7/21/16

RECENTLY READ

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

I thought I would share the last 5 books I've read. Normally, by this time in the year, I've read 20+ books. This year, I've read nine. But, things are looking up...and I've made time each day to try and read at least a chapter or two.

From Blah to Awe by Jenna Lucado Bishop
I picked this book up at the library without realizing it was a 'young adult' book (they are mixed in with the regular books at our library)...never mind the sticker on the binding say as much. Ha. So, while it is definitely written for the teen or pre-teen audience...I had a lot of aha moments. I will be the first to admit that I get restless in my faith. Especially during seasons of waiting...which is one I feel like I'm stuck in. But, Jenna does a great job of showcasing God's greatness and how to draw nearer to him. I definitely recommend this if you are struggling with boredom in your faith...or if you have a young daughter/sister/etc.

The Assistants by Camille Perri
Another book I got at the library. TOTALLY not what I was expecting. I think, from the synopsis on the inside jacket, I was expecting more of a Devil Wears Prada type read. It's cute though, and I finished it pretty quick.

Get Out of that Pit by Beth Moore
LOVE. So many time while reading this I would either screen shot a passage or just sit and think about what I read. I love to listen to Beth...but I'll be honest and say that this is the first book I've ever read through of hers. LOVE LOVE. There were moments when I felt like she was speaking directly to my heart. I love side stories that paint the picture of the bigger message and I LOVE a good analogy...it's how I learn. And Beth is SO great at these. This book took a bit longer for me to read...I re-read lots of the book to really let it sink it. I SO SO SO recommend this book though!

Good Health Good Life by Joyce Meyer
Joyce is someone else I love to listen to. She is a no nonsense kind of woman. And I feel like I need that in my life. I usually listen to her podcast on my walks...and she always cracks me up. This is a smaller book but filled with insight on how to really recharge your health. A lot of it is common knowledge type of stuff...but she does offer some great examples of how to incorporate healthier habits into your life.

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
I've already wrote about this book on my June Favorites post. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy from NetGalley...and I just ADORED this book. Emily's way of writing is probably one of my favorites. I've read everything she has written (some multiple times) and this book is one of my favorites.

If I had to pick one book that I would recommend you BUY for your library? I think it would be a tie between Get Out of that Pit and First Comes Love.

What are y'all reading?

7/1/16

HELLO JULY


Time for my monthly goals post. I always feel a bit silly doing this, because, let's face it-my track record is kind of crummy. But I just love doing them. I love the idea of starting fresh and full of hope. I also realize there is nothing special about the beginning of the year, month, week or day...but there is something magical about a "1" on the calendar to sort of motivate you. If only there wasn't something sinister about the "2" to cancel out that motivation. HA.

July is a fun month to plan for because it is the beginning of the second half of the year. WHAT? I know. We were out to dinner with friends last weekend and we were all talking about how we have felt a little blah this year. And then my friend Erika and I decided that this was as good a day as any to start over and get back on track!

JULY GOALS
1.  Go to church every Sunday
2.  Read the Bible every day (or close)
3.  Read 5 books
4.  Work out (like a for real, intentional workout) 4 times
5.  Get 5k steps each day
6.  Celebrate C's birthday
7.  Go to WW every week (and stay for meeting)
8.  Blog more
9.  Work on my duolingo app more
10. Redesign my blog

Happy July y'all!

6/30/16

JUNE WRAP UP

The last day of June!! Kind of crazy, right?

So, I thought I would do a new feature on my blog: a monthly wrap up. This will give me an opportunity to share some of my favorite things from the month, as well some my most recent blog designs. Fun!

First up, my favorite things for June.


It was kind of a slow month. I was sick for half the month. And...we moved at the end of May and are currently living with a family member until we find a new place. SO, most of my stuff is stored away for the next few weeks. Frustrating, yes...but also kind of great because I just grabbed a few things to use while we are here. While I've never been one who buys frivolously, there is nothing like packing up all your belongings to see where you have too many "extras".

For example, I picked up the e.l.f. Skincare System (which came with the Daily Face Cleanser, Daily Hydration Moisturizer and Illuminating Eye Cream) in April. But, this is the skincare I brought with us, and I have to say...I'm really loving it. I also picked up the Nourishing Night Cream and REALLY love it. I have pretty good skin. I rarely break out, and though I am definitely starting to show some fine lines, they aren't too bad. (I blame the fat!...it fills you out!! HA). I have super dry/sensitive skin though, so that is something I am always concerned with. These are great because they are paraben/sulfate/phthalate free. LOVE that! Bonus? They are really really REALLY reasonably priced. YAY!

