Friday, March 14, 2014

As it turns out...

So as it turns out... Georgia is not the cutest :( 
I'm sure you're just as shocked as I was. I mean seriously, did you know another dog could top this? 
Well as it turns out, 3 other dogs did just that. 

This last week our favorite dog boarder ever (really the only one we've planned on using) started hosting a cute dog contest. Each week 5 dogs would be chosen to be that week's finalist. Then people could vote via Facebook on which dog they thought should win for that week. Then that winner would go on to compete for the cutest dog of the month! No prizes were involved, just bragging rights. 

So I did the natural thing and immediately entered Georgia in the contest! And this was the photo I sent in. 
Now The Good Lord knows I have some seriously cute pictures of her doing funny thing, looking like a fool, and dressed up in the sweetest outfits. But no, I wanted to be fair. The contest was about the dog (or so I thought) and I was going to play by the rules and only send in a picture that showed her natural beauty. 

Then this last Sunday, when they announced the top 5 to vote on who's face do you think I saw?! 
My sweet girl was in the top 5! 
Really there was no huge surprise. I know how freakin adorable she can be. It was just a matter of if others saw it too, lol. 

This was her competition for the day. 

That's a tough contest huh? I mean those eyes on Ellie Mae and Henry's human like smile!! This was no easy contest! 
In the end Daisy was the weekly winner.
2nd place went to Henry, Ellie Mae took 3rd, and poor little Georgia got fat out 4th. Oh well. She'll always be the number 1 dog to me :) 
(Jason says I should just stick to saying she made it into the top 5, because it sounds better.)

It was a really fun experience though! Who knows maybe only 6 dogs were originally nominated for the whole thing in the first place. And since I would more than likely never put my child in any type of a contest like that, it was a fun one time thing. I loved reading all the comments from strangers about how they liked her face just as much as I do. 
In all, I still think she is just the most precious thing ever!! But I'm not biased or anything. 






Thursday, March 13, 2014

craft blogger wannabe

Spring Break...

Could anything really be better than spring break? The weather is great, there is no school, and the best part is...when I go back to work on Monday it's all down hill planning for the end of the year! I truly love my job! And weeks like this help are a huge part of why :)

This week I wanted to tackle a few craft projects that I've been putting off for far too long. One being a no-sew faux roman shade for my kitchen window. Ever since I first saw the idea of a no-sew shade on pinterest I had been wanting to make this happen. But I had two main concerns that I wasn't sure how to handle. Thus the reason for continuously putting it off.

My first concern was having to disassemble blinds. Maybe it's just me, but I hate having to put up and take down blinds. I was not willing to do this until I knew for sure that I was going to be 100% happy with the end result.

Secondly, I had heard from friends who had done the original diy shade that they weren't pleased with the finished look. When you're on the outside of the house looking in you end up seeing the backside of the fabric as well as parts of the blinds. Overall it just makes for an unfinished look.

So after searching pinterest again, I chose to combine two tutorials to make it work for my window. And I'm very pleased with the result. You can check out the two I chose here and here.

This is what I was starting with. I wanted to add some color, some height to the window, and I didn't want to loose any functionality of the blinds I already had up there.


And here are all of the materials I used.


And I realized after I took that picture that I had grabbed the wrong fabric glue. So I switched it out for this one.


Let's list it out shall we...

You'll need:
*Fabric- I bought 3 yards. I measured my window in length and then added about 30 more inches. In hind sight I should have gone for a few more. But it turned out good, so who cares.
*measuring tape
*fabric glue- get one with a permanent bond.
*hot glue gun (did you notice that glue gun stand?!? That would be my grandpa's handy work from the pre-pinterest days. He definitely knew the way to a woman's heart.)
*velcro- any kind will do. I had some super cheap stuff left over from a previous craft project.
*2 tension rods- I got mine at target for about $3.50 each. They were on sale and originally cost about $3.95 I think.
*a good pair of fabric scissors
*fabric pins (not pictured)
*a good old trusty iron (not pictured)
*a piece of wood to attach the shade above the window (also not pictured. can you tell I forgot some things?)

