Updated Site!

I’m so excited to say that my updated site is coming soon! I’ve spent a couple of weeks putting it together and while it still needs some minor tweaks, it’s ready for the big reveal. It will take a couple of days for my domain registration to roll over to my new host and I’m going to be without phone and internet most of the weekend, but I can’t wait until then to give you a sneak peek!

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 3.57.36 PMWhile I am waiting for the transition to happen, there won’t be any new posts on this site, but you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook in the meantime.

See you on the new site soon!

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Home Office Makeover: Before

We’ve been in our house for three and a half years now and we’ve slowly but surely been working our way through painting/updating the interior. The one room I’ve been dreading taking on is our guest room. Wallpaper. With a wallpaper border faux chair rail. What was going through the minds of whoever did that to these poor walls?

So, on July 2 I started a new job that allows me to work from home which means I need a home office. Guess which room is the lucky winner? So, I’m embarking on an effort to turn this room around in a big way. I only have small snippets of time to work on the room because having a toddler underfoot is not the best way to approach a home redecorating project that involves steamers and paint rollers, so I expect this one to  take a while, but I’m excited to get started.

I’m also working on my inspiration for the space, so if you’re interested in seeing some of my vision check out my Home Office Inspiration board on Pinterest.

Here are some shots of the room before I get started so you have an idea of what I’m really dealing with. YIKES!

I’ll post an update on how things are going in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime, I have a question for you: How do you deal with such a massive project when your time to work on it is limited?

Weekly Wrap-Up: Starting from Scratch

I am a runner. It’s hard to say that when I’ve really only run two races since Penelope came along over two years ago. My training is erratic and as a result, more weight than I would like to admit has crept on and I haven’t been able touch it by more than a few pounds here and there because, let’s face it, my schedule is no longer my own.

Thankful for a husband who wants to go on a journey to get back into shape with me, we set off to get this all under control two weeks ago.

We are:

  • Logging our food intake daily using My Fitness Pal
  • Cutting back on alcohol consumption (and adding those calories to our food logs)
  • Getting up before 5 AM each morning during the work week to exercise (we alternate running days)
  • Taking breaks for physical activity during the work day

After two weeks, I’ve been happy to see 4.6 pounds come off. I don’t expect my weight loss to continue at this rate, but with 30+ pounds to lose, its good motivation to keep going!

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Here is what I did last week:

Monday – 2.5 mile run
Tuesday – 20 minute strength and a ten minute walk
Wednesday – 2.5 mile run
Thursday – 20 minute strength and three ten-minute walks
Friday – 2 mile run
Saturday – 2.25 mile family walk
Sunday – 4 mile run

I’m going to be hanging with this general routine for the next few weeks because I’ve been fighting some lingering aches in my Achilles area. I’ve been using stretches and running flat-ish routes to help that effort and it has gotten much better than it was before I started this.

As I move forward, I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you! In the meantime, be sure to visit Wendy and HoHo who I am linking to for this Weekly Wrap-Up!

I’m Being Brave

I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times the words “Be careful” have come out my mouth since Penelope became mobile. I feel like sometimes I was saying it a hundred times a day. Then, a couple of months ago, I saw this TED talk.

Whoa.

Suddenly, I was self-conscious every time I said it. I started using the words “Pay attention to your body”, I started providing directions and support when she wanted to do something that was challenging for her little, just-turned-two body, and I started praising her bravery. This past weekend, I got to see the efforts to shift my words pay off.

When we visit our neighborhood playground, the same one we have been visiting since before she could walk, she loves to climb the stairs and go down the slides over and over again. A few weeks ago, my husband and I guided her through climbing the plastic rocks to get up on the structure. This past week, she did it without fail, turned to me at one point and said “I’m being brave.” She said it again while attempting to climb up one of the metal structures. It brought tears to my eyes.

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“I’m being brave!”

Because right now, my little girl is being brave with her body. Every time she conquers a new physical obstacle, she is showing herself that she is capable. And, with every one of those successes, she becomes more and more brave.

As she grows, I can only hope that she continues to find that bravery in other aspects of her life. I want her to be brave about speaking out against injustice done to herself or others, I want her to live life without fearing change, and I want her to always embrace adventure.

