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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

{Guest Post} Tips For Getting Through Moving Unscathed

This week, I am very excited to bring you a collection of posts from some of my favorite online friends, while C & I are currently in transit. I am extremely grateful for their help & love what they've put together.

Today we are hearing from Paige from Come + Take It. Paige is currently expecting her first child, and just moved for the umpteenth time while her husband is currently deployed. She's an entrepreneur (check out her company, Black Dog Branding) and an expert mover. Below are her tips on how to stay sane & organized through the entire moving process. I definitely wish I'd followed this advice two weeks months ago!

***

Hi ya’ll! This is Paige from Come + Take It, a lifestyle blog devoted to the pursuit of life’s good things. I am so excited to be guest posting for Amy while she is moving!

Moving (even a good deep clean) can be so stressful, but I’ve learned from experience (over 20 moves) that with a little planning and a few fun extras, you can get through even the worst moves without a tear shed.



Here are some of my tips for getting through the process unscathed:
1. Start planning for your move early
If you are lucky enough to be using movers to pack or move your things, or both, this will likely involve just a few phone calls and you’ll be ready to go. For the rest of you, starting the process early is imperative. I’d recommend starting as early as 6-8 weeks before your scheduled move date. Why so early you ask? Because you have more to do than you think.
2. Enlist help (& bribe your friends)
You could try to do it completely alone, but be prepared for quite a few long days and a few frustrated attempts at moving that oddly sized couch. Enlist the help of friends, it usually helps if they owe you a favor or you helped them move, but promise them plenty of water, snacks and cold beer (or another beverage) at the end of the day. As nice as it would be to start the cool beverages flowing at 2pm, don’t forget, they are carrying and moving your things. Order a pizza, swing by a convenience store and survey the success at the end of the day, together.
3. Update your address & contact information at one time
You should already have a list of credit cards, bank accounts and the contact information for security’s sake stashed away somewhere. Add to this any reoccurring payments you have so that when you are moving you can sit down and change everything at once instead of running to your computer every time you think of something. The post office allows you to change or forward your mail online starting from any date. Instead of risking missing a letter from your grandmother, update your address information early so that you can rest assured that you wont miss anything. Magazine’s can sometimes take longer to update address information, so be sure to change the address on file early.
***
Moving checklist from Come + Take It


A little moving timeline to help keep you on schedule and ready to go:

6-8 weeks before your move:

  • Survey your current space and get a floor plan of your future space. Map our your furniture and figure out if you will (or want to) donate or sell any furniture or belongings.
  • Tag the items you want to get rid of and either photograph and post on Craigslist or call your local Goodwill or Habitat Restore to get the items picked up. Getting the furniture out early will help you have the space to pack and organize the rest of the things you want to keep.

4-6 weeks before your move:

  • Load up on trash bags.
  • Go through each room and use one for recycling (if your community participates), one for trash, and one for things to donate.
  • Getting rid of all of the dead weight will not only give you less to pack and move, but it will help you organize before you pack, saving you precious time once you move in to your new place.
  • Don’t focus on getting fancy organizational supplies. Wait to decorate and fully organize until you are in your new space and have a better idea of layout and function.

2-3 weeks before your move:

  • Finally, start packing. Walmart sells boxes and packing supplies fairly cheaply, but you can also check Craigslist. People will frequently post in the “free” section any unused or extra boxes they have available.
  • Instead of slowly starting and going from room to room haphazardly, start in one room and finish it as best you can before moving on to another
  • Set aside anything you will need to use until or through your move. This could include your toothbrush, clothes, etc. You don’t want to finish packing one day and then not be able to find something important.
  • Set aside any valuables and pack them in a suitcase to keep with you. This is particularly important for longer moves when you may be leaving the truck or boxes along for a period of time. Be aware of who is going in and around your truck – you don’t want to have everything boxed and labeled only for someone to steal your Living Room box full of electronics.

1 week before your move:

  • You should have everything but the essentials packed at this point, survey your place and see if you need to take any of the remaining items to the trash or donate them before the big day.
  • Confirm your truck rental and don’t forget a dolly – it is worth the extra $20 to save your back. You’ll have more energy and be much safer!
  • Fix any holes and touch up paint as needed. If you have to do a major repaint, wait to do so until your belongings are in the new place. It will be easier and you wont risk getting paint on your favorite couch, table, wedding dress, etc.

