Friday, March 27, 2015

It's Friday, I'm In Love

Lots of new loves after last weekend's conference! I wanted to buy them all right at that moment, but I knew Mike would be a little shocked when he checked the bank account. So, little by little, I will add these to my collection.

Here are my latest obsessions:

The Shine Project: My friend Meg introduced me to this company and I absolutely fell in love. The jewelry is stunning and more importantly, they have a great purpose. They are all about getting you out of your comfort zone and helping those who need hope, encouragement, and love. One of my favorite things I read in the Bible is when "being the light" is mentioned. The Shine Project talks about bringing light to those who need hope. How beautiful is that? Drooling over these:


fashionABLE: I met two ladies who work for this company and they were the absolute sweetest. Their mission is incredible and their products are beautiful. Their business model is "You are ABLE to provide opportunity, and women are ABLE to have a new choice." Their focus is creating sustainable business in Africa by helping women start small businesses. I love this bag of theirs especially because of the love that goes into making it:


Moulton: I saw Megan wearing these the first night of the conference and I knew I had to get my hands on them. Lucky for me, they had a table at the Khaki Cool Jamboree party Saturday night and I bought them! They are so beautiful simple and unique. Next on my list is this ring:


TOMS: Everyone knows about Toms. As I mentioned here, we were graced with a session from Bethany Joy. She is such a beautiful person and truly cares about helping other people succeed in their goals. She talked about Toms' new One For One: Bags. With every bag purchase, Toms provides a maternal care kit to provide a safe birth for mother and baby. I wanted to cry when she was talking about the stories and the lives that can be and have been saved because of this. I know what everyone is getting for Christmas:)

**she brought one for every lady at the conference and mine has not left my back. Yes, I sleep with it on.



Happy Friday, lovers. I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

TxSC15

This past weekend was TxSC15 and I going to just come out and say that it is probably the best weekend I've had in 2015. I took on the weekend with zero expectations. Things always work out so much better for me when I do that.

I woke up on Friday and I'm pretty positive my voice was a few octaves higher due to excitement. Mike thought I was a little nuts because I would throw things in my bag and then take them out, repeat 4 times. I had NO idea what to pack! The list said casual, but then I thought of the other girls and I did not want to look like a frump in comparison. I finally settled on my normal wear, but had a friends hot Kendra Scott jewelry to pimp it out.  Of course it was rainy the whole weekend, so casual was the way to go. Lesson learned.

Each day was packed with great speakers and different sessions to choose from. I learned so much from these women. We are all at different stages in blogging, which was the beauty in it. We were able to bounce around ideas and empower each other. I left the conference feeling/knowing I could conquer the world. Watch out...

Some of the key take always for me where:

Lessons from Shalyn Nelson:

  • Honesty will get you far. don't be afraid to open up because chances are there are others out there who need to see someone else going through it
  • Own who you are. Be you and don't look back
  • Don't spend so much time thinking about those that say negative things. Instead, think about all those that love you.
Lessons from Bethany Joy Clark:
  • Friends, Friendtors, Mentors, Champions. Friends are great. Friendtors and friend mentors; you have fun and get great advice/bounce around ideas. Mentors have great advice; ask them to be part of your path. Champions move mountains for you and will do anything with you. They remind you of your core values and will make sure you don't forget them. 
  • Create your legacy
  • "Stay humble, hustle hard"
  • Where do you want to be in 5,0,20 years? Visualize that and do it. 
  • What are your core values? Write them down and use them to stay on track.
  • Remember why you started.
  • Toms- "Be a mission with a company, not a company with a mission."-- so deep. 
Lessons from Greeting From Texas & Delightfully Tacky:
  • "Comparison is the thief of joy." Stop and think about that... 
  • Don't post just to post. Put time and thought into it; can take months if needed. 
  • Quality NOT quantity
  • Don't be afraid to try new things; pitch yourself to companies if you want to work with them; reach out to bloggers that inspire you and ask questions. 
  • Constantly be growing. Don't ever say "I've arrived!". The only direction from there is down.
Lessons from Style & Pepper:
  • Community is huge. Love them, grow with them, share with them, inspire/empower them. 
Lessons from Design Crush, New Dress A Day, Cyndie Spiegel:
  • Don't have impostor syndrome. We are good enough
  • Produce what is in your own voice and your own vision; continue to do your thang
  • Use all of the skills you have; even those you don't think you could use
  • Dress for the job you want
  • Widen your circle. Reach out to those that know about different subjects. Grow your knowledge
  • Reader's love consistency... my bad guys... I'm working on it:)
Lessons from Un-Fancy & The Lively Show:
  • We make the rules. You don't have to get into things just because others are. 
  • You don't have to buy to become. Love this. I feel like that sometimes... 
  • Don't poison your own well

