Monday, July 31, 2017

The weekend that has me giving Mother Nature a high five...

Mother Nature is totally getting a high five from me.

The end of July... & we had our AC off & the windows open & we stayed outside as much as possible.  How is this happening? I have no idea but I am so thrilled it fell on Saturday & Sunday.

If we had these nice days, like on a Monday (UGH) or any other day that requires you to be jailed stuck at work from sun up to sun down, its just not as much fun.  But that we could enjoy the beautiful weather?  Thank you Mother Nature.

I did my grocery shopping on the way home from work so I didnt have to bother with it during the weekend... & after getting everything put up, I kicked off my weekend in the spot I knew I was going to be in for most of my days.

Saturday, I hated it, but the hubs had to work. It's always bad enough he works so hard Monday - Friday, but to have to do it on a Saturday, much less a BEAUTIFUL Saturday... ugh, I just felt so bad for him.

He asked what I did with my time because usually when he's gone, I am productive with cleaning or organizing or doing something that I can always do better when I can crank up the tunes & handle myself.

This time, my productivity involved a purchase I got from Pampered Chef over 10 years ago - I think its more like 13 or 14 years ago - The Ulitimate Mandolin. I have had it in the bottom of a cabinet & just never figured out how to use it....

but when I got this zucchini from work, I knew I had to do something with it....

So I pulled it out & headed to YouTube & figured it out - after about an hour of finding videos & playing around - I got it figured out!!!! YAHOOOOO

I had seen earlier in the day that Nicole Norderman had put out her new album, so I pulled up Spotify (LOVE SPOTIFY) & made some homemade zucchini bread for the first time in my life...

& made my house smell delicious...

... I feel like a zucchini bread pro now.

I even took the recipe that called for vegetable oil & I switched out apple sauce for it.

I know for some people, that's nothing... for me? I felt like I should be on Iron Chef.

When the hubs got home, he was skeptical.  & then tasted the first bite... & needless to say, one of the loaves was gone by the end of Saturday night.

& guilty, I am just as responsible of it disappearing!!

After all that carb fest, I knew i had to work out.
I am still so torn if I want to train for the half marathon in October ( I HAVE to make up my mind today.... UGH.... decisions)... but I knew I wanted to work out in the beautiful air.

So I ended up bringing my laptop, my 21 Day Fix DVD & my equipment out in the enclosed room so I could feel the fresh air blowing on me... it was wonderful.

Harvey Dent even approved. My coach.

The rest of my day did end like I expected... sitting outside & doing a lot of reading.

I actually finished my book, gave Bruno a bath & took a shower myself & went straight back out to my outside chair again & trying to figure out which book to start next.

I just didnt want the day to end ... it was just too beautiful

But days do end, even when we dont want them too....

& then it was time to get up & get ready for church.

An exciting day too... MSM is back in the game.

Human Foosball up in the house

& it was so fun because they had a guy that goes around & makes pancakes right there for companies & parties & it was a pancake feast...

It was great having small group with the girls & having our first small group as 8TH GRADERS!!! YAHOOOOO... big time stuff!

After church, Ricky drove down to meet me for lunch... & then another trip to Pet Smart for more Bruno food... & then I ran over to Michael's for some crafty things I needed after Hobby Lobby's paint pens totally let me down.  (Whole other story... which basically is summed up by saying, DONT BUY PAINT PENS FROM HOBBY LOBBY!!!!... I bought 5 different pens - 3 of them were dried up & 2 of them, the tips exploded out on me, in the middle of a project ruining it.)

I came home & started on a project for my nephew for his first day of preschool ....

& then we took advantage of the pretty Sunday to work on Zoe's hair cut - which it takes 2 of us to hold down the littlest of the dogs. Harvey always sits & stares & wonders if we're hurting her. You'd think we were cutting her eye balls out the way she acts.  We were asked to no longer bring her back to the groomer because the way she acts... so thats why we have to do her ourselves. Our dogs are little divas. Totally.

I did another little bit of food prep for the week...

