January 30, 2015

Oh Hey Friday // 5 Travel Essentials.

This whole month has consisted of a countdown. A countdown until Sean and I finally take our overdue anniversary trip to our most loved place in the world, the beach. We only have two days left and since we had to cancel our trip in September, giddy is an understatement for how we are acting. More like maniacs you could say. We have such a love for traveling and it is a great way for us to focus on one another and create sweet memories of our marriage.

With traveling, what you bring along as your essentials is so important. It not only determines how quickly the drive will go by, but also how fun your ride will be, especially since we will be driving for nine hours on Sunday by car (yes, planes are quicker but also over 1000 feet in the air, okay?) However, if you are one that doesn't mind flying, perhaps you can check into RelayRides, a highly suggested option for those looking for an airport car rental. After doing some research, Ive learned that for the day I decide to be brave and fly, they will be my go to place to make things much smoother and relaxed on our trip. Plus, who wouldn't want to pick out a dream car to drive in for part of a vacation? But for now, these are some of the travel essentials I will have to make sure the ride is as cheerful as a nine hour drive can be.

1. Music
This is probably the most important thing for both Sean and myself. Both of us are music crazy and probably listen to it most of our day so of course we would have it on a road trip. Create a Spotify account and save all the music that you would like to have along the way. You can also create playlists that will shuffle through all the traveling music you create. Try it out!

2. Snacks
Okay, maybe this is the most important. This girl needs food like every hour. Healthy snacks are always the best route to take because you don't want to stuff yourself with unhealthy sweets or junk, and then feel horrible when you finally arrive to your destination. Some of our essential snacks are carrots, Luna bars and celery sticks.

3. Pillows and Blankets
There is one road in Alabama that we travel when we go down to Florida and it is the same, straight road for miles and miles and miles. This is normally the road that calls for a good nap. Remember, you aren't traveling alone so accommodating the car temp for others can leave you shivering. Plus blankets and pillows will make any long ride more comfortable.

4. Games
One of my favorite memories was riding with my family and playing the alphabet game. Basically, you see who can spot signs that are in order of the alphabet and whoever can get to Z first, will win. I know people also play the license plate game and such. Its a great way to pass the time and create fun experience with your travel partners.

5.Window Tints
Unless you have your car windows tinted, driving around in the blazing sunshine can really make you tired, irritable and burnt. One thing that I will be purchasing for this trip is pull down car-shade. Silly I know but trust me, it does wonders. Most of the time, you will see these on cars that have babies in the car seat and since I haven't been to tint my windows just yet, these are definitely an essential. 

What are some must have travel essentials for you?
Be sure to join along and link up with the Oh, Hey Friday ladies! 

January 27, 2015

Fabulous Foodie Swap.

A few weeks back, I received an email from my dear friend Rachel, of Oh Simple Thoughts, on creating a fun swap of sharing foods with one another. The thing about Rachel is, she has such a love for cooking and sharing love through one of her favorite hobbies. So, her idea was to create a Fabulous Foodie Swap! Basically whoever wanted to join would sign up and be assigned with another person who participated in the swap. It turns out that I was assigned with my sweet, sweet friend Rachel from Rachel Rewritten. My heart was so fulfilled to meet this girl in real life on Saturday at a calligraphy class that Rachel, Jenni, Rachel and I all took together. I am BLESSED to have these girls in my life! 
For Rachel's box:
- A coffee cup with a "W"
- Caribbean Jerk Seasoning
- Apple Butter Spread
- Banana Bread baking kit
- Espresso Chex Mix
- A bag of Dove chocolates (which I was so tempted to eat myself)

What Rachel gifted:
- Two delicious Wimsey cookies
- A kitchen towel
- Mississippi Mudpuppies
- Mississippi Cheese Straws
- French Onion Soup mix
- Sweet Tea Jelly (this girl KNOWS me)

Needless to say, all the cookies are gone and the other gifts will be taken away on our anniversary trip next week. Rachel literally did a fabulous job at sending things that were routed in the South. My favorite food is anything Southern and with the Sweet Tea Jelly and the Mississippi rooted cheese straws, I cant get enough.

Did you participate in the Fabulous Foodie Swap as well? If you would like to in the future, be sure to check out Oh Simple Thoughts for more details!

January 22, 2015

Words for 2015.

2015. Can you believe we are writing down another year already? Another fresh start, more new beginnings, more dreams to chase and more resolutions to follow. When I was writing down my 2015 goals, overwhelming was a word that I kept whispering to myself. Sometimes I feel like my dreams are so big that there is absolutely no way I have the time or energy to make them happen. But then I catch myself, my own self doubt is what gets in the way of these dreams.
When thinking about a word I wanted to base this new year on, it was literally the first word that came to my mind. When I thought of other words to use, nothing fit. As much as I didn't want my chosen word to be my chosen word, I knew it was the word I needed for this year. Following here?

