the radio

Sep 30, 2013

I've had this old radio since I was a teenager. With a weird fascination for furniture and a love for vintage/antique pieces, it was one of the treasured items in my room. I knew it came from my mom's parent's house, but beyond that, I had never really dug into its past. 

I made a few phone calls and found out that it used to belong to my uncle and was a gift from his mother-in-law. How in the world did I end up with it? was my question. Long story short, it was kept at my grandparents in the basement and instead of it just collecting dust, someone, I suppose me, decided it should come home with me. 

The details are a bit hazy, and I hate that I don't have a wonderful family story to go with it, but I do know one thing- I won't be getting rid of it anytime soon. I have gone through phases of  "this doesn't really go with my decor" to "it's taking up too much space", but something just wouldn't let me get rid of it...even with pleading from Michael! I'm glad I've held on to it. 

Although I don't have a good story beyond it's place in my home, it has been one constant that has seemed to follow me wherever I've gone. It came with me to my first apartment, followed us to our first rental home after we were married, and now sits in our current bedroom, holding my jewelry and Michael's humidor. I'd love to eventually fix the radio and either fix or replace the record player that folds out of the middle. I guess the same thing that drew me to it in the beginning is what keeps me holding on to it now, and that's the potential for restoration and beautiful music. 

Is there an old piece of furniture you've held on to? Or maybe a keepsake item with a special story?


Hey you in there!

Sep 27, 2013

Oh, Facebook.

I've got a love-hate relationship with this silly site. I end up shaking my head more times than not when I log in and have, for that reason, kind of migrated more towards Instagram these days. 

There have been so many times I've wanted to just reach into someone's computer and shout the following:

Hey distant fourth-cousin-twice-removed,
No! I don't want to play Candy Crush or Farmville or any other game. Your over 200 invites are annoying. I don't care about helping you grow your crops or winning tokens or whatever it is you need to advance to the next level. Stop!


Hey teen girl who just broke up with her tenth boyfriend,
I'm confused. Last week, you said he was the love of your life, that he knew you better than anyone else, and that you'd never let him go. You also posted a ton of kissy-face pictures that made me gag. However in the world did you not make it? 


Hey lady-who-uses-all-caps-no-punctuation-and-misspellings,
HOW DO U NOT REELIZE THAT YOU HAVE AL CAPS DID YOU NOT LOOK AT THE SCREEN AT ALL HOW AM I SPOSED TO KNOW WHEN YOURE SENTENCES END ARE YOU MAD WHILE YOUR TYPING HA HA LOLZ


Hey guy-who-takes-pictures-in-the-bathroom-with-his-shirt-off,
No. Just no. First, no girl is going to want a guy who takes bathroom selfies. She's just not into that. It feels desperate. You don't have one girl to send it to, so you have to put it out there for anyone everyone? Secondly, you do realize you're in the bathroom, right? If your goal is sexy, might I suggest going into a room you don't go #2 in? 


Hey girl-who-posts-extremely-vague-statuses-in-hopes-that-someone-will-ask-questions,
Maybe you're really trying to stick it to the person who offended you. Maybe you don't have someone to talk to about whatever is going on. But really, most people now just scroll right on through those posts because they say one thing.....drama. And ain't nobody got time for that!

Dear gullible-friend,
You do know that your grandma won't actually die if you don't like this post about God, right?


What are some of your Facebook pet peeves? 
Anything just drive you crazy or cause you to hit the "hide"button?


Be Still & Know

Sep 26, 2013

I think a lot. I mean, a lot.

About life, about the state humanity is in, about what the past means and what the future holds. I think about yesterday's conversation and tomorrow's schedule and how I can improve on any number is things in my life. I'm up late at nights worrying, and my brain is on the go unless I'm sleeping.  

Lately, I've been craving alone time for prayer. The kind where you walk deep into the woods, sit on a stump, and just pour your heart out to God. All my fears, doubts, praises, requests, and thoughts- off of my shoulders and laid right at His feet. 

