June 29, 2015

Christmas in July Blogger Swap

I'm excited about this little gem of an idea that Faith came to me and Melissa with last week. As all of you know we are HUGE fans of Christmas! I am never patient enough to wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate or start listening to the music (hubs is "thrilled" at this). I get this love of the holiday from my mother and grandmother, and I go ALL. OUT.

Unfortunately ... it only comes around once a year which kinda sucks, SO we decided to have a Christmas in July swap! Faith, Melissa, and I are really excited about this and hope you will join us! So below is all the info and if you are interested in signing up please go and fill out the form HERE.

Let's celebrate CHRISTMAS IN JULY!

Here are the Details

Sign-Ups Start: Monday, June 29th at 6AM

Sign-Ups End: Wednesday, July 8th at 6AM

Partners assigned:
Wednesday, July 11th

Packages Shipped: Monday, July 20th

Linkup Opens: Thursday, July 30th

Linkup Closes: Thursday, August 6th

The Rules

// When you are assigned your partner, get to know them, and send items in your package that fit your partner’s wants and likes.

// All packages should cost approximately $15-$20 before shipping, so that each swap package is fairly close in pricing and no one feels cheated.

// Please reply to emails from us about the swap in a timely manner.

// Your packages MUST be mailed on or before July 20th.

// We suggest you send a tracking number for your package via email to your partner when you mail it out.

// Please post and link up to your swap reveal, which will be posted on July 30th. Everyone would like to see your goodies after all!

// Please do not sign up for this swap if you cannot follow the rules above.

// If anything comes up, where you can no longer participate PLEASE contact either Faith, Melissa, or myself immediately so we can work out something for your swap partner.

** Please note: Non-US-based participants can only be accepted if we have enough bloggers willing to ship internationally (not everyone can afford the higher shipping prices). Thank you for understanding, we want everyone to be able to be able to participate! **

I hope to see you all participate! This is going to be so much fun :) Don't forget to grab the button when you put up your reveal post on the 30th!

Christmas in July Blogger Swap

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June 26, 2015

Conversations with...

... with Hubs

I saw this little interview on Facebook one day and I just had to do it with Hubs. The directions were to catch him off guard with them, and that's just what I did.

1. What is something your wife always says to you?

I love you.
(Cue the awwww-ing)

2. What makes your wife happy?
I would hope me. Or chocolate.
(my husband holding chocolate is the ultimate source of happiness)

3. What makes your wife sad?
Umm. Bad news.
(... or a lack of chocolate in the house)

4. How does your wife make you laugh?

Cause you're wacky.
(wacky? am I really wacky?)

5. What was your wife like as a child?

Troublemaker from what I understand.
(just because my Grandmommy has ONE story about me misbehaving he thinks this)

6. How old is your wife?
She's an old hag! No I'm joking. I'll never tell!
(if i'm an old hag, he's a dirty old man)

7. How tall is your wife?
(I'm 5'4, for the record)

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Blogging. Is that close?
(It's in my top 3)

9. What does your wife do when you're not around?
Probably Blog or read.
(both... or nothing at all)

10. If your wife becomes famous, what will it be for?
Him: Getting away with murder.
Me: That's mean.
Him: Singing.
Me: Much better.

11. What is your wife really good at?
Being loving
(more awwww-ing)

12. What is your wife not very good at?
Putting away laundry and doing dishes.
(so very true)

13. What does your wife do for a job?

(soon to be CNA)

14.What is your wife's favorite food?
Honestly, I don't even know. It seems like you like pizza a lot. What is your favorite food? Does chocolate count.
(both count. spot on.)

15.What makes you proud of your wife?

How much you try to please me.
(and even more awwww-ing)

16. If your wife were a character, who would she be?
Bernadette from Big Bang Theory.
(bahahaha. Probably yeah)

17. What do you and your wife do together?
Watch Big Bang Theory.
(sensing a theme here?)

18. How are you and your wife the same?

We're both pretty funny.
(toot, tooting our own little horns)

19. How are you and your wife different?

You are more social than I am.
(this is sometimes a source of tension, but I think we handle it pretty well)

20. How do you know your wife loves you?

Him: Because she tells me.
Me: Like other than me telling you.
Him: She does things she doesn't necessarily like or want to do to make me happy. Like cook.
(hahaha. I don't LIKE to cook and I tell him all the time that I only cook cause he likes me to)

21. What does your wife like most about you?
It's probably my money. Haha, no. It's probably cause I can always make her laugh. Or at least I hope so.
(he can)

22. Where is your wife's favorite place to go?
Your mom's house.
(YAS. I miss my mommy)

23. How old was your Wife when you were born?

3 weeks old.
(I am totally a cougar you guys)

And now I'd like to introduce you to this month's co-host! Morgan is one of the sweetest people in blogland. She's got a handsome hubby and the cutest little puppy named Piper. She blogs about all kinds of things (just like me!) like recipes, DIY projects, and everything decor. So join us today and link-up a conversation, recent or not, with someone in your life.