I finally picked up the itCosmetics SuperHero Mascara. I had been wanting it for a while. And initially, I was very disappointed. But I usually hate all mascaras the first couple of uses...I think they are too wet or something. I almost returned this to Ulta, but I'm SO grateful I didn't. I LOVE it. 

Also loving the NYX Lip Butter (currently using Vanilla Cream Pie). I have really dry lips so I have a hard time pulling off lipstick, but this does a great job of adding color and moisture. 
Another previous favorite that I'm loving again is the St. Ives Skin Renewing lotion. It's also paraben free...which is something I try to look for in all my health/beauty products. It doesn't have a strong smell and it isn't sticky. And it's inexpensive! Ha. 

I got BURNT at the beginning of June. RIGHT before I got sick. SO the first few weeks of June had me feeling like a real winner. I was a mess.  The upside? When all the red and peeling were gone (again, total mess), I had some color to my normally ghost white complexion. I don't typically wear a heavy foundation...but here lately, I'm just brushing on some Physician's Formula Mineral Wear powder foundation. Tan or no tan, I wear creamy natural. It's got a good SPF and stays on all day.  

In the entertainment department, C and I started watching Bloodline while I was sick. WE COULD NOT STOP!! It's so good. I don't know why we didn't watch until now. I'm not even playing when I say it stressed us both out and we often ended up yelling at the characters. But once we finished season 2 we were both like "now what?!".  I also read Emily Giffin's new book, First Comes Love, and it was definitely my favorite read of the month!! 

The last few months before we moved were slow on the design front. But, after we got (semi) settled here, I was blessed with several new clients! I thought I'd share a few of my recent designs. If you are looking for a new blog design (blogger hosted) email me!!! 


She hasn't launched her blog yet, but Courtney has a fabulous instagram account so I know her blog will be just as great. Keep an eye out for that! 

Mallarey has lost over 115 pounds! Um....AMAZING. Such a pleasure to work with her.

How gorgeous is Emma? She is a Finnish-American fashion blogger. She has great style!

The month started kind of crazy...but just got better and better. And we are making taco salads and watching Big Brother tonight...so it's ending fabulously!!

6/29/16

JUNE CURRENTLY


Reading... a lot more than I had been! I just finished Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore and I'm STILL thinking about it. So good. I also read Emily Giffin's new book and LOVED that. I'll be doing a book post soon!

Watching... Drop Dead Diva. SO cute. I watched a few episodes when it first came on television. But for whatever reason...I quit. Love watching a few episodes with C every night. I am also back in the habit of watching Friends while I'm trying to fall asleep each night. I can be turned away from the television and still crack up because I've seen the show so many times, I can see it playing out in my head. Ha. It never gets old.

Trying... to take a break from Facebook. For a little while anyway. I find myself either mindlessly scrolling through when I should be doing something more productive OR getting completely aggravated by something I see on there! Ha. It was scary when I hit the "deactivate" button last night. But I'm about 17 hours in and haven't gotten back on. We'll see!

Cooking... wanting to cook lasagna roll-ups tonight. I'v seen a few recipes on Instagram and Pinterest, but I'm thinking I'm going to wing-it. History is not on my side with making up recipes, but this one seems fool proof!

Eating... in my points range. Well, not really...but I am trying to. I was out earlier and was tempted to stop and get "healthy" fast food. But, I made myself come home and try a Healthy Choice meal I had bought last week. I told my friend earlier that I just needed to do the opposite of what I'm naturally inclined to do, and this is the perfect example of that. AND... I actually feel better for it...so there may be something to that! HA.

Drinking... water mostly. I also got some vanilla sleepy time tea that I am kind of loving. I wrote this exact thing last month, but it's the same this month. I HAVE been drinking some caffeine free diet coke, but I am going to try and cut back on that. 

Texting... C mostly. We've been communicating in screenshots here lately. Ah technology...

Pinning... little of this, little of that. I got in a bad habit of just liking things, thinking I'd go back and "file" them on the right board later. Which, naturally, I've yet to do. So trying to find something I thought I'd pinned is proving to be a pain. I need to go in and organize that. 

Going...  to keep looking for a job. I've been applying at two local school districts, and I'm just PRAYING I'll get hired SOON.

