Valentines Day On a Budget

Valentines Day is such a beautiful and romantic day. Its a day to celebrate the love in your life. I absolutely love celebrating my husband and the many things he does for me every day of the year. Since we are in school, we agreed to no gifts this year. However, no gifts doesn’t mean you can’t show your significant other you love them. Below are my go to ideas for this Valentines Day!

1.) Love Notes. Probably my favorite thing you could do for a loved one is to write a note about why you love them. This isn’t just a simple, I love you note, its a deep meaningful note about why you love that person, why you need them and what they do to make you a better person. Valentines Day is the one day you should go all out, find your mushy gushy side and show your spouse all the reasons you love them. These notes will mean more than any gift ever could!

2.) My husband is a Mike and Ike fiend! He absolutely loves Mike and Ike’s and goes crazy when you give them to him. So these are a super cheap and easy way of showing him I love him on Valentines Day. Yes this is an easy option, but cliches became cliches for a reason. On your way home from work, grab a box of their favorite candy, wrap it in a bow and your done!

3.) Make coffee/breakfast before work. This Valentines Day falls on a Wednesday, get up early and have coffee and their favorite breakfast for them when they wake up. Arrange it on a serving tray and you have a simple but stunning beginning to Valentines Day. You wouldn’t believe how far this little act of love will go!

4.) Guys, take time to clean an area of your house, or finish a project that hasn’t been completed. These are nuisances that weigh on your significant other. Take an hour or two and finish them for her, she will be so appreciative and you will have gotten one of the best gifts possible while spending little to no money! Sometimes its doing something to relieve everyday stress that means the most.

5.) Plan your evening together. Take the initiative to have everything planned and ready to go. Don’t spend an hour saying what do you want to do over and over. If you aren’t sure what to do, plan what you want to do for dinner, have that nights movie or game ready to go, have the house cleaned up so their are no distractions and just go in happy and ready to make memories!

 

I’m not sure what your plans are this Valentines Day, but don’t do nothing just because you are on a tight budget, instead use it as an opportunity to be creative!

Three Spring Styles 2018

Today I just wanted to go through a couple items that are on my Spring Styles list this year! I’m so excited to start pulling these out and styling them this year. There are so many gorgeous items out there this year!

I’m in love with Bliss Tulle!  Their products are just gorgeous, the Juliet Tulle skirt is my favorite of their products. The color is absolutely stunning and the way they are styled is just beautiful. From the customer photos I’ve seen and the many tagged photos from weddings, bridal showers, and parties; Bliss Tulle skirts are making a huge impact on Instagram. The only downside for me is that their price range is a little too much for me to afford, I am hoping to get one in the next couple months though, what a stunning look!

The Juliet Tulle Skirt

I am head over heels with Ohh La Luxe, they have unbelievable customer service I got a great discount on my first order with them, and shipping was fast and easy. The dress I got was this Luna Wrap Dress, which fit perfectly, the quality was great and I got tons of compliments on how it looked! Wrap dresses are in almost every boutique I’ve seen this year and I am in love with how they look and how flattering they are.

I’m trying so hard to save this dress for my husband and I’s photo shoot in May!

Luna Wrap Dress

I also found out that Ohh La Luxe has a JoJo Fletcher line… this was the best thing I had seen all day! In case you didn’t know, I was in love with her when she was the Bachelorette. She is gorgeous, graceful, and honestly seems so humble and down to earth. I love that one of the items on her line was a simple white tee. I love a good white tee and this one is just stunning. It has a deep v and a large pocket on the left hand side. It’s one of my favorite purchases from Ohh La Luxe, it was perfect! (Now if I can just keep it that way!) Can’t wait to see how many ways I can style this tee this Spring!

JoJo Collection White Tee

Do you have any spring must have’s I should get?! I’m on the hunt for some adorable new clothes!

Living a Life with No Regrets

There is a question that all people eventually ask. Do you have any regrets in your life? This is a loaded question as we all make mistakes in our life, we all question which decision we should make, we all wonder if we have done the right thing. But the real question is, at the end of your life are the mistakes, wrong choices, and missed opportunities regret, or are they lessons that shaped us into the people that we are?

If we look at our life as a series of lessons instead of a life full of regrets, can we say at the end of our life that we have no regrets? Could it be a possibly that you could look back and have no regrets, to know you did the best you could with the life you were given? I believe there are a couple ways that we can change our way of thinking so that we don’t look at our life as a series of regrets.

The first thing being that we focus each day on small acts of kindness. My pastor said once that people always say, “when I have more money I will give more” or, “when I get this promotion I can volunteer more”, no matter what happens it’s always, when I. Instead of waiting for something big to happen to you, do small acts of kindness for those around you. Instead of binge watching Netflix, take that time and help your neighbor, do something kind for your spouse, volunteer at the local shelters. But putting off helping others because you don’t have time is simply an excuse you make. I make these statements as I do this every weekend. Even though I normally have all the time in the world on the weekends because my husband is studying, I still don’t get up and help those around me. Complaints of being tired, or just wanting to relax creep up in my mind every weekend. These thoughts, while they may be true, lead me to be unproductive and not utilize my full potential.

