Thursday, March 26, 2015

Life Lately

Saturday morning walks with my loves. See also, all the snow is gone!!!!


There is nothing sexier than a man in the kitchen cooking. You should know I was sitting at the table sipping a glass of wine. Perfection.


Laying on the couch getting lost in a good book. Love it.


My tulips are starting to come up! But between the sleet and Manny trying to eat them it is a battle to keep them alive and sprouting.


Manny got shots and groomed and a new toy last weekend. After all that excitement he was BEAT.


So that's life right now. Walks outside with Manny. Cooking and enjoying the new kitchen. Reading a good book. Ready for spring. Relaxation. Life is good.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wedding Wednesday

I'm reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert and I'm really enjoying it. She is the author of Eat, Pray, Love and this book is about her journey to come to terms with getting married again. She spends a year researching marriage. Marriage in other cultures. The history of marriage. It's all very fascinating. Did you know a young Queen Victoria decided to wear a big, puffy white dress and thus was born the tradition of brides wearing a white dress?

Sometimes I come across a paragraph in a book that stands out to me. That I have to read again. Then have to take a picture of. I thought I would share that paragraph with you here:

"The poet Jack Gilbert wrote that marriage is what happens 'between the memorable.' He said that we often look back on our marriages years later, perhaps after one spouse has died, and all we can recall are 'the vacations, and emergencies' - the high points and low points. The rest of it blends into a blurry sort of daily sameness. But it is that very blurred sameness, the poet argues, that comprises marriage. Marriage is those two thousand indistinguishable breakfasts, where intimacy turns like a slow wheel. How do you measure the worth of becoming that familiar to somebody - so utterly well known and so thoroughly ever-present that you become an almost invisible necessity, like air?"

That just goes to prove my point that the little moments always end up being the big moments when you look back at your life. I truly believe that. I love the high points. The vacations. The big moments. But I also love the daily moments. Drinking coffee together every morning. Cooking dinner together each night. Playing catch with Manny together. Walking Manny together on the weekends. The routine moments that I've come to cherish. Look forward to. 

Those are the moments that comprise a marriage. Where you really become known. And that is the most beautiful thing about marriage. Being known. Truly known and loved unconditionally. It's a big, cozy security blanket to be known so intimately. 

Do you agree? Does the daily sameness make a marriage?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

About Me

If you're a new reader I thought I would share a bit about me...

My husband makes me laugh a lot. I could eat sushi every day. I have been to Israel and a bit of my heart will always be there. I hate the rain in my shoes. I enjoy reading theology. Fresh flowers in the kitchen are my happy. I love Broadway musicals. I hate florescent lights. I enjoy thrift store shopping. Breakfast in bed is my favorite. I love weddings. I’m passionate about patio sitting. I hate cake. I can relate anything to a Friends episode. I adore Hawaii. I wish I could sing. Burrito Bowls are the bomb dot com. I am passionate about relationships. HGTV is addicting. I hope bell bottoms never go out of style. I am a country girl at heart. I am on a quest to find the best macaroni and cheese. I love my mutt, Manny. The crock pot is my best friend. I love hanging out with my South African husband. I am a homebody. I can kick your butt at Connect Four. I heart Michigan. I'm a neat freak. I love to laugh. Wine nights are the best. My family rocks. Traveling is my jam. I am obsessed with penguins. I didn't chose the brunch life, the brunch life chose me.  Lake Michigan is my favorite. There is nothing better than getting lost in a good book. The ocean is my favorite place to be. 

Now tell me about you!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

Fit Friday!

Workouts this week:

Sunday - Rest
Monday - BR Workout 11 and walk an hour on lunch OUTSIDE (!!!)
Tuesday - BR Workout 12
Wednesday - Walk an hour on lunch and Cardio 3
Thursday - B
R Workout 11 
Friday  -  BR Workout 12 and walk an hour on lunch
Saturday - BR Cardio 3

I cannot believe I'm in the last two weeks of Jillian. Praise the Lord! Surprisingly I'm enjoying all of the workouts this time. Workout 11 and 12 are both great. Hard. I'm super sore. But fun. I love lifting weights and jumping around and I feel stronger. I am dripping with sweat after and feel so good when it's over. That's all I want out of a workout video.

