Category Archives: About My Life

About My Life - Travel

Our North Shore Hawaiian Vacation

May 6, 2015

Polynesian Cultural CenterIf you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen a few weeks ago me getting my tan on in the Hawaiian sun. We went as a work incentive trip with one of the vendors that my mom and husband use for their local franchise, Budget Blinds.

Laie coastWe first set off to Oahu and that’s where these photos are from. We were much more adventurous in the two days we were in Oahu than the four days in Kona. I was looking for a getaway and Efi wanted to go all over the place. Mixing destinations was a perfect alternative for us.

Efi on the North Shore of HawaiiThe first day we went exploring the entire North Shore to see where we wanted to go the following day. We already knew that most of it would be spent at the Polynesian Cultural Center but we wanted something outdoorsy too. It was hilarious because we were driving along and there was this weird music that we couldn’t figure out the source. We then realized it was our own personal guide from Mr. GPS. It started talking about the Dole Pineapple Plantation and I was telling my husband how there is always a lot of people here but I really can’t figure out why. We stayed for 20 minutes and got out of there but it was PACKED! I mainly wanted a Dole Whip and then to see how the pineapple actually grew. They have a ton of land though and we got some fun photos!

Hawaii Dole Plantation

Dole PlantationWe then headed down the street to Haleiwa. Totally beautiful and has an old town vibe. I wish we had stayed there longer because theses are the parts of places I love to see. We did stop by the beach and hang for a while. No kids=a lot of free time that we just don’t know what to do with anymore.

Oahu North ShoreIt was around 7pm that we decided to head on over to Efi’s uncles house. He was very generous to allow us to stay there and that’s really what I love about Polynesians, they don’t care when you show up or who, they’ll give you somewhere to stay. The next morning we headed over to Waimea Falls. I was expecting this giant waterfall considering the hype of this place but the walk up to the falls was very easy for a non-hiker like myself. It was fun to see all the plants that reminded us of my MIL home back in Tonga. We saw some remakes of ancient Hawaiian villages and I also swore I saw spots that were filmed in Lost, like that weird guy who got their parachute stuck in the tree. I know I saw THAT tree! lol.

Wamea Falls Tour

Waimea Falls

Waimea Falls Hawaiian Village

Waimea Beach

On the way back, we stopped by Kahuku and had some bomb scampi shrimp and mac salad, find a similar recipe here. I wish we had eaten more like that over there but we were in such tourist stricken places, it was hard to get off the beaten path. We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center next where we ran into some neighbors from Tonga who work there now. By far Tonga and Samoa were the funnest islands. Tonga had the most crowd participation and just teased to their hearts content. It’s kind of the best. The Samoan village guy…hilarious. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. I really wish my sister was there because we have similar laughs and she would have laughed even harder. Here he is making coconut milk and he held this pose for about 15 seconds so everyone could get a picture of him. He just made jokes the whole time and they were hilarious.

Samoan Village Polynesian Cultural Center

Polynesian Cultural Center Entrance

PCC StatueThe feet, everyone has them but no one has them worse than Polynesians, lol. I took this picture to make comparisons to my husbands feet just to give him a hard time. I’d say my husbands toes are about 1/2 the length of this guys! I also ask if he wore tissue boxes for shoes as a child. All the kids have them, they’ve even passed on to my kids and they’re just the worst!

The last day before our flight to Kona, we headed to the Laie temple which is a few blocks from the PCC and to BYU Hawaii. It was actually graduation day when we were leaving so it was fun to see some of the different leis everyone was getting. We were also able to run into more family that we hadn’t been able to find those few days before so it all worked out. Before the airport destination, we made a quick pit stop to Waikiki Beach. I don’t know how Efi felt about it but I just loved the low key vibe that Laie gave me and the hussle and bussle of Waikiki kind of gave me anxiety. Plus, we found out our flight was leaving an hour before I had thought. That can contribute to anxiety too!

Laie Hawaii Temple

BYU Hawaii

Waikiki Beach

On one last note, I hope that if you make the dive to Hawaii, you’ll enjoy it as much as this Fekitoa family did!

Fekitoa

About My Life - Kids - Life Lessons

5 Ways to Make Your Travel Less Stressful

March 31, 2015

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

5 Must HavesI am programmed to be high stressed. I don’t know what it is but I can’t take it easy and it’s not an automatic thing for me and my family suffers. I’ve learned throughout the years to travel near and far with certain essentials (for me) that make my life a little easier and I wanted to share with you these 5 tricks on how I make travel less stressful for me.

