Thursday, January 31, 2013

goodies : inspiring quotes

Hi y'all! And welcome to the downhill part of the week. And lots all take a moment to be thankful for that. I've got a cold (that's my self-diagnosis anyway) and it's really zapping me. I slept a long time last night though so I'm feel better this morning. Which is good, because even though I'm on the downhill side of the week, I've still got a lot of things to do. Meeting/dinner tonight, decorating for a baby shower brunch tomorrow night, having the baby shower brunch Saturday morning, then maybe going to a birthday party Saturday evening. Just lots of stuff going on... lots of stuff. But, it's all good stuff and fun stuff so that's better than no stuff or bad stuff, right? How many times can I use "stuff" in a sentence? ;) 

Anyway, if you've been a long-time reader of the blog, you know that I love quotes. I do. I always have. I made this board back in high school with a piece of card board, wrapping paper and brightly-colored paper (see... I was crafting before crafting was cool) with all these inspirational quotes on it. It hung above my bed, (if I remember the next time I go home, I'll take a picture of it if it's still there) and I loved laying in bed and looking at it and dreaming about what my life would be like. 

Even though life didn't turn out any way that I had planned, it still turned out pretty amazing, and I still love a good quote. In fact, I think I need to make another quote board for my office now. ;) 

If you love quotes like I do, or are looking for a pretty print for a certain blank wall in your home that just needs... something... then may I interest you in some of these : 

be : inspired

These are all art prints that you can find on Etsy. I absolutely love these quotes. Most of the prints you find on Etsy are relatively inexpensive, and you can have them framed at a local craft store (I know Michael's and Hobby Lobby both do framing) for a relatively low price. So think about it... it might be just the thing you need above your desk to remind you to persevere, even when you're working so hard and things just aren't happening yet. Or to remind you that you are beautiful and loved and exquisite. And let's face it, we all need reminding of that every now and then, am I right?

Do you have any favorite quotes you'd care to share? 
Which one of the featured quotes do you love the most?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A 200+ Followers Giveaway! { closed }

Hi y'all! A couple weeks ago my little blog here hit a milestone! I'd been sitting in the 190's for number of GFC followers for what seemed like forever and finally we got over that 200 mark hurdle. YAY! Now of course, compared to the bigger blogs, that still might seem like small bananas. But it's still a milestone for me and for my little space in the cyber world. And I'm so thankful for all of you who read my blog and take the time to live a comment, or tweet me, or like a post on Facebook. It just gives me warm fuzzies every time it happens. 

So to say THANK YOU to all of you who are a part of my blogger heart, I'm offering an easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy giveaway. 

The prizes are : 

1 blue-ish/purple glitter clutch from Target (pictured below)
1 $15 Starbucks gift card (not pictured)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And that's it! Use as may of the available entries as you'd like. The giveaway ends 2/3 at midnight and the winner will be announced Monday, February 4th!!! 

Thanks again to everyone who makes this blogging world even more fun! I love you all! Now big group hug!!! :) 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

recipe : beef and veggie soup

Hi y'all! Today is day 9 of our Advocare diet. Which means we only have 1 more day of the "cleanse" phase, and then we start the burn phase. The daily pills, shakes, and drinks that we're taking really haven't been too big of an adjustment. Well, the fiber drink is terrible, but it's only for 6 days and only once a day at that. But I've come to really like the  meal replacement shakes and will be getting more of those even when we aren't doing the 24-Day Challenge. I definitely feel lighter, cleaner and healthier which is fantastic. And, even though we're not supposed to weigh except on certain days, I've weighed a couple of times and as of Sunday morning I was down 5 pounds. Woo-hoo! I'm excited for it to be over and see how many total inches I lose. :) 

Anyway, so lots of good things, and it hasn't been too difficult to incorporate this challenge into our daily lives. Except for the food. It's taken a lot more planning, thought and prep into preparing our meals than I expected. We can't have very much sodium, so that eliminated a lot of my pre-mixed spices. We can't have dairy (so no butter or creams), starches or carbs. Soooo... it's been interesting to find food that we really like to satisfy our cravings for the fatty savory food that we've been missing. 

One of my favorite foods, especially in the winter time is soups and stews. In fact, a new house doesn't feel like home until I've made a pot of beef and veggie soup in it. In the past, I've come to love my soup with beef stew meat (very fatty) and I open cans of all sorts of veggies, including corn and potatoes, and dump them in. I season it with a ton of stuff (all high in sodium) and end up with a delicious soup, that you think might be healthy, but really isn't. 