Day of!

  • Get a good night’s rest the night before. You’re going to need it!
  • Pick up the truck, get started loading. Don’t forget to put the heaviest items (big furniture) at the front and the smaller, lighter items toward the back, or closest to the door.

***
A big THANK YOU to Paige for all these lovely tips!!
Go stop by her blog & say hello ♥

Monday, July 30, 2012

{Guest Post} Finding Home

This week, I am very excited to bring you a collection of posts from some of my favorite online friends, while C & I are currently in transit. I am extremely grateful for their help & love what they've put together.

Today we get to hear from Michelle of Shell Bell. This girl is funny, and apparently works at the most awkward and/or awful place in the universe, because she tells some of the most amazing office stories I've ever heard. And it's her story telling that has made me really enjoy her blog. She's a natural at it, and her personality and humor shine through every piece. I think she's having a lot of fun :) And now she's sharing a little bit of her life story with you ♥

***




I lived the majority of my life feeling displaced. I spent my very early years in California, my childhood in Nevada, my teenage years in Ohio, and college in North Carolina. In a sense, it felt like my heart had been cut into four pieces and divied up among those four states. One week after my college graduation, I got married to a man who lived in the same house his entire life. The same house his parents and grandparents grew up in. The house that sits in the middle of the family farm.

This was how I had always wished my life had been. I wanted the kind of family history you could trace all the way down to the dilapidated shack and tall pine trees across the road from his house. My family history seemed to start anew every seven years. He knew nothing about moving and starting over while I was all too familiar with it.

About a month after our honeymoon, I got a phone call that changed everything. I was offered a job in Columbus, Ohio, just 45 minutes south of the town that held my angsty, awkward teenage memories. But honestly, I was thrilled. It was finally my turn to go home. Somewhere that held my memories instead of everyone else's.

Within two months of saying our vows and three weeks of accepting the job, we filled a small U-haul with all our earthly belongings and made the 14 hour drive to our new home.

It was in our tiny grey apartment on the north end of the city where I finally felt like I had come home, and where my new husband learned how to say goodbye and start fresh. It was there that we started anew, started our own family memories and said goodbye to our past.

You can find Michelle blogging at Shell Bell
Go say hi!

Friday, July 27, 2012

{Guest Post} On Living Alone

This week, I am very excited to bring you a collection of posts from some of my favorite online friends, while C & I are currently in transit. I am extremely grateful for their help & love what they've put together.

Today is Elle from Elle Sees. She's beauty genius, and is kind enough to share all her tricks & secrets with the world. Want a 30 Second hair style? Check! Really cheap beauty routine? Check! Awesome 3D nail styles? Check. She has to have so much fun testing everything out! She lives in Atlanta, with a really cup pup, and today she's talking about something I've never done: living alone.

***

Hi! I'm Elle from ElleSees, a beauty lifestyle blog. It's full of tips and tricks on beauty, along with the occasional DIY thrown in. I started my blog two years ago after moving to Atlanta. Shortly after I moved, I found myself unexpectedly unemployed and alone. Sound scary? It ended up being amazing.


Living alone was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but as the saying goes, everything's for a reason. I'd gone from living at home to moving to college, complete with many dormmates. And then I had roommates as an adult. I'd jumped from one living situation to another, never living alone, and becoming completely codependent. I was always with friends, never spending a night alone in my apartment or dorm. I'd never gone grocery shopping by myself, or even cooked anything. Driving made me nervous, and I usually had friends drive me around. And now I was right in the middle of the city.


But it had to be done. It was time to really grow up. I learned my way around Atlanta (ok, still learning), watched YouTube videos on how to cook basic meals (still not a chef, but hey), and now I sleep just fine at night. It just took time.

I love living alone (I've since adopted an adorable Morkie pup named Charlie Brown). I relish the quiet, that I can watch or listen to whatever I want. If I want to hang out in my underwear and watch infomercials all day I can (or other Secret Single Behaviors). My apartment can be as tidy/messy as I'd like, with no one there to criticize either way. I don't have to please anyone but myself.

I feel free, independent, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

***

Be sure to stop by Elle's blog, Elle Sees, and tell her hello ♥

Thursday, July 26, 2012

{Guest Post} I've Left My Heart in Many Places

This week, I am very excited to bring you a collection of posts from some of my favorite online friends, while C & I are currently in transit. I am extremely grateful for their help & love what they've put together.

