Friday, February 28, 2014


Today marks the end of another month and we are officially entering into the third month of 2014. Guys, where does the time go?

I've found myself anxiously awaiting this day simply because I get to write down my month's progress in my fitness journal and then sit back and relish in the thought that hard work pays off.

I know that there are some of you out there that can understand my journey, that know that feeling when you look in the mirror and see change. You also understand when you can't see the change, when the numbers aren't there, when you just don't feel like it anymore, and when it takes a double dose of strength and courage just to get up off the couch and move.

I've been here before and I'm trying to tell myself that this time is different. I'm trying to convince myself that I won't give up this time. Convincing the mind may just be the hardest part.

I don't know why it's so hard because it feels so good to move, to feel my body changing, to use a work-out I did a month ago as a warm-up. It just takes so much determination and discipline and some days I can't seem to find either any where.

However, the progress is there, and that is something that I cannot deny. And it feels good to say, "look at how much I've changed, how much I have grown, how far I have come", even two months in.

Pray for me as I continue my journey, I have so far yet to go and there is so much I want to yet do. I can do this. I will do this.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

DIY Personalized Phone Charger

If there's the chance that I can update something and make it my own, especially simply, I am bound and determined to do it. I am not a huge fan of the ordinary, in case you haven't noticed. It took me a little while, but I finally jumped onto the washi tape bandwagon. At first I thought, seriously, it's just tape, I don't get it. But soon I realized that there was a mound of endless possibilities as far as what these little rolls of tape could do.

I wanted my first project to be simple and fun and completely unique, so I decided to tackle personalizing my phone charger first. I love how it turned out and it seriously takes an entire FIVE minutes to do!

[Step One] Buy some washi tape.

I found this little gem at my local grocery store for $1.00. I think I can afford this DIY! I loved it because it was something neutral but fun so it would go with just about any decor in any room of my house and yet also stand out from just a plain charger.

[Step Two] Grab your phone charger & go to town!

You can add one strip around the middle, around the top (like I did) or cover the entire thing! You can mix it up and add two different colors, or cut the tape so that it's tinier strips and add a bunch of different colors. This project is limited as far as your imagination can go - so have fun with it and make it your own!

[Step Three] Admire the finished product!

I love how the simple design of mine doesn't scream 'look at me!' but still gives my charger a little unique pop of personality. When my husband saw it he immediately said: Now when are you gonna do mine?!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Let's Get Together

Given the chance, there are a lot of different people that I would love to meet. Between historic figures, celebrities, that one family member that you never really had the chance, and friends from outlets that don't let you see them face-to-face, the possibilities for sitting down together and just chatting are endless. When asked to choose just one, I get a bit anxious trying to make up my mind!

I decided to make it a bit easier for myself and cut out the first few possibilities: historic figures, celebrities, and those long lost family members. Instead, I thought I would think of the people I have met and gotten to know through different outlets in which we have never had the chance to meet face to face and immediately one person came to mind: this girl.

Meet Gillian Claire of Comes in Colours. I initially met Gillian on Flickr and immediately fell in in love with her photography. It was light and airy and oh so beautiful - everything I loved. She still takes the most beautiful photographs, especially of her two little boys, and I love keeping in touch with her through her blog.

Not so long ago, she lived not so far away from me and I dreamed of us getting together and immediately having that bestie bond because guys, she's really that amazing. But...her and the hubs packed up and moved out west and now I get to be envious of all of her beautiful mountain photos instead. I love that Gillian shares a lot of the same values as I do - she co-sleeps and breastfeeds and believes that boys are meant to be outdoors exploring.  I just think we'd have so much to talk about, so many life experiences to share, and the best time watching our boys play.

If you guys haven't met Gillian or seen her blog, hop on over and check it out. I have a feeling you'll want to sit and chat with her just as much as I do!


Now go link up with The Girl Between the Lines! The prompt this week was: 

If you could have lunch with any blogger, celebrity, or public figure, who would it be and why?

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Monday, February 24, 2014

A Day in My Life [February]

This February was so cold, activities were limited, and we spent most days like this:

with dogs...

without pants...

with toys...

with dirty shoes...

with occasional treats...

with movies...

with excitement to be outdoors...

with snow shovels...

and way too much snow...

with learning...

with long naps...

with body changes...

with little hands on everything...

and with crafts (especially those with hearts).


Now go check out Andrea's post and follow the circle around to see how our entire group of ladies captured A Day in My Life.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014


It's raining here today and I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I love the rain.

Even when I have very little to say, it soothes my soul in a way that makes me want to write, to bear my soul, and to expose some of my deepest thoughts and secrets.

I've found that different seasons in life bring different purposes and I feel as if the same rings true for the weather. On days when the rain falls and I can hear it against the windows and roof, there is always a calming presence and longing present. Likewise, when the warm sunshine is bright and it falls on my skin, I am pulled to pause and soak it in and then move. I miss the sunshine after this long, hard winter, and I have also missed the rain.

