Last day of 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This year has been crazy, yet amazing. I could look back and regret a few things or wish I did that instead worrying about where I messed up but that just leaves a negative mark. I don't want to look back on this year and have it be "that year" for any reason. There was definitely wonderful times and definitely terrible times. I want to share with you some experiences.

The two hardest moments will be memories I will never forget. I officially got mono in may ( urgent care on mothers day actually makes it worse). I also ended up getting strep throat on fathers day, aka I was sick and tired of being sick and tired (literally). I cried a lot. I had no energy, my throat hurt for over a week. I was told I couldn't work out for over a month. I literally sat on the couch and stayed at home until the very end of may. My nephew was born on May 19th, and I had to miss his birth. I was devastated. My brother in law, sister, and baby went home the next day where I officially got to see him. Being new parents and still fresh with mono I wasn't able to go inside, so I went to their backyard and saw him through the sliding glass door. I was so so so happy to finally see this little boy but ended up standing by the closed window for 15 minutes because it was hard. Some may think, well some people live far and don't get to be there either, or family members aren't alive to see it too, which also saddens me. I know many people go through worse.  It was down right tough because I adore babies, I'm a babysitter/nanny girl and I have been begging my sister to finally have a baby. During her whole pregnancy I was there with her. I went to buy buy baby with them when they registered, I painted the baby's room, I went to several doctor appointments with her and so on. As soon as that little babyboy could start to hear I would talk to him in my sisters belly. Then all of a sudden, less than a week before her due date...I found out I couldn't even be at the hospital. My sister has always been my bestfriend so it was super rough. She was also so upset which made it emotional for my whole family. A big part of me felt so bad because I couldn't be there on one of the best days of her life. I couldn't hold her hand while she had contractions. I couldn't be sitting in the waiting room waiting for him to arrive. I sat awake as my parents left to go to the hospital, waiting for text and the call. I got to skype her while she was all hooked up in her hospital bed. I also love everything medical and am going to be a PA so I would've been totally good and excited to experience that whole process. My mom and bro-in-law were in the room when she gave birth, then they face-timed me. I was the 1st person (aside from them 2 in the room) so see my nephew. (Seriously SO thankful for face time, it makes us the most "there" that we can be at times) He was beautiful. Nathan was born and I felt SO much love for him just by looking at my phone. It was one of the best days of my life but also was one of the hardest. It can get me really sad at times knowing that it felt like a dream and I was forced to miss that experience but there's nothing I can do to change that. The more important thing was that my nephew was healthy and whole. Even though that may have seemed like a sob story, it was genuinely a rough time. All in all, I see him multiple times a week. He bring so much JOY to our family. We have so much fun together and I am so super in love with being his auntie.
  The day he was born                                                                               Christmas shopping together :)

My grandpa passed away in September and I miss him deeply. He had lived in Florida with my grandpa for the past 12 years so we didn't see them a ton. There are so many wonderful things I could say about him. I love him so much. He had cancer on and off for a few years, but this past summer it was spreading all over. In August my family was able to spend time with him and my grandma. It was special but I think one of the hardest things is watching someone die. I couldn't take away his cancer but I could pray for him and love him. I think about him everyday. I will tell my future family about him, and they will get to see him through my dad. Every time I do something he loved I will think of him, his love for golfing, animals, black coffee, fishing and much more. He was also a Marine which makes me so so proud. It was something that I have never experienced yet I have peace. I have great joy because I know that He is spending eternity in heaven with Jesus. Can't wait to see you one day.

The happy, fun and amazing moments are too longer to number! I got see watch my sissy become a mother. I got to make countless memories with my friends and family. I got to have one of the best years ever because I am madly in love with my Philip. I watch the coolest kids ever! I got to see God's love in a new way. I accomplished several of my fitness goals. I did really well this past semester in college. I have made several new friends that bless me! I am able to get up everyday and live the life God has called me to. I am able to love, I am able to celebrate the life of others. I went into details with a few rough moments because that is life. It's real life. Things happen that are out of our control but we can look back and grow. We can choose to see the good. I experinced death in my family and life in my family. I have a happy heart because I know I am blessed through it all. God is always GOOD.

