Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Anchored, a Wizard & some Big Little Lies....

Because I am Belle...
Time for a book update... with a long weekend, its the perfect time to grab a book & enjoy the holiday while the grill is going & fireworks are exploding. 
Here's some my latest reads
Anchored by Kayla Aimee
4 out of 5
Oh my goodness... I now have put Kayla on my list of people that I want as a friend.  She is all sorts of everything precious.  & the way she tells the story of her daughter's first year of life when she came entirely too early.  The story is told with such heart, such honestly & a touch of humor & real life, all holding my attention & rooting for this little princess.  Here is Kayla & her daughter Scarlette - just watch this & tell me you don't want to know more of their story.


Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
4 out of 5

I have seen so many people talk about this book & I had it on my Kindle for the longest time.  I finally got around to it & I so loved this story.  A mystery of sorts with a group of mom's from a kindergarten class.  We know someone is going to die at the end of the book, but who?  I was so wrapped up in this story - the personalities of all the characters - the interaction between them all.  It was like a crazy store of the Real Housewives of wherever.  I loved it & can't wait to read more from this author.

The Wizard Returns by Danielle Paige
4 out of 5


You will never me say anything bad about these books in this series. I am so in love with these & want the whole world to fall in love with them too.  This book is another Novella - a short story that works with the bigger picture.  This one centered, obviously, around the Wizard.  I love these little back stories & deeper looks into each of the characters.  I just started the 2nd Novel in the series & already this book ties into that one with the Queendom of the Monkeys... just can't get enough of these books.
Miracles from Heaven by Christy Beam
3 out of 5
This is a real life story - those always grab my attention.  But this one is about a little girl, Annabel, who was born with health issues.  She is a daughter & a sister in a family that is just an ordinary God loving family who is dealing with all the things her health issues bring.  Suddenly one day, when Annabel is playing with her sisters in this tree in their yard, she happens to fall INSIDE the tree.  The story is about her rescue & then her little glimpses of Heaven that she said she saw when she fell.  The amazing thing about the whole story - after she was rescued, all her previous health issues she's had since birth, all disappeared.  It really is quite a story.  It's not so much a story of Heaven, though obviously its touched on, but Annabel didn't want to say much about that experience - but the little bit she did talk about, its moving.  Made me teary eyed actually. 
This book & the story is actually going to be made into a movie by TD Jakes ... I would really love to see it.

Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius
3 out of 5

Oh mercy - this book gave me anxiety.  Another true life story, Martin had some sort of health issue that left him once a normal little boy, to a child in his own world unable to communicate, living in a wheelchair, being sent to daycares to help take care of him.  Then suddenly one day, Martin 'wakes up' in his mind & is trying to communicate, when he find he can't.... until one of his nurses notices some sort of real interaction & presses his parents to have Martin checked.  The story follows with the journey back to real life Martin takes. 
The whole situation just made me feel so trapped myself wondering how it would feel to try & speak & to get someone to understand what I want, but couldn't.
It really is an amazing story to hear how far he comes.  With the help of technology, Martin's world is opened up... its quite a journey.
There are moments when he talks about being in some of the homes he was sent to that just literally made me sick.... makes me want to have every home inspected for nurses that just shouldn't even hold that title. 
I was a little sad that the book sort of jumped quickly & I didn't understand how Martin would progress or what he did to be in the next stage of life... but its a happy ending regardless so that's all that matters
So what books are you reading right now?
Any books I need to get my hands on immediately?

The Blonder Side of Life

Monday, June 29, 2015

The weekend that we had our windows open... in June....

So this was basically me the entire weekend....

With a little bit of this....

No - I didn't run a race.  I just ran for life in general.  As usual.

Saturday, I was out of the house fairly early to meet up with a past client to do her daughter's 1 year picture. 

It was so wonderful seeing Ashlie again... missed her husband who was away on a trip with his dad, but I got to meet Ashlie's mother & it was so nice spending the afternoon grabbing pictures of her little sweetheart.

