Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Happy 3rd Anniversary!

Today is our 3rd Wedding Anniversary! 

I can't believe how fast time has gone by! A lot has happened in the last several years. We moved into and bought our first house. Had our first child and now have another one on the way!

Look at this guy! What a cutie!

On our Honeymoon in Mexico
 One of the best parts about being married has been starting a family. For us, God had us on the fast track, and we were expecting just a few months after our wedding. It was an unexpected, but happy surprise.  Elsa has been a huge blessing to us in this family. It's so true that the only thing better than having Chuck as my husband is having him as the father to our little girl. There is nothing that will melt your heart more or make you fall more in love with your spouse, than seeing them with your children.

I mean, look at this guy? He's such a good father and husband.  Always putting other before himself.

 He will even rub my feet on pretty much a daily basis. :) Ha ha.

He is what my mom calls, "a good one". But I think he's the BEST one!

So, for this anniversary we are on a bit of a budget saving for the arrival of baby #2. So we like to be creative with our gifts. Which can be a challenge, because he's like the most simple, down to earth guy there is. Doesn't want much or need much. PLUS, his birthday is a month before our anniversary (didn't think that through…) so all my bright ideas are pretty much spent. This year, Chuck kept telling me to just get him a card. Which is hard for me to do, because one of my Love Languages is gift giving. So in my mind, that's not enough! Ha ha. But I know he will be so satisfied with a heart felt card.

Thankfully, I received an email about Anniversary Cards by TreatTreat provides personalized gifts and cards. What could be more perfect to get the guy that is hard to buy for? I love that I could personalize it with our own photos. You can also personalize the message too. You can know for certainty that your card will be one of a kind, unlike the cards they have at the supermarket. The price is great too, it's the same price as your standard greeting card, or cheaper! They also have a digital copy format available if you want to choose that.

I could see using this for birthday cards, holidays, grandparents, etc. there are so many options and occasions to send someone a card!

I can't wait to see his surprised face when he gets his card this year!

Love you my dear husband!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Shabby Chic Dresser Makeover!

Hello everyone! It's been a while and its been a crazy busy summer with a lot going on! My brother got married, Elsa had her second birthday, and we are expecting baby #2! So with all thats been going on, we have been trying to de-clutter and revamp Elsa's room and baby #2's room (which was formally our office!) There's been a lot to do and buy!

Thankfully, my parents gave us my old furniture from my room growing up, which I am going to use in Elsa's room. The only down side is that the furniture is a little bland and doesn't go with her room. So, we decided to give it a face lift!

This project was quite an undertaking while being pregnant and having a toddler to look after. There was a lot accomplished during her nap times. But with the extra energy of being in my second trimester, I managed to get it done in about 4-5 days (all by myself might I add! Go me!) I will give some credit to my husband who did the heavy lifting moving it out to the garage for me.

So for your Shabby Chic DIY Make Over you will need the following:

1 qt "White Truffle" paint, Semi Gloss (Behr)
1 qt "Wheat Bread" paint, Semi Gloss (Behr)
4-5 cans of white spray primer (flat white)
Sand paper (100 Grit)
Drop cloth
2 brushes
Polycrylic Finish Spray in Semi-Gloss
New Hardware (optional)

Step 1:
Remove all hardware from furniture. I lightly sanded to remove the shine and gloss from the stain, then used an old t-shirt to remove all dust. I did not fill in scratches because I wanted a worn look.

Step 2: 
Spray area with primer. Watch for drips and runs. It's better to use several light coats, then one heavy coat. Once dry, lightly sand any runs. Remove Dust. 

Step 3: 
Cover with base coat, white truffle. Allow to dry to touch.

Step 4:
Once base paint is dry, using a dry brush technique apply the "Wheat Bread" paint for a distressed look. A dry brush technique is to only apply a minimal amount of paint on the brush, wipe off extra if needed, and lightly brush to get a textured look on wood. Use sparingly, you can always add more paint. 

