guys behind the blog, guys behind the blog link up, heavens to betsy blog, young married blog, newlywed blog,

We’re happy to participate in our first Guys Behind the Blog Linkup with Betsy & AJ of Heavens to Betsy, and Laura Jean & Jacob of According to Laura Jean!

John’s mentioned before that he would be down to write posts on the blog with me sometime, so when I came across this link-up, I knew we had to do it. June’s theme is all about vacations/summer, which is the perfect topic for John because he’s just as obsessed with traveling as I am. I’m so thankful that I married someone who also has the travel bug!

So, let the interview begin:

Question 1: What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

John: The best vacation I’ve ever been on was to Hawaii for our honeymoon. 50% Oahu, 50% Maui, 100% total relaxation. (Note from Emily: I have to agree. I don’t think I can fully describe how much I love Hawaii. It’s truly a magical place.)

Question 2: If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?

John: When I was a kid, my family and I had our car break down on a road trip to Denali National Park in Alaska. I’ve always wanted to take that trip again and try to make it all the way there.

Question 3: Are there any summer traditions that you have or would like to start? (think things like big picnics, summer activities, bonfires, or day trips!) 

John: It isn’t really a day trip per se, but I could really see going camping in Buena Vista, CO for a weekend being a summer tradition. It is pretty close to Colorado Springs and centrally located to a lot of the fun mountain stuff in Colorado. (Note from Emily: I would definitely be okay with that!)

Question 4: The 4th of July is coming up…what’s a must-have picnic or BBQ food for you? 

John: Hot dogs, grillin’ beans, and Ruffles with Ranch dip! (Note from Emily: How could you forget S’MORES?!?!)

Question 5: Think about your ideal vacation…are you in a cozy cabin, camping in a tent, or hanging in a hotel? 

John: Do I have to pick one of those? I like camping in our trailer. You get the best of all three!


And that’s it for the questions! Thanks to John for doing that. Fun fact: when John was growing up, his family went on a few month-long road trips and over the course of those trips, they went to all 50 states. I am SO incredibly jealous of this. I think I would have exploded from happiness as a kid if I had been able to do something like that. But I’m really hoping that we can do something similar at some point. I recently created a bucket list of all of the places in North America that I want to try to see some day, so hopefully we can go to some of those places.

If you’re interested in joining this link-up, it’s going to be up until next Friday, July 3rd.

That’s all for today. Cheers!

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift–that’s why they call it the present.” I’ve loved this quote for a long time and it’s been on my mind lately.

As I mentioned on the blog last year, my grandfather is very sick. He has late-stage emphysema, cancer, and is doing in-home hospice care. Back in May, my parents and brother drove from Austin to Denver to spend time with him and the rest of our family here in Colorado. Since John and I live in Colorado Springs, they stopped by our house before they went on to my grandparent’s house in Denver. I wish that their visit had been under happier circumstances, but I’m still thankful that they were here. We made the best of it and had a lot of fun together.

I want to keep it real. Visiting someone who is at the end of their life stirs up a lot of emotions. I’ve visited 3 times since my grandfather started hospice care. It’s difficult to see someone you love suffering. It’s scary and sad to see someone look and act differently than they normally did. My dad has basically moved to Denver to live at my grandparent’s house to take care of my grandfather full-time. As of today, he’s been there around 2 months and plans to stay a few more weeks (that could change at any time though). I can’t even imagine how difficult doing that is on my dad.

Being around someone during their last days also puts you face to face with the fact that we all have a limited time here on earth. Things won’t always be the way that they are now. That means that we should soak up all of the joys that life has to offer. When we’re around our family and friends, we should live in that moment as much as we can. I know that might sound cheesy, but it’s reality and it’s true. That thought leads me to what I’m grateful for on this Grateful Heart Monday post: my parents and brother’s visit to Colorado Springs!

 On their first day in Colorado Springs, John and my dad had to work, but me, my mom, and my brother were able to get out and do some things. First, we went to the Garden of the Gods Visitor’s Center. I know that some visitor’s centers can be lame, but this one is actually a must-see if you’re in Colorado Springs. They have some exhibits on the area, a nice gift shop, and my favorite thing-a deck that has an AMAZING view of Garden of the Gods. We took quite a few pictures there. By the way, my mom and I bought some beautiful (and inexpensive) genuine turquoise jewelry at the visitor’s center, so check that out if you go there. I LOVE turquoise so it was an awesome find!



