Here’s a list of my favorite items for this winter season. It’s finally getting chilly around here and time to bundle up! (more…)
Archive of ‘Life’ category
This isn’t your typical holiday cheery post. I wanted to warn you in case that’s what you were hoping for. I’ve been having a hard time lately. Just being honest. I’ve been refraining from writing about it because that would make it all real. But this is where I’m at right now and my hope is that six months from now I can refer back and say, look at how far I’ve come. Felicity is five months old now and ever changing. I have some great days full of baby snuggles, gift wrapping and Christmas music playing throughout our home. Nights where we’re all giggling over Felicity splashing in the tub, when I can’t believe someone so sweet came from me. She goes to bed without a fight and Brandon and I share a bowl of popcorn while we catch up on a show. (more…)
The cooler weather is here! We’re welcoming it with smiles and Pom Pom bonnets. My sister made that bonnet. Isn’t it precious? For more cool weather items check out her Etsy shop here. It’s never too early to shop for Christmas. In fact you might even be a little late to the game. Get on it. Christmas is only 7 weeks away.
I wanted to share some of my Fall favorites with you today! Just a few things that have made this season a little cozier. I may make this a seasonal recurrence if I can plan my life and blog out that well. No promises. (more…)
Look who’s three months old!
Felicity has learned how to grasp things now. Anything from a rattle, to her pacifier, her bib, or my hair. She laughs but you have to work real hard to get one out of her. She gives out smiles often if you make a silly enough face. She’s most talkative in the evenings after a bath. We babble about our day as I massage lotion on her. I can only imagine she is explaining everything she saw and did that day so I take the time to rest my elbows on the changing pad and listen.
She wears mostly hand me downs from her older cousins which is just fine in my book because I still wear hand me downs from my sister. She loves to sit up and stand up. Everyone always comments on all of her hair. The poor girl has my curls and cowlicks. Headbands make them worse I promise you. She’s curious about this world outside the womb and I love watching her explore. In the afternoon light we catch the shadows dancing on her dresser. When she’s getting restless we throw a ball for Bing. She loves watching him run past. She also loves flying around the house with Brandon. (more…)
Some days I have it all together and some days I’m not out of my pajamas until a little before noon. Felicity and I have been getting out more which has been great but the more I try to do the more my mom brain gets the best of me. Frankly I always found it ridiculous when people talked about pregnancy brain or mom brain. It always sounded like a sorry excuse for forgetfulness to me. That was until I went to the store recently to buy a vacuum and realized I left my wallet in my purse at home. I forgot to toss it in the diaper bag for this trip. I turned the cart around, put Felicity in the car and cried. Normal.
We ran back home to grab my wallet and back out to get the vacuum. But you didn’t come here to listen to me ramble about my new vacuum. You came here for Felicity updates didn’t you? It’s ok you can be honest. (more…)
Hunting for a house this spring was as exciting as it was frustrating. I searched tirelessly sifting through photo after photo of houses in our area until they all blurred together. Offers were accepted on several houses that had been listed that same day. They were flying off this competitive market as quickly as they came on. Our realtor Lisa was kept busy adjusting our viewing schedule by the hour as homeowners accepted offers before we had a chance to see their home. Lisa was honest, quick on her feet, encouraging through the disappointments and excited for the potential we saw in our new home. (more…)
We’re so excited to announce we’re expecting our long awaited dearest little one.
The past year has been extremely difficult for me to write anything meaningful or personal. My personal struggles had been consumed in trying to conceive our first child. I took a big step back from sharing things publicly because what now mattered to me was the support and closeness of family and friends. If it weren’t for their encouragement I wouldn’t have made it through with my head held as high nor would I have seen what God had in store for me during this waiting period. I learned the value of close relationships. Brandon and I became much closer than we already were, supporting one another when the other seemed to wonder what could possibly be the problem. (more…)
My sister called me a city hipster recently. I have no idea what she means.
Our schedule has been all over the place this new year. While I’m ready to slow down and take a break I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed our busy schedule. (more…)
A new year seems as good a time as any to get things in order and start meal planning.
Usually when you decide it’s time to get organized in an area of your life it’s as a result of becoming frustrated or overwhelmed with your current circumstances. I became frustrated with the massive amounts of food going to waste in our fridge when we first got married. I never had a list for the grocery store and would find myself aimlessly walking around the aisles picking up whatever looked good. That got expensive, time consuming and unhealthy very fast. Who wants that?
It took quite a few wilted veggies and moldy loaves of bread for me to finally decide I needed more of a plan. Less fussing over what on earth I was going to make for dinner each night. Less spaghetti every week, because I didn’t know what else to make. I started small making lists, trying new recipes, planning for every meal we’d be having. Now I can’t imagine shopping without the prep.
Here’s a few things I’ve learned along the way.
- Find a good source for recipes. (Blogs, Instagram, Cookbooks, Pinterest →You can follow my Meal Planning board here. I make 85% of everything I pin to this board.)
- Use an app, or set aside a small notebook to write down your menu for each day. Keep it in the kitchen to help keep you on track.
- Plan to go out every now and then to treat yourself! It’ll feel like a freebie in your menu and you won’t have to worry about food going bad that you decided not to make that night.