I encourage you to look back, and reflect. Don't get hard on yourself but be thankful for all that you were able to learn and grow from. Set new goals. Be a more giving person. Challenge yourself to do things you never thought you could do. Serve in new ways. Ultimately, go into 2014 LOVING others around you, living each day to the full potential, passionately following Jesus.

                             HAVE A VERY HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It was a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 30, 2013

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! It is most definitely my favorite holiday. I love all the music, lights, peppermint mocha's, cookies, movies, crazy shopping,dressing up, the Christmas tree...everything is extra fun and magical at Christmas.  Most of all, celebrating the birth of Jesus! That will always be the most important part and center of CHRISTmas. Just wanted to share some of my favorites :) Some of my fams traditions are making "wreaths", decorating a ton of sugar cookies (that will take place in a few days,oops!) watching Christmas with the Kranks, and cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. I recently just found a picture of me at 1 1/2 years old sitting next to my sister in the kitchen with cinnamon rolls on the table, now i'm 20 and my mom still bought the classic cinnamon rolls to eat while watching the parade...definitely a tradition I will do with my husband and kids one day :)

It was my boyfriend & I's 2nd Christmas together & I loved it! Btw-he gets me the perfect presents, I never have given him a list & he gets it right for every birthday and holiday ( seriously, a girls dream come true) It was also my nephews first Christmas which was SUPER fun! I loved getting to spoil him with gifts, even though he tried to eat the wrapping paper while ripping them open ;) I'm sure next year will be even better! 

I also wanted to share a super easy recipe,Oreo truffles!
- 1 pkg of double stuffed oreo's
- 4ish oz of cream cheese (so like half of the pkg one)
- 1-2 bags of vanilla or white choc chocolate chips

Crush Oreos finely to where they are like crumbs. Mix in the softened cream cheese. Roll into balls. Place on parchment paper & cookie sheet: freeze for 15-18 mins. Double boil the chocolate til it's completely melted. One at time putting the ball into choc & getting out with fork. Place back on sheet & add oreo cookie crumble on top. Set in fridge...they are overall pretty easy! 

Tip: If you're a mint lover then mint chocolate would be good to cover them in, or you can do milk/dark chocolate if you aren't a fan of the white! 

This is what your oreo crumbs + cream cheese should look like 
Roll into balls about this size and place on cookie sheet, then to freezer.

Final Result!

 I know this is an after Christmas post so next year I will do better I promise! Hope all of you had an amazing holiday with family & friends, it really is the best time of the year!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Holidays Everyone! It's kind of been awhile since I posted, sorry about that. I have a DIY project that I did a few weeks ago that I wanted to share. I don't really have much hanging on my walls in my room, but I do have some picture frames on my nightstand & dresser. I am always taking new pics so I wanted an easy way to put up new ones but also wanted some sort of art on my wall. Two of my walls are pink and and the other two are grey. They grey ones were yellow but a few years ago I decided to change it, so now my accent colors are grey & white. I didn't want to pay a ton of money for one so I decided to make a canvas print myself! I love that lighter-gold, sort of shimmery champagne color so I went with that. I used a white canvas board from Hobby Lobby, which I actually got at either 30% or 40% off!

So, lets just say math isn't my strong point and in order to make a nice chevron print you have to measure. First off, I couldn't find any tutorial online for the size board that I had to my sister did it for me. Every 6 inches I made a line with a pencil, at the top & bottom. For the sides I made a line every 2.75 inches (something like that) I made dots across the whole board so it looks like this.
 Once you have all your dots, take your ruler and draw the lines diagonally, you'll start to see the chevron print coming together.
 This pic below is how it looks before I started painting. As you can see, you can pick where you want to start your print. Tip: use your pencil lightly, then erase a little bit before you paint, the paint doesn't really cover pencil markings very well. (mine looks a little dirty because of all the erasing I did, plus i'm a lefty!)