Me & the broski

Afterwards, we ate lunch at Schlotzky’s, and then went to walk around downtown Manitou Springs, which is a quirky little town close by. I didn’t take any pictures while we were there (well except one of a tan shirt with a drawing of a dachshund’s face on it that we saw at a shop, which was so ugly that it was awesome). Going back to my point of trying to be present in the moment, I decided to just enjoy hanging out with my family instead of worrying about taking a bunch of pictures.

 After John and my dad got off of work, we went to Garden of the Gods and walked around for a while.

garden of the gods, garden of the gods visitors center, colorado springs vacation, things to do in colorado springs, colorado vaca

Aaaand a few outtakes might have slipped in to the photo session…

garden of the gods, garden of the gods visitors center, colorado springs vacation, things to do in colorado springs, colorado vaca

Afterwards, we drove over to Helen Hunt Falls, which is another beautiful spot close by.

helen hunt falls, colorado springs vacation, things to do in colorado springs, colorado vaca

Later on that evening, we all went to my in-laws house to have dinner with them. Afterwards, my parents and brother had to drive to Denver to go to my grandparent’s house. They stayed with them for a few days (and me and John went there on Tuesday night to celebrate my uncle’s birthday with everyone) and then my mom and brother drove back to Colorado Springs on Thursday morning to spend one more day with us (while my dad stayed behind in Denver to take care of my grandfather).

We had a lot of plans for that day. John had even taken a day off so that he could do things with us. But the weather had other ideas. This was in the middle of spring in Colorado, so the forecast was all over the place. We would have a day in the high 70’s, and then the next day it would drop into the 40’s. On this day, it actually ended up snowing. So much so, that my mom and brother waited for it to die down some before they left Denver. It was frustrating that the weather didn’t cooperate with us, but we decided to find some fun indoor things to do.

First, we ate at Bird Dog BBQ, which I’ve actually talked about before in this blog post (so good!). Then we went downtown to the Pioneers Museum. John and I had gone to the Pioneers Museum once before during our sophomore year of college, and we enjoyed it then, so we thought it would be something fun to do. The Pioneers Museum is located in a beautiful, restored courthouse from 1903. I’m in love with old buildings, and I especially love this place. Not only is the building beautiful, but the exhibits are also really interesting, since they show what life was like for the early settlers of the western/southwestern US. Also, admission is free. I think it’s so cool that they’ve made such a high-quality museum free to the public so that everyone can learn.

colorado springs pioneers museum, colorado springs vacation, things to do in colorado springs, colorado vacation, museums in colorado springs

Check out the old elevator on the right. It’s been restored, so you can actually ride in it (and it wasn’t even scary!).

colorado springs pioneers museum, colorado springs vacation, things to do in colorado springs, colorado vacation, museums in colorado springs

Since the museum was originally a courthouse, they’ve also restored some of the old courtrooms. I love the attention to detail on the ceiling.

colorado springs pioneers museum, colorado springs vacation, things to do in colorado springs, colorado vacation, museums in colorado springs

After leaving the Pioneers Museum, it started snowing even more. We ended up eating at Village Inn (because a snowy day and pancakes just go together). Afterwards, we went home and played this game that my brother downloaded called the Jackbox Party Pack. It’s this super fun party game pack with 5 different games where you use your smart phones as controllers and the TV as the “board.” It’s a little hard to describe without going into major detail, but the games kinda remind me of Pictionary or charades…where you have to use your imagination and it produces hilarious results. I seriously recommend it. We ended up playing for 3 hours, and I laughed more than I had in a long time. It’s the simple things, guys!

The next morning, they left to drive back to Austin. As I mentioned before, my dad has stayed in Denver for the past few months, but I haven’t seen him much because he’s been busy balancing work and taking care of my grandfather full-time. It’s a tough situation, but I’m grateful for the time that we had together as a family.

And that’s a wrap on my Grateful Heart Monday post. I know it was long, but I wanted to share both the good and the not-so-good things going on. Because that’s life-both good and bad things happen, and sometimes they even happen at the same time. I think it’s important to show that you can find things to be grateful for even during difficult times, and it’s okay to laugh and find joy in life in the midst of everything else that’s going on.