  • A Brush – Yes. Brushing your hair is something you probably shouldn’t have left the house without doing but with three kids of my own, it doesn’t get done no matter how many times I’ve asked…yelled, really. Usually the detangling ones are the best and sometimes the more money you spend, it isn’t always the better.
  • Lipstick and Mascara – again, things you shouldn’t have left the house without doing but I find myself doing it all the time. With my ginger hair, my eyelashes are non-existent and really making myself look just a little bit put together, I feel a little better.
  • A change of clothing for everyone – I am not the best example of this but I have many times found myself either wishing or stopping at an actual store buying clothing or underwear. I’d suggest just an overnight bag in the back or trunk with also a plastic bag of sorts to keep the soiled laundry in while it’s waiting to be cleaned. If it’s something that it pretty repulsive (mom’s ;))…toss it. Your dignity is worth more than a $1 saved.
  • Cash – I’ve talked before about how my husband can be a bit of a stickler and sometimes I do appreciate it. I have my sneaky ways of spending money but cash has really become an essential way to learn how to manage money for me. You are more conscious when you are spending cash rather than using a card. You can actually see your funds dwindling away. If you are going to use a card, I would most definitely recommend you take your check register with you so that you can balance your account to also see those dollars dwindling.
  • Chocolate – Last but most definitely not least is some chocolate. I’m not talking any old stuff though…the good stuff, SNICKERS® Almond. Have you found that you’ll buy the less expensive chocolate thinking it’ll satisfy your cravings and it never does. It all goes hand in hand with giving in to your indulgences. SNICKERS® is my chocolate indulgence and I love their new campaign slogans, “You’re not you when you’re hungry”. I most definitely get the most peace when I can find a moment away to myself and relaxing and pretty much chocolate is that sense of relief for me. I usually always grab them from Walmart because I can get the best price there, too.  

Travel less stressfulI know for myself, motherhood has been a learning experience and I have to take it day by day. In life, nobody is perfect and I hope that no one makes you feel that you have to compare your weaknesses to their strengths. The world of the internet can make you feel like you don’t have it together but if you take it one day at a time, things all work out.

Snickers Almond

Also regarding SNICKERS®, they are having an awesome contest where you can submit a photo or a .gif about how you’re not yourself – I told you this campaign is awesome! See the details below cause I know I’ll be doing it myself cause I think it’s so fun and they are always some of my favorite commercials. You can also get delish SNICKERS® recipes on the SNICKERS® Social Hub

  

 

About My Life - Kids

Dealing with Older Kids and Bedwetting and a Giveaway

February 3, 2015

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

Do you have an older child who still wets the bed? Come to frenchiewraps.com and see what steps she takes with her own son to help him combat his own struggle #GNKroger #adIf you’ve read my blog for a while, you know I have three children. My oldest is 9, and he is the deepest sleeper I know. I wish I had his ability. Yet, he also has an issue, bedwetting. I am always heading to my local Kroger store and buying GoodNites for a good deal. I bought him the GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Underwear Starter Pack and the GoodNites* TRU-FIT* Insert Refill Pack

GoodNitesIt’s something that has happened for years and I can pinpoint exactly when he started having trouble. I had him all potty trained and then he had to have his circumcision redone when he was 3. It was from there that he was always hesitant to use the bathroom until the last second. He was continuously having small accidents and so I began to become a very frustrated mom.

Do you have an older child who still wets the bed? Come to frenchiewraps.com and see what steps she takes with her own son to help him combat his own struggle #GNKroger #adI tried everything from patience to frustration. I felt as if nothing was helping him remember to use the bathroom before he went to bed or to stop drinking by 7pm. Well, now he is old enough for accountability. If he has an accident, he is responsible for changing his sheets and washing them. If he doesn’t, he is grounded. We of course had some crying in the beginning but it has subsided and now I have found myself not even mentioning it when it happens. If you think you’re child is just too old to be doing this, you’re not alone and many children still do it. Here are some facts”

  • According to a GoodNites® brand study, it’s estimated that 1 in 6 children between the ages of 4-12 in the United States suffer from nocturnal enuresis, more commonly known as bedwetting
  • Research from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that psychologically, children who wet the bed do not want to participate in fun activities, such as sleepovers, because of their fear and embarrassment.
  • Many parents don’t realize that bedwetting is a fairly common, developmental condition and they can’t “train” their child out of it.
  • Visit the Better Night Network at www.GoodNites.com and the GoodNites Facebook page for more information on bedwetting solutions and advice from trusted experts.

