Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Win It Wednesday! : the reveal

Hi y'all! It's Wednesday, and so far, this week is being much better towards me. Of course, there's still a couple more days to go, but maybe I'll make it after all. ;) This morning I made muffins for breakfast (from a mix, don't think I'm Betty Crocker over here) and wow! Few things bring back the comfortable and warm fuzzy feelings of being at my grandparents' house as quickly as the smell of food. Especially food like Granny cooked, who also made muffins from a mix. The kitchen has the wonderful aroma of berry muffins and coffee and it's a most glorious way to start the day!

And to keep that glorious feeling going, how about I give something away? Awesome!

The winner (according to Rafflecopter) of the wonderfully chic and incredibly useful yellow chevron clutch is.........
Stephanie Brockhouse with her entry of following @reginakayxo on Twitter!

Congrats Stephanie!! :) 

Email me at livedelightfully (at) yahoo [dot] com with your address and I'll get your prize in the mail soon! 

For everyone else... thank you for entering! I hope you're liking this new blog series so far. I know there have been only two giveaways so far, but there are many more planned for you. In fact, come back next Wednesday to see the new prize that will be up for grabs!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

girl nursery decor : for ashlynn

Hi y'all! With 3 boys, I'm missing out on all things frilly, ruffly, and girly. Would I trade my boys for a girl? Nope! But it sure would be nice to have a little girly stuff around sometime. 

One of our awesome couple friends (You know, those friends where the husbands are friends who talk often and the wives are the same? Not the business where the wives are friends but the husbands don't really know each other or vice versa.) recently found out they are having a little girl. Since Hillary is probably suffering from pregnancy brain and knows I have been itching to design a girl's nursery, she contacted me Friday evening about putting something together for them. HOORAY!!! 

Hillary has already picked out the bedding and furniture, but didn't really know where to go after that. Back when I painted chevron stripes in one of our boys' rooms she loved it! She also said she didn't really want pink because it was "too overdone". Totally understand that. Hillary knows I've been redoing our master bedroom in peacock colors and said she liked those... so I took alllllll of that information, plus my own creative liberties, and put together four, yes FOUR, inspiration boards for her. Because I just couldn't help myself. I NEED SOME GIRLYNESS Y'ALL! lol. 

So here we go: 

Ashlynn 1: bold and dramatic

Okay, I know Hillary said she didn't want pink and purple because they are "too overdone" but come on, how can you deny a girl who looks at blues, trucks, and dirt all the time to not put together a little "girly" board? Haha. For this board I stepped away from the typical light pinks and purples and went for a bolder magenta, paired with a dramatic neon purple. The effect is a more sophisticated pairing of the two colors and definitely makes a room that a girl can grow up in. Pastels for a baby are fine, but by the time they're 2 or 3, you'll be over it. These colors, I don't think she'll outgrow for several years. 

I mimicked the fancy look of the damask bedding with a chandelier, a scroll-style frame, and lots of fun textures that add an air of fanciness to them such as that textured valance and satiny pillow in the rocking chair. All in all... this room hit the spot for sophisticated girlyness with it's bold and dramatic colors, textures, and patterns.  

Ashlynn 2:bright and fun

At one point Hillary asked what I thought about doing a chevron wall with different colors for each chevron. I told her I thought it would be too busy with the bedding she picked out, but I do love a good chevron. So for this board I used a softer, more subtle chevron where you use a neutral color for all four walls, then a lighter shade of that neutral for the chevron stripes. Subtle, but brilliant. But to create a more bright and fun nursery I went with shades of teal/turquoise, pink and purple, accented with black and white to go with the bedding. Wall art can be customized for quotes that are meaningful to Hillary and Jeremy, and can be made to fit the color scheme of the room. Perfect all around. 

Going with neutral (but nicely done) walls, Jeremy and Hillary can easily update this room with new, fresh colors as Ashlynn grows and starts having her own opinions of colors. 

And now... here's where I kind of went overboard. The next two boards aren't really done with the colors Hillary talked to me about, but I just couldn't help myself. 