Don’t forget to check out Ember Grey’s Grateful Heart Link-Up! It’s open until this Friday.

grateful heart link up, a grateful heart link up, link-up, grateful heart, ember grey, ember grey blog, grateful heart monday,


st. patricks day sign, st. patricks day, diy st. patricks day sign, diy st. patricks day craft, gold sharpie, sharpie crafts, charpie diy

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, guys! I just wanted to show you a super quick and EASY sign that I made for St. Patrick’s Day. This is obviously the simplest thing ever, but I love green & gold together and I enjoy attempting to write in pretty cursive, so it was fun.

I was partially inspired by St. Patrick’s Day, and partially inspired by the cover of my favorite coffee table book, “Places to Go, People to See” from kate spade. If you’re a lifestyle blogger, you will love this book. The photography and design in it is stunning.

places to go people to see, kate spade, kate spade coffee table book, coffee table book, kate spade book

For my little sign, I used scrapbook paper, shamrock scrapbook stickers, and a gold Sharpie. I bought the metallic Sharpie set (it comes with gold, silver, & bronze). I’m obsessed with them. I literally sat on the floor and wrote the Pledge of Allegiance in cursive with them (because it’s something long that I have memorized, haha) to see what the color looked like. I also attempted to do some hand lettering, but that is definitely a work in progress right now, haha.

The metallic Sharpies are just so pretty and shiny. The ink looks the best when the light catches it. The only bad thing about them is that I played around with the gold one so much that it died on me after 3 days. But that’s just because I used it like crazy in a short amount of time.

sharpie, crafts with sharpies, metallic sharpies, gold sharpie, bronze sharpie, silver sharpie


Playing around with writing in cursive with the Sharpies has made me want to try to learn the basics of hand lettering someday. I think it’s so beautiful. I may try to find some tutorials online so that I can learn.

Anyways, I just thought I would share what I’ve been into lately. Thanks for reading. Cheers!




best restaurants in colorado springs, colorado springs restaurants, tell me about your town, tell me about your town linkup, amanda moments blog,

Today, I’m linking up with Amanda from Amanda Moments for the “Tell Me About Your Town” linkup! This month’s theme is restaurants in your city. I think one of the most fun things to do when traveling is to check out the local restaurants, so I love this linkup because it basically lets me travel vicariously. :)

I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado and during my time here, I have found some restaurants that I consider local gems. Before I get to that, can I just say that I have so much trouble remembering how to spell the word “restaurant”?!? I don’t know why, but I seem to have a weird mental block about it. Rest-au-rant. There. Thank God for spell check, that’s all I have to say about that. Anyways, back to restaurants in Colorado Springs! I don’t think I really have one favorite place to eat here, but there are quite a few places that I really like. (Side note: I’m definitely not claiming to be an expert on the Colorado Springs restaurant scene. There are tons that I haven’t been to yet, but these are a few of my favorites out of the places I’ve gone to so far.)

(1) Picnic at Garden of the Gods

picnic at garden of the gods,  garden of the gods, picnic areas in colorado springs,

Photo by Kathleen MacLeod Abbott (

 Maybe this is cheating because it’s not a restaurant, but it is a place where you can eat! John and I live about 15 minutes away from Garden of the Gods and it’s one of our favorite places in Colorado Springs. It’s a city park, so it’s completely free and kept very clean. There are limited picnic tables, but if you can snag one, it’s a beautiful place to have a picnic and enjoy the gorgeous view. OK, now for the actual restaurants!

(2) Bird Dog BBQ

bird dog bbq, colorado springs bbqFirst of all, I want to have a moment of appreciation for the fact that there is a restaurant out there that is dog-themed. Yes, you read that right. Bird Dog BBQ not only has amazing barbecue, but their entire restaurant is covered with pictures of dogs. People bring them pictures of their dogs and they put them on bulletin boards around the restaurant. So you get to eat yummy BBQ and look at pictures of adorable dogs. It doesn’t get much better than that.

My favorite thing on the menu: the Shotgun Spud (a baked potato with bbq inside)

bird dog bbq, bbq in colorado springs

Photo from

(3) L&L Hawaiian Barbeque

l&l hawaiian barbeque, l&l hawaiian barbeque colorado springs,

Image from Google

So, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue is actually a Hawaii-based chain but it’s so unique that I wanted to mention it. When John first introduced me to L&L back when we were in college, I didn’t know what to expect. I ordered the Chicken Katsu (panko-breaded chicken with this delicious sauce, plus white rice and macaroni salad) and it was delicious. After that I was hooked.