This year has been a year of 1st birthdays /1 yr olds for me... I have loved it.  They have such personality at that age.  & although mobile & still run a session with how they feel, they are quick to grab their attention & hold it for a second.  All you need is one good second as a photographer.

I had intentions of heading to Whole Foods when I left their house since I rarely get out that way but just hated to go without Ricky ....

... so I ended up going to Hobby Lobby.

Now THAT, I don't mind going to without Ricky.

I walked out of the store with all my crafts taking credit.  I got yarn for a hat, I got 2 new crochet needles that I needed, I got some stickers for my Bible Journal, some new paint brushes... & also new scissors.  That's in thanks to Harvey Dent & his latest adventure....

I didn't forget Ricky though - I ended up getting him this MASSIVE Captain America patch.  I thought he may want it for a blue jean jacket or vest he has - he said he wants to put it on  a denim shirt. I give my approval.

I got home  & started working on pictures & ended up watching American Hustler - which I didn't think I was going to like, but totally got caught up in it.  I just love Amy Adams.  I'm sorry though - she's always going to be Giselle to me.

I couldn't stand it any longer though...

The temps were perfection, the day was gorgeous - I couldn't make myself stay in the house & at the computer for one more minute.

We ended up getting Harvey Dent in the car (the big baby still doesn't understand the concept of jumping in a car on his own) & we headed to the park.

We just had the best time of taking it easy & wandering around, letting Harvey scope everything out, sniff all the smells, watch all the birds.  I was so proud of him because he didn't bark at anyone or anything... & Ricky & Harvey had gone up ahead & I over heard 2 ladies talking about how gorgeous that dog was & how they wanted a breed like that for their family.  I felt like I boosted my chest out a little & was a proud momma.

Harvey checking out the deer at the little petting zoo they have

Time for a rest... squirrel chasing is hard work

We headed home & decided to stop by my parents house for a minute.

It was Harvey's first time getting near a horse.  This is where he got nervous for the first time.  He jumped up on the fence to get closer & Cochese isn't bothered one bit by dogs so he leaned down to sniff Harvey.... oh no... Harvey backed up & started barking like, "is this ok mom & dad?"... but the more he saw Ricky patting the horse, the calmer he was getting. He still wasn't sure about that big 4 legged beast on the other side of the fence.

Needless to say, while I edited pictures the rest of the night, Harvey was out like a light. I haven't seen him that sound in sleep in a long time...

Sunday had us at church where the Merge group got to take over "big church" while 2 of our pastors were out on vacation.  Nothing like making a fool of yourself in front of the whole church.  Its what I do best apparently.

My whole day was made though because our Grandbuddy Emerson, she just kept wanting me to hold her & she kept laughing with me, playing with me & then at one point, she turned around & just grabbed me to give me a big ole kiss.  I think I my heart totally melted in the floor. 

We ran out with Ryan & Chasity after church & grabbed some lunch & they had to head to a Baby Reveal party & we headed to Sam's Club.

I really like that on my 21 day fix, I can get basically my whole grocery list there since its all clean eating, fruits & veggies & healthy stuff. 

& of course, we had to stop for our Starbucks Sunday

... complete with a Sunday Biblical spelling of my name...

We got home & I was going to go get back on the computer but once again, couldn't make myself.  I mean, its JUNE & it was in the 70's - no humidity - perfection is the only word that can describe the weather.  We had our windows open all weekend long & our room at night felt like heaven.  That cool fresh air.  Are we sure its June?  I'd take June like that every time. 

But I ended up sitting out on the porch & finished up a book & just wanted to stay outside till the sun went down... which is exactly what I did...

I didn't want this weekend to end. 

& now, heading into another week.  This week, my "to-do list" is so long, I already have anxiety.  I kinda hate weeks like this... but its just another week in my life.  So be it.