Which brings us to this post. Because Saturday I decided to make some soup and do it a new healthy way. And honestly, Joey and I loved it so much, I think we'll do the healthy soup from now on! And because I'm a giver... I wanted to share the recipe with y'all so you can have some "skinny soup". ;) It's packed with flavor, but not in sodium. It has tons of veggies, but no carbs. And it's made with mostly fresh veggies, instead of mostly canned veggies loaded with preservatives and who knows what. And it's made with lean meat, not fatty stew meat. Although honestly, you could skip the meat altogether and just do it vegetarian style. Seriously, it's that yummy. 

Ingredients : 
2 c. chopped baby carrots
3 c. chopped zucchini
1 lb. browned extra lean beef or turkey (optional) 
1 c. dehydrated minced onions 
1 1/2 c. chopped celery
1 can no salt-added green beans
2 cans no salt-added tomatoes
1 can of beans (I had to use ranch style beans because that's what I had, but next time I'm using kidney beans)
garlic powder
onion powder
sea salt
black pepper
and any other spices you might like

Directions : 
Brown the meat in a skillet. Add garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, black pepper, and I added some red chili powder for an added kick. 
Fill a pot 1/3 of the way full with water and put it over heat. 
Add all of your veggies and your browned meat to the pot. Add more water to make your pot 2/3-3/4 of the way full. 
Bring to a slow boil and then let it simmer for a couple of hours. 
I usually taste it a few times while it's simmering until I get the spices just right. Sometimes I add more chili powder, or sea salt, or garlic powder until it's juuuuust right. 
Eat it whenever you're ready. 

I let ours simmer half a day before taking it to a friend's house for dinner. It was thicker and more flavorful by then. We didn't eat it at all on Sunday, but we finished it off on Monday and by then it was almost like a chili! So yummy! I know some people like to be very precise when they cook and know exactly how much garlic powder and sea salt and stuff to add, but I like to add it as I go so I don't over use. 

Another great thing about this soup is you can use what veggies you have. Avoid potatoes and corn to keep out the starches, but if you have cabbage or bean sprouts, throw those in!

And speaking of soup...

What is your favorite soup or stew?

Monday, January 28, 2013

inspiration : toddler boy room makeover { fabric }

Hi y'all! Some of you might remember waaaaay back last May, when I revealed my inspiration board for BB's room makeover. At the time, I was really excited to make his room his own, and decorate it to my heart's content. But something I hadn't counted on, in all my excitement to share with you my inspiration board, was how worried I was about us not being able to keep BB. 

As most of you know, BB is one of our foster children. We've had him since October 2011 and we instantly fell in love with him. We hoped and prayed that we'd be able to keep him, but we always knew there was a possibility that we wouldn't be able to. That the court would send him back to his mother, and out of our lives forever. So, this cloud of uncertainty hung over me, and even though I wanted his room decorated and to be his, I was so afraid I would get it done, and then lose him. And then I would never be able to go in that room again knowing everything in it was done just for him. So I just kept putting things off. 

Last summer we got McCrae and we had to paint his room immediately since it was 3 shades of pink when we got him. A couple months later, we finally took the plunge and painted BB's room too. I told Joey that if we ended up losing BB (since we had the hearing in August), we would just move McCrae into his room and help ease the emptiness of that room. 

I don't think I ever realized how psychological decorating can be until this passed year. 

Well, long story short, and really, this is already getting longer than I'd plan, BB is not officially ours yet, but he's with us right now, and I would say we're 99% sure that we'll get to adopt him and keep him forever. Of course, there's still a chance, but it's a very slim chance, and the caseworkers tell us not to worry about it because there are no grounds on which to overturn the judge's ruling. 

So... I'm trying to put all uncertainties, doubts, and worries behind me, and go ahead and finish decorating BB's room. I've already made some progress : I have hung up two shelves, completed one of his decorations, replaced light switches, and one outlet. I still have to : hang one more shelf, do more decorations, replace three more outlets, and do all the fabric stuff. Which is really why I'm writing this post anyway. Haha... Yeah.... allllll of that up there ^ just to let you know that I've finally purchased the fabric for BB's room and wanted to share it with you. 