Fun fact: John and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon in 2013. One day, we went to Wal-Mart in Honolulu to stock up on some random things that we needed. You know how most Wal-Marts have McDonald’s or Subway inside? Well, the Wal-Mart in Hawaii had an L&L Hawaiian Barbecue! I was so excited and we definitely got some and brought it back to our hotel. It reminded me of Colorado, which I know is very ironic, haha.

The inside of L&L has a bunch of Hawaii memorabilia like photos, surfboards, and license plates. It always makes us reminisce about our honeymoon and think about how much we are dying to go back to Hawaii again.

My favorite thing on the menu: Chicken Katsu


Photo from L&L’s Yelp page (Colorado Springs location)

(4) Nosh

nosh, nosh colorado springs, nosh downtown colorado springs, downtown colorado springs restaurants

Photo from Nosh’s Facebook page.

 I think Nosh is one of the coolest restaurants in Colorado Springs. It’s located downtown and they have an amazing patio. It has the vibe of an upscale restaurant but their prices are reasonable. I just love places downtown where I can sit outside on a nice day. Their website says: “Nosh is Yiddish for small meals. The menu is designed for sharing and experiencing new, exciting things. The food is bold with asian influences on traditional American cuisine.”

My favorite thing on the menu: Chicken & Waffles + a Dark ‘N’ Stormy cocktail to drink

nosh, nosh colorado springs, nosh downtown colorado springs, downtown colorado springs restaurants

It’s cool looking inside, too. (Photo from

(5) Josh and John’s Ice Cream

josh and john's ice cream, colorado springs ice cream,

Photo from Josh and John’s Google + page.

Josh and John’s Ice Cream is also in downtown Colorado Springs. I have good memories of going there when John and I were in college. It’s the perfect place to visit when you’re walking around downtown on a chill Saturday afternoon. And they have OATMEAL COOKIE ICE CREAM. I had never had that before I went to Josh and John’s but it’s some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. It’s basically vanilla ice cream with oatmeal cookies pieces mixed in. Genius.

The inside of Josh and John’s also has the whole chalkboard walls thing going on, which is one of my favorite things. I’d love to paint one of my walls at my future house with chalkboard paint someday.

Favorite thing on the menu: Oatmeal cookie ice cream

josh and john's ice cream, colorado springs ice cream,

 So those are some of my favorite restaurants in Colorado Springs. If you’re ever in Colorado Springs, you should check these places out. And if you’re reading this and happen to know of some other cool restaurants in Colorado Springs (or Denver) that I should try, please let me know!

Share your favorite restaurants in your city by linking up with the Tell Me About Your Town linkup here.

tell me about your town, tell me about your town linkup, amanda moments blog

Thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad you did! Cheers!

colorado springs, colorado, colorado snow, colorado springs snow, snow in colorado springs, ideas of emily, ideas of emily blog, snowed in, what to do when you're snowed in, cabin fever

The beautiful snow in my neighborhood.

Like most parts of the country, it was a snowy February in Colorado Springs. We got about half a foot here, and it stuck around for quite a while. Austin had a big ice storm, and I heard that some areas in Dallas got up to 6 inches of snow. I won’t even get started on how crazy the snow was in the northeast (I feel for you guys!).

During one snowy Saturday here in Colorado Springs, my mother-in-law treated me to a mani/pedi (something I hadn’t done since before my bridal shower back in 2013, so it was definitely a treat). We knew that a big snowstorm was going to hit later on in the day, so we got to the salon in the early afternoon. While we were getting our nails done, we could see through the window that it was starting to get substantially snowier. The woman sitting next to me was concerned that her pedicure wasn’t dry enough to put her boots on and venture out to her car (first world problems, I know). She was still wearing those foam toe separators on her feet. She turned to me and asked, “do you think I could make it outside to my car just wearing these things?”, pointing to the flimsy, pink toe separators. I glanced outside at the near-blizzard conditions that were building by the minute, and then glanced back at her practically bare feet and said, “I think I would try to put your boots on. Uggs are pretty soft on the inside.” She decided to take my advice, but the mental image of her wearing the toe separators and hobbling out to her car in the blowing snow still makes me laugh.

colorado springs, colorado, colorado snow, colorado springs snow, snow in colorado springs, ideas of emily, ideas of emily blog, snowed in, what to do when you're snowed in, cabin fever, white out conditions, driving in the snow

This was what the road looked like on our drive home that afternoon.

