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: http://www.gorp.com]

{ 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)

sunday social, sunday social link up, annoying salespeople, employees won't leave me alone while I'm shopping, people eating with their mouth open, chewing with their mouth open, texting while driving, not putting blinkers on, not enough time to blog

Today’s post is about pet peeves. Everyone has them and these are a few of mine (the questions are from a link up I’m participating in called Sunday Social). Ok, so here we go:

1. What is your biggest driving pet peeve? I hate when I’m in the parking lot and I catch random people taking pictures of my Ferrari. Just kidding. I don’t have a Ferrari. : ]

I’m gonna get serious for 2 seconds: I have issues with people who text and drive. When you text and drive, not only do you put your life at risk, but everybody else’s around you too. Honestly, is having a potentially deadly car accident worth texting someone “lol”? Wait until you get to where you need to go to reply back. And if it’s that important, find somewhere to pull over. Don’t risk my life, my husband’s life, my brother’s life, my friend’s life (you get the point!) over a text. Rant over.

2. What is your biggest blogging pet peeve? When I come up with ideas for my blog but don’t have the time to work on them. #FullTimeJobProblems

3. What is your biggest shopping pet peeve? A few months ago I was walking around in a store and I kid you not, I was asked at least 10 times if I needed help with anything, if I had any questions, or if I wanted to try something on in the dressing room. I think it’s awesome that they were trying to be helpful, but it was just too much. It got to the point where I was going out of my way to avoid the people working there because it felt like they were hounding me. It was actually kind of hilarious how many times they came up to me. I understand that employees are told by their managers to ask customers if they need any help but it seems like asking once, maybe twice is enough. It actually makes me think twice before going back to that store because it’s weird feeling like I’m being followed around the entire time!

4. What is your biggest general pet peeve? I have a rough time when I see people eating with their mouths open. I almost phrased this as “I don’t like it when people talk with their mouths open,” but then I realized that doesn’t make any sense at all, haha.

5. What is your most irrational fear? This is super random, but I’m really afraid of getting trapped inside of a water tower. I told you it was random! I don’t know why I would ever be inside of a water tower to begin with, but the thought of this has bothered me for years. I think I had a dream about it happening once when I was a kid and the idea has freaked me out since then!

Sunday Social is an awesome idea for a link up and if you’re a blogger you should try it. It’s fun having a writing prompt like this because I think it helps you to blog about things you might not normally think to blog about. Click the above link to check out other blogger’s answers to the questions (some of them are quite hilarious!) and to link up yourself!

groucho marx quotes, groucho marx happiness quote, choosing happiness, choosing joy

 

I came across this quote last week and I’ve thought about it a lot since then. I found myself repeating this idea to myself whenever I would get stressed or worried about something. He’s saying that while we don’t always have control over situations that happen to us, we do have the power to choose how we respond. The way I see it, is that we’re not promised tomorrow and life is waaaay too short to not at least try to be happy most of the day. It’s human nature to let events bother us but there is power in the idea that at the end of the day, we have the choice to decide how we respond to situations.

I wanted to share this with you all on a Monday, because honestly, Mondays can be depressing. Everyone is bummed about the weekend being over and having to tackle the challenges of the week ahead. But what if we start the day off deciding to be happy? Instead of complaining on social media about our #MondayProblems, what if we make a conscious effort to be as positive as we can be?

Just a thought. I hope this post inspired you in some way! Thanks for reading. : ]

I worked for 12 days straight over the past two weeks (just typing that sentence makes me tired!). In the middle of those 12 work days was a 5 day business trip to Houston, so I’ve been incredibly busy. After having such a crazy schedule lately, John and I spent a much-needed chill weekend at the beach in Corpus Christi. We had been planning this trip for a couple of weeks and I had really been looking forward to it while I was working. I think it’s so important to plan things like that to look forward to.

We arrived in Corpus Christi (North Padre Island to be exact) during the late afternoon on Saturday and I’ll be honest, it was windy, cloudy, and rainy the whole weekend. The other times that I’ve been to Corpus it’s always been hot and sunny, so this was different than what I’m used to. We had wanted to go early in the season so that we could be there before it got super hot, but we had hoped that it would still be sunny. And while we were a little bummed that the weather wasn’t the nicest, we had a great time. It was just awesome to get away for a while and we were determined to not let the weather mess up our weekend.

It was actually cool to experience North Padre when it wasn’t all sunny and filled with tourists. It was definitely the least crowded I’ve ever seen it.  The beach takes on an entirely different vibe when it’s foggy. We walked along the shore and the cool breeze was relaxing. On a side note, John says that he saw me step right on a jellyfish, but luckily somehow I didn’t get stung…yikes! That would have changed the mood of our trip pretty quickly!

jumping beach picture, foggy beach, north padre island, corpus christ, corpus christi in april, corpus christi weather

I’m obsessed with jumping-on-the-beach pictures. Someday I will have to post the ones I did from our honeymoon in Hawaii…they’re turned out pretty cool.

foggy beach, north padre island, corpus christ, corpus christi in april, corpus christi weather, cool sand castle

Elaborate sand castle we found while walking along the beach. Looks like they’ve even got some crops growing off to the side, lol. Maybe it’s more like a sand farm?

foggy beach, north padre island, corpus christ, corpus christi in april, corpus christi weather, toes in the sand

My toes are officially ready for flip flops!

foggy beach, north padre island, corpus christ, corpus christi in april, corpus christi weather, corpus christi birds,

Little guy hangin out on the beach.