But first, here's a refresher of BB's room makeover inspiration board : 

BB's bedroom makeover

The inspiration is still pretty much the same, which is great because I usually change my mind a million times, but this time I still love absolutely everything. It took forever to find the right fabric for his room. Seriously, it's hard to find cute, but non-girly fabric. I found the perfect fabric on I've been checking it several times a month, but still wasn't taking the leap to purchase it because we didn't have the money, or we were about to go on a trip, or buying Christmas presents, or whatever the case may be. But I checked the site again yesterday and guess what... it was ON SALE!!! It was like a sign from the fabric heavens that I needed to buy it. So I did. 

Here's the fabric inspiration board : 

I'm making curtains, 2 fitted sheets, 1 quilt, 1 large pillow, and 2 decorative pillows.

And here's what I'll be doing with the various fabrics : 

1. One large pillow and quilt blocks.
2. One fitted sheets and quilt blocks.
3. One decorative pillow and quilt blocks.
4. Curtains and quilt blocks. 
5. One fitted sheets and quilt blocks. 
6. One decorative pillow and quilt blocks. 
7. Quilt blocks.
8. Quilt blocks. 
9. Quilt blocks. 
10. The quilt backing and quilt blocks. 
11. Quilt blocks. 
12. Quilt blocks. 

I definitely feel like I may be in over my head with these projects, but I can tackle them one at a time, and I have plenty of help from my mom and ladies at church if I need it. Which... I probably will... haha. I'm not a skilled seamstress, but I have made quilts, curtains, and pillows before. Fitted sheets will be a completely new experience, but I'm confident that I can figure it out. 

And I'm hoping this works out... because I already ordered the fabric for McCrae's room as well. EEK! When I take a leap, I really take a leap!! Haha! And I'll share the fabric and new inspiration board for McCrae's room later. 

So that's what I did on my Friday night, what do you think of my choices?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

sunday social { 3 }

Hi y'all! Wow!! What a fun-packed weekend it's been! Friday night I bought fabric to go towards my goals of finishing up the boys' rooms this year. I'll show you the fabric for BB's room tomorrow. :) Yesterday I made a pot of amazing healthy soup (recipe to come soon) and last night we had Outpour at a friend's house. So much fun!

Today was Family Day at church so we had our monthly potluck which is always yummy (but not as yummy when you're dieting) and lots of fun. And now, we have the rest of the day off to spend time together. And to top off such a great weekend, I'm linking up with Ashley and Neely again for Social Sunday because it's just been so much to join in!

Sunday Social

So let's get started!

What is your ideal way to relax?
I don't think I have an ideal way to relax, but some of my favorite ways are having some crafty time by myself, curling up with the hubby and watching a movie, and recently, I've discovered how relaxing it can be to take a bath

An instagram pic of one of my crafty times. 
You can follow me on IG at reginakayxo

Where is your favorite place to be?
Umm... I'm going to say anywhere with my family. That's my sappy but true answer. And my other answer is in the mountains. We go to the mountains several times a year, and it's wonderful to be around the trees and getting to hike... or ride around in fun little car things. 

Who do you consider your biggest role model?
This is an easy question... my Granny! 

What does your life look like in 3 years?
Oh gosh.... well.... being in ministry and foster care, our lives can completely flip flop at the drop of a hat. But all things considered, I see us having two sweet little boys that still feel our home with love and laughter, being more financially secure, living a healthier life-style, and maybe having a girl on the way or already here. ;) Hey, a girl can hope right? Besides, I need a little girl or two to help me balance out all these boys! haha... 

If you could go back and change one decision what would it be?
I would have made college more of a priority instead of working so much. 

What is your biggest accomplishment in life thus far?
I would have to say my family, since that encompasses my marriage and our two little foster boys that will hopefully both soon be our forever boys. :) I know a lot of people didn't think Joey and I would make it, and here we are still going strong, and also providing a safe, loving home to two precious little boys who needed it the most. 

And that wraps up this week's Sunday Social. Thanks everyone for stopping by! :) 

And a little preview of what's on the blog menu this week : 

♥ The fabric I bought for BB's room and a refresher of his room makeover inspiration board. 
♥ A recipe for healthy, tasty soup. 
♥ The fabric I bought for McCrae's room and an updated room makeover inspiration board. 
♥ And more!!

Care to share any of your answers for the above questions?

Friday, January 25, 2013

recipe : cauliflower poppers

Hi y'all! Well, as you know if you've been reading my blog any this week, Joey and I are on a new diet. We started the Advocare 24 Day Challenge on Monday and while it's definitely had it's moments (ugh... that fiber drink!) it really has been easier than I thought it would be. And, I am actually feeling better. I'm feeling lighter, healthier, and just more cleansed I guess you would say. Which is good since we're still on the 10-Day cleanse part of the challenge. 

