Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!



Happy Halloween friendlies! I made this fun sugar skull using PicMonkey. You can turn yourself into a witch or a vampire, or paint your face up for Day of the Dead. It would be a fun activity for kiddo's too. Hope your day is spooktacular :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

hydrate, moisturize & pamper your skin throughout winter! | my go-to products


These past couple of winters have been hard on my skin and hair. This year, I'm fully prepared. I've rounded up my go-to products for getting dead, dry skin off, and silky smooth skin back in it's place.


1 Boscia Recharging Night Moisturizer - During the day I still use my regular Mary Kay moisturizer, but at night I like to "recharge" and really hydrate. This one also has anti-aging properties... not that I'm getting old or anything.
2 Shiseido Refining Body Exfoliator - Once a week I exfoliate to get off dead skin. Honestly, you probably don't need one this expensive, but I like the brightening effect it gives my skin.
3 Aveeno Skin Relief - First thing out of the shower, I slather (sidenote: slather is a kind of gross word, no?) this stuff all over my body. Then I like to put on my fuzzy bathrobe to feel like I'm in a spa. :)
4 L'occitane Hand Creme - I apply this to my hands a feet, slip on a pair of fuzzy socks and tuck myself in bed.
5 Fresh Sugar Lip Polish - Shrug off those dry flakes so that you're left with new smooth skin to pamper.
6 Chapstick in Cake Batter - I could eat this stuff it tastes so good. There are lots of other lip balms out there but I haven't found one as cheap and reliable as this ol' gal.
7 Macadamia Deep Repair Masque - Most people use this on the ends of their hair, but my scalp tends to get a bit dry too. So I massage this into my head to condition it as well, and it leaves my hair feeling fluffy instead of scratchy.
8 Michael Todd Extreme Hydrating Facial Mask - Clean out those pores and built up products with nourishing and hydrating fruit and shea butters.

Changing your Address (printable checklist included!)

When you think of changing your address, I would bet the first thing that comes to mind is your utilities. At least, that's what I thought of. But what about magazine subscriptions (possibly the most important thing!), the gym, insurance policies? Feeling overwhelmed yet? Never fear ;)

I put together this list of places with which you will want to update your address. Print it off and just run down the list! Utilities will be the first call, since you will want everything up and running on moving day. Once those are finished, check your way through the other three categories.



Download a printable version here.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Moving Day Essentials Kit and Printable

If you are super on top of it like me, come moving day everything will be packed except your bedding and pj's. That's really the best way to feel comfortable about the moving process. But there are a few things you will want to keep out so you can use them that day.

Before you pack up all your clothes, set aside an outfit to wear on moving day for each person in your house. Throw together a bag with toiletries, prescriptions, and makeup - the things you would take on an overnight trip. Set those items aside with your outfit.

Throw together snacks and drinks for moving day, especially if you have little ones. You won't want to have to rummage through the packed boxes for a fruit snack pouch for Johnny.

You will also want to put together a contact sheet with the name and numbers of the people helping you move, your landlord, and utility companies. If you followed this to-do list, you will have already had all your utilities scheduled to be turned on, but just in case they didn't show up you will want to contact them immediately.

All other furniture should have been appropriately disassembled, but sometimes the things you think will fit through that doorway, just won't. Keep some basic tools on hand to fix this problem. If you have to fill in drywall holes, you will want to have some drywall quickset and a putty knife on hand as well. Of course, since your walls have been bare for weeks now, I'm sure you have already patched those holes, right? ;)

The cleaning supplies are pretty self explanatory, but you will want to leave everything clean, especially if you are looking to get a security deposit back!

Download a printable version of the Essentials List here.


For more moving tips and tricks, visit the home base for my moving series.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Printable Packing Labels for Moving

It is time. The dreading packing day has arrived and if you're like me you've probably procrastinated more than you should. Or maybe you're one of those over-achieving types. Gag me. Just kidding. Kinda.

To make your packing adventure more fun, I've created a packing label for you. The label lists some pretty basic rooms but if you need more, feel free to add them or alter the room names once you print.


A few packing tips:

-List everything in the box, which I know sounds tedious but you will be so glad you know exactly where important things are like your coffee table books medicine cabinet or kitchen utensils.

-Try not to pack too many heavy items like books and small appliances in a box. Be kind to your back.

-Wrap a trash bag around sections of clothing right on the hanger. Just cut a hole for the hangers, lump your dress pants (or blouses, or jackets, etc.) together and hang the trash bag over them. Throw on a label and you're good to go. Here's an image I found on pinterest if you need to visualize what I'm saying.

-Store kitchen items inside your larger bowls or pots that do not nest easily.

Once you get your boxes to the new house, go around and tape coordinating dots to each room.


Right click and save these circles if you like. Then you can print them, cut them apart, and tape them up!