Do you have an older child who still wets the bed? Come to frenchiewraps.com and see what steps she takes with her own son to help him combat his own struggle #GNKroger #adHe’s extremely self conscious about this and it also has a lot to do with the fact that his younger brother doesn’t have this same problem. Many bodies are different and it’s just an issue that the body has to outgrow. I firmly believe that you need to be covered thoroughly on everything. Grab a plastic mattress protector, have some extra sheets on hand and most definitely have some GoodNites that you can grab at your local Kroger retailer. I also don’t find those electrical underwear to be very ethical. I mean, if it’s already happening then why shock you to stop? They literally cannot stop, their bladder is FULL!

I will tell you that we have a full/twin bunk bed for our boys and we bought a $50 new mattress for him. I purposely bought this because of his bedwetting issues and so when his body does start to grow out of this, we can just throw it out and I won’t feel bad about it one bit! The GoodNites actually very useful and now he can wear them in secret and not have him brother tease him in the process. The joy of raising boys!

Do you have an older child who still wets the bed? Come to frenchiewraps.com and see what steps she takes with her own son to help him combat his own struggle #GNKroger #adSo let me know, do you have any kids with bed-wetting issues in your family? What kinds of tips do you have? Let me know and make sure you enter the giveaway below, good luck!

Pull-Ups and GoodNites Potty Training Sweepstakes

About My Life - Holidays - Valentine's Day

A Fun Valentines Date Night Basket and Monthly Date Night Printables

January 30, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #YoursandMine #CollectiveBias
Create a memorable Valentines Day with your spouse and create this fun Date Night gift basket to last the whole year only on frenchiewraps.com #YoursandMine #Ad**Just a disclosure and me being a meany pants. All my printables I offer are free for personal use only. I really hope I don’t have to talk to you in my scary mom voice cause my kids don’t like it and I’m sure you wouldn’t either, thanks!

My husband gets a lot of heat from me and not in a good way. I decided this Valentine’s Day that I’d treat him to a gift basket to include some of his favorite treats and continue a tradition that we do with our kids but extend it to him. I created some cheap and fun date night ideas that can be opened and redeemed once per month that will help us live down memory lane. Let me tell you our story. It’s pretty funny and not your ordinary love story.

Create a memorable Valentines Day with your spouse and create this fun Date Night gift basket to last the whole year only on frenchiewraps.com #YoursandMine #AdMy husband, Efi and I met in October 2003. He was visiting from California and I just randomly showed up at a friend of a friend’s house for a party. It was awkward cause I knew a few people but not a lot. I thought he was my friends ex-boyfriend when I saw him far away but as he came closer, things were much better! My brother has a friend who always was so cute and he knew it and he knew I thought it and his name is Garrett, when I saw Efi – he is the Tongan Garrett, lol!

Create a memorable Valentines Day with your spouse and create this fun Date Night gift basket to last the whole year only on frenchiewraps.com #YoursandMine #AdHe knew he was cute and I kind of thought I wasn’t his type, I know now that I’m not his type. We didn’t talk much that night and he ended up going inside the house and I left. We ended up there the same night the following week and he had just gotten dropped off from another date (yes, that’s true). Well, someone asked us to go grab some cheeseburgers from the local fast food joint and since him and I were the only ones not drinking, we were clearly the obvious choice. We went through the drive-thru and had some more opportunity to chat and he was very friendly and a total flirt. We got to the window and the guy asked us if we had seen anyone because someone had tried to rob them through the drive-thru the night before. I totally laughed in the guys face, poor guy. We grabbed the food and Efi was trying to tell me where to drive back to the house but really he was trying to show me a place to make out, hahahaha! The hormones of 20 year olds. Anyways, I’m sure you can imagine we obviously made out that night, of course, he’s the Tongan Garrett! I’m not letting this one slip me by!

Create a memorable Valentines Day with your spouse and create this fun Date Night gift basket to last the whole year only on frenchiewraps.com #YoursandMine #AdI kind of thought I wouldn’t really see him again after that but we kept in touch and he was really the first person that I could really relate everything to. That would be my heart, my faith and my past. He got me, he understood me and he loved me. That’s all I could ask for and for him to be my partner and my spouse now for the last 10 years, I couldn’t imagine my life with anyone else. It really takes love to know how to support and care for you. Anyone can come in and say it, but it really comes down to actions and I’m so grateful for him. He deserves the world and I hope I’m able to provide that to him as well.