We left the salon soon after, and made it back to my in-law’s house, where John and I were going to pick up our car so we could drive home. The drive back wasn’t the most snowy conditions we’ve ever driven in (that’s an entirely different blog post for another day) but the roads were getting pretty bad. It was near-white-out conditions and we saw around 10 accidents on our normally 15 minute drive back to our place.

Once we got home, we mostly stayed in for the next couple of days. We watched a lot of Everybody Loves Raymond reruns and I baked some pretty good butterless, stevia-sweetened chocolate chip cookies. On the snowiest day, we braved the 11 degree weather and went sledding, which was A LOT of fun. There was more than enough snow for the sleds, and we even got some “air” on some of the bumps on the hill (which was a ton of fun and I was only slightly worried about breaking my tailbone).

colorado springs, colorado, colorado snow, colorado springs snow, snow in colorado springs, ideas of emily, ideas of emily blog, snowed in, what to do when you're snowed in, cabin fever, sledding, sledding in colorado springs, sledding in colorado,

Going sledding!

colorado springs, colorado, colorado snow, colorado springs snow, snow in colorado springs, ideas of emily, ideas of emily blog, snowed in, what to do when you're snowed in, cabin fever, sledding, sledding in colorado springs, sledding in colorado,

The hubs when we went sledding.

Snowed-in life isn’t all fun and relaxing though. As most of you know, it can also be very cabin fever inducing. Church was cancelled and the roads were too icy to drive to the gym or the grocery store, so there were moments when I felt a little stir crazy from lack of contact with the outside world. I also got sick around the same time, which didn’t help.

colorado springs, colorado, colorado snow, colorado springs snow, snow in colorado springs, ideas of emily, ideas of emily blog, snowed in, what to do when you're snowed in, cabin fever, sledding, sledding in colorado springs, sledding in colorado,

The snow on our patio table…About 1/2 a foot.

Cue Daylight Savings Time and this week’s forecast, which are two of the major things I’m grateful for this week. Sure, I’ve been a little more tired with losing the hour of sleep, but I will gladly take that to gain an extra hour of daylight. I’m so excited to have more time to go hiking in the evenings! I’m hoping that John and I can go take a walk tonight. This week’s forecast is also shaping up to be really nice. Yay for 60 degree weather in March!


Photo from the KKTV News Facebook page.

What are you grateful for during this second week of March? Join me and link-up with

Ember Grey for the Grateful Heart Link-Up!

grateful heart link up, a grateful heart link up, link-up, grateful heart, ember grey, ember grey blog

As always, thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

break from blogging, blogging vacation, blogging problems, blogging at starbucks

This is the first time I’ve posted on my blog since July of last year. It pains me to write that, because when I first created Ideas of Emily, I had every intention of posting consistently (something I’m sure every blogger can relate to from time to time). For a while last year I was doing pretty well with posting often, but then things started to get crazy busy with work (and life) and I decided to take a break from blogging.

At work, I was basically doing 3 full-time jobs at once, so I had a lot on my plate. Then, in December 2014, we moved from Austin to Colorado Springs. So I’ve had some pretty big changes in my life lately. That’s why I decided to temporarily let myself off the hook with blogging since I’ve had so much on my plate over the past 8 months (but let’s be real, I’ve had a lot going on ever since I graduated from college almost two years ago!).

Taking a break from blogging helped me learn more about taking care of myself. I was working long hours, and the work that I was doing was mentally exhausting, so I didn’t have much energy at the end of the day. Between my busy job, and eventually planning a move to Colorado, I didn’t have energy for much else. With everything that I had going on, I knew that in my free time my priorities needed to be focused mainly on keeping my stress levels at bay. Adding self-imposed deadlines for my blog would have added to my stress at the time. So, while Ideas of Emily is really important to me, I knew that it wasn’t the right time to worry about it. I think part of growing up is learning when it’s important to push yourself on something and when it’s important to step back.

