Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers! I’m getting ready to spend a great day with the family. I’m wearing a blanket scarf (there are tons of ways to wear blanket scarves that you can find with a simple Google search; I pinned mine in place with a little button brooch), comfy fuzzy boots, and my new brown purse embroidered with an owl.

I’m feeling thankful for the obvious reasons — a wonderful little son — but also for some other neat things that are happening in life. My professor says a research paper that I’m writing for my American Literature class has the potential to be published academically because what I’m writing is new. That is so exciting to me! I’m also excited because an art gallery is interested in displaying my mixed media art collages in a show next year (you can see a few of my collages in past posts on my blog). Being truly blessed is about having people to love (and being loved) and about finding outlets for your creative work, which seems to be happening for me! Blessings to you.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. — Philippians 4:6 

xoxo Teresa


P.S. WordPress users, does anyone know where the button is for sticky posts now? They’ve reformatted how we post, and I cannot find it!!


Online Shopping with Flair: Brandzaffair

With Christmas just around the corner, maybe you’re thinking about doing some shopping for friends and family online. One online alternative is Brandzaffair, where major retailers like Nordstrom, Starbucks, The Gap, and others are just a click away.

When you click on your store of choice, several potential deals pop up that you could pick, including discounts and free gifts with your purchases. About a month ago, I wrote about a classic faux leather tote in burgundy that will be perfect for carrying all of my paperwork when I go back to work after several wonderful years of full time mommyhood. Here’s the purse from Nordstrom that I found on the Brandzaffair site in return for my review of my shopping experience.


Hope you will give the site a try! If you do, let me know what you think.

xoxo Teresa

We Can Dig It! Diggerland USA

DSCN3463 DSCN3444 DSCN3432There’s something about putting the metal claw of a huge digging machine into the dirt that is just super fun, whether you are three years old or 30.

My son’s conversations revolve around trucks, tractors, trains, cars, and stuff that moves. When I offer him stuffed animals, he has zero interest. Yet, give the boy something with wheels, and he will be entertained for an hour. That’s why a construction theme park in West Berlin, New Jersey, called Diggerland, really caught my attention. The park has all kinds of vehicles, large and small, that are ready to be driven and diggers that are just waiting for construction-obsessed kids to put the big metal claws into the dirt.

My little guy, Carson, is almost three years old, and he just squeaked by on the height requirement of 36 inches. Thank goodness he did! For most of the rides, my husband and I sat beside him as we drove little tractors, argos, and bigger construction tractors. We had him on our laps when we were using the actual diggers, which was unanimously the most fun part of the experience.

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We also watched a very short stunt show, with a big digger doing wheelies. We were mostly scoping out the spot this year to see if Diggerland would be something fun for Carson to do again next summer. My husband and I both agreed that Carson will go nuts for Diggerland next summer, when he will have an even bigger vocabulary to talk about what he’s seeing than “truck! … wheel! … dig in the dirt!” (even though his little observations were adorable).

I think the concept of the theme park is really neat. It’s best for a child who is at least 36 inches, and if the child is 42 inches, it will be even better because the child can do all of the rides. In addition, there’s an indoor water park associated with Diggerland that’s not too far away; it looked like something to keep in mind for next time. Our family likes floating on lazy rivers, so we would probably enjoy the waterpark too.

Another bonus about Diggerland is that it is about 90 minutes from New York City and 20 minutes from Philadelphia, yet the location of the theme park feels fairly suburban. I would like to thank Diggerland for providing complimentary tickets in return for my honest feedback. Hopefully you will be inspired to take your little guy or girl there too.

xoxo Teresa

Behind The Blog featuring Teresa from Mama Muse Me…

Mama Muse Me:

Today I am being featured for Behind the Blog! Karen asks some great questions.