But I also know the extreme value in just being still. In sitting on that same stump and quieting my heart, and experiencing His creation, and breathing stress out, and accepting grace with every breath inward. 

That is something, I think, that He wants more than the words sometimes. For me to quiet down enough to feel His presence, and then rest there for awhile. 

During this period of uncertainty with our move and what the future holds for our little family, I want to practice being quiet more often. I want to surrender my thoughts and worry and allow my heart to be taken captive with His peace. 

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God"

Of Valleys & Rollercoasters

Sep 23, 2013


As I previously mentioned, I've been in Virginia with our family for almost three weeks. Michael was with us the first week, then left to work night shift out of town. It's just been Noah and me and we've only got a few days left. We've had some extra time with family and friends and enjoyed the comforts of home

This little vacation came at a moment in our lives when we've been faced with some changes concerning Michael's job. We found out we'll be moving to Knoxville, but the details have been a bit up in the air the last four weeks. I'm a go-getter and once we found out we were moving we met with the realtor and were ready to get our house on the market. However, it's been a month and we've been at a stand still. It's been on, then off, then on again and we still don't have answers. I've really had to take a step back, surrender the timing to God, and  try to enjoy life in the now.

I'm loving being a mom to Noah. He is such a joy and I feel thankful every single day that I am able to stay at home with him. He's growing so much and I'm growing right along with him, learning more about myself with each day and challenge. It hasn't been easy emotionally. I've always struggled a bit with anxiety, but it's been a lot worse since we had Noah. I don't stay home alone overnight, I don't sleep well because of all the things on my mind, and I have struggled with just feeling plain sad most of the time. I'm working through it at a snail's pace, but I know at the very core of my being, even in the middle of doubts and fears, that there is a reason for life and all of the things that accompany it, easy or hard. 

It's been amazing to see Michael come alive as a dad and more recently, Noah fall in love even more with his daddy. Michael's love for Noah is so evident and it warms my heart. He is such a big help and is all in, every day. My day is complete when these two are home together and in my arms.

There have been other challenges lately, ones through which I've sat and asked God what He was doing, and why I've had to deal with this. I've struggled with what "God's will" really means, and the impact of decisions I've made. There have been spiritual droughts, during which I've prayed and felt like my prayers hit the ceiling, bounced back, and mocked me. I won't go into details, but through it there have been days I've cried and sweated and worked, and other days I've just wanted to throw up my hands and give up. I know we all go through the valleys in life, and I'm in mine.
As to not end on a sour note (because who wants an ending like that?), I will say I've really enjoyed getting back into blogging these past few months. It's been my calm at the end of a crazy day- the place I retreat to when the rest of the house is asleep and share my heart in whatever way I need. I've met so many great women through this and have some who have become friends. I've also enjoyed spending time with a sweet friend at home and trying to take advantage of our time left together before we move! I've also cut out sugar and changed my eating habits and have lost a total of 14 pounds in the last month. It's been such a confidence booster. I feel better physically and clothes actually fit and are comfortable. I'm excited to keep it up and reach my goal. I've allowed myself one cheat a week and it's helped me not go crazy! 

Valley or mountain, I always have something to be thankful for and feel blessed with each day I'm given to be with my family and experience Grace. We have an exciting next few months coming up. While we don't know details, we do know where we'll be and it's thrilling to be able to dream as a family and plan for long term. We love where we'll be moving and I feel hope when I think about what the future holds for us. 

Comfort.

Sep 20, 2013



Our week long visit to Virginia has turned into a three week stay for Noah & me. Michael is working night shift out of town for the next 8 days and it didn't make sense to go with him, so I'm taking advantage of this time with our families. It's been absolutely wonderful being here and having plenty of time to enjoy the town I grew up in.

Today's Blogtember challenge is to react to the term "comfort". This week, comfort has been waking up and seeing the beautiful mountains across from my parents' home, the same mountains I woke up to as a little girl.

