You can download it for your Iphone and use it spruce up photos for any social media site or just for your own keeping.

I used it to create the 'Favorite Finds' graphic you see above...and you will probably see many more graphics on this blog using this app.

My favorite thing about it......once you create an image, it saves automatically to the photo library on your phone.

Here are a couple of other images I created this past week with the app....

Other Favorite Finds....

Mr. Printables

French Press Mornings - Encouraging Wednesdays

Thanks for reading.
- brook.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

10 fav's from Ten on Ten [May 2013]

If you have been following my blog for the past week, you know I participated in the Ten on Ten project for the first time with my new photo series [10.ten.tenth]. It was a lot of fun and I plan to do it monthly from here on out.

Below are some of my favorites from other submissions for this month. Click on the link below each picture to view the full set. If you love a particular photo, please leave a comment on their blog.....because all bloggers love comments :)


{Happy Days}


{Life with Lou}
{This Vintage Moment}
{Crosbie Crew}

{October Morning}

{Unique Simplicity}

{Food Loves Writing}

{Ba-haus: Tales from Shanghai}
To view all the submissions from Ten on Ten: May 2013 click here.

Thanks for reading.

- brook.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mama Bee No E has a new look!

Thanks to my wonderfully talented husband, Josh Powell, Mama Bee No E is now a lot prettier to look at :)

Check out more of his work at

I would love to know what you think of the new graphics :)

- brook.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013 - The Importance of Imperfect Photography

Handmade Happy Mother's Day Card
a handmade card for you.

Today's Mother's Day post comes with a lot of encouragement and a little challenge to come out of our comfort zone.

A while back, I found this wonderful. wonderful. article written by Allison Tate  entitled The Mom Stays in the Picture. It made me cry when I read it. I cried because it is so true about me. I cried because I knew that because of it, I could never act the same.

The truth about me - I avoid pictures with my kids because of my vanity.
Another truth - when I take a picture with my babies, I weigh the photo down with razor thin criticisms.

Allison writes so perfectly about why we, as mothers, avoid the camera and why we should start embracing it.

"We're sporting mama bodies and we're not as young as we used to be. We don't always have time to blow dry our hair, apply make-up, perhaps even bathe (ducking). The kids are so much cuter than we are; better to just take their pictures, we think.
But we really need to make an effort to get in the picture. Our sons need to see how young and beautiful and human their mamas were. Our daughters need to see us vulnerable and open and just being ourselves -- women, mamas, people living lives."

I had my husband take this picture of me a couple of days ago - a picture of me with a love note to my two little men. I did it because I want them to know how I feel about them at this moment. I did it because I need practice at this. Even as I am uploading the photo to this post, I find my thoughts becoming critical (eyes to squinty, smile too big and cheesy.....).

But then I stop myself and focus my thinking back on the truth about this photo......

this is me. young, healthy, and totally in love with my boys.
my face looks like that because [B] was behind the camera (in Josh's arms) giving me the most amazing gummy grin and waving his arms in the excited at just the sight of me.

That makes me LOVE this photo.

My sister-in-law, Ashley, and I recently have had some wonderful times being moms together. She lives overseas, so this has been a great blessing to me. We have talked about crazy mama moments, our birthing stories, and the topic of photography.

I had mentioned the overall theme for today's post and she described to me her feelings about how important it is to appreciate the imperfect photos we take. She started her thoughts with "see that is why I don't like digital photography....we don't appreciate and treasure photos anymore.....all we care about is taking that perfect shot...." she is SO right. We spend so much time trying to rearrange our kids and conjure out the perfect expression - that we often loose or even ruin the moment.

Truth is - this world needs imperfect pictures. The energy spent trying to post 'perfect' poses onto Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram creates stress, it creates strife. Life is too short and too full of these things already for us to create more of it ourselves.

I am not opposed to that perfect family photo - every once in a while......but our day in and day out should capture the realness of it all - INCLUDING us mamas.

Happy Mother's Day to all my lovely 'Mama Bees'. Jump in front of that camera with boldness.


....because Motherhood is all of the 'THOSE' things that non-parents dread......but it is also wonderful.

Please take some time to read Allison Tate's full article by clicking here. It is beautiful.

For more articles and blog posts of note - see the Must Reads page.

You may also enjoy....
Kindergarten didn't cut it.....
'Little' Man #1 - Mommy's Helper
Made Me Cry and Love Being a Mama - The Last Time by Devon Corneal

- brook.

This post is linked up with...

Friday, May 10, 2013

10.ten.tenth [May 2013] - A Typical Day at Home

When I came across the Ten on Ten project last month, I knew right away I wanted to be a part of it.

Rebekah Gough has been sponsoring this project on her blog since 2008.

[10] photographs. taken over [ten] hours, posted on the [tenth] of the month.

This series of photos shows..........A Typical Day at Home.

[8 o'clock hour] - Draw back curtains and welcome little people into the day.