Loving...   my "me" time every night. C goes to bed pretty early...so I've been trying to read after he goes to bed. Again, I'm naturally inclined to scroll through social media or watch Netflix, so this can be a challenge....but I find that reading helps me get sleepy faster and I feel better the next day.

Thinking... all the things I want and need to do. Sometimes I feel like my brain goes too fast. Do y'all have that? (I wrote this last month as well...but it is exactly what I'm thinking right now...so we'll use it again).

Feeling...  SO much better than I did a few weeks ago. I got a cold at the beginning of the month and thought I was dying. I haven't had a cold in years. In one of my more dramatic moments I asked C if I was just going to be sick forever or what. Seriously though, it was bad for about 2 weeks and then lingered for another week. NOT fun. 

Hoping (for)... a fun three day weekend with C. So funny that last time I did this was right before a three day weekend. I should do these posts every week! :) 

Listening (to)...  Eric Church's newest CD (yes, CD). I got it for Christmas and I'm surprised it still plays...I've listened to it about 1000x times. It's SO SO SO good.

Celebrating... how well the Texas Rangers are playing this season.!!! And JULY 4th!! Excited for fireworks this weekend. I LOVE to watch fireworks. 

Ordering... I ordered a new laptop battery, charger and some yoga pants (my fave). I feel like a new woman. I've never really been an online shopper. But I'm kind of obsessed now! Ha.

Thanking...  the good Lord for air conditioning. It is SO hot here. Ugh.

Considering...  our next steps. C and I are making plans and praying for the future. It's nerve-wracking but also very exciting. Sometimes I get down on myself because I'm not where I wanted or thought I would be. But it's such a blessing to be able to stop, readjust and get going in the right direction again. I just have to get out of my own way. 

Starting... to get excited for FOOTBALL. It's like 70 days till kickoff. YAYAYAY!!

Finishing... up the month with big ideas for this summer. Again, I used this same answer last month. Maybe not the most exciting girl in town, but consistent! LOL

6/14/16

52 BOOKS :: SLOW START

So one of my goals for the year was to try and read 52 books. Again. I set this goal every year and always fall a little bit short. I think my problem is that I tend to start several books at once and I probably need to read straight through one book at a time. I have a really hard time starting a book and not finishing it though, so that lends to the problem.

This year....I have only read FOUR books. Not good. So much stuff went on at the beginning of the year. And then we moved. I have about 10 books on my nightstand. And I'd love to finish all of them. But, now we have Netflix in the bedroom (something we never had before)...and the call of FRIENDS or The Office is too much at night.

But I did want to share the first 4 books. Hopefully, I can share another 4 later this month. There are so many new summer books about by my favorite authors!!

Anyway, here are the firsts for 2016.
books to read


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Okay...so I have seen a lot of people feature this book on Instagram, but I always put it off because the title seems a little hokey. With good reason....the book is definitely a bit silly. Don't get me wrong, there are some valuable insights in this book. I especially liked her approach to getting rid of things. We were in the process of packing/moving while I was reading this, so I was confronted with how much of a pack-rat I am. We move every couple of years, so I always thought that was a good way of weeding through what I really want. But, y'all, I have boxes of cards. Birthday cards, Christmas cards, thank you cards. It's kind of crazy. I just have always had a bit of a sentimental touch...but seriously, nobody needs to keep thank you cards from 10 years ago, right? So I liked her attitude towards appreciating things for the service they provided (even if it is just the joy of opening the card) and then getting rid of them. While most of my stuff is in storage right now, I'm actually pretty excited to put to use her method of going through everything and sorting what it is that brings joy vs. things to part with once we get to our new place.

The Shunning by Beverly Lewis. I've gotten on a bit of an Amish kick in the last year or so. Beverly Lewis is definitely my favorite Amish writer, but I'd never read this series. I enjoyed it. I actually read a more recent book that revisited some of the main characters in this book. So that was a little frustrating. I believe there are two more in this series...they are on my to-read list. If you like Amish books, and somehow haven't read this one...do it!

Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum. This is a young adult book about a girl who struggles with her weight and her place in her "perfect" family. I'm going to be honest and say I didn't love this book. I didn't like any of the characters and it just wasn't relate-able or believable.

For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. I seriously laughed out loud several times throughout the book. Just such a good read.

What are y'all reading?

6/10/16

HELLO JUNE


I'm coming in a few days late on my Hello June blog post. I started the month with a horrible sunburn and followed that up with a cold. I haven't had a cold in at least 10 years and I completely forgot how nasty they are. Especially in the summer. NO fun!

