Self-Care: Important For Everyone!

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Self-Care. End of discussion. As a counseling student, we learn all about the ethics of being a competent counselor. Self-care is on the top of the list that a counselor must abide by. Being a full-time mom and full-time student, self-care sometimes falls by the wayside. But, when I do it, when I spend time not doing my school work by hanging out with friends, or working on my blog, I regret it. I should not. But I do. Mom time is important to stay sane. When I will be a working mom (soon soon soon, graduation is looming closer, but not close enough!), self-care is even more important.

Even just a few minutes of me time is beneficial. We have to put self-care into our schedule of our day. An hour writing a paper, a half-hour on the treadmill, dinner-time, bed-time, a cup of wine. The pros for me time outweighs the cons tremendously. You will feel so much better when you take care of YOU!

What do you do for your “me time”?

Accepting the Liebster Award!

I was nominated by Jenn from Busy Being Blessed for the Liebster Award. I am so excited. Thank you Jenn! I am honored!

Liebster Award

The Liebster Award (“Liebster” means beloved in German) is an award passed on by bloggers to others who have less than 200 followers. The way it works is the person who nominates you has a set of questions for you to answer about yourself and then you write down questions for those who you nominate. (There are really many versions of the Liebster Award rules which you can find here.

1. What was the last thing you ate?

Oh boy! I sat down to fill these questions after I had Rice Krispie treats in a cup! I put two jumbo marshmallows in a coffee cup in the microwave and then mixed in a handful of Rice Krispies and mixed it together for a great midmorning snack.

2. What time is it right now? Also include your time zone. :)

It is 12:38 PM Eastern aka Naptime!

3. What is your favorite Disney film?

Surprisingly, I do not have a favorite! I am not much of a movie watcher. I can not remember the last time I watched a Disney film. Shocker! I know, right?! Am I like one in a million?! I guess I must be #DysfunctionallyNormal!

4. Do you have any pets?

I do not have any pets. I used to have a dog and some fish but not anymore.

5. What is your favorite scent/smell?

 I do not have a favorite off hand, but I do love the smell of a freshly bathed darling!

6. Who do you most admire?

I do not have a specific person that I admire. But I admire those that have been through so much and pull themselves together and not complain about life. Life can be very challenging, especially for moms. Our economy, doesn’t make it any better. I love seeing people build themselves and others up to have the strength to move on. (I am working on creating a forum for supermoms to give and receive support).

7. How did you come up with your blog name and is there a meaning behind it?

I came up with my blog name, Dysfunctionally Normal, after hearing others talk about things that were “so dysfunctional”. Those situations that they were talking about were not merely dysfunctional but dysfunctionally normal. Truthfully, I do not know what normalcy is anymore, so I dubbed it “Dysfunctionally Normal”.

Additionally, many times individuals may feel that they are dysfunctional for any sort of reason or just because they are not like the person next to them. I am here to show them that being different, being unique, is not bad, not dysfunctional, but dysfunctionally normal.

8. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is people chewing really loudly. I can’t concentrate on my thinking with loud chewers!

9. Do you have any bad habits?

My worst ‘habit’ that I can think of right now is…. PROCRASTINATION! Can anyone relate?!

10. What do you do in your “spare time” when you’re not blogging?

During my free time, I spend time with my family, hula hooping, biking, hiking, and doing my school work ;)

11. If you could have any talent you do not currently possess, what would it be?

I wish that I could have a magic want to take away other’s pain, be it physical or emotional. It pains me so much to see others in pain.

I nominate:

Lisa at Goofball Mommy

Laurie at Gluten Free Yummy

Here’s are Laurie’s answers. Show her some love by going to check out her site!

1. What do you love most about your life?

I’ve been on this earth for over half a century. That sounds old, huh?! But I have also lived a lot of life. I love that I have a husband who has loved me for over 30 years, three beautiful children, and one amazing grandson; that combined with knowing a loving God, and I’d say life is pretty sweet!

2. Are you a Dog or Cat lover?

I grew up with both and love them equally, but I have to say I love the independence of cats. I once had a cat who would sit on my lap while I played Mozart on the piano. If I stopped he’d dig his claws in me. When I continued, he purred.

3. East Coaster or West Coaster?

I am a West Coaster born and raised.

4. What is your “go to” uniform?

My go to uniform is a form fitting top with a colorful scarf, straight-legged jeans and heals, and of course, jewelry. I may be over 50 but I dress pretty hip.

5. What is your favorite song?

I’m a sucker for male opera. My favorite is Luciano Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma. Brings chills to me every time I hear it.