I started by measuring out and cutting my fabric for the length.Truth be told I was originally looking for a non-geometric print because I thought all of the perfect straight lines would not be as forgiving when it came to mess ups. But it was great! And made cutting a straight line a breeze. I just found some lines to match up and cut away.


Then came time for hemming the sides. I measured the width of the space and folded both sides of fabric in to be exactly that width. This was the time to break out the iron and fabric pins. 


Truth be told I hate ironing. Like really hate it. The only time I ever use this thing is when I have to for craft projects. Thankfully, this project didn't take to long. 

Once I had my width just right and ironed, I removed the fabric pins to add the fabric glue. 


Then it was time to put the pins back in, put something heavy over the hemmed edges, and walk away for a couple of hours. 


Once the glue had dried, and I could safely remove the pins, it was time to attach both ends. 

Now here is the trick! The big idea to insure you don't have an unfinished look from  the outside of your window looking in. You're basically going to glue the end of the fabric to the top, creating one big circled loop. This is where your hot glue gun comes in handy. 


You are left with a seam where the two ends meet. This makes for a great place to attach your Velcro and hide that ugly seam! Again, just use the glue gun to attach the Velcro to the fabric. Easy peasy!


And what's even better about the whole thing is with one strip of Velcro cut and glued on, I just laid down the top piece of Velcro, cut it to be the same size, took it back up, glued it to the wood that would be used above the window, and had the length already measured out for Mr. hubs to cut for me!


Now once the Mr. came home and cut the wood to size, all that was left to do was screw the wood into the wall above the window. And I could easily hang the curtains up.


Once your curtains are up you can adjust the tension rods to tightly fit the space. (This is where it was great that I was making the curtains to fit the width of the space in between the cabinets instead of the window frame. Since my tension rod wouldn't be going in the window frame I didn't have to take down the blinds that were already there. Instead they are just tucked behind the curtains ready to be used if need be.)


Then you just have to start folding the fabric so that it drapes over one tension rod, then down to the other.


 This took a couple minutes of playing with it to make sure it was right. And even after taking the final picture I had to readjust to straighten things out a bit. But overall, I love the finished product! 

What do you think?

I'm so thankful for days like this when I can craft and not worry about going back to the real world. Now it's on to the next project... DIY canvas prints. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

let the juice flow

so...hello...

You might have noticed my little absence her (or maybe you didn't) but that's right. I took a little break for myself. And the reason being... this blogging stuff can be hard! 
It's definitely not as easy as any other social site. Truth is I wrote out this post 2 previous times and both times when I went to publish it had deleted itself!!! 
Now more than likely it was a user error, but who cares! I was irritated to say the least. So I chose to back off for a month. 

Anywho, I did have some exciting health news!

We got a juicer!!!

(Do you like that graphic there? I'm probably the last person on the planet to find picmonkey.com and turned into a kid discovering paint for the first time on a pc. It was a very exciting 20 minutes!)

I had secretly been wanting one for a while now, but was trying to convince myself I didn't need it due to the cost and lack of cabinet space. But now that we have one I love it and am so glad that it came when it did!

The best part of it all was we didn't have to pay anything for it! A sweet family friend had an extra that she was hoping to find a new home for and thought of us. (Amazing right? Such a thoughtful friend!)

When I got the text that she could send it my way if I just said yes I was beyond excited! I immediately started to look up juicing recipes. 

I had read about juicing benefits over the past year and had heard from friends about all the great things it can do for your body during allergy season (Jason's an allergy sufferer). I couldn't wait for it to get to my house and let the juice start flowing. 


But then it came. And it sat there. It was intimidating and looked so complicated. I knew the first step would be to take it apart and clean it, but how? It didn't come in the box, or with any instructions, and the last thing I wanted to do was break it before I ever figured out how to use it.