Today we have the pleasure of hearing from Valorie, from Simply, Valorie. Valorie & I met working at a music festival in Bryan-College Station a few years back, and became Twitter friends, then blogger friends & eventually real life friends. She even took our lovely Christmas pictures this past year -- before graduating from Texas A&M University and moving to Washington, DC. She's a great writer, snarky & is currently on one of her greatest adventures (and I love to read along from the comfort of my computer!)

***

Source: etsy.com via Amy on Pinterest

When I first left Texas for DC on January 19th, I didn't think I would miss it - not really, at least. I knew I'd miss my friends and family, but not Texas itself. Then in May I went home for a visit -- college had let out so all my friends from high school were home, the bluebonnets were in full bloom, and Texas was at it's prettiest - the spring storms were over but the summer drought hadn't quite set in yet.

I discovered how overwhelmingly homesick I was. I always knew I was a Texas Girl, but I hadn't realized that when my plane had taken off in January, I had left my heart behind. I immediately started making plans to leave DC and move back to Texas.

Of course, as soon as I started making plans to leave DC, I realized that there are things I'll miss here too. I'll miss all the reading I get done on the bus, and the fact that there's better coffeehouses here. If I leave, I'll have friends here to miss, just like I have friends back in Texas that I miss. I will always, always be a Texan, but now part of my heart is stuck in DC.

I quickly realized it wasn't just Texas and DC - I left parts of my heart in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong when I studied abroad there last summer. I've left a piece of my heart in London after accompanying my mom there on a dozen business trips when I was a kid. I left an even bigger chunk of my heart in Paris, a part big enough that the idea of never going back sends me straight into tears. My heart belongs to California and Arkansas too, the two places where my family is, and to Oklahoma, where I was born.

***

You can find Valorie over at Simply Valorie
Be sure to go by & tell her hi from Amy ♥

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

{Guest Post} Let's Explore Hollywood

This week, I am very excited to bring you a collection of posts from some of my favorite online friends, while C & I are currently in transit. I am extremely grateful for their help & love what they've put together.

Today is Leeann from Join the Gossip. She lives with a giant fur ball in Hollywood. She's always making me jealous of all the great events & previews she gets to go to! And she hosts a great Monday link-up "Weekend Update" with a wonderful group of bloggers. Today she's making us all jealous by walking us through her neighborhood...

***

Hi everyone! My name is Leeann and I blog over at Join the Gossip! Today I'm super excited to be filling in for Amy and talking about my neighborhood in Hollywood, CA.

I actually work on Hollywood Blvd. so I see the Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater (where movie premieres are held), and the Kodak Theater (where the Academy Awards are held) on a daily basis. It's fun but also a bit crazy and overwhelming. So many tourists and so many "characters". If you've never been to Hollywood, be warned: on Hollywood Blvd. the grown man in the Spiderman costume or the lady dressed as skanky Cat Woman want to take pictures with you then get you to pay for those photos. Avoid them!


Here's a picture of the HUGE crowds that gathered for Katy Perry's movie premiere/concert on Hollywood Blvd. a few weeks ago. I had to fight through the crowds just to get a coffee.


Within walking distance of my apartment are fun places like Kat Von D's High Voltage Tattoo from the show LA Ink, an old restaurant/bar called Formosa Cafe that used to be frequented by stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra, and Pink's Hot Dogs that's been around since 1939 and boasts a menu of dogs created by and named after celebrities.



Source: yelp.com via Leeann on Pinterest


As much as I complain about high rent in older apartment buildings that don't usually have air conditioners or dishwashers, and the abundance of crazies in this city also known as "Hollyweird", there's a lot to do and living here is definitely an experience that I'll be able to look back on one day and tell stories about.

I hope you enjoyed a tour of my neighborhood stop by my blog and say hello sometime :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{Guest Post} Home and Its Many Meanings

This week, I am very excited to bring you a collection of posts from some of my favorite online friends, while C & I are currently in transit. I am extremely grateful for their help & love what they've put together.

Today's guest writer is Selma from Crazy Little World of Mine. She's a world traveler, and a girl with many homes. I've grown very fond of Selma's rants & expressions. She is a sweetheart on the web & I'm very happy that you can see a little bit into her world today 

***

Hello there! My name is Selma and I write over at Crazy Little World of Mine. Today I am delighted to guest post for Amy while she is busy moving things around and getting settled into her new home. And "home" is also part of today's post.



