Saturday, May 31, 2014

Roaring Out of My 20's Party.

Please excuse the tardiness of this post...

On May 17th, we celebrated my 30th birthday 20's style. As I mentioned on my birthday post, after seeing the movie "The Great Gatsby" I knew I wanted to have a Roaring 20's themed birthday. Full on dress up and music.

We started planning a couple months back. Found the perfect venue. Said yes to the dress. Ordered the cake. S and his parents made the food. I handled the invites and decoration. I am glad that we worked on the details in advance considering the past two weeks have been anything but normal.

I will be honest, as excited as I was before about the party, day of I was the opposite. I had contemplated cancelling it with all that is going on now, but knew that I would regret it after. I didn't want my recent diagnosis to stop me from living life. We had so much going on the day of that by the time the party started, I was extremely exhausted. However, I am happy that we had it and it meant so much to me to have my family and friends there. I was even more happy that every one dressed up! Seriously, when I invited everyone, I really didn't think many would go through with it. I knew some were excited about dressing up and others not so much. When I saw every on in their 20's get up, it warmed my heart.

Here are some pics from the evening...











It was a great way to start off my 30's. I couldn't be more grateful for the people that God has put in my life.

XO

Friday, May 30, 2014

Monthly Favorites: May

Let's just start off by saying, that this month has been anything but my favorite. Typically it is because it's my birthday month but it has been the toughest one to date. Let's keep our fingers crossed for June!

So, my favorite's for this month....

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There has got to be some food involved, right? Bough these waffles on a whim while shopping at WholeFoods and they are so good! I've tried both the Sweer Banana and Blueberry Chia flavors. Both great! They are made with all natural ingredients and are Gluten Free for those that can not have gluten.

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This is an obvious if you read my Dear Dara Maclean post. Such a good album.


My Roaring 20's 30th birthday party. Still haven't completed my post about this #slacker It's in draft, just need to add pictures. Had such a good time and loved all the outfits! Post to come soon.


My new car! I've name her Pearl. Original, I know. Totally loving her. 

That is it for the month of May. Ready to mark this month off the calendar!

XO

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: You'll Get Through This.

Lately, with all that has been going on with my health, I've been in need of words of encouragement. One of the first things I did after learning of my diagnosis was stop by the closest Christian bookstore to pick up a book. I didn't have a particular one in mind. Just wanted something I could read that would help me cope with the current news. I did some perusing in the aisles and came across this book by Max Lucado in the new arrivals section.


It's like they knew that I needed this book.

I read the back of the cover and knew that this was what I was looking for. What I was needing to read at the moment.


I am so glad that I made the purchase. It truly put things into perspective. Offered the words I needed to hear and the assurance that God is in control of everything.

Throughout the book he walks through the life of Joseph. From the point he was sold off by his brothers to his rise in authority in Egypt. Joseph endured heart aches and waiting periods in which he could have gotten angry with God, but he didn't. He waited. He knew that God was in control of everything.

Waiting is probably the toughest. That is my struggle. Waiting and knowing that God is in control and things will happen in His timing. This quote from his book really stuck with me.

"To wait, biblically speaking, is not to assume the worse, worry, fret, make demands, or take control. Nor is waiting inactivity. Waiting is a sustained effort to stay focused on God through prayer and belief. To wait is to 'rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him:...not fret' (Ps. 37:3)".

So glad I read this book. Easy read. Finished in a little over a week. Plus, at the end, there are study questions that go with each chapter. Would make for a great Life Group study.

XO

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day.

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Today we remember those who gave their life for their country. No greater love than this than he that gives his life for a friend.

I couldn't be more grateful for the troops that serve this country. What a sacrifice to make for people they don't know and unfortunately aren't always grateful.

They leave friends and family to go out to the battlefield and fight for our freedom. That alone, wow. I mean, I never had a dry eye when I watch the videos of troops returning home and surprising their family and loved ones. I couldn't imagine having to experience that with my family.

So as you celebrate today with friends and family... remember our troops who are overseas fighting for us. Say a little prayer for them.

Lord, watch over our troops. Provide them protection from the enemy. Strength when they feel weak. Peace when they are worried. Comfort when they are sad. Healing when they are hurt. Bring them home safely.

XO

Friday, May 23, 2014

Mission Repair Hair.

One of the things that has suffered lately is my hair. My hair has always been something that I have prided myself. I have always had very healthy shiny hair. My hair stylist always brags about it. But recently, that has not been the case. Its very dry and brittle. I have been losing a lot of hair which has been the worst part of all this. Now that I am following doctor's orders, I should start to see improvements but want to take additional steps to care for my hair.

So during my last hair appointment, I was chatting with my hair stylist and she recommended some things.

