July 30, 2015

Christmas in July - The Reveal

Today is the day!! I can't wait to see what everyone got from their partners. I was glad when Faith paired me with her bestie Bex from Butcher's Niche. She's a super sweet chick and it turns out we have the same favorite color, the best color ever, purple. She totally nailed my gift. Purple, Yoobi pens, nail polish, and a candle all tucked away in the cutest sparkly purple bag.

Who was your partner? What did you get?

Christmas in July Blogger Swap

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July 29, 2015

6 Netflix Movies and Shows You Have to Watch

I know there are so many posts about this already, but each of them offer something different. Ever since Hubs started working third shift (11pm to 7am) I've been bored at home all evening. So I've turned to Netflix, because everything is closed around here after 10pm. I like the main stream movies and TV shows for sure, but it's when I stumble on a not so well known film or series that turns out to be amazing. So here are my top fave finds on Netflix:

1. Land Girls - 3 Seasons, 15 Episodes
This series is about women who want to contribute to the War Effort, so they sign up for the Land Army in England. Sent to the countryside, they farm the land to provide food and rations to the people of England. I don't know what it is about this time period that intrigues me, but I love it. The story lines are good, and each episode is a full hour.

2. Barefoot
Oh this movie. At first glance, the synapse didn't catch my eye. After seeing it in my "Suggested for you" section for weeks, I decided to give it a shot. I loved it. It follows a typical Rom-Com plot line, but the twist of the characters in the story make it special.

3. You're Not You
All. The. Feels. Some big names in the movie, I'm not sure how I had never heard of it before. I'm not going to tell you about the story, cause I don't want to spoil it. Just watch it, you won't be sorry.

4. Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story
Who doesn't love a good dramatized biopic of a famous person? Especially if that famous person wrote the BEST book series of our time. All of the references are amazing. AH-MAY-ZING. My fellow Potterheads will totally understand the excitement.

5. Call the Midwife - 3 Seasons, 27 Episodes (Season 4 is currently playing on your local PBS station)
Another World War II era series. It follows a group of nurses and nuns in a run down part of a suburb of London. They tend to the pregnant mothers and then after the new babies. There is love, loss, and laughter in this series.

6. Listen to Your Heart
He wants nothing more than to make music. Then he meets and falls in love with a girl, but she can't hear his music. This one is a tear jerker for sure, so grab the tissues and chocolate ice cream.

Oh, and there are TONS of classics and Disney movies as well. Like How to Marry a Millionaire, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Jane Eyre, Tarzan, Hercules, and Fox and the Hound.

What are you favorite finds on Netflix?

July 23, 2015

Why I Switched to Adproval & Why I'll Stay

In the beginning blogging can seem very intimidating. Designs, fonts, social media, sponsors, link-ups, giveaways, and the posts themselves. I believe it's best to start of slowly and take things one step at a time. Do things when you are ready.

One of the aspects that I found most intimidating was sponsorships and working with brands. I did lots of research, asked my fellow bloggers for advice, and came up with game plan after game plan for implementing sponsor options on my blog. When I first started there were two ways to manage sponsorships: 1. using the blogger ad service called Passionfruit OR 2. Rotating ads manually.

A few months in, I got wind of a new company that was catering to bloggers' needs called Adproval. I was skeptical. All the bloggers were using Passionfruit, which made things easy and comfortable, until it wasn't. In a matter of weeks Passionfruit's quality and customer service took a nosedive, and I took a closer look at Adproval. A couple of my blogger friends had already made the switch and gave wonderful reviews of customer service and ease of use. On top of that, the plans Adproval had for enhancing the blogger's experience were fantastic.

Needless to say, I made the switch and I haven't looked back. The Adproval team has been great from the start, always just an email away. I've only had one minor issue with centering the ads on my sidebar, and that was swiftly resolved. My experience has just gotten better. So many new features have been added, and they are always open to suggestions and feedback.