Food wise, it hasn't been too hard to follow the diet. But something that I'm really craving is potatoes.... good ol' nature's sugar! I just want to dive head first into Scrooge McDuck's swimming pool filled with french fries instead of gold coins. [Seriously, one of my nicknames in high school was 'Tater' for a reason... true story.] So while I'm day-dreaming about french fry swimming pools, I remembered another bloggy friend of mine who does no-carb foods and at some point I saw her do baked cauliflower and claim they tasted like tater tots. With me needing potatoes, and needing them now, I looked up her recipe and tried it out. With my own variations of course. So here's my take on Cauliflower Poppers, adapted from Delighted Momma's recipe

What you need : 
extra virgin olive oil
seasonings of your choice

Directions : 
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
2. Wash cauliflower, cut off the stem and any leaves. 
3. Chop or break the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. 
4. Place in a mixing bowl and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. (You only want it to be lightly coated so just add a little at a time.)
5. I added garlic powder, sea salt (also healthy), chopped dehydrated chives, and black pepper. 
6. Mix with a spatula adding more oil if needed.
7. Bake for 1 hour, turning twice. You want a nice brown coating over most of the cauliflower. 

And that's it! I had these with and without ketchup and they were delicious either way, thanks to all the seasonings. You could even make them spicy by adding creole seasoning, or some crushed red pepper flakes. 

Although I wouldn't say they taste exactly like tater tots, they are definitely really close! And they are soooo much healthier than eating potatoes (I'm so sad to say that actually), so it's a fantastic alternative while we're on our Advocare 24 Day Challenge. And this is something I'll make even in the future when we're not on a diet. I definitely feel like we're headed towards a healthier lifestyle which means healthier food. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

fashion : high-fashioned disney princesses

Hi y'all! Yesterday evening I was perusing around Pinterest, I found this awesome pin of high-fashioned Disney princesses. Of course, being the Disney lover that I am, my heart went pitter-patter and I swooned over the girls in these fancy dresses from Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Versace and more. 

And I just had to come share that with you! 

Okay, are those not amazing?!? I love the dresses, but I also love the photography work of each piece. Amazing!!! I used to watch America's Next Top Model all the time, until I had watched every season except the current one, and then the regulars started leaving and I just couldn't take it anymore. Anyway, Joey hated when I watched it because it was usually a marathon on Saturday and Sunday and I would watch it while I was cleaning. But I loved the show! I thought the drama was hilarious, but more so, I just couldn't wait to see the end photograph after whatever fabulous photo shoot they had that episode. Seeing the backdrops, the makeup and the costume, and then seeing the end result of this stunning photograph, that's really why I loved the show so much. It inspired me. And all these high-fashioned Disney princesses is exactly the kind of thing they would have on America's Next Top Model. 

I know, that might be a silly place to draw inspiration from, but sometimes those are the best places! Do you have any off-the-wall places from which you draw inspiration?

Also, who's your favorite princess from the one's above? I typically say Ariel is my favorite, but for these pictures, I'm having a hard time choosing between Rapunzel and Belle. 

Advocare Diet Update : So far, it hasn't been as bad as I thought. I'm not hungry, but I'm still craving foods like potatoes, cereal, cheese, and CHOCOLATE! And really, my problem when I'm not dieting is not that I'm hungry all the time, my problem is that I eat even when I'm not hungry. But I have been chewing a lot of gum which helps, and am actually surprised that I haven't been getting terrible headaches from the lack of caffeine. Oh that's right, did I not tell you? We can't have any caffeine on this diet, which means no coffee. Ugh! But, like I said, it's actually not been as bad as I thought, and with all the other stuff I have to drink in the morning, I don't really want coffee. We're not supposed to weigh except on certain days, but I went ahead and weighed yesterday and was down 4 pounds. Now, I'm not getting too excited because I'm sure my weight will fluctuate a lot over the next 21 days that we have left of this, BUT still, I still have to be a little proud of myself that things are working and maybe, just maybe, I'll hit my goal of being 20 pounds lighter by the end of this. 

Also, I do feel better. I feel more energetic, I just feel like I'm cleaner on the inside. Lighter and healthier, maybe? Anyway, it feels good, and today we're on the 4th day so we still have a ways to go, but it's getting easier every day. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

goodies : sparkles and glitter

Hi y'all! Happy Tuesday!!

