What I’m Loving No. 4

wil4

Oh my goodness.  What a week it has been!  I have loved so much this week, mostly the time spent with family and friends.  Ill try to break it down a little more and share what I’m loving this week. 

wil4

That Christmas Eve service was so beautiful.  [Even if I had to listen to most of it from the cry room.]

That services at 7 at night only happen once or twice a year. 

That the kids went right to bed after service because they were so excited.

That after the kids went to bed I wrapped presents until almost 3 AM with my mom.  I remember her staying up late with my grandma and even though I’m exhausted for a bit I love that we wrap together as well. 

That we also made 5 homemade stockings this year!  It was on the agenda for last year but got neglected and this year we [mostly my mom] cranked out 5 new stockings!  [That are oh so beautiful!]

That I put all of Ryon’s presents in one box so it looked like he only had one present.  [I’m hilarious yall!  He laughed too.]

That my dad was more anxious to have the kids open their presents then the kids. 

That people were so very generous this year.  I may have cried the whole time I opened presents. 

That my moms neighborhood is decked out in lights every year.  They even have a parade.  It so fun.

That my mom was off all week and helped with the kids while they are out for winter break.

That Ryon had a good birthday.

That his favorite part of his birthday was snuggling with the kids and them yelling “Happy Birthday daddy!”

That the kids have toys that keep them happy and quiet for long periods of time.

That I finally found a RSS reader for my phone so I can stay up to date with my favorite blogs.

That I’m slightly addicted to essential oils and I am slowly growing my collection thanks to my friend Jana! 

That Hobby Lobby has their Christmas stuff on sale and we bought more wrapping paper.  [Its the BEST paper and at $2.60 a roll, well its the cheapest too!]

That time with my family and lots of laughter was the best present I got this year.  [Cheesy, but its true!]

 

So what are you loving this week?

What I’m Loving No. 2

what Im loving two

Hey yall!  Welcome to my second “What I’m Loving” post!  Everyone was so nice about the first one.. so I think its here to stay!  The collage that I share are pictures that I take during the week but done post anywhere.  So I decided to make a collage and save them for these posts.  Plus, some of them are too funny not to share. 

what Im loving two

 

That we still cosleep and my little monsters are mini furnaces. [I love it on these cold nights we have been having!]
That I finally got to use my new silicone baking sheets.
That our tree is up and full of ornaments that the kids put on.
That Ryley loves rearranging the ornaments every day.
That Ryley thinks Santa is coming in “ten minutes”.
That I am thisclose to being done with Christmas shopping.
And Im also thisclose to finish the kids Christmas stockings.  That we started making last year.  [Ooops.]
That Avery loves to give kisses.  All the time.  Especially after he gets in trouble.
That the kids truly love the Otter way goodies we were sent.  [See more here.]
That Im actually starting to like Google+ over Facebook.  [Weird, I know!] 
That I had such sweet comments on my first What I’m Loving post!  Thank yall!  I will keep them coming! 

So, what are yall loving this week? 

 

What I’m Loving

What Im Loving

I love sharing recipes and crafts and our family life but sometimes I just want to share random things that are going on.  So I think Im going to start a doing a post on Saturday called “What I’m Loving”.  Not for rankings or page views or anything really.  I just have a lot to say, all of the time.  [I blame my mom.  Love you mom!]  So here is what Im loving lately..

What Im Loving

That we were able to spend Thanksgiving in Michigan with hubbys family. 

That Ryley got to “play” in snow when we got there.  [She put her hands on the snow in the airport parking lot.]

And on our way back home someone said “Your kids match perfectly!  They look so much alike!”

That the weather has started to cool down here.. finally!  Its about 38 degrees today. 

That my kiddos have two sets of grandparents who love them so so much. 

That 90 percent of my Christmas shopping for the kids is done thanks to Zulily. (Affiliate link). 

And that I got some other great deals during Cyber Monday. 

And that most of those were done from my bed.  [Hollla for online shopping from your phone!]

That my friend Bobbie’s Christmas crack recipe is doing so well! 

That we are going to get our Christmas tree today.

That Ryley and Avery met “Santa” while we were shopping at Sam’s club this week.  [It was a nice older man dressed in all red with a long beard that played the part.  He even handed out stickers!]

That when asked what I do I can say “I’m self employed” and then tell people about my blog. 

That my kids are starting to play together nicely.  Well, nicer. 

 

What are you loving lately?    