But for now, I’ll be happy as she continues facing challenges head-on and keep reinforcing that being brave is being awesome.

Summer Cocktails

We have been digging into some awesome summer cocktails lately. Sometimes we keep it super simple with vodka and flavored seltzer (Grapefruit Spindrift is a recent favorite), but we are always on the hunt for a good cocktail recipe! Today, I’m going to link up on Full Plate Thursday, so be sure to check out some other awesome recipes over there after you check out the cocktail recipe below!

Last weekend we found a recipe for Lemon and Rosemary Bourbon Sours on Foxes Love Lemons and mixed those up for dinner with another couple on Saturday night! The results were awesome!

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For the 4th we wanted something with Mezcal because, let’s face it, Mezcal is awesome. So, while spending the afternoon playing in the sprinkler with our little P, we came up with our recipe for Sparkling Mezcal Palomas. They were delightful, refreshing and hit the spot on a hot summer evening!

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Sparkling Mezcal Paloma (makes 2 cocktails)

4 oz Mezcal (we like Mezcal Vago)
1 grapefruit
1/2 lime
6-7 oz club soda

Juice grapefruit and lime and add juice to an ice filled cocktail shaker. Add Mezcal. Shake well and strain into 2 highball glasses filled with ice. Split club soda between glasses and give them a quick swirl to combine. Garnish with lime or grapefruit slices. Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite summer cocktail? Please share a link or recipe in the comments!

 

Chop it Up

I am all about my new knives! We have some high quality (and high dollar) knives in our kitchen, but because our knives tend to the more expensive side, we don’t always have enough to go around, especially when we are doing prep for an extended family meal or one of our parties.

Enter the Vremi Knife Set! These brightly colored knives serve a wide variety of purposes and have their own knife sheaths. That means we don’t need to buy a bigger knife block or worry about cutting ourselves when we go digging for one in a kitchen drawer.

As for performance, these knives have exceeded expectations. They cut well, even through tomato skins, and the grips are super comfortable for my hands! We went strawberry picking about a week after I opened the box and the work was made super simple by having more than one chopping knife on hand to prep them for the freezer.

I’m super happy with these knives and glad that I have something in my life to simplify meal prep. And now, for the really good news…

You can use my giveaway to get your very own set of these knives! Check out the link below!

Win the Vremi Coffee Grinder and Knife Set #2https://js.gleam.io/e.js

Gardenite Garden Hose Nozzle

It’s officially spring even though the weather here in North Carolina keeps trying to make us return to winter. But, with the warmer weather comes yard work galore!

I have more than a few outdoor projects in mind (more on those projects later), but one thing I was seriously lacking in is of the hose sprayer variety. The one I have been using the last couple of years was one I grabbed at Target a few years ago and never really took care of, so I was thinking I was going to replace it with something nicer.

Just at the right time, I was given the opportunity to purchase the Gardenite Garden Hose Nozzle at a discount and I couldn’t have been happier!IMG_0496

The weight of the nozzle was impressive before I even took it out of the package. It gave the impression that it was made of high-quality materials and felt nice in my hand once it was out of the package.

Unlike cheap garden hose nozzles, this one threaded right onto my hose without an issue. Then, it came time to start the flow of the water and test it out.

For this trial, I used the jet stream to wash away some cobwebs from the exterior of my house, and the shower to settle some soil I used to fill some holes in my yard (that’s another post, too). I cycled through several of the other spray patterns and found that they will all be useful in some way as I work through my spring yardwork projects.

The thing that makes this hose nozzle unique is the mechanism used to turn the flow of water on and off. I like that it lets you control the flow of water much better than the “trigger” mechanism of most hose nozzles. When I was working the hose with two hands, it was easy to use. When I started to try to do something else with one hand, it became a little more difficult because of the size of my hands. However, I think it just takes some getting used to, because after a couple of trials, it was easy to manage.

Now, here comes the cool part.  You get a chance to win one of these awesome spray nozzles by entering the giveaway below! Check it out and be sure to enter!

Win a Gardenite Nozzle Hand Sprayer #3