the "marie" updo & birthday weekend

[vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]the "marie" updo by meg marie wallace

Step 1: Gather hair in a loose low ponytail

the "marie" updo by meg marie wallace; easy 3 step updo

2. Twist hair while holding it steady (avoid twisting from the scalp-just the pony part)

the "marie" updo by meg marie wallace; easy 3 step updo

3. Keep wrapping it around into a low bun

the "marie" updo by meg marie wallace; easy 3 step updo

4. Keep twisting it around if you have really long hair like mine and then and grab one of these little 1 in clips

the "marie" updo by meg marie wallace; easy 3 step updo

5. Use one of those clips on the lower right side securing it to the head

the "marie" updo by meg marie wallace; easy 3 step updo

6. Then do the same thing on the left. The trick here is to leave a lot of pieces out to make it messy

the "marie" updo by meg marie wallace; easy 3 step updo

7. Hold the bun part steady and bump up the crown area so it’s not flat against your head

the "marie" updo by meg marie wallace; easy 3 step updo

the "marie" updo by meg marie wallace; easy 3 step updo

I also pull out some little pieces around my face and adjust the clips until I have that messy “done” look that I’m going for.

 

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SHIRT | HAIR CLIPS | NAIL POLISH


This has been one of my most requested hair styles to date! I’ve worn this anywhere from the gym to a formal wedding and everything in between. This is by far my most worn hairstyle, my go-to, my safe place, my every day. 🙂

I have to admit that I’ve sort of stalled intentionally on this taking pics of this hair style. It’s one of the easiest things ever to do and it seems almost silly to actually do a tutorial. So, once you figure out how simple it is you have to try it and let me know how it goes!

Anyway, this past weekend Matt and I got away together as a couple for his birthday. I was in a hurry trying to pack when he wasn’t around because it was all a huge surprise. In my rushing I totally forgot to grab my camera! I think I would have rather forgotten anything else in my suitcase before my camera…but I’m trying to think of it as a good thing because maybe it would have distracting me from just getting time away together….(not really, but I’m making myself not be mad about it). 🙂

So, we’ve been married for a long time now but we are apparently always still learning about each other. I decided to try to go big in celebrating him this year. We can’t afford things like this normally but since it was a splurge and we only had the time to be away for one night I booked us a room at the JW Marriot in Palm Springs. It was beautiful and the room had the most perfect view. I’d go back there in a heartbeat!

But here’s the thing…if you’re going to ask me what my idea of the perfect getaway is I would tell you that it’s going to a place like the Marriot, sitting by the pool and reading a book. I used to be a little social butterfly, but since becoming a mom I really have turned into a bit of recluse. 🙂 Maybe its the fact that I can’t do anything alone anymore, or that there’s constantly voices and to-do’s from sun up to sun down…but I truly would be happy as a clam sitting in silence, with a book, in the sun with nowhere else to go.

Matt’s ideal vacation is anywhere he can explore. He wants to see new sights discover new spots, learn new things and find new places. He can’t sit still for long. But since we only had one night at this place and life has been a little extra busy lately I truly had thought he’d want to just relax with me. On the first day that we arrived he did. We sat by the pool, ordered food to be brought to us, and hung out reading. But by midmorning or so on the second day he had had it. He started getting fidgety and looked up options of other places to go. He even found a random abandoned town out in the middle of the desert that he wanted to go see. Apparently though, that little town only has one restaurant and it was closed on the day we were there…so I got to stay at the resort a little bit longer! 🙂

We’re back home now, and are trying to get back to normal. It’s amazing how one night away can sometimes throw off an entire week! Let me know if you try this updo! I hope you find it as easy as I’m telling you it is!

It’s off to bed for me! I cannot keep staying up this late! It’s 12:40 a.m. and I promised myself I’d be in bed on time tonight. I’m watching two more kids tomorrow and I’m pretty sure my morning self is going to hate my nighttime self!

the "marie" updo by meg marie wallace; easy 3 step updothe "marie" updo by meg marie wallace; easy 3 step updo

the "marie" updo by meg marie wallace

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how to start a blog: 9 easy steps

want to start a blog? i'll show you how step by step!!!