While we were on the Island, we went to Padre Pizzeria and Sweet Swirl Frozen Yogurt…both delicious places. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend them.

We also drove out to Port Aransas, which is on the same island as North Padre. I had always heard good things about Port A, but had never been there, so I’m glad we checked it out. It’s very quaint with pastel colored houses, local places to eat, small historic hotels, and also large resorts. We’re planning to go to Corpus again in a few weeks but this time stay in Port A. I would have taken more pictures, but it was hard to get a clear view with the fog. Hopefully the weather will be a little more sunny next time…but even if it’s not, we’ll still have fun. You have to decide to have a good time and not let something small like the weather get in the way. It’s all about your attitude!

It’s officially spring! And in Austin that comes with great weather, hikes, bluebonnets, patios, beach time at North Padre Island, and bright colors. Speaking of bright colors, today I wore my turquoise jeans. I love these jeans and their color seems perfect for a spring day.

turquoise jeans, turquoise pants, colored jeans, colored denim, what to wear with colored denim, spring outfits,

| Shirt: Target | Jeans: JC Penney | Shoes: Charlotte Russe |

I love the look of chambray paired with colored denim. Most of the time in an outfit, the pants are neutral and the top is the colorful piece, but this style is the opposite of that. It’s nice to switch it up every once in a while. I think I might want to buy light yellow and coral jeans also.

turquoise jeans, turquoise pants, colored jeans, colored denim, what to wear with colored denim, spring outfits,

I actually bought these jeans at Plato’s Closet, but their tag reveals that they are the a.n.a. brand from JC Penney. I like Plato’s Closet and I’ve found some really good deals there before.

I am lovely, I am secure, i determine who i am, a.n.a jeans, turquoise jeans, turquoise pants, colored jeans, colored denim, what to wear with colored denim, spring outfits,

This quote is printed on the inside pocket of my jeans. I love it…”I determine who I am.” I think it’s awesome that someone thought to put that there.

Well, that’s my OOTD post. Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend and thanks for reading!

st. patrick’s day, a good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything, irish blessings, irish provberbs, irish quotes, irish sayings, st. patrick’s day quotes, st. patrick’s day sayings

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I went on InDesign and created the graphic above (I had been wanting to try my hand at a chalkboard design for a while!). I have some Irish heritage in my family, so I’ve always been extra interested in Irish sayings. This Irish proverb is one of my favorite quotes because it really is so true. Laughter can be very healing. I’m not talking about a small chuckle, but the kind of laughing where you can’t stop and you’re gasping for breath. The kind where you realize, “wow, I haven’t laughed like that in a long time!” Sleep is also incredibly powerful. Never underestimate the importance of a good night’s rest. I’ve had so many nights where I go to bed upset about something and I wake up with a much more rational perspective the next day.

Here are a few more of my favorite Irish sayings:

“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

- Irish blessing

“Your feet will take you where your heart is.”

-Irish proverb

“Count your joys instead of your woes, count your friends instead of your foes.”

-Irish proverb

“May you get all of your wishes except one, so you always have something to strive for.”

-Irish blessing

Hope everyone wore green today! Thanks for reading. : ]

I’ve decided that I want to buy a wreath for every holiday. I love decorations, and I think it’s too bad that the majority of people only decorate for Christmas. Why limit yourself to just Christmas decorations when there are so many other fun holidays? I live in an apartment, so I can’t do as much as I’d like, but I think putting seasonal wreaths on the door is a fun start until we buy a house someday. I’m sure some people think it’s silly, but seeing decorations actually brightens my day. It’s one of those little things in life.

I found this St. Patrick’s Day wreath at Target and it’s on our door right now.

St. patrick's day, st. patrick's day wreath, st. patrick's day decorations,

I think the green shamrocks go well with our blue door!

I also bought a Valentine’s Day “wreath” at Target as well. It’s actually a card holder, but I think it looked cute hanging on our door.

valentine's day, valentine's day decorations, valentine's day wreath

I love Target, as you can tell. Their home decor is very in-line with my personal style (so is their clothing!). That’s why it’s dangerous for me to spend too much time in there!

Next, I’m going to be looking for a wreath for Easter, and after that, something patriotic for Memorial Day/4th of July. Of course I’ll look at Target, but I also want to check out Pier 1 and Garden Ridge too.

Do you like to decorate for all of the holidays? Do you know of any other stores that sell cool wreaths? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading. : ]

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and I did not receive any monetary compensation from Target for mentioning them in this post.