6. What is your favorite city in the world?

I think I will visit my favorite city in October. My husband and I are going on a Mediterranean Cruise to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We will visit Venice, the Greek Isles, Turkey, Spain, and Rome. Pretty sure a favorite will come from there.

7. What’s your favorite class that you have ever taken, and why? Have you done anything with what you learned in that class?

My favorite class I ever took was Music Appreciation. I taught piano lessons for 15 years, wrote my own music, and sang in a band. I guess that counts for appreciating music.

8. What was the best workout you have ever done?

I took a conditioning class in college. We had to run the stadium stairs in the football stadium up and down four times without stopping. I literally thought I was going to die!

9. What was it that first prompted you to start a blog?

I have been gluten-free nearly all my life. I was diagnosed when I was 2 years old. My grandmother and mother were both fabulous cooks and taught me how to cook by creating my own recipes. It was a natural progression to want to start a blog and share my gluten-free recipes with the world.

10. When cooking for a special occasion, what is your go-to meal?

Veal In Masala Wine Sauce

11. Who is your favorite Disney princess?

I’m old fashioned, it would have to be Cinderella. I loved how she took an adverse living situation and still remained joyful. In the end she got the prize, her prince charming.

Elaine at Cafe Chatelaine – Life in Sweet New England

Fatima at Freely Fatima

I have more nomination spots left. Would you like to be nominated? Let me know!

Here are the questions for you!

1. What do you love most about your life?

2. Are you a Dog or Cat lover?

3. East Coaster or West Coaster? 

4. What is your “go to” uniform?

5. What is your favorite song?

6. What is your favorite city in the world?

7. What’s your favorite class that you have ever taken, and why? Have you done anyting with what you learned in that class?

8. What was the best workout you have ever done?

9. What was it that first prompted you to start a blog?        

10. When cooking for a special occasion, what is your go-to meal?                                      

11. Who is your favorite Disney princess?

That’s all I’ve got for you! If you decide to accept this award and pass it along, please let me know in the comments and leave your post url. :)

Win a Pampers Baby Dry Prize Pack!

Pampers Giveaway

Welcome to the Pampers Baby Dry & #BabyGotMoves Giveaway!

Hosted By: Sweet Southern Lovin

Co-hosted By: Life of a Southern Mom

Pampers is the brand that most moms love and trust when it comes to their little ones. It’s hard to believe that Pampers was created by a grandpa, Victor Mills, who wanted an easy way to diaper his grandson. Back in the 1950′s he came up with the idea for Pampers while working at Procter & Gamble. From the 50′s until now Pampers has grown to the iconic brand it is today. Pampers makes a diaper called Baby Dry. The Baby Dry diapers provide up to 12 hours of overnight protection. This is possible because the diapers have 3 layers, instead of the 2 layers that the leading competitor has. Your baby will enjoy a comfortable and perfect fit thanks to the flexibility of the diapers. These diapers fit perfectly and do, in fact, provide 12 hours of protection. Check out Michelle from Sweet Southern Lovin’s review and what she thought about Pampers Baby Dry Diapers.

Pampers Baby Dry 1

Does your little one love to dance around the house? Check out the awesome prize pack one lucky reader will win!

~Homedics Jam Plus Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

~Baby Einstein Octoplush

~Bright Stars Pretty In Pink Get Movin’ Music Player

~The Baby Hustle: An Interactive Book with Wiggles and Giggles!

~Pampers Baby Dry Diapers in winners choice of size

~Pampers Baby Fresh Wipes

RV $100

Giveaway Dates: September 6th 1AM EST to September 19th 11:59PM EST

Open to the US only. You must be at least 18 years of age to win.

Prize: One lucky reader will win a Pampers Baby Dry Diaper & Baby Got Moves Prize Pack worth $100.

**How to Enter**
Enter using the Entry Form below. By entering you agree to abide by the Terms and Conditions listed on the Entry Form. All winning entries will be verified. Winner will receive an email from and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. All entries are optional.

*Participating blogs DID NOT receive compensation for promoting this giveaway. Pampers is responsible for prize shipment. Any questions please email*

Giveaway- $50 Amazon Gift Card: You Don’t Want to Miss Out!


Facebook Madness Giveaway

Welcome to the Facebook Madness Giveaway!! This giveaway is super easy. Like the following Facebook Pages and you’re entered!

Click here to like Dyfunctionally Normal on Facebook !

Giveaway Dates: September 4th 1AM EST to September 11th 11:59PM EST

Open to the US only. You must be at least 18 years of age to win.

