Thursday, October 25, 2012

Life lately and my love language

Things have been very busy around here! Cami and I have had errands to run every day this week, so between that and working I haven't had time to blog :( Trust me, I'm desperately trying to get into the habit of blogging 5-6 times per week.  For those of you that are able to do that (plus work FT as I know most of you do)...I totally admire you! Blogging is so much fun, but it definitely takes time!

what i've been up to at work: 10 Best ski resorts for the upcoming season
                        Holidays and breaking bread with Soleil Moon Frye
                        How to be a successful business owner

Rant Finance: The cost of having a baby
                    Halloween on a budget
                    Earn money from home
                    Is a joint checking account for you?

what i've been up to at home:

Nothing too, cleaning, playing with Cami, etc. John and I got Mad Med season 5 in the mail through Netflix! So that's exciting. Mad Med is one of my all-time favorite shows. It's so witty and the characters are great. 

John and I started reading "The 5 Languages of Love." Has anyone read that? It's great, and I recommend it for all couples even though we're only on chapter 3. You first take a quiz to determine what your "love language" is, and then the book goes over how to meet the needs of your spouse's love language, which ultimately leads to a happier, healthier marriage. My love language is quality time, which didn't surprise me in the least. Quality time to me, though, isn't watching a movie together, it's more about actually talking to each other and having his full attention (no sports allowed during quality time!!). Anyways, it's a great book and I'm excited to dive further in.

And Camdyn is I leave you with some photos:

love this little bald chic!

oh ya know, just relaxin'

"mom, quit blinding me with the flash"

Cami LOVES her daddy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

To my high school friends...

The weekend is here - boy, this week sure flew by. Tonight for dinner I'm making bread and pasta, and John and I will probably just watch a movie. Tomorrow, I'm going to a high school friends baby shower!  She's having a little girl and I'm just so excited for her and her husband!

I was thinking yesterday just how lucky I am to still be good friends with a great group of girls I went to high school with. Kendra is one of my besties - we met in 9th grade and have been best friends ever since (that's like 13 years...ay ay ay we're getting old!). I'm also MOH in her wedding! The other's in the group are Michelle, Megan, Vanessa, and Holly. Michelle, Megan and I all live close, so we try and hang out every now and then. Vanessa is the one who's baby shower I'm attending - she lives in California along with Holly and we want them back!! haha :)

We always said in high school how we'd be friends for life. No matter where we ended up, our friendship would remain (we actually compared this to a rubber band stretching as far as we went, but never breaking, lol). It makes me cry thinking that this has remained true for us. Though we may not all see each other often (the group gets together about once a year), we are always there for each other. Knowing that God has blessed me with such amazing friendships makes me so thankful, and I hope these ladies know just how much they mean to me.

Megan, Michelle, Kendra, and pregnant me. This was at Vanessa's wedding back in March. Can't wait to see you girls tomorrow!! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wedded Bliss Wednesdays

Linking up with Kay and Allie

If you could give one piece of advice to any married (or soon to be married) couple, what would it be?
The obvious one is to communicate, but that's probably the most common answer (it's THAT important). My husband wants to meet my needs, and me his, but unless we tell each other what they are they most likely are not going to get met since neither of us are mind readers! Another good piece of advice is to always give each other your best. Husbands go all day giving their employees, coworkers, clients, friends, etc their best, and come home wiped out.  Same for wives - we give our jobs or our kids our best all day and feel there's nothing left for our husbands. Don't do this!! When you were dating you always gave each other your best, so keep that up. Make a conscious decision to do this and you will have a MUCH better relationship - trust me!!

What is an absolute MUST for any marriage/relationship?
To be best friends and have fun together. My husband and I do get into fights, but at the end of the day (or end of the fight which is sometimes more than a day haha) it boils down to us being each others absolute best friends. We like to go on walks every night and we catch up on each other's days, our goals, weekend plans, and just life in general. John is my best friend beyond a shadow of a doubt.

