Wednesday, January 13, 2016

After I win the powerball!

It's the only thing people in the office are talking about today! Here's what I'll do, you know after I hire a lawyer, accountant, personal driver and security. My boss did the math and if you live off just the interest alone you have about $2M a month! I really cannot even imagine.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Doing things different

Happy Monday!

Today marks day one of the Advocare All In 24 day challenge and I'm doing it!! So far I'm about 5 hours in and all I can think about are the foods I am regretting not eating over the weekend. I mean seriously... on the way to work this morning I kept telling myself... food is fuel... food is fuel....

I found this today and printed it out to put in my office to remind myself not to walk down the hall and put my hand in the candy jar. It's time to make choices and do hard things and change my life. I do not want another year to pass and look back and think man if only I had done this then or tried this or stuck with that. Enough is enough. So I guess for me this challenge is about more than just losing weight or getting's about proving to myself that I can do hard things! I may use this blog to post and keep me accountable as I go along through this challenge.

On Saturday night my kids stayed the night with my mom and Drew and I went out on a double date. We went to dinner and to see Ralphie May at a comedy club. I didn't know much about his comedy but I had seen him a couple of times on youtube videos that people showed me and he seemed quite funny. Well the show turned out to be very crude and inappropriate. I laughed at some of the things but when we left I felt very convicted. If we hadn't been with other people I might have left in the middle of the show. This conviction has been weighing very heavy on my heart. Even as I type this I feel pains of regret for sitting through that show and laughing. It just didn't sit right. Then, yesterday when I was going to the grocery store I was listening to KSBJ, it's a christian radio station and someone was on there talking about how as Christians we are supposed to act differently. It really struck me in the heart. If I want to grow with Christ and develop a deeper relationship with him then I must act differently, I must not be okay with sitting through crude comedy shows and laughing because it is the thing to do. If I want my kids to know Christ and to see what a Christ like life looks like then I must act differently, do differently than the world, live differently than I have in the past.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Favorites- Attitude of Gratitude

The other day I was thinking about two things that have recently changed in my life and that I'm so thankful for!

The biggest change has been my husband's new job. A little back story on that... Drew used to work for a top car dealership as a sales manager. It was a pretty good job but he worked ALL. THE. TIME! Every holiday, 75-80 hours a week, every Saturday... I mean all the time. My kids barely knew him. When my stepdaughter would come to visit she barely got to spend any time with him. We never got to go out an have a date night and if we did he was too tired to even enjoy it. Also, the stress he was under was just ridiculous. Through a series of events he was presented an opportunity with a different dealership that was "going to offer him a better quality of life". Well it mildly effected his quality of life and he left every day feeling defeated because he was used to being a top dog and that dealership was not. Then, through a series of events he was presented an opportunity to work for a new company doing B2B sales and his customers are car dealerships. This is right up his ally and he accepted it. He started there in Nov. and things look good so far! Our home quality of life has changed, he puts our kids to bed every night, and we have committed to spending our Sunday mornings in Church! The changes in jobs has resulted in a pay decrease initially but I'm also thankful for that because it has really challenged us to take an assessment of our priorities and is the way we spend our money a reflection of those. It has been a learning experience and although quite challenging I am embracing it and seeing it as God's way of refining us!

The other thing is my running buddies! A few months back I put it out there on our neighborhood Facebook page that I was looking for someone who would want to run or workout with me in the mornings, like 5am. I didn't want to pay a gym membership because I knew I wouldn't go but I thought if I did this and knew someone was waiting for me at our neighborhood the dark...alone... I might be consistent. Here we are 3 or 4 months later and I'm still at it. 2 Ladies replied to my post and I truly believe they were an answer to my prayers. Not only did I find 2 running buddies to hold me accountable and push me towards goals but I also found 2 friends! I am more thankful for those girls than they probably know! I did that Facebook post at a time where I was feeling very lonely and secluded. I have some close girlfriends but we all work, we all have families and time commitments where we aren't able to get together very often. It has been so refreshing to find friends that are at the same place and in the same season of life as Drew and I are and that I see frequently.

Happy Friday everyone!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Hello 2016!

Well it is a new year! I love new years. I always write out a list of things I want to accomplish. Some things I do, some things I don't, and some things always end up on the list!

One of my favorite blogs to read is Yesterday she did a Show & Tell linkup for the new year. It was about an introduction and to talk about the goals set for the new year. I would have posted yesterday but I was in a debate with myself about blogging... do I have time for it? Will I be consistent? Will anyone read it? Then I decided that I can blog when I have time for it and I can decide what amount of posting I want to do. Also I decided that even if no one reads it, it will be a nice way to document these crazy years of life and be able to look back and reflect on great memories or not so great memories, That is my goal for the blog to be real in what I write and use it to see where we are, where we're going, and how far we've come.