Prize: One lucky reader will win $50 Amazon Gift Card or $50 Paypal Cash. Winners choice.

**How to Enter**
Enter using the Entry Form below. By entering you agree to abide by the Terms and Conditions listed on the Entry Form. All winning entries will be verified. Winner will receive an email from and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. All entries are optional.

*Participating bloggers did not receive any compensation for this giveaway. Sweet Southern Lovin is responsible for sending prize. Any questions email*


Best Fashion Tips for Moms

The most simple and amazing fashion tips for moms. Feel great and look even better!

So you’re a mom huh? What’s that? You want to know how I could tell? Um, eh, well. Let’s have a little talk.

Remember in your pre-mom years how you always imagined that you would become PoshMom pushing the 15000 dollar stroller with six inch stilettos and perfectly blown hair, flawless makeup, baby cooing happily and luscious suede handbag dangling delicately on your shoulder..?

And then you became a mom and all you can do is snort a bit longingly (can you snort longingly?) at that beautiful daydream as you absentmindedly flick that lava looking substance off the center of your sweatshirt. Yeah, the one that includes little fingerprints so clear the CIA would be impressed. And you grab your mammoth diaper bag that looks like, well, and blatantly obvious, drastically overstuffed diaper bag and shuffle off in your sandals with the broken strap showcasing your chipped pedicure from…we’ll leave it at that.

Well my dear Ms. Mom, you don’t look too happy about that spot-on description. I can kinda tell from that glare in your overtired eyes and the way your chapped lips are turned down in a frown. Whoaaa. Pleeeeasse stop giving me the ‘go to your room before I blow my top’ look and give me a sec to introduce myself.

I’m Lena Lowe, fashion designer and fellow mom. And I’m here to give you some awesome fashion and beauty tips that fit in to your hectic over the top, love-filled, drowning in spit-up, losing-my-marbles lifestyle. I know it. I live it.

Without further ado.

Open your closet. Grab your go-to outfit. STOP RIGHT THERE. Drop those sweats/ mom jeans/ holey t-shirt in the nearest trash bin and BACK UP IMMEDIATELY. Repeat. Repeat. Until every last grungy, sloppy outfit is GONE. Now, quickly throw that bag out the nearest window, or better yet donate it for someone else’s wearing pleasure.

You with me? That was tough-but trust me it’s worth it. Now let’s get listmaking. Today, we’ll tackle the staples.

But first, three rules.

1. Washable, washable, washable. Duh.

2. Focus on fit. Just because you have a kid or two doesn’t mean you need to look like a shapeless blob.

3. Trends shmends. If you feel pretty, you look pretty. Period.


No more sloppy t-shirts. You know and I know that they make you feel blah. Let’s add some structure. A few flowy tops won’t hurt. And a cardigan or two. Remember when you used to wear colors? Do it again; it will make you happy. No joke.


Pants that fit. Baggy bottoms and draggy legs won’t do. Invest in two good pairs. Skirts that you can walk in and sit in. You’re in luck because longer skirts are comfortable, feminine and even in style. Enough said.


Yeah I know heels are impractical, sneakers are ugly, and flats flop off. I suggest an awesome pair of oxfords and some loafers to start. Think Cole Haan, Anne Klein, Sperry-you get my flow. Treat your feet. They deserve it.


Buy one. One that makes you feel breathless and gorgeous. Forget the washable rule. If you need to wake up at 4:00 am to wear it for 5 minutes and feel like a supermodel, do it.

Got that list? Great. Now call up your babysitter and tell her to come immediately because you urgently need to go shopping. Online shopping? Nah… a different day. You need some time off and you need to try on. GET. OUT. Pleeease Mom;)




College: Graduate Students Experience Pre-Exam Anxiety Too

Its seems as if anxiety follows everyone, or at least most people. I thought that I was the only one in my graduate school class that experiences a lot of anxiety in the beginning of the semester worrying if I will be able to handle the workload. It gets much worse before tests :( My classmates were discussing their fear about one of classes that I am taking. I felt so relieved that I was not alone. Before tests, I worry so much as to how I will do, especially because I live in a fog. I have not shared that with many and am still trying to figure out what to do.

Yes, I live in a fog. It is hard to think at times as if there is something in the way. I do get my work done, but I experience a lot of anxiety and it takes me a very long time to do. I am not sure why am I sharing this here as I have not shared it with others. I hope that others who are in a similar situation will feel less alone seeing that someone else is experiencing “the fog”. This fog is not depression. I am not depressed. I love life. I love school. I love my baby!

