Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sharing From A Friends Blog Today... Enjoy!

Take a minute today and READ THIS.  Such a good post, and I couldn't agree with Jen more.  I've known Jen for a long time.  Longer than I will admit because that will make me feel really old.  Let's just say that Brandon and I knew her long before marriage and kids.  And we have watched her blossom into a beautiful adult who embraces marriage, parenthood, life head on.  We love her, and if you take a minute and spend some time over on her blog, I KNOW you will too!


Monday, February 3, 2014


Let's just say that I have a love hate relationship with exercising.  Since we've been in NY ( a little over a year) my workouts have been pretty non existent.  I feel so much better when I exercise regularly so why don't I do it more often??

Anyway, one of my 2014 goals, along with the rest of the planet was to get more exercise.  I don't like doing anything that is going to take me an hour.  I will quit that crap before I start.  But I also know that what might have worked when I was 20 isn't going to work now that I am almost 40.  You have to work a little harder the older you get - but I am determined that I don't want to be an "old" grandmother one day.  I want to be in shape in my old age, so I better get crackin.

I just ordered 2 DVD's from Amazon - and so far so good.  The one I have been doing is personal training with Jackie Warner.  There are like 5 15 minute workouts, you can do separately or combine depending on time.  So I can workout everyday.  It's pretty fast paced, which I also like, cuz I am getting some cardio in there too...

2 days down and I already feel better about myself.
Just keep repeating - I can do this, I can do this


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Valentine Craft Party

I thought it would be fun to host a little craft party at my house.  A way to break up the winter blues and make a fun little Valentine craft.

Here are the details, should you be interested in hosting one of your own.

I didn't want to go overboard with this.  The main purpose was just to get some friends together, have some food, a few drinks, and make something fun.  I did not spend a bunch of time cooking food for this.

Cocktails were easy peasy -
cranberry juice, sierra mist, rum, pineapple juice.  Easy, pretty and YUMMY Valentines Day drink.  I typically don't like the taste of alcohol unless it is very diluted with juice or whatever - so this was good to me.

Friends - I invited 10 people and told everyone they could invite 1 other person.  My house is not that big, and I wanted everyone to be able to craft in the same room and not be split up all over the house.  There ended up being 9 of us, and we fit perfectly in my dining room with a little room to spare.

Decorations - I did not go overboard here... Simple heart garlands in the dining room, clings on the windows, fresh flowers, pretty paper plates, napkins etc.  Easy

Craft - since I was buying the supplies for this, I did need to get an accurate head count.  So I made sure to get a yes or no from everyone I invited.  I had everyone bring $5 to pay for the craft.

Here are some pics from the party, it really was a lot of fun.  It's always nice to get a group of friends together just to chat and not worry about anything else for a little bit.  The fact that we got to make a cute little bag and drink some rum punch - Bonus!  :)

Now to plan the next one... I just need a bigger space so we can have more people!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Waiting is so hard for me.  When I know something needs to get done, I want to make it happen - NOW.  Or When I know that God is going to be doing something, but I just don't know what, waiting is difficult because I just want to know.  But a waiting period is not a wasted period.  Just because you are waiting doesn't mean that you do nothing.  There is always something to learn from, something that usually is preparing you for what is to come.  So don't write the little things off while you are waiting for "something better".  Waiting also doesn't mean that you stop living your life.  God has a way of working things out.  Maybe this waiting period is a time to take a few chances on something or someone that you wouldn't normally, getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.  You never know what doors will open as a result.


Thursday, January 16, 2014


I think BOLD (see what I did there) is a good word for 2014 for me.  Learning to not be afraid to ask for things I want - even if the answer might be no.  Not worrying so much what someone else will think if I do xyz... Just be courageous!  I'm not gonna make anything happen by sitting around wishing I could do it.  I just might surprise myself.  :)


Saturday, January 11, 2014

DIY Heart Garland

I heart Valentines Day :)
Seriously, there is something about Valentines Day that I really like.  It's all the pinks, reds, hearts - it's just a fun holiday.

I made a really easy heart garland for the dining room, and wanted to share it so you too can learn to love Valentines Day..  I mean, it just cheers up the windows right?!