I don't know whose idea was it take simple figurines and completely glitterize them, but that idea is FANTASTIC! Seriously, there's just something magical about sparkles and glitter that make my 5 year-old self come alive and I'm ready to glitterize everything. Nothing can be too sparkly for me. Am I right?

And with sparkles and glitter on the brain, here are a few items from Etsy that are really speaking to me : 

just sparkle

1) An awesome glitter rhino! Is that too girly for a boy's room, because the color is perfect for BB's room. Maybe sooo.... 2) I grew up in a hunting family so it was nothing for their to be animal heads (or bodies) on the wall. But this faux taxidermy that WhiteFauxTaxidermy is doing... GENIUS! Like, I want one in my office because they're that stinkin' awesome! 3) Just a t-rex... being all glam. He's obviously ready for the Oscars. 4) Glittery elephant buddies. Where is my glittery buddy? I am now taking applications for a glittery buddy. Leave your application in the comments. ;) 

Aren't those awesome!?! Yeah, I know, glitter gets a bad rep as the herpes of the craft world, but those people just haven't connected with their inner diva. And are probably too particular about cleanliness. 

I say glitter it! Make it sparkle! And if all else fails.... 

{ image source : TessylaPrints }

Diet update : The fiber drink really is as awful as everyone said it was. BLEGH! It's supposed to be citrus-flavored and is one of those instances when you probably shouldn't give something a "flavor" and instead just let people dive right in without warning. If you're envisioning orange juice or lemon, it's not that. I don't even know what the flavor really tastes like. And the consistency is like saw dust with water. So far I've only gagged once each morning, so that's saying something right? I'm really not hungry, but that has never stopped me before from wanting to eat. SO that's still a challenge. Only one more day of the fiber drink and then I get a break for a few days. Definitely looking forward to that. And also looking forward to Day 11 when I get to weigh in again... I'm hoping all this is going to be worth it. But I have to say, this morning I already felt better. I just felt... lighter... maybe less bloated? I don't know, but I felt good. So if nothing else, that's a good thing!

And back to the original topic....

Are you pro-glitter, or anti-glitter?

Monday, January 21, 2013

the start of a diet

Hi y'all! Well, today is d-day. Joey and I start our new diet today. We're doing the Advocare 24 Day challenge and today is Day 1. We start off with a 10 day cleanse that rids our bodies of toxins and build-up, and then we do a 14 day burn and refuel where we replenish our bodies of the nutrients and vitamins that we need. People we know have done this with amazing results, and Joey finally decided that we should do it as well.  I have to admit, I don't like shakes or pills and the first 10 days is all about shakes and pills. We get to eat other things too, we're not just living off of shakes. 

We've done our weigh-in and all of our measurements, and we won't weigh and measure again until Day 11, soooo I'll give you an update then to let you know how it's going. I've set a goal for me to lose 20 pounds during this challenge. From what I've heard of others' results, that's a very reasonable goal. I'm hoping that by the end of this I'll be a few inches smaller, a few pounds lighter, and a lot healthier. 

I have to say, the shakes... not so great. The fiber drink was as terrible as everyone said it was. And the meal replacement shake didn't taste too bad, but it was thick. I don't like thick drinks... blegh. BUT, it should be worth it to have a healthier me. And I've been looking up a lot of new recipes for us to try and maybe incorporate into our regular meal rotation. Things that involve less flour, potatoes and processed foods. 

I've heard this saying over and over the past year or so, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." I guess we're going to find out if that's really true.

What do you think?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

sunday social { 2 }

Sunday Social

Hi y'all! I enjoyed linking up for the Sunday Social so much last week, I decided to do it again! This week's topic is all about 3's... and I have to admit, it got tougher as I went.

1. Top 3 favorite kinds of food. 

Duh. This one's easy. Mexican, American, and Italian. 

2. First 3 things I do in the morning. 

Also easy... hit snooze, hit snooze, and hit snooze. Done and done! 

Haha... but really, am I right? Beyond that it's usually see if Joey's still in bed or not, check my phone, and put on my glasses. 

3. Last 3 things I do at night. 

Take off my glasses, play games on my phone for a while, put my extra pillow in the floor. 

4. 3 TV shows I NEVER miss. 

5. 3 places I want to visit. 

I'm just going to put Europe since it's pretty much all-encompassing of so many countries I want to visit. Also, New Zealand, and all of the United States. 

6. 3 people I can always count on.