Knock on Wood Blog | Conversations Link-Up

June 24, 2015

Making Fitness a Priority

Happy Wednesday. I wrote about priorities last week, and it kind of inspired me to really take charge and make the next step in other parts of my life. We've got a lot going for us: New promotion, new job, our cruise is coming up, and we're not getting any younger. We've made some significant changes in our diet over the past year or so (even if we fall off the wagon from time to time), but we haven't been able to stick to a regular fitness routine. 

We all know that I totally lack the motivation to work out. I don't like to sweat, I hate the heat, and I have some physical hurdles that keep me from doing as much as others can. BUT, one of the things that will help with those hurdles is losing some weight. I think my biggest issue is that I want some instant gratification, and with healthy weight loss that's just not going to happen. While I know this in my head, I still can't fully accept that I'm not doing it wrong and that the program I am doing really is working for me even though I haven't seen many changes in the first week.

What really got me to make this mental change is that I've given my husband a good reason to make some of the changes that we have made, but I haven't held myself to that same standard. 

"I want to live a long and happy life with you, and in order to do that we have to take care of ourselves now."

So, on Monday, we made a big decision. Hubs and I joined a gym. It's a local business run by a really great guy, plus I have a friend from school who goes there and has agreed to be our trainer for a little while. That is just what I need to get my butt back in gear. 

I am hoping that between MyFitnessPal, my Jawbone UP24, and the new gym membership, I can start living a healthier lifestyle and be happier with my body. What's more is that my amazing friends Kendra, Melissa, and Lora have started a new blogger fitness support challenge that starts next Wednesday, July 1 called Bloggers Give it 100. There's a hashtag and everything #BloggersGiveIt100, click here for more details.

How are you taking charge and keeping your priorities in line? 

P.S. The best way to kick off the opening of a friend's new Etsy Shop is a Giveaway! Help me support Ashely and enter to win a lovely piece from her shop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.P.S. I know I'm slacking on the Blog front, but I'm trying not to disappear completely while I get myself together again. I do miss blogging, and I have a lot to say and a lot to catch up on, but right now is not the time to do it. Don't give up on me yet.

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June 19, 2015


I am still reeling from what happened to me on Wednesday. I was planning on posting something fun and upbeat, but I'm glad that I forgot to hit publish because it certainly did not reflect how I have been feeling this entire week. Which is depressed mixture of anger, sadness, disappointment, and betrayal from my job which put a slight damper on my usually cheery home life.

I have never had a job that made me choose between my personal life and work, but Wednesday, that was exactly the case. My district manager tried to talk me into staying to work for a new facility  manager that is going to change my schedule around to the point where I would never get to see my husband, go to school, or have a weekend off ever. Her method? Giving me a guilt trip about me prioritizing my marriage over my job. In her exact words "You're really going to quit a job so you can see your husband seven nights a week? I work 12-16 hours a day and I have a husband and kids at home that I barely get to see, but that's the way it works in Health Care."

My answer to her: "That is your life that you chose. It has nothing to do with my life and what I want from it."

I am NOT going to apologize for wanting to see my husband at least a few nights a week. I am NOT going to apologize for not having children at home. (I am NOT going to apologize for treating my pets like my kids.) I am NOT going to give in to someone else's version of what my life should be like. I am NOT going to let someone bulldoze me or walk all over me. #sorrynotsorry

My job doesn't cook dinner for my family. My job doesn't cuddle up with me so I can go to sleep. My job doesn't make me tea when I am feeling sick. My job doesn't wake up at 2am to soothe a whining dog. My job doesn't clean my house. My job doesn't make a good snuggle buddy for watching movies. That's me, my husband, my pets, my family. And all of those things are so much more important to me than my job.

After she left and my anger subsided a little, I began to just feel really sorry for her and her family. I feel sorry for her that she feels like she needs to put others down to feel powerful. I feel sorry for her family that she puts so much importance on her job that it takes her away from them so much. I feel sorry for her that she has a resting b*tch face and a bad attitude. And I feel sorry for all of the other facilities in her district that have to deal with her.

I'm not worried though. I have another position lined up that will open up more doors for me and allow me to work hours that match my husbands. So for the next two weeks I'm going to take it easy and get my head back on straight. My husband is taking me to Branson, MO for Fourth of July Weekend and I start my new job the following Monday.

But, I encourage everyone to take a stand for yourself and not to feel guilty that your want to attend all of your kid's soccer games or go with your spouse to doctors appointments or take your cat to the vet. And you should definitely NOT apologize to anyone for wanting to do these things. Life should be full of more good times than bad, and if your job is tipping that scale the wrong way, perhaps it's time to find a new one.

