Friday, May 29, 2015

May Favorites

Marc Jacobs Daisy // The Eau So Fresh fragrance is gorgeous. It is a beautiful springtime scent that I can't get enough of. I am constantly getting compliments on it. The smell is soft and a bit floral, but not overly. I'm not a huge floral fan at all and I'm still in love with this scent. Super yummy!

Hope*ologie // This is such an incredible podcast put together by two sisters and their father. The discussion between the three is a wonderful dynamic that helps me to better understand different aspects of life and family. I'm already in love with both of their blogs, Nesting Place and Chatting at the Sky, and this fun podcast simply adds to knowing their hearts even better.

My Garden // I have been having such a blast tending to my beautiful baby plants that I picked up from Home Depot. It's been a joy that I never even knew I would appreciate but I am truly loving it. They've grown so incredibly much over just the past few weeks and it's been so much fun watching them. See all my plants as cute little babies here.

Stephanie May Wilson // Her blog is beautifully written with so much wisdom and encouragement. Every Friday she invites someone into her little piece of home on the internet to share the beautiful moments in their lives and they are always inspiring. She also has a killer book called The Lipstick Gospel. You have to check it out.

Birchbox // This monthly subscription box is a blast to receive every month. It's like a little bit of Christmas every time I find it in my mailbox. I've been really enjoying the samples that seem to get consistently better with each passing month and have found some amazing new brands that I love. You receive 5 new samples per month and they are usually a pretty decent size that allow you to try them out for a while and see if you enjoy the products. I highly recommend them.

Sam Hunt // Absolutely loving his album. The songs are killer and I can't get enough of them or his smooth singing. He's a bit of a dreamboat, not gonna lie, and his music is super fun to bust out some moves with. If you have yet to give it a listen and love some great country, then check him out. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Disney World & Universal Photo Diary

I am so incredibly excited that I got to experience another one of my 2015 travel wishlist locations this past weekend. That's right. The fam and I traveled to Florida for some fun in the sun and Disney/Universal magic. 

We had such a blast, met a ton of fun characters, laughed a bunch, and truly enjoyed each others company. Here is a little look see at our awesome Memorial Day weekend.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
Soooo this is my crazy family lol
Josh and I in Morocco for lunch 
My sis Carrie and I at the tree of life
And again with the crazy lol (see what I mean)
My favorite Disney Princess!!
Our bae Mickey
The parents with explorer Donald
Dad tried to take a pic with Mickey but Mickey wanted the whole spotlight
Show me your terrified face!
You want us to take that elevator??
Magic at its finest!
This sight never gets old
Me and my boo in front of the princess castle
Arrrghhh! We're pirates!
Runaway train
Gorgeous ladies in Universal
Yes we are minions 
This was me in allll my glory. Drinking a butterbeer in Diagon Alley!! 
Hopping on the Hogwarts Express!
Daydreaming on my way to Hogwarts Castle sitting in the Hogwarts Express
I love me some Harry Potter!! The new park was awesome!
My handsome husband and I always goofing off

Hope you all enjoy this little view into our lives and our family fun! We had a blast. Stay tuned to the blog for more trips coming this year that involve the 2015 Travel Wishlist. I'm so excited for the wonderful things to come!


Monday, May 25, 2015

That Time My Dog Taught Me an Important Lesson

Anyone who knows me understands that I am in love with my dog, Lu. She is my baby. My child in every way. 

Lu is also fairly handicapped. She has an issue with her spine where it never truly finished forming at the very end while she was a pup and because of this the nerves have pinched for so long in her back that she no longer has feeling in her lower half. Due to this condition she drags her back legs a bit when she walks. 

It doesn't seem to bother her a whole lot because she honestly can't feel what is going on. But even though this assures me that she is not in alot of major pain, it actually keeps me even more aware and protective when she is getting into things. If she hurts herself while playing outside she can't fully feel it and therefore will continue to hurt herself recklessly. 

She has a hard time walking around our concrete back patio and, as she regularly drags her legs, she starts to scrap the tops of them up without even noticing. The more she scraps herself, the more of a tendency she has to start bleeding on the tops of her little feet. 

Now as a mom, of course this concerns and upsets me very much. I hate to see my baby scratched up and bleeding. It physically upsets me to see her hurting herself without her even realizing it. 

The other day, while I was working on my DIY Night Stands outside, I brought her out to spend the hours with me. But due to her condition, whenever my husband and I are working outside, we keep her on the grass. That's the rule. To stay outside, she must stay in the grass. 

The problem with that is, she doesn't always want to stay in the grass. 