HOME, as dictionary.com defines it means a few things but the following three stood out:

  • a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household
  • the place or region where something is native or more common
  • the place in which one's domestic affections are centered

Home means so much more than just those three definitions. Home to me is not what home is to you or to your loved ones or to your best friend. Years ago I thought home meant the city I grew up in and maybe the place I would live in and looking at the definitions above I wasn't wrong with that idea. Though today I know and feel that the word home has an incredibly powerful sensation and an impossibly strong meaning to me which makes it very difficult to describe.

You see, and as Amy knows from reading my blog, I have more than just one home and I love all my three to four homes, and would probably not mind adding a few more to that list. Home is not only the place I grew up in and have family and friends in, nor is it the place I currently live in. Home to me embodies the place where I most feel at peace with myself, where I find my true self, have my loved ones around me, have daily adventures to conquer (including work of course), and a place that I know will influence me forever.



Currently I am back in Switzerland visiting relatives and dear friends. I am in my hometown where I was born and raised, where I went to school, and fought my way through work and its weekly or daily obstacles. I'm home, and I'm loving it. Though I don't live here.

I live in Los Angeles where I slowly feel more at home than I would have ever imagined. I am going back next month. I have to leave home for another home. Every time I do this it gets bittersweet because emotions I thought I had under control emerge and I second guess all of my actions, and wonder why I am the so-called expat that I am. These feelings get worse when I visit my relatives and friends in Turkey each summer, or travel for a longer period of time. That is when I often see myself from above like as if I am flying, and I see myself standing in the middle of nowhere being able to go to all of these marvelous places and experience history and life in all kinds of forms, and although I appreciate, value, love and cherish the opportunity I have been given to travel and even live abroad it always, and here I have to stress always, leaves me wondering with "what if?" and "why?".

The "what if?" and the "why?" moments are normal let me tell you.

I moved from Europe to California, then back to Europe and ended up back in California last year. I would be lying if I said it was easy or fun or very difficult or sad. It was all of it.

If you have ever moved across the world, or just to another state, or to another city or really just down the street you may know what I mean. It is never easy even though you might be used to moving. It is never fun because really, who likes packing boxes and organizing the whole move? Why am I doing this (again)? And yet, it is exciting to move into a new place, into a new area, start from scratch and find new ways to enjoy your everyday life. Moving into a new home, whatever that may mean to you, is a wonderful experience and one that should not be missed. The "what if?" or even the "why?" moments occur because we are afraid of change and because we don't want to leave what we have come to accept and love. To feel like this is very normal and should never hinder us to move, travel, or find our home. It is the essential and almost only way to experience something new, live differently, learn new things and embrace the unknown. The questions and the doubts that will arise are part of the experience and only help us form the sacred and cozy place we easily refer to as home.



As Amy is going through boxes, suitcases, and who knows what else I am sure she will experience the move from one home to another very differently. She will, as I have many many times, leave part of herself in her old home and look forward to new adventures in her new home. She may or may not experience what I have just described but I know the new home will be a wonderful new start to a hopefully glorious future. Kitschy I know.

Home, as I see it, is where you are and what you do with it, and not really where you are from.

So, what do you think?
What does the word home mean to you?

Thank you Amy for letting me write on your blog and thank you all for reading this rather long post. I hope I  have given you food for thought - especially when you are confronted with "what if" and "why" questions if you ever have or wish to move and leave home. It is always worth it. Always. You'll see.

Monday, July 23, 2012

{Guest Post} Lessons from Moving

This week, I am very excited to bring you a collection of posts from some of my favorite online friends, while C & I are currently in transit. I am extremely grateful for their help & love what they've put together.

Today is Amanda from Simple Girl, Simple Pleasures. She currently lives in Connecticut with her boyfriend "M" and dalmatian Louie. She's what I would call "one of those crazy runners" and follows races all along the East coast. It's quite impressive. Today, Amanda is talking about her recent move & a few lessons she learned from it...

***

Hi friends of Amy! I'm Amanda and write over at Simple Girl, Simple Pleasures! See? That's me with our wonderful puppy Louie. He's six months old now and growing like a weed. And the "our" I'm referring to is my boyfriend, M, and I.