How was your weekend?
Did you have great weather?
Got a busy week ahead?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Favorites

Favorite Way to Connect...
especially yesterday after that accident

My heart ached so badly for that young man I found laying in a field yesterday after the motorcycle accident.  I posted a few pictures, a status update about it... & next thing I know, its been shared over 230 times & by an hour ago, I have spoken with at least 20 people that are family & friends of this young man.  I even got not only his name, but his mother's name. I left her a message.  His friend sent me an update last night after the latest surgery. 
The power of Facebook.
I can't believe I found out his name.  Saw his face smiling in pictures.  See who surrounds him as family & friends.  They are amazing people too.
Like I have told them, I want to have a new vision of him - one of him smiling again, one of him walking.  One of him walking out of the hospital.  I need that. I know they do too.

Favorite Reminder

Be at peace
 Favorite Podcast

 So everyone kinda knows who Boo Mama & Big Mama in the world of blogging - right?
so I was so excited to see they have a Podcast!
I love hearing people's voices when you read so many of their words & imagine what they sound like.

Favorite Beauty & the Beast



Favorite Wish List Item

2016 17-month large agenda- Black stripe by kate spade new york

I'm excited to see Kate Spade has out her 2016 planners.
I LOVE mine.  Enough to know this is the one I want for next year as well.
So now I have 6 months to keep an eye out for a good sale.

Favorite Animal

And Nothing Is Going To Stop Him

I love when animals show up a vet's diagnosis!!!
Poop away yellow lab... poop away!
Favorite Funnies

Being The Older Brother

I so need to teach my twin nieces this. Sophia is 2 minutes older.
What a way to irk the 'younger' sis :)

A Hand That Doesn�t Know How To Hand


when someone starts talking about why I never had children of my own
When my boss gives me work to do
 How I look after Leg Day on 21 Day Fix

 How I walk out of Target when an item is on sale, I have a coupon AND there's a discount on the Cartwheel App


My hair INDOORS during summer.....

My hair as soon as I step outside...


Happy Weekend y'all
Please stay safe!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thankful Thursday.... a little different today

Thankful Thursday

I know I usually have a lot of things to be Thankful for... which I do...

but this morning was different.

I ended up wining tickets to see Pat Benatar - yahoo! ... & thought this is the best morning.

.... & 10 minutes later, I witnessed one of the most horrific scenes I ever want to see again in my life....

I saw a motorcycle accident... this man was thrown from his bike. 

I was the one who found his body laying in a field.

I don't know what made me walk in the opposite direction of everyone else.  But I know God gave me a good loud scream for a reason & this was it.

I honestly thought he was gone.

I just fell to my knees & started screaming & crying & kept praying, "Jesus be with him"... because I honestly thought Jesus was walking him Home right there...

He ended up being alive!!!  When I heard his moan, its what I imagine people do when they wait for a baby's cry after they are born.  I couldn't believe he survived.

I will never forget the way his body was shaped laying there.
I will never get that sound of moaning out of my head.

But that he was alive is A MIRACLE!!!  I am thankful.

That there was a retired doctor in a car on the road who came to this man, I am thankful.
To the paramedics that got there so quick & got him on a stretcher in a helicopter, I am thankful.
To the man who was hit by the motorcycle & didn't loose control with 2 small children in the back of his truck, I am thankful.
For a clear day that allowed the helicopter to get in and out safely, I am thankful.

For the reminder that life is a fragile & this world is something that we're not made for... I am thankful.

If you made it safe to your destination today, be thankful.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

Join in right HERE
Excited to join along with the ladies above ... jumping in to say What's Up!!!