& then it was time to get depressed that the weekend was over as quickly as it began.

But I'm grateful for it... & the beautiful blessing it was.

How was your weekend?

Did you get a July heat break?

Do you love zucchini bread?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Favorites 07/28/17

Image result for knit by god's hand friday favorites

Favorite Halloween decoration

Boop Decals Zombie Hands Decal Sticker
Wall Decals!!!!
I would love this behind our couch... or behind a table.. or even a bed!!!!
& its just $10.00! SUPER FUN!!!

I'm a BIGGGGG Halloween nerd.
Its my favorite holiday... so I'm SUPER STOKED that Halloween decorations are already out. So be prepared to see a Halloween thing posted probably until Halloween

Favorite Instagram

OK - so I just love this whole idea...
to leave Random Love Letters everywhere you go
... & by "love letters" its just about encouragement.
Check out their IG page & be inspired... leave some notes wherever you go.
Or keep an eye out for one... I'm going to start keeping post its on me to do this

#randomloveletter feature: @kaste10 @nmcalligraphy @fromletterstolove @dedradavis . . Check out these amazing random love letters left by our friends. Each day we're equally impressed by the words you all have written and the places you have left your notes. 😄 Let's hear it for the RLL ninjas! Hahaha! ~💙Jackie . Next week we have an exciting collaboration to share for the week in Compliments so make sure to follow to keep up with updates. Also, don't forget to tag us in your photos with @randomloveletter and #randomloveletter (no s at the end). ❤ RLL Team: Olivia @atiliay Mandy @thetinymc Jackie @3x3inspire . . . #randomloveletter2017 #randomactsofkindness #featurepost #instafeature #instachallenge #dailyinsta #spreadthelove #bekind #kindnessmatters #wordsmatter #inspiration #inspireothers #positivity #positiveframeofmind #positivevibes #goodvibes #wordstoliveby #community #encouragement #loveletters #lovenotes #prompt #letteringinspiration
A post shared by Random Love Letter Challenge (@randomloveletter) on

Favorite Outfit

A great transitional outfit from summer to fall:) Yellow, yellow, yellow:) by ronisilver

This is the perfect outfit for when the transition happens from summer to fall.
Keep that sweater off during the day.
But the yellow is still a fresh summer color.

Favorite Beauty & the Beast

For the couple: You'll love this Beauty and the Beast themed His and Her coffee mug set - Her Beast, His Beauty.

Yeeeepppp.... NEED!

Favorite Kitchen Gadget

awesome kitchen ideas for waste + cooking easier + best kitchen gadgets and gizmos = Kitchen Cupboard Garbage Bag Storage Rack @ BangGood for $4.25!

Oh my word - this is GENIUS!
Perfect when you cut up all those fruits & veggies for meal prepping!

Favorite Shirt

Starbucks and Disney // Disneyland Tank // by FelixandFrazzled

Favorite Peencha

• pinterest - @ninabubblygum •

Favorite Funnies.

Afternoon Funny Picture Dump 35 Pics

Afternoon Funny Picture Dump 34 Pics

Afternoon Funny Picture Dump 35 Pics

Afternoon Funny Picture Dump 35 Pics

Afternoon Funny Picture Dump 32 Pics

... when people can pick me out in a crowd solely on my laugh

GIPHY! ( July 24, 2013 at 01:28PM

... when I'm looking at a new recipe I've never tried before

GIPHY! ( July 17, 2014 at 01:38PM

... when you are at work trying to make it through Friday

GIPHY! ( July 1, 2016 at 11:45PM

... when I realize this is the kid from The Sixth Sense & I feel ancient

GIPHY! ( June 13, 2017 at 09:51AM

... me at 4:00pm today

GIPHY! ( June 19, 2015 at 10:42AM

Happy Weekend Y'all!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Lots of celebrations, my stationary addiction, & finding good in the tragic {Thankful Thursday #135}

Image result for thankful thursday knit by god's hand

This week I am Thankful For:
{Numbers go with my One-Thousand Gifts Journal / just ignore}

486 / Long #Lunchwithmylove
If you follow me on Instagram, you usually see every Wednesday a picture showing where I get to have lunch with my love - hence the hashtag.  & Ricky had to work late on Monday giving him extra time for lunch.  He usually only gets a half hour (boo) so it was nice to have the entire hour with him this week.