Anyways, since Amy is on the move, literally, I'm honored that she asked me to guest post. M and I moved at the beginning of June from a spacious, rent-free two-bedroom raised ranch to a one-bedroom second floor apartment...

To give some back story, I was house-sitting for family friends back starting in November (that was my first time moving out of my parents' and living alone). M finally found a job down here and moved in in February. So basically, we've been blissfully living in sin for almost six months now! And I mean it when I say blissfully because after a little over a year of long distance, it's wonderful to have my best friend and boyfriend under the same roof.


Moving attire

But here's the blatant truth: moving sucks. So I'm going to give you the truth and some quick tips on what to do or not do when moving. 

Don't move everything in one weekend. If  you're able to, take extra time off to move. Trying to move everything in one weekend and after work is exhausting. I started around 7:30AM and didn't sit down to enjoy a vodka drink until 9:30PM! The only break I took was around 2 for a lunch. Moving makes you hungry.


My post moving vodka drink...

Recruit friends and family. Part of the issues with our move was that M and I couldn't do it together. We had limited time, and then he had to go up to his hometown for his brother's graduation. So I did the majority of the remaining moving and unpacking by myself. That part was rough. The day probably would have been much easier if I had my partner-in-crime with me.

Don't get a puppy the weekend you move. Part of the reason that we needed to be moved and puppy-proofed was because Louie was arriving that Sunday afternoon. It would have been a lot harder keeping tabs on him, plus moving/unpacking at the same time.


Louie and M when we picked  him up at the airport

So there's just a few tidbits on what to do and not do! Come stop on over to Simple Girl, Simple Pleasures and say hello!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Today's the Day!

Well, the day is finally here! We get our keys

Our kitchen is all packed up, my mom is coming up tomorrow morning to help, paint is being bought tonight (and maybe a first coat will even been put down on the walls).... it's really happening!

Our dining area has gone from this:



To this:



***

So over the next week or so, as we're in transit, I've called in a few of my favorite bloggers & online friends to help out. All of these ladies are super awesome & I love what they've put together.

If you have time this weekend, go say hi to these girls ♥












***

While I'm not here, you can always follow me over on Twitter
I hope you have an absolutely lovely weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On Marriage & Boxes



As I was packing this weekend, I had to pull my "Christian box" out of the closet & put it with the rest of the boxes. It's my box of every note and significant thing Christian has ever given me. All the way back to the start. I totally admit to even labeling it "My Christian Box" and I have Gilmore Girl's to thank for that one.

I have two bouquets of flowers in there. Pink Roses were the first roses he ever gave me. It was in high school, and he had different friends give me one throughout the day. The other are red roses which I received after he proposed to me. Those were the first red roses -- and the last -- that he's ever given me. (Maybe one day I'll explain that.) Our Junior and Senior prom corsages are also buried deep inside.

There's a Doodle Bear, from when he had to go away for a few months. He wanted me to have something to cuddle with. Spring water from the spring in Landa Park where we had our first kiss after he asked me out. A toy bulldozer, toy zebra, and countless, countless notes.

Christian has an "Amy Box" too. It's mostly notes, and crazy crafts I've given him over the years. It even includes a completely-full composition notebook "Adventure Day" manual, which I created for one weekend in high school. And I must have been very into the mini-scrapbook thing in high school, because there's an embarrassing amount of those buried deep inside as well.

We both cherish these boxes, but in such different ways.

I go through every 6 months or so, and read everything. I leaf through notes, gently smell the roses, and give Doodle Bear a hug. Christian has never opened his box. Ever. Even when I pull things out to read what I've given him (after I've finished reading what he's given me), he has no interest in looking through it with me. But I know he cherishes it. He told me so.

Moving brings out great and vast emotions. More than I could ever predict. It's so wonderful to find things put on the top shelf. The memories of our first three years of marriage in this little apartment keep flowing back to me with every closet, shelf and drawer I clean out.

And for that I am grateful.

We get our keys tomorrow for our new place, and I couldn't be more excited! It's a perfect new place to create even better memories, and keep filling those boxes with even more love notes ♥

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Weekly Loving.

Happy Wednesday!! My how time flies. It seems like just yesterday I was posting this. And now our moving date is here! We get the keys on Friday.

Since it is moving week, I thought it'd be best to share a few of my hopes & dreams for what the new place can become! Here's a few of my finds from my "New Home Ideas" Pinterest board ♥

  • I love this beautiful wrap-around couch, gallery wall and all the pillows! It's just such an inviting space!


