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“…the glow that the sun gives right around sunset helps me realize that this is just a journey, drop your worries, you are gonna turn out fine…”-Keep Your Head Up by Andy Grammer // Red Rock Canyon Open Space in Colorado Springs

Happy last day of August, guys! Since this is a Monday and we all know how those can be, I wanted to share some encouragement in song form.

The other day, I came across the song “Keep Your Head Up,” by Andy Grammer on Spotify. I’d heard the song on the radio years ago when it first came out and thought it was catchy, but had never paid much attention to the lyrics. This time, I listened to the lyrics and the meaning of the song really resonated with me.

It’s about keeping things in perspective, not letting negative thoughts get the best of you, and realizing that there is light at the end of the tunnel if you can stay positive. The most important thing we can do when we’re going through a tough time is to keep moving forward and push through and this song reminds me of that. Lately I’ve been stressing out about what my future holds, among other things, so this song has been my jam. It will probably stay stuck in your head for a while but that’s a good thing because we should surround ourselves with as much positivity as we can!

Today, I’m linking up with Ember Grey for the Grateful Heart Monday link up! This link up is all about starting each week with a grateful heart.

Today I am thankful for music. I’m thankful for its ability to lift our spirits. I’m also thankful for all of the artists who are brave enough to share vulnerability through songwriting and/or their voices.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead filled with positivity and many things to be grateful for!

Check out all of the other Grateful Heart Monday posts here!

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I think I’m going to start doing these “5 things on Friday” posts. The main reason is because I normally have so many quick ideas and updates that I want to post, so this gives me a way to share multiple things at once. I’m also a huge fan of lists. Especially handwritten ones. But since blogging is not very conducive to handwritten lists (with the whole digital thing and all), I think this is the next best thing! So, here’s five things that are on my mind this Friday.

1. This quote on taking small steps

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Small steps have been on my mind lately. It’s easy to look at a situation and get overwhelmed, but if you break it up into small steps to accomplish each day, it’s not as daunting. It’s also important to celebrate the steps you take, because each one, no matter how small, is helping to get you where you need/want to be. Try not to compare yourself to others. Everyone is different and has unique circumstances. This is your journey. The best thing you can do is to start now and keep moving forward one step at a time.

2. Smoothies (or as I like to call them, smoothays)

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I get hungry easily. So I like to look for meals/snacks with protein that are also healthy. Smoothies seem to check a lot of those boxes for me. The other day, I went out and bought a bunch of smoothie ingredients so that I could put our blender to good use. So far, I’ve made a peanut butter and banana smoothie, and a pineapple orange creamsicle smoothie. I’ll eventually write a post with my smoothie recipes, but I want to experiment with them a little more and perfect my methods first!

3. Physical + blood work

On Friday morning, I’m going to the doctor for a physical and also blood work. I haven’t had a check-up since I was in elementary school (I’ve been to the doctor multiple times since then, but only because I had a cold, not for an exam), so I’m definitely due for one. I’ve also never had blood work done before, so I’m a little anxious about that. I want to be proactive about my health, so I’m glad that I’m able to do this. I’m ready for it to be over though!

4. These Adorable Keds

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Keds are some of my favorite shoes right now. I have a black pair and they’ve become a major staple in my wardrobe this past spring and summer. They’re SO comfortable and they look cute with both skinny jeans, shorts, and casual skirts/dresses. I’ve been a Converse girl for years (I even wore a sparkly pair underneath my wedding dress!) but Keds are nice because they’re slip on, unlike Converse. I’ve been thinking about getting another pair and I saw these white ones online. I like how they’re the classic white Keds with a little twist. Online, it says that these are Taylor’s Pick (Taylor Swift is the face of Keds, FYI). Normally I don’t care about what products celebrities are promoting, but Taylor is one of the few celebrities that I love, so I think it’s pretty cool that she works with Keds. This pair is called Champion Heather Perf and they’re on sale for $29.95 on the Keds website.

5. Spending next week in Lubbock, TX

My brother is starting med school at Texas Tech next week, so John and I are going to spend the week in Lubbock to go to his White Coat Ceremony and help him move in to his new apartment. We’re taking our new camper there and this will be the longest trip we’ve ever done in it, so we’re ready to get the 7 hour drive over with.