I work extremely hard to do well. Others have mentioned “you look like you are really smart”. I do not know what that means but I will take it as a compliment. What they do not see is that I experience a tremendous amount of anxiety and have to work a great deal of time to do well when others mention that a paper took them quick to do.

I am hoping that I will find a way to lift this fog and help mine, and other’s anxiety so that we can all lead easier lives and have more time to do things that we love!

Can anyone relate to how I feel? Do you have an ideas or tips for me?

Fashion Guru Coming Soon!

I was hoping that my fashion friend would come by today and post how everyday Janes can look glam and feel great. She was not able to make it to the blog today because she had to work today and tomorrow.

Do you have any questions that you would like her to address? Anything about accessories, pairing, you name it!

Let me know in the comments!

New Blogger Experience

Are you a new blogger? I am pretty new to the blogging scene. I can tell you one thing…it is very overwhelming. I jumped right into it. I bought a domain and paid for hosting and boom! I had a blog. It was excited, until I had to promote it. Life is busy! Blogging can make it even busier! I had no clue what I was getting myself into! I am still trying to figure it out even though I do enjoy it.

Social Media. This is where it got the most overwhelming. I would write a blog post, then what? I have to share it to every social media site. The issue was, I was never into social media. I did not have a Facebook account (I do have one now and would love if you can share your love! Every new like is so exciting). I knew nothing about Twitter or Pintrest. I did have Instagram though! Here I was with a new blog, but I felt so incredible lost. I made the social media accounts and slowly but surely gained a small following. What helped was networking type groups on Facebook. Oh boy are those a lot too. They are oh, so helpful but when you are a part of 15 groups and you have to follow each one, it can get tiring.

Here I am, less than a month into my blog and I am tired. I want a following. I want to do whatever I can to make my blog an enjoyable place to come to. I want to grow my community but it is real hard! I need some tips on how to organize my blogging life.

I am working on a forum for supermoms! Especially for student moms and single moms. I love to support others! I hope that with perseverance I will reach my goal soon. I will not give up!

Delicious Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Craisin Cookies

I found this recipe for these delicious whole grain cookies and liked how they were presented, so I tried the recipe. One reason that I like these cookies is that they are healthier than others. They still have sugar though! I made this cookie recipe twice. The second time around, I doubled the recipe but it did not come out as good.


1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup ground walnuts

1/3 cup ground flax seeds

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup almond butter

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup agave nectar or honey

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup Craisins

1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


~Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

~Combine old-fashioned oats, whole wheat flour, ground walnuts, ground flax seeds, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix until well combined.

~Add the almond butter, oil, agave nectar or honey, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Mix well. Mix in the Craisins and chocolate chips.

~Either scoop the batter onto a cookie sheet and flatten a bit (I use parchment paper so that the cookies won’t stick) or shape them into round flat circles (if you are a some sort of perfectionist like me!).

~Bake for 8-10 minutes – until lightly browned.

Yields: 24 Cookies


(Some of the links are affiliate links and I make profit off a purchase made with the link. The links are the ingredients that I used for this recipe.)

Delicious  Healthy Cookies

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

From Shlump (or FashionNOsta) to Fashionista

Come and join me on my journey from shlump to fashionista. I know that I am not the only one that feels this way. We are moms, we get dirty. We may be tired in the morning and do not bother to get dressed or put on makeup while taking care of our children. Does this feel good? NO! I feel horrible – or my word “Shluchy” – when I do not get dressed all day. I feel so much better when I take the time to put on something I really like and to put on some makeup to transform my frown into a smile!

I know that I am not alone with this. I have seen some of my neighbors walk to the bus stop to pick up their kids in pajamas. It’s not like it was to bring them to the bus stop in the morning, it was the afternoon. I am not judging one bit. That could be me too, and it is me sometimes.

This summer, I spent too much time in my pajamas. Now that the academic school year started and I am going to school and to an internship, I knew that I had to do something about feeling good about what I wear. I was no fashion queen before, but now, my first time at a ‘job’, I need to have clothes to show that I am serious. I went in today for the first time to my internship to get acclimated to my new space, I did not feel self-conscious at all about what I was wearing, as I usually do.

I am now on a journey to get clothes and accessories that look good on me (a normal person-more like dysfunctionally normal) to transform from a prime example of a fashion NO-NO! to an example of someone who looks great an put together.

Hop on board! I would love any and all tips on becoming a real fashionista (not photoshopped in any way ;) or overly pricy like Burberry, Gucci and all those wonderful brands!).

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