What is the #1 no-no in a marriage?
I would have to say cheating. That is the ultimate form of breaking your spouses' trust, and once that trust is gone it's extremely hard if not impossible to gain it back. Just don't do it!! We all have different definitions of "cheating" - emotional cheating? flirting? hanging out with opposite sex one on one? strip clubs? physical cheating only? - discuss these boundaries with your partner and be respectful to each other's wishes. *btw for me and John all of the above would not be ok!

What is the biggest lesson you have learned from marriage?
That some days it's a LOT harder than I expected, but most days it's better than I ever could have imagined. I guess I never thought marriage could be so fun and loving. It's the little things - yesterday we got a chocolate dipped cone from McDonald's (as always), walked Camdyn around with my mom, and watched a movie - simple, yet loving and the best part of all of this was having John by my side. I can't imagine not sharing my life with him.  Love you, John! *assuming you're reading this, haha :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Big news, and some recipes

I have some big news to share with everyone: My baby girl is eating. Specifically, she's eating sweet potatoes, and I have the pictures to prove it:

Messy messy baby

She's in sweet potato heaven here

I know this may not seem like a big deal, but it means my baby girl is growing up. I want her to stay a baby forever!! Seriously.

I'm a pretty tidy person - I hate germs and clean obsessively, actually - but Camdyn and the sweet potatoes win every time. I always thought I would never let my child eat messily and get food everywhere. HA! There's no such thing. She flails her arms like a crazy person and spits her food out more than she takes it in. Last time I fed her, I found sweet potatoes in her hair

In other news, John and I have been eating pretty good around here (in other words, I've actually been cooking).  Easy recipes, of course.  The crock pot is my new best friend.

Last night, I made spicy mexican shredded chicken tacos. So simple.

Spicy Mexican Shredded Tacos
  • Frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or not frozen lol)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (I used the spicy kind)
  • 1 can of Rotel
Place in crock pot and cook on low for about 4 hours.  Shred and continue cooking another hour (it will be a little watery looking from the Rotel but if you cook it more after shredding, the chicken will absorb most of this).  Serve in soft or hard tacos with cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa etc.  I also made mexican rice from a box to go with this. 

Frozen chicken, seasoning and Rotel

Voila! Delicious spicy, shredded chicken

I LOVE making meals in the crock pot because it's so easy and always tastes so good. Plus, I'm never sure when John's going to be home so it's nice that we can eat a home-cooked meal whenever he arrives :)

Tonight for dinner I made pasta salad. I got this recipe from some family friends. It doesn't involve the crock pot, but it's really easy nonetheless.

Basil Tomato Pasta Salad
  • 1 box bowties pasta (I used mini bowties)
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • fresh basil, cut thinly
  • olive oil
  • shredded mozzerella cheese (I used finely shredded)
  • salt and pepper
Make pasta according to package. Rinse with cold water. Add in diced tomatoes, basil, some olive oil, cheese, and salt and pepper. Mix well and refrigerate a few hours. Delicious!

That's all for today. I'll leave you with some more photos of Camdyn and my most recent finance blog: Is a joint checking account for you?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Work lately

I've been really busy with work lately, and I love it!  Camdyn's been taking a morning and an afternoon nap so it's allowed me plenty of time to get everything done that I've needed to.

I love reading about other peoples' jobs on blogs, so I'd like to share some of the stuff I've been up to recently:

Rant Finance Blog: Dining out versus eating in

SheKnows Articles: How to make a silhouette painting
                            In a pickle: What to do with overripe bananas
                            What to do in Helen, Georgia

I'm so blessed to be able to work from home and share my work with my readers! I have a lot of fun with my job, and love that every day provides something different and challenges me in a different way.

I recently interviewed Soleil Moon Frye.  That article should be live soon, so I'll make sure to post the link once it's up!  Soleil is SO sweet, and really loves her two daughters, Poet and Jagger.  I was really nervous since I've never interviewed before, but am happy to have that under my belt.  I've always been one to ask way too many questions, so interviewing is seriously right up my alley and I love it! 

