Thursday

SUMMER BUCKET LIST | FREE DOWNLOAD

Two kids and one on the way this summer. I'm scared. I'm not afraid to admit that. I have two plans I'm working on.

Plan 1. Don't plan anything. Have absolutely zero expectations. Go with the flow and do what fits our fancy each day. The problem with this plan - fail to plan, plan to fail. I'm afraid by not planning anything I will be completely stressed out with two bored children while I'm nursing another.

No thanks.

Plan 2. Over plan. Have something planned for every day and keep everyone busy. The problem I see with this plan is over promising and under delivering.

I need to create some kind of hybrid solution. A loose list of summer ideas with no particular completion date. I've asked Landon to help me put together a summer bucket list of places to go and things to do. It is very interesting to see what he thinks will be a good time. Ha!

How much can we get done in 10 weeks?

What can we learn?

Where can we go?

Summer is for fun, adventures, family, sunshine, and relaxation.

I am going to have each one of us create our ultimate summer bucket list. I am personally going to make two different lists. One for what I want to learn and another list of where I want to take the kids and all I want to do. I will probably ask Landon to make two lists as well.

The learning list doesn't have to be boring or scholarly. I'm talking about learning how to swim the length of the pool, learning to dive, learn how to do origami, learn how to make slime, etc... Whatever you want to learn how to do big or small. The "learning" part will come in the research in finding out how to do it and creating the discipline to stick with it.

I created a quick summer bucket list sheet to keep track of our ideas. You can download your own copy below or make your own.

 


Here are a few things we came up with. Will we get to them all? Probably not. Remember, just a loose plan to keep summer entertaining. I just want to have ideas on those bored days when we are ready to lose our minds.

+ Strawberry picking
+ Try new foods
+ Make our own ice cream
+ Read 15 books (mine obviously)
+ Swim Swim Swim
+ Go to the beach
+ Learn Yoga
+ Learn Parkour (Landon of course)
+ Go fishing
+ Go campling

What are your summer plans? Any big adventures or small getaways? What do you want to learn this summer? I will be posting our lists in the Facebook Group for inspiration. Make sure you are there!



Friday

7 F WORDS THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE | BOOK REVIEW

This is a sponsored post. I received a free copy of the book Oola for Women in return for an honest review of the book. All opinions are mine. Please see my disclosure. There are also affiliate links in this post.

The other day a friend posted a meme that I really resonated with. It was a photo of Cruella De Vil with her crazy eyes and hair, driving fiercely down the street. The caption read "Me trying to excel in my career, maintain a social life, drink enough water, exercise, text everyone back, stay sane, survive and be happy."

Does this sound like you? It is most certainly me. Every day is the struggle to do all the things and be everything to all the people. It can be exhausting and overwhelming. I alternate laughing and crying my way through.


What if I told you there was a way to work towards a more balanced life? That you can have less stress and more purpose?

I have your attention now, don't I?

A few years ago I discovered OOLA. I tapped into this system and I was finally able to get areas of my life moving in the right direction.

OOLA is the process of finding balance and growing in 
7 areas of your life. 

Family, Friends, Faith, Fitness, Finance, Fun, and Field. 

OOLA for Women was written with YOU in mind. This book is a compilation of stories from women sharing the same struggles we go through every day. Every story will give you courage, inspiration, motivation, and a feeling of solidarity. You are not alone.


OOLA for Women breaks down each of the 7 areas and teaches you how to grow in each one.

You will learn about the OOLA Blockers. These are the 7 things that will keep us from achieving our goals - fear, guilt, anger, self-sabotage, laziness, envy, and focus. You will also learn about OOLA Accelerators. The accelerators will push your dreams into overdrive - gratitude, love, discipline, integrity, passion, humility, and wisdom.

Do you want it all? 

A career, happy kids, good health, friends who feel valued, a partner who is cherished, and a growing faith that is bigger than everything?


I am learning how to let go of guilt, to stop self-sabotaging myself and become more disciplined. I can't wait for all of you to dig into this book, start pushing through all the things that are holding you back, and living life with the greatness you deserve.

Pick up your OOLA for Women book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble


Thursday

WALLS, PARTY OF FIVE | FAMILY

I have been silent lately. I had really good intentions at the beginning of the year to write regularly. I had so many good intentions. Fortunately God had other plans. We have been blessed with one of the best surprises. I am so happy to announce we are expecting a beautiful baby girl this July.


Adam and I were in complete shock when we found out. We had our own plan for this summer. One that did not involve adding another baby to family. I feel completely unprepared for a third child. I'm not convinced yet I am a mom that can handle more than two kids. It is a little overwhelming for me. I'm excited, but I'd be lying if I wasn't stressed out over it. I'm doing my best to trust God and know
that he has my back when I can't do it on my own.

This is going to be an adventure. We live in a two bedroom townhouse. I will do a full tour soon to show you how we make it work. It isn't easy. I know we will look back on these days and appreciate the closeness.

Any advice for adding baby number three? How did you transition your family? How did you manage your time?


Tuesday

SIMPLE DIY NOTEPAD | CRAFT

Here is another craft from the past! I am still making notebooks and tear pads this way. It is so simple. Last Valentine's Day I whipped up 24 of these for Landon's class to make coupon books for their parents. It was so much fun!

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The creative company American Crafts sent me some golden goodies to help me create something to share with you.

