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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

31 Days Of Prayer

My friend sent me this article today and I thought I would share.

In our first year of marriage I read an article talking about lifting up your spouse in prayer. So many times people (myself included) get frustrated and pray for change to happen within their spouse, but this article said quite the opposite. It is you that needs a change of heart. Just because you grew up one way and them different doesn't mean their way is wrong. Just because they want hold on tight to the purse strings when you're ready to buy something needed doesn't mean they don't want it as well. The list could go on and on. Changing them does nothing but create hardness in your heart and that is not what God wants for your marriage. Pray that God changes your heart. That  you can see their side and value what they bring to the table. Pray for patience in times when  you know you're about to get frustrated rather than praying for them to change. We cannot change the one we love, but we can make change happen within us with prayer.

These daily prayers for our husbands are inspiring and make me want to out serve my husband. He is always telling me how he prayed for this and that and reminding me to give thanks for all of our blessings. These prayers are a great reminder that we are the help for our husbands. He stands tall leading our family, but we are the support and help for that. These prayers are so needed.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Two Years

Time really flies when you're married to your best friend. Mike and I are celebrating our two year anniversary today (and all of last weekend) and it seems like we have always been married. But in an odd way it seems just like yesterday that we said "I do". 

A lot has changed since we started off. Our apartment has been filled with more trinkets collected from our travels, my make-up collection has grown due to actually putting in time to make myself presentable, and I have realized, still, how selfish I can be. But Mike is always there to remind me that we are a team, and though we don't always agree, we always make decisions together and have God as our rock. Minus the Hawaii trip, I just told him I bought tickets (insert monkey covering its mouth emoji). 

This weekend we talked about how we want to have a goal for each year of our marriage. We talked about what big changes happened in year two and we decided that was the year of Paleo. Our lifestyle and eating habits got a face lift and Mike and I are much happier now. As for year three, this will be the year of getting in the best shape of our lives. We have plateaued with our workouts and are wanting to more direction. On Thursday we have a one-on-one with a cross fit gym and we couldn't be more excited. We have the eating down pat, so here's to pushing our bodies to another level. 

And a note to you, Michael. You are the biggest and best blessing. I thank God for the cheap entertainment that you are and for patience that you have to drive all around town to get me a good cup of coffee. I am blessed to have a man that loves palettes as much as I do and will hop on a plane tomorrow if I have tickets (after I email your boss to say you need to take some PTO). Thank you for being my earthly rock and the leader of our little family. I love you, always will. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Take Me Back To Hawaii- Part 1- Honolulu

It has taken me a few days to sit down and write this post because I didn't want to be reminded that I wasn't in Hawaii anymore. Friends, that was the best trip ever! It was so different than any other vacation Mike and I have gone on and we mean that in the best way. This was the first trip where we rented a car and had access to drive around and get a feel for the whole island. Gosh, take me back :(

And now I dive in...

Our first stop was Honolulu, to make sure we saw Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach. We arrived at 1pm Hawaii (used the Charley's Cab Service- they were great!) time and after getting settled in at the hotel headed straight for the beach. The infamous beach was beautiful and packed full of lively people. One of the first things we did was schedule surfing lessons for Saturday morning before heading out to Kauai. Check. We spent the rest of the evening walking the beach, hanging from trees (not sure if we were supposed to), walking the strip with all the shops and hotels (looked like Chicago's Magnificent Mile), and eating at Cheeseburger In Paradise. I was so hungry I don't even remember chewing. It was (at that moment) the best burger I had ever had. 

Friday was Pearl Harbor. I highly recommend getting there really early to get their free tickets and to get on the ferry before it gets really hot. We didn't buy tickets in advance, but showed up early and got tickets for their 8am boat ride to the USS Arizona. We also bought tickets to the USS Missouri and the audio tape for the entire complex (Jamie Lee Curtis was a pleasant surprise in my headphones). Before taking the ferry over, you watch a 20ish minute video on the history of Pearl Harbor with real footage from the attack. I was absolutely fascinated and I was in awe the whole time. From there we made our way to the USS Arizona memorial. It was beautifully haunting; I felt the same feels at the 9/11 Memorial. It was amazing looking down on a boat below you and imagining what happened. Jamie Lee did a great job telling their story. After walking around, getting pictures, and taking it all in, we were back on the boat and walking around the rest over the complex. They had little stops along the way with visuals, stories, views of the harbor, and lots of history. It was an incredible experience and I am so glad we were able to go. 