I feel like I am finally-hopefully-fingers-crossed on the mend and ready to tackle the month.

A quick re-cap of May....

1. Celebrate my birthday!!! (the 10th)
2. MOVE
3. Get back on track with WW (post coming soon)
4. Go to a baseball game (maybe!)
5. Find a swimsuit (dread!)
6. Read a few books
7. Keep looking for a job

Not great, but not too bad. Moving took up a bunch of our energy and focus last month. 

Okay, so for June, I am still wanting to work on my daily habits. I'll admit that I have been slacking a little (a lot) on these. Need to figure out a way to make them more of a, um, habit. Ha. 

1. Make daily to-do list
2. Duolingo lesson each day.
3. Track for WW
4. 6ksteps each day
5. Read SRT daily
6. Drink a 20 oz glass of water first thing
7. Read before bed.

... and here are a few other things I am hoping to accomplish this month!

1. Organize paperwork 
2. Give up soda the rest of the month (starting 6/11/16)
3. Get back on track with WW (post coming soon)
4. Blog more!!
5. Find a swimsuit (dread!)
6. Read a few books
7. Keep looking for a job

5/27/16

CURRENTLY - MAY EDITION


I can't believe May is almost over!! I say that every month. You'd think I'd get used to the months zipping by, but here we are at another month's end.  This month was CRAZY.  We moved. And that was super stressful and a big mess. I don't have a lot to show for this month except turning another year older (yay!) and packing all of our STUFF again. 

I thought it would be fun to do a CURRENTLY post to get back into the swing of blogging. I plan on blogging more this summer...but we'll see how that goes.

Reading... several books right now. I've finally started reading again. I think I had only read like 4 books this year prior to this month. I'll do a book update soon. 

Watching... Pretty Little Liars right now (it's easy to have on in the background while I'm working). We are also loving a few new (to us) shows on Netflix: Mysteries of Laura, Cristella, and a TON of documentaries. 

Trying... to get back into eating right. It's been FOREVER. I actually cancelled my WW membership while we were preparing to move. I just wasn't committed to doing the plan. Unfortunately, it's starting to show. I haven't weighed recently, but I have a feeling it's gone up about 5 pounds. No bueno.

Cooking... nothing. Not a thing. And needing to fix that. Pronto.

Eating... a ton of fast food. UGH. But, we are planning a big grocery shopping trip this weekend, and hopefully we'll be back to eating semi healthy soon.

Drinking... water mostly. I also got some vanilla sleepy time tea that I am kind of loving. 

Calling... nobody. I hate talking on the phone.

Texting... my sweet friend Melissa. I bother her all day long with randomness. 

Pinning... mostly recipes. If I cooked as much as I pinned...we'd be all set.  

Tweeting... nothing. I just don't get it. Still.

Going... on a lunch date with C tomorrow. All this talk about eating healthy and we are looking forward to eating out (again) tomorrow. But...we have been talking about doing this for a while. 

Loving...  snuggling with miss Daphne (the cat) each night. She's just so precious.

Discovering... that I am very restless right now. I mean, I think I've felt it brewing for a while...but I am just realizing that I am so ready for some major changes.

Thinking... all the things I want and need to do. Sometimes I feel like my brain goes too fast. Do y'all have that?

Feeling... excited about what is ahead! There are a lot of unknowns in my future, but I cannot wait to see what the Lord has up His sleeve! OKAY, I got this prompt from Bailey a while back and I am just leaving her original answer here. Because it is exactly what I'm thinking!!

Hoping (for)... a fun three day weekend with C. We have nothing planned (other than lunch tomorrow and church Sunday) and I am SO excited about that. 

Listening (to)... Randy Rogers Band station on Pandora. LOVE. 

Celebrating... my cousin is getting married tomorrow. She is getting married out of state and we aren't going, but I am so excited for her.

Smelling... the banana I just ate. I love bananas but hate that smell. 

Ordering... well, thinking about ordering some new clothes online. I am desperate for some new clothes. In the worst way.

Thanking... my mom for helping us out so much during the move. She's pretty great. And that we don't have the worlds most annoying neighbors anymore.

Considering... different career opportunities. I have my mind set on one thing, but I am thinking about trying a few other options. Ready to see what happens. 

Starting... to wake up earlier. Ever since we moved, I've been going to bed at a "normal" time and waking up early (for me). Yay!

Finishing... up the month with big ideas for this summer. 

What's going on with y'all?