Monday, July 28, 2014

Hello Again!

Wow I feel like it's been forever since I posted something! (It's actually only been a week) . . . but still. Last week was so busy, between going to church camp with my husband and then opening weekend of Oklahoma there was hardly time for me to eat & sleep, and much less for blogging! Hope that you guys had a restful weekend! Here are some Instagram pictures to recap my last week, you can also get to my full account by clicking the little icon to your right!! Hopefully this week I'll be getting back into the swing of things as far as blog world is concerned! 

Oklahoma opened this past weekend so we had dress rehearsals on Sunday and Monday, my youth group (and husband) went to church camp on Monday so I got up on Tuesday morning to go and join them! 

The camp has an amazing coffee shop, I was able to meet up with most of our girls when I first got there. 

As sponsors the camp gives you a lot of free time. Aaron and I have been so busy lately, it was really nice to just be able to walk around with him, and not have anything that had to do at a specific time!

I left camp on Thursday morning to come back for opening night of Oklahoma! All of this weekend's performances went so well!! 4 down only 8 more to go! My family came up on Saturday to support me, that's also when Aaron got back from camp so he was able to join them! I hate that I couldn't spend more time with them, but we have 2 shows on Saturday which basically means from 1:30 PM - 11:30 PM I have no life!!

Hope that you have a wonderfully productive week! I'm already ready for Friday and it's only Monday??? 
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Five on Friday!

So glad it's Friday!! It's been a long week, and we have a lot of things to do this weekend and then another couple of long weeks! O well I guess that's how life is!

1. These geode coasters - I love them so much and they were finally on clearance!!! They are a beautiful light sparkly green. I love Marshall's and always spend way too much money in there!

2. Fondue with my youth groups girls! All of the girls in our youth group are absolutely wonderful we had an awesome time on Wednesday night eating chocolate fondue and playing fishbowl (if you haven't heard of fishbowl, you are missing out! it's the best game ever)

3. I'm going berry pickin' tomorrow with my man! Our neighbors brought us some raspberries from the mountain behind our house and they were amazing!! I can't wait to go up there and pick whatever is left!

4. We are almost done with Oklahoma rehearsals! We went off book through Act I on Monday, Act II on Tuesday, and tonight we're going all the way through!

5. J. Crew Sample Sale - Also doing that tomorrow! If you are in the Lynchburg, VA area you should totally check it out!

Today I am linking up with Lauren ElizabethThe Farmer's Wife, and Meet @ the Barre!! Check out these lovely ladies for some wonderful Friday Highlights!
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pretty Printables

Things that I love to use when decorating are inspiring quotes, verses, and names or dates that are important to us! These prints can change my outlook on a rough day and remind me of what is important in life. Some of the prints I have are even useful, especially in the kitchen!

Something that I really love about prints is that they are the easiest thing to change out for different holidays! In the list below I have prints that are Christmas, Patriotic, Thanksgiving, and Valentine's Day themed. Changing out a simple print is the perfect way to freshen up your decor, and to remind you to celebrate the holiday season! Whichever holiday it might be!

I compiled a list of all of my favorite FREE printables! All of the blogs I've linked to are wonderful and a lot of them have even more free printables if you'll stay and look around! I have or had all of these printed out at my house. I just keep a stockpile in a very nice plastic folder so they don't get damaged and change them out whenever I want. You can click on each link and it will take you to the original source where you'll find instructions for printing them out. I just have a pack of plain white cardstock that I use. 8X10 is my default, but sometimes I'll do 5X7. (e.g. the kitchen conversion chart, chalkboard verses) Have fun beautifying your home with all of these lovely printables!

1. Life Is A Kitchen Printable - This is so cute to put in your kitchen, I have a lot of chalkboard prints that I rotate through my kitchen, by switching them out you pay attention to the quote more and it helps your room feel like it got a miniature makeover!

2. Merry & Bright - I love especially how this print is styled on the blog, it's part of one of my favorite Christmas songs, and always put me in the holiday spirit!

3. Give Thanks - This is a great print for Thanksgiving, but really it can be used year round!

4. Joyeux Noel - This is from my house last Christmas, I love this print so much! It's probably my favorite of the bunch. It fit my Christmas decorations so perfectly, especially in this spot.