Originally posted on Confetti and Curves:

Mama Muse Me

Happy Tuesday Beauty Buddies…

Okay, Okay, I admit – I may have put a scud on the mild November weather having been caught gloating about it on Sunday’s Keep Up With Karen post as ever since that post has been published it’s like mama nature has flicked a switch and sent nothing but howling wind and rain. On the plus side, it’s guilt free weather for dusting off the candles, lighting the fire, grabbing a cup of hot chocolate & snuggling down into a comfy chair… which I what I suggest y’all do right this very moment as I have the fabulous Teresa from Mama Muse Me joining me on the virtual sofa this morning!

Teresa’s blog pretty much sum up her positive & warm nature. Reading through her posts feels like you’re catching up with an old friend over a great cup of coffee. Maybe it’s her former career in journalism &…

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Final Call!

There are only four hours left to enter the Cherished by Stacy natural skincare giveaway on my blog! Here is the Rafflecopter.


Also, if there are any fashion bloggers who might be interested in an e-retailer collaboration, please let me know. A brand that I am collaborating with asked me for recommendations of other fashion bloggers. This would not be a guarantee, of course, but it could be a possibility for you.

xoxo Teresa

Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table

porkI learned how to cook from a very patient teacher — Rachael Ray, back when she was making 30 Minute Meals. Those episodes look so retro now that I still watch her on The Rachael Ray Show. Anyway, if I messed up a dish, it was just between me and Rachael on the television. Our little secret. As time went on, I actually became a good cook though. My husband says my food is better than going to a restaurant, and I think that’s a nice compliment. He likes my homemade bread, my meatloaf, and my apple chicken (ok, well it is technically from the October issue of Rachael’s magazine, but again, I digress…).

Even though Rachael gave me my training wheels, now I can cook Pennsylvania Dutch recipes that are part of my heritage, as well as southern and country dishes that are part of my heritage too. I went through a phase when my husband and I first got married where I did a lot of creative and ethnic cooking with many ingredients, back when those ingredients weren’t so easily found in grocery stores, because I enjoyed the creativity of the process, but now that I’m a mom, I have simplified and come up with “go to” meals. Hallelujah for the crockpot! I like cooking at home because I can control the ingredients and make the food healthier than it might be otherwise. For me, being able to cook is an empowering skill.

So, I’ve told you that I watch Rachael and read her magazine. I also love looking through cookbooks and getting inspired to create new meals. Book Look Bloggers sent me a copy of Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table: My Favorite Family Recipes with a Modern Twist, and this cookbook is definitely a winner. It really does put a modern twist on tradition — and best of all, as I read the recipes, I thought each one was completely do-able and also more health-conscious than many traditional southern recipes. As I flipped through the book, I loved Whitney’s creativity and her practical approach. She’s only 22, but she’s a powerhouse because she won Master Chef.

The recipe that I am looking forward to trying is her Collard Greens-Wrapped Pork Loin because it is a crockpot recipe, and it ultimately provides veggies and a meat for the table. Also, she has ideas for how to use the leftovers, such as in her Southern Carnitas recipe.

I mentioned learning to make freezer jam for the first time earlier this month on my blog, so I thought it was neat that Whitney’s book includes a couple of refrigerator jams. She even has a recipe for making homemade ricotta cheese, which I am also going to try. It sounds easy; I love those type of recipes that bring out my inner pioneer in a non-intimidating way. Even though I’m from the country, I have never made homemade biscuits, so I’m going to try her recipe for that too. It only has three ingredients.

I can tell I’m going to be referring to this cookbook a lot, and I do not say that about just any cookbook. Lots of cookbooks look pretty, but this one is pretty, practical, creative, and thoughtful. The photos are gorgeous; you will know what the meal is going to look like, which is a must-have in a cookbook for me. She adds in a couple of recipes for tea and coffee drinks that remind her of her travels in China, and I’m intrigued to try those as well.

As a side note, since I write about fashion on my blog sometimes, I also like how Whitney styled herself for the photos. She is wearing a monogrammed t-shirt on one page, which is so southern, but I would go there too. She has some killer cowgirl boots on one of the pages near the end of the book.