A little bit about me....

I'm Christina. I am wife to Drew and mom to Abby (3) & Jaxon (1), step-mom to Kylie (12). I work full time in HR for a restaurant company doing management hiring. Drew and I have been married for just a little over 2 years.  We bought our home around the same time we got married. My desire is to live a Christ filled life. I'm a work in progress and you'll see that in just a minute when I list my goals for 2016.

This was taken in early 2015... they are all bigger now.

Me & my man 

Christmas day 2015 

Now onto my goals... or resolutions... whatever we're calling them. 

1. One thing Drew and I are focusing on is our finances this year. We're going to give the Dave Ramsey cash envelope system a go. This is something scary because I love love love to swipe my debit card and I have never really stuck with a budget before. I'm sure I will talk more about this later to document how it is working. 

2. I want to minimize and simplify! I was off for 2 weeks at the end of 2015 and I swear I didn't do anything else except feed my tiny humans and endlessly clean my house. There has to be more to life than that, right?!?! I'm going to find a way to put cleaning systems in place, clear out the clutter, and implement the 1 touch system into my daily life. 

3. Do monthly date nights with Drew. With 2 young kids who require a lot of my time and energy sometimes Drew gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list. This takes a toll on our relationship and I want to put more of a focus on him and our marriage this year. 

4. In Nov. when Drew switched jobs we were able to start going to church more and have been going consistently. This month we are attending a class to become official church members. I want us to get involved in the church. Growing up we were very involved in church. Pretty much if the church doors were open, we were there. Then I dated the Pastor's son for 3 or 4 years so I was very involved in that role too. I also want to invest time in my relationship with Christ. For Christmas Drew bought me a busy mother's devotional bible. I want to be intentional about spending time in The Word and in prayer. 

Those are the big ones! I also have just some small things I want to accomplish this year. Things I think about often but never do because they are out of my comfort zone. 

1. Try new recipes and cook with foods I have never cooked with before. 
2. Put my phone down in the evenings and unplug from social media. 
3. Be more spontaneous. 
4. Play outside with my kids more. 
5. Run a half marathon
6. Make something DIY- I'm not talking about something little... I'm talking about something like a piece of furniture!! 

Well there it is... my 2016 goals for the world to read! I'm excited to get to work on these! 

Happy New Year! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

First birthday ideas

My sweet baby boy is fast approaching one! He will be 8 months soon and I have just started thinking about his first birthday party. When Abby turned 1 we had a pretty big party at our house, nothing extravagant but we invited a lot of people. I have a pretty big family and events like birthday parties always have a large guest list because you just don't want to leave anyone out. Most of my friends have a kid or 2 now also and we definitely don't want to leave any friends out. 

I'm thinking we'll do Jax's party at our home just like Abby's but of course his will not be a Minnie Mouse theme. There are so many cute boy themes out there on Pinterest. Here are my top 5 choices so far.....

1. Mickey Mouse- Drew is a Disney fan. I mean so am I, but he really loves it. He wants our kids to grow up as Disney fans too. There is a lot of stuff to choose from if you go with a theme like Mickey. 
Project Nursery - Mickey Mouse First Birthday Party Gift Table and BannerMickey Mouse Birthday Tie and Suspender Onesie with Shorts for Baby Boy First Birthday Disney Clothing Birthday Party Little Man Tie OutfitAidan's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse First Birthday  |

Such cute ideas. That outfit though... so adorable! 

2. Little Man Party- I love love love this idea. The sweet boy colors of blues, greens, whites... so preppy and just so adorable! 
Little Man themed baby shower. Could also be a first birthday party. Lots of cute ideas at Clever Nest #aquagraylime #boysfirstbirthday #hip... BOYS FIRST BIRTHDAY Mustache Outfit-Boys Mustache Birthday Set-Cake Smash Outfit-Bow Tie Bodysuit Luke's First Birthday Party! Little Man Theme Birthday Party! Goodie treat bags made out of brown paper lunch bags from the dollar tree and decorated with bow ties and ties made from scrapbook paper!

Baby bow ties...oh my heavens!!! 

3. Monsters- Cookie Monster or Monsters Inc... I can't decide but I love the Monsters theme. And I have to admit Abby loves the movie Monsters University so this would be a theme she would love too. 
First Birthday Party Themes That Will Wow You: Monster Mash I planned on decorating my son’s high chair for his first birthday since that is where he would be performing the most exciting part of a one-year-old’s birthday – eating the cake!  I was going to make a pennant banner to hang from the high chair tray when I realized that I could make the pennant banner look like monster teeth by making each triangular flag white.  And then I figured I may as well dress the entire high chair up like a monster because, well, I’m crazy! Monster Birthday Shirt First Birthday Boys by PatchesandPuppies 
I feel like there would be a lot of cute crafts we could make for a Monster themed party using the stick on eyes and construction paper. 