1. What we're eating this week....
I made this 21 Day Fix dish for dinner... Naan wheat bread - with fresh tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese. Put Red pepper sprinkles on it. Some seasoning.
GOODNESS GRACIOUS.  It was amazing.  Didn't feel like a "diet" food.
2.  What I'm reminiscing about...
Our Buffy & Sydney.  I miss them so much even still.  & when we're playing with Harvey, I know Buffy would have loved to have him as her brother. & when we're snuggling with Harvey, I know Sydney would have loved to get close & sleep next to him.  Fur babies always take a piece of my heart when they leave.
3.  What I'm loving...
I've put off getting this stuff because its kinda pricey for nail polish & let's face it, I'm cheap when it comes to certain things.  But I broke down & got it because I'm tired of nails chipping 3 hours after I put it on. So far, I'm loving it. I especially love the big brush that it has. Covers the nail so easily!
4.  What we've been up to...
Work... work... & more work...
this perfectly sums up our lives.
5.  What I'm dreading....
Cleaning my house.
Its pure chaos... its going to take awhile to get it back in order.
I'd rather be doing other things - for sure.
6.  What I'm working on...
Going to be making up a poster for the church band to advertise their upcoming concert.   Last year, the picture went into the local paper.  So I really work hard on making it look eye catching, have the correct info & something I'm proud to put my name on.
7.  What I'm excited about...
A cool weekend!!!!
It's been hotter then Hades this week & out of no where, our highs this weekend are going to be in the 70's. 
So glad its happening on the weekend & not like on a Monday!
8.  What I'm watching / reading...
It's written by a blogger. 
She is so funny - even in the midst of life challenges of the birth of her daughter.
She's someone I want to be friends with.
9.  What I'm listening to...
Afterbuzz Bachelorette podcast.
I love hearing their recaps of all the crazy going on.
10.  What I'm wearing...
I never take a picture of what I'm wearing, but I really liked my outfit this morning, so yippee for this question.
I love these black skinnies & can't find them anymore
... so sad...
11.  What I'm doing this weekend...
Guess what... I'm busy. I know, you're shocked.
I actually have a early photo session on Saturday with a couple that I did their engagement pictures - & now I'm doing their daughter's 1 yr old pics.
How fun is that?
I love 1 yr olds too. Full of smiles.  Hopefully no tears.
12.  What I'm looking forward to next month...
A day off work
13.  What else is new...
Ricky & I have been in talks about whether to do a Disney vacation or to redo our kitchen.
I'm so torn about it, I can't even think.
Thoughts?   Suggestions?
14.  What are we doing this July 4th...
I'm not sure. 
Do people really make plans this far in advance?
How's that for a vague answer.
What are you up to today?
Pick a question & answer it for me...
or jump over to Shay's blog & join along!

Come back tomorrow to Link up for Thankful Thursday!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My thoughts on 21 Day Fix....

If you've been following along on my Instagram account the past 21 days, or if you follow Press On & Run (link above) you've seen the daily posts on what I've been eating & how the days have been going.  All of it showing my turn in the 21 Day Fix.

That plan that deals with colored containers & an exercise program & how you can only eat so much of each color per day.  It's all the rage right now apparently because just look at #21dayfix on any social media & you can sit for DAYS looking at all the pictures of everyone doing it right along with you.

I actually ordered my package in May & decided to wait because 1.) I wanted to read up on it & go into it prepared. & 2.) I was off work the last week of May & I wasn't about watching food & calories on a freedom week.

I will say, I think its the best thing I did though going into it prepared.  I was on Pinterest looking up ideas for food, ideas for meal prepping, checking out to see how the plan worked for someone who doesn't eat meat.  I was a pinning fool.  If you want the link to my Pinterest Board - look me up (on the side of the blog)

& then my package came... & I opened it up & saw what the containers looked like.

Are they serious?  But they are so small...

that was my first thought.

Apparently I'm not alone.  They are alarmingly small.  But deceptive. I'll talk more about that in a minute.

As I got closer to the date, I was making out menu plans & went to Sam's Club to stock up on fruits & veggies. 

The biggest change for me was lunch.  I'm someone who usually eats at Subway at least 4 days out of the 5 & Subway is a luxury to use a lot of your Yellow container or as I found out, can get a salad, but that left me hungry.  So regardless, I needed to bring food to work for lunch & snacks.