It's been a week since I started taking biotin. I have heard lots of people who take biotin and have seen an improvement in their hair. Waiting to see the results...

A while back, when my stylist first mentioned to me about the wet brush. I had no interest in it. I usually comb through my hair with a wide tooth comb and it worked just fine. Plus, I didn't buy into the story that it made brushing through wet hair easier. Well, I am now eating my words. This brush really does work! There may by some areas where I have to work a little more, but it really does brush right through. Why didn't they make this when I was a kid and had to endure the pain and agony of my mom brushing my hair? Ouch. I bought this brush for like $6-7 at Sally's.

Right now, my hair is dry so it needs more moisture. She recommeded doing a hair masque at least once a week. No more than that, to avoid making my hair flat. So I purchased the Biolage Color Bloom Masque. I am already using the shampoo and conditioner from this product line and have enjoyed those. Also, it doesn't have parabens or sulphates which is a plus.

So that is my current hair care plan. That with better eating, I hope to start seeing some improvements soon!

XO

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Meal Planning.

As I've been put on a dietary restriction, per doctor's orders, meal planning ahead has been a must prior to the work week. Even preparing the meals we can prepare ahead of time is a huge help.

Now let me clarify my dietary restriction. It's not as bad as it sounds, to be honest. If anything, it's exactly what we should all be eating. I will be the first to say, that I never followed this rule. I am not a fan of veggies so you rarely would find any on my plate. Also, I love carbs! Breads, pasta, pizza, you name it. Now having to count my carb intake, I realize how BAD they are for you! Every now and then, it's okay to splurge. But daily, not so much. Le sigh.

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We've made Sunday to be our designated day to shop for our groceries and prepare the food we can prepare such as meats. I will cook brown rice to last the week, so it's an easy reheat for dinner.

Sunday morning while drinking my coffee I will search for recipes for the week and write done the ingredients. Then check through our pantry to see what we have and need.

Some of my favorite foodie bloggers with healthy delicious recipes are:

Skinny Taste - Her Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps are amazing! Trust me on this one.
Dashing Dish - Mentioned her before. Just go to her site.

I try to look for meals for different meats. Chicken, Ground turkey and fish. Then look for side dishes that fit those recipes. I will usually get about 4 meals put together and figure that some nights we will do leftovers or go out to eat.

After church, we head out, do groceries and get to prepping. It seriously takes a full day to shop and prep for meals. I kid you not. Last week, I prepared this Cilantro Lime Chicken, cooked brown rice and chopped pistachios for a salmon recipe. Deshelling and chopping up them pistachios alone took forever. Doing stuff like this ahead of time, makes cooking dinner the night of so much easier and faster.

There you have it. How we meal plan for the week. Seriously, a life saver. Have enough going on during the week. This makes one less thing to do.

XO

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Handwritten Notes.

Let me start off by saying, that I appreciate technology and all the convenience it has brought us. Television, Cell Phones, GPSs, Laptops etc. Wonderful.

But, I do feel that it has been the death of face to face social skills. Like seriously, when did it become okay to break up over text? I haven't had it happen to me personally, but have heard stories. #SMH

Even more, the beauty in handwritten in notes. Personally, I love when I receive a note in the mail. Doesn't happen often, sadly. Don't get me wrong. I don't object to emails, FB comments, texts etc. But it just doesn't compare to hold a physical card and seeing the written words.

So, I've taken it upon myself, to make a personal goal of handwriting more letters. I just finished writing thank you cards for all those who attended my 30th birthday party. I think its more personal and meaningful. Even though it's going into the trash once read. That's besides the point. I figure if I am gonna complain about the non-existent hand written letters, I should be an example and start doing it myself.



Oh, and somebody must have read my mind because I was recently given a stationary pack which made me super happy. Totally writing letters to friends in Ohio.

XO

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Nighttime Moisturizer.

I have recently been on the hunt for a good moisturizer to use in the evenings before bed. I currently use the Origins VitaZing Moisturizer in the mornings before putting my makeup. I love it. It has SPF in it and also has a little tint. Great for days when I don't feel like wearing makeup. Adds a little color to my skin. But obviously, I don't need SPF and tint for bedtime, so I want to get something for evenings. Especially now that I have hit the 30, it's important to stay on top of my skincare routine.

Looking for something that is light weight but moisturizing. I have pretty sensitive skin. Normal to combo. It can get oily in the T-zone area. But pretty dry during the winter months. I don't really have too many breakouts, thank you birth control.

I did some searching on YouTube and blogs for night time routines and have narrowed down a top three I would like to try.

1/2/3

I have really heard great things about Benefit products. I do have some of their makeup products which I enjoy. Figured it wouldn't hurt to try their skin care products. And I am a sucker for cute packaging.

As I mentioned above, I have an Origins moisturizer already and have no complaints.