As I look back on those lessons, I am reminded why I went. I needed to be vulnerable and transparent. The other women were just the same and when we have that, we are able to grow and create deeper conversations. I didn't come home with a 1,2,3 step plan on how to grow the blog or create my own business. Instead, I came home with the empowerment and the courage I needed to follow through with what I want. I needed a little kick in the butt and that is exactly what I got. I now have so many new sisters that have my back and are ready to take on the world with me. How could that not be my best weekend yet?

On a fun note, I met one of my blogging inspirations! I have been reading Jen Loves Kev for 2+ years and have completely fallen for her family. She is such a gentle heart and meeting her was definitely a major highlight. (Fun fact: Her blog post on TxSC was the reason I signed up!)



Another fun thing was meeting Meg Cady! Mike went to high school with her and he mentioned one day that I should read her blog. We were urban pen pals for a bit and then finally were able to meet at the conference! I also got to meet her amazing friend Whitney and the three of us instantly connected.



Other photos from the weekend:
 {my new favorite earrings} 

 {rain: go away}

 {love}


 {bethany joy clark and indiana adams}

 {mike and i WILL live on the lake on day}

 {their coffee is delightful} 

 {bethany joy clark brought us all toms bags!}

 {delightfully tacky & greetings from TX}

 {style and pepper}

 {brunch}

 {writes like a girl and sophia rossi}

 {sophia rossi: co-founder of hello giggles. we got a copy of her new book!} 

 {flash tats!}

 {jess lively and caroline}

 {our little home}


{i will grant you three wishes...} 
{met megan who writes Greeting From Texas. such a freakin great preson}

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I write to you completely and totally mentally drained. There is a chance I will look back on this post and shake my head, but why not be in the moment?

There is a lot going on at work right now and the only way I am getting through it is by having everything listed out by deadline. Busy is great, and I am happy. But I am even happier that this weekend is TXSC! Bring on Friday; I need you!

In my 2 seconds of free time today, I quickly thought about what I am going to pack. (Man, I sound dramatic). I have NO idea, but there is beauty in that. It will all magically come to me the morning of and all will be right in the world. 

As for now, I am off to finish a few things with this blaring in the back ground. 


And before I forget, Happy St. Patty's Day! Now go and chug a green beer! 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Weekend Post- March 6th- 8th

I hope you all had a great weekend and that daylight savings hasn't completely messed you up!

Here is a look back on our weekend:

This weekend started off our week+ days of house sitting. The dogs are precious and extremely mellow.

{he fell asleep like this!}

Friday night we made homemade pizzas using this crust. It was so simple and both Mike and I were hoping each time we looked in the kitchen there would magically be another pizza. Next time, I am going to focus a bit more on making it look like a pizza and it will definitely be doubled!

*ingredients: sugar free pizza sauce, caramelized onions and bell peppers, my side: nitrate free bacon, Mike's side: italian sausage and mozzarella cheese


Saturday morning's gym time was focused on back, biceps, abs, and cardio. It is so nice going on the weekend's because we have unlimited time. I am still sore today from doing lower back extensions. Those babies BURN. From the gym we went shopping! Oh, yeah! One of my treats for doing Whole60 was buying a new pair of jeans. I ended up finding a pair of Hudson jeans that fit like a glove and happen to be a few sizes lower than my old jeans! #winning

Our evening was spent at my dad's BBQing and watching Foxcatcher. I knew there was going to be a twist and I spent the whole movie on the edge of my seat. I can't believe that it is based off true events. Great movie and great cast. The makeup on the characters was incredible...esp Steve Carell.

{my dad in his happy place}

Sunday was spent reading, grocery shopping (with coffee in hand), relaxing, watching the Spurs WIN (with Kombucha in hand), and eating. We also prepped some for the week; veggies, sweet potatoes, and a spaghetti squash.