Speaking of interviewing, guess who I get to do next?!  Country singer Trisha Yearwood! I almost had a heart attack when I found that out.  I'm a huge country fan and Trisha Yearwood has always been a favorite of mine (her song "She's in love with the boy" is my fave!).  She has two cookbooks and a cooking show (new season premieres on Oct 20th on Food Network), so it'll be great to ask her about some of her cooking secrets!

Hope everyone is having a good Friday!  The weekend is upon us - woo hoo!  John and I are playing Bingo tomorrow and I'm super excited.  We used to play all the time before having Cami, so we like to go every few months or so as a date night!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Homemade bread... sort of

Tomorrow I'm interviewing Soleil Moon Frye, otherwise known as Punky Brewster!  She also was on Sabrina the Teenage Witch for a few years and guest-starred on Friends (a favorite show of mine).  

She's promoting Fleischmann's Simply Homemade No Knead Bread, so I figured I'd try this out tonight for dinner.  

I've never made bread before, so I was excited to try this out.  I made the Italian Herb flavor and it is amazing.  I've already consumed almost half the loaf!  *Don't worry John, I'm saving the rest for you :)

As an inexperienced bread maker, I did run into one problem:  the directions say to place on a baking sheet, cover, and let rise for 25 minutes.  They didn't say what to cover it with, though.  I flipped the bowl I mixed everything in over and used that, haha.  About halfway through it's "rising", a friend of mine texted me that normally you cover bread with a damp towel...oops!  I quickly switched out the bowl for the towel, in hopes my error wouldn't ruin my bread.

It didn't - the bread turned out perfectly!  It's easy to make and at only $2.69 per box, it's cheaper than a regular loaf of bread.  This is definitely something I'll be baking more often (tonight's dinner - bread and spicy sausage spaghetti).  I'm a huge fan of any dinner items I can make quickly and, even better, in advance.  I never know if Camdyn will be fussy when I cook, so I try and plan easy meals that I can make anytime during the day when she's napping (mostly crock pot meals lately).

Seriously, mom's or anyone out there with no time to cook should give this a try. Another bonus is you just need the box and 1 cup of warm tap water.  

You're welcome in advance :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'm bad at blogging

I officially suck as a blogger, haha.  My "31 days of love and inspiration" came to a halt at day 4 and I haven't even posted anything since last week.  Life sometimes gets in the way of blogging, and you know what?  That's OK :)

Lately I've been working a LOT and doing a LOT of walking around with Camdyn.  Add in cleaning the house and hanging out with John and my days have been flying by.  It's good though.  John is in a super-busy time at work (as am I) so we can play catch-up and save some money.  

So let's see...tomorrow is Camdyn's 5 month birthday!  I seriously cannot believe I have a 5 month old.  Time needs to slow down.  She crawled backwards two nights ago...soo precious!  I'm scared for when that kid's mobile, though!  I will need to pretty much move upstairs during the day as downstairs is all hardwood and tile.  

Here's a few photos of lately:

Hope everyone's enjoying their Tuesday.  I'm headed to do a little walking around outside - the weather finally permits open windows and enjoying the outdoors!  Ya!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 4 of love and inspiration

This goes with the whole theme of my "31 Days" challenge - which is staying positive and focusing on the good.  Life is good; my life is good; your life is good. Yes, things do go wrong and not everything goes our way, but overall we all have a lot to love and be thankful for.  