This past week was a busy one with things to be thankful for!!!

It was my mother in law's birthday!!!!
It was Harvey Dent's 4th birthday!!!!
My parents celebrated their 53rd anniversary!!!!
& it was my dad's birthday!!!! 

What a week of blessings!!!

489 / Someone who gets celebrating our dogs.
I loved on Friday, Harvey's Birthday, when Ricky called me on the way home & said, "Are we stopping for gifts for Harvey?"... when I had already had that on my mind.  I love I'm married to someone who gets that its something to celebrate.

Harvey waiting for one of his many toys

490 / No photo session!!!!
It was SO STINKIN' HOT this past weekend. I said so many times, "I am so thankful I dont have to worry about a photo session on a day like today"... I cant even imagine. I've done some pretty hot sessions before too so I would totally stick it out, but so glad I didnt have to.

491 / Etsy progress.
So much work done.... so much still to do ;)

492 / Heat Lightning
Saturday night, it was just mesmerizing to sit & watch all the heat lightning that was happening all around.  So beautiful.  Here's just a quick little view of it... I could have sat out for hours watching it.

493 / A good late sleep in lazy rainy Sunday.
I think that says it all.

495 / Dresses during the summer.
I love all the easy flowy dresses to wear during the summer. I think 99% of my dresses are from Old Navy.  So comfy in the misery of heat.

498 / Texts from kiddos.
I think I've been having different texts from my MSM kids the past few weeks. I'm loving them all. This week though, I've been getting all sorts of texts with questions about hand lettering & what to get for pens to use & paper to use & just questions on journals & how to start. I love they are getting inspired to do such a fun outlet of worship.

499 / Time with my parents celebrating my dad.
He makes the 70's look good, does he not?

A beautiful day for a birthday!  Cochese was eating grass to celebrate

499 / Gel pens.
I am such a nerd when it comes to anything office supply - journals, paper, pens.  So when my mom gave me this bundle of gel pens - it made me ONE HAPPY GIRL!!!

501 /  Good people passing through
Monday, when I got to work, we got devastating news that one of our coworkers had an accident with a gun, causing him to loose his life.  It was shocking to say the least.  This was someone who held the door open to me on Friday, gave me a candy bar to celebrate the end of the day & told me to have a good weekend. I had no idea that would be the last time I would see him.  It's so hard to find something good in horrible, awful situations like this... but I have to add it here because I do find a blessing in the fact that we got to know this person. He was so helpful & kind & generous to everyone in our office. He brought a joy on bad days.  He was that person you could call to help with anything that needed to be done in the building.  When you loose someone unexpectedly & in such tragic ways, it's good to remember that you were blessed to have that kind of person pass through your life, even for a short time.

What blessings have you found in your week?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What's Up

Last Wednesday of the month! Can you believe it?
So here's What's been Up for July!

What We're Eating This Week
haha - poor Ricky - first thing that comes to mind is "What we're NOT eating"... ever since we watched What the Health, Ricky said he cant bring himself to eat much of anything lately. So he's basically been living off of protein bars, Cliff bars & these new fruit pressed bars from Kind. haha.

Image result for kind fruit pressed bars
These things are AMAZINNGGGGGG!!!!!!

What I'm Reminiscing About
Last Friday was Harvey's birthday & as I was going through the latest pictures I took of him, it made me think of one we love of our Sydney Girl.
I had to put them together & sent this to Ricky
... he said he forgot how much he missed her until he saw this.

What I'm Loving

Image result for cherries

I cant get enough of these babies right now.
I'm going to be so sad when summer is over & these are gone
... or the price is about $10.00 a lb.