I was working on the concrete so she wanted to be on the concrete with me. But as her parent, I knew what was better, healthier, and safer for her. So I would pick her up and place her back in the grass. 

As the day wore on, a little battle ensued of her sneaking back on to the concrete and me then placing her back in the grass. 

As this scenario played out, it occurred to my heart that this is a game I have played with God so many times in my life. A little battle of my own. Over and over again I've chosen to head into the path of unhealth and pain. And over and over again He has gently guided me back to that sweet grassy patch that won't leave me scratched and bruised. 

I slowly realized that if I'm bleeding somewhere in my life, it's because I haven't listened to the direction or boundary God has placed on me. I'm the one who has wandered off the grass. 

How many times have I walked into a situation thinking that, not only was it exactly where I wanted to be but also not really feeling the pain at first as I went along with life, only to end up bloody from the aftermath of my choices.

God is my ever loving parent who wants to see health in my life and not pain and when I follow His direction, He leads me straight into a life of that health and joy. It gives Him great pleasure to watch me living my life out of purpose and not pain. He is my stronghold and protector. 

I follow Him not because He is a tyrant telling me what to do, but because He is a loving parent who wants to make sure I'm safe. Following His plans will always be better than following my own.

Eventually Lu got the picture and spent the rest of the day on the grass. She realized that her mom wanted what was best for her, even if she couldn't see that for herself. She taught me an important lesson of trust and obedience. 

I'm slowly catching up to that same trust and obedience in my life.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Internet Obsessions to Enjoy Over the Weekend

Just wanted to leave ya'll with some awesomely fun internet finds for your weekend. 

Can't get enough of reading this lovely woman's blog. Her style is flawless and her posts are so much fun to read. 

One of my fav accounts. Kristen always has gorgeous photos and inspiring thoughts.

Yeees, I'm already obsessed. It's a problem and I love it!

This gorgeous store will have you salivating over the pieces. Can not wait for their grand opening next week!

An amazing youtuber who is so entertaining to watch. Catch up on the past month with her "Every Day May" series.

Have an incredible weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

DIY Shabby Chic Night Tables

For the past nearly two years now, Josh and I have been tirelessly searching for good night stands to frame either side of our bed, that would not only fit well but also not break the bank. We both knew that we needed/wanted something tall and slender, with drawers, that didn't cost us hundreds of dollars. (End table are expensive ya'll!)

So the searched continued, as we never seemed to find exactly what we wanted, for the price we wanted. So for nearly two years now I have been using a planter as my night table. A teeny planter people. It has definitely not been the most fun experience with absolutely no room to put anything.

Scene change to browsing through an antique store recently, in a fairly close neighborhood and finding these beauties! 

Ok, so they weren't exactly beauties at first. But I knew they had the potential to be gorgeous once they were given a little TLC. They were exactly what we were looking for, tall, slender, and only 20 bucks a piece. WooHoo!! 

The reason why these were such oddly shaped (and perfect) night stands, came from the fact that they are actually a vanity. Well I mean, they were in their former life. But alas, someone ripped out their middle mirror piece and was trying to sell them as two separate tables. 

I saw their potential immediately!

First things first, sanding down the finish on the tops (and basically all over) the tables. I used a combination of my electric sander and a block sander. In the end I went with using more of the hand block sander simply because I was using what was in my home and I didn't have the proper grit of paper for my electric sander.

For those who have never sanded before (and I can totally understand, cause I was you at one point in life) sand paper and sanding blocks have grit numbers attached to them to tell you how heavy or light of a sanding they will give you. When getting finish off or buffing out scratches, I tend to use a heavier, more coarse grit of sand paper.

Once the finish was off, I started to paint. I didn't go crazy on the sanding because I wanted to get several layers showing through when I distressed it later on. Oh, and do not forget to clean the piece off well, after you have sanded or you will get dirt in the paint and it will just not be pretty. I used a hefty amount of wood pledge over every inch, to remove the sawdust.

So here is one of the pieces mid paint. For the painting I chose to go with more of a dry brush technique. For that, what you want to do is get minimal paint on your brush and then drag out as much of that paint as you can over the piece, leaving some areas not even coated at all. This will enhance your shabby chic effect as you continue.

The paint I used for this piece was in the color "Silver Screen" and was from the Behr Premium Plus collection. It was a flat paint, with the paint and primer in one, purchased at the Home Depot.

Here is a view of the piece once it was fully painted with the areas of wood peaking through the paint.

Once I finished with the larger structure, I painted the outsides of all of the drawers to match.

Once the paint was dry, it was time to distress. I quickly realized that this was my most favorite part of the project. I used a fairly fine grit of sand paper (I believe this one was a 150), folded it up, and started to sand all of the corners, edges, and accents on the stands and drawers. 