 

Have you been toying with the idea of starting a blog? You should!! Do you wonder if it’s hard and are curious where to start? I can help!!! Do you think starting a blog is only for the “techy” people of the world? It’s not! You can absolutely do this…

I cannot even begin to tell you how thankful I am for the people who have offered help and advice in my  blogging. The switch over from my old blog to this new one was a complete nightmare…and would have never been possible without my friend Asher from Mind’s Eye Studios. Yes, it’s a shameless plug…but he deserves every single bit of it with how hard he worked to help me get up and running again. Poor guy was answering my questions around the clock for a few weeks there. If you ever want professional help in building a website, he is the one to contact…

All of that to say, I want to offer this post is for those of you who wish to try this on your own. I’m a huge fan in helping other people out as much as I am able. Sadly, I have learned that in the ‘blogging world’ some are not so eager to share their knowledge, but every now and then you’ll come across someone that is an absolute jewel and wants to help the newby. I pray I can be the latter….

So, for those of you who want to start a blog, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve put together this little tutorial just for you!!!  I’ll walk you through the entire process, one step at a time.

step 1: choose a name you love

This can be such a fun process of really thinking through what you want to name your blog. Don’t stress about this, but I would urge you to really envision that name becoming a part of you and to make sure you truly do love it. That may sound weird, but in many ways people will begin to associate whatever name you choose with you as an identity.

My mistake: This is where I went wrong right off the bat with my first blog. I picked a name that after only a year or so I got sick of. I felt a bit trapped in a “theme” instead of just feeling free to be me. So this current blog that you’re reading is literally just my name. For me this works best, but that may not be for everyone.

The point is, choose something that you are confident you won’t get sick of. But also, don’t get so stuck on this step that you never go through with the others. Get creative, pick something and just go for it.

step 2: gather your resources

I highly recommend setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog, rather than the free options. In order to do that you will need:

  • A domain name
  • A credit card
  • 20 minutes

step 3: set up a hosting account

This is where your blog “lives.” This is a server in the clouds (meaning: a remote computer), where you will rent space to install the WordPress software and manage your blog. It’s far easier than it sounds so stay with me.

There are many, many hosting services available, however, based on my experience and research, I recommend Bluehost and/or Host Gator. Be sure to compare the two to go with whichever one you feel more comfortable with, but really, either one is a great choice. You can’t go wrong.

*Note: I am a Bluehost and Host Gator affiliate, which means the company pays me a commission every time someone signs up via one of my links.  I recommend Bluehost and Host Gator because I truly believe they offer the best hosting available. I applied for the affiliate programs after having used both companies for quite some time myself.

Both Bluehost and Host Gator offer a thirty-day, money-back guarantee so there’s really no risk on your part. You can cancel anytime and get a full refund.

Once you log in you’ll need to decide on a plan. Compare the details to come up with the best option for you and your budget.

Enter your domain name in the box on the left, choose the appropriate extension (I recommend a .com) and click on the Next button.

Fill in your account information and then scroll down to select your package. I have not signed up for any of the other services listed on this screen, but that’s up to you.

Go through all of the purchasing steps and then make your way over to the Control Panel, sometimes called the cPanel.

step 4: install WordPress

Don’t be intimidated by the number of buttons in this step—it’s amazingly simple and you can totally do this.

Scroll down the page to the “Website” section. Click on the Install WordPress logo and wait for the new page to load. Be patient. It might take a minute.

A new “WordPress” screen appears. Simply click on the Install button. That will bring you to a new screen. Now select the domain on which you want to install WordPress. It should default to the correct one. Click on Check Domain.

The next screen will say “Last step, you are almost there.” Click on “Advanced Options.” Type in your site name or title. (Don’t worry. You can always change this later.) Accept the “Admin Username” and “Admin Password” that is suggested.