It’s part of my nature to want to write and use the creative side of my brain, so I’ve missed blogging immensely. I never once doubted that I would return to Ideas of Emily, I’ve just been waiting for the right time to jump back in. This blog and my vision for it has definitely been on my mind. I would be walking through the grocery aisle, and a random idea for a potential blog post would pop into my head, so I would type the thought into the “notes” app on my phone so I could remember it for later. So yes, I am VERY excited to be jumping back into the blogging world again!

As I get back into the routine of blogging, I’m going to be looking for linkups to join, as a way to meet new bloggers and hopefully grow the readership of my blog. So, if you know of any super awesome linkups, please let me know!

As always, thanks for reading. Cheers!

gratitude list, grateful heart monday, counting your blessings, ember grey,

One of my new favorite link-ups is EmberGrey’s Grateful Heart Monday, which is about starting each week with a grateful heart. I’m going to try to do this type of post every Monday, because I think it’s a super smart way to get your head on straight for the upcoming week. So, here’s a few things that I’m thankful for this week:

{ I’m thankful that I have some creative freedom at my new job. Last week I had the opportunity to write some marketing copy for one of our client’s websites. This week I’m going to be finishing up a social media/website strategy and competitive analysis presentation. I’ll be presenting my ideas this Friday, so wish me luck! I’ve been enjoying the work that I’ve been doing so far. I’m being challenged, which means that I’m learning a lot. I also get to be creative, which is really important to me because I’m at my happiest when I’m doing something creative. I’ve missed doing creative marketing work so much and the excitement that I’ve been feeling lately reminds me of why I went into marketing/advertising/PR in the first place. }

glacier national park, planning trip to glacier national park, vacation to glacier national park

This is Glacier National Park. I can’t wait to see it for myself! [Photo credit:]

{ I’m thankful that John and I are going to take a weekend trip to Glacier National Park this weekend! Glacier is in Northwest Montana, on the border of the U.S. and Canada (Alberta and British Columbia). John’s parents are taking a 2 week long camping trip to that area with some friends and they spontaneously offered to fly us out there for the weekend to hang out with everyone. We’re going to leave after work on Friday, and we’ll get home late Monday night. I’ve never been to Glacier before, so I’m SUPER excited. A getaway is much needed after all of the stress that we’ve been under lately. I love having a trip to look forward to. I’m always down to explore a new place, so I can’t wait to see what adventures await us. I’ll definitely write a post about our mini-vacation on the blog! }

That’s my Grateful Heart Monday post for the week. Be sure to link-up with EmberGrey and read the other bloggers’ posts here!

Thanks for reading! Cheers!

 joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer, romans 12:12, sick grandfather, keeping it real on your blog, cast your cares on the lord and he will sustain you, prayers for sick relative,

Last Saturday I got one of those phone calls that we all dread. On Saturday, things changed. I found out that my grandfather’s health had started to quickly spiral downwards. It was one of those moments where as soon as your phone lights up, you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is wrong. I have pretty good intuition with things like that. And unfortunately, I was right. The call was my mom letting me know that my grandfather’s health had suddenly taken a dramatic turn.

My grandmother told my dad that he should fly out to Denver immediately so that he could be with everyone. That’s when I knew the situation was really serious. He bought a ticket for a flight the same day and was in the air within hours.

So now, my dad is in Denver with everyone, and I’m here, still trying to process how quickly things have changed. I saw my grandfather just a month ago when I visited Colorado. He seemed more tired than usual, but there were no indications that things were about to get as bad as they are now. It’s scary how quickly things can change. My grandfather has late-stage emphysema. He also does not want to go to the hospital. It just breaks your heart.

It’s such a helpless feeling knowing that my family is going through all of this in Denver and I’m here in Austin, waiting by the phone. My dad has been calling my mom with an update around 6:00 every night, so as soon as I get off of work, I’m anxious to hear about what’s been going on. I’ve been texting with my sweet grandmother and cousin also. I’ve been praying. Several awesome friends have let me know that they are praying for my family.

I wish there was more that I could do. I just worry about everyone and want to support my family as much as I can through all of this. I want to handle the situation correctly. I want to have the right words to say.  There is no list of instructions for something like this.