One of my favorite additions is their ever growing list of brands that are looking to work with bloggers. Adproval has made applying to work with the brands so easy, and I have formed some wonderful partnerships with companies I adore.

So if you are looking to take the next step in your blogging adventure by adding a sponsorship option to your blog, or by beginning a partnership with a brand that fits your blog, Adproval is the service for you. They can help you grow your blog and form meaningful relationships with other bloggers and brands that make a difference.

So, today I offer one of you dear readers, the opportunity to grow your blog, your brand, with free Adproval For Life! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for your chance to win!

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July 20, 2015

Count Your Blessings

Yesterday afternoon I got some sad news from a dear friend. My heart aches for her situation and I wish there was something more than I could do to help her through this rough patch. I have no fear that she will come out better and stronger on the other side, she's a remarkable person. The unfortunate news touched me deeply. I took a few moments to reflect on my life, my marriage, my future, and I was suddenly caught off guard by a wave of emotions.

I have so much to be grateful for, and some days I fail to recognize this. Recent events have brought me back down to earth and reminded me that I am so blessed in my life. God has given me so much more than I could have ever asked for and I don't thank him enough. I don't thank my husband enough for being the man that he is, and how wonderful he's been, especially lately. I don't thank my mother enough for giving me the best childhood she could, and for teaching me how to be a strong woman.

I am striving each day to be more grateful for these little things. I may do the 100HappyDays challenge again. Its a great way to keep myself accountable and will remind me to focus on the good things of each day rather than the bad.

When the water starts getting murky, I have to trust that it will clear back up again. I have to trust that God's plan for me, for my life, is greater than mine. Everything will be ok.

linking up with
Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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July 15, 2015


You read that right folks. I've been such a slacker lately, in so many things.

  1. Fitness
  2. Diet
  3. Blogging
  4. Sponsors
  5. Laundry

I'm getting myself back on track here in the blog world this week while I've been ordered by my doctor and Hubs to take it easy. I have missed it a lot, but baby steps guys, this is my second post i this week and I haven't done more than one post in a week for about a month now. I'm hoping by Friday I'll be back on track with my sponsors too. It's my health I'm going to focus on today. Laundry... well that sorta speaks for itself.

While I may have a good excuse to not be moving around this week, it doesn't mean that I'm off the hook for the previous weeks. I need to get my jiggly butt back in gear. It's hard to keep myself motivated though. That's been my biggest problem for my whole life when it comes to fitness. I seriously dislike working out, so I tend to make every single excuse and justification to not go. I want to like it, to make it a lifestyle habit, but it just never sticks. 

I have a really good reason to workout and keep my healthier diet going, but I guess it just doesn't seem like it's enough to keep me going. It should be, but it doesn't. I do well for a few days, then I hop right off that wagon and sit in the lounger to work on my (non-existent) tan.

So I turn to you guys. How did you stay motivated in the beginning? What made you get off your butt and just do it already? How do you hold yourself accountable?

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July 13, 2015

8 Lessons We've Learned After 1 Year of Marriage

I've got a big secret about marriage. It may shock you, it may not. Brace yourselves. Here we go.

Marriage is HARD and it takes a lot of work to keep it going. It takes work to stay in sync with each other. It takes work to keep the peace. It takes work to be happy. But here's the second part of the secret, all that work is so worth it.

There are certain things that you know that will be a challenge going into a marriage. Patience, compromise, socks/shoes all over the place, finances, etc. Some of them you've been practicing since you were small, others not so much. Experiencing these things with another person is a whole different story.

Hubs and I were chatting over dinner the other day about all the things we've learned about each other and about marriage being just over a year in. His list and my list were slightly similar, but were so enlightening.


// "Just let her do her thing."
I giggled a little when he said this, but it's been a real challenge for him. He's not as social as I am, but we've made compromises and I make sure that my social nature doesn't take away from my attentions to him.

// "Make time for a real date night."
This has helped us so much. Right now our date night is grocery night. We go out to dinner and do any shopping we need to do before we get groceries and come home.

