September 23, 2015

Lines in the Sand

Boundaries. We all have them. Personal space, the edge of the yard, hemlines, politics, faith. These lines we've drawn ourselves are generally viewed as good and healthy. Boundaries can make your relationships stronger and keep out the crazies who threaten to destroy what you've built. They can also keep us from wandering too far, looking like a hooker, and just making ourselves look ignorant.

When I first began blogging in this space, I never gave much thought to setting boundaries on what I would share and what would remain private. I had no idea how much this blog would grow, and through it, how many amazing people I would eventually call friends. So as I watched my numbers climb higher and higher with each passing month, I got more and more worried. "Am I sharing too much? Not enough? Do I want people to know this yet? Does Hubs think it's ok to share this? What if my mom (who is not a regular reader) reads this?"

I'm positive I'm not the only person who struggles with boundaries when it comes to blogging. Especially when writing is your go-to way of thinking things through, expressing yourself, or de-stressing. It's a classic form of free therapy. (Well, after you buy a cute journal and a superb writing pen... or a MacBook Pro that you've named Magnus.) Journaling is a wonderful outlet for me, but I still find myself writing for an audience, not just for me, because journals (or teenage diaries) can be found, read, and misinterpreted. And there are also times I am just not satisfied with writing my heart out and not hitting "publish" because of a line I've drawn to protect myself and my relationships. To me, it can be the same as holding it all in or not having written it at all. So therapy has gotten a little more expensive lately.

I have said all of that to say: I'm still here, but the path that I am currently walking is not one that I am ready to share quite this publicly yet.

 photo KOW Sig Aug 2015_zpshqjbzwsc.png

Check out my current Chestnut sponsor!

September 11, 2015

I'll Never Forget

Never Forget 9-11

I remember exactly where I was, what I was wearing, what I felt when I found out about the events of that tragic day. It was my sophomore year of high school. I was wearing blue track pants, a white T-shirt, and flip flops. My hair was in a messy bun. I had just sat down in 10am biology and was chatting with a couple of my classmates when another teacher ran into the room and insisted we turn on the news. It felt like all the blood had left my body as we sat silently watching the footage of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center towers replay over and over, barely hearing what the news anchors were saying. 

Our teacher frantically fumbled through her bag for her cell phone. I could tell she was trying to keep it together in front of us, but she couldn't for long. After trying to call someone for several minutes she burst into tears. She buzzed the front office to get a substitute for the rest of the day, but before she left, she she told us that her brother worked in an office in the towers. My heart broke for her. We were surprised to see her back the next day. Turns out her brother was running really late to work that day and was still at home when it happened.

Then we heard about the Pentagon and the crash in Pennsylvania. We were watching when the first tower fell; it was like it happened in slow motion. There was a moment of shocked silence that seemed to last forever until the girl in front of me began sobbing. The atmosphere in the school was somber; there was no joking, laughing, or teasing. And that continued for the rest of the week as our attention was trained on CNN instead of our usual class schedule.

Then came the music. So many patriotic songs came out in the following months, some even years later, giving us a sharp reminder of how we felt that day. It's been fourteen years and I still cry every time I hear "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?" by Alan Jackson.

Today, I will spend a lot of time in prayer, thanking God for each day he has given me, knowing that they could be gone in an instant. Praying for the survivors, rescue teams, medical teams, and the families of those lost. 

Do you remember where you were? what you were doing? wearing? Do you remember how you felt that day?

I'll never forget.

 photo KOW Sig Aug 2015_zpshqjbzwsc.png

Check out my current Chestnut sponsor!

September 4, 2015

Friday Favs

Happy Friday! And what's more, happy beginning of the holiday weekend! I hope everyone has a good one, I know I'll be taking it easy and spending lots of quality time with Hubs and the furkids.

Before we get to this week's favorites, remember that giveaway I did at the end of July with Adproval? Well, I am happy to announce that we have a winner folks! Big congratulations to Josephine King! What a lucky lady.

OH, and if you are doing the #12MofBliss challenge with Emily from Ember Grey. the details for September's challenge are up and ready HERE.

Favorite Insta Posts

@the_new_wifestyle  |  @msinthemidwest  |  @champagnelaced
Happy Anniversary yesterday to Chelsea and Ryan Avery!
And don't you just adore this little set up for fall?
Who's going to Hogwarts?

Favorite Bible Verse

He has made everything beautiful in its time … God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there shall be a time there for every purpose and for every work. - Ecclesiastes 3:11,17

Favorite Song

I just cannot get this out of my head.

Favorite Blog Posts

How to Hide a Vertical Image within a Blog Post - Love the Here and Now
Even though it's a DIY for Wordpress, the coding translates to something that works with Blogger too. With the only exception being making that hidden image the default image for the post (whomp whomp). So worth Pinning!

Gun Control is Only Half the Problem - Christine Everyday
YES. YES. YES. Christine hits the nail on the head with this post.

Family Photos When Nothing Has Changed
Why wait to take photos? Life right now should be celebrated too!

In Case You Missed It...

Weekend Getaway
A Chewy Summer

Friday Favs (from last week)
12 Months of Bliss - Inspiration

 photo KOW Sig Aug 2015_zpshqjbzwsc.png

Check out my current Chestnut sponsor!

September 2, 2015

A Chewy Summer

Anyone who knows me, knows that my animals are very much my kids. I love them so very much and treat them like I would any other member of my family. I want the best for them. This made choice to partner with Chewy a no brainer.

This summer with Chewy has been great! We got to try out a brand of wet dog food that I hadn't heard of before, Merrick. They have a grain free line with added vitamins and nutrients. I'm ALWAYS looking for quality food options that my dogs will actually eat, that are also affordable. This brand fits the bill. Bear and Robbie just gobbled up this food and then turned to look at me expecting more. It comes in cases of 12 for just $31.98 which is cheaper than a case of 12 of any canned food from the local pet store. Definitely a hit in our house.

We also got to try out Blue Bits treats for our dogs AND Kitty Yums treats for our cats. Huge thanks to my rep for sending us both. The treats live up to the much respected Blue Buffalo quality and they are the perfect size for the cats and Robbie, but a little small for Bear. I ended up giving him a tiny pile on the floor so he wouldn't try to swallow my fingers too! I had to hide these treats in the cabinet because the cats would try to get into them. Needless to say they were added to the list of hits from Chewy.

Our other item is a carpet/upholstery cleaner. Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator. LEGIT, this stuff is amazing! I would show you before and after pics (if I had any) but it's kinda gross, so I won't. Just take my word for it. This stuff works. In my opinion it works better than Nature's Miracle. We have hardwood floors, but they don't save our floor rugs from Robbie's accidents, and this cleaner does the job. No smell, No stain, No color fade. AH-MAY-ZING! It's a little pricey at $19.97 a bottle, but totally worth it when you don't have to replace your area rugs every few months.

As always Chewy delivers the perfect products for our babies. This company truly is my favorite to work with, as is always just an email away if I have questions or concerns about the products. If you missed my past review, it is here.

Where do you get your pet supplies? Have you tried Chewy before?

 photo KOW Sig Aug 2015_zpshqjbzwsc.png

Check out my current Chestnut sponsor!