What you'll need
heart buttons

How to do it
cut heart shapes out of the felt
hotglue heart buttons if you want
hotglue the heart to the twine
String it up somewhere
and enjoy it!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Skin Care

I really am against putting a lot of unnecessary crap on my skin.  Even some of the "natural" skin care stuff out there isn't very natural or good for your skin.  Your skin absorbs everything you put on it, so I try to be careful.  I wish I had been more prudent when I was younger, but better late than never I guess.  My routine for my face is pretty simple - my skin looks better than it used to, or at least I think it does.  I had started getting breakouts in my 30's after never really dealing with any of that, and that has cleared up. Small wrinkles are a little less, and a couple of dark spots I was getting are fading as well.  My skin looks and feels better.

I don't always wash my face at night.  I probably should, but I just don't.  I do take my eye makeup off usually though.  For this, I just rub a little coconut oil right on my eyes and wipe off the extra.  Easy and good for your delicate eye skin.  I also sometimes put a little shea butter around my eyes before I go to bed at night.  It's nice and thick and is a good moisturizer for the eye area.

I wash my face with a combination of liquid castile soap, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, castor oil and apricot kernel oil.  I mix it up and keep it in a small quirt bottle.  Doesn't dry my skin and all the oils are super good for your skin.

Sometimes I exfoliate using brown sugar and a little of one of the oils from my facewash above.  Just mix it in my  hand and circular rub it on my face, rinse and done.  Just don't use the toner after you do that.  You'll have face burn for like 3 hours...

If I use a toner at all, which isn't very often, I dilute a little Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and use a cotton ball to dab a little on my face.

For moisturizer, the only thing I use is a little jojoba oil.  It mimics your skins own natural sebum, so it's really good for you.

Apparently pomegranate is also good for wrinkles and your skin in general, so I may start incorporating a little juice into my cleanser and see if I notice any difference.

and that's about it.  Pretty easy.  I buy the oils from a health food store in town, a little more expensive on the front end, but the supply lasts me quite a while as I mix up enough for a 4oz bottle at a time.

I am also trying to switch the makeup I use over to an all natural.  I really like what I read about Miessence.  Still need to do more research... another post for another day.

The body butter I use is here and it is seriously the best stuff ever.  It's not a traditional lotion - it's creamier, thicker, oilier - but so good for your skin.  I slather it all on right out of the shower head to toe.

Enjoy - do some research and tweak according to what you might want or need.  Would love to hear if you try any of these out.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Basement Makeover

So my big focus right now is our basement.  We have a fairly large basement divided into 3 sections.  One whole side is dedicated to laundry, sewing, craft area.  It's unfinished, kinda cobwebby, but it works for what we need - for now.  There is a door, and a wall, and I can close that room off to the rest of the basement if I want to.

The other 2 rooms - one is our oldest daughter Kalyssa's room and the first room when you come downstairs is going to be our family room.  It was originally just a junk, sewing, office room.  But I decided I wanted another living space. A place for the girls and their friends to hang out, or all of us to watch a movie together - kind of whatever.  Seating was the first issue.  We needed a couch down there, but I really didn't want to buy something new.  Budget is tight, so I knew we were gonna have to do this remodel on the thrifty side.  Lucky for me Pinterest is my best friend.  I had remembered seeing some pallet couches, and figured we could easily do that for a fraction of the cost of a new sectional.  Spent a Saturday morning looking for pallets that would suit my purpose, but weren't finding any that were all uniform or not completely damaged.  My awesome hubby said he would build the pallets that we needed.  We had all the scrap wood, so YAY - no cost pallet couch base!  I am currently in the process of making the cushion covers.  I am making large 33"x33" cushions for the sofa.  I am going to stuff them with chopped foam - a combination of regular foam and memory foam.  I actually found a place online that sells chopped foam by the pound for really inexpensive.  So I bought a little and am going to stuff one of the pillow covers and see how well it sits, how I like it etc. before I buy all that I need.  I also found curduroy fabric at Joann's for $2.50 a yard.  I thought that was a really good deal after seeing some pricey stuff elsewhere.  It was on major clearance and I only needed 8 yards...When all is said and done, my pallet sofa sectional will only have cost me about $100!  Score!