If you’re creative, like to cook, are southern (or southern at heart), I think you’ll like this one.

xoxo Teresa

Book Look Bloggers sent me this book in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Congratulations Ashley Nell Tipton!

Seeing plus size designer Ashley Nell Tipton make it through the finals on Project Runway is very gratifying! I can’t wait to see her whole collection that she showed at fashion week in the finale episode. In the meantime, did you know that there are already a few photos from fashion week online? I knew Ashley was going to do well on the show since these photos came out in September (wink).


I found both of these photos on the New York Daily News website, taken by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images. You can see the original news post here.

An entirely plus size collection at fashion week is going to be a first for Project Runway. I’m rooting for you, Ashley!

I’m glad that Tim Gunn used his “Tim Gunn save” to let Edmond (who was eliminated) show at fashion week because I think Edmond deserves success as well. I also love Kelly’s wild creativity that keeps the show fresh and surprising each week. My top three picks have been Ashley, Edmond, and Kelly all along.

This season is so good!! Are you watching?

xoxo Teresa

The Beach is Always a Good Idea (and my Classic OOTD)


You know how Audrey Hepburn said Paris is always a good idea? I bet it is, but I haven’t had that chance yet. My take on that quote is . . . The beach is always a good idea. Yes, you can attribute that quote to Mama Muse Me herself. When I had a day of fall break from my master’s degree classes, I drove four hours to spend the day at the beach. Totally worth it!

As I walked along the beach, I lost a $20 out of my pocket without realizing it. I went further down the beach and then turned around. Near some rocks in the sand, I saw a couple struggling to set up their camera for a photo, and I offered to take their picture. They were grateful for the help. Then, as I walked away, I looked down. There was my $20 bill I had lost, still nestled in my own wet footprint! I was amazed because the wind was blowing. I thought about how even when we lose things, sometimes they come back to us. Sometimes life gives us opportunities that we thought were gone. Not always, but sometimes . . .

Yes, sometimes life really surprises me in a good way.

Anyway, it has been awhile since I’ve done an outfit post, and I love to represent the curvy ladies who lean toward natural, down-to-earth beauty. This outfit is my latest look, channeling classic style like Audrey Hepburn’s.

The sweater is from Torrid, and it’s in stores now. I really love the sweater. It’s soft and very flattering, and the black lace draws the eye in so nicely. The shoes are my beloved Crocs brand (yes, I know some fashionistas are scoffing, but who is laughing at the end of the day when her feet don’t hurt?).


The Street Level Reversible Faux Leather Tote in burgundy is from Nordstrom, and I received it as part of a web retailer collaboration that I will be writing more about in November. Yay, so glad to collaborate! I chose the bag because I am gearing up to enter the professional world again in the foreseeable future after being a full time mom for nearly three years. I think the bag looks professional without being a briefcase, and it will hold all the paperwork that I will be toting home.


My lovely lady readers (and my couple of fellas), I hope you’ll remember the $20 bill in my footprint. What a metaphor!

xoxo Teresa

P.S. Have you entered my giveaway of Cherished by Stacy products? Click here.

Mama Muse Me’s Top Eight for Early Autumn

pumpkin craft  1. My simple, chic DIY pumpkin decoration . . .  I bought the faux pumpkin at Michael’s, very lightly drew our family monogram on it, and then used a black sharpie to color in the design. For the final touch, I tied a little black ribbon around the top. To me, this is a much better autumn decoration than a lot of the cheesy Halloween stuff that circulates this time of year. Plus, it costs less than $10 to make and lasts for years.

2. Autumn inspired aromatherapy. . .  I recently won a bottle of Thieves essential oil from Elyse in a giveaway. I’ve been using it in my diffuser regularly. My husband loves the smell, and it reminds me of mulled cider simmering on the stove, except without the effort of simmering cider on the stove (wink). It does lean heavily on the clove scent, so maybe it would be too strong for some people, but we think it’s perfect for fall. Young Life recommends to diffuse it for 15 minutes every three to four hours; it is believed to kill airborne bacteria.