Step 5:
Allow paint to dry to touch, and apply Polycrylic finish. Allow everything to dry for at least 24 hours before putting back hardware, or drawers into the dresser. 

Step 6: 
Add new Hardware. I loved these I found at Hobby Lobby, I really liked to mix and match the colors too. 

Step 7:
Enjoy your brand "new" furniture!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Restless Bible Study: Review

Photo Credit: Christian Book.com

Are you Restless? Aren't we all a little Restless at times?
Desiring to be fulling our biggest potential? I know I am…

I was asked to review a new bible study from Jennie Allen called "Restless: because you were made for more". I was excited to give it a go, and see what this group study was all about. I called up my close bible study friends to see if they would be willing to do the study with me, and they were all very enthusiastic to join me when I told them about the study!

The format of Restless is similar to other bible studies that I had done before. However, there are some differences that I would say set Jennie Allen's apart from the rest!

The Restless Study kit comes with a  DVD, Leader book, Study Guide and Conversation Cards.

The Leader Guide is clear and simple to use. I've facilitated bible studies in the past where the leader guides gave over complicated, regimented instructions for each week. Which is fine for some, but I found that often the spirit of the Lord will direct the conversation in different ways. "Restless" is a perfect format for that.

The DVD has the weekly videos teachings on it, each video is about 20 minutes long. Jennie Allen speaks from her heart each week on the different topics, and you can feel her passion for the Lord. It's contagious!

The Study Guide is really unique too. In the past, the majority of bible studies I have done that are a DVD and work book format, have a "daily homework" feel to them. Which I have done, loved, and grown so much from. "Restless" has a Study Guide that is unlike any other I have done. It has a journal feel to it, with a creative side and gets you to think, dive deeper and write, doodle, journal, or whatever! The format is so open and creative! She breaks it out into a "study" portion and then a "project" portion. Which gets you thinking and processing through different and fun exercises. It's an exciting way to spend time with the Lord. I love the format, and wish more studies were like this!

The Conversation Cards are another favorite of mine. Jennie Allen allows for a lot of focus on discussion time. Which is another reason I love this bible study. With the videos being only 20 mins, she allows for 45-75 mins of discussion. The way the cards work is that each week there are a different set of cards with questions on them. Everyone in the group can grab a card and read their discussion question. It's a great way to get everyone talking! Which, with my ladies is NOT a problem, but it's a great way to discuss some great questions!

The content of the study parallel our spiritual journey with the Lord, with the story of Joseph. I have really enjoyed growing and learning with this study! I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for "more". :)

God Bless!

Monday, March 24, 2014

RedStar Shades & $500 Gift Card!!

This is a sponsored review by Red Star and Media Talent Agency

Red Star specializes in sport and fashion sunglasses, watches and accessories. They are also involved in promotiong and sponsoring many charity and sporting events.

Red Star let me select one of there many sunglasses to try out. It was a hard task to do, because there were so many choices to try from. I decided to go with a classic aviator. I love aviators sunglasses because they always fit my face shape pretty well. I was pretty impressed with the sunglasses when they arrived. They came with a nice case to keep them protected. You can also tell that they are quality sunglasses by just the feel of them. The pair I selected is also polarized, which offers additional protection from the sun. My eyes are very sensitive to the sun, so I always need a pair of quality sunglasses on hand whenever I go out.

Red Star is also offering a free promo code for up to $500 off their shades for a limited time, you only have to pay shipping & handling for each item you select. Pretty amazing deal!

To get your $500 gift card, visit their webpage here.

Enter promo code: MTA14 at check out.

Hope you enjoy your Red Star sunglasses!!

If you have any additional questions regarding the promo; Red Star has a very useful FAQ page you can visit here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper, Chickpea, Egg, and Feta Salad

For this delicious salad recipe, I was going to make a greek salad, but realized I didn't have tomatoes, and olives. So I began to add other ingredients that I had. Even though I wasn't too sure they would all go well together, the result was amazing! My husband loved the salad, we had it for dinner and it was more than enough food, and let us full and satisfied!