So my challenge going forward is to push myself to step out of my comfort zone and start helping those around me. I don’t want to look back at the end of my life and wonder what I could have done differently. To live a life that is meaningful and full of hope and selflessness is to live a life of no regrets. Matthew 25:45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ When you take the time to help someone, you are really helping the Lord. You are only given one life, make sure you to take the time to help those around you.

The second thing you can do is stay humble. Humility goes a long way in looking back at your life with no regrets. People who spend their lives in a constant state of jealousy, who seek vengeance, who live a life full of lies and cheating to get to the top, those people will one day look back at their lives with regret for what they have done. They will regret stepping on top of someone else to achieve success, they will regret not forgiving those who have wronged them, and they will regret not being supportive to those around you. Stay humble in all circumstances, stay humble knowing that you are doing the best you can, just like everyone else around you. Ephesians 4:2 states, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”

My challenge for myself and you in this is to remember that we won’t always be the one acknowledged, we won’t always get what we want, there will always be someone out there who is prettier, smarter, and more accomplished than you. Does that mean you don’t have value? NO! But it does help to recognize that we all need to be humble and treat others with kindness and respect.

Third and finally, my suggestion is to take risks. My husband and I took a huge risk moving across the country so he could pursue his dream of going to medical school. That move took everything I had in me. I left knowing I would only see my family a couple times a year, instead of every couple weeks. I left knowing that I would miss out on big events in the lives of my friends and family. I left knowing I would have to sacrifice my nights, weekends, fun trips, and finances to help my husband to accomplish his dream. This was the biggest risk I had ever taken, and it has been hard, but it has been worth every moment. It has strengthened my marriage, it has helped me grow up, and it has truly made me grateful for every moment I get with my loved ones.

I don’t regret my decision to move out here, and I am excited instead of fearful of our moves in the future because I know that with each step, I learn and grow. With each risk, we challenge ourselves and our situation, with each risk we become a better version of ourselves.

What can you do today, that is a risk you know you should take, that you haven’t? What can you do to achieve the life you’ve always wanted? God will be there every step of the way, so walk out in faith, not in fear!

What do you do to live a life without regrets? Any advice I should implement in my own life? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

 

 

Destination List 2018

This year I cannot wait to share the places I plan on visiting in 2018! This is my husband’s last full year in Arizona so I am hoping to hit all my bucket list places here before he leaves on rotation!

1.) San Francisco-This was on the bucket list when Evan and I set off to Arizona. We wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and China Town! Growing up with a dad who was a structural engineer and an architect, I have a huge appreciation for the Golden Gate Bridge and what it means to the city. My husband and I love exploring historical sites, even ones with a rough history, see Alcatraz would be a memorable moment for us. China town, seriously who hasn’t wanted to go to Chinatown and see everything that is there. I mean who hasn’t seen Rush Hour and not wanted to see Chinatown?

2.) Zion National Park in Utah. I have heard nothing but amazing things about this park and the unbelievable views from the hikes. Zion park is only six hours away from Phoenix ad I am so excited to explore these views! One thing I will say I have heard from those who have gone, is that some of the hikes are precarious, and I don’t do so well with life threatening situations. So, I might need to be a little more picky about which hikes I choose!

3.) Tombstone- My grandfather has been telling me to go to Tombstone and Old Tuscon since I moved out to Arizona. He had a huge love of western movies and absolutely loved this side of Arizona. At the end of this year, I am hoping to go down to Tombstone and see all the marvelous views he has raved about for so long!

4.) WINE SAFARI– Two words, wine and animals. Seriously there could be nothing better than seeing exotic animals and getting to drink wine! I heard about this place from Amanda Stanton on Instagram and let me tell you, I have never been so excited! From the couple times I have looked at booking a trip, weekends fill up quickly, so if you know you want to go on a weekend you need to book at least a month in advance. Weekdays seem to have more flexibility as these are offered year round and weekends are only available November to March. Prices range from $65/person to $190/person depending on what type of safari you want to go on.

5.) Napa Valley- As you all know Napa was hit hard by wildfires last year. The wildfires destroyed many vineyards and put other with thousands of dollars of repairs and damages. I have always wanted to go to Napa and ever since the wildfires I feel even more desire to visit. Not visiting a tourist area after a natural disaster only hurts their economy more. The best thing you could do is be considerate and continue to go so you can be a light that helps rebuild the vineyards and the gorgeous views of Napa Valley.

Do you have any suggestions on where I should go this year?!