Weigh in this week:


Pounds Lost: 1 pound
To Go: 41 to go
Total Lost: 14 pounds

Slow but surely I'm DOING THIS. Feels good!

Thoughts this week:


I know I still have a ways to go, but this was a good reminder to remember how far I've come. I have woken up at 6:00 a.m. for the last 66 days and worked out. Worked out HARD. Did moves I never thought I could. Developed muscles I didn't know I had. They say it takes 4 weeks for you to notice, 8 weeks for friends and family to notice and 12 weeks for everyone to notice. I'm one week away from that. I just gotta keep going!

Eats this week:

My Saturday lunch was a good one. I ate the leftover chicken burrito bowl from Wednesday and to bulk it up a bit I added chickpeas. Game changer! I'll always add chickpeas from now on.

Maybe it was the long walk with Manny, but I was hungry a few hours later so I ate Vegetable Beef Barley Soup my friend gave me during our recipe swap. It was the perfect afternoon snack. Nutritious, filling and delicious. I had never had barley before so it was fun to expand my horizons. I'm a fan!

For dinner Saturday G and I shared Annie's White Cheddar mac and cheese. I had a side of Brussels per the usual.

Sunday we went to church and then out for Mexican food with my parents. I ate my leftover tacos and Spanish rice for dinner. So good! Even the better the second time.

My breakfasts this week have been toast with 2 eggs in a mug and 1/4 avocado. MAGIC.

My lunch Monday was a Greek Salad. I haven't had one in forever and I was craving it. Hit. The. Spot.

Snacks this week have been a berry smoothie. I throw in a handful of spinach, 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds, 1 cup blueberries, and 1 cup V8 Strawberry Banana Light juice and blend. Easy peasy.

I did splurge Wednesday and have a Reduced Calorie Teddy Bear (White chocolate and caramel latte) from Biggby because it was their birthday and their grande drinks were $1.99.

Monday night we had pot roast for dinner. It is seriously a favorite around here. Except I couldn't find my usual onion seasoning so I tried McCormick's Beef Stew Seasoning. ICK. It left this weird jelly consistency on everything and was super salty. I had to scrape it off. Major bummer! I also tried McCormick's White Chicken Chili Seasoning on my chili Friday night and it made it super spicy. I'm just not a fan of McCormick seasoning I guess. Lesson learned.

Tuesday a lot of the girls from work went out for a goodbye lunch for one of the girls. We haven't done a girls lunch in forever so it was fun to all be together laughing, chatting and eating good food. Los Tres has a great lunch menu so I got all that food for $6. Score!

Tuesday night we stopped by a friend's house to see his new puppy.

So I had nothing planned for the night. We just grabbed Chinese takeout and ate it Tuesday and Wednesday night. And lunch again on Thursday. With a side of Brussels per usual.

My lunch the rest of the week has been a turkey sandwich with spinach, mustard and 1/4 avocado. AMAZE.

I did have a spontaneous sushi lunch with a sweet friend on Thursday. It was good for my soul and my tummy.

Thursday night I put chicken in the crock pot for Italian chicken. We ate this with asparagus.  It's definitely a favorite around here and so so easy.

Tonight is going to be in the high 50s so we plan to grill steaks tonight.

Reads this week:

The Scale

WIAW: Life is Messy
15 Effective Meal Planning Tips
Are You An Overeater?
Guest RD: Overeating
But I Don't Want to Look Like You
Healthy Body Healthy Mind - Diet Tips to Help Achieve Both
Having a Positive Circle of Influence

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Loving Lately


Pitbulls of Instagram and Vizlas of Instagram. Cute puppies! Give me all the cute puppies. 

Fresh flowers are my happy. They make me smile everyday so they are worth buying weekly for me.


Soooo I thought for some reason there were 8 seasons on Netflix of Scandal so I started watching. Welp. There are only 3 seasons. I finished Season 3 last weekend and I'm going through withdrawal. I majorly binge watched it and quickly became obsessed. The story line is crazy and the acting is crazy good. I'm a huge fan. Part of me is relieved I'm caught up for now because I have my life back. Part of me is sad it's over. I want more Olivia Pope in my life.