- Make sure to line up your menu with your schedule. If you’re working until 7pm you’re not going to want to come home and prepare that roast that takes an hour to cook. Save it for a chilly Saturday.
- Plan meals that use the same ingredients. If your personal pizzas, and that chicken broccoli casserole dish both call for shredded mozzarella cheese, jot those down for the same week.
- Plan early! Don’t push off menu planning for an hour before your grocery trip. You’ll feel rushed, and as a result you may end up with a scribbled list that does not coincide with tips 4 and 5. I’ll admit this is a hard one for me!
- Set reminders on your phone for prep you need to do before dinnertime. Set one for defrosting your chicken in the morning, or washing and chopping veggies ahead of time. Doing these steps earlier will lessen the load when you’re coming home after a long day.
- Read your recipes ahead of time! Take 10 minutes to read through the recipe you’re making that day just to become familiar with it. There’s nothing worse than realizing you needed to marinate your meat overnight, or finding that you’re in fact out of an ingredient you thought you had when the soup is half done!
- Chat with your grocery cashier! I suppose this one depends on where you go, but typically the employees at Trader Joe’s are willing to tell you what else you can do with those sweet potatoes if you ever get tired of roasting them. They know what’s in stock, and can suggest different combinations you never thought of.
- Buy Fruits and Veggies in season! You’re probably not going to find the best and brightest strawberries in December. Nor will your best tasting zucchinis be in March, but rather around June – August. Keep a chart close by like the one I compiled below. Or buy what’s selling at the Farmer’s Market currently.
Blogs to follow:
Happy Meal Planning!
We moved recently to the Southend of Charlotte. We’re three blocks down and a couple over from the Panthers stadium, a five minute walk to Brandon’s work and a whole lot closer to everything we love. Two months ago we were in that pickle of deciding to stay where we were which was a great space, just not quite what we envisioned, or to move on. Brandon and I are move on until you get it just right kind of people.
We began our apartment hunting after the change of ownership at our old complex. In efforts to be sure we would get exactly what we wanted this time we toured nine different places. Including one gorgeous loft in the city with exposed brick walls. We had to say no to it, after we realized we would only have street parking, and the laundry was in the basement of the building three flights down. That kind of thing is only fun to watch in sitcoms, not so fun to do in reality. After careful deliberation and discussing with supportive friends we happily chose one of the first places we saw.
We packed up our precious belongings and trashed or donated the rest to uproot ourselves once more. Each time we move we’re refining our lives to be just where we want them. Getting down to our essentials, and creating a cozy nest full of only things we love. By no means are we true minimalists, we both enjoy too many hobbies for that and we’re still the slightest bit sentimental. However, we do well downsizing every now and then.
Our space isn’t just this little apartment, it’s spilled onto the sidewalks all over Southend. It’s on every street corner that I catch a glimpse of the skyline and am left feeling inspired. It’s in the downstairs lounge where we shared coffee this morning before Brandon had to head out to work. It’s in the coffee shop across the street and the park down the road.
Last week Brandon was sitting in nearly an hour of traffic to get home. Now he’s meeting Bingley and I on the sidewalk corner for lunch at a hot dog stand. The woman at the cart asked if Bingley ate people food. We said yes, and she cooked him up a broken hot dog she was unable to use. Lots of hungry laborers stretched their hands out to pet Bing and give him lots of love. To my left I saw a city I love, and to my right my very happy family. Friendly faces all around and my heart was full. This is my safe place. I never thought I would feel safe exposed out on the sidewalks. Not until I saw dozens of other dog walkers in the evenings. Men and women all dressed up with their earbuds in walking to work in the morning.
I kissed Brandon on the street corner, and he walked back to work, while Bingley and I walked back home. It’s perfect here.
God’s been teaching me alot about contentment. When we were dating I used to tell Brandon my plans for the future. It all sounded canned, and naïve. When he questioned me about it, I’d say, “because that’s what everybody does.” It makes me cringe thinking about it.
Brandon would say “Who’s everybody?” and I had no answer for him. That’s when I really got to thinking about it. Is there one right formula in which you should live your adulthood? Absolutely not. Some people prefer the space of the countryside. Some people prefer the bustle of a city. Some moms wish and are able to stay home, some wish or need to work. I see a never ending ladder people our age are scrambling to climb, desperate to reach certain points when our peers do, and frantic if we don’t. Something inside me really wants to kick down that ladder. It’s why it seemed like a step backwards that we bought a 3 bedroom house, and now live in a one bedroom apartment. In reality for us it’s 2 steps back in space, and 10 steps forward in quality of life.
You know that old verse your Sunday school teacher would tell you when you had a test coming up, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me Philippians 4:13. Have you read the context lately?
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned to be content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13
In a recent married women’s study I learned the context of that verse. Be happy, and content where you are. Don’t wait until you have it all to start living. You see, we live in a world full of comparisons. That’s nothing new to you. And you know, I think I’m done with it. As I was writing in my journal recently I felt like God was saying “Let it go. The life I have designed for you will be so different, there is no use in your scrambling. It merely shows your lack of faith in me.” Woah right? Sometimes we need God to tell us like it is. Whether I have what they have or not, I’m good. Whether they approve of my lifestyle or not, I’m good. I finally started paying attention to what works best for us, living in the faith that God has a different set of ladders for each and every one of us.
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