Create a memorable Valentines Day with your spouse and create this fun Date Night gift basket to last the whole year only on frenchiewraps.com #YoursandMine #AdFor his gift this year, I really wanted to go back to our first years together and print out some coupons for him to help him remember our first memories together. We used to walk around Temple Square in the snow, drive around all the time, hang out with friends, watch movies, cook, get ice cream, go to movies, go to the dollar store in our poor days. These are some special memories that aren’t so specific that I made up for a printable that you can easily make them yours too. Now, when I say play at the park, I mean actually play on the toys, not make out. We are grown now so we don’t need to go to the park to make out anymore, we can do that at home ;). So with that said, I headed over to Walmart and grabbed the K-Y® YOURS+MINE in the K-Y® DATE NIGHT pack with super discreet packaging. For more great Valentine’s Day ideas, visit www.k-y.com. I know that any husband will enjoy the time and thought put into anything that their wife gets them. It’s not about the money but always about the thought put into something. Take the time in your marriage to communicate and really take the time to love each other.

XOXO, Lindsay

Date Night 1  Date Night 2  Date Night 3  Date Night 4 <=== FREE PRINTABLES HERE

 

About My Life - Holidays - New Years

Marking off my New Years Resolutions by keeping up with my Calendar

December 29, 2014

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HappyNewMe #CollectiveBias Keeping a New Years Resolution with Walmarts Unlimited Talk, Text and 3G Mobile Plan by T-Mobile. #HAppyNewMeHave you found yourself in a terrible predicament where you’ve completely forgotten to go somewhere simply because it wasn’t written down? Call me crazy but that is so me! My mom tells me all the time – Poodle, you need to make a list everyday of what needs to be accomplished and it will make your life so much easier. I know it would but I don’t and I continue to run around with my head cut off. Yes, my mom calls me Poodle cause I shake my fanny when I walk. TMI. Now, that’s why I headed off to Walmart to find out what their lowest priced unlimited plans were and I’ll tell you why…

Walmart DisplayKeeping a New Years Resolution with Walmarts Unlimited Talk, Text and 3G Mobile Plan by T-Mobile. #HAppyNewMeMy parents were so kind and got the kids a new computer for Christmas because they’re going to need one for homework assignments and our old MacBook is hanging by its last thread. I knew I needed to have an electronic device that is going to sync with the calendar since it’s a Windows operating system but I didn’t want to be paying an arm and a leg for its service. Walmart offers the lowest price unlimited plans for $34.88 and you get 5GB of data of T-Mobiles 3G Network. I grabbed their Samsung Galaxy Exhibit for $79.88 and a starter kit for $25. They’ve got other options but I was going for calendar quality here and that was it since I also have an iPhone. Keeping a New Years Resolution with Walmarts Unlimited Talk, Text and 3G Mobile Plan by T-Mobile. #HAppyNewMeNow when I have a project, I make sure that I write it down in my Erin Condren planner and that I write in down in my new Samsung phone so that I can have it automatically sync to our family’s new computer and that way I have it written down at least three times. Keeping a New Years Resolution with Walmarts Unlimited Talk, Text and 3G Mobile Plan by T-Mobile. #HAppyNewMeMy new years resolution is to be more organized this year and to be able to get my act together to share with you guys a lot more DIY projects. See that red wall in the back, it’s going to be BLACK and the frames behind the desk wall are getting a makeover! Those DIY projects take a ton of planning and so I need this in my life to be able to be organized and be in the know! I meant be in the know because I need to know all what is going on around me and I’ve been putting other things in front of my priorities and that needs to also change. Keeping a New Years Resolution with Walmarts Unlimited Talk, Text and 3G Mobile Plan by T-Mobile. #HAppyNewMeSo for 2015 I am going to be organized and in the present and in the know! What’s your New Years Resolutions? I’d love to hear them, share with me down below!

XO, Lindsay

About My Life

I am Brave and Beautiful

September 29, 2014

I am so proud to be participating in this project. I was a little hesitant at first just like anyone would be posting pictures of your non glorious self all over the Internet! However, I was really pleased with how this project turned out. I’m proud of the woman I’ve become. I’m proud of the challenges I’ve faced and that I’ve endured because I know that it has contributed to my beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder is you!

I am Brave and Beautiful – a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie’s song says, “Take your make up off. Let your hair down… Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you… “

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.

Me along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag – #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat’s attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!

I am Brave and I am Beautiful on frenchiewraps.com

I am brave and I am beautiful. We all submitted photos of us in makeup and then the challenge is for us to post photos of us with no makeup. This is supposed to empower me? In a way I feel more empowered in the full makeup shot because most days I look like the no makeup shot. I hardly ever wear makeup except for special occasions or if I’m feeling like 1000% awesome (that’s not very often).

I am Brave and I am Beautiful on frenchiewraps.comFor me to feel awesome takes a lot because of my Fibromyalgia. First thing in the morning I have to make sure and get my medicine in me or by noon I will feel like a stiff board, I won’t be able to function and it will affect me for 2 days. I have to remember my meds at night to. Ugh, medicine…it makes me feel ugly, old, just plain unhealthy which is what I am. I am completely unhealthy. While I know that I cannot be cured of Fibromyalgia, I can for sure do more things to bring calm some of the symptoms.