I am a little obsessed with note pads, spiral notebooks, journals, and anything else that you can makes notes in. I never leave a store without cruising through the office supply section. It is a guilty pleasure, but give me a notebook with a pretty cover and I am in love.

I am forever jotting down ideas and making lists. I actually like to have one notebook per subject or interest. Weird? Maybe, but I do know it means a lot of notebooks. They aren't cheap y'all! At least not the ones with the pretty covers.

So, I decided to make my own.

If you are like me and spend WAY too much money on paper goodies then this is the craft project for you. Save your pennies my friends and create your own note pads that will reflect your style.


I received some of the prettiest, golden, paper I have ever seen from American Crafts. The gold triangle cardstock is really on trend and was the perfect thickness for my little note pad.


 SUPPLIES:
 Plain Paper or Lined Paper (I used plain computer paper)
 American Crafts Cardstock (Gold Avalon)
 Binder Clips
>>

First you need to cut your paper to size. I for the life of me could not find my paper trimmer so I tore mine by hand. I'm kind of glad I did. I think the torn look added some extra texture.

Once all of your paper is cut use your binder clips to hold everything together.


Next, take the rubber cement and apply an even layer on one side and let it dry. You may want to put something heavy to weigh it down while it dries.

Repeat the last step and add an extra coat of rubber cement for good luck.


Now you are all set to take as many notes as your heart desires.

I am so in love with this little project, borderline obsessed.

Next time, I am using the pretty gold polka dot paper (that is from American Crafts too).

For more information on American Crafts and all of their awesome products,
check out the links below.


Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by American Crafts. They sent me some cool products to test run and create something to share with all of you. All opinions are my own.

Friday

CHICKEN QUESO DIP | RECIPE

This post was initially posted a few years ago on my old blog Literally Inspired. We still make this dip all the time for parties and taco night. 

I highly recommend making this on Sunday night for the Super Bowl. It is sure to be a crowd favorite!

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Football season is officially here. We thoroughly enjoyed yesterday's Redskin's game against the Saints. For a team that was predicted to only win 2 games, I think we did pretty good. I am not going to get too excited but I am looking forward to this season. 

During football season we really enjoy entertaining and eating. We probably just entertain so that we can eat to be honest. Over the next 16 weeks I plan on sharing with you all of my favorite, tried and true, football favorites.




Ingredients:

2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
1 package of Purdue Southwest Chicken Strips (they are in the refrigerator section of your grocery store)
1 can of green chiles
1/4 cup taco seasoning
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 tablespoon sour cream

Directions:

1. Soften cream cheese to room temperature and place in a bowl.

2. Add green chiles and sour cream and mix into sour cream. I use the liquid from the chilies to help soften the cream cheese.

3. Add taco season and mix well. I suggest using a fork verses a spoon.

4. Cut/Shred chicken and add to the mixture. You can also use a large can of white meat chicken for a more cost effective version. Or slow cook and shred whole chicken breasts.

5. Add shredded cheddar reserving a small portion to add after it bakes.

6. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until thoroughly heated.

7. Add remaining cheddar cheese and bake until golden brown.

You can thank me later.



Sunday

2017 WORD OF THE YEAR

I have thought long and hard about my word of the year.
This word will be my focus for the next 365 days.
SELF.


The word SELF is defined as:

+ Person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality
+ A person's nature, character, etc.
+ Personal interest

COMPLETE INDIVIDUALITY
Do you ever feel you don't know who you are? Do you feel like you blend in to the background? At almost 35 I have yet to define my style. I don't know who I am. This makes me feel lost.

I want to find myself this year. I want to spend time finding out who I am through God. He knows me better than I know myself. I want to know how he sees me and who he wants me to be.

PERSONAL NATURE & CHARACTER
What is your personal nature? How do you react in certain situations? What characteristics are you proud of? What would you change?

Fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control. These are the characteristics we are meant to have. Be kind. Be gentle. Be good.

As I write this I am thinking about my behavior. I have a weakness of being easily agitated and frustrated. It doesn't take much for me to be annoyed and get set off. I am a red head with a short fuse. I don't like this part of me. It is not loving, patient, or gentle.

This year I will bear the fruit of the spirit. I will harvest and multiply kindness, peace, love, and joy. I will put my SELF first by being SELFless to others.

PERSONAL INTEREST
How do you spend your free time? Do you have free time? Do you have a list of desires to be healthier, stronger, or in better shape? Do you have hobbies and projects collecting dust because they aren't "important"? Do you find yourself slowly slipping away?

I think part of the reason I don't know who I am (or at least feel this way) is because I don't do things for myself. Do I like to exercise? I don't know. I never give myself time to find out. Do I like to cook? Maybe.

What do I want to do with my time this year?

I deserve to put my personal interest first. It is better for everyone because they get a more spiritually, physically, and mentally sound mother and wife. No one is going to tell me to go to the gym. They wouldn't dare, even if they mean well. I have to put mySELF first. It will take me being intentional with my time. It will take me making the harder choice. It will mean some things will not get done, but that's ok. I will feel good. I will be better.

2017 PRIORITIES:

+ Time alone in prayer and in God's word
+ Exercise and Healthy Eating
+ Passion Planning
+ Daily reading and writing
+ Personal time with loved ones

I am taking 2017 very personal. It will be a year of change and growth for me. It is very difficult to put yourself under the microscope and make necessary changes. I've tried before and gave up. I am making a promise to myself now that I will not give up on me again.

Do you have a word of the year? Please share. I would love to hear about your plans for 2017.


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