For more moving tips and tricks, visit the home base for my moving series.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Moving To-Do List

It's overwhelming. So, so much to think about, but I want to help you simplify it. This basic to-do list will get you started on an easy move. The items are listed in order so you can keep on top of them and prioritize that way. Once you have a general idea of a moving day, go ahead and get started! There is no time to waste!


Since each and every move has a timeline different from another, I have left off any dates/deadlines. You will have to set those for yourself. Keep in mind, packing always takes longer than you think.

To print this moving list you can right click and save the image and print, or use this PDF version here that is all ready to be printed.


For more moving tips and tricks, visit the home base for my moving series.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

moving tips & tricks series!


Over the next few days I'll be sharing my tips and tricks to make your move go as smoothly as possible! Moving is stressful, let's all just admit it. There's so much to do and generally not a ton of time to do it, especially if you are already balancing a job, a husband, children, pets, other family, friends, errands, a side business, blogging, social media.... ALL THE THINGS!

To make this process super easy for you, each day I will come back to this post and link to the topic of the day. That way, this post can be bookmarked or pinned and can serve as a home base for all the topics.



Also, please let me know of any questions! Simply leave them in a comment below and I will answer them in a post that I will come back and link {here}.

Monday, October 21, 2013

weekly truth

Galatians 6:9

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Let us not become weary, let us not become weary, let us not become weary. Repeating that to myself a lot this morning. On top of buying a house and moving (and finding a subleaser- please pray for us that this happens soon!), I'm also working on new branding for our church. While I love that I can help my church in this way, the devil eats at me a lot. Feeling unqualified, not creative enough, not original enough... Constantly pushing those thoughts away makes me feel tired.

Another new thing? Because all that wasn't enough, KJB and I have felt led to start a "20-somethings" ministry at our church. For a long time we have felt a void in our church of people our age, but recently there have been lots of new people and we want them to have community. So we are starting a Sunday school class, a bible study/small group and will lead missions and fellowship for all young adults. It's our prayer that this class keeps these amazing new people in our church and gives them a sense of belonging. 

For all you creatives out there - our young adult group needs a name. Can you help us? 

With all that, we are praying through this Galatians verse. To continue following God's direction for us here, that the work we do for the Lord is good and pleasing to Him. What verse have you connected with lately?

Linking up with Blair, Carissa, and Mary Beth.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tips from a First Time Home Buyer


Buying a house. It's scary, but exciting. It's hard work, but fun work. It's taking a leap of faith. It can be emotional if it's that time of the month. Just sayin.

I recently shared that the Mr. and I just closed on our first home, which we are really excited about. While you're reading this we are probably covered in dirt and paint or passed out on the floor, complaining about how much stuff we have. The home buying process for us went fairly smoothly, especially considering we are first time buyers. Of course, I turned to the web to read up on tips for buying, but was disappointed that most of what I found wasn't too helpful. So in the hopes that it's helpful and reassuring to other first timers, here are my tips as a first time buyer.

1 | After living in an apartment for six months, we knew we needed more space and a space that was all ours. We weren't quite ready to buy, but we already knew some things we wanted in our future house. So we made a list that I kept on the fridge and every time we thought of something we wished our apartment had, I jotted it on the list.

2 | Open houses became our Sunday afternoon date. We went through the paper Sunday morning after church and went to the ones that were most appealing to us. Listing costs didn't really matter at this time, the point was to see as many houses as possible. Along with the list we had made, seeing lots of houses helped us to really determine what we wanted and what we didn't want.

3 | Per recommendation from a friend, we sat down with a mortgage lender. (It's great to have someone who specializes in first time buying because they use vocabulary you can understand. And they don't stare you down when you ask a stupid question, which I did plenty of.) She explained the different types of loans and helped us determine which option was best for us. Then we told her what we paid in rent, how much we could afford to pay on a mortgage monthly, and she figured out the price range of houses we should be looking at. This is important because she will factor in property taxes, loan interest, and an estimated insurance rate.

4 | Our realtor ended up becoming my best friend for a few months. We had great communication and after a few times of looking at houses together, she pretty much knew exactly what I was looking for in a house, besides just the basics. She could tell that I wanted a house with character, even if that meant sacrificing room size. She knew that Kyle didn't want to do a ton of remodeling to get us moved in. She knew I wanted a backyard I could entertain in. Basically, she could have made the decision for us. Take the time to find a realtor that has an interest in you and don't feel like you have to be tied down to the first one you meet. It's kind of like dating, you want to have chemistry with your realtor. We found ours at an open house; another reason why those are a good idea.

5 | Look at as many houses as it takes. Combined with the open houses we went to before we were serious, we looked at a total of 27 houses before we found ours. Yes, it was tiring. Yes, I felt like we would never decide. Yes, we felt a little like giving up. But, when we walked into the first room of our house, we knew it would be ours. All the puzzle pieces fit together for us: right size, right location, right price. At that point, all the work felt worth it.