After a few days of allowing it to taunt me as I walked by, I finally put my foot down and decided I was either going to learn how to use that thing or break it trying. 
So I did what any self respecting wife would do.
I went and begged Jason to help me. 

As he figured out how to take it all apart and put it back together, I prepped the fruit and veggies and we made our first batch of homemade fresh beet, carrot, and orange juice.


It was good! 
Now I'll admit I was really nervous that I wouldn't like it, or any other juice containing veggies. As a previous world's pickiest eater I wasn't sure that Jason wouldn't kill me for making him go through all this trouble just to have me turn up my nose. But I was so pleasantly surprised! 
And as it turns out I must have passed all of my pickiness onto Mr. Hubs when we exchanged wedding vows because this man who use to eat pretty much anything, didn't like it. And that's not too uncommon these days. I have become very adventurous in my menu choices, and Jason has narrowed things down. A lot.

However, I liked the juice so much that I set out to try more recipes! I decided to try a different kind of juice as a meal replacement for most days of the week. 

This was not an easy task. I looked through the recipe book that the same sweet friend had sent with the juicer and found 5 recipes that I thought would suite me well and that incorporated some of the same foods so that I wouldn't waste too much money purchasing an overabundance of produce.Then it was off to sprouts I went to collect all of my goodies. When I came home I washed, cut, and prepped each juice recipe's ingredients, and stored it inside it's own bag to make for easy pull and juicing later in the week. (<-- this proved to be a great time saver.)

I chose to replace my dinner with juices for a few reasons. 
1. I couldn't do lunch since the juice doesn't keep as much of it's nutrients after being stored.
2. I really didn't see myself waking up even a bit earlier to have time to clean the juicer before heading out the door. 
3. I'm a stress eater. Let's face it, my job can be stressful, and I enjoy snacking as much as possible throughout the day. So when I get home I'm not typically hungry enough for a large meal. 

Now that I have tried several recipes I can say with certainty that I love juicing my veggies and am so beyond thankful that I got this juicer when I did. 

If you have been thinking of purchasing one, I would definitely encourage you to do so. It's NOTHING like store bought juice. NOTHING.
It's amazing. 
And you won't regret it.



Do you juice?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Photo an Hour Link Up


As you well know, I love me some blog readin', and lately I have stumbled upon Southern mess and have been loving her random posts about her love for her dog, workouts, and life as a southern girl! I can relate. One of the many things that we have in common is the desire to be nosy and know what everyone else is doing with their lives. So, when I saw that she would be hosting a photo an hour link up I was all in! 

I think I could win the contest for most boring life ever, but the sad thing is I absolutely love it.  
So get ready to see how I spend a typical day. Or just skip to the bottom of this post and help me out with something. 



And yes I do realize that I'm missing a photo for 8am as well as 11am. Okay, and 3pm. So I guess I failed. But I did actually take photos during this time, however they contained my students and were therefore not blogger-friendly. I can assure you they were cute though! Lots of spelling words games and science experiments then the car line. We walk on the wild side in 2nd grade. 

So since we're mainly talking photos in this post I wanted to try to get some opinions here. 
I'm currently playing around with the idea of getting a DSLR and have my eye on this beauty. My grandpa gave me all of his amazing old lenses for his 35mm and the idea of being able to use those bad boys again makes me giddy. I realize that I would probably want to just buy the camera body and if I need an additional lens from what I currently own then I will just buy a better quality one than what comes with the kit. 
I just get caught up in all of the accessories like the remote shutter button, wifi SD cards, a freaking awesome camera bag to double as purse... It can add up quick!
But I'm definitely NOT a professional and don't plan on becoming one. I just want to learn the basics of shooting manually and be able to enjoy creative photography and great family photos. So what are your opinions? 

Do you have any beginner DSLR tips to share?
Things I should look for when buying my first DSLR?
What are your must have camera accessories?