Living with purpose this year, or striving to, has guided me to make a lot of changes in my life. They've come in all shapes and sizes: some small, some large, and all with a lasting impact. 2014 has barely began and I already feel as if it has changed my life for the better, and I am so impatient, and excited, and yet longing for it to last awhile longer, to see what else it has in store.

Today I am listening to the rain, soaking in that feeling of longing and need, and dreaming of what the future holds.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pinterest Favorites

When I saw the prompt for this week was going to be about Pinterest, I was super-duper-uber excited because I am a self-proclaimed Pinterest queen. I am addicted (still, even after the newness has wore off) and I use Pinterest for every-day life at least daily if not a ton more. Pinterest is my recipe book, organizer, inspiration, and therapy. I can't imagine having to give it up at this point.

So what am I loving-on in Pinterest this week? Well...

This outfit. I considered coral skinnies last year and settled on a white pair instead because I just couldn't justify buying something that didn't go with more. But I love this outfit - everything about it, and especially the lace top. I think I'll put it on the 'must-have' list for this summer.

This nautical bedroom. As soon as our master bath is finished (which should be in the next month or so) I am going to start working on our bedroom. Up to this point it has been completely neglected so that the rest of our fixer-upper could be the focus. I already have quite a few things that would fit the theme and the navy is something I've been wanting to incorporate somewhere anyway. Besides, anything with the world 'rustic' in it is made for me!

These baked apple chips. My grandmother (gotta love her) sends an entire bag of apples home with Henry almost weekly. I don't really like apples. I mean...they're okay, but I'm not a huge fan, and the kid can only eat so many. Apple chips however? Yes please! I made these yesterday and they are DELICIOUS!

This quote. 'nough said.

This vanity. We are in the process of figuring out the vanity in our bathroom. I want something completely unique and this is my inspiration. We're meeting with a man tonight about having one built out of reclaimed barn wood and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with!


What 5 pins are you loving-on in Pinterest this week? Go link up with The Girl Between the Lines and tell us!

Girl Between the Lines Link up

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

5.75 Inches

Excuse me while I rant and celebrate both in the same post.

 I stepped on the scale this morning and weighed two pounds more than what I did a week ago, or even two days ago when we returned from our little trip.

It annoys me.

But I decided not to be discouraged and did 30 minutes of Zumba and some strength training, took a shower, got dressed, dolled myself up a bit, and took time to notice that these pants are almost too big now.

And I ignored the scale, because it taunts me at times.

Then I grabbed my fitness journal (yeah, I have one of those) and decided that although I promised myself I would only take measurements once a month, I was going to record my progress half-way through the month. Because...ya know, a girl sometimes needs some encouragement when the scale refuses to cooperate.

And I did. 

And I wasn't 'surprised' because I may have taken measurements just a few days ago (for the first time this month, I'm not obsessive, promise), but it felt good to put them onto paper and know that it makes them permanent and that I've really come this far already.

I've lost 5.75 inches.

Just this month alone. Like two weeks. Like...18 days to be exact. 

That's so amazing to me.

And I really needed that boost, that confidence in knowing that I'm doing something right because although the scale isn't changing, my body is.

I know this will not be a short journey. It will take a lot of time, and work, and dedication, and ups and downs to see the finish line.

But I'm okay with that.

I'm willing to put this work in. I'm willing to make hard choices (like offending my mother-in-law and bringing my own dinner to dinner Sunday night) and I'm willing to tell myself daily that this could take years because it will be worth it.

It will be worth it.
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Monday, February 17, 2014


We are such suckers for getting away. Even if it's just for a night, we love nothing more than to pile in the van and take off for a day or two.

A few months ago we planned a night away to Chicago for the car show and good pizza and downtown exploration, but thanks to the weather and the fact that we found out that it would cost us $50 (FIFTY DOLLARS!) just to park our car at the hotel downtown, we decided to save Chicago for another year.

So instead, we returned to a family favorite: The Radisson in Newport, Kentucky, overlooking The Queen City and river. Some of our fondest memories are made in Cincinnati, and the fact that it's only an hours drive away is definitely a bonus. Jeremy manged to get us a room on the 17th floor (there's only 18, and the 18th floor is a revolving restaurant) so the view was stunning.

We checked in at about 5 o'clock and spent about 3 hours swimming before dinner, then returned to the pool in the morning for a couple more hours of swim time. Henry had an absolute blast swimming and splashing around. Our trip didn't consist of much more...well, except food. Some of our absolute favorite restaurants are located in the Cincinnati area and so we don't get to visit them often (not to mention they're not exactly great for someone on a diet).