Green nail polish. I put it on for St. Patrick's Day but I love it. I always love a good theme. It's bright and bold and fun. I think I might wear it more often.


I love this sign! I want it for my bathroom. Yes, I said my bathroom. I have the master bathroom and G has the guest upstairs bathroom. It works! Whenever I get around to decorating it I'll be purchasing this. 

Bath and Body Work 2 for $24 sale. I finished my last candle and it was a sad day. Then I got an email it was the last day for the 2 for $24 sale so I went to check out the new Spring collection. I wasn't a huge fan of the scents, but I fell hard for the Papaya Sunrise and Pineapple Mango scents. They smell amazing!


Dream Days app. It's a fun app that countdowns holidays, birthdays, vacations, etc for you. I'm kind of obsessed with it right now. 

Adopted puppies!!! G and I had always planned to get a Golden Retriever from a breeder when we were ready for a dog. But after meeting my SIL's rescued pup Kodi Ray and her family rescued pups Sweet Pea, Chili Bean, Lucy and Bandit our minds were changed. We were open to adopting a pup at the Humane Society. Even a Pit Bull mix after falling in love with my SIL's Pit mix, Lucy. We adopted Manny, a Lab Pit mix, and loved that we rescued him and just think the world of him. Our friend Robert was smitten with Manny too and changed his mind about a breeder and rescued a sweet Lab Collie mix, Gambit. He is so sweet! Another friend got a rescued Australian Shepherd mix yesterday too. Two pups were rescued from the Humane Societies yesterday, woohoo!!!!


A Groovy Kind of Love by Phil Collins. I don't know why I'm just hearing this song for the first time now, but I love it. Thank you Pandora!

What are you loving lately?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Giving Grace

I have started to realize I am really good at giving grace to others but not to myself. It was making my internal voice awfully negative. I was constantly thinking of all the negative. 

You didn't work out this day. You aren't a good enough daughter. Friend. Wife. Sister. You should have handled that situation better. You should have dealt with that different. You didn't walk Manny Sunday and you should have. Why don't you want kids? Everyone around you is having kids. Why did you get takeout? You have a new kitchen so you should cook in it!

Those thoughts were swirling in my mind on the regular. It wasn't healthy. It was actually damaging. I only get one life to live and I need to live it in the full. Rejoice in each day I'm given. Not pollute each day beating myself up. Not living in the moment.

If I want takeout I can get takeout. I don't have to explain that away or feel guilty. I should think of all the times I did cook and be content knowing I'm cooking a lot more often than I used to and takeout once and a while is okay.

I can always be a better wife, daughter, friend, sister, wife. As long as I'm actively pursuing being the best I can be everyday that is all anyone is expecting of me. It's time to give myself grace. I can't be all things to all people. But I need to focus on the relationships I want to nurture and nurture them. Grow them. And be okay with that. 

If days pass and I still don't feel I handled something the way I should then I need to talk to that person. Make it right and then move on. Not dwell on it. 

If I was too tired to walk Manny than I should be proud of myself for listening to my body and resting. I should focus on all the days I did walk Manny this week.

If God hasn't given me the desire to have kids yet that is okay. No one is judging me but me. Focus on what I can do. I can love on my niece and my friends' kids. Pray to God to reveal His perfect plan. If it doesn't involve kids that is okay. 

It's okay. Life will go on. No one is perfect. It's okay not to be perfect. Live your life. Work hard. Play hard. Cultivate relationships. Follow God's plan for your life. Don't dwell on what you can't change. Savor every moment you have on this earth.

So today I'm giving myself grace. Grace for not always saying the right thing. Grace for not always doing the right thing. Grace for not wanting kids right now. Grace for not always being my best. For having bad days. For having rest days. For getting takeout. It's okay. I don't want negative thoughts to rob me of my joy. To rob me of living my best life. To rob me of living in every single moment.

Maybe it's time to give yourself some grace too.