Blog Elevated, Passions, Pencils and other Random Thoughts

eric

This weekend I went to a the inaugural conference for Blog Elevated and let me tell you, it was amazing! Thursday morning I dropped the kids off at daycare and headed to Houston. On my own. Like I had to wear big girl panties and drive there by myself.  I was an adult though and booked my hotel the day before I left.  [Counts for something, right?]  I arrived to the hotel safely and immediately started helping the Blog Elevated girls with set up.  This was my third blog conference but my first time as a volunteer.  It was cool to see the behind the scenes this time around.  Bobbie and Lisa [the Blog Elevated founders] made sure that we were able to attends all the sessions as well.  I currently have 17 pages of notes that I need to short through and start a to do list. 

eric

Without looking at my notes though I can tell you that one topic that was carried through out all the sessions was passion.  You should be passionate about what you blog.  Or you should use your passions in life to start a blog.  You should be passionate about a brand you are promoting.  Passion is what keeps you going and sets you apart.  I heard all that and it completely bummed me out.  I don’t feel like I’m passionate about well, anything.  I love to do a lot of things but there is nothing that I jump out of bed and have to start doing.  [Taking care of my kids is a whole other ball game.]  I thought about past experiences and current hobbies but everything about me screams ‘normal’.  I feel like nothing sets me apart.  And thats kind of depressing.  Enter pencils.

angela

Bobbie is the founder of Blog Elevated and she knows a thing or two about a few things.  Ok a lot of things.  [And she loves pencils]  She told me maybe its not about jumping out of bed and wanting to do something, but maybe its something you want to share with other people.  That – I can work with.  I have tons I want to share.  From recipes, to crafts to giveaways to blogging tips.  I really want to just share it all.  I want other people to feel as normal as I do. 

guac

A second theme through out the conference was experiment.  Experiment with new things with your blog.  Start new blogs, be different.  I heard someone say once that you should never doubt a good idea.  Makes sense, right?  But how do you know if your idea is good?  You just have to run with it and find out.  There is no way to find the really really good ideas unless you take a chance on the meh ideas.  So I may have new blogs coming out soon, or I may think of something that I just have to share.  Either way, Im going to give my ideas a fighting chance.

Stacyteet

Now none of these pictures really go with my story.  I kinda of veered of track from telling yall about Blog Elevated a little.  The thing is – this conference has changed me more then the other two combined.  The sessions were amazing, the speakers were SO helpful, the food was delicious and the friends I made are innumerable.  I connected with people on a personal level.  Not just here’s my business card, can I have yours?  Blog Elevated fostered community.  They fostered sharing and they fostered questions.  I have 17 pages of notes to go back through and a community of friends to help along the way.  And for that I’m grateful. 

The Beginning

215349_6024205994_2509_n

Today I have been married to my amazing husband for four years.  Or maybe I should say I’ve been married to my husband for four amazing years.  Both are true.  I honestly cant believe that we’ve been together for almost 6 years.  Two years together, four years married and two kids later he still drives me crazy.  In a good way.  I get butterflies when he kisses my forehead.  A hug from him takes away all my anxiety.  He lets me talk about the most random things.  And he loves me not matter what.

I was a senior in college at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi and had just gotten out of a really bad relationship.  I wasn’t looking for another boy to break my heart or give me the run around.  I was enjoying my last year of school and hanging out with my girlfriends.

One night I went over to my friends house to get ready to go to the bar.  (We call it ‘pre-gaming’.. classy, I know.)  We ended up playing Edward forty hands because one of the girls there had never played.  (Two forty ounce malt liquor bottles taped to your hands.  You have to finish them all to have some one untape your hands.  You can’t even pee until you finish.  Its horrible and I gagged a little writing this.)  I got wasted.  Its not something I did often, or even liked doing but I just drank and had a good time.

From there we went to a bar by the university called the Islander.  I was in no state to even be in public let alone a bar.  I flirted with the bouncer who was all of 18 on the way in.  I walked in and saw a guy on his phone.  This was when texting was new and I felt the urge to find out if this guy was texting.  I walked up to him and said ‘Hey!  Are you texting?  Ill text you!’  I got his number texted ‘haha.’ and passed out.  In the bathroom.  (Holy cow.  Sorry mom.)

I wake up the next morning on my friends couch.  I smelled like a bar and looked like a bar but I didn’t have a hangover or throw up.  After all that drinking I woke up refreshed.  (Go figure!)  I checked my phone and had a text from some number that said ‘Is this the girl that got my number?’ and was very confused.  I had to ask my friend what happened and she told me I bombared a guy for his number before I passed out.  In the bathroom.  I asked ‘Was he cute?’ and she shook her head no.

We texted back and forth a while but I really didn’t think much of it.  Then one day when I was driving home from school he called me.  At this point I didnt even remember his name, let alone what he looked like.  I answered and was greeted by this booming voice.  The loudest voice I had ever heard.  ‘Hey Kelley, its Ryon.  What are you doing tonight?’