I have only used the Korres lip butter. Which I liked it. Used it at night before bedtime. Saw this moisturizer on Sephora and read the reviews. There of course is a range of reviews. I may give this a try if the other two don't work.

I received a Sephora giftcard for my birthday and will be using that towards this purchase this weekend.

XO

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dear Dara Maclean.

Thank you for making such a great album. I have been listening to it non stop since I bought it on iTunes over a week ago.

You have a beautiful voice that makes me envy you. It's okay. I still belt it out when I listen as though I were the next Mariah Carey. #sorrynotsorry

The lyrics of your songs have been encouraging and really spoken to me. Specifically Our Only Hope, You Are All I Need, Find Rest. I have listened to those during my quiet times.

Please continue to create beautiful music and be an open vessel to the Lord. I am sure that through your music, many have been blessed like me.

If you don't know who Dara Maclean is... here is her music video "Wanted". Enjoy!



XO

Friday, May 16, 2014

30.

Today I have officially crossed over to a new decade.

My 30's.

How do I feel?

The same. Indifferent. For the past couple months I was slightly freaking out that I was ending my twenties. Thinking that I wasn't where I thought I would be by now. Problems that planners like me face. Try to plan ahead and then life happens. You would think I would have learned by now, but haven't.

I do feel that I am more confident as a person and know what I want in life. You are pretty much trying to figure all that out in your twenties. At least that was definitely my experience. I learned what I wanted in my marriage, career, and life in general.

Experiencing a divorce in my mid-20's is not one of my most proudest moments, but I learned so much through it. I knew what I really wanted in a husband and in my marriage. I also learned how to be a wife. I know that partly through that difficult experience, my marriage now is what it is today. Amazing. My husband is pretty awesome as well. Must give him tons of credit.

When I originally started college, I thought that accounting and numbers was the job for me. Once I started my full time job, in which I was always working with numbers and spreadsheets all day, I realized that that really wasn't the job for me. I switched the degree I was pursuing and received a Bachelors in Management. Most recently, I got a job in the HR field that I truly enjoy and love.

With my recent health diagnosis, I've learned that how I live my life and put in my body is so important. Eating right. Exercising. Being responsible and scheduling my annual doctor appointments and following doctor's orders. All can make a difference.

Nothing is stronger than the bond of family. I wouldn't say that I have a close family, but during this time, I have needed their support and appreciated having them close. Before this, I didn't think twice about moving away far from family, but my feelings have changed and I now realize how important it is to have them near by.

Most importantly and above all, my relationship with God. It can be so easy to let this fall at the bottom of the list when you go through the day to day craziness, but it the most important. I need to make this my priority. Rest in His word.


How will I be celebrating?

I have a party planned tomorrow. The theme is "Roaring Out of my 20's". Ever since I watched the movie, The Great Gatsby, I knew I wanted a 20's theme party. I started planning months ago and pinning my heart away on Pinterest. Here are some of the pins that have inspired my party planning:

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XO

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Clean Eating.

Since learning about my health, the idea of "clean eating" has taken on a whole new meaning to me. What before was a concept I rolled my eyes at is now my life line. What enters in my body is so important to my survival that I want to know everything possible to clean eating.

In this short time, I have learned so much on the importance of clean eating and what you are putting in your body. The damage that you do your body when you consume food thats are not good for you, like processed food, is unreal. May not seem like a problem at first, but over time it can affect your body.

Plus, eating clean with exercise can help reduce the need for medicine. That alone has me sold. I hate taking medicine and even worse being dependent on it.

Needless to say, I have been googling and searching on the internet for blogs, websites etc about clean eating. Some of the sites I have found helpful are:

Mind Body Green - This site has all kinds of articles, videos and recipes.

Dashing Dish - I happen to across this blog when I was searching for recipes and immediately fell in love. Not only is this blog adorable and full of great recipes, the story behind the blogger is so inspiring. Her faith and love for the Lord is so obvious throughout her blog that it's refreshing and encouraging.

I will say, it is definitely more involved when you try to eat clean. Seriously, the amount of dirty dishes we go through now is a little ridiculous. Not sure why this happens. Constantly washing meassuring cups. Also, we keep our food garbage like (old leftovers, veggie/fruit peels, etc) in the freezer to avoid ants and bugs and our freezer drawers are now packed by garbage day. So a little more effort will be needed, but I've come to learn that it is well worth it.

XO

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Finding Rest in Him.

To say that the past week and half has been the worst in my life, would be a huge understatement. I learned some news about my health that took me by complete surprise. A blow to the stomach. I've experienced so many emotions from shock, denial, anger, hurt, fear and still go through it all.

Then the questions: Why God? Why me? What did I do to get this? I am trying my best to not question God. I know there are things that happen that we can not explain. But they happen for a reason.