  • Our bathroom's going to be a little smaller & we're losing some closet space. I love this idea for how to organize a {smaller} bathroom cabinet...

  • I love this idea for a bedroom. It's a great way to get color without COLOR.

  • This cheerful kitchen hutch makes me smile so big!! I love it ♥

  • And I'm addicted to grey walls now. It's seriously my new "thing". And I love the idea of hanging a big "P" up on the wall!

And that's what I'm loving this week!
Be sure to stop by & check the link-ups with

{ Have a lovely day ♥ }

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Beat the Heat: Summer Reading

Sitting down on my comfy couch, with the A/C on (or during these amazing rain storms we've been having!), is one of my favorite things to do this summer. I'm still trying to get back in the groove of "reading for fun" even after two years since graduating from college (where it's only inevitable you grow sick of reading anything!!)... and I'm finally coming around. I think it was part motivation, part finding the right book to read.

Here's what I've read, or have on my "to-read" list, for the summer. {And for more inspiration, fron an actual English teacher, go check out Danielle's summer reading list [part 1, part 2]. It's seriously so much better than anything I could ever put together!| ♥

***



{1} The Great Gatsby
I read this book in high school, fell in love with it, and then forgot about it. It was only when I saw my first preview of Baz Luhrmann's upcoming film rendition of the novel that I found a sudden urge to read it. Right. Now. Luckily, I stole my friend's copy & have been devouring it. Fitzgerald's writing is simply superb, and I can't help but find myself lost in a world I can only imagine.




{2} Talking With My Mouth Full
I love Top Chef. It is a constant source of food inspiration for me & the only reality show that C will watch. We love all three judges - Padma Lashkmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons. Gail -- who just so happened to write a book that came out at the beginning of the summer. She's the story teller of the group. Very vocal and colorful. This is my next read, and I'm dying to get to it!


Source: google.com via Amber on Pinterest


{3} High Fidelity
Ok, I admit it. I like reading books that movies are based on. I like reading that source material, and getting to experience a little deeper side of a story I'm already familiar with. The film, High Fidelity, is probably on my top five list of favorite films. I'm hoping the book will surpass my expectations. And I'm thinking it will; I haven't seen a bad review of the book yet.




{4} Sweet Designs
If you haven't heard of Amy Atlas yet - stop reading & go check out her website. She's one of the reasons I began blogging. She was my inspiration in high school, and drew me into design before I fully understood what I was being drawn to. I even applied to intern with her once, as a 16 year old from Texas! (wonder why I didn't get a call back?) The book is no less inspiring. I've been flipping through it a few nights here and there, and can't wait to come up with a legit excuse to make a dessert table!


Source: wh.rutgers.edu via Ryan on Pinterest


{5} In Defense of Food
This book changed my entire summer, for the better. Coming out of winter, I always feel really heavy & long for the lighter fare of spring & summer. Summer has always proven to be my most productive time for "getting healthy" and this was the perfect way to kick-start my quest once again this season. I highly recommend it!

***

What books are you reading this summer? 
I need to start putting together my fall list!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend Update.







This weekend was productive. Friday night, we went out for a glass a wine to plan the next week - moving week.

Saturday, I packed boxes, cleaned out drawers, wore my favorite "lounging tee" (a relic of this night), and really kept it simple. I ended up eating dinner in paper bowls on top of a bubble wrap "table." Moving week is officially here!

Besides packing as much as we could, our other goal this weekend was to watch Breaking Bad season 4 -- which we missed by 2 episodes, drat!! But that's OK. We'll knock those two episodes out tonight once I get home from work. I can't even tell you how excited I am for season 5 ♥

This week is going to be a crazy one. We're officially getting the keys to our new place on Friday. I seriously can't wait! And I have a lovely line-up of guest bloggers set for next week while I'm gone. (it's a great group, come back & see!) It'll be here before I know it.

I hope you had a lovely weekend!!

{To see othere's awesome weekends, visit the link up with Join the Gossip, Sami's Shenanigans,& five30three}

Friday, July 13, 2012

Currently.



Intrigued by this new App, Marble Cam that I found yesterday. It makes pictures like the one above. Definitely something fun to play around with!

Anxious about the upcoming weekends. Moving time is getting here so much faster than anticipated! (Doesn't it always?) So glad I'm taking off a lot of time for it. It'll be good for me.