What We've Been Up To
Still on the hunt trying to find a good dog food for Bruno's skin.
He's doing SOOOOOO much better, but he's still having some flares.
We are finding no grain foods & treats help - but we need a LOW-CARB food for him as well.
... & we've been up to a LOT of dog baths.
Good thing our Bruno is a pro at baths & actually enjoys them.

What I'm Dreading
School traffic.
School starts around here today for most schools, tomorrow for the school system I live in.
Which means, buses going 5mph down my road, making 15 stops (not even joking - 15 stops - I count every year) till I can get to the end of my road - or home in the afternoon.
Plus, the expressway is more packed with buses &all the parents getting back on this schedule.
I always enjoy my summers just as much as all the kids enjoy being off.

What I'm Working On
I'm working hard on my Etsy store...
not sure if its going to do any good, but I've been about updating new products
& adding new products in... & creating an Instagram account
AND creating a FB page for my store.
Whew... its' been exhausting... & fingers crossed its worth it.

What I'm Excited About

Image result for taking time off

I've got a long break in photo sessions coming up.
Like, I purposefully made sure not to book things so I didn't have to be over whelmed & ends up, I have so much time with open weekends. Y'all - it makes this girl THRILLED to think that I can do whatever I want on the weekends.
I do love my photography sessions, but I'm so enjoying the freedom more.
& fall is coming up which is always photo busy & a wedding in the fall - so plenty of time to shoot away. So I'll enjoy this little break while I can.

What I'm Watching
As every summer... I'm all about Big Brother.
I've watched it every year & never tire of it.
& always wonder how I'd do in that house.

Image result for big brother 19 kevin and christmas
My favorites... Kevin. & then Christmas (yes, her name is Christmas)
Also excited that Real Housewives of Orange County is back.
Especially that Lydia is back. I love her & her little fairy princess ways.

Image result for real housewives of orange county 2017
How did Tamra get the center billing with Vicky behind her? WHOOOOO

What I'm Reading
Just finished Dumplin - which I talked about Monday.
I just saw it said on Goodreads "Dumplin #1"
Is there going to be another book in this series?!?!?!?!
PLEASEEEEEE!!! I love me some Willowdean.

Image result for dumplin book fan art willowdean

What I'm Listening To
Image result for jen hatmaker podcast

So excited Jen Hatmaker has started a podcast!!!

I'm also all about my Bachelorette podcasts right now as we get ready to wrap up Rachel's season.

What I'm Wearing

A lot of sandals ... a lot of flowy, light weight dresses & a lot of leggings
Summer 101 wardrobe

What I'm doing this Weekend
Its a photo session kinda weekend
... & the start of MSM! YAHOOO!!!!
We're back to regular schedules & small group time.
& my girls are big stuff 8th graders this year!
We get the upstairs for our small group - the 'cool' spot.
Cant wait to kick off another amazing year.

Image result for southeast christian msm

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month
I'm excited that I'm going to be having lunch with my blog buddy, Katie in a few weeks.
We've connected via blogs & then Instagram, & we've seen each other in passing (literally) doing races (she's a runner) & I just swear we have so much in common, we're soul sisters.
So I'm so excited because we have a lunch planned.  I have a get together later that same night which I know is going to put me on a schedule for that day, but its probably good because I know I could sit & talk with her all day long!!!
I'm sure there will be lots of pictures.

Mix & Match Mama

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

All about that Mason Jar Salad!!!!

Last week, I posted up on Instagram that I had actually meal prepped.

No, the world wasn't coming to an end, though even in my own mind, I felt like it should with me having chopped up & having Tupperware in my fridge of red peppers, cucumbers, broccoli & cauliflower ready to grab & go.  What in the world?

I finally took the time to try the mason jar salads that I keep seeing on Pinterest.

Actually, a few weeks ago, I ran into a friend when I was getting my hair done & she was telling me how she was doing it for her & for her husband & how well she enjoyed it.  She was giving me all sorts of ideas & tips & of course, as soon as she walked out of the door, I totally forgot everything.

... but I did remember she told me to look on Pinterest...

& that's where the idea really took off to do this.