Comfort is driving to Michael's parents house using the same route I used hundreds of times to visit my then boyfriend, getting butterflies as I got closer.
Comfort is worshiping in church with old familiar faces, the same church where I saw God in people and not religion.
Comfort is knowing I can invade my mom's closet without permission, and borrow anything she has.
Comfort is browsing through old family pictures with the people in them, laughing at how bad our styles were and telling the stories that surround them.
Comfort is waking up in your childhood bedroom with your little boy and remembering all the times you spent in that room throughout different stages of childhood.
Comfort is realizing that home is where the heart is, and that although my childhood home has wonderful memories and wonderful people,  my heart now belongs to my new home, with my husband and son. And that is the most comfortable place of all.

   



the boy behind the blog

Sep 19, 2013

 Today I'm participating in the 'boy behind the blog' link-up over on Mal Smiles. I've mentioned Michael in tons of my blogs and have written about him upon occasion, but today I'm turning the blog over to him to answer a few questions!
Our Wedding Day, July 9, 2011

1. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
I would be a Killer Whale. I love swimming and exploring underwater. Killer Whales are also an apex predator and they eat sharks. Badass....

2. What is your favorite meal?
This would have to be Kelsea's specialty pasta with peas. Kelsea doesn't like the peas so I have to beg her to add them. I believe there is a blog post on this food.

3. Do you use any forms of Social Media? What is your favorite?
I only use Facebook by default so it must be my favorite.

4. Beer, wine, liquor, other, or none of the above?
I don't like wine. Liquor has historically not been kind to me. I like beer. All beers. 

5. Complete the sentence: "Never have I ever..."
(Said with sarcasm) Doubted my wife's driving directions.

There you have it, folks. No less, and certainly not more. I love this guy. Thanks, babe!

Boys Behind The Blog

Virginia

Sep 18, 2013

We've had an amazing time visiting family and friends in Virginia the past week. It is always so good to be with them and in the beautiful mountains I grew up surrounded by. I'll always love Virginia and the people who make it home.

My bite of the Big Apple

Sep 17, 2013

Coming from a small, southern town, I've always had a fascination for the big city. So when I had the opportunity to travel to Brooklyn my last year of college, I jumped at the chance. It was a trip to the Brooklyn Tabernacle for a one day prayer conference with a final join-up at the end of the day with the weekly Tuesday night prayer and worship meeting, led by Jim Cymbala and the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir.

I went twice in once year. The first time was with a friend from school. We went to every session, wandered around Brooklyn, worshipped with over a thousand people, and were prayed over by Jim Cymbala. It was an amazing experience and one I'll never forget. 
 The second time, I went with my best friend since high school, who also attended the same school I did. This time, we had a bit of a different plan in mind for our time there. We figured that this was our only chance of being that close to New York City for awhile...and who can pass that up? We knew it was just a hop, skip, and subway ride away, so after about ten hours on a crammed travel bus, and one orientation session later, we snuck off during free time around 8:30am.  It was still winter and freezing out. We got breakfast around the corner from the church, bought a homeless man a biscuit and coffee, found the subway, and with no map, set off to find and explore the city. 
I'll never forget that day. We used the maps underground to finally find our way a few blocks from Times Square. We walked. And walked. And walked some more. I think we came to the Rockefeller Skating Rink, first. We wandered all over the city, amazed at how far we had walked and how much there was to see. We saw Times Square, passed the Plaza, walked around Central Park awhile, went into the biggest Toys R Us I've ever seen, passed where they film 'Good Morning America', and went into random stores just so we could warm up before walking some more. We took pictures outside of Tiffany's, visited a beautiful Catholic church to escape the cold and see the architecture, and made our way down to the World Trace Center area. We walked around Battery Park, saw the Statue of Liberty, and grabbed hot chocolate before heading back to the subway and back to our group. 
Thankfully, no one noticed we were gone and we slipped in as the worship service was starting and even made it in the group picture at the end. Okay, yeah...I feel a little guilty for that, but I mostly loved that we took the chance and got a little adventurous! It was one of the best times I've ever had and I'm hoping that someday I get to go back and experience the city again.