This is my toughest one.... and in my mind I'm having to put little asterisks beside each one for one reason or another, but I'll say Joey, Papa and Candace. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

weekly loves : january { week 3 }

Hi y'all! Wow... what a week. Did you know that Monday was Blue Monday? Evidently, it's the most depressive day of the year. The holiday decorations are down, families are gone, the holiday bills are coming in, resolutions are already broken, and all in all, it's just a bummer of a day. Weird huh? This week, my Monday wasn't so bad. I went to the doctor and got some meds for this coughing thing that's been going on with me, and my internet was down all day so I couldn't work. Instead, I just got to be productive around the house, and watched some tv... not too shabby. Take that Blue Monday! If only the rest of my week could have been as good.... 

I don't know what happened with the rest of the week... it just didn't realize that Monday was the only day allowed to be a bummer. Soooo... glad it's Friday, and the weekend is ahead, and that today is a new day that I haven't messed up yet. Am I right? Don't you feel like that sometimes too?

But even with a slightly downer of a week, there are still some things that I loved about it... 

I love movie nights with the hubby. Seriously? I love putting the kiddos in bed, curling up on the couch for a couple hours, munching on popcorn and getting lost in a movie. And sometimes "secret texting" a friend your most awesome of ideas, am I right Ashley? ;) haha! 

I love Valentine's Day and all the lovey dovey stuff that comes with it. I've always loved V-Day, but every year I seem to get more and more into each holiday that comes around. Monday, when I couldn't work, I took advantage of two napping boys and caught up on Grey's Anatomy and strung these hearts on some pretty ribbon and hung them in my kitchen window. You can actually order your own hearts from my dear friend Lindsay. They are awesome and you can do SOO many things with them. I used to have a most lovely little blue spruce (aptly named Bruce) in the front yard of our old home that I would decorate for various holidays and seasons, but here, I don't have a Bruce, so I had to come up with a different way to hang my pretty little hearts. 

I love getting to spend time with friends! Wednesday evening I did NOT feel like cooking, so we went to Lalito's for dinner. While there we met up with some friends and got to catch up with them while eating. They'd been gone on vacation for the past week, so it was good to visit with them again. 

Let's be clear, I do not love cough syrup. At all! It's usually a fight between Joey and I when I have to take it. He thinks I'm being a wuss, I think he isn't being very sympathetic and loving. But, the first morning after taking Nyquil.... ohhh.. I loved that! I hadn't slept so well in I don't know how long! So good for you Nyquil, good for you for not being 100% terrible. And I love you for that. 

I love (and kinda hate) how big the boys are getting. BB wants to do everything and it's kinda awesome how much he can do, and also mind-boggling to think of how fast he's developing now. 

I love Indian Tacos!!! I used to get them at least once a year at our annual Choctaw Pow-Wow (yep, that's a real thing) (oh, and yes, I am part Choctaw, even though I don't look it) but I haven't had one in probably 6-7 years. So I decided to just make some. Last night I made the fry bread and gathered the fixin's and mmmmm... it was delicious!

Those are just some of the things that I love this week... what do you love this week?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

fashion : sweater? I don't even know her!

Hi y'all! For the passed couple of weeks it's actually been winter here in west Texas. The roller coaster weather of "fall" is over, and it's been consistently cold. It won't last long, though, and soon we will be see-sawing with the weather into spring. But right now, with the cold days and the frigid nights, all I want to wear is sweaters. 

And here are some really cute ones that I found that I wouldn't mind having :

sweater? I don't even know her!

I'm especially digging the heart ones. Right now, I just want to live in my leggings, and some cute long sweaters would be perfect for making that happen. ;) Plus, with Valentine's Day on its way, tis the season for wearing hearts, right?

And I don't know why I kept drifting towards that coral color, I can't even wear orangey colors. But, I thought I'd keep them. In case you could wear them. And they sure would brighten up your wintery days! 

What is your favorite thing to wear right now?

P.S. - I'm bringing back the bloggy button ad swap! If you're a blogger who would like to swap buttons with me, leave a comment letting me know. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

goodies : bath time

One of my goals for 2013 is to try new things. Some of the things I'm trying aren't ground-breaking or earth-moving. Some of them are as simple as taking a bath. Yep... that easy. 

Up until a week or so ago, I probably hadn't taken a bath in 2-3 years. I just always found the experience to be.... disappointing. Just not really enjoyable. My friend Amanda is a huge lover of bath time. I don't know how many times she's told me about falling asleep in the bathtub. I was always shocked by these tales. I just couldn't imagine enjoying a bath so much that I actually fell asleep.