I did remember my friend telling me exactly what these pins were saying - layering is key.

You dont want things getting soggy or things getting so wet that they are mush... ewww....

So it is all about following these charts...

Mason Jar Salad

& I headed off to the grocery to load up on veggies & even some fruit & some nuts & beans...
these salads can have all sorts of mixed up combos.

Luckily I had a weekend when I didn't have anything to do & it made it really easy to meal prep for it. Probably not even an hour to clean & cut up everything.

It probably wouldn't take someone else that long, but I'm not really a kitchen kinda gal, & plus, I'm usually watching something on TV & get distracted easily an hour is for all the distractions & my kitchen level skills.

& I also got a lot of ingredients that were already prepped - like those shredded carrots & I bought some eggs that were already boiled so all I had to do was chop them up. I'm nothing if a person who is looking for ways to make life easier.

I let all my ingredients sit in the fridge over night (on a Saturday) & Sunday evening, I went ahead & made up some salads.... again, being sure to follow those diagrams on what should go where...

& I felt very Pinterest-Proud.  That's a thing, right?

But the test... how were they going to work out?  Taste? Hold up?

Well of course, Monday's salad ended up tasting wonderfully fresh.

& I wasn't sure if you were supposed to eat them out of the jar or what, but I did try the jar method thinking if I had these on the road, is it possible?

I have the big mouth Mason Jars & it did indeed work out just find. Of course, it took some mixing. & I didnt try it, but I probably could have even given it a good shake to get some of the dressing mixed in well.  But it was totally doable.

As for fullness... I was full on Monday after eating... at least for a little bit.  My stomach did tend to growl by the time about 2 hours after I ate & I was so ready for snack by the time I got home.

I did learn that I needed a little more.  Some fruit afterwards.... or what I did afterwards, brought some wheat crackers.

I think if I added some protein to my salads, some edamame, or quinoa (YUM!)  or garbanzo beans, it probably would have filled me up even more to not even need crackers.  But who doesn't love crackers? Come on.

& the REAL test... how did it hold up on Thursday.

4 days after I prepped it?
It actually was just as fresh.

I'm not sure if it was the item of using a real Mason Jar, but when I opened them up, it definitely had a little suction pull on those caps & maybe that helped keep them yummy & delicious?  But they did.

This was my Thursday salad - I did end up taking a bowl with me to work & it is MUCH easier to eat this way, or maybe even get a paper plate or paper bowl to throw away if you dont want to deal with dishes at work.

When you dump it, the salad dressing ends up being on top which is super nice...

All in all, I am SUPER IMPRESSED at this & have been looking at more salad combos.

I have ran across some great fruit ones & even some pasta or rice ideas & I'm totally intrigued now.

I also bought a pack of Quart size jars at Target for $11.99 - that's regular price - but I see they go on sale every now & then & that was for a dozen jars. They had a 4 set - in blue (pretty) but they were like $8.99 & I was being smart at thinking about the clean/dirty ratio & the value of paying just a few more dollars for 3 times as many jars.

But if you dont need 12, you can always find a buddy, split that, & each have 6 jars for less than that the blue in a 4-pack costs.

My thinking is, "there is ALWAYS something you can do with mason jars"... amiright? SO RIGHT!

So tell me, have you tried this?

Are you wanting to try it?

Have any questions, let me know - I'll see if I can help.

& just because - here's some Mason Jar Salad ideas & links - just click the pics to find out more

A Month of Mason Jar Salads! Meal Prep | Salad Recipes | Meal Prep for the Week | Meal Prep Recipes | Healthy Lunch Recipes | Lunch Ideas | Healthy Recipes | Healthy Dinner Recipes | Mason Jar Meals

Skip the expensive salad bar and pack your greens into mason jars.

These 12 healthy mason jar salads will help you get started with this HUGE trend. This is seriously something to get excited about as many have lost a TON of weight using this meal prep method!

11 Take & Go Dishes
This link is for 11 Grab & go ideas

Image result for training tuesday knit by god's hand

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