You will need:

  • Chopped lettuce (Romaine) (2 cups)
  • Cucumber, Chopped (1/2 cup)
  • Carrots, Shredded (1/4 cup)
  • Roasted Red Pepper (1/4 cup)
  • Feta Cheese Crumbles (1/4 cup)
  • Hard Boiled Egg, sliced
  • Chickpeas (1/2 can)
  • Red onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • Grape Tomatoes (optional)

Drain and rinse chickpeas, add together ingredients at top with 2 tbsp of a vinaigrette dressing. Enjoy!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Why you should use Paraben Free Cosmetics

Why, yes. Yes I am…

I have offically joined the Arbonne team. I have known about their products for some time and have used them in the past, and was recently reintroduced to their products again. For me the timing was perfect!

About a year ago, I decided to make the switch to Paraben Free products. Which includes, make-up, lotions, face wash, etc… Do you know how hard it is to find Paraben Free products!? Parabens seem to be in everything these day!

But what are Parabens you ask, and why should we worry about them in our products? 

Parabens are 'an ester of parahydroxybenzoic acid' which are used as a very inexpensive way to extend the life of cosmetics. So they are in a lot of cosmetics! Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and it only takes about 5 seconds for the chemicals we put on our skin to be absorbed into our blood stream (Completely bypassing our liver!). So much more potent and dangerous that way. Think of all the chemicals are a rubbing all over our body, and that is being absorbed into our system!

Ok, so they get into our system… but how do they affect us, you ask? Researchers have now found a link between Parabens and Breast Cancer. Yikes! A recent study in 2012 found at least one Paraben in 99% of the tissue samples from women who had breast cancer. 60% contained at least 5 parabens. There no denying that there is a link between breast cancer and parabens. Since, I have a family history of breast cancer, it's not worth the risk for me!

So besides just being Paraben Free, I love that Arbonne is held to a higher standard of quality that what we are used too!! You can see all the "stuff" that Arbonne leaves out of its products. "Stuff" I do not want rubbed on my skin and absorbed into my bloodstream!

What are the most common Parabens called, and what should we look out for? 

Most Common Parabens:
  • Methylparaben                          Methylparaben is one of the most common parabens
  • Butlyparaben                             has been linked to low sperm count, ocular/eye damage, 
  • Propylparaben                           breast cancer and skin damage! 
  • Ethylparaben
  • Isobutylparaben
  • Isopropylparaben

If you are interested in Paraben Free products, such as Arbonne, or have any questions about why pure & safe products are a better choice, let me know!

source: parabenfree.co

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tasty Tuna Salad and a Weekend Recap

This weekend was so nice, not only because the weather is slowly starting to warm up, but because I was able to have a well overdue date with my husband! Our Valentines plans got canceled, so a month later we finally got to go out! We went to this Foot Spa near our house we kept hearing about. One word: AMAZING! First of all it was only $30, which is amazing in itself, but you got a relaxing foot soak and an hour long full body massage. I can't believe we just found out about this place. It was so nice to do as a couple. Chuck and I had never done a "couples massage" before, and I liked this place because I was able to just wear loose clothing and keep them on. We also enjoyed a nice lunch together at Uncle Julio's Mexican Restaurant. Chuck loves to get the carne asada. It's pretty amazing, I will admit, but I am partial to the chicken enchiladas. It was great to get a few hours to ourself and have a date. So hard to find time once you have kids! Here's a great quick and easy way to spice up your typical Tuna Salad. I've been on the hunt for new lunch ideas, and I love this recipe!

Looking Relaxed (and a little oiled up) after our massage! 
Tasty Tuna Salad Sandwich

To make this easy and yummy lunch you'll need to mix the following ingredients:

1 can of white chunk tuna
1 tbsp of plain greek yogurt
1 tbsp of mayo
1 tbsp of chopped onion
1 sweet pepper, chopped
1 celery piece, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Add a slice of two of lettuce and thin bread. To make it gluten free, you can eat the tuna salad in lettuce wraps or on cucumber slices.