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Motivation


What gets you motivated to get out and move?
I have many motivators when it comes to getting my butt in gear. But lately one thing has been the main source of motivation...
 
Knowing that I have the opportunity to take a shower at my home has been wonderful!
That's right, our water was turned back on this last week after the plumber came out and approved it. I was just thrilled! Never have I been more excited to wash dishes and fold clean laundry, haha!

Usually my motivation to workout changes daily. 
Here's a list of what helps me stay active:
1. My playlist- this can change with the seasons, but I love songs that I'm really familiar with. When I know a strong part is coming up it encourages me to pick up the pace. 

2. Pinterest-I have a secret pin board where I can pin all the motivating pics, workouts, and recipes that I want without having to worry about people thinking I'm too obsessed. (maybe that's pathetic, but hey)

3. The person next to me on the treadmill, or passing me on the track. There are plenty of days where I hate these people, because I typically can tell that they are faster than me, have better form, or have stayed at it for twice as long. You know how the female brain can be. No shocker there. But when I'm in a great mood while working out, that same person that I wanted to slap in the face the day before, can push me to try something new the next. It's a love/hate relationship. They understand. 

4.  My hubby- When Jason decides that he is going to do something he gives it his all. He has gone back and forth on trying to decide when is the best time of day for him to work out, but when he does it in the morning, watch out! He will be serious about it, and he will not back down. I wish I had that grit at 5am. 

5. Warm sunny days- especially when my legs are as ghostly white as their current state. On these days I could run for hours!

6. Bloggers-I follow several blogs that post great workouts and share ideas. Sometimes it’s just fun to be nosy and know how much they workout in a week. 

7. Personal Best-I love going out for a long run and hearing the “coach” come through my head phones and tell me I’m running faster than normal, or I’ve just completed an extra mile! That’s the best!!

8. Creepers- Sometimes those creepy people on the track or walking in the neighborhood give me the extra jolt I need to make it around them as soon as possible. 

9. That meal that you really shouldn’t have, but if you run fast enough you just might be able to enjoy it and still fit into your skinnies tomorrow. 

10.  My puppy!!! You had to see that one coming. There is no doubt that on days when I would typically curl up on the coach and hide from the world, Georgia forces me out the door. I hate the idea of her being cooped up all day more so than me having to constantly walk her. And I mean who can turn down that face?


Speaking of my puppy wuppy, someone is turning 1!!!
We’re honestly not really sure when her birthday is. When we got her, the vet that looked at her previously guessed that she was 8 months old. Then, after she met her current vet here in Texas they guessed she was 4 months. I’m going with the latter of the two due to the fact that she has matched up with all the other signs of just now turning 1.
Therefore, I am declaring this week her Birthday week! So for your viewing pleasure, as if you haven’t seen enough of her, my sweet pup, Georgia Reese!

 

What motivates you to move?

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Flood (x3)

Well hello there! Long time no see...

This last week life has thrown hubs and I for a loop... Our house has flooded, yet again. 
When we first moved into our house we noticed a small flood of water coming into the dinning room that was later explained away by the plumber as a pipe that just needed to be cleaned out after not being used for a while. We thought no biggie... cleaned out the pipe and thought we had solved the issue. We only wish we were that lucky now.

(At the time I just though it was fun that Jason pulled my pink tools to work on the problem. I was so naive.)

Fast forward to the spring 2013, after replacing all the flooring inside our home the summer before we have yet another flood. I wish I could explain to you all the details of what we experienced during this nightmare. But the truth is there is some of it that I just didn't understand, some that I think we were completely just guessing about, and some that I have chosen to block from my memory. After the fact, we were able to see how truly blessed we were through this struggle, but going through it was terrible! I'm definitely not gonna sugar coat it for ya. We spent almost a week or more with fans and dehumidifiers in our house that cause us both to be sick. We went a LONG time without flooring. And the poor hubby had to take a lot of vacation time off work to let in the numerous crews that were passing through to help us try to get our home back. 