I would sit on the couch with my laptop & a notebook & I was trying to figure out meals & how it would all come together.

Exactly how I looked when I was looking up all the 21 Day fix info

I may have over thought at some points on this... especially when I woke up in the middle of the night with the idea of red containers floating in my brain.

It was mainly getting in it & trying it out.

I quickly found that 2 eggs counts as 1 red (protein) & that is some filling stuff.  It's become my staple for breakfast every day.  I eat them at 6:15am & I'm usually ready for a snack at 10-10:30pm.  I used to be hungry for a snack around 9 - & then I'd usually eat Goldfish crackers.

No more.

Now, its apples & PB, or grapes, or cottage cheese.  & I'm good with that.  It holds me over to lunch.

They want you to eat around every 2-3 hours during a day, so I basically get a breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner & then some nights I have a evening snack. 

I was shocked at how much food I actually get.

& truth be told, I have yet to have a day where I have eaten all my containers I'm allowed to have for the day.

The greens are my worst - the veggies... of course. I struggle with my green container the most.  I'm just not that much of a fan of veggies I guess - but I think what it comes down too - there's just not a lot of veggies. Honestly.  You can only have so many carrots or broccoli... or salad.  But I see where I need more work.

The Blue container is my favorite... healthy fats.... avocados, cheese or hummus. Yes please.  But like I mentioned, when I saw how small the container was, I panicked. Imagine my relief when I when I went to fill it up with hummus & it ended up being like 3 huge tablespoons.  Such relief to see!  Once a day, eating my blue cup of food, I am a happy girl.

Red is another struggle for me but I've always known I have a hard time getting in enough protein.  Protein shakes after work has become one of my favorite things.  It fuels me up for my workouts too.

.... since I brought it up, let's talk about those workouts....

The program comes with 2 DVD's that have workouts for every day.  They are each 30 minutes long & each day is supposed to work each part of the body, but in my opinion, each workout works the WHOLE body.

Now, let me preface here & say, I am used to working out. I work out 5-7 days a week ANYWAYS so I thought, how hard can this be.


They are tough workouts!  The first week, I literally cried from laughing so hard in my misery.  & I couldn't hardly walk up the steps at work.  I wish I was joking.  It was that tough.

BUT... I will say, its amazing to me how fast your body adjusts because you see a difference even doing it the next week for the 2nd time.  Progress is amazing.

In the end, I am impressed with the program.  & I did get some results.

I ended up loosing 5 lbs - which I think I actually lost more.  My scale is off. I went to the doctor for a yearly exam & weighed in & I was actually 2.5 lbs less on a DOCTORS scale then my own home...

& I took my measurements & lost 10 inches!  10 INCHES!!!!  I lost 2.5 from my waist - 2.5 from my chest - 1.5 from my hips & inches from my arms & my thighs... I was shocked by that...

I guess those tough workouts are so worth it....

I will admit, I was a tad disappointed at first when I see others results & see that on their first round of 21 day fix, they shed a LOT of weight.  Like 10-25 lbs... seriously?  But I have been seeing that they say if your body is already used to working out & if you don't really make that drastic of a change in your diet - if you're already eating healthy, it will take a little bit more time to see 'big numbers'.... I am a pretty good eater.  Its been, for me, learning portion control...

So I'm continuing on to Round 2.  I want some big numbers...

& now, its weird because my brain is just sort of working in this new world.  We eat out & I am figuring up how many containers it all is. I've even given Ricky half of my sweet potato or scooped off too much rice on my plate because I'm getting use to portions now. 

I'm digging the lifestyle change.  That's what its all about really in the end...

So anyone else try this yet?  Thinking about it? 

I know the internet is FULL of info about the 21 Day Fix but most of them are usually written by Beachbody coaches... a whole other topic... but for me, I've got nothing to gain from this post - just wanted to share my experience with it...  but I'd be happy to answer any questions truthfully if you have any.

I'm determined to be in the best health & best shape I can be in... its a fight... but its worth it.