Ever since blogging, there has been a complete turn around in my life. I’m going places, doing things and pushing myself. I feel like I have myself back, I feel good and when I feel good – that is when I feel beautiful. It’s not the makeup that I need, though it does help boost some ego I’ve got in me that comes up once in a while. When I’m feeling healthy, I can accomplish anything and do everything and I feel I have nothing holding me back.

To me being beautiful has nothing to do with looks. I always tell my husband that fat people need love too. When my son tells me about girls who have crushes on them and they don’t like them back – I always say to treat them always with respect and to never be rude even though you may not think they are pretty on the outside, they may be pretty on the inside. If we just only look at the exterior of people, we will never know the true beauty or ugliness of them. Always give people a chance, always look for the good, always be someones friend. It’s the least someone deserves and to me that is what being Brave and Beautiful is, not a face with makeup.

I am Brave and I am Beautiful on frenchiewraps.com

For me, I know that I can live in confidence that I am beautiful because I live in a supportive environment with a husband who tells me that, and that is important. But, the most important part is that you know it for yourself because there will be days that you’re not told or reminded and you have to tell it to yourself. You have to know that your heart is beautiful and that it’s not always what’s on the exterior that counts. For some people that is what only matters to them and it’s something to work past. When you have confidence then you don’t need to worry about it.

A good sense of humor also helps a lot too. I love joking about my curves. I know I don’t have a bangin’ body and I don’t ever expect to. If I look at my Mother and Grandmothers, I do not stand a chance, ever! My kids told me that the back of my knees look like butts and that I have melting boobs. Seriously kids, I’d love to hear what you have to say about it when you’re older and figure out that one of you made my body look that way. They also love to separate my belly roll to find my belly button. It’s just life and I’m not embarrassed, I really think it’s quite funny. They think it’s funny. It’s a way that they can learn every body is different and everyone has different body types.

I hope that you’re able to learn something from my beauty post and really learn what your true beauty is and love yourself. In the end, maybe you feel this is selfish, but your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters. It is not selfish, it’s the truth. I will have to say at the end of writing this I feel very empowered and I love that we were challenged to write these posts and take those pictures!

Thanks so much for stopping by! XOXO,

Lindsay

share your natrual beauty - brassyapple.com

Don’t stop here. Get clicking around – its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup

1. BrassyApple 2. Peace from 6 Pieces 3. Is this Really My Life 4. Among the Young 5. Love Me Dani Marie 6. Sweet Charli 7. Kim Orlandini 8. XO, Ashton Tilton 9. She Calls Me Mama Leisha 10. Raising Memories – Canada 11. A Little Tipsy 12. Amy Cornwell 13. A girl and a glue gun 14. My Craftily Ever After 15. Maybe I Will 16. WhipperBerry 17. Paging SuperMom 18. All Things Thrifty 19. Ashlee Marie 20. The Project Girl

women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful

21. One Little Momma 22. Entirely Eventful Day 23. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 24. Tips from a Typical Mom 25. Utah Sweet Savings 26. Flats to Flip Flops 27. One Krieger Chick 28. What Meegan Makes 29. Simply Kierste 30. Live to be Inspired 31. HoneyBear Lane 32. Pretty Providence 33. Ma Nouvelle Mode – in FRANCE 34. MomEntity 35. Serger Pepper – in ITALY 36. Kiki and Company 37. Girl Loves Glam 38. Thrive

women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com

39. The Potters Place 40. Crafting in the Rain 41. Cooking With Ruthie 42. Delineate Your Dwelling 43. The Pennington Point 44. Bakerette 45. The Happy Scraps 46. Shannon Baird Photography 47. Tried and Tasty 48. Lionesses at the Gate 49. Fry Sauce and Grits 50. Lolly Jane 51. That’s What Che Said 52. Sugar Bee Crafts 53. Your HomeBased Mom 54. Happiness is Homemade 55. The Crafted Sparrow 56. R&R Workshop 57. I Should Be Mopping the Floor 58. Sassy Steals

Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful

59. Let’s Eat Grandpa 60. Being Spiffy 61. Sumo’s Sweet Stuff 62. Ginger Snap Crafts 63. Bless This Mess 64. Apronista 65. Dreaming About Someday 66. Frenchie 67. Tastefully Frugal 68. Four Marrs and One Venus 69. Your Sister Circle 70. Over the Big Moon 71. See Vanessa Craft 72. Infarrantly Creative 73. Family StoryTelling