[9 o' clock hour] - My cleaning starts with the breakfast dishes.

[10 o'clock hour] - Reading time while the second one sleeps.

[11 o'clock hour] - Enjoying fresh flowers while I make the rounds to straighten up the house.

[12 o' clock hour] - Part of my lunch. I am a grazer at this part of the day.

[1 o' clock hour] - Some serious play time before the big nap of the day.

[2 o' clock hour] - Boys are asleep and I indulge in some chocolate while the house is quiet.

[3 o' clock hour] - Mid afternoon smoothie. Mango, Peaches, Avocado, Milk, Protein, Ice.

[4 o' clock hour] - Post nap diaper changes.

[5 o' clock hour] - Soaking up some time with #2 and a little Vitamin D, while #1 plays in the yard.

[6 o' clock hour] - Squeezing in some laundry folding before dinner.

10.ten.tenth is part of...
ten on ten button

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Workout Journal 2013: 4/29 - 5/5

Tuesday 4/30
Today I did strength training with the Post-Pregnancy DVD. As I mentioned before, I am in a little bit of a rut with this training. I am in between milestones and feel like it has been a while since I have felt a new accomplishment with it. BUT, I will not use that as an excuse to give up. I still have my long term goal of mastering this DVD by July 30th [B]'s first birthday and my plan is to keep at it.

Thursday 5/2
Today, I did Club Dancin' Cardio with my new May 2013 Playlist. I was really getting tired of the songs from this new mix has me pumped to get back to dancing. Funny thing I did tonight out of no where - when it got to the Flo Rida song "Club Can't Handle Me", I felt the sudden urge to run.....and I did :) in a loop around my front room into my living room and back again. Something about that song gave me this sudden burst of energy :) My dog, Fig, caught on to what I was doing about half way through the song and she ran with me....probably thinking her mama has lost her mind. It was a good night of cardio.

Saturday 5/4
Tonight was another night of strength training - nothing new to report. The piking series is still the bane of my workout existence.

Couple of Smoothie Recipes from this week:

My sisters introduced me to protein smoothies....(I know, I am really late to get on this band wagon) and I love them. It is the perfect lunch for me because that time of day I am all over the place - feeding the kids lunch and cleaning the house. Here are some combinations I have tried.....

Peaches, Spinach, 2% milk, protein, ice. (make sure to blend extra long to break up the spinach)
Strawberries, Blueberries, 2% milk, protein, ice.
Mango, Peach, Avocado, 2% milk, protein, ice.

A good way to measure amount of liquid is to fill the container you want to drink from 1/2 way with milk and ice (thanks Em, for this tip). As far as the fruit - I just throw some in there and don't measure. It has turned out yummy every time.

This is the protein powder that I have tried from Publix ($13.99 for about 13 oz.) and it is excellent! I will definitely be going back for more once I am done with this.

Read more details about my entire workout routine on my Restoration Page.

Thanks for reading.

- brook.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

April 2013

This month was so full of life. April will always be one of my favorite because it is my biggest boy's birthday month. With that I begin with a milestone for [F].

April 4th - Speaking the Alphabet.....trying to anyway :)

Alphabet by Kate Sutton
Beautiful Hand Drawn Alphabet by
Kate Sutton

I don't remember why this started - but it did. I began reciting the alphabet and [F] would attempt to repeat the letters after me. He was so darn cute.

My big boy got B, C, D, E, H, I, N, P, T correctly on the first go round. We have practiced the alphabet every day since.

April 20th - #2 on the move

[B] has always been a very physical baby...grabbing and pulling on things. But today, he took it to a whole new level - he scaled around his bed while holding on :) such a big boy he is :)

April 21st - #1 turns 2

We held a birthday party for [F] on the 20th, but the 21st is his birthday. He had so much fun at his birthday. I can't even believe my first born, blue eyes is already 2.

Party balloons

April 26th - Quality Campfire Time

For the past couple of weeks, my husband's side of the family has had the good fortune of being all together - including his brother, wife, and little boy from overseas (who we haven't seen in over a year). On this night, we had a campfire out at my in-laws (which is gorgeous as you can see from the pictures). I ate way too many s'mores and really enjoyed the time together.

Beautiful Pasture


April 30th - Well Checks

Today we took both boys [at the same time] to their check-ups - [F]'s two year and [B]'s nine month.
Both boys did great and got a clean bill of health. So thankful for this.

Baby Toes
[B]'s Toes Post Appointment

Let's join together and share memories of April with the beginning of a new Mama Bee No E series I am calling..........'Memory of the Month'.

Post a memory you had from this past April in the comment section below. It could be anything big or small. Feel free to include a picture by clicking the.....
image icon within the Disqus comment box.
Also, if you wrote blog post about a memory of yours from April - feel free to include a link within your comment.

I look forward to reading about your April memories :)

You may also enjoy....
March 2013
Little #1 Turns 2

This post is part of my Diary.

- brook.