5. Patriotic - I have an 8X10 frame on the console table in my dining room and that is where I normally switch out prints for the seasons, this one was up for this past 4th of July!

6. Thanksgiving - There are 3 beautiful prints in this link and I love them all! I don't often decorate for Thanksgiving because we always make a long trip down to Georgia for the holiday, but switching out prints is just enough to get you in that thankful spirit!

7. Kitchen Conversion Chart - I have this print hanging on the fridge in my kitchen, maybe one day I'll get around to this project, but for now it dresses up my fridge and is there when I need it! It definitely comes in handy, and I just love when things are beautiful and useful!

8. Initial & Name - This is listed as a nursery printable, but I think it could work for your last name or kids of any age!

9. Where Mom Is - I gave this to my mom in a frame for Mother's Day. Framed prints are one of my favorite gifts! They're always beautiful, and even if they don't like the print, they get a nice frame out of it!

10. Quatrefoil Monogram - I love this printable and have used it too many times to count. I've put it in our bedroom, on binders/planners, I've even put it on notecards. There are so many color combinations, it will match anything you need it to!

11. Gratitude - There are also 3 prints in this links, and every single one is inspiring and stunning! They are all about gratitude and joy, which is a reminder all of us can use!

12. Love the Journey - There are 4 different versions of this print, bikes, flowers, polka dots, chalkboard!! Seriously what is not to love! This would be adorable in a little girls room, or in your office to remind you life is about the journey more than the destination!

13. Fall In Love - These are from the same website as the previous link, The 36th Avenue has so many wonderful printables! That girl is amazing! The one pictured is my favorite, but all of the love printables on this page are great! You can use them in your bedroom or as a sweet note to your man, and definitely to decorate for Valentine's Day!

14. Chalkboard Verses - There are so many wonderful verses on this page and this is just one of them! I've printed out all of my favorites and switch them out about every week. I simply choose which verse I want to focus on. You can tell this is a smaller picture, it's prints better as a 5X7 at least it did for me! 

15. Think Deeply - This is a beautiful quote. I really love this colorful mixed type version, but she also has a chalkboard one you can download!

One store that I love and also use for a lot of prints is Naptime Diaries! They do a beautiful job using verses, and song lyrics to bring beauty into your home. They aren't free but they are definitely worth every penny!

*I take no responsibility for the above prints. All links direct back to the original source. This is simply a list of free printables I have used for personal use in my home.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday Everyone! I hope that you've had a wonderful week, and I am sure you are all ready for the weekend! Here are some highlights from my week! long and stressful, but excited for a fun-filled weekend!

1. Aaron is back!! He was gone from last Tuesday until Monday morning, so a major highlight this week is that he is home!! : )

2. Patio Furniture - We bought some patio furniture a couple weekend ago and finally got to use it! Aaron set up a wonderful dinner (flowers included) on Tuesday! You can't see the furniture that well in this picture, but look at that view!

3. Terrariums - I have been obsessed with terrariums lately, but I couldn't find any that I liked (other than on Pinterest) This weekend however that all changed! We don't have a Hobby Lobby where I live but when I visit my parents I make sure to hit it up!! I miss it so much! They were having a 50% off sale on terrariums. . . seriously I could bought like 5 of them! I refrained and came home with this beauty! It's rusted metal so it looks very antique. I was planning on getting some stuff to put in there, but right now I'm actually liking it empty.

4. Another Terrarium and a Piano - (Sorry for the bad pictures quality!!) There's the 2nd terrarium from this weekend, my husband brought it back for me when he went down to visit his mom! He also brought back a piano with him!! I was so excited, we live right across the street from our church so I could just drive up there to practice or play around. . . but still that's not quite as convenient as having a piano in your home.

P.S. I'm hoping some of you ladies could help me out. . . this is the only spot in my small living room that the piano will currently fit, but we have those built in shelves that I love to hate. They aren't quite wide enough to make a big statement but I also think it looks bad to leave them open if I'm going to put stuff on the piano. Any suggestions? We are renting so it would have to be a temporary fix.