Jeremy and Hillary are HUGE Disney fans. They've been to Disneyland... Disneyworld... uh oh... I'm going to be in trouble for this one... they've been to a Disney amusement park several times and it's a big part of who they are. They are also fans of the University of Oklahoma (BOOMER!) and so I thought maybe some crimson and cream plus Disney flair could create a perfect nursery. And boy did it!

Ashlynn 3: Disney-inspired

Blacks, whites, reds are such a perfect combination. I love them! With some subtle horizontal (or vertical) stripes, I think this room would be a great place to grow up. And little Ashlynn would always associate the color combination with comfort and shelter... just like OU and Disneyland. ;) Haha.

And then I decided to go a little wild.... ;)

Ashlynn 4: all things shnazzy

Eggplant and chartreuse were the two colors I went with for this board. Something with flair and vibrance to really make a nursery shnazzy. You definitely wouldn't look at this board and think typical nursery. And that's what makes me love it so much! I just knew I was going to love the dark purples and dark pinks of the 1st board, but now I'm completely smitten with this one. 

So which do you like best? Do you like "typical" nursery colors or do you like going outside of the box with something more bold and daring?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday Social! Yes, I know it's Monday... don't judge!

Hi y'all! I've had two pretty grueling weeks at work the past two weeks so let me just start with a request...

Dear Work Week, 

Be good to me. I'm a good worker and I've been really pushed to the limit these past two weeks. Be gentle this week. I don't know if my brain can handle another stressful, grueling week. 


In regards to work this week, I'm going to include this in my signature for my work emails because seriously, my brain is almost fried at this point. 

Okay, now that that is out of the way let's get down to the fun stuff. Forever ago I used to participate occasionally in my friend Ashley's Sunday Social. I haven't in forever but it's Monday, it's time for some fun girl talk on this blog, let's do it. And yes, I know I'm doing Sunday Social on a Monday but hey, there's no room for judgement on this blog. So here we go!

How old were you when you started wearing makeup?
There was never a time where my parents were like, here, let's get you some makeup because you're old enough to wear it. My step-mom did not want me wearing makeup. One time when I was in junior high or early high school, my Granny bought me tinted chapstick and my step-mom made me throw it out because I was too young to wear makeup. By my junior year of high school, pretty much every other girl was wearing makeup but me. I had some makeup saved up from somewhere and I would take it to my grandparents in the morning, put a little makeup on, and go to school. Finally Granny pulled me to the side and said she knew what I was doing and that I probably shouldn't since my step-mom didn't like me wearing makeup. I was upset, but I obeyed. Then the summer between my junior and senior year my uncle was getting married and I wanted to wear makeup. So I bought some and started wearing it. It's a big deal because I have blond eyelashes so to go from blond eyelashes to black eyelashes with mascara is a pretty noticeable change. But no one said much of anything. No one said "you look great" but no one said "go wash your face" either. So I just kept it up. 

My basketball picture my junior year. See? No makeup at all. 

My senior year at basketball homecoming with makeup. I look like a totally different person. 

What are your top 3 favorite beauty products?

My Naked 2 palette, Maybelline full-n-soft waterproof mascara, and chapstick. 

What is one makeup product you don't leave home without?
That's easy, mascara. I am NEVER without mascara. Even if I take a shower at night and some of my mascara comes off I will reapply my mascara before going to bed. Seriously. Never, ever, ever without it. And I always buy an extra as soon as I empty a tube because I don't ever want to lose it or run out and not have an extra. 

What is your daily beauty routine?
I don't go that crazy with makeup. On a regular day I just wear mascara, sometimes some eyeliner, and moisturizer. If I'm going to put on more makeup I go with foundation, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, bronzer and blush. And always chapstick or some kind of lipstick. I'm also a regular face-washer. Whether I wear makeup that day or not, I always wash my face at night. Always. 

What is your favorite hair/makeup product that you've discovered in the last year?
This was a tough one because after reading Ashley's post I wanted to say my hair wand because I absolutely love it! BUT... I'm going to have to go with my Naked 2 palette. I can seriously throw away all other eye shadows that I own because that's the only eye shadow I use now. I do want the Naked 3 palette since it introduced some new colors, but if I were going to be stranded on a dessert island and could only take a limited amount of makeup (hey, this is my hypothetical scenario, no judging!) then I would be totally happy with just my Naked 2. 