What's the most adventurous thing you've ever done?  

Linking up today for Blogtember!

Noah: Nine Months

Sep 16, 2013


Dear Noah,

This is late, but happy nine (and a half!) months, baby! I totally skipped your eight month post, and by the time I remembered it was halfway through the month. You began crawling around eight months! About a week before the official date we noticed you were getting a bit more mobile and pushing yourself up on all fours. We worked with you a ton and you eventually learned to crawl, even though it's a goofy, one leg walking type of crawl. You also started pulling up on things around you and being able to walk if we're holding your arms. Since then, you've been ON THE GO. You're constantly on the move, crawling around the entire living room, in and out of the kitchen, and even under the piano bench. You pull up on us, the couches and chairs, and even the cabinets, which means we have to keep an extra eye out near the oven!

You're eating like a champ and will eat anything we are eating. You've learned to regulate your appetite a bit more and stop when you're full, telling us this by slapping your high chair tray, playing with your food, and babbling. You still sleep with us and usually only wake up about 2-3 times a night to eat, something I quickly take care of before you have a chance to fully wake up. You're usually out in less than a minute. Getting to sleep has been another story, for both bedtime and naps. Some days it takes you a good 30 minutes to an hour to go to sleep, and others you're out in five. I'm trying to pick up on your "tired signals" a bit better, but I think you're just like Mommy- you don't want to miss out on anything!

We're still traveling quite a bit! We've been to Chattanooga and Alabama a few times and you still are great at traveling. Every once in awhile you get tired of being in your car seat, but with enough small breaks you're usually good to go. Your sleep doesn't change at the hotels, usually, which is a huge blessing.

We're starting to see your personality more and more and it is so fun to see your different traits start to come out. And the faces you can make are priceless. Every little thing you accomplish brings us so much joy. You wake up smiling at us and love to smack our heads to wake us up. You love to escape your diaper changes and we usually have to chase after your naked little butt. You're such a blessing in our lives and we love watching you grow. I cherish every moment I have with you.

Love you to the ends of the earth,
Mommy. 
 

Social Media & Insecureties

Sep 12, 2013


I can't remember a time I didn't feel insecure about something. It's not an easy thing to live with, insecurity....always feeling bad about yourself or feeling like your flaws are on display for the entire world. Most of the times my insecurities are unfounded. If I dig deeper, I realize that a) it's all about perception and b) everyone has flaws.

I've had to remind myself of these two things even more frequently now that I'm integrated into the world of social media. First it was just Facebook. And everyone has an opinion about everything on Facebook. Your picture or status either gets enough likes to satisfy you or none at all. And it doesn't stop with Facebook. No, it's moved to Instagram, Twitter, and all the other crazy apps out there designed to connect you with others and help you share bits and pieces of your life. For me, the bits and pieces are what it's all about. I love getting to share pictures of Noah, or fun things we've been up to lately. I enjoy sharing parts of our lives with old and new friends. These apps are also outlets of creativity and act as personal statements, in a way.

But lately I've found that the more people I follow, the more dissatisfied and insecure I can become about my own life. I see creative posts and pictures and suddenly mine feel bland or uncreative. I see beautiful women and their #ootd posts and start to feel bad about myself because I haven't managed to put makeup on for the day or can't go buy a brand new wardrobe. I see bloggers becoming friends and leaving comments and suddenly my blog seems uninspiring and boring.

As ridiculous as this sounds, this is what social media becomes for me if I'm not careful. I'm constantly having to remind myself that what I'm seeing is just that- bits and pieces. I'm not seeing the whole picture, the whole woman, the whole day, the whole story. I'm seeing a fragment of what goes on. It is so easy, whether on purpose or without meaning to, to make your life appear like anything you want it to be. So while I'm reminding myself to stay down-to-earth and not try to display myself on social media as something I'm not, I'm also constantly reminding myself that "being myself" means being okay with who I am, even if the woman in the picture does have it all together, and is beautiful, and has a wonderful life. Because her wonderful life doesn't make mine any less wonderful, too.