Now click on the item that says, “I have read the terms and conditions of the GPLv2.” Now click on the Install Now button. The installation process should begin and will keep you updated on the process. Be patient because it will evetually say, “Your install is complete!”

Now click on the View Credentials button. This will take you to the Notification Center. Click on the View button.

When it is done, you will get a screen with your Blog URL, Login URL, username, and password. They will also e-mail this information to you, but be sure to have a backup.

Hang in there, that may have been the worst of it….it’ll get better from here I promise!

step 5: log into WordPress

Click on the “Admin URL” link. This will take you to the WordPress login page.

Enter your username and password.

You should now be looking at the WordPress “Dashboard.” This is also called the WordPress “back-end.” The front-end is what your readers see—your normal blog site. The back-end is what only you see—how you control what appears on the front-end.

step 6: choose a theme

The theme is the design part of the blog. This, to me, is one of the most fun parts about learning to blog. You can look through hundreds of options to really get any particular look or style that you love. I highly recommend Theme Forest to find a theme. I have purchased 4 different themes from Theme Forest and am also now an affiliate for them as well.

Simple pick a theme, purchase it, download it and then upload it into the “appearance-theme” tab on the far left.

step 7: design your blog

This is the absolute most fun part about blogging. Once you have your theme you get to customize almost everything about it. Take the time to play around with the settings. You can change the colors, fonts, posts, comments, headers, footers etc….it can get a bit tedious but just go through one setting at a time to figure out what each one does.

step 8: write your first blog post

Under the “post” tab you can select “add new.” Here is where you’ll write your first post. Don’t forget the title at the top and also check out the “media” tab as well where you can upload pics to include in your posts.

When you’re finished look at the top you’ll see a “view post” button. Your new blog should load in a new browser tab. Look it over and make sure that’s how you want it to be. Since it opens in a new tab you can easily click back and make the changes you want and then refresh the view to see it again.

When you’re ready for it to go live hit “publish!”

step 9: bookmark your blog

You’ll want to come back to your blog on a regular basis, so it’s a good idea to bookmark the two main pages: the front-end and the WordPress back-end. Don’t forget your log in info so be sure to save that somewhere safe.

In case, you have already closed the page to the back-end, you can re-open it by going to: http://[the name of your blog]/wp-admin.

Congratulations! You have just published your first post on your very own self-hosted WordPress blog. My best advice moving forward, though, is to just not give up. Learn to love learning new things, make the time to really learn what each button does, and keep trying no matter how confusing/challenging it may seem. Before you know it it’ll become second nature to you.

Let me know if there’s any questions you have and I’ll do my absolute best to help in any way I can! Good luck and have fun!!!

meg marie signature w/XO

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how to start a blog in 9 easy steps

 

copycat disney pineapple dole whip with protein!

protein-pineapple-dole-whip

The first year we lived here in Cali we had saved up for months upon months and bought a family Disney pass. We went almost every week becuase we wanted to get our $$$ worth!!! But…..I had JUST had baby #5 and standing in lines for hours on end wasn’t exactly the hap-hap-happiest place on earth with brand new tiny infant. We often chose to break up the waiting with searching for yummy foods (basically to buy ourselves time and bribe our kids to stay happy…..did I just write that???) and scoping out whatever short cuts we could find was a fun game for Matt and I (I mean, we liked the treats too!)protein-pineapple-dole-whip

For those of you who are local, this will be old news to you, but for those of you who might be planning a trip out to see Mickey you HAVE to make sure to plan in a little stop to get the Dole Pineapple Whip. It’s on the Disney side, just next to the Tiki Hut and a little trick to get your yummy frozen treat faster is to not wait in the line on the outside of the turnstile. Go inside the turnstiles (where the waiting area for the tiki room is) and stand in line there–it’s waaaay shorter!

protein-pineapple-dole-whip

Anyway, we don’t have our passes anymore (because good lord paying for year round passes for 7 people is the equivalent of a college tuition) and we have definitley missed these little frozen, sweet, fruity, whipped treats!