Here's a picture of me wearing eye shadow from my Naked 2 palette but also with my hair done by my hair wand. So see... it's a good picture because it really shows both of my loves. ;) { And just in case you are that curious about my hair wand, I went with a Remington hair wand that I got at Target. It was like $30 so not a huge financial burden if you want to try it out. I absolutely LOVE mine. }

Alrighty, that wraps up this week's Sunday Social. It's a fun way to get to know other bloggers so feel free to join in. You are welcome to use this week's questions, or get your post ready for next week by visiting Ashley's blog and getting a sneak peek at next week's questions. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Why I switched back to Gain...

Hi y'all! Happy Friday! At the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 Pinterest (and even Facebook) was blowing up with DIY Laundry Detergent recipes. I read several blogs about them and they all swore that it smelled great, really worked, and the big kicker... that it would give you an entire year's worth of laundry detergent for only $30. 

Since I'm always looking for new ways to save money I thought this sounded great! Let's give it a try. So I made my own laundry detergent towards the end of 2012. I actually wrote the date on my container so I would know if it really lasted a full year or not. 11/6/2012. I used a recipe similar to (or maybe it was exactly) this one, and there really are TONS of dry laundry detergent recipes on Pinterest. The total cost of the supplies was just over $30. Plus I purchased a container to mix and store it in so that was an additional $10-$15. I figured if I keep making this, I'm only going to buy the container once, so why not buy something easy to carry, with locking lids so the kids couldn't get into it. 

One afternoon while the kids were napping I got out all of the ingredients and went to work. It definitely wasn't hard to grate the soap and mix the ingredients. Would it smell good? I'm a big fan of smell good stuff so I purchased two bottles of the Purex crystals. And all of the blog posts were right, it did smell amazing! 

But would the kids be allergic to it? We don't typically have problems with kids breaking out from things, but when McCrae was an infant (as he would have been still in November 2012) we couldn't use lotions on him because it would break him out. So I washed a few items in the new detergent and tried them out... nothing. No break outs at all. I washed more of his stuff in the new detergent and still nothing. So all was good on that front. 

Would it clean clothes well? I knew only time would tell with this one. I don't have a husband that works in the oil field or in a garage fixing cars, so we aren't people who typically come home with greasy clothes. I do have children who have rather explosive diapers at time and that can just be nasty. But even after just one wash, clothes and sheets were coming out clean and smelling great. Wonderful!

At this point, we're hitting a home run with this laundry detergent. But we still have to wait it out and see, is this batch of laundry detergent going to last a full year? The answer for us.... No. It was probably September of 2013 when I had to go out and buy another bottle of Gain because I was out of my DIY Laundry Detergent. Which means the batch of homemade detergent only lasted about 10 months. But let's say it really did last a full year. That would be a full year of laundry detergent for just over $30. 

How much do I spend on Gain? I buy the 50 fl oz bottles at Wal-Mart and they are $9.97 a bottle. Just yesterday I had to open my first new bottle since September. Which means one bottle of Gain lasts about 4 months in my house. Which means I would buy roughly 3 bottles a year and spend.... yep.... about $30 for a full year of laundry detergent that I don't have to grate, mix, store, measure, etc. 

So for us, for now, we're back on the Gain wagon. Although I do have my eye on a new idea... has anyone heard of soap nuts? I've been looking at them for a while but haven't pulled the trigger on buying any yet. 

What about you? Have you tried any DIY laundry detergent recipes? What did you think? Do you stick with store bought laundry detergent or are you interested in "greener" alternatives?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Win It Wednesday : yellow chevron clutch

Hi y'all! I'm so excited!! I am waiting on one last online order to come in, and then the great bedroom makeover will be complete! Yeah. Seriously! Since I had Monday off, I decided this would be a great weekend to give the makeover a strong push forward. And boy did I ever!! I bought the final decorating touches I wanted, I completed a few little things that were on the list, I finally got my wooden pallet AND completed the pallet project, and now I'm just waiting for that final order then I can officially complete the room, clean/stage it for pictures, and share the big reveal on my ol' bliggity blog. Woo-hoo! I'm pretty proud that it's still January and I have TWO items from my 14 in 2014 list completed. Holla! 