I always felt like Buddy the Elf....

.... only in the bath tub, not the shower. 

But, a couple weeks ago, after working a long day, I was cold, tired, and probably a little stressed, and I decided to try something sort of new... and give bath time another try. 

I loved it. 

It was relaxing to let Joey watch the kids for about 30 minutes, sit in a hot, bubbly bath tub, and just sit in the silence, without someone talking to me, asking me questions, wanting me to do something, or needing me. I soaked, I scrubbed, and when I felt like I had finally unwound a bit, I was ready to get out, join the rest of the house, and help Joey get the boys ready for bed. 

Later that week, I took another bath. Then on a grocery run, I picked up some bubble bath, sugar scrub, and foot scrubber thingies and took another bath. Last week, I took a couple more baths. I'm really loving this new "me-time" for unwinding and relaxing.

It's absolutely necessary for me to take some time for myself. I don't think there's any person out there that doesn't need a little "me-time" every now and then. It's necessary to have time to reflect on the good things in my life, let go of the stresses, and just sit in silence. Any mom can tell you how golden silence really is. And maybe you need to take some time for yourself too?

Here are some amazing items that I've got my eye on for future purchases when I need new bath time goodies : 

unwind : bath time goodies

Aren't those great? A rice eye mask - I love that you can stick it in the microwave for hot, or the freezer for cold. Whichever you might need at that time. Sugar scrub - I'm new to the bath goodies world, but oh my heavens... sugar scrub is awesome!! Bath salts - The only bath salts I've used have been menthol/eucalyptus ones for relieving sinus pressure, but these sounds wonderful. And a candle - I haven't done the whole candle-lit bath time thing, but maybe I'll give that a try sometime. Maybe that's how Amanda falls asleep in the tub!

Are you a bath time kind of gal? Or are you strictly showers? 

What kind of things do you do to unwind?

Monday, January 14, 2013

better your marriage

Now is the time of the year when people all over are making their new year's resolutions. Some have already made theirs. And yes, some, have already broken theirs. I used to make resolutions, then I'd break them within a matter of weeks... days. Then I made silly resolutions I knew I could keep. Then I made a resolution to not make any more resolutions. Then, a little over a year ago, I made a decision. To not just make new year's resolutions, but to set goals for myself every year. And while working to meet those goals throughout the year, I would end up learning more about myself, and also bettering myself. And when you are working to better yourself, it often spills over into your relationships... including your marriage. 

Last month, Joey and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary. 6 years. When we got married, lots of people didn't even give us 6 months. But here we are, 6 years later, still going strong. During the past 6 years we have had many ups and downs as any couple does, and there have been times when the only reason we stayed together is because we loved God more than each other. We were more committed to God, the covenant we entered in with God, and the vows we made before Him, than we were to each other. Thankfully, that commitment and love for God, has gotten us through a lot of rocky times. And thankfully, those times do not come around like they used to. And now, our love continues to grow for each other, and each year and each month, things get better and better. 

Now we don't worry so much about getting through those rocky times like we used to, but we worry about falling into the rut of marriage. We've realized at times that we've slipped more into a Roommate Marriage than anything else. We're in the same house, but we're both busy with kids, projects, work stuff, kids, running the house, and in doing so, we can lose the romance we had for each other. One of us recognizes it, usually because of an argument discussion and then we work on it. We start doing the little things that each of us needs to feel that romance and to keep that spark alive. 

In the second half of 2012, we watched two movies that made us reevaluate our marriage and taking some steps to better our marriage. 

The first movie we watched was Hope Springs. Hope Springs is about a middle-aged, empty-nest couple who attend an intense, week-long marital counseling session to work on their relationship. It had funny moments, sad moments, and just like any marriage, also awkward moments. I always enjoy a more real interpretation of marriage from Hollywood, and this had it. And it made me really think about what our marriage would be like if we just kept living in our Roommate Marriage. And I don't want a marriage like that. 

Within a couple weeks of watching Hope Springs, we also watched The Vow. Based on a true story, The Vow is about a happily married couple who are in a car wreck and when the wife wakes up from her coma she thinks she is living her life several years earlier, before she met her husband, and when she was still in love with her ex. The movie is heart-wrenchingly romantic and follows her husband trying to make her fall back in love with him. I loved the vows they made to each other at the very beginning, and I loved so many of the lines throughout the movie when the husband is talking about his love for his wife. And when the movie was over, it made me want to renew mine and Joey's vows and really say something from the heart, something we would remember, instead of the traditional vows we used. (Not that those aren't important mind you, but, hopefully you understand what I'm saying...)