However, I am getting slightly ahead of myself.  I really  just want to share some inspiration for the room.  I think I want to kind of go with a rustic, eclectic theme down there.  I'm having so much fun planning out the family room - I can't wait till it's finished so I can post the final product.  Follow me on Instagram for updates along the way!

Some pallet sofas that are super cute

In the meantime, enjoy my basement board on pinterest...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Constant

This post may be a little all over, bear with me...

My faith in Jesus plays a huge role in my life - in my family's life.

I've written before about our move to NY from TX, and we had a hard year.  A lot of things that I didn't understand - where was God in all of it?  Surely He had something better in mind for us - where was He when we were struggling - a million thoughts and questions like that ran through my head.  I was constantly being reminded that God never leaves us.  He may be quiet at times, and He will allow hardships and struggles so that we can grow and learn and be better, but He is always there.  He is the constant.

We took the kids ice skating the other day and I watched a video we took of Rylie skating with Brandon.  It was such a clear picture to me of the relationship that God wants with us.

Brandon never left Rylie's side even though she fell mulitple times.  She got right back up, and all she had to do was reach for Brandon and he was right there to help her up and get her back on her feet.

I love that Jesus does the same for me.  Never leaves my side no matter how many times I fall down. No matter what I am going through.  He may be quiet and watch from a distance to see what I will do when I stumble, or when I am dealing with something kinda hard, but all I have to do is reach out for Him and He is right there to put me back on my feet.  I love that!
click through to watch the sweet video


Monday, January 6, 2014

Some Goals/Plans for 2014

Right at the moment I feel like I am in some sort of transitional place... I feel like God is going to be doing something soon, but I'm just not sure what.  There are things I want to do, things I feel like I'm good at - how to put it all together is where I'm a little unclear.  I often tell my husband that I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.. haha

So in the meantime, I'm just gonna find time to do more things that I enjoy and hopefully some things will start to fall into place as I learn new things and try new stuff this year.  Get a little more uncomfortable - a little more out of my comfort zone and learn some new stuff.

I've come up with a short list of some plans for 2014, nothing very major, at least not yet.  :)
We'll see where this list takes me...

1. Less technology - I know this is the age we live in.  And to say no more computer, tv, phone etc would just be dumb.  But I can limit its use - for me and for all of us.  My kids are getting older - In just a few years, we will have a daughter in college.  I just don't want to look back and wish I had spent more time with her, especially at this stage in her life.

2. Get outside more.  Seems kinda silly, I know.  But I hate to be cold, so I spend most of the winter indoors.  Well, we live in NY, where its cold almost more than its warm.  I just need to suck it up and get outside, get some fresh air, go for a walk - it's good for the soul.

3. Exercise - something, anything - just do it

4. Eat better.  My Dr. wants me to go gluten free.  I'm not totally sure about that one yet, but I do need to make a conscious effort to eat better.  More raw, natural foods and less processed.

5. Take a class/learn something new

6. Get the family room in the basement finished!!!

7. Decorate the girls rooms - something I have never done in any of the houses we've ever lived in - I have a cute plan for Rylie's room.  She's excited about it, so I guess I better get moving on that one.

8. Write a book - is this going to happen in 2014?  Probably not, but it's something I really want to do.  So we'll just see what happens, but I've said it out loud now so.....

9. Make more stuff - I like projects, crafting (to a point) I want to incorporate that more into my life - I don't really know what this looks like just yet - I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to rent a little space somewhere - in an antique mall or something.  I mean, seriously, how fun would that be???

I guess that's about it. For now.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year & Goal Setting

Does anyone set goals or make resolutions for the New Year?  I personally like setting goals - it feels different to me than a resolution.  Maybe they are kind of the same, I don't know.  This year, I am going to be intentional with my goal setting.  A lot of times I'll talk about things I want to do or accomplish, but never really do anything to make it happen.  So this year, I am going to put pen to paper and map out some goals and how I am going to work to make those goals a reality.  We aren't always going to reach every goal we set, but we can learn from the process.  Some you reach, some you don't, some are easy, some are hard.  But it gives you something to work for during the year.  Once I have some more cohesive thoughts put together, I will share some of those on the blog.

What are some things you want to do or accomplish or work toward this year?