Haha... anyway, yeah, I'm pretty excited. And while you may not be as excited about my bedroom makeover as I am, I still have something exciting for you. It's Wednesday which means another fun Win It Wednesday reveal! Woo-Hoo!!!

This time I'm giving away a fun clutch that some of your Plumfanatics (like me) might recognize. 

One time when Pick Your Plum was having a sale on these gorgeous chevron clutches I bought several. I've given some away as gifts, I kept one for myself, and here is my last one for one of you lucky readers! 

Details: The clutch is about 9.5 X 5 inches. It opens really wide. It has an internal zipper pouch and pockets for cards. It comes with a long strap that you can use to turn it into a purse instead of clutch. It's white and yellow leather and has pink accents. It's really gorgeous. I kept the black and white one for myself and I love it! I used it on our vacation as a purse because it's so roomy and I didn't have to haul around a big purse. Love it!!! 

And here's how you can enter to win it: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That's it. Simple entries this week! 

The giveaway ends next Tuesday night at midnight and the winner will be announced next Wednesday, here on the blog. 

Also coming up next week is my monthly update of my 14 in 2014 project. January is almost over, how is everyone doing on their lists/goals/resolutions?

Monday, January 20, 2014

The now days are the best days...

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you are probably familiar with a couple sayings that my Granny always told me, "Don't wish your life away," and "These are the best days of your life." Often those phrases came at me at the same time, and always when I was wishing to be older. 

I wish I were 16 so I could drive already. 

Don't wish your life away. These are the best days of your life.

I wish I were finished with high school. 

I know it doesn't seem like it now, but these are the best days of your life. 

I can't wait until I'm older and have my own house and my own job. 

Don't wish your life away. Life only speeds up as we get older.

And I'm sure there were many more discussions like these throughout my life. At the time I couldn't understand why Granny always thought high school was the best days of my life. Then I got to college and it was filled with such awesomeness and excitement and I felt like Granny had lied to me. Clearly college days were better days than high school days. But then I experienced heart break, loss of loved ones, even the loss of part of myself and my identity (college days are good at that). And then I understood why Granny had said high school days were the best days of your life. In high school I didn't experience loss and sadness like I did in college. One of those losses being the loss of Granny. Maybe Granny had been right all along and high school was the best time of my life. But then what? Did that mean that the rest of my life was never going to be as good as my life in high school? 

I mulled these thoughts over in my head time and time again, never being able to fully understand what Granny meant. But anytime I found myself wishing for something in the future... I would stop, remind myself not to wish my life away, I would be thankful for the moment, and be present in the now.

I wish we could stop renting and buy a house. 

Enjoy this time, you'll never get it back.

I wish we had children. 

These are the best days of your life.

I wish we could build our dream house. 

Don't wish what you have now away. 

And then, like a cloud had been lifted in my brain, like the piece of the puzzle was finally turned the right way, I started to understand what she meant. 

This business of raising tiny humans is hard. It's exhausting. It's enough to break a person sometimes. It can be easy to see Julius playing with a toy, McCrae stealing said toy, Julius grabbing it back and hitting McCrae, McCrae screeching (NOT a pleasant sound) and hitting Julius back, all while Luke is hungry and needs to be fed but there aren't any clean bottles and the high chair is still dirty from the last feeding, all of the pillows from the couches are in the floor after I've picked them up 1,935,622 times, toys are everywhere, our bed isn't made, the kids' rooms are a mess, laundry is backed up, the dishwasher needs to be unloaded and re-loaded, and just think to myself... I wish the kids were older and could pick up more, or take care of themselves, or go play independently in their own rooms, or [insert anything else but drive this momma crazy and destroy her house here]. 