Excited about the amazing guest posters I have lined up during my moving week. I feel so spoiled to have so many lovely ladies to turn to & ask for help from. I'm only sorry you guys are still stuck with me for a week ;)

Loving So You Think You Can Dance. I cry at least once every episode, and of course this was no exception. The Travis Wall piece (centered around the chaise lounge from Titanic) totally spoke to me, and definitely had me in tears by the end. (though this is still my all time favorite Travis-choreographed piece)

Planning great things for this blog and really just my life in general. There's a lot of balls in my court, and I'm stepping up by staying organized, remaining calm & remembering to enjoy it all. Plus, Google Drive is my new best friend ♥

Watching this video. Because I was looking up SYTYCD videos on YouTube and got distracted. Seriously touching. Alex was my favorite of all time. So sad he got hurt. (Click over at your own risk - there's so many great performances to watch...)

Laughing at myself. My obsessions seriously make me giggle. And make C cringe. Life just makes me happy.

Wishing you a lovely, great weekend!! Thank you for being here. ♥

Thursday, July 12, 2012

On Marriage and Fighting Statistics


a preview of our photo session with Everlee Photography


I woke up 6 months into my marriage and realized I had gained 50 pounds since getting engaged. 50 horrid pounds. I was happy, in love, just turned 21, just got on birth control, and was playing "wife" (which meant peach cobblers and steak & potato dinners for my new husband) -- basically everything was going so well in my life that I didn't worry about being healthy.

There's a reason why married people are statistically more overweight than our single peers.

But as the honeymoon phase ended, and I realized none of my clothes fit, I started fighting back. I went through Weight Watchers (lost 20, gained it back), Special K diet (lost 10, gained it back), Vegan/Vegetarian months (lost 0, gained 0). Last summer I went through my "time for change" challenge and lost 20 pounds.

And a year later, that 20 pounds is still off.

It's easy for me to forget that accomplishment, because I see it as "30 to go" and not "20 down". I get frustrated that I've been basically stuck for a year, even though I've been working out, eating healthier, and actively trying to keep losing.

I stopped writing about my struggles here because there was nothing to tell. It was just stagnant, and thinking about it depresses me. So I went silent.

But as I was passing my 3 year anniversary, I couldn't help but think about my weight loss struggles and how much they've shaped the culture of my marriage. And instead of mourning on this day, I wanted to celebrate. It takes major will power to keep off those 20 pounds. A year without them is something to be proud of. And I'm remindig myself today that a year without those 20 makes it easier to lose another 5, then 10, then 15.



I am proud of how my life has changed for the healthier. There's less (ok, basically NO) ice cream in my house. There's more green, less white. I've expanded my cuisine significantly looking for that perfect balance of healthy yet satisfying.

I am thankful for a husband who equally cares about health. Who is actively working out alongside me, eating healthier with me, and willing to eat way more sweet potatoes than he ever cared to even see.

I am content with my life - and happy that I'm not celebrating that joy with an extra helping of [whatever]. Instead, I'm celebrating with writing, doing more activities, and splurging on cute shoes.

I am healthier because of my decisions over the past year. I am more aware of what goes into my body, and make better choices not just in the grocery store, but in my life. I'm finding myself enjoying the gym. Even forgoing my favorite things ever - oh love you, Margaritas - and finding healthier alternatives to having a good time.

So, on this day, I am celebrating those accomplishments. They are things to be proud of. And while I'm not where I want to be, by looking at what I've accomplished, I'm more willing to take on the challenge.

I'm fixing my perspective for the better. And tomorrow will be a better day because of it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weekly Loving.

Oh happy Wednesday!! Half way through the week, and I'm having a pretty good one so far. We celebrated our 3 year anniversary yesterday, which was so much fun! So as this Wednesday rolls around, I'm in good spirits & excited about life.

Here's a few things I've been loving lately...
  • This adorable DIY scrapbook wall flower. I want to make it for our new bedroom!




  • I love this yellow headboard & the cute blue bird on the shelf. It looks so cozy!
 


  •  Toasted Coconut Limeade. How refreshing does that sound?



  • I also love this living room. It's so open & airy. I love just the little pop of color here & there.



  • And, finally, I am loving the month of July. It's just making me happy so far ♥
 


To see what others are loving, head on over to

{Happy Wednesday!}