protein-pineapple-dole-whipSooooooo, we’ve decided to take the same idea making them similar to how Disney makes them, but try to do it a bit more healthy and with far less calories! These are perfect for a warm spring day, a fruity morning shake, or for a post workout recovery drink!

protein-pineapple-dole-whip

Oh and this Lean Body For Her Vanilla protein is safe for kids too (if you decide you want to order te same one I use be sure to use my discout code: Meg10 for 10% off), so you can make a big batch of this and everyone can share in it. Hope you enjoy them!!!

protein-pineapple-dole-whip

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:5]

 

copycat pineapple whip; meg marie wallace

 

 

 

honesty about homeschooling: 6 months in…

My intention to write about this is to get it out while it’s still raw and while I can still feel it. This post will be vulnerable, real and honest…and probably far too long…so bear with me. Maybe this will one day encourage someone else who is also in the trenches…or maybe this will only be fun for me to look back on someday…who knows.

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

The decision to homeschool did not come lightly. Prior to having my own children I swore I would never never never….did I say never….ya never ….homeschool. The majority of the homeschool kids I’ve known have been either uneducated and/or socially awkward. And many of the homeschool moms I had known seemed grumpy and unfulfilled. Nothing about it was anything I was attracted to.

a honest look at homeschooling | meg marie wallace

But last year, for three very different reasons, each of my three oldest kids were begging me to give it a shot. I labored over the decision for months but when I finally told the kids that my decision was ‘yes’ it felt like Christmas morning…to ALL of us! God had clearly given me a new heart toward it. We were all so excited and ready to get started.

Leading up to this decision we had been going through a season of completely revamping our lives, combing through each and every corner of the different aspects of life to make every attempt to simplify.

We wanted to make our main priorities actually BE our main priorities.a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

We were sick of the rat race and tired of the constant pull on our time and schedules. We had made some things that were important become unimportant, and vice versa, which made for some tough calls to get things back on track.

We began changing everything and we truly thought that this would allow us more control over how our days were spent, give us more quality time as a family and give more freedom over the things we said yes/no to.

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

Although the goal might have been sound, the practical hands on process has been extremely challenging. The learning curve for me, and the kids, has been steep and at this moment “simple” is quite possibly the last word I would use to describe homeschooling.

These are my weak points at the moment….

10. I constantly feel like I’m failing.

I never studied to be a teacher and I don’t know what things to prioritize or what things to let go of. If I’m truly honest it’s not the feeling that I’m failing…as in the present tense…it’s the feeling that I’ve already failed…and there’s no way to fix it.

9. I’m ruining them.

I feel like every day that goes by I’m losing more of my grip on reality and that the kids are too. I am continually afraid that they are worse off for being with me and that I’m wrecking their lives…

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

8. I’m doing something wrong.

Maybe if I had started when my first kid was in kindergarten and I could have eased into it this might have been easier?! My expectations of becoming an elementary school teacher overnight and this going smoothly were completely unrealistic and I have the feeling that I am doing something wrong all. of. the. time.

7. There must be a “right” way “out there”…

I believe that there are people who really get how to do this and I’m just not one of them. There must be one correct way to educate and I just haven’t yet unlocked that secret box…and no one will tell me where the key is…

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

6. I feel like quitting…almost every hour.

It’s a big deal to take on my children’s education and I was/am scared to death about it. The way out seems super easy. Quitting seems so simple. There are days that I can flip flop each hour with whether or not I want to continue doing this.

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

5. Someone else is more qualified.

I am continually fearful that someone else “out there,” with a degree or two or three in teaching could do a far better job than I can. I feel inadequate, overwhelmed and confused.

4. The schedule needs to be changed.

I think I need more structure: If I could only get up earlier, or make another chart, list, or calendar…or add a few more alarms throughout the day then maybe things would work more smoothly. Maybe if I set up rotations or had a reward system or can do a better job of implementing negative consequences then maybe everyone would do well.