We thought we were in the clear with all flooding issues, and that we could start moving our attention towards other needs in the house. Then we found more water damage, in the same spots as the first two times and knew we were in for trouble. 
For the last week we have been trying to make do without water in our home. Thankfully the fans and dehumidifiers did not have to stay for more than 2 days this time. But we are again without flooring in part of the house.  And have no clue how long it will take this time around.
(after flooring had been removed in dinning room)

A few days before this nightmare continued, Jason and I were having a conversation about the way people in Biblical times would mourn and fast when they were sad and needing the Lord, and how we typically try to just have a quick fix today and simply "get over it" while going through hard times in our lives. 
And when we realized what we had coming our way for a 3rd time, I honestly just wanted to mourn. It was as if allowing myself to cry and pray continuously for God's comfort was exactly what I needed. I have had so much peace this last week that we will be okay. It's still not fun, and I continue to wish that we were able to leave this house as quickly as possible. But I know that God was not shaken from this. And my home is not where my treasure lies. Jason and I both know without a doubt that God will provide in his perfect timing, and we're anxious to see him reveal his plans for us.

This curve-ball has definitely made me have to rethink my exercise and diet routine. Without being able to cook at home as easily temptation has been lurking at every meal. And without the convince of having a working shower in our house, working out had also been less appealing. Walking has been my main source of energy release for both Georgia and I in the morning, and then I've been making use of the treadmill when I head to the gym for a shower. But I'm noticing that I am so mentally exhausted my the end of my run weightlifting has not been happening. Like at all. I think we have been able to work out a system with some meals for the next week where we won't need to eat out at all. We will definitely not be helping out the environment any though. Our pantry is currently filled with paper plates, tin roasting pans, plastic silverware, and lots of disposable water bottles. It was nice to have a week to just readjust though and not have to make meals at home work.

My intentions with this post is not at all to gain pity from you or even to vent about our struggles, but merely to just be transparent and share life. I love that this blog has become a place for me to journal about the everyday things and then come back later and see how life is changing and building into an even better story than I could have written for myself. I hope to be able to look back in a month, or maybe 2, and see how God's hand was providing all along. 

I encourage you to be transparent with someone this week. I 'm always blessed by someone showing me the imperfections that they deal with and how it makes them beautifully unique.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Today I'm linking up with Olivetorun for some would you rather fun :)

Here we go!


#1. Would you rather run in a thunderstorm or a snowstorm?
Snowstorm!!! I haven't seen enough of them in my lifetime living in the south and it sounds magical!

#2. Would you rather breathe through your nose or breathe through your mouth?
Mouth, I know you're suppose to breath slowly and "in through your nose, out through your mouth", but that doesn't happen for me. It just doesn't. 

#3. Would you rather do 100 squats or 100 crunches? [Now take a break and go do them. ;)]
Squats squats squats! During Body Pump you do crazy amounts of reps and squats was always my fav. I never wanted to stop when we had to. 

#4. Would you rather have a baked good for dessert or an extra serving of your favorite entree?
Entree all the way! 

#5. Would you rather run on a treadmill for an hour or run around the same street block for an hour? Treadmill, when running becomes boring for me I get super grumpy and find any reason out there to stop. I love being able to keep things interesting on the treadmill by changing the speed and incline every few minutes.

#6. Would you rather have a headache during a run or a side stitch?
neither. I'm actually a big baby when it comes to pain. 

#7. Would you rather have a rest day on a work day or a day off?
On a work day. Some days I feel like I've ran a half marathon after chasing 7 year olds around all day. To be able to go home and rest sounds wonderful.


#8. Would you rather be a race director or a race volunteer?
DIRECTOR! I enjoy being in control and trying to change things up to make it new again. 

#9. Would you rather spend your money on running gadgets [HRM, GPS watch, Headphones] or running shoes?
can't beat a good pair of running shoes

#10. Would you rather run in a relay or do the run portion of a distance triathlon?
Both! Haven't tried either and yet I want to someday!