It's easy to think that. To wish that things were different and that the kids were a little older, a little more independent, a little more responsible. But that would be wishing my life away. Wishing their lives away. And worse, wishing my time with them away. I remember when Julius came to us as a little butterball of a baby with only two bottom teeth and I would rock him at night for the first month or so to help establish our bond. I remember getting up in the night with McCrae, desperate for sleep, but still enjoying his quiet breathing as he drank his bottle, and the way he fit so easily into my lap. I remember getting up with Luke, every 3 hours when we first got him (he had to be on a feeding schedule because he was a preemie), exhausted, but happy to spend a few quiet moments with him, singing to him while he drank his bottle, and feeling his teeny tiny hands curl around my finger tips. 

Those times are gone. And sometimes... I wish I had them back. 

It's easy to wish my children were older, but it would be hard to give up this time with them. This time with Julius who just wants to play, talk your ear off, and delight you with his ways of entertainment. This time with McCrae who wants to hold your hand, sit on your lap, and both annoy and play with his older brother. This time with Luke who still needs a bottle and doesn't mind being held, who loves being bounced, touched, talked to, and thinks his hands are the funniest things ever

This time is precious. Exhausting, but absolutely precious. You don't get this time back. And as I was looking around at the mess and the chaos and the dirty dishes and the toys everywhere and this house overflowing with love and laughter and joy and food and excitement, I realized what Granny meant. Granny didn't mean that high school was the best time of my life. She didn't mean that everything after high school was never going to be as good as high school. She meant that these days are the best days. Right now. The now days. She wanted me to be present in the moment, be thankful for whatever I had right now because when it's gone, it's gone. You can't go back. You have to love everything about right now and milk every ounce of good and happiness out of it. Cherish everything. The now days are the best days. 

When I look around at the chaos of children that has overtaken my life and my home, I let Granny speak to me, I know it doesn't seem like it now, but these are the best days of your life. When I just want to sleep for one more hour and wish the kids could fix their own eggos and sippy cups, I let Granny speak to me, don't wish your (and their's) life away. When I want to be able to walk through the living room without tripping on/stepping over a toy/child/pillow/anything I remind myself, now days are the best days. I remind myself to be present in each moment of my children's life.

And to help remind me (and Joey) of this, I wrote on the dry-erase board on our refrigerator, 

"Be thankful for the mess and the noise.
One day our home will be too clean and too quiet
and our hearts will yearn for these days." 

So hang in there fellow Momma, or Daddy, parenting is hard. It's exhausting. But it's worth it. And when you catch yourself wishing your kids could crawl/walk/talk/fix breakfast/sleep in/whatever it is you want them to do, just remember that the now days really are the best days. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Win It Wednesday : Elastic Hair Bandz {winner}

Hi y'all! It's been a quiet week on the blog because I've got some big deadlines for work this week which is keeping me hopping. It wouldn't be a big deal, except that I also had court on Monday (for Luke) and will be back in Lubbock for court again today. It's all good news, just part of the process of him staying with us, but it just means I'm cramming every bit of work I can, anytime I can, so blogging is on hold this week. 

BUT, I did debut my first giveaway in my new series, Win It Wednesday, and am happy to announce that we have a winner!

Christina Main left a comment that she would love the Brooklynn hair ties and that lucky girl is the winner! Christina, please contact Gina at Elastic Hair Bandz to claim your prize. Congrats and enjoy!!

For everyone else, sorry you didn't win. But come back next week to enter a brand new giveaway! 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Just for fun....

A friend posted this picture on her Facebook timeline and I thought it was just really cool how different people were posting different words that they saw. And since it's the weekend and, hey, why not, I thought I'd share this on my blog. 

What words did you get??

It's fun because I did this when I commented on her photo and got: love, time, and experience.

I had forgotten what I got the first time so I did it again and this time I got love, beauty, and happiness. 

Comment below with the three words you got! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Win It Wednesday : Elastic Hair Bandz {closed}

Hi y'all! I have a fun surprise for y'all today... I'm starting a new blog series this year and here's the big debut!

Win It Wednesday!

It's a pretty simple concept. Come by on Wednesdays to see the new giveaway, visit the next Wednesday to see who won. Then, the following Wednesday, we'll start all over with a new giveaway debut. Sound good? Sounds good!