A word that I am honestly scared of. Many opportunities I may have in life I shoot down because there is this self doubt that continues to play inside my head. Shooting my first wedding would be wonderful, but then doubt. Doubt that anything but good photos will be taken and that the bride will just cry herself to sleep. Doubt to try new things because they are out of a comfort zone.
Bravery just doesn't happen.
I saw this happen time after time last year and honestly, I missed a lot of great opportunities. For 2015, I want to be brave with this life that is such a precious gift. The Lord didn't put us on this earth to be hesitant, to ignore others or to be timid about new opportunities. I have really felt these words coming from the Lord lately to "just go, just do and to be brave." We are doing a sermon on our church called "Doable" and it is about setting yourself to be the best for the Lord, so you can learn to be the best for others. At the series kick off last week, our preacher asked us to grab a sharpie, go to the lobby wall and write down a word that we want to base this year on. Oh man, did the pressure hit. Brave was a word that I knew I needed but I was hoping it would be something else like "stress less, prioritize, health" or something. But again, right there in the second row we sit in, I felt like I was being directly talked to. Brave popped up in my mind once again and I knew that it was time for me to start living with this word as my backbone. So, this Sunday, brave will be written across that wall. Each Sunday I will see it and remember to keep living it.

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

John 16:33
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. 

Some of my goals include growing my blog, taking photography to the next level, opening a little shop Ive had in mind for quite a while, starting a girls ministry and to be the stranger that becomes a friend. So, this year will be a time of stepping out. A time to let myself learn from new opportunities that I will be hesitant to take, but that will be joyous in the end. Living in a comfort zone is great, until you become stuck in that zone and hate to leave. This year will be the year to move, the year to be brave.

What is your 2015 word for the year? How do you take the steps out of your comfort zone?

January 14, 2015

January Goals

My word, how I have missed you all so much! My site has been down for a month now so posting this post really means more to me than it should. It may be the most treasured post yet, okay maybe not but seriously, it feels so good just typing away right now. This post may be only 14 days overdue but since monthly posts are some of my favorites, I don't think it will hurt to go on tell of some small January plans :)

December goals:
1. Begin the advent calender created by Kate and Kuby
2. Continue to read the bible deeper than before 
3. Book my first wedding shoot
4. Invest in deeper relationships with sweet friends
5. Make photography business plans
6. Make other project business plans coming soon!
7. Purchase my first Young Living Essential Oils kit (I have GOT to get on this!)
8. Start knitting again
9. Clean my closet and donate clothes 
10. Give to others
11. Attend a Christmas play
12. Have a date night to our local zoo lights
13. Take a trip to look at Christmas lights
14. Finish or get close to finishing The Best Yes
15. Have a wonderful Christmas
January Goals
1. Transition from a nursery leader to a middle or high school leader at our church
2. Finish editing all my previous photo shoots. Seriously, I am up to my ears here. 
3. Finalize plans for our Florida trip
4. Get things planned to pack for Florida...I have a problem with packing too much 
5. Continue to do my Tone It Up routine day by day
6. Make healthier eating habits
7. Take a calligraphy class with my precious blogging friends Rachel, Jenni and Rachel! Excited is truly an understatement!
8. Save up so I can purchase my ticket for The Influence Conference. Oh how this is a must.
9. Take new blog photos

Not too many goals are set for January because this month I am needing to take things slower. You know those people who think about the new year, have all these neatly organized new year goals...then life happens, the plans aren't what they expected and they stress so much because they are just so focused on the "perfect" plans that went wrong???
Yes, that would be me. 
If you have followed along on my Instagram then you would know just what I mean. The new  year started off with both my sister and father in law in the hospital with test after test being ran. I was an emotional mess because my sister and I are so so close while my father in law is the best one I could dream for. Then my blog being totally crashed was just added pressure on top. Let me tell you, when you blog, losing a blog is tragic (okay maybe not tragic, but it hurts). My host that provides my domain had a glitch in their site and rather than my domain automatically renewing, it canceled my contract. Yuck.
(Oh, and let me just give a huge thank you to my sweet friend Madison from The Wetherills Say I Do. She is the absolute best for helping me with my site problems! That girl is the most blog savy of anyone I have met in this blogging community!)
In the end, we are praising the Lord that my family is now back home, completely healthy and my blog is finally back up. But honestly looking back at how my year started out, I'm really glad that I had something break me down. I have found myself really depending on these perfect plans to happen and completely being blindsided when they don't, and that is not a way to live yall. So this month will be taken slow and steady. The very first of February, Sean and I will be going on a much needed anniversary trip re-do since our original anniversary trip had to be canceled. So until we return from the trip, I just plan to take life pretty easy which includes many lazy days on the couch, watching a lot of HGTV and simply being simple. 
January, you may be the best month yet.