Have you ever been pressured to choose between your family and your job? How did you handle it?

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June 10, 2015

My Community. My Tribe.

Community. It's kind of a big deal, especially in the blog world. It brings like-minded people together and is an amazing source of constant inspiration and support. Communities can band together to help those in need, they can introduce you to your new best friend, they can be local or online. These days communities can form just about anywhere.

I love my blogging community, my #Tribe. They have become more than just words on a computer screen. And just because I have never met these wonderful women in person, it doesn't mean we aren't close friends. Honestly, they know more about me than many people in my "real life" do. They understand me better than some of those "real life" people do as well.

Today I want to take a moment to recognize my #Tribe and thank them for being their amazing selves.

Melissa - The Rambling Llama
Yes, she counts. She's been my best friend for about nine years now. I am so proud of her and even more so that she's grown so much because of her blog. She's so talented and funny, you just can't help but love her. Thank you, Llama, for being you. For being there for me, for inspiring me to do things I never thought I would be able to do, and for being on my level of crazy.

Kendra - Kenji is Here
This lady is such an inspiration to me. After finding out that I have another chronic illness (I have Major Depression and PCOS), I fell back on her for support. She's always got an amazingly positive attitude and totally understands my frustrations and concerns. Thank you, Kenj, for being you. For letting me "cry" on your shoulder, for being a light in my life, and for all the awesome snapchat conversations.

Anne - Love the Here and Now
Oh, Anne. I think we first bonded over our mutual love of fonts. And it grew into something more. Anne is one of the sweetest people I have ever come to know and she's so thoughtful. Not to mention an amazing interior designer (have you seen her daughters' new rooms?!). Thank you, Anne, for being you. For validating my obsession with downloading all the fonts, for being honest and open and genuine, for inspiring me to keep going with my design work (especially fonts!).

Cassie - Sage
Somehow, Cassie always knows exactly what I need to hear, or put my thoughts perfectly into words. She's the person I go to for faith based inspiration. She's the person I go when I need to talk about my crazy thoughts on my schooling. She started my new favorite community #MoreThanAFrame on Instagram (see the prompts here, more are coming in July!). Thank you, Cassie, for being you. For freaking me out preparing me for my future school endeavors, for unknowingly helping me muddle through some of my faith based issues, and for inspiring a wonderful and supportive community with #MoreThanAFrame.

Emily - Ember Grey.
Another amazing lady to go to for faith based inspiration and a dose of daily gratefulness. She's truly beautiful inside AND out (did you know she was a model?). I always look forward to reading her posts because her writing makes my heart smile. Emily also is a creator of an amazing community with #GratefulHeartMonday. Thank you, Emily, for being you. For helping find my positivity and staying focused on my gratefulness, for always making me laugh, and for inspiring my own monthly link-up #Conversations.

Christine - So-Called Homemaker
Whether it's movie suggestions, blogging tips, or offering up the secrets of Real Estate, she always has something to contribute and I love it. She's a go to when I need another opinion on a post idea or when I have something funny to share. Group texts with her and Llama are ALWAYS entertaining. Thank you, Christine, for being you. For always making me smile with random texts, for teaching me that you can understand real estate, and for being our designated Wine Ninja.

Chelsea - The New Wifestyle
Legit, this girl is incredibly talented and smart. I can't believe what she (and her equally as talented husband) have accomplished. Not only does she blog, but she travels with her hubs all over the world to speak and inspire dreams and goal in others. Thank you, Chelsea, for being you. For finding the perfect shade of grey nail polish, for being honest about your fault and committing to improving on them, for reminding me that I, too, and capable of so many things.

Rebecca - The Adventures of Bug and Boo
SuperMom of two beautiful tiny humans, gorgeous fashionista (preggo and not), amazing wife, and genuine blogger. This wonderful lady went out of her way during her first few weeks home with the new baby to reach out to me when I was going through a particularly difficult time and let me know that she understood what I was going through and that she was always there for me. I definitely cried when I opened that sweet note. Thank you, Rebecca, for being you. For being a true friend, for lifting my spirits, and for making me want to try some statement necklaces.

Who is apart of your #Tribe?

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June 4, 2015

Ducks in a Row

We've all heard, or even said, "I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row." It's a nice way of saying "I don't have my shit together yet, and I'm not sure how to get it together, but I know I'm supposed to." 

My thirteen year old self just knew that I was going to be married to the perfect man, living in the perfect house, with the perfect yard, in the perfect neighborhood, not too far from my parents, financially comfortable, and pregnant by age twenty three (HAHA). In reality I was jilted, broke, and moving back in with my parents. I didn't fulfill that dream I had for myself, and I thought of myself as a huge failure. I fell into a huge rut of self depreciation that led to the deep and dark hole of depression, despite my outward appearance. I felt like it was all my fault my proverbial ducks weren't in their tidy little row. 