From there we made our way to the USS Missouri, where from afar it looked tiny, but boy is that a big ship. I always wondered how far the ocean would go down if we took all the boats out. It might not be much, but ships like that would make a dent. There are so many levels on the ship. The kitchens were amazing and I got lost in the crews sleeping quarters. There was so much to look at, but I think the coolest was the gun chambers. The systems that they had to load each gun with the bomb and gun powder looked so intense and I don't see how they weren't deaf. Very cool. 

I highly recommend sun screen for this tour. The sun was sneaky and I ended up coming home with a crazy sunburn. From the ship we headed to Chinatown! We took the city bus (The Bus) there and it was really easy. We got a transfer ticket for when we were done walking around that would take us back to the hotel. We got off at our stop and started walking around. There was so much fresh fruit around and little flower shops and restaurants scattered. We were on a hunt for a lei and food. My mom stopped a man on the street to see which flower shop we should go to and all I know is that we went up two blocks and to the left. I didn't see which street it was on, but it was so cute. The flowers they had were absolutely beautiful and their lei's were exactly what I imagined. After gushing over the flowers, we were walking the street looking for a good place to eat. One restaurant had their menu in the window and next thing I know we were being beaconed to come inside. We really didn't have a choice haha. So, we ended up eating Dim Sum. I have NO idea what we ate, but it was an experience. I think we were in and out in 15 minutes, but it was an adventure. 

While my mom was looking for souvenirs, a few of us walked across the street to get a bubble (boba) tea. I absolutely love these, so when I saw their menu with ALL of their flavors I was so excited. Of course, when we got up to order, the person right before us got the last of their tapioca, but it was still a delicious treat as we walked around making our way to our bus stop. 

I never ended up buying a lei and was pretty bummed about it, so when we got back to the hotel and saw there was a lei making "class" going on I jumped right in! We were a little late and they were running out of flowers, so we had enough for me to make a headband and my sisters an actual lei and then a bracelet. It was one of my favorite things we did. 

Before we headed out to Kauai on Saturday, we woke up and hit the waves. This was the day of our surf lesson, which was AWESOME! I had tried to surf once in Galveston... yeah that was crap in comparison. Learning to surf on such a famous beach is a pretty cool thing. I was over thinking it at first and kept falling off, but eventually the naturalness kicked in and I was riding into shore. I was such a great experience! 

A guy who worked at the surf shop took hundreds of pictures of us while out there. He captured a lot of funny ones of us eating it, but I thought I would show pics from our successful rides. After surfing and lunch, we headed to the airport for Kauai!! A separate post for that adventure!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Goal Follow Up

Tomorrow Mike and I take off to Hawaii and I can't express how excited I am! I feel so great and confident and ready to take on the beach! I mentioned in this post that Mike and I were starting two-a-days and shoot, those kicked our butts! I may have almost passed out a few times from the Texas heat, but I pulled through.

I hit a few little goals and treated myself to new clothes and got my nails done a few times. They were great little boosts to help me stay motivated and keep my eyes on the prize! One routine I did at least once a day was a quick HIIT exercise. On the treadmill I would sprint at 7.5 for a minute and then lightly jog at 5.2 for a minute. Repeat for 20 minutes (minimum). This was a quick blast and over the weeks my sides started trimming down. I have noticed my body reacts so well to cardio, especially running, that I try to incorporate some type of cardio everyday. When there were days I wanted to push myself a little harder (and definitely days where I wanted to walk), I would sprint faster and run at 5.5 or so. I also started drinking A LOT more water and that would all sweat out. I LOVE leaving the gym dripping sweat. It makes me feel like I accomplished something.