This week I am really excited to introduce you to an awesome shop on Etsy and the two lovely ladies behind it. Many of you know I used to sell things on Etsy back in the pre-three kid days, and that I've always been a proponent of handmade goods. So I'm really excited to introduce you to various shops and their owners throughout the year and first up is Gina and Audrey a mother-daughter mastermind team behind Elastic Hair Bandz. 

I found Elastic Hair Bandz early last year when I was looking for neon hair ties. I love all their different styles and color combinations and think it's fabulous that they dye all of their own hair ties. I talked to Gina and welcomed her to tell you about her and Elastic Hair Bandz.

Tell us about yourself and your shop:
I am a mother of two daughters ages 16 and 14. I have worked most of my life for someone else and always had the desire to work for my self and have my own business. About a year and a half ago, my daughter Audrey and I began making hair ties.

We absolutely love elastic hair ties and could never get enough of them. Our favorites were the tie dye hair ties, but the colors were limited and not very bright and vibrant. 

We started making hair ties for ourselves and started experimenting and learning how to dye the elastic. It was a lot of trial and error and we were persistent and determined to figure it out. We finally figured it out and I decided I wanted to try and start selling what we had created. I was still working at this time, so there wasn't a lot of pressure. We were just creating, experimenting, and having fun. 

We opened up shop in November 2012 with just a few collections. It took about 5 months of figuring Etsy out and refining what our vision was for our shop. We began posting our collections to Wanelo, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, WeHeartIt, Picsity, Polyvore. Things started to pick up and I soon found that I couldn't continue to work and run Elastic Hair Bandz, so I quit my day job and started working full-time for myself. I work harder and longer hours and sometimes it's trying, but I wouldn't go back, and I hope that we can grow our business even more in 2014. 

What's it like working side by side with your daughter? What's the best thing about getting to do this?

My oldest daughter, Audrey, works with me pretty much part-time right now as she is a full-time student and athlete. It's quite fun, we get along very well  and I rely on her a lot for input and her creativity. It's a joy to work with your daughter and spend time together, words can't explain it. 

Who does what when it comes to your shop and how did you decide how to divide the responsibilities?

We both do a little bit of everything. It really depends on demand and our schedules. I do most of the social media, dyeing of elastic and business stuff. Audrey helps with mailing, putting new collections together, and Instagram. That's her job. I am banned from Instagram posting. I guess I just don't get it yet. 

Where do you go or what do you do when you need inspiration?

So far, we haven't been without any ideas. In fact, we have so many that there just isn't enough time to create everything we want. It just comes to us, or maybe we see a cute outfit and we think we could make a collection to match that. Inspiration is all around you. You just have to keep your eyes open. 

Where do you get the names of your color combos (i.e. The Bridget? The Jane? The Talia?)?

When we put new collections together, each collection has its own personality. We try and pick names that fit the personality of the collection. Sometimes the collection reminds us of someone we know like friends, relatives, tv personalities, or just a name that seems to fit the collection.

- * -

What an awesome duo! Thank you so much Gina, for sharing with us. And as an added bonus, Gina is offering one lucky reader one of her super fun hair tie collections! Which is awesome just after Christmas when you've spent all your money on other people and it would feel good to get something just for yourself. Or, if you just can't help but be a giver, there are fun collections for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Spring, Easter, or a just because occasion. I'm kinda bummed I just cut all my hair off. But I'm still ordering my collection soon! But enough about me... there are tons of ways to enter so have fun and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Details : The winner will be announced next Wednesday, come back then for the winner reveal. You MUST leave a blog comment with a link to one of Elastic Hair Bandz's collections in order to win. 

Good luck!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

14 in 2014 { the reveal }

Hi y'all! Happy 2014! Did any of you make any new year's resolutions? Have you already broken them? If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I'm not a big fan of resolutions. They're much too vague and people only seem to think about them in January. I much prefer having a list of goals. Something more tactile that I can actually wrap my head around, work towards, and check off as I accomplish them. And if you have been reading my blog for a while, you know how much I love lists and checking things off of them. Besides, resolutions are for breaking. Goals are for working towards all year around. So... I'm bringing back my yearly list of goals to accomplish this year. And today is the big debut! Woo-hoo!! So here we go, my 14 various goals to accomplish in 2014!!