4. Baseball- So far everything in Jax's life has been deemed baseball themed because of his Dad. His room is baseball and anything that has his name on it is baseball themed. It's only natural that I would look at baseball themed party stuff. Although I am completely on board with branching out from that theme. 
I AM ONE Birthday Banner Baseball themed first by HandmadeByVee, $13.00 Baseball themed shower cake - Baseball themed cake for my daughter's baby shower.  My first time covering a cake completely with fondant.  It was so much fun.  Fondant shoes and BB bat.   Thanks everyone for the inspiration especially to the original creator! Get the buckets and other accessories you need to make this Baseball party look at Old Time Pottery today!

Picture Jax in a cute little baseball outfit! Oh I love it! 

5. Cars or Construction - What's more boy than that? D loves cars, that's how he makes his living so that's why I thought of cars. I like to read Jax the book Goodnight Goodnight construction site and I think every little boy needs a Tonka truck. 

Getting ready for baby's first birthday!! Car's Birthday Party - Luigi's Tower of Tires - Chocolate Donuts Diner Style Race Car First Birthday Party #firstbirthdayparty #partiesforboys Everything Goes on Land Book Themed First Birthday

I still have a little bit to make a final decision but I just love all these ideas. I know Jax won't have any idea about all the work that I put into planning his first birthday party but it's more for me and the picture memories of it. He's my last baby so I want to go all out. 

*None of these pictures are mine, I took them all from pinterest for inspiration purposes only. I love pinterest. If you want to see where to find these at you can follow my pinterest board here. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My one piece of parenting advice

Now now, I wouldn't consider myself a parenting expert per say, but I am a parent. Ha! So during a day I am sure I do a million things wrong as a parent but I do have 1 tip to share.

A TIMER!!!  

I recently shared this secret with a friend of mine and now she thinks I'm  that Super Nanny lady. With our updated technology we can use this parenting advice anywhere!! 

So this is how it works.....

Scenario 1. 
Your 3 year old, we'll call her Abby just for fun, wants to watch Elsa play doh videos on the iPad. Abby's mom has heard that screen time should be limited and also it is getting awfully close to Abby's bed time. What does Abby's mom do?? Why, she sets a timer of course. Abby knows that when the timer goes off that we have to put up the iPad. So her Mommy isn't the one telling her to get off the iPad, it is her friend the timer telling her. No fuss, no fight, puts the iPad down and goes good night!! 

Scenario 2:
Abby has a friend over and both little girls want to play with a certain toy or sit in a certain chair. Well well, what do you do? You don't want the girls to fight so you set a timer!!! Each girl gets a few minutes with a certain toy and when that timer goes off they switch. No fuss, no fight, the timer goes off and they switch!! 

The power of the timer can be used anywhere and for anything. Abby actually wants me to set the timer these days. She'll ask when she knows it is getting close to bed time if I've set the timer and most of the time it works like a charm!  

Let me know how it works for you!!! 

What's your favorite piece of parenting advice? 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Greek Chopped Salad

There is this restaurant that we have gone to a couple of times for lunch called Fadi's. It is THE BEST!!! It's Mediterranean food. Everything is so fresh and flavorful and I am just in love with it. I wish it was closer to my office, I'd eat there weekly. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on if you're talking to me or my wallet it is about a 25 minute drive from my office so I can't go too often. The food at the restaurant has inspired me to try to start making some homemade Mediterranean like food. I started with this super easy Greek Chopped Salad!

Easiest Greek Chopped Salad EVER!!! Here is what you'll need....

1 cucumber (seedless is best) 
4 roma tomatoes 
1 can of chick peas (drained and rinsed) 
1/2 purple onion 

1/4 c. olive oil
some Italian seasoning
3 tbs. red wine vinegar 

Topping: Feta Cheese

Dice up all the veggies, be sure to remove the seeds and goo from inside the tomatoes. Put all the veggies and chick peas into a large bowl. 

Mix up the dressing and pour over the veggies

Stir it all up really good 

You can top it with some feta and enjoy immediately or throw it in the fridge for a bit and let all those flavors combine and eat it later. Either way is great! 

I have been eating on this salad for 3 days now. Yesterday and today I brought some grilled chicken for lunch and mixed it in with the salad. It is super filling, I guess because of the chick peas. It hits the spot for my Mediterranean food cravings! 

I can't wait to try some more Mediterranean inspired recipes. I purchased some lentils. I'm going to stalk pinterest for some recipe ideas.