I think I need more flexibility: I need to let the kids decide how to run the day, what they feel like learning and let them motivate themselves. Maybe if I let them play more they’ll learn more. Maybe if there were NO consequences they’d be more inclined to do the right thing….

I think I need more structure….(I think you get the point….)

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

3. I feel like I’m supposed to re-create public school at home.

Maybe I can just talk to enough teachers and enough legit educators to be able to put together a daily timeline that looks just like public school…then maybe my kids will turn out alright. But the sheer fact about it is there just isn’t enough of me to go around. There’s 5 grade levels here…how in the world??? but oh well let’s give it a try…where do I buy a bell???

2. Am I supposed to teach every subject every day for every child??

I constantly feel behind. We can spend hours trudging through and pressing on and only get through ONE subject. I get cranky and it only makes everyone more and more miserable. I need the kids to focus and they want to do everything BUT focus…and another day goes by and I haven’t gotten everything done. And that just means we are that much farther behind…(see point 10)

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

1. I have become a law enforcer and am losing have lost my joy.

I see now why the homeschool moms I used to know were crabby all of the time. There is never any down time and no days off. I am constantly disciplining, training, teaching, prepping, planning and trying to get them motivated for something I, myself, am beginning to hate. My eyes open each morning and my heart groans at what the day ahead will look like. More whining, more backtalk, more unmotivated kids doing lessons we could all care less about…it just wasn’t supposed to be like this….

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

Through tears I called a friend I haven’t spoken to in over half a decade. I voiced this entire list of “feelings” and my friends response has got baffled me……

“You are letting school get in the way of education.”

 

Wait. What?!

I thought that was the point. School IS education, right?

I don’t get it….you’re going to have to explain that one….

Maybe school isn’t the same thing as education…maybe I am missing the main thing. Maybe the tight schedule, the math quizzes and the spelling tests aren’t the most important things…..maybe I’m the one that doesn’t get it….maybe I’m the one who is slow to catch on…maybe I am the one that needs to learn something here….

Maybe he is exactly right…that school has gotten in the way of education….

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

As a family we are turning a corner. We are changing the “rules”. We are focusing more on loving them well and schooling them a little less. Education is still important and I am determined still teach, but maybe teaching needs to look different.

Maybe we need to enjoy it a little, or a LOT more. Maybe I need to feel free to relax a little bit and let them be little. Maybe I need to think a little less about getting them into college and a little more about enjoying them now.

Maybe I can focus a little less on building a life size solar system and focus a little bit more on building character.

Maybe I need to show them that following the rules and getting it all done perfectly isn’t actually the highest aim that I desire for them.

Maybe they need to learn to fail, and maybe that means they’ll learn to get back up again.

Maybe showing them that their momma is absolutely still learning too will encourage them to want to learn….

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

We don’t have it all figured out and I promise to keep you updated as we go…but we are starting over again.

We are resetting once more.

We’re going to have fun and we are going to make this homeschooling things something beautiful, helpful and encouraging.

And it begins, like always, with my own heart.

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

Dear homeschool mom in the trenches with me,

Are you discouraged? Are you downcast? Are you overwhelmed? Do you struggle to find balance and joy? Do you feel the weight of responsibility in teaching your littles and think there is someone out “there” that could do it better? Please know that you’re not alone. Please know that you’re not failing. Please know that what your kids need most is to be loved well. And they need that long before they need to be “schooled.” I know you want to do well at educating them too, so don’t give that up. Keep keep pressing on. Keep teaching. Keep asking for help and….crying out to the Lord. You’re doing such a hard, hard job.

Dear homeschool mom that is totally nailing it/loving it/thriving in it,

Can you share with me your tips? Can you tell me your best advice? Can you tell me if this is all “normal”? I’d welcome any and all resources or help for those of us who are total newbies to this!

love Meg Marie signature

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like

 

a honest look at homeschooling | first year homeschool mom, meg marie wallace, shares what it's really like