Wait, what?  I pulled the phone away from my ear because he was so loud and thought this had to be a joke.  There was no way that he wanted to go out with me after seeing me at my worst.  (Let me tell you, it was my worst).

215349_6024205994_2509_n

Who was this boy?  And why did he text me back?  Ill share the rest of our story later!

I Love Avocados

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Avocados from Mexico for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

AFM_Logo_stack_NoTag_zps2eae3188-1_zpsaf020678-1_zps928fee63

Its true.  I really do.  [I even have an avocado board on Pinterest.]  There are so many things that you can do with avocados.  They are such a versatile fruit.  [Or are they a vegetable?  I always get confused!]  You can use them in breakfast, lunch and dinner meals.  You can use them to grow another avocado.  And you can use them to send birthday greetings to one of your friends.

I used the Share the Avocado Love Facebook app to send my friend Candy a little birthday love.  Avocado style.  [Because what says ‘Happy Birthday’ more then a yummy green fruit?]

I used the app to send over a birthday greeting.  You can also find avocado ringtones, wallpaper, badges and even shop for goods at the Avocados from Mexico Cafe Press store.  I had Candy tell me her favorite thing in the store, and then I bought it for her.  And had it shipped to her house.  [Thats like 10 friend points right there.]

She picked this super cute skull skirt with avocados for eyes and loves it!  I think its awesome too, and love the avocado eyes.  Avocados from Mexico are not only perfect for eating, they also make great gifts!  Really, they do.  Ask Candy.

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

One of Those Days

Yesterday was ‘one of those days’.  You know the kind.. everything goes wrong without mercy.  That was yesterday.  [Monday… always on a Monday.]  I had grand plans of finding the perfect outfit for my first ever blog conference this weekend.  That did not happen.  I went to several of my favorite stores and walked away nothing.  I pouted and ate a whole box of hot tamales.  A whole box people!  

Found the perfect dress on clearance – in the wrong size!  One size too small.  
Make it to the post office – without an address on the package!
Paid my credit card bill – late!
First in line to get fabric cute – and no one around to cut it!
Take the kids to McDonalds to play, Ryley fills her diaper – only one wipe left!
Ryley finds the candy – on the table, knocks her chin as she falls!  
Two dogs in the house – one pile of vomit!  [And two sets of puppy dog eyes saying ‘It wasnt me!’]
GoDaddy site hacked – my blog [among 52 million others] is down!
and the icing on the cake:
Ryley grabbed my fat belly and said mommy has a baby in there!

There may have been tears in my eyes after that.  Not because she offended me, but because I am so stinkin nervous about this conference!  [What?!  The two dont got together.. I know!]  I know I put our life out there on the internet but I dont know if it shows the real us.. or me.  And that makes me anxious for meeting a whole bunch of people.  I cant even decide what to wear that will reflect the real ‘me’.  And what if people dont get my sense of humor?  Then Im really up a creek.  

Later yesterday when all seemed to be settling down, my brain decided it wanted to jump out of my head.  I had the worst headache ever!  I guess thats what happens when you eat a whole box of candy.  A whole box!  [What was I thinking?]  I asked Ryon to watch the kids and I went to bed at 8.  So instead of a blog post about my crosses or a delicious new recipe, Im sharing this.  My anxiety and my fears for this upcoming weekend.  

-[Lovely September Sponsor]-

I Was a Blog Angel!

200-1
I was a blog angel!  To Sarah from the Fontenot Four!

The Fontenot Four

Let me back up and explain what a blog angel is all about.  Rosie from Craftbotic and Katlyn from The Dreamy Meadow came up with this amazing idea to pair bloggers together in order to anonymously help support each other.  You could do that by promoting them, by commenting or by sending them a package.  

First let me say I love Sarah.. I love her blog, her shop, and I love everything that she writes about.  I dont want to take away from how awesome she is at all.. life just got in the way of me being a better angel.  

Second.. I did a pretty darn good job of retweeting Sarah.  Anything she tweeted.. boom.. retweet.  Giveaway?  Tweeted.  New post?  Tweeted.  I tweeted the heck out of the Fontenot Four.  

I also visited her blog everyday and read all her posts.  I didnt comment a lot but I was there in spirit.  My favorite post?  The one where she shows us her hidden talents.  It was funny [I laughed with her and not at her] and I enjoyed putting a face/voice/mannerisms to all her writing.  Oh and you may have also noticed that Sarah is hanging out on my sidebar too.  She’ll be there for awhile too.  

I really enjoyed getting to know Sarah more.  She is a sweetheart and I will defiantly be keeping up with her blog.  I hope yall check her out and get to know her too!  