Natural beauty untouched photos

74. Albion Gould 75. Life as Mrs. Larson 76. Tried and True 77. Play.Party.Pin. 78. Bite of Delight 79. Ink Happi 80. ObSEUSSed 81. U Create 82. My Mommy Style 83. Find it Make it Love it 84. The Contractor Chronicles 85. Novae Clothing 86. Mommy Makes Things 87. At Home with Sweet T 88. We Like to Learn As We Go 89. House for Five 90. Organize and Decorate Everything 91. Sassy Southern Gurl 92. The Creative Mom 93. Keep Moving Forward with Me

raw natural beauty - join the movement

94. The Benson Street 95. Mom 4 Real 96. Sowdering About 97. illistyle 98. The Crafty Blog Stalker 99. A Fiery Red Life 100. Cupcakes & Crowbars 101. One Sweet Appetite 102. My DayLights 103. Restless Risa

beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com

104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen Bee and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kids Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography

#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful

Ready in join in?Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!

Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

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About My Life

A Personal Post

July 27, 2014

Losing a Child at frenchiewraps.com

What can I say about this. 2013 was a really hard year personally for me. There were a lot of downs last year and it seemed that when things couldn’t get more down, boom. I felt like I was being kicked over and over.

Losing a Child at frenhciewraps.com

I now know that since I’ve made it through the storm (most of the way), I have conquered quite a bit for myself and have been able to make strides in my relationship with myself that have made me a stronger person and therefor a better mother and wife.

In January of 2013, we moved back into our townhouse after we had decided not to build our dream home and put all of that on hold. I decided to stay at home and could really no longer work in a setting where it was non stop work because of my Fibromyalgia. I have always felt that I wanted to attribute my success by how successful I was in an office setting. I was good at my job before my health started to go downhill. I never had to be monitored or reminded to do something. I learned really fast on the computer and I excelled in everything I did, I really thought I’d go far. Unfortunately, that was not the case. My memory faded, my motor skills have continued to suffer, my physical abilities are unable to handle what they used to and I definitely do not have cognitive skills like I used to.

All Things Will Work Out at frenchiewraps.com

I did myself a favor and stayed home with my kids where I would be able to take some rests in between my duties. Later that month I got a call from my sister in law who was expecting. I was waiting for that call so I could grab her kids for when she went into labor. That’s when I heard her say the words that would forever change our lives. She said ‘the baby died’. I couldn’t believe it. After all we’ve been through as a family together, and then all I could do was cry.

Losing a Child at frenchiewraps.com

The April before this, I had experienced my fourth pregnancy, my first miscarriage. I was only 5 weeks along and my levels were really low so I knew there was not a chance that the baby would hang on. It was at this moment that I realized that our children were due around the same time. It was also at this time that I had to come to the realization that I couldn’t and shouldn’t have any more children either. It was a hard realization. It was a real moment.

Losing a Child at frenchiewraps.com

While we were waiting at the hospital for her family to arrive, I remember having a good long conversation with her. We talked a lot about our faith and how thankful we are for eternal families, but we also talked about how as mothers, we tend to blame ourselves over situations we cannot control, especially when it comes to our families. Some of my nieces and nephews did not understand the significance of that day and some of them did. It was hard for all of us. It is almost as any of us lost our own child. I still wonder what type of child he would be, what personality he would have, would he be a joker like his other brothers? Would he have that loud cry that the Fekitoa’s are so famous for? Would he be as huge as his oldest brother, that one I could almost guarantee!

Losing a Child at frenhiewraps.com

I do know that that little boy, though he never took one single breath on earth, made such a large impact in our lives. I can’t wait for the day when I will see him again and be able to hold his sweet hands again. He was named after my Father in Law, ‘Eni, he was strong, noble, courageous and kind. There is no doubt in my mind that baby ‘Eni is the same. We have a lot of angels in heaven looking over us, for that I am grateful.

RIP ‘Eni

We decided this last week to go to the Kamas Fairy Rock Garden and make him a memorial. It’s another place that we can go to to remember him and take the time to think about all we are grateful for. It was something we’ll all remember forever, that I know.

Kamas Fairy Rock Garden on frenchiewraps.comKamas Fairy Rock Garden on frenchiewraps.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kamas Fairy Rock Garden on frenchiewraps.com

 

Kamas Fairy Rock Garden on frenchiewraps.com

 

Kamas Fairy Rock Garden at frenchiewraps.com

Thanks so much for taking the time to learn a little bit more about my family. I’m so grateful I have this platform to be vocal about this. If I can help one family about a death of a child, it does good. It’s ok to smile, it’s ok to be happy and to remember good. You don’t ever have to forget that person, live in your loved ones legacy. Live for your lost ones purpose and you will be ok. Everything is how it’s supposed to be.