This is the end result! 

It turned out darker than I wanted, however I love how the light makes it shimmer from the side. I have yet to put pics up on it, but will share that soon :) Excuse how my walls look btw;) My lines aren't perfect but thats okay! It was my first time at I saved a lot of money. I spent less than $15! I would do this again but it truly felt like a math project I did in high school lol. If you try, let me know how it turns out! 

I also have been saving for a camera and decided to go with the Canon Rebel T3i. I was looking at the Canon Rebel T3, however the worker at Best Buy told me the T3i was worth the $100 more. Best Buy also prices matches products if they are sold & shipped my At the time it was $519 on amazon & $569 in the store, so I automatically got $50 off. My sister will be using it a lot so she chipped in which helped. I also bought an SD card, and a $10 UV lens. I did not know about the UV lens but i'm SO glad I got it. The UV lens is small and goes right over the lens it comes with, it helps with enhancing the pictures and projects the nice lens from getting scratched. I always leave it on. It's so nice because if it happens to get damaged it's only $10 to replace instead of paying hundreds for a whole new 18-55mm lens (thats the one it comes with). I honestly don't even know how to work it completely. I LOVE it and highly recommend it. I had a point and shoot Canon camera so I was automatically drawn to the Canon DSLR's. Seriously, so worth it if you love taking pictures.

aaaaaaaaaaand I just noticed that Amazon has it WAY cheaper for when I bought it but oh well is the link for all of you! I still might try to go in and get the price match again?! Canon Rebel T3i

Coupons for Life

Monday, November 4, 2013

In my house, we LOVE coupons! My mom has always been frugal and that definitely passed onto my sister & I. We cut a lot of coupons, save them from stores and use them on our smart phones often! I even have a mini labeled coupon organizer that I keep in my purse at all times ;)  I will talk more about coupons later on. I wanted to share these deals with you because they are TOO good to not share! Christmas is coming and I already bought a few gifts! I know its just november but how can a Starbucks peppermint mocha in a red cup and Christmas music on Pandora not get you excited!?!

My sister Sarah actually found this on "Hip 2 Save" which is an awesome website where they figure out deals for you. Seriously, check it out. This Fisher Price Farm House is normally $37.99 & today we got it for only $9! NOT sure how long this will last!
I'll break it down in order so it's more simple
1. Target has it on sale (temporary price cut) for $33.99.
                    2. Target matches Amazon prices, so on Amazon it goes for $22.99 on sale, show smartphone or print out Amazon product. 
                  3. This link here.. Fisher Price when you refer to a friend/share you get a $10 off coupon!
4. Go to the Target website, then deals,then coupons, or click here! Under toys it will have a $5 off coupon of toy 19.99 or more (THIS ONE MAY OR MAY NOT WORK!) lol sorry about the caps but your Target may be extra picky and not taking this coupon,making your total less than $13 for the toy.

Originally $37.99, only pay $9, which saves you a little over $29 in coupons/price matches!

My nephew is 5 months old. The toy is for ages 1-4 but it's a great/fun gift to save for his first birthday! I love this toy because it seems like one of the classic fisher price toys out there, it even makes noises and comes with little animals. Today in line we actually saw another mom buying one so they are going fast! I suggest calling your local Targets first and seeing how many they have in stock. Thank goodness for Target, that store just keeps getting better and better. 

I also am loving Urban Peach Boutique! I have purchased jewelry through them twice! They have pretty good prices and the stuff is super cute! I bought this magenta necklace earlier in the year & love it! It's called the "Jewel Bib Necklace" which i'm wearing in these two pics.