5. Gallery Wall - I already mentioned this in my Weekend Highlights post, but I finally put my gallery wall up! I was so tired of having that empty wall of wood paneling! I'll probably change it up pretty often and add other things to it, but I at least have something up!

Today I am linking up with Lauren Elizabeth, The Farmer's Wife, and Meet @ the Barre!! Check out these lovely ladies for some wonderful Friday Highlights!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I Love A Good Date Night!

Date nights are on of my favorite things! Not just the going out to a nice dinner, but anything fun with my honey! We've been married just over a year and a half, so I know some people may scoff at the idea that we need date nights. I know, I know there are no kids in the picture, but life gets busy. Sometimes I come home from work we have to eat super fast and then leave for a youth activity or rehearsal and by the time we're back I'm ready to fall asleep! I feel like date nights are important during all seasons of life. They were really important when we were dating, and I still want us to make an effort to love one another and plan special things for the other person! 

I am all about the dinner and a movie date, in fact it is one of my favorites! However, I think that when you do something different that requires a little thought or planning it just shows how much you care for that person and how important they are to you! Below are a few date nights we've done that I have loved! 

1. This is actually what inspired the post- Star Gazing! My husband and I live out in the country so the stars are beautiful, and so are the lightning bugs in the trees (when I was little I used to love seeing the trees "sparkle" it's still one of my favorite things) We borrowed my brothers truck to move a piano from my husband's mother. Anyway, last night it was so beautiful night we just threw some old pillows and blankets in the back and just did some stargazing! You definitely need to do that at least once in your life. Zeke had a lot of fun hanging outside as well. It was also absolutely free! If you don't have a truck put a sleeping bag out or some blankets that you don't mind getting dirty. 

2. Paint Together!  I wasn't expecting Aaron to like this idea, but he actually loved it! If you have canvases and paints this is completely free. We have those now, but when we did this date night we didn't. I found an art set on clearance at Marshall's for under $5 which was the inspiration for this date night. It was so much fun, we both did 2 pieces (not counting my first one which I threw away!!) Aaron did freestyle - he's much braver than I - I just picked out 2 of my favorite pictures and tried to copy them. 

3. The Mall Challenge! This can be as inexpensive as you want it to be! We went to the mall and gave each other $15, and had to buy each other 3 gifts (or however many you want, depending on the cash limit you give) with only that cash, no going over the limit! We didn't make it a race, but I think that would be a fun twist, like end at the food court for supper or ice-cream? 

4. This was a date night I put together probably just a month after we were married. Make A Date Night Jar Together! I got a large pickle jar and glued some lace onto it. I made the images above and printed them onto some cream colored paper. We divided them in half and had to each come up with that many date nights! Without showing the other person we then folded them and put them in! These were perfect when we had a free night or someone couldn't get the creative juices flowing for a date night! Quick tip: We drew dollar signs on the outside of the folded papers that way if we were on a tight budget we knew not to pick a $$$ piece of paper! ($=under $10, $$=$10-$25, $$$=over $25) Those prices did not include if we did dinner along with the date. Feel free to right click and save the above images! They are 4X5 JPEG files so when I printed them I used 8 1/2X11 paper and chose the print 4 per page option. 

5. Cooking Competition! Aaron does most of the cooking so this probably wasn't that fair - but it was my idea so it wasn't like he was trying to cheat! This obviously takes a little prep work. We already knew we were doing this for a date night, so we picked up all the ingredients on our normal grocery shopping trip. You would also make shopping part of the outing! We each made an entree, and gave ourselves 45 minutes, preparation and presentation included! We then rated the entree 1-5 on taste, creativeness, and presentation. It got a little hectic in our tiny apartment kitchen. I'm sure it will be more fun now that our kitchen is over twice that size! 

I hope you enjoyed these ideas and try them out sometime! I'd love to hear some of your favorite date night! Please let them in the comments, I know everyone can always use more date night ideas!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Weekend Highlights!

Wow! I feel like I haven't been on here quite as often lately! I'm sorry about that and hopefully I'll start getting into the swing of things again. I hope that you guys all had a wonderful 4th of July! I had a super busy weekend but got so much done! 