 

Tone It Up- First Impressions & New Challenge

When it comes to fitness, I have zero ideas! I mean my idea of a good fitness day is just getting to the gym at all! The last couple months I have been trying to get some motivation to get into shape and into the physique I’ve always wanted. Since I spend so much time on Instagram, I have been watching who people look for as fitness inspiration and from what I’ve seen Tone It Up is the place to be.

There are a couple reasons why at first glance, Tone It Up is who I would choose as a fitness regime.

1.) The comradery I see not only between the owners of Tone It Up and their followers is unbelievable. From the short amount of time I have been following them, there has been this overwhelming feeling that if I was to embrace Tone It Up and get involved in their community I would be accepted with open arms.

2.) I am absolutely in love with the positive attitude from the owners of Tone It Up. There has not been a single post that has not been positive and uplifting and there hasn’t been a single picture that doesn’t show smiling and encouraging faces! Talk about a way to build a fitness community, especially for people like me who are fearful of getting into fitness programs.

3.) They have moves that I can do. I don’t know how to do a lot of fitness moves, so when I try something new, it needs to be something I can learn pretty easily. I also see tons of posts and move that are easy to do if you don’t have a large gym to go to. Having the flexibility to do these moves at home or at my small apartment gym makes this an amazing option for me.

4.) Now there is a downside, they have a fitness app that is only available to apple users. While I understand that the majority of people use apple products, for those of us (me!) that have android phones, we can’t use their new app! Probably my biggest complaint is that I am not able to access their new information because the app isn’t available for me. Hopefully this will change in the coming months!

5.) They have FREE Workouts and Meal Plans for you to try, Which is why I am starting a one week challenge for myself. I will be following workouts from Tone It Up to see how things go and how I feel at the end of the day!

So excited to share this journey with you! If you would like to follow along with me you can get their workout HERE.

 

Do you have any workout suggestions? Have you tried Tone It Up before? Let me know in the comments!

Take An Elfie Sweatshirt

This is the cutest Christmas sweater! I found this sweater on Fancy Frills Boutique and was immediately impressed by their wide selection, quick shipping, and wonderful customer service!

I am absolutely in love with the style, it’s not too heavy which is perfect for Arizona winters! In the pictures below I am wearing the small, which fit perfectly. Another thing to note is that it doesn’t run short, when you sit down you don’t feel like the sweater is riding up, it stays in the same location which is a must have for me! Oh and if you sign up for their mailing list you will get 25% off your first purchase! 🙂

So excited to buy from this boutique again, if you’ve never heard of them or checked out their collection, I would highly recommend it!

5 Christmas Gifts for the Book Lover

Growing up I loved to read books, and today I still do. There’s something about reading that transports you to another world full of mystery, magic and adventure. Because of this I always love receiving books and book accessories during the holidays. They are items that can be used throughout the year and that never get pushed to the back of the closet. Plus almost all the items I found you can get on Amazon with two day shipping, which is useful as Christmas is only a week away!

1.) This book holder from Amazon is perfect for book lovers when they are traveling. Gives you the ability to read the book in a more comfortable and efficient way than if you were just holding the book in your hands. A very thoughtful gift for anyone on your list this year!

2.) Magnetic bookmarks are one of the best gifts you can put in your book lovers stocking this Christmas, these Harry Potter magnetic bookmarks are one of my favorites! Cute, easy to use, and will keep books clean and crisp as you go through the story. These make the best stocking stuffers too!

3.) The trouble with buying books for Christmas is that most people don’t know what book to buy, unless they are specifically told which book to buy, you are faced with hundreds of possible choices! A way to buy a book for Christmas and not stress over whether or not you’ve bought the right book, is to go with the Date a Book table at Barnes and Noble. Towards the front of Barnes and Noble is a table with a variety of books covered in brown wrapping paper. These books have a small description of what the book is about on the front, but that’s all, the book is a mystery until you gift it. This is a fun way to bring some adventure to your Christmas gifts this year!

4.) Once I start reading I am engulfed in a new world and it is incredibly hard to snap out of that world for every little interruption. To that end, this coffee mug is perfect for those moments in your book lovers life! This mug is customized to say, Kindly Go Away, I’m Reading, a fun way of saying I am in my reading bubble come back later!

5.) This might seem clique but I have not met a single book lover who didn’t enjoy getting a hot cup of joe when they sat down to read a good book. So for any book lover in your life, I promise a coffee shop gift card is the way to go, that along with a good book, and you will win Christmas this year!

 

Happy shopping everyone!

 

 

 

The Ultimate Christmas Movie Night

The ultimate Christmas movie night is easy and so attainable! If you have the patience and take the time to prepare, you will get an unbelievable and fun family night!