Detour Ahead!

Sep 10, 2013


I started out as a music major in college. When I decided to go a different direction my sophomore year, I chose Psychology with the intent of not stopping until I had obtained my Master's Degree in counseling. My last year of college was the hardest I had ever worked in school. It felt like I finally had a focus for the future and I was working to bring my gpa up while also working part time to gain experience in the field.

I studied hard, took the GRE, was proud of my score, and began applying to grad school programs. Because I was trying to graduate early, I was taking 21 credits during my last semester so I didn't have to take biology, my only class left, during the summer. I took 18 credits at my college, and the last 3 at the community college in the same town. It was an awful class and between the load I was taking and working, I had little motivation or energy left to put into this biology class.

I thought it would be a breeze, but little by little, I let myself get behind and ended up failing the class. I was mortified. Here I was, about to officially graduate college with the transfer of one class. Now I would have to spend my summer retaking the terrible class instead of taking a nice break like I had planned. Meanwhile, I had interviewed and been accepted to every single graduate program I had applied to and had made my decision. I got my own apartment in that little town and planned to start the program in the fall.

That summer, I signed up for the biology class and was able to transfer my job to the local office. That job's hours didn't cut it, though, so I was forced to take a retail job and a third job babysitting some during the week. I was all prepared to pass this class, transfer it to my college, get my official diploma, and start grad school. Also, I had been applying and interviewing for degree-specific jobs all summer and had several offers pending my diploma.

This is where I'll get honest with you instead of telling you I was just busy....I slacked. I just knew this class would be a breeze. And you know what? I failed. Again. By this time, my self-esteem was at an all time low. Here I was, an accomplished student with drive and ingenuity, and I couldn't even seem to pass a 200 level biology class.I decided to use my last resort- taking a competency test at the local higher education center. If I passed, I wouldn't be required to take biology and would finally be able to get my diploma. This would mean I could start grad school and accept one of the jobs I'd been offered.

I studied my butt off. I remember clicking submit on the test and going to the moderator for my score. 1 point. Literally, one point away from passing. I think I probably cried in my car for an hour before leaving the parking lot. I was devastated.

After recovering, taking a deep breath, and coping with the situation, I went home, signed up for my third biology class online. I had to email my advisor and let her know that grad school was on hold for now. And no, I did not share my embarrassing story with her! I continued working three jobs, lived in my adorable downtown apartment, and finally, praise Jesus, passed that stupid, ridiculous biology class.

During all of this, Michael and I got engaged and he was finishing up his last semester of his engineering degree. He attended a job fair and through a combination of his hard work and the grace of God, was offered his current job. Because of that, I had to turn down one of the job offers I could finally accept because we would be moving. We moved, I finally got one job and I recovered from that crazy, up and down year.It took me awhile to work through this turn in my life. I struggled between thoughts of "God's will" and my personal responsibility, and the only thing that I could come up with is that it worked out......how it worked out. And I had to get to a place where I was okay with that.

I often think about what would had happened had things been different. If I had passed that first semester, I would have probably had to uproot in the middle of my grad school career when we had to move. I probably would have been working, making more money than my three jobs combined, but would not have been met with an opportunity to learn humility or know what it truly felt like to surrender the unknown to Jesus. So although life took a turn that I wasn't expecting, and one that was honestly a bit mortifying, I'm here now- this is where I'm supposed to be and I wouldn't be exactly here without the detour. 



According to Jung....

Sep 9, 2013

St. John,  2012
For today's Blogtember challenge, our task was to take Jung's Typology test and talk about the results. I've done my fair share of personality tests in the past few years. With a degree in Psychology, it's a given that you know about your own personality and have taken your fair share of personality tests. I've taken this exact test several times and it has changed a bit every time. I've gone from being a college student, to being on my own, to married with a baby. And even though some might argue that we don't change, I think we do. Without further ado, here are my results!