This part is always fun because you can go as light or as heavy as you want on the sanding, depending on how you want your piece to turn out.

I went fairly light at first but started to really enjoy the distressed look. So in the end I went all out and I absolutely loved the result!

Two fabulous shabby chic night stands ready to anchor our bed and round out our room. If you are inspired to redo pieces of furniture in your home or a fantastic treasure found out at an antique store, please send me pics on my insta (link over on my side bar --->). I would looove to see your creations!

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Season of Chaos

Have you ever had one of those weeks where it just seems to be never ending?

What about one of those months?

This past month for me has had a full momentum, bottle rocket like feel throughout it. I believe this is due partially to me catching up on all that I missed while away, but also just a rapid collusion of all life events happening at once. 

I had my flight home, getting pretty sick, my grandmom passing, a surprise party, cheerleading meetings, in-laws' birthdays, mother's day celebrations, graduations, taking care of a handicapped pup, family visits, my hub's birthday and a long list of people wanting to simply hang out. I feel there is only one truly appropriate word for this time period.


There doesn't seem to be a day that goes by where my plate is not completely full (and I mean falling off the edges of the plate) and at times that can get very overwhelming. I went to bed just after 9:00pm last night due to the sheer exhaustion of the past several days/weeks.

In my quiet time with God this weekend, I expressed just how exhausted I was from this chaotic season of life. He just softly whispered into my soul, "And what a beautiful time it has been."

You know what? Like He always is, He was extremely right.

Sometimes I am very much aware of the beauty that lives in our all to often, insanely chaotic and hectic lives. (But the simple reminder completely made me smile and reflect.)

Just this month alone I was able to spend time with my beautiful Washington cousins whom I sadly rarely see, I had multiple days with my amazing family (both childhood family and married family), I was able to catch up with old friends, get awesome hugs from some of my beautiful cheerleaders, celebrate the love of my life, and worship God with my own church family.

It's been one incredible month!

And what God showed me in this little convo we had was that He is there, even in the chaos, making each and every moment of our lives beautiful. We just need to be available to open our eyes and see each lovely minute as we are experiencing it.

I know that sometimes in our hectic spells, we can get stressed out, and only see the next task that needs to be accomplished. But I strongly urge you to simply breathe for a moment, stop, and look around at all of the beauty coming out of the chaos. This season will be here today and gone tomorrow.

So how do we step back and breathe in these hectic moments? In the Message Bible it says, 

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. 
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, 
letting God know your concerns. 
Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, 
everything coming together for good, 
will come and settle you down. 
It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry 
at the center of your life.

This has become almost a constant mantra for me. Give your chaos and worries to God and He, in return, will give you a peaceful sense of wholeness that will settle you down. He's pretty darn awesome in that way.

In the same way that you spill your worries on to your trusted best friend and they calm you down by telling you everything will work out, we can all gather strength in the knowledge that the creator of the universe is telling us the exact same thing, when we overload our hectic lives on to him.

And it is so sweet to know that, not only is He reassuring us that it will all be alright, but He is also reminding us to look around at all of the beauty that He has created in that season of chaos.

Friday, May 15, 2015

To my Amazing Hubby on His Birthday...


My incredible husband.

I am beyond thrilled that we get to share our lives with each other. I could not have asked God for a greater partner in life. 

You are the person who always makes me laugh and you taught me how to really laugh at myself. 

You consistently make me jump for joy and help me to soar to new heights. Your encouragement and consistent support helps to me accomplish the dreams God has placed on my heart. 

You're only person I ever want to adventure with. We've already gone on some amazing travels and the best is truly yet to come as we wander this world together. 

You are my sunshine on a gorgeous day. Your spirit always brings a smile to my face. 

You're the Luigi to my Princess Peach!
Enough said. 

I count it a major blessing to share all of our firsts together. Like purchasing our first home, holding those keys for the first time, and eating Wawa sandwiches inside to celebrate. Life honestly can't get any more perfect than that. 

I love that we have the same sense of humor. When this pic was taking we literally made the same exact face at the same time without even realizing it. We are mentally linked forever haha. 

We may still be in the beginning season of marriage but it has already been such an incredible journey. 

I can't wait to continue sharing our firsts, laughing with you, traveling with you, dressing up with you, and loving insanely. 

You are the jelly to my peanut butter (cause let's face it, I'm always the peanut butter), the moon to my stars, and the vanilla creamer to my coffee. You spice up my life in every way and I am madly in love with you. 

Happy Birthday Boom!

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