After watching those two movies, Joey and I started actively pursuing each other romantically. We left notes for each other, we spoke words of encouragement and affirmation. I started really working on how I spoke to Joey and not talking condescendingly or overly criticizing him. Joey worked on listening to me more, and actively involving me in the conversation. And then, on a whim, but in a moment of absolute genius, we bought a small dry erase board for the refrigerator. 

Inspired by the movies we had just seen, we started off making vows to each other : 

It's such an easy task. It takes just a few seconds to write something. Being on the refrigerator means we see it over and over again every day. And it's a perfect reminder that if we don't want a Roommate Marriage, we need to be actively working to fulfill the needs (emotional, physical, spiritual) of each other. And these little notes, that take so little time to write, really started to mean a lot to me. 

Then, in November, inspired by my daily thanksgiving posts on FB, we wrote things we were thankful for in each other : 

And when November was over, we decided to to write things we would work on : 

Right now, Joey's got a scripture up there, but with Valentine's Day approaching, we will soon be writing love notes or things we love about each other on the board. 

Like I said, it's an easy task, and it seems so simple, but it really has come to mean a lot to me. And don't think that men don't want to receive any love notes. Words of affirmation and encouragement are very important to men. Let them know that you appreciate them making coffee for you, or filling up your gas tank, or watching the kids while you go on a solo grocery shopping experience (that's heavenly right?)... or that they are really great at making spaghetti, or playing with the kids, or moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer. Whatever it is... your husband will love to hear it. 

We've got 1 month until Valentine's Day.... don't sit back and wait for your husband to make all the plans and provide all the sparks and romance. Try leaving him at least 2 notes of affirmation and encouragement every week. Just two. OR... buy a dry erase board to leave the notes on throughout the day/week. You might be surprised how quickly he responds with notes of his own. And even if he doesn't, that's okay. It's not about doing this to get something back, it's about doing this expecting nothing back. Just doing it for him, to show him you care. To shake things up. To ward off the Roommate Marriage. 

What things do you do to ward off a Roommate Marriage? 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

sunday social { 1 }

Sunday Social

Hi y'all! My friend Ashley has been doing this really fun link-up on her blog for a while now, but I've never taken the time to participate. Since she's going back to the beginning with the topics this week, I thought it would be a perfect time for me to jump right in there. So welcome to my first Sunday Social, linking up with Ashley and Neely. 

1. What is the name of your blog? How long have you been blogging?
Live Delightfully. I got it from one of my favorite verses in the Bible, Psalm 37:4. 
 I've been blogging since August 2009, so this August, I'll be celebrating my 4 year blogoversary. Wow... I hadn't even thought about that, but I guess I should do something really awesome to celebrate!

2. Why do you blog?
I started out blogging when I started my Etsy shop. I had read forum after forum about how I should blog about my Etsy shop and items, but it didn't take very long before my posts had very little to do with my Etsy shop, and more to do with my projects, various writings, and just anything else that came to mind. I've always loved to write, and my blog became the perfect outlet for me to share my writings. 

3. What is the first blog you ever followed?
I think one of the first blogs I ever followed was Wise Impressions... which isn't even around anymore.

4. What is your favorite post you wrote in 2012?
One of my favorite posts of 2012, also happens to be one of my first posts of 2012. I wrote about my secret war with PCOS, and about how we all have secret wars that we are fighting. 

5. What are your blogging goals for 2013?
I really haven't sat down and wrote out any of my blogging goals for 2013. But off the top of my head, I have to say... growing my blog more, I'd like to reach a couple more milestones in the number of followers and readers, I'd like to write more posts about my life. 

6. Name your top 3 favorite blogs.
Gosh, this is such a hard one... I've got so many blog that I just LOVE to read! 

I'd have to say that MADE is definitely one of my favorites. I always get soooo inspired by what Dana has to blog about. 

Delightfully Noted is another favorite. Jennifer and I are so much alike. We're like bloggy BFFs who share the same humor (as weird as it is at times) and love for pretty things. 

And I'm going with Henry Happened because Stephanie and I are in the same boat. Busy moms, who just want to be fashionable and stylish on a tight budget. And who love to DIY more than any person should... ;) haha!

So there you have it! My first Sunday Social link-up with Ashley and Neely and you should totally go link up too... lots of fun had by all!

And, because I love finding new blogs, go ahead and tell me your three favorite blogs!