XOXO, Lindsay

About My Life

Our trip to Tonga

May 7, 2014

Okay, so it’s been a while… Life has been great, it’s been awesome, it’s been CRAZY!!! I’ve been trying to catch up on a few projects going on around the house. I’m planning for my daughters birthday in the middle of May. I’ve been planning some fun giveaways. SNAP! couldn’t have been more inspiring and more informational.
Fekitoa Family Tonga
So in the middle of all this craziness, I still need to let you all know what’s going on in my life. If any of you have seen my last name, you’ll notice it’s not a typical last name. It is Fekitoa, pronounced Feh-key-TOE-ah. My husband is from the Kingdom of Tonga. He was born and raised there and his mother is still living there with most of his brothers and sisters. He comes from a VERY large family. There are 7 boys and 7 girls and he is the third oldest. The youngest is our oldest sons age. In fact, they are 3 weeks apart. We are so blessed that we have the opportunity to go and see them every few years. It is an expensive and long trip so when we go we stay a long time, at least 4 weeks. Luckily our kids are in year-round school, so it makes it easy to figure out when we can make that happen.

This last time we went, we decided to go over Christmas break. We decided that since our Grandma was going to be turning 80 years old, we’d have a family reunion! I don’t think that all the kids have ever been together being that there is such an age gap between them all. There is one brother in France playing rugby, two siblings in New Zealand, us, and a sister here plus 2 siblings that passed away when they were young. So if you lost count (I don’t blame you), there are only 7 siblings left in Tonga. Our father also passed away in 2006 from liver cancer. Our mother is fascinating. She has been doing this alone with no job, no help, just alone and we’re always helping her financially whenever we can. She doesn’t ask us for anything. I know without the Gospel, things would be a lot harder in her life but she’s such and inspiration, truly.

About 2 weeks before we left, we got word that our Grandma was sick with pneumonia. The doctors weren’t doing anything for her so we were all hoping that we’d be able to get there in time. Unfortunately we didn’t. She passed away a week before we were supposed to leave. We were so looking forward to seeing her and talking with her but God had a bigger plan.

When you go, you can fly through Fiji or Samoa. Samoa to get there faster but Fiji is usually cheaper. However, when going through Fiji, they only go to Tonga on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Make sure that you remember they are a day ahead! If you leave here on a Sunday, you’ll get there Tuesday! We had a 10 hour layover which is average, I guess you get what you pay for, lol! I’d rather save $400 a ticket for 5 of us and spend 10 hours in an airport. It’s worth $2000 to me.

Finally, we were off to Tongatapu, the main island. This is where it is at. They have grown so much since we first came here in 2006. We stayed the night in a hotel called Little Italy. They have an Italian restaurant downstairs and some pretty great rooms upstairs. The room was around 200TOP. A great rule of thumb is just remember that the USD is pretty much half of the TOP. In reality our room was an average of $100. A pretty great deal if you ask me.

The next day we were off to my husbands island of Ha’apai. The plane is small and the airlines are small so the communication was hard. We ended up having to take 2 separate flights, the girls on one and the boys on another. It’s about a 30 minute flight and it was just the worst. This plane sat 7 people and one of them had to sit in the co-pilots seat. We were all laughing and just saying “only in Tonga”. Now I have found out that the plane has crashed, it looked like the landing gear and I’m not surprised one bit.

We arrived and the island is just beautiful. It is small, it is serene and just not very developed. They have about 7 main stores downtown but they all have the same stuff. They do carry Tip-Top ice cream and that was really the only important thing! My husbands home is very Americanized considering that most Tongan homes have one main common room that everyone sleeps in and an outdoor kitchen. Our house had a shower, a flushing toilet, a bathtub, an upstairs, 5 bedrooms and 2 family rooms. It’s very large. When my father-in-law was alive, he worked for the LDS Church. I was told he made around 13,000TOP and that’s very good over there. Could we survive over here with that? No way!

Those first few days we spent focusing on the funeral. Tongan funerals are no standard funeral. You wear black, you mourn, you wail, you cook like crazy, you eat, you make sure that everyone is taken care of, and you don’t rest until that happens. We were so very fortunate to have this woman in our lives. She raised our father as a widow since he was 6. She lost her own daughter as a baby. She did eventually remarry to a wonderful man, Malakai Tua. She will be forever missed.