Our first stop was at Blue Ash Chili where they are famous not only for their Cincinnati chili (which is to die for, by the way) but their delicious double-decker sandwiches. I got chicken salad and bacon (a favorite of mine), Jeremy got corned beef and roast beef, and then we got a side of chili-cheese fries to share. And yes, the sandwiches really look like this - and they're just as good as they look.

We also ate at Tom + Chee. I'm not sure how many franchises there are now of this place, but I sure do wish they'd move up the interstate a bit and find a home closer to Troy. They were on shark-tank (and Amazing Eats, and Man vs Food), a bit ago and I think their business has boomed since then. None-the-less, their first home was right here. 

I had their original Tom + Chee sandwich, which had two types of cheese, diced tomatoes, and seasonings to boot. It was really to die for. I also had a cup of their orginal tomato soup which was so, so good - and perfect for dipping. Jeremy had some sort of 'spicy' sandwich which had jalapeno chips and meats on it. We also got a grilled cheese doughnut to share (because you just have to). It was very good as well...although, very interesting.

On our way home we stopped and paid the man that own the condo that we rent in Florida which means vacation is finally completely planned and paid for! We also got stuck in snow and it took us almost THREE hours to get home in the stuff. It was a very slow trip, but when we got home, we all felt refreshed and happy to have had a night away.

We have Sunday off to spend together as well, so it's back to clean-eating, and back to the usual. But that's okay!

Have a great Monday!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

A Valentine's Day Story

Jeremy and I originally planned to have our wedding on Valentine's Day. We were that couple who felt as if the entire world should share our love on the day that symbolizes love.

But, just like many other things in life: our wedding didn't quite go down the way we planned and we ended up being married on December 23rd (two days before Christmas and without no more than a week's notice) instead. We were okay with that, and given the choice now we would never have had it any other way.

Because there was very little notice for our wedding, we opted out of inviting anyone except immediate family and had our reception on Valentine's Day instead. It was very low-key: we ordered pizza and ate wedding cake and I made all the decorations myself. It was a great time shared with our family and friends.

Every Valentine's Day I look back on that day and smile, and I still brag that I'm one of few brides that got to wear her wedding dress twice.

But today I want to share a different story with you: the story of our wedding night (bow-chica-bow-wow - not). See that photo above? This photo was taken in the emergency room just hours after we said 'I do'.

My wonderful grandmother, who as many of you know is more like a mother, grandmother, and best friend to me, fell the night we were married (there was about 2 inches of ICE on the ground), busted her head, and had to have stitches almost directly after our wedding ceremony.

The kicker? She sat through our celebratory dinner (pizza, you see a trend here?) acting as if she was totally okay while holding a towel to her forehead. Immediately after we ate, my new husband and I insisted that we take her to the hospital. We were there the rest of the evening, arriving back at her home (and ours for the next few months) in the wee hours of the morning.

We were all exhausted.

I always get tickled thinking of us walking into the emergency room, me in my wedding gown, Jeremy in his tux, both with blood stains. The best part was that a nurse working that night gave us a sprig of real mistletoe that she had shot (apparently this is how it's done?) out of a tree. It still adorns the top of our tree every single Christmas.

I suppose I could get upset about spending our wedding night in the E.R., but to tell you the truth, I actually really loved it. Jeremy and I talked and laughed and joked about how we would tell our children one day about that night. And we did. And do.

Sometimes things don't go as planned, and in the end, you end up with a better memory than you could have ever even imagined.

Happy Valentine's Day, from us to you!

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Thursday, February 13, 2014


Hey! Look what I finally got up the nerve to do yesterday!

I absolutely love them!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's Just Who I Am

Have you ever wondered why some people are the way that they are?

Like, for instance: I am very old-fashioned in pretty much ALL ways. I cook, I clean, I sew, I craft, I crochet, and I believe in staying home with your kids if at all possible.

I try not to judge if you're not like me, but I am pretty much an odd-man out anymore.

This photo pretty much digs head-first into why I am the way that I am. And while it doesn't tell one exact story (well, it does, but I'm not going to tell it right now) it does say a lot about me.

I spent the majority of my childhood with old ladies.

Seriously. I fit right in too. I went on ladies retreats, volunteered at the nursing homes, was taught all there is to know about menopause, how to cook, make candies, and pray.

I enjoyed it and I still would, if I still had that opportunity.

It wasn't until I was in high school that I was part of a youth group, with, ya know...youth.

Love these guys! 

But I still never quite fit in the way that I did with the older bunch. It's shaped who I am today, many of my beliefs and way of life.

I still go once a week and visit my grandmother, and I often connect with her and can talk with her in a way that I have trouble with with others my age.

It's just who I am; and this picture explains it all.


Now go link up with The Girl Between the Lines link-up. The prompt this week is:  Share a photo & the story behind it!

Girl Between the Lines Link up

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