Another way I tracked my workouts was with my Polar watch. There for a little I didn't like wearing it with the heart rate monitor because it rested on my diaphragm too tight, but for this 4-week span I wore it almost everyday. Each day I tried to burn more calories than I did the day before, which helped push myself. Fitness and clean eating have really become great passions of mine and I love seeing how my body reacts to different changes.

To help me make good food choices while waiting at the airport, I have prepared my carry on with Epic bars and a water bottle (empty) ready to be filled with airport water (yummy). I also am bringing my own snack so that I can use my "food" money to buy all the magazines. All. It's my thing. There is something so fun {to me} about buying magazines at airports and taking your time through them during the flight. I can't wait to see what the shelves hold!

Here are the items in the carry on:

Epic Bars- these are life savers. They come in all flavors, are Whole 30 approved, and happen to taste quite delicious.

Water bottle- save money, bring your own water bottle.

Share Love, Do Good Headbands- get ready to see lots of pictures of me in these throughout this vaca and life in general. They are way too cute, look stylish with anything, and 10% of your purchase goes back to charity. #winning

Go Pro- our friend is letting us borrow her go pro and let's just say I owe her! This is perfect for taking those underwater pictures and great for hiking. I can't wait to play with it!

Flash Tat- I got some of these tattoos from TXSC back in March and still love putting them on. This is my last one, so I thought I would bring it on the trip to spice things up a bit.

Socks- I'm not the biggest fan of wearing tennis (I feel old writing tennis) shoes while going through security (takes wayyyyy too long to untie and then re-tie), so I plan on wearing my Berks and pulling these out when my feet get too cold. *Fun fact about me: almost all my socks are from Target, and I never match them. I almost feel like if I wear a matching pair then it will be an off day. Can't have that...

Books & Journal- I am really having a hard time choosing what books to bring. There are SO many I want to read all at once, that limiting them has been kinda stressful. Is that sad? I am taking The Husband's Secret & Bossypants on the plane and have stashed a few others in my luggage. I am having a hard time visualizing how much reading time I will have, so I rather be over prepared than under.. ya feel?

As a heads up, I will be posting crazy amounts of pictures on TLD's Instagram... preparing you in advance:) If any of you have been to Honolulu or Kauai, please let me know if there are any awesome, must see's or go-tos!

Aloha, Hawaii!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Magic Coconut Bars

I really have been in the baking mood lately. Last week was snicker doodle cookies and chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches (recipes on my Pinterest), and this weekend was all about the "magic bars". Growing up, my mom used to make Seven Layer Bars that were TO DIE FOR! I requested them for every party and birthday, but since eating Paleo, I knew those babies were not going to cut it. I slowly forgot about them, sadly, until Pinterest re-surfaced them with a Paleo option!

I made this recipe and it took me back to my teen years! I added everything but the walnuts, which I will probably include next time, but man did they hit the spot. With this recipe you make your own condensed milk, which was just as magical as making your own mayo; it transforms before your eyes.

If you are looking for a delicious, all-inclusive treat, I highly recommend these bars! And you could totally add in whatever ingredients you want!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Kickin' It Old School

For a while now, Mike and I have been wanting to stop looking at our phones before bed, but have needed them in the room for the alarm. It's always the same routine.. we wash our face, brush our teeth, I take out my contacts, and then we get in bed on our phones. It's not like we don't talk to each other, we just use that time to unwind. Sometimes we will even read articles about how looking on your phone before bed is bad and can disrupt your sleep while we are ON our phones!

This past weekend I thought we would try kickin' it old school and bought us alarm clocks! They are definitely nothing fancy, but I did have one must. They had to be battery operated just in case the power went out. Our phones will not be allowed in the bedroom after our bathroom routine. The idea is that we will no longer be glued to Instagram and Vine and will use that time to talk and wind down together.

Do any of yall have this at your house? I am really interested to see if it will be hard for us, but I think it will be a great step for our sleep and marriage!