Siaki and Nofo
Fekitoa Family
After the funeral, we spent vacationing. The kids went to the ocean any chance they could get. We would go into the bush and harvest coconuts to drink from. Word to the wise, don’t buy the off the road coconuts. It makes a huge difference when you drink the fresh ones! I feel like I’m such a know it all when it comes to Tonga. Truth is, I know nothing. I pretty much know all the bad stuff and what not to do.

Our second trip in 2009, I was pregnant with our third child and that was what I call “my trip from hell”. It was probably my worst life experience. I dreamed about cheeseburgers, I had to go to the hospital and it took all night to give me one bag of IV fluid. I counted mosquitoes in bed, got the WORST sunburn complete with blisters… I just have to emphasize that it was the worst. It was our joke this time that my expectations for this trip were so very low. Needless to say, my mind has been changed! I will for sure go back, lol.

Siaki CoconutDSC_0407
On this trip we really spent time getting to know our cousins and brothers and sister-in-laws that we’d never met before. I’m so impressed with who our family has chosen. If you ever have a chance to spend any time with any Tongans, you’ll learn very fast that they are a culture who love to tease each other. It is never out of malice or ill intentions, it is solely out of love. You really have to know how to take a joke. We spent a lot of time laughing and teasing like no other. How fun it is to have family that we can do this with and the in-laws, including myself, just joined right in.

preparing the pig

I learned some Tongan cooking about making keke (kay-kay), lu pulu (lou poo-lou), otai (oh-thai) and my favorite, chop suey (soo-ee). We had brought some things over in a 8’x4′ crate that we sent on the boat in October. Lots of food and clothes. We had brought some food that we know the kids would have wanted to eat. One day we had made spaghetti but they don’t have ground beef over there, so we made it meatless. Well, my family likes meat. We had a lot of leftovers that first time. The next time we made it I found some hot dogs, let’s just say the kids went for that one. Four packages were gone within 30 minutes. We had my mother-in-law making rolls with all the kids one night. They loved it and she was so patient. That would not have been me, I would have lost it.

Sita and Meleane
Fekitoa Horse
Fekitoa Family
For Christmas we didn’t have a Christmas tree. The best part was is that we cut a branch off a tree and stuck it in a hole in the ground. We used scrapbook paper and cut snowflakes and some lights I got on clearance last year. We tied some balloons on with yarn, it ended up looking great and we all had a part of making it. We played games on Christmas Eve and it was a blast. We did some Minute to Win It games. We did the one with the Oreo on the face where you have to wiggle it to your mouth. The kids had a dance off.

We all just spent many nights outside under that tent reminiscing on the 2 who weren’t able to make it there and the 2 siblings who passed and especially our father. We are so very blessed to have our health and happiness. Everyone has beautiful children and are working hard to achieve their dreams.

We had a dance and invited the village to come. There were family members that came from as far as you can come on Ha’apai. It takes about 30 minutes to reach from end to end. We danced and had trains and my nephew did a pretty great impression of Will Smith, circa 1992. He matches the ears, smile and everything.

Fekitoa Siblings
This is their summertime so it was really hot. When it rained, it got hotter. The humidity is out of control. You basically sweat in places you didn’t know you could sweat from and you smell like sweat all the time. You’re dirty all the time. You get used to it. Tonga is right on the International Dateline. They get the first ever New Year! It’s pretty awesome to experience those things there. When and if you can, I suggest you stay over that time. When could would you be able to have an opportunity to experience that?
Fekitoa Family
Fekitoa Family silly
The ocean here is like something you can only dream of. The sand is white and the water is clear. The beach closest to my Husbands home is called Houmale’eia and there is a sandbar that moves all along the coastline. It reaches probably a 1/4 mile into the ocean and you’re able to walk out there but if you step off of it, you’re a good 15ft. deep into the ocean. The palm trees swaying in the breeze are pure perfection. Add your family, a bbq, some otai, some chocolate cake and it’s going down!

I really have to say that this trip really exceeded my expectations. We had so much fun and it left us loving our families so much more. The Tongan people are so giving and so willing to share whatever they have no matter how large or how small. It really opened my eyes how much we have when I can really do with so little. I’m spoiled and I’ve always known that. I need to learn to change my ways. I have exceeded my wants and that’s what I’ve seen has seemed to be the American way. I know I am so fortunate to live here and to have the opportunity that we have here but it is such a grounder to go there and to see what we can really live without. I’ve never felt the Spirit stronger and love better than being there in Tonga. My husband was raised by some pretty amazing people and the Tongan people are some pretty amazing people. Also, apparently your eye can swell if you’re allergic to mosquitoes!
Siaki Tonga
I hope you learned something from my trip to Tonga! We took so many pictures that I’m sure I will be posting again with more and more.

XOXO,
Lindsay

 



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