Over the next five years, three boyfriends, three jobs, and six moves I finally found my center. I got to know myself better and what I really wanted for my life, rather than what society expected of me. It was only then that I was able to accept the love that I really deserved, and even then I almost slipped right back into my old habits. Philip defied all my negative expectations, proving every day that he truly cared for me even though my ducks were still wandering around all willy nilly. 

I foolishly thought that once we were married I would feel more settled, like my ducks would slowly fall into line. Combining our ducks was a bit of a challenge at first, but I think we've got them corralled. I'm going to be 29 this summer. Shouldn't my ducks mind me better and line up when I tell them to? And why do they have to be ducks? What about blue birds, chickadees, or cardinals? In fact, why does it have to be a bird at all? Let's not discriminate! Can we have llamas, elephants, or bunnies instead? 

I digress. When will I feel like I have my shit together? Does anyone even feel that way ever? Of course I went to Llama with these questions, and she posed a question to me: "why don't you feel like you do?" I really had to think a moment before responding. I had to be honest with myself and dig down deep before I had my answer: "I think it's so many failures and not finding my passion until later in life. I feel like I'm so behind and I'm scrambling to catch up with my biological clock." (And by biological clock I mean society's view of how our lives should progress and my teenage dreams.) And she responded "Yeah, that makes sense. I think you are doing great though. And at least you FOUND your passion. That's more than a lot of people much older can say." Wise words of truth, Llama. Wise words. 

I felt even more at ease with where I am after talking to my mom. She said she didn't feel truly at peace with her life until she retired. What's funny about that is that I totally think that my mom has had her shit together for, like, my whole life. She always seemed like she did anyways, but that only proves that the face we put on for the world isn't always in line with how we really feel. For the record, she said I wasn't a weirdo for having undisciplined ducks. 

And then Kendra weighed in: "I don't think anyone feels like everything is in line and even if they do, it's not for long. I think it's more of just accepting the life that is in front of you and enjoying every moment regardless." I have smart friends. Acceptance of the life I have is something I need to work harder on. Don't get me wrong! I love my life with Philip and our furkids. I have a rewarding job and a truly enjoy school. But I've had a hard time letting go of those childhood expectations of what my life would be like and forgiving myself for not meeting that timeline. I'm working on it, one day at a time. 

Do you feel like your ducks are in a row? If so, at what point did this feeling occur?

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June 1, 2015

7 Things I Do That My Husband Thinks Are Weird

Ah Husbands (or boyfriends, fiancees, dads... really just men in general). The heroes of our worlds. They can do so many great things: bring home the bacon, carry ALL the grocery bags inside in one trip, mow the lawn, and do math in their heads at lightening speeds. But there are some things they really don't get, amiright? I don't know about you but my husband things some of the things I've done for nearly all my life are just down right weird, and I'm going to list them out for you today.

1. The Accent Nail
You know, the pretty pattern or glitter right finger nail. Hubs always turns his nose up when I do them and calls me a weirdo. He just doesn't understand why I can't do all my nails the same way all the time.

2. Why I Need Four Different Shades of Purple Nail Polish
Purple is purple right? WRONG! Hubs just doesn't get that darker purples are for fall and winter and lighter/brighter ones are for spring and summer.

3. Wearing a Hair Tie on Your Wrist ALL The Time
Seriously? I thought he was joking when he asked me about it one day. Nope, he doesn't get why I have to have one on me every second of the day. Men just do not understand the spontaneous need to pull your hair back in the middle of the day.

4. Eating Cereal Out of a Cup
Ok. This may just be me, but I have been doing this since I was in middle school. My mom had just bought new dishes and the bowls that came with the set were so tiny that I always had to get a second bowl of cereal in the morning. One day I just grabbed a big plastic cup and having been eating my cereal that way every since.

5. Starbucks
Nope, my hubs doesn't get why I love the coffee chain so much. Honestly, it's really a treat for me during school, because caffeine is so needed to stay focused in class. Plus, it's just really really good.

6. Use Body Wash Over Bar Soap
In his brain, bar soap is cheaper and it lasts loner. He has a point, but in my brain I don't get the exfoliation and moisture I need from a bar soap that I do from my body wash and loofa. I take pride on my skin and want to keep it looking young as long as I can.

7. Snapchat
I know he's not the only one in this boat. I didn't really get it at first either, but once I just buckled down and learned how it works I was hooked. Then I started adding bloggy friends and it got even better! If you want to give it another try, Melissa did a great tutorial!

What are some things the man/men in your life just don't get about you?