3. Combining aromatherapy and technology . . . Did you know that USB diffusers are a thing? I didn’t until I won the giveaway by Elyse. Just put the essential oil into the little USB as directed, and it works great, powered by your laptop. Oils like lavender are recommended rather than Thieves blend, which apparently isn’t the best for this type of diffusing. The USB diffuser comes with directions that will clue you in. I think this works pretty well, especially when you want some aromatherapy on the go. To me, it’s kind of mind-blowing that someone thought of combining a USB and diffuser. That person deserves to be rich. At home, I still prefer my regular diffuser because it puts out more scent, but the USB diffuser has a certain wow factor.

cropped-dscn2524.jpg4. Ah, these boots . . . Pamela from Boots by Pamela sent me a pair of Hillary boots from her collection to wear earlier this year. Summer weather was approaching, so I didn’t get to wear them very much. Well, this past rainy, chilly weekend was the perfect time to bring them out of the closet. Now that I’m wearing them more, I’m also noticing cute little touches like Pamela’s monogram logo (BBP) on the zipper of the boots. These boots are comfortable and look great. They are my favorite fall accessory. I just really love the boots and think they deserve another shout out.

DSCN26055. Pamper yourself . . . Have you entered the Cherished by Stacy natural skincare giveaway on my site yet? Click Here for the Rafflecopter Giveaway.

6. Making freezer jam . . . A couple weeks ago, I went to a farmer’s market, bought a bunch of peaches, a package of Sure-Jell Premium Fruit Pectin, and some canning jars that I sterilized by boiling them on the stove, then followed the directions inside the box of pectin to make homemade freezer jam for the first time. I paired the jam with homemade bread last week, and it was so perfect for fall. The jars of jam will last in the freezer for one year, and I can take a jar out throughout the winter to give my family homemade jam!  If you want to try this, I recommend buying the box of Sure-Jell (sold at most grocery stores) first to get the directions and proportions for the fruit you want to use. The jam is not actually canned, so that’s why it has to go in the freezer.

7. Reading “The Raven” Aloud . . .  If you haven’t read “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe since you were in school, read it aloud, preferably on a dark, stormy night. I did this last week. The sound is so musical, and the melancholy tone is perfect for an autumn night.

Chanel8. My first Chanel lip gloss . . . My hubby wanted to do something special for me, so I told him he could order a Chanel lip gloss. I picked Levres Scintillantes Glossimer Sonate (178). I’d never worn a Chanel lip gloss before because my budget is more Burt’s Bees than Burberry. This gloss is a beautiful color, and it stays put for awhile. It does not last through eating or drinking, but I think it would take a miracle lip gloss to do that. I really love the Coco Before Chanel film (with subtitles), so the lip gloss makes me think of the film when I wear it.

Frostburg 10-3-15 2Right now, my early autumn is mostly being consumed with studying for my master’s degree class and standardized teaching tests that I will need to pass. I already have a Halloween costume picked out for my son (Chase from Paw Patrol, of course), and my family took little road trip to a carriage museum, the Thrasher Carriage Museum, in Frostburg, Maryland. As a great surprise, a huge steam train comes to its turn table right beside the museum, and my son went nuts for that.

What is on your list for autumn?

xoxo Teresa

Natural Skincare Giveaway!

Cherished by Stacy is giving away a wonderful package of natural skincare products for free here on Mama Muse Me.


Click Here for the Rafflecopter Giveaway.

​Items included:
1 Mint Chocolate Chip Lip Balm
1 Heaven Sent Body Scrub (2 ounces)
1 Mint Chocolate Chip Body Scrub (2 ounces)
1 Chocolate Covered Cherry Body Scrub (2 ounces)

I’ve created a bunch of options for entering, including a free entry! You can pick any option to enter, or do them all for extra entries. Note: the giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

To read my blog post about Cherished by Stacy, click here. Good luck, and get cherished!

Click Here for the Rafflecopter Giveaway.