My faith in God and His word over my life has been seriously put to the test. But I know, that He is there for me and His love couldn't be stronger. Our families have been there supporting us through words and actions. I have not really had the best relationship with my mother. It's always been "special". But since the diagnosis, our relationship has made a complete 180.

He has put church family in my life that have been a huge support system for me and S during this time.  There prayer and support has meant so much to us. A couple that we are close to from church have seriously gone over and beyond our expectations, and I couldn't be more grateful to have them in our lives.

In this short time (although it feels like an eternity) I have had a huge change in perspective and reevaluated what is important in my life. My relationship with God and my family. It's unfortunate that it takes a life changing event to learn these things. But I thank God that I have the chance to learn and change. Although this will not always be easy, and sometimes the sunshine won't be shining, I will find rest in Him. I know He is my healer and strength.

XO

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sisterly Love.

Thanks to the rainy weather and non-driveable car, I have had a very lazy weekend. What else better to do than have an impromptu photo with the pups with my iPhone?











Let's talk about my phone's camera quality. I swear, it used to take better quality photos. What happened? Takes it like ten seconds to focus which is not good when you have a puppy that can't stay still. I need to charge my big girl's camera battery and get some pics. That will be a goal for the week.

XO

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Friday Night Ups and Downs.

So last night was an adventure. I had another casual girl's night planned with my girl Elizabeth. We decided to make pizza and grab dessert from a near by Greenwise.

First of all, can we talk about my fascination of Greenwise?! This was like a whole new world to me. It's attached to a garage which is above the store, so you have to go down escalators to get to the store. They actually had a center lift for grocery carts. I was so facinated. It's the little things.

But the biggest highlight for me was their dessert selection. *Please cue drooling now*


If I lived closer to the place, I would probably be a frequent shopper there.

Okay enough of my fondness for Greenwise. We went back to her place, began cooking and drinking some wine. I photographed, Elizabeth cooked.







So yes, may not be the best presentation to date, but it tasted good. We were a little hesitant about how it would taste since they only had wheat dough available at Greenwise, but I think it was good.

Now to the dessert. I got the strawberry tart. It was A-MAZING!


When it was time to go, I headed out to my car and found this surprise.



A branch from a nearby tree fell and broke the back windshield. Just my luck, right? The past couple days we've been experiencing some stormy weather and some areas even had flooding. I'm thinking this branch was a victim of that stormy weather and couldn't hold on.

Good thing is that only the window was damaged, the rest of the car went unscathed. Bad thing, the repair is going to be $500 and our deductible is $500. So that is an unforeseen expense. I would much rather be spending $500 on something more fun.

Well, let's hope this weekend gets better!

XO

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Career: One Month Anniversary.

Today marks one month in my new role. It has been quite the experience so far. Yes, I was already kinda acting in the role prior to receiving the promotion, but not quite at the same capacity as now. Let's just say, I have a whole new respect for those that have already been doing it for a while. It is seriously a busy job. I mean, don't get me wrong, I totally enjoy what I am doing but it would be nice to catch a breather here and there.

The first couple weeks was packed with training which just threw us all behind. The team went through a restructure, so there have been shifts in people and roles, so we all had to go through training. Seriously, after three hours of training, all you want to do is go home and nap! Needless to say, my consumption of cherry coke has increased by 200%. What used to be considered a treat is now a need for survival.

The majority of my time is spent responding to emails and also having calls. I can easily receive up to 50-60 emails a day or more. I think this was the biggest learning curve for me and probably my least favorite aspect of the job. I am the type of person that like to respond to email immediately and file them away so I have a clear inbox. Yeah, I learned to get over that OCD quickly because it is nearly impossible to manage. Now, I am happy if I end the work day with less than 25 unread emails and like a thousand read emails in my inbox.

Now on the other hand, I love hosting calls with my assignees. I work with international assignees from offices all around the world so I get to hear a ton of accents. Seriously, I just love hearing accents. Some are a little tougher to understand of course. I am sure with time I will be able to pick up easier than now. There are times I find myself closing my eyes and squeezing the headphone on my headset to my ear in hopes to understand what it is said. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Kinda like when you are driving and turn down the radio to look for a street sign? Ever do that? Ha.

Another thing I enjoy with this role, is that each day is never the same. True story. Each assignee situation is different. I am one that gets bored really quickly with tasks that are the same and monotonous. That is not the case here. I am constantly learning and challenged. Sometimes more challenged than I would like, but thats okay. When I see that I was able to help an assignee, it makes up for the stress. This is exactly what I was looking for. A job where at the end of the day, I have a sense of satisfaction that I've made a difference and helped someone.

That is my update for now. Will try to do monthly updates just to see how I've grown in my role.

XO