Lets start with the drinks for the night. The first step in the movie night preparation is getting the hot chocolate ready to go. I’ve mentioned my favorite hot chocolate recipe before, but it is seriously the easiest and best recipe I’ve tried! A tip though, don’t leave the hot chocolate unattended, you don’t want to let it burn while you are working on the rest of your drinks for the evening. Once you have the hot chocolate prepared and warming, it’s on to the accessories for the hot chocolate, peppermint candy spoons!

Peppermint candy spoons are amazing, seriously I cannot recommend these enough. They are perfect for movie night and an amazing stocking stuffer! The key to these is to make sure you let them cool completely, my first batch I didn’t let them sit long enough and they cracked coming out of the mold. If you follow the recipe to a tee, you will have amazing peppermint spoons, like my 2nd batch turned out! Then you take your homemade hot coco and stir with your peppermint spoons for an amazing Christmas movie drink!

Now onto the food for the evening! Let’s start with Rice Krispie treat balls, the only person I know who doesn’t like Rice Krispies is my husband, but I still think these are critical for the movie night process! And these Christmas theme Rice Krispie Balls are the perfect place to start and an easy treat for your family! Traditionally, you make sugar cookies and decorate them for Christmas movie night, but I’m going to change things up this year.

These pumpkin cookies are seriously unbelievable, and I’m not just saying that. My coworkers loved them last year when I made them and my picky husband did as well (that is a serious testament to these cookies)! Now, they do require you to make homemade icing, so I would actual work on these cookies before any of the other items in your list! I would also make sure to remember that these cookies don’t have a long shelf life, so if  you don’t eat them all give the leftovers to your neighbors, coworkers and friends!

Now that you have the food and drinks ready it’s time to start the decorations. My all time favorite way to watch movies is by making a blanket fort around the tv. Yes, I know I am 24 and I shouldn’t enjoy doing that anymore, but it makes the experience so much better! It usually works better if you use a large sheet for the outside and then line the outside of the sheet with Christmas lights. This gives the inside a nice glow, just make sure you are careful with the placement or it will pull down the sheet. Anchor the edges to the wall and tv stand/fireplace to keep the lights and sheet up. Once you have the outside anchored and ready to go, grab at least 4 blankets and 6 pillows and line the inside of the fort. Crawl in and test the inside, make sure you can see the tv and will be comfortable throughout the movie.

Once you’ve accomplished all these things, you are ready to start the movie night! Relax and enjoy every moment as these are the moments you will always cherish!

 

Merry Christmas y’all!

5 Christmas Season Must Haves

Like almost everyone else in the world, I love Christmas! Because of this I can drill down the top 5 things I believe are essential to have during the holiday season.

1.) Hot Coco. No matter where you are for the holidays, no matter what you are doing, a good cup of hot coco is a necessity for the holidays. Hot coco has that magical effect of making anyone warm from the inside out. In my humble opinion you should add some stocking shaped marshmallows to bring your hot coco to a new level! The marshmallows I love are from Williams-Sonoma! And when it comes to hot coco, one of my favorite recipes is from One Good Thing, its easy to make and can warm in your crock pot while you are wrapping presents for Christmas!

2.) Christmas Tree. I know many people who either don’t like Christmas trees or don’t put them up until the last minute. Personally, I think the tree is critical to the Christmas celebration! The tree my husband and I have was only $10 from Walmart so it’s definitely something that anyone in any economic bracket can afford. The perfect Christmas evening for me has always involved a brightly lit tree, some hot coco and a holiday movie.

3.) Giving. This is a hard one for my husband and I this year. We have had more financial setbacks this year than I want to admit, but giving of your time and money is so important during this time of year. Giving to someone in need is the best Christmas gift you could ever have. There are so many opportunities available, but the one my husband and I are doing is through our church, Central Christian Church. Any local church would have places to accept donations for the holidays!

4.) Fuzzy Socks. Seriously, if you don’t understand the obsession with fuzzy socks, head to your local Target, ask for the fuzzy sock shelf, and you will see what the big deal is! Fuzzy socks are the essence of the comfy outfit everyone aspires to achieve. These are a cheap but perfect accessory to your Christmas experience, plus they make the best stocking stuffers!

5.) A memory jar. I was gifted a memory jar last year. In essence it’s a jar where you have written things that have happened during the year. Then at the end of the year, you read them and reminisce on the experience, while you shouldn’t open them until new years, you should have the jar out for your family and friends to write a little something as well! It makes reading through them on New Years even more exciting!

One Bonus Item I have to tell you about! My newest favorite Christmas activity, The North Pole Experience! It is an absolute joy to watch kids and adults get immersed in Santa’s workshop! For more details on our first experience take a look at our blog we posted on the North Pole Experience!

 

What are your Christmas Must Have’s!? What do I need to add to next years list? And since I haven’t mentioned it yet, Merry Christmas y’all!