–[Lovely June Sponsor]– 

My First Week – Back to Work! [Kinda]

200-112
Last week was my first week ‘back to work’.  My moms bestie asked me to help her with a ‘special project’ for two weeks.. so I agreed.  I was nervous and scared and stressed.  Know what happens when you combine all three of those things?  Cold sores.. right on the corner of my mouth.  Its ridiculous and Im over it and it needs to be gone.  [Yes.. its still hanging around!]
I digress.  
My first two days were busy.  I was working and enjoyed what I was doing and the kids were fine at daycare.  I even made delicious crockpot enchiladas [holla.. thanks Jessi!] on Monday and felt like supermom.  
Then Ryley on Wednesday started to get cranky.  She had a melt down on Thursday when I dropped her at daycare because she didnt get to shut the car door.  I mean melt.down.  She threw herself down in the parking lot and cried.  When we got inside she ran back towards the front door to try and get back to the car.  
And I get it.. she misses our routine.  And I do too!  I miss them and worry and stress every minute Im at work.  It makes me sad that after I pick them up from daycare we get maybe 3 hours together before they go to bed.  That breaks my heart.  I want more then that!  

I miss blogging too.  I want to be able to comment on my bloggy buddies sites and link up to everyones awesome parties.. but I cant.  Im in bed by 10:30 and even then I wake up grumpy because I didnt get enough sleep.  And the gym?  Pffft.. whats that?  I havent been in a week and I feel horrible.  I just dont have the time.  At all.  

Work.  I spent the first two days working on a special project they had.. and then I was sent to the file room.  And Ive been filing away.  I dont mind it.. I just dont enjoy it.  But its easy money and we need that right now.  

I do work with some pretty awesome ladies.  My moms bestie makes me laugh like crazy and the other ladies are nice.  Plus on Friday we ordered Mexican food.  And not any Mexican food.. the best Mexican food in town.  They make a two foot taco!  Thats right.  Friday was also casual day.. that kinda made me happy.  
I dont know how working moms do this.  You guys are amazing.  I love you working moms.. every single one!
But I dont know if I can do this all the time.  This work thing.  I think that it would be great financially if I worked full time.  We could pay off our debt [yes we have debt.. hello student loans!] and start saving money for a house.  I have a degree and Im reminded of that every month when I make the payment.  Im also reminded that I got the degree in order to get a better job.  And I have no job.  I feel selfish.  I feel like I should be doing something to help our situation.  But my kids are far more important then buying a house right now. 
What Im trying to say is I dont have it all together right now.  And Im ok with that.  We got through week one without any major battles [besides the car door incident] and hopefully week two flies by.  Oh.. and Im not going to have a menu this week.  The sheer idea stresses me out even more.  Dont worry.. I wont forget to feed the kids.  I just want one less thing to worry about.  
If you have a menu or yummy recipe this week please link it up in the comments below.  Dont let me Debbie Downer post stop you from sharing your delicious foodies!  

–[Lovely June Sponsor]– 

My Grown up Christmas Wish {List}

housedream1
Well since its almost Christmas.. I bet you are all wondering what to get me for Christmas right?!  
Haha.  Ok maybe your not.. but just in case my husband or family need a few hints here is what I call my Christmas dream list.  Some of the gifts on this list are pretty expensive and I dont really expect anyone to buy them for me.. but a girl can dream!  
A beautiful home in the woods.. on a lake.  With an open kitchen, a master retreat, a casual living room and an awesome outdoor space.  
Swooon.  What girl doesnt love Coach?  I have a few pieces and I love them.. they never go out of style.  I need a few updates though.  Like these boots!  And that diaper bag!  And the new fragrance!  Plus I need a new wallet since mine was stolen.  

via Amazon
1. Totally want an embroidery machine!  I can barely sew but I love how cute little outfits look with an embroidered image.  I should be able to figure this bad boy out.. right?!  (Haha!)

2. I reeeeeally want a semi professional digital camera.. for a couple of reasons.  I dont like paying someone to take family pictures.. I mean I do but if I can do it myself Id rather save the money.  I also think I take pretty nice pictures but would like to see what I do with a better camera.  And maybe {just maybe} take pictures professionally one day.  
3. We need a new TV.. ours is huge (and not in the good way) and is starting to go fuzzy.  Time for an upgrade!
4. I wanna join the cool kids club and upgrade to a sweet tablet.  Anything but an Ipad.  Im not a huge fan of Mac because Im a creative of habit… Ive used PCs for years and Im not willing to change.

Plus I want my kids to be healthy and happy.

Whats on your wish list this year?
Ps.. I used my affliate link for Amazon.  Read my disclosure here.