I know I sometimes get caught up in thinking that life will be better when...
Camdyn starts sleeping through the night
John and I are making more money
My home office is complete
The weather cools down
etc etc etc
If I focus on that, I'll not only miss out on today's moments but also probably drag myself into a world of wanting more.  My goal is to be happy with what I have, and to enjoy this life that God has given specifically to me.

a thankful list
a happy, beautiful baby who brings me joy each and every day
the ability to stay home with her while working part-time
a house to call our own
my two work-from-home jobs
the wonderful friends i've made through blogging - you guys have become my main form of socialization lol :)
a husband who loves me through thick and thin
my family that lives close by and always makes me laugh
my bestest friends who are always there for me, and me for them

My mom has been telling me to make one of these for awhile, and I'm glad I did.  Hope everyone is having a nice day :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 3 of love and inspiration

I've always tried to "live in the moment," but it's also important to do things today that will benefit your future.  Whether it be staying late for work in hopes of getting that promotion, saving $50 extra per month instead of buying Starbucks everyday (speaking to myself here...though I don't see this happening anytime soon), or going for a jog each night so you can meet your goal weight next month.

Along these lines, only a little backwards, I wrote a blog post for Rant Finance (the new job) entitled "Advice to my younger self."  Is there any advice (not just financial) that you would give to your younger self?  

New job! New job!

Last week I applied to be a financial blogger for Rant Finance.  Basically, you start your own blog on the site and can blog about anything that's related to finance.  I really wanted this job - as blogging about finance and money is (strangely) something I've always wanted to do.  I considered making this blog about finance, but ultimately decided against it as I'd rather have it be a document of my life.

Sooo guess what?!  I GOT IT!!  You can find my blog here.  It's titled "A Family Affair" since my theme is going to be family finance.  You can read more about that in my first post, "What is "A Family Affair?""

The job's pretty flexible - I can post as little or as often as I'd like.  I'm going to aim for 4 days per week, since I still have my SheKnows work and of course Camdyn.  I already have a ton of ideas and can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 2: Gary Allan-spiration

Most of you know I'm a bit obsessed with Gary Allan.  I actually just found out he's playing in Vegas for New Years Eve.  Oh how I would LOVE to go!!  Why do hotels have to be $300/night on New Years?! :(

For today, my inspiration comes from his latest single, "Every Storm."  All of his songs are incredible to me, but I just so happen to love songs with depressing and meaningful lyrics, haha.  
"Every Storm" is about knowing that everything is going to be ok in the end.  Time heals all, and all things (good or bad) will come to an end.  Here's a copy of the lyrics:

I saw you standing in the middle of the thunder and lightning
I know you're feeling like you just can't win, but you're trying
It's hard to keep on keepin' on, when you're being pushed around
Don't even know which way is up, just keep spinning down, 'round, down…

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

So hold your head up and tell yourself that there's something more
Walk out that door
Go find a new rose, don't be afraid of the thorns
'Cause we all have thorns
Just put your feet up to the edge, put your face in the wind
And when you fall back down, keep on rememberin'

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

It's gonna run out of pain
It's gonna run out of sting
It's gonna leave you alone
It's gonna set you free
Set you free

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

It's gonna set you free,
It's gonna run out of pain,
It's gonna set you free

Listen to this song here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 days of love and inspiration: Day 1

I'm joining in on the "31 days" challenge hosted by The Nester.  So far, there are over 800 bloggers joining in on this!  How awesome!  It looks like there are a lot of great topics out there.  I'm looking forward to following along!

My topic is: 31 days of love and inspiration.  I wanted something simple that wouldn't take me forever to write a post on.  My days just seem to fly by lately.  I have been doing a lot of work from home (an exciting announcement to come soon!!) and of course taking care of Camdyn and trying to maintain a clean house!  

For Day 1 I have a simple quote on life:

How true is this?  Things go wrong in life so we learn to recognize and appreciate the good.  Life is so short, and I want mine to be wonderful.  Expecting perfection will only lead to disappointment.  Instead, learn to see the good in every situation and every person.  Focus on that.  

I'm reading a book "Change your Words, Change your Life" by Joyce Meyer, and it's all about training your brain (with tons of references to the Bible, because God is the only one that can actually change us) to think positively.  Thinking positively and speaking only good will force you to believe it.  If you wake up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, chances are, you will.  Wake up and decide that it's going to be a good day and find something positive in what lies ahead.

So here's to love and inspiration!  Make sure to come back daily for more.