(photo by Slim Aarons)

6 | Now, I just said we knew immediately when we found our house. But it may not be like that for everyone. Ladies, if you're one of those girls that put on your wedding dress and knew right away it was the one you would wear walking down the aisle, you will probably have the same experience with house hunting. Or it could be that you have two great houses and you have to decide between them. Regardless, when you make the right decision, it will feel right. We prayed through our search that God would help us find a house to do life in. When we walked into our house, we felt an ease, like we were being taken care of. That's how we knew.

Hopefully these tips will help ease you in your search for the perfect home. Be patient, give it time, and work with people you trust. Good luck, friends.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A HOUSE



Yup, you read it. We are moving into a house and I'm beyond thrilled. Contrary to the photo, we actually aren't moving into a mansion with an awesome drive and KJB will not be wearing patterned pants. But isn't this photo fabulous?

In the past I've struggled with space in our tiny apartment, and now I'm concerned about furnishing and filling up a house four times the size. #firstworldproblems

The process was long and a bit tiring but I have lots of tips to share with fellow first time buyers. That post will be up later this week. After buying comes moving and an entire moving series will be up next week. I'm basically a pro now.

I'm excited to share our house story but I also want to remember our apartment and the stories created there: like learning to have a bit of patience, learning to take alone time, discovering a passion, opening a shop, and learning to live simply - giving it all the the Lord. We have learned a lot about who were are as married people and how to live together. Our little apartment has been horrible, yet wonderful to live it our first year and a half of marriage.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Dates 16-18 | Our Big Failure




Date 16 we went to a ZZ Top concert. I have the best video of people dancing but for some reason I can't get the clip to process on blogger. It was pretty hysterical though, so use your imagination.

A couple of weekends after the concert we took a long weekend to drive down to Knoxville for a Vols game. KJB has always been a huge fan but we have only been to two other games previously. It was a nice getaway and we will definitely go back every year for a game. We love it there, even though walking anywhere was a constant workout. Sometimes I forget places aren't all flat like Indiana.

One evening KJB had some work to do and needed to pick up some books from the library. I hadn't been the library in ages, so we made it date 18. We browsed and picked out books for each other. Naturally, I was a fan of the big pink one.

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Well my dear friends... We have failed. Two summers in a row, we have failed at trying to get 21 dates into summer. This time we were only 3 dates off, which is much better than our attempt last year. I held on to this post for quite awhile hoping that we would make it, but now that we are in the second week of October, I just can't make it summer.

For us, the goal of 21 Dates of Summer was to make time for us. To do things that we loved, spend time together, talk about goals, plans, the future, whatever. And we did that. So as much as we didn't make it to 21 dates, I would call our attempt extremely successful. 

Next week I'm going to share some decisions that we made during our dates as well as a big reason as to why we couldn't fit in all 21 dates. So make sure to check back for that exciting news.

Happy Friday, friends!



Thursday, October 10, 2013

CREEPY drinks




The bleeding brain has been a favorite of mine since I turned 21. It was one of the first drinks I tried. Made with peach schnapps, a slow pour of Baileys and an even slower pour of grenadine, the sugar contents makes the liquids separate, leaving you with what looks like a brain floating in juice with blood at the bottom... sounds delightful, huh?

This candy corn infused vodka is the drink I'm most looking forward to trying this fall. I have found a couple of recipes like this one and this one but I'm going to try out this one here because it has a bit of orange liqueur. Yum!

MMMMMMMM, coffee. A perfect drink for early morning tailgating, like I'll be doing this weekend, and also great for sipping while sitting around the campfire on a cool night. This recipe tells you exactly how to make it, but to make it even more simple, I've used a Starbucks Mocha that you can get at the grocery store. Add a bit of Bailey's Irish Creme and a splash of whipped cream vodka. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cocoa powder.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

With a Glad Heart | an Influence Conference Recap

"To be an influencer, there will be tears... and there will be brokenness... but we do it with a glad heart."

These were words spoken to the congregation on Sunday morning at church and the sound of it rang true to my ears. On a high from the Influence Conference, I felt blessed to back at home, ready to use my influence. Words of encouragement engulfed me at the conference and I was filled with a faith that God would use me right where I am, on a daily basis.



See, so many times I've asked God to give me a place, a mission, where I can serve Him faithfully. I wanted a grand idea, something where I could reach many people and would inspire others to serve Him. I felt small and insignificant in my role as an influencer.


I heard the words, I wrote the notes, tears were cried, and hugs were shared. And I kept praying that the Lord would place "THE ANSWER" on my heart.


Then the words on Saturday night...

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger

He patiently reminded that he has already called me right where I am. And while that may change in the future, my influence right now, is right where I am. And there's nothing wrong with that.


A special thank you to my wonderful roommates, every vendor who contributed to the swag bag, and of course, the amazing women who put this conference on for us.