// "If she doesn't know the real balance of the bank account, she won't go crazy in Target."
Ok. This one took me by surprise, but it's true. I don't ever know what our account balance is, and I like it that way. I am an impulsive spender, Hubs is a saver. Him being in charge of the finances makes me feel secure, and I don't spend as much when I don't know how much money we have.

// "You learn what it really takes to be supportive of your spouse's goals."
This goes both ways really. But he's been nothing but supportive about school, about this blog, and about anything else I want to accomplish.


// "We speak totally different languages, but I have learned how to interpret his now."
Growing up in totally different family atmospheres, we learned to communicate very very differently. That on top of our different love languages makes for quite a hurdle. But we've learned each other's language.

// "Snoring becomes ambient background noise that actually helps you sleep."
Laugh all you want, but as long as he's snoring I know he's still breathing. When I first moved here, he didn't snore as badly, but I would notice that he'd stop breathing for several seconds and then take a big breath.

// "Sometimes it's just better to ask for forgiveness than permission."
This sorta goes with me being an impulsive spender. Also when it comes to our furkids. This rule can apply to lots of different areas of life though.

// "We are both at fault in some way when we argue about things."
I'm not perfect. Neither is he. But sometimes we have these crazy expectations of each other. Sometimes we keep score, we get defensive, we don't really listen to the other. But we always apologize, we always make up, and we always make positive steps forward. Communication is a work in progress, but at least there is progress.

How long have you been married? What lessons have you learned?

July 10, 2015


Loving: Hubs. He does so much for me and for our life together. He does everything he can to make sure that I am happy and healthy (mentally, physically, and emotionally). These past few weeks have really put us both individually, and has put our marriage to the test, and he's been so amazing. I seriously got lucky in the husband department. Be jealous.

Reading: Grey. I finally picked it up the other day at Target and I'm only a few chapters in, but I'm loving it so far. Don't judge.

Feeling: So very grateful for all of the support I have received from everyone over the past few weeks. The depth of understanding and all the texts and emails sharing similar feelings and stories have made me feel like I am not alone. I can't tell you how much all of that has meant to me and helped me through this bit of rough patch I've been going through. So thank you. Each and every one of you who have reached out to me, commented on my one lonely post a week, who have prayed for me. Thank you.

Watching: So You Think You Can Dance has finally gotten through the auditions and the real competition is beginning. I usually don't watch for real until they choose the top 20 because it's mostly fluff and very short clips of the actual dancing. Who else is watching?

Writing: Several posts for next week. Are you excited to see me back in the space more regularly?

Listening: Classical and instrumental background music while I prepare my final project for my class. It's about my blog, so I'm kinda excited about it.

Wanting: The rain to leave Missouri and head west to California. They need it WAY more than we do right now. Seriously, this has been the wettest spring and summer I have ever experienced.

Needing: To register for classes for the next session. I've got several options to choose from and they are day time classes, which will be a nice change from the past two sessions of evening classes. Hopefully Kaity and I will be able to take at least one class together.

Hoping: I'm having a minor outpatient surgery on Monday, and I'm hoping everything goes well. There is no need to worry! I promise! Nothing is wrong with me! It is personal, so please don't ask questions.

Wishing: That Hubs' schedule goes back to normal after this week. This going back and forth from 3rd to 1st shift all the time really sucks and it's taking a toll on him.

Trying: To work on my fitness. I had been so busy that it sorta took a backseat to everything else, but now it needs to be dealt with. Hubs has been great about it, we even joined a gym in our town. We aren't great at keeping going, but I'm thinking that once his schedule goes back to normal we will get into a routine.

Hating: That comfort food has calories. Like, why?

Missing: My mom. It would have really been nice to have her here through the craptastic stuff going on. But at least I can call her any time.

Praying: For good news after Monday's events.

Thinking: About so many things that I don't even want to begin to list them out for you.

Considering: Changing my hair color. But I really doubt that I will change it.

What would be on your currently list?