ENFJ
Extravert(33%)  iNtuitive(62%)  Feeling(75%)  Judging(1%)
  • You have moderate preference of Extraversion over Introversion (33%)
  • You have distinctive preference of Intuition over Sensing (62%)
  • You have distinctive preference of Feeling over Thinking (75%)
  • You have marginal or no preference of Judging over Perceiving (1%)
The most interesting thing to me about this test is that I've been fluctuating over the years between introvert and extravert, but everything else stays the same.

Here are some more descriptions of ENFJ's that are spot on in describing me!

"ENFJs...have tremendous charisma..... phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship.... generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are."
  
"ENFJs...see the big picture...some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously...many have tremendous entrepreneurial ability."

"ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear."

"Face-to-face relationships are intense, personable and warm, though they may be so infrequently achieved that intimate friendships are rare."

"At times only in jest, but in earnest if need be, Thinking entertains as logical only those conclusions which support Feeling's values."


  Have you ever taken this test or a similar one? What were your results?

Love, California [Cara Box Reveal]

Sep 6, 2013

Earlier this month I ran across the Cara Box Exchange over at Wifessionals. I knew I wanted to take part in August and excitedly signed up! Who doesn't love getting something fun in the mail? I also love putting together gifts for others and the thought of making someone I've never met smile sounded fun! This month's theme wasn't really a theme, but each participant was matched with someone else in their stage of life. Because I'm in my twenties and a mama, I was matched with similar life-stage bloggers. A funny coincidence? Both ladies I was connected with are from California! I received a box from Cali and sent one there!

I was so excited when I got my first introductory e-mail from Nicole at Blissfully Blessed. We shared some info, found each other's blogs, and got to know each other a bit! Nicole is a stay-at-home mama like myself with two little boys. She is so creative and loves crafting, cooking, decorating, and most importantly, her family! Also, she dyed her own jeans- pretty much a DIY super-hero in my book!

She was absolutely creative with her box and knew exactly what I would love! Here are the awesome goods....


[one] A sweet note and some awesome lipgloss, nail polish, and hairband.
[two] An awesome set of black and white chevron drinking straws! I love them! 
[three] Some faith-decorated magnetic book marks. These are so nice because they're thin and don't fall out of the book when opened!
[four] Clipboard, adorable notepad, and pen. I don't know if she picked up on it or not, but I'm a list-maker and I love lines and pens and paper- all of those organizational gems! I've used this a ton already!
[five] An adorable set of measuring spoons. I've always wanted a set like these- so cute! And yellow is one of my favorite colors!
[six] Nicole was so sweet and sent something for Noah, too! Isn't it precious?! Here's the tutorial on how she made it!
[not pictured] Nicole made a headband herself out of pretty floral fabric and  it's a perfect fit. I love it!

It was so much fun getting these goodies in the mail. I also had fun putting together and sending my box to Holly in California! Holly blogs over at Little Hip-ster Girl where she writes about her daughter's journey through the diagnosis of hip-dysplasia and their family's life amidst the challenges! This mama is inspirational with all that she has on her plate right now. I sent her some goodies that revolved around "her time"! Check out her reveal here

I was so happy to be part of the exchange and feel like I gained two new blogger friends in the process! And that's the whole point of it! A huge thanks to Kaitlyn at Wifessionals for hosting the Cara Box Exchange.  I'm excited for next month's match-ups! 

Although I veered a bit off topic for today's Blogtember day, I'm still linking up! Haven't joined in the fun yet? It's never too late to join in! :) Happy Friday! We're off to glorious Virginia! Have a wonderful weekend!

How to Start Eating Healthy

Sep 5, 2013


Making healthy changes isn't always easy. Add in the stress of jobs and family and plans and it can be even harder. When I moved into my own apartment after college, Michael was always over and we eventually began grocery shopping for two. It was around that time that we really began to take a look at what we were eating and became educated on what was going into and onto our bodies.