The other day they had a $5 deal on some of the necklaces so I got some for my mom & sister. I'm bummed they no longer have it to share :( Not sure how long this one will last....but they do have 25% sale items! 
 Use Code: EXTRA25

They are great gifts! I also want to say that they aren't thee most high quality piece either, I haven't had any problems with mine though! I'll deff keep buying from them in the future :) In one of my style post I will wear my necklaces I just recently purchased. 

'Tis the season for coupons & savings galore!

crazy october

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

 I clearly haven't posted in a few weeks (seriously my bad). I recently had my grandpa pass away and such events with that so that took some time away. October is definitely a full month for me. I'm back to blogging more often! In the mean time..I have some great things I have been wanting to post about so I'm excited to share them :) I also want to state a random list of things I am currently thankful for. I know, it's random but having a thankful heart will never be a bad thing. Plus I love reading about it on other blogs!

Fashion: Fall/Winter fashion is awesome this year. I have purposely been waiting to post about it because i'm been buying some more staple items for my wardrobe. I'm going to take pics of different outfit combinations, while using many of the same pieces. Once I get enough pics i'll share where I bought of everything.

Beauty: I recently have purchased some great beauty products and came across some tips that are totally worth sharing if you're a girl who loves all things cosmetics. 

Favorite List: I haven't posted about my birthday weekend so this will include some of my gifts, because they really are some of my fav things. 

                                                      10 Things I'm Thankful for:

                                                                  - online classes
                                                             - Michigan in the fall
                                                                 - pandora radio
                                                              - old navy coupons
                                                         - weekend football games
                                                            - my nephews laugh
                                           - everything about starbucks,except the prices
                                                          - that I still have iOS6
                                                   -the support of family & friends
                                       - God's perfect peace that passes all understanding

                                               What are 10 things you are thankful for?

My Fitness Journey: Part 1

Sunday, October 6, 2013

First of many post about fitness,yay! First off, I love pretty much all things fitness. I love healthy food, I love the gym, I love how our bodies were made to work, and I love my supplements. As a teenager I was interested in fitness. I had a gym membership but didn't really go often. In January of 2012 I went to a new gym & have been there ever since! When I made the transfer thats when I really started getting into all of it. I danced as a little girl, stopped for a long time (regretfully) and started up again my junior & senior year of high school.  Aside from college, I have always been at a private Christian school and they never had dance. In elementary I played basketball and tried soccer in junior high but nothing stood out to me. Dance was the sport I did best! Since I wasn't involved in athletics just at my school, the gym was another place I could better myself by being active. (dance was only thursday nights for me).

I got a trainer in April of 2012, and because of the cost per hour I only had two sessions with her. She moved to another state but thankfully, I still remember the workouts she taught me. My goal was to go down to 135lbs for graduation day (May 24th) I think I was around 155lbs. I ate kind of healthy but I knew some things in my diet still had to change. I taught myself a lot more about nutrition, super foods and what foods really not to eat. That part wasn't crazy drastic for me but I know SO much more than what I knew then. A few months later I realized change needed to happen. I remember weighing myself at 156 and telling myself I never want to be over 160lbs. Some days I felt fine with my body, I wasn't secretly unhappy with my appearance. Then there was those days I felt just kinda fat. I didn't really put myself under a negative category though, I knew my weight didn't define who I was as a girl.  I really just wanted to be healthier! I wanted to lose weight and I knew I had the power to change that. I started making it more of a priority than before.

                                                      -LONG STORY SHORT-
A few days ago I reached my goal weight. August of 2012 I was 156lbs, I am now 126.7lbs! I am SO happy and proud of myself. I was at the gym October 3rd (the day before my birthday) and found out. Man, talk about one of the best birthday presents EVER!