___ 1. Finish decorating Luke's room and Julius's & McCrae's room 100%. I can't keep putting this one off. This year I am definitely getting the rooms done. 

___ 2. Organize the house. You know what's annoying? Not being able to find things when you need them. You know what else is annoying? Finding things you were previously looking for but never found when you're looking for something else. Yep. It's time to get the house organized. It's to preserve my sanity you see. 

___ 3. Finish decorating our bedroom 100%. We started redoing our room a few month's ago. We don't have much left, to the fun start of getting decorations and putting things up. This should be a fun goal to accomplish and I can't wait to get it done and then show you all what we did. 

___ 4. Redo our master closet. Honestly, this is one of my 'aim-high' goals. With everything else we have to do with other rooms in the house, this is pretty ambitious. But, what can I say, I'm a dreamer. ;)

___ 5. Lose 25 pounds. Last year I set a goal to lose 30 pounds. I got 26 pounds off and then the holidays hit and I gained some back. This is another ambitious goal, but if I lose another 25 pounds I will officially be at my goal weight. I'm really nervous about this goal. It's going to be really hard. 

___ 6. Organize all the photos on my computer. Because seriously, I don't need them all. And the ones I want to keep, I need to put in a sensible location. 

___ 7. Run a 5K. Maybe if I keep this on my early list it will happen.... right?.... Right?!?

___ 8. Finish 3 old scrapbooks. I started on them forever ago. I seriously need to get them finished and out of the way!

___ 9. Write/Send more cards and letters. You know what I love getting? Mail. Like real mail. Cards and letters from friends, I just love it! This year I'm going to spread the love more. Which means I need to find some totally me stationary. ;) 

___ 10. Yell less, laugh more. Nag less, play more.  Sometimes I get much too caught up in the daily grind of life and forget about enjoying each moment. I need to stop worrying if things aren't done exactly as I would do them. As long as they are done, it's okay. Time to loosen the reins.

___ 11. Try more recipes. Because why not?

___ 12. Read more books to the kids. I loved loved LOVED reading as a child. I loved it when my Granny read to me. I loved when I got older and she let me read to her. And I love reading still. I want this love of reading instilled in my children. I always said I would read to my children when I had them and now I always forget or put it off because, let's face it, I'm exhausted and ready for them to go to bed so momma can have some unwinding time. But this year, I'm going to really make it a point to read more books to the kids. 

___ 13. Wake up earlier. I'm a horrible adult. I'm pretty much a professional college student.. I stay up too late, I sleep in too often, I over sleep way too much, I operate on much to little sleep. This year, whether I stay up late or not, I'm going to get up earlier in the mornings. Maybe then I'll be tired enough at night to actually go to sleep when I should. 

___ 14. Pray more. Short and simple. Just do it. 

And that's it folks. I'm pretty sure this is my most ambitious list yet. But I'm going for it. 2014 is going to be a great year!!

If anyone wants to join me, feel free to grab that little button over there on the left-hand side and join in the fun! I'll be updating my progress more often this year. I'm making a mental note right now to update once a month. Just to make sure I'm sticking with it. ;) 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Blog Makeover Reveal!!!

Hi y'all! Welcome to the new and improved Live Delightfully! I've been working on a complete blog revamp for a few months now and I knew one of the things I wanted to do was give my blog look a makeover. I cyber-stalked researched blog designers for a month or so and finally narrowed the choices down to 4. I sent out messages on Etsy to 3 of them. 2 of them never wrote back (boo on them), and the other 1 wrote back way later after I had already hired a designer. The last one was Whitney, she's the designer I hired and she is the mastermind behind Heart & Arrow on Etsy. Whitney got back to me immediately. She was available for the exact time frame I needed her. And (BONUS) she had just lowered some of her prices for an end-of-the-year sale. It was the perfect time and the perfect opportunity. Whitney was an absolute delight to work with and I will definitely be recommending her services to anyone who needs a designer. 

I'm so excited that this part of the blog makeover is complete. I think it all looks absolutely stunning! I know I shared a couple hints on various social media outlets about where my blog was going but now I'm excited to share with you my inspiration boards for all of this. EEK!!! 