Last week I posted a blog about how I’ve had a lot going on in my life lately. I had no idea then that even more things were about to happen. As I mentioned in my last blog post, my husband just lost his grandfather last month, so this situation comes at a tough time. When it rains, it pours. But as I always say, you have to keep moving. A verse that has been on my mind over the past week is Romans 12:12. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

If you would like to pray for my family, I would ask that you pray specifically for strength and comfort. I think those are things that all of us are needing the most right now.

It’s tough for me to be vulnerable in a blog post. But I think it’s healthy for me to write about the situation. In general, I like to write about lighthearted things on this blog. But, I also am a strong believer in keeping it real. And I wouldn’t feel like I was being real if I didn’t mention that this was going on. I hope to use my experiences to help others who are in similar situations. While there’s nothing we can do to make these problems go away, it does help to remember that we are not the only ones going through difficult times.

Thanks for reading! Until next time,


job transitions, husband's grandfather died, starting a new job, moving to a new apartment, thankful for family

It’s been exactly 2 months since I last updated this blog. And in all honesty, the reason I haven’t posted is because I’ve been overwhelmed. Over the past month, we’ve moved to a new apartment, John’s grandfather passed away, we travelled to Colorado to go to the funeral (and also the wedding of our good friends), I resigned from my job to accept another job, I started my new job, and my grandfather had some serious health concerns.

Just handling one of those situations is a big deal on its own, so having all of them going on at once has been overwhelming. Sometimes that’s how life is. Sometimes you go for months with everything staying status quo and then other times major events happen one after another.

This month we experienced mourning but also new beginnings. It’s been a month with worry but also relief. It’s been a month with times of confusion but also great clarity. It’s been a month with fear but also courage. And that combination of great things and challenging things is what life is.

I’ve tried to think about what I’ve learned from the events of this past month. The thing that sticks out in my mind is how thankful I am for my family, especially when there’s a lot going on.

I’m thankful for my parents and brother who gave up their Memorial Day weekend to help us move to our new apartment. Seriously, they carried heavy boxes and furniture up three flights of stairs for us. We couldn’t have done the move without them. (Side note: my in-laws were driving from Colorado Springs to Austin to also help us move, when they got the call that John’s grandfather was in the hospital, so unfortunately they had to turn back around. But they would have been here if they could, and that means a lot.)

I’m thankful for my in-laws, who handled the funeral with grace during a time of loss.

I’m thankful for my husband, parents, and brother for listening and talking to me as I made the transition to a new job.

Now that things will [most likely] be calming down for me as I adjust to a new routine, I’m planning on spending more time blogging again. Blogging is something that I’m so passionate about, and I’ve missed it. I already have some ideas for upcoming posts!

That’s all for now. I still have unpacking to do and I have some things to research for work tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

P.S. After writing this post, I came across the Grateful Heart Link Up and realized that this post fits in with the theme of Grateful Heart Monday! I love the idea of starting the week out by counting your blessings, so this is an awesome linkup.

Until next time. : ]

I’ve never been a gaudy jewelry person. Most of the necklaces I own are small lockets. When the statement necklace trend first started appearing, I originally wasn’t a huge fan. They were just so different from what I normally wore that I didn’t think I would ever get into it.

However, one did catch my eye when I was shopping at Forever 21 (the necklace that I’m wearing in the photos). I liked it because it’s relatively small for a statement necklace and I love turquoise shades.

how to wear statement necklaces, what to wear with statement necklaces, statement necklace trend

Top: Charming Charlie | Necklace: Forever 21 | Purse: Kate Spade | Jeans: Target | Boots: Ross

Since buying it, I’ve started liking statement necklaces much more! The main thing that I like about them is that they add some pizzazz to a plain shirt. You can take a boring, solid color shirt and then wear a statement necklace with it and instantly make it more sophisticated looking. I’m still not a huge fan of the massive statement necklaces for myself personally but the simple statement necklaces have definitely found a place in my jewelry box!

how to wear statement necklaces, what to wear with statement necklaces, statement necklace trend

 Discovering that I liked statement necklaces taught me a little bit about experimenting with different styles. It’s easy to see a trend and write it off without ever trying it, but sometimes there’s a huge difference between what something looks like on the rack and what it looks like on yourself. It’s fun to try something new. You don’t have to put yourself into a box and say things like “I never wear that color.” How boring is that?! Give it a try and have fun with your style!

photo (66)