The big question: How did you do that?!? I have a lot of people asking me that and I'm so glad I have this platform to get it all down! The two most important things: clean eating and exercise. I am not certified in any way about this..I talked to others,trainers and really taught myself a lot about. This is all my story and opinion I'm not saying this is exactly right for every situation. Right off the bat, I'm going to say that I haven't been eating clean and working out constantly since last year. It really shouldn't have taken me a full year but like I said, I took days off...lots of them. I started loosing weight more and more just by changing a lot of my eating habits. This can be extremely hard because I am a full blown chocolate eating-cupcake making-sweet tooth kinda girl. I usually would go a week of clean eating as exercising at least a few times a week. I would eat bad for a few weeks, then go back to super healthy eating again. That sounds kind of bad haha, it sounds like yo-yo dieting but clean eating isn't a diet (which I'll explain below & in another post). Even though I ate bad foods for days in a row at times, my eating as whole changed. ( I got mono in the spring and ate bad for like a month straight and somehow lost weight instead of gaining?? lol ) Since little changes add up as time goes on I just kept loosing weight. I kept a log on my phone of the date and the weight. There were a few times i gained back a pound or two but thats really easy and normal for me to do. Something that is REALLY important that I did was adding weights. I never just did cardio. I hear a lot of girls day they don't want that guy bodybuilder look but in reality, we don't have the same testosterone as guys and that takes extreme training. Nothing like that happens overnight or even in weeks. I added weights because I wanted to gain muscle also. Fixing problems area's are really hard. You can't just do ab-workouts and have your gut be gone. When you gain muscle, you will burn more calories and also lose fat, especially in those problem area's. I mixed up my workouts so I wasn't doing the same thing everyday. I also have done 2 one hour workouts with a group at my gym with a trainer, which are awesome! I'm going to post more about my meals and workouts too! (which is where i'll expand) but healthy foods and the gym was my best friend. Those are the top two best things in my opinion! Clean eating & exercise!

Below are a before and after, I don't have really any ones that show the difference correctly, I didn't take a right "before"shot. I suggest taking a before pic in a sports bra & soffee's instead!

                                                                    Before & After!
                                             summer 2012                            summer 2013

I worked REALLY hard. It didn't happen overnight, and it won't for anyone. It was really tough at times. I often compared myself to other fit girls and thats just down right discouraging. You HAVE to look at how far you have come and focus on what you CAN do. Don't give up. Challenge yourself, push past what you think you can do. Make goals and remind yourself of them everyday. That's the gist! I can get more into details with future post! You can always email me or comment and ask questions :) 

birthday week

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's officially my birthday week! I'm pretty excited for this weekend and so far every day is booked with some of my favorite things. My mom was the one who helped decorate my parties growing up and they were great. Some of my themes were barney, goofy ( who I was obsessed with!) the little mermaid aka under the sea party, tinker bell, rainbow-since my favorite color was actually all of them at one point, one at the apple orchard and a few others I can't remember off the top of my head. Notice there was at least 3 parties that were all disney...who wouldn't want to be at disney themed party as a kid?! My mom made sure that there were special details involved with the decorations, matching wrapping paper and whatever dessert/cake I wanted. I remember being excited to go to the store and pick out all the decorations for my theme! I actually adore themes, and feel like they are always necessary. Even if you are an adult, yep you can and should still have a theme ;) Target is a heaven sent store and i'm pretty sure I never walk out of there empty handed. Today we went to pick up a few products for this weekend and here's a little sneak peak. I'm not having a party but it's always fun to have some festive stuff for a get together. 

        Decided to go with navy blue, white, pink & gray! Kind of reminds me of a Lilly Pulitzer print :)

I also love chevron paper straws and use them in so many drinks! I have red ones that I use year round but these ones were perfect with my colors! You can find them in larger quantity here. 

Still can't believe that i'll be turning 20 in a few days, so so crazy.

1st post!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Welcome to my blog! I don't really have a theme so you can find anything on here from decorations, to recipes, my weekly workouts, organization tips & my all time favorite products! Hope you all enjoy reading. I'm SO excited to share part of my life with all of you! Spread the word around, I'll be posting more soon :)

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