It hasn't been an easy or quick process, and the more we've learned, the more tweaks and changes we've made along the way. Looking back to our first year of marriage, there were a few simple steps we took at first that really made a big difference.

1. Read the labels. It's amazing how many artificial ingredients are FDA-approved to be in the food on your grocery store shelf. From MSG to GMOs and everything in between, our modern day foods are full of chemicals, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. Educate yourself on each ingredient and its affect on your body. Odds are, if you can't pronounce it, it probably doesn't belong in your body. Also, companies have gotten smart and learned to label their foods somewhat deceptively, using alternate names for those well-known "no-no" chemicals. Stay smart and educate yourself!

2. Have more food in your fridge than your pantry. When I was in college, my pantry was full. I had boxed macaroni, chips, pasta, and other processed foods whose expiration dates probably would still be good today. And along with that long shelf life comes not-so-good preservatives. My fridge was bare, aside from a half gallon of milk and some cheese. When you start to introduce real, chemical-free, whole food in your life, that pantry-fridge stock inverts. I realized that the foods that are healthy for me have a shelf life. There were veggies, fruits, meat, and dairy- fresh and hardly requiring any ingredients lists. This also means that when I shop at the grocery store, I shop the outer edges, produce to meat to dairy to the health-food section, and don't have a need to hit any of the middle aisles.

3. Stay organized. This one is probably the biggest factor in eating healthy. If I didn't prepare ahead of time, the drive-thru was my go-to for any meal. If I had nothing at home, I'd resort to eating out, which wasn't good on my body or my wallet. When I started to notice the biggest difference in our eating habits was when we planned out our menu for the week, including lunch and breakfast, and shopped accordingly. This usually meant that I spent some time after getting home from the grocery store prepping our food for the week, cutting up fruits and veggies. I found that this extra twenty minutes was well worth it if it meant that we were armed with healthy meals for the week or easy grab and go snacks.

I often hear people complain that eating healthy takes so much more work and time, and that it's much easier to just grab happy meals on the way home. In some ways, that's true. But once you get familiar with whole foods and how you like to prepare them, the process gets easier. Finding recipes that you love is important, too, as I've found that flavor is key to beating boredom with meals!

 If you think about the effects of these so-called "easy" foods, many of them leading to hormone disruption, disorders, emotional problems, disease, obesity, and cancer, hopefully you'll realize, like I did, that the effort it takes to eat healthy and the benefits it brings far outweigh the tiny bit of time you saved eating something more convenient, but more dangerous, for your body. Don't get me wrong- I'm definitely not perfect at this and there are times when we give in to our old habits. This is still a work in progress for us, but the better we eat, the better we feel, and that's great motivation to continue bettering ourselves.

Do you struggle with eating healthy? Have you found anything that makes it easier?

Today is day three of Blogtember! You can find me linked here!

Dreaming of Greece

Sep 4, 2013

Today's Blogtember challenge: If you could take three months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do?

If only you knew how much I dreamed about this exact thing...telling our everyday life goodbye and setting out on an adventure, just the three of us. The places that pops into my head over and over again is Greece.

In all my dreaming, f we could take three months off....

We'd rent a little apartment near the blue ocean...
APARTMENTS ON ITHACA ISLAND GREECE
[via]
We'd be on the water every day and bask in the sun...
[via]
We'd wander through town, eat the local food, and make some friends...
[via]
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I'd take a cooking class, sit with my husband and watch the sun go down, indulge in good wine, hike to beautiful views, and play with our baby on the beach. We'd hide our watches and clocks and live unrestricted by time or appointments. We'd forget our culture and dive right into this one, taking in everything there is to see and smell and hear and know, and embrace it for its beauty and uniqueness. I'd remind myself to unplug and live in the moment, without phone or camera or blog. And I'd love every minute of it.