For this post, I’m linking up with A. Liz Adventures for the 5 on Friday linkup. Click here to go to this link up!

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I’m also linking up with September Farm for the Oh Hey, Friday! link up. Click here to go to this link up!

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Thanks for reading everyone! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend.

Disclaimer: the photo of the shoes is from

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. Between all of the parades, classic American snacks, baseball games, and sparkly fireworks there are to choose from, what’s not to love? We spent this past 4th of July in Austin.

So, this Grateful Heart Monday post is dedicated to some of the the good things that happened on our 4th of July weekend!

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One of the only pictures I took where people weren’t photobombing us, lol. More on that later!

Good thing #1: As I talked about in this post, my dad had been living in Denver taking care of my sick grandfather for the past 3 months. Well, the weekend before last, we were able to drive my dad back to Austin! We drove to Denver on Thursday night and picked him up from my grandparent’s house. He spent Thursday night at our townhome in Colorado Springs, and then Friday morning we all woke up super early and started the 14+ hour drive to Austin. It was hard for him to leave my grandparents, but after being in Colorado for 3 months, it was time for him to be back in Austin with my mom, at least for a while.

A lot of times, we separate the Colorado Springs to Austin drive into 2 days, but we decided to do it all in 1 day this time so that we could be in Austin for the 4th of July. That much driving in 1 day is not for the faint of heart. It’s about 14 hours of driving time, but when you add breaks it usually ends up being around 16 hours total.

We ate super healthy while we were driving…McDonald’s for breakfast, Fazoli’s for lunch, and Golden Chick for dinner. 😉 And I might have eaten a box of Reese’s Pieces too, because being stuck in the car all day is exhausting and I just felt like I deserved it okay!!! I feel like calories shouldn’t count when you’re on a road trip.

We also played multiple games of “go through the alphabet and name one thing in a specific category for every letter.” Does that game have a name? I think you all know what I’m talking about. We learned that my dad apparently thinks that llamas are food from playing this game. (Well, maybe they are in some countries, but definitely not in the U.S., lol!)

It was nice pulling into my parent’s driveway in Austin. It did my heart good to see my parents finally reunited again after 3 months of being apart.

Good thing #2: Going to a Round Rock Express baseball game on the 4th!
round rock, round rock texas, round rock express game, texas blogger, austin bloggerThe Round Rock Express are a minor league team in Austin and I’ve been going to their games since I was in 8th grade. It’s seriously one of the most fun things to do in Austin, and it has the perfect ambiance for the 4th of July. I mean, you can’t get much more American than baseball and fireworks on a summer night!

The middle-aged dude sitting behind us at the game would not stop photobombing us every time I tried to take a picture. It was comical because his wife/girlfriend was trying to physically restrain him from doing it, but he announced loudly “that’s why you go to baseball games, to mess around and have fun!” So that was somewhat entertaining. I have photographic proof here:

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That guy has made his mark on our family photo album forever. Clearly I was prepared.

I have to mention that I found this patriotic shirt at Khol’s the other day. I thought it was so cute that the flag is on the pocket. It’s not the clearest picture of it, but you get the idea!

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Fireworks are beautiful but it’s so hard to take a good picture of them. Normally I just watch, but I couldn’t resist trying to snap a few photos. I think this one turned out the best.

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John is obsessed with fireworks and my parents live in a part of town where it’s legal to set off fireworks within the neighborhood, so we bought quite a few to do on our own. The whole neighborhood goes crazy for days. It’s awesome yet terrifying at the same time. I tried to take some photos of us with the sparklers and roman candles (I posted one on Instagram here-I’m basically holding fire, nbd). A few of them turned out pretty cool, so maybe I’ll put some in a blog post once I edit them.

I hope everyone had a good 4th of July! I’m participating in Ember Grey’s Grateful Heart Monday Link-Up. Click here to join us and read all of the other posts!

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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!).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!




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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

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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)

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Photo from

(3) L&L Hawaiian Barbeque

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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

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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

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

(5) Josh and John’s Ice Cream

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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

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 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.

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

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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.

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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).

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Going sledding!

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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.

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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!

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As always, thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

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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!

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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. }

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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!