First off, I have plans to redo finally do my office. I haven't done any decorating to it since we moved here as I've been focused on other rooms of the house. Every now and then I make an inspiration board on Polyvore for what I'd like in my office. I've gone through a few of them and finally settled on this one: 

Bold Elegance

I am in love with fuchsia and mint/aqua and have decided they are really my favorite colors. Pair them up with some gold and white and the result just takes my breath away. I absolutely adore it. So I've been sitting on that inspiration board for a while and just day dreaming about what my office will look like one day. And then, when I decided to give the ol' bliggity blog a makeover, I decided to give it the same look. I also added some textures, fonts, and things that I really love to give the designer a better idea of what I was really going for. And I think Whitney hit it perfectly. Here is my blog makeover inspiration board:

blog makeover

Doesn't that just make your heart flutter a bit? If not, well, you must not love those colors as much as I do because I'm telling you, it just about makes a girl giddy! Haha!

So that's all the behind-the-scenes stuff regarding the makeover of the look of my blog. I'm also working on creating new, fresh content, and especially focusing on what only I can bring to the blogging world. It's a little maddening and you would have to be a blogger/writer to really understand, but it's a process and I'm smack dab in the middle of it. 

But thanks to YOU who are reading this blog post right now. Thanks for stopping by and validating me as a blogger. You're awesome! Coffee and champagne all around!!! [Depending on what time of day you're reading this. Although if you want champagne, I don't have any. I do have coffee though. ;)]

Here's to a new blog look, a new year, and what will hopefully be the best year of blogging yet!

(and just look at that glamorous signature!)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

moods : January 2014

Hi y'all! Happy New Year!! Welcome to 2014! I hope you all had a splendiferous New Year's Eve and that your first days of the new year is starting off just as lovely. It's been so long since I've written a monthly moods post, but I've been waiting to restart it with the start of the new year.  (I'm so particular about things like that.) With the new year and the new blog makeover there are some of my old posts that are staying in 2013. But my monthly moods posts will be carried over for another year. HOORAY! So let's get started on January's moods. 

What inspires me : 

January 2014

blue hues | silver | gold | snowflakes | tribal prints 

What I'm listening to : 

Yesterday I didn't have to work so I was on a cleaning frenzy. Which means I had my Pandora Radio set to a Michael Bolton station which just equals AWESOME. If you have Pandora, turn it to a Michael Bolton station to listen to amazing songs like this: 

And Michael Bolton with long-flowing locks:

Seriously, how could you not love those???

What I'm reading :

I've been working on my blog. And while non-bloggers might think that means just looking at Pinterest and looking at other blogs, it means so much more than that. I'm getting more serious about blogging for 2014. I'm not saying I'm on my way to be a professional blogger or anything, but I am trying to figure out who I really am as a blogger, as a writer, and what I want my blog to be in 2014. Because of that, I've been reading some great blogs on blogging/writing, like this one :

And since we're on the subject... anyone have any blogs, books, articles, etc. on writing/blogging that you'd like to share? I'm really interested in those! :D

What I'm watching : 

Before leaving for our Christmas vacation to Oklahoma, I had just started Dexter Season 2 on Netflix. Whoa. That Lila girl is ca-RAY-zee!!

I was also watching the fourth season of The Sing Off. LOVE. THIS. SHOW. I'm so glad they brought it back for a mini-season. I really hope they do it again because it's AWESOME!!!

I know... two completely opposite shows right? Well... what can I say? I'm a girl who likes a variety of things. haha. 

Well, that wraps up our first monthly moods post of 2014. Maybe this year I can make it all the way through the year. ;) Maybe I should add that to my 14 in 2014 list... haha!

Speaking of... my 14 in 2014 list will be going live on the blog next week so stay tuned for that. Also, this is my LAST blog post with my old blog look. Tomorrow my new blog makeover should be revealed (fingers cross that everything goes according to plan). Also coming up next week on the blog... a giveaway! I figure everyone has bought enough presents for everyone else over the holidays, time to get something for yourself without having to pay a dime. ;)