My husband was out of town the past week (he got in at 3:00 AM this morning!! ugh) so I did a lot of projects around the house, and then went to visit my parents! Here are a few of the highlights from this past week/weekend!

TV Stand - I finished it!! no picture yet, don't worry it's coming soon!!

Conservators' Center - This is an awesome place my family just found out about. It's about 15 minutes from my parent's house and I can't believe we hadn't heard of it before. I love animals, and going to the zoo is one of my favorite things to do! This wasn't a zoo (as you can tell by the name) their main purpose is education, conservation, and rescue. Some of the cages were a little small I thought, but the guide mentioned several times that they were in the process of building bigger enclosures, and pointed out some of the clearings on the path where they would go. It was a guided tour so you learned a lot about the individual animals. It was really neat! They had about 4 different enclosure for their lions, and they would "talk" to them and the lions would begin roaring at each other (friendly roars of course!) If you live in the Greensboro/Burlington NC area I definitely suggest you check it out! They have a Twilight Tour, that is supposed to be awesome, that'll probably be what we do on our next visit!

July 4th Service - The Sunday after July 4th we had a lot of special music honoring our country and the men who have served in our Armed Forces. All of the music was so powerful, and everyone did an amazing job on it! 

Gallery Wall - I finally finished my gallery wall last night! I might still change it up, but I am so glad to actually have things hanging on my wall in the living room! More details to come!

This Candle - O My Word! This is the best candle ever! I got it at Marshall's this weekend and am completely in love. It smells amazing and will be cute decor even after the candle part is gone. There were 3 when I was there, and I am so tempted to go back and buy them all!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Taking Stock

Kate at The Small Things Blog wrote a post like this on Friday and I thought it was a great idea! Sometimes it's good to have these on file to look back to where you were, and also evaluate where you are now. Taking stock was a perfect title given by the original. Many of us don't take stock of our lives often enough. Either we get so busy buzzing through without enjoying life or we waste our days without any purpose! I'm guilty of both sometimes even on the same day! 

Last month I wrote about a 90 day challenge that some of the ladies in our church are doing. I found that it was making me dread my Bible time! I definitely am not saying that you shouldn't make a goal to read your Bible in 90 days, but I chose to do it at the wrong time. I'm in rehearsals a minimum of 3 nights a week, I'm still trying to unpack and decorate my house, and summer is one of the busiest times for my husband so I do most of the housework at this point.

 It's time to take stock, and prioritize! Since I don't have as much time to read my Bible I want to make sure I'm getting the most out of it! I don't want to waste the opportunity to read it through in 90 days! I'll come back to it, but right now I'm finding that I can focus more on a few verses and feel more refreshed rather than attempting to rush through 15 chapters a day feeling frazzled and unaccomplished! 

I hope going through this list will help you take stock of your life and shed some light on things that you need to let go and things you shouldn't have let go of in the first place! You can copy and paste and fill in your own answers, and please leave a comment if you decide to do it!    

Making : a lot of progress on the new rental house
Cooking : on the grill
Drinking : more and more water (trying to get up to a gallon a day) 
Reading: my Oklahoma script over and over!
Wanting: an object to go on my living room gallery wall
Looking: at beautiful blue skies
Playing: candy crush. . . far too often
Wasting: time on candy crush!
Sewing: . . . nope
Wishing: for more time in the evenings with my sweetheart
Enjoying: our new patio furniture
Waiting: on my new white plates to come in!
Liking: my new make-up primer Benefit Flawless
Wondering: about where to go on my lunch break today
Loving: the coming 3 day weekend!
Hoping: I can go to the zoo this weekend!
Marvelling: at God's great work
Needing: to decide what color to paint my TV stand
Smelling: Yankee Candle Campfire Treat
Wearing: maxi skirts!
Following: up on so many calls at work!
Noticing: how different I feel depending on my first thoughts in the morning
Knowing: that we're on the home stretch of having the house where we want it
Thinking: about my weekend to-do list
Feeling: determined!
Bookmarking: my Oklahoma script
Opening: emails
Giggling: at Parks & Rec always!
Feeling: like it's Monday, but glad that it's really Tuesday!

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