Cheers to Monday! Anything special you are looking forward to this week?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March Read- The Girl On the Train

My friend talked to me about this book, title not said, she wanted to read a couple weeks back and it sounded great. Then the other day I was at Target and picked up The Girl On the Train and came to work and talked all about how I want to read this book. Turns out it was the same book she was excited about. Since my Target run, I have seen this book posted all over Instagram. For that reason, this is now my March must read! 

Overview:
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

Have any of y'all read this book? What did you think?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Whole Life

This has been the first week of 2015 that I am "off" Whole 60. Day 59 was on Sunday and come Monday, nothing had changed. I ate just like I had been the previous 60 days, but Tuesday night I had a margarita. It was date night and I thought I would treat myself. 1) I got tipsy in a matter of seconds and 2) my stomach was not happy.

It is all about finding the balance. I woke up this morning and was like ok, maybe one treat meal a week... start there. I know my stomach will explode if I dive right back into eating what I used to (dairy, grain, sugar, legumes... alcohol). Plus, I spent 60 days fully committed to watching what I ate and I definitely don't just want to throw it away. My body still feels fantastic and I don't want that to end. Health has become a major passion of mine and cooking is a branch of that. This is just the beginning:)

Through this plan, I have learned:
  • I have strong will power- if I say it, I'll do it
  • Half of the success comes from those you surround yourself with
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions
  • Way too many things have added sugar; read ALL labels-- sugar sucks
  • Planning out our meals and grocery shopping are a new hobby/passion
  • Abs are made in the kitchen... seriously. 80/20- food/gym
  • Fitting into clothes that you haven't warn in years is a pretty damn good feeling
  • Do it for YOU
I haven't taken any comparison pictures, measured myself, or weighed myself yet since ending. Part of me doesn't want to because that number doesn't fully reflect how great I feel inside and out, but I bet I will eventually.

But here is the most recent picture of me; happy, healthy, in love, and full of margarita:)


Here's to finding life's balance!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Weekend Post- February 27th- March 1st

Happy Monday!

All last week while Mike was away, I was busy working:) We were going back and forth on if we should move out of our apartment and it was really stressing us out. Last Monday we decided to stay, so I decided while he was out I would go through our apartment room by room and get rid of everything that we didn't need. Spring cleaning to the max! Our apartment also felt like it was pieced together with things from college, so I headed to Home Goods, Target, Hobby Lobby and World Market to make our apartment feel like home.

{that frame in the corner turned into my February DIY project. Now I can pin up photos:)}


{if you squint you can see "Aschbacher" on the large print. it was an old brewery Mike's family owned}

He came home on Friday in total shock. It was so nice to make our place feel put together for him and it was SO clean! I also had a Shepard's Pie cooking for dinner and the smell of rosemary just made it feel that much more homey.

Here is a look back on our weekend:
Friday night- surprise and Shepard's Pie.

Saturday: Started off with a good sweat at the gym. I did different workouts on the Stair Master and my bootay and lower abs are still feeling the burn! From there we headed to Mike's mom's new house. It was moving day! They have spent the last few months in an apartment while building their beautiful, new dream home! From there we headed to my little sister's musical. This year they put on The Little Mermaid and it was super cute. My family saw this on Broadway a few years back, so it was cute seeing their Junior version. Also, I sang The Little Mermaid when I was in 6th grade, so it took me back a few times:)

{me and the mersister}

One of my college BFFs, who I have actually known since 4th grade, came in town this weekend. So Saturday night we we all got to go to dinner to catch up. It was like I had seen her just yesterday, but it had been at least since last summer since we have been together. It as so great catching up!

{rachel, me, keisha, nicole= college roomies}

Sunday was spent meal planning, grocery shopping, drinking coffee, catching up on Pretty Little Liars, and hanging out with the fam. Sunday was also my last day on my Whole 60 meal plan and boy did/do I have mixed emotions. I can't wait to have a margarita, but on the other hand I don't want to go back to how I was before. It will be all about balance:) The weekend ended with Guardians Of the Galaxy and Whiplash. I didn't know what Whiplash was about until JK Simmons won his Oscar and now I am sad I didn't see it before to cheer him on. And howcome Miles Teller wasn't nominated for anything? He was incredible. Mike was entranced the whole time because it hit on his love for drumming. Every time they said a drumming term we all looked to him to see if that was the correct lingo haha.

Have a great day!