Monday, September 26, 2016

Before and After :: Kitchen and Family Room

I love me some good before and afters and this one is no exception! There is just something about 'before and after' pictures that makes my heart skip a beat and makes it all worth it. I'm not sure I want to do it again but...I've said that before!

What we thought would take maaaaaybe a year, took two. Surprising exactly 0 people on Earth but, better late than never, right?!

So, here we go! We're gonna start in the kitchen because anyone who knows me, knows I spend approximately 12 hours a week here and only 1 of which is spent actually cooking. #iliketoeat

So, not too bad right? Well, except for the very inconspicuous SPIRAL STAIRCASE in the middle of the kitchen. But, who'd even notice that, right?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

High Protein Snack and a Summery Dessert!

Wanted to share one of my favorite and super easy snacks that we've been enjoying this summer!

Fruit Punch Greek Yogurt



1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
1 scoop AdvoCare Fruit Punch Rehydrate

Stir and eat!

I usually do 1 cup and 2-2.5 scoops. You can adjust to your preference!

Haven't tried this one but plan on making it for new teammates that are coming for dinner tonight! I'll let you know how it turns out but, I'm sure it will be amazing (if you've had Limeade Spark, you know what I mean!)

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, June 13, 2016

How Are You?

What do you say when someone asks you how you are?

Is it, "Busy!"? Mine was. 

And most of the time I had a grin from ear to ear as if it were something to be proud of - like the person on the other end would then obviously think I was super important, right?!

Then, a couple months ago, something became very clear:

The very thing I was so proud of - was the thing holding me back from the freedom, peace and simplicity that I craved. 

What's so funny is that, I WASN'T EVEN REALLY THAT BUSY! Oh, the irony ha! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


I love change. I love new. And a lot has been changing and a lot is new! I've been wanting to make a shift in my blog for awhile but, wasn't sure how. 

When I'm not sure how to do something, I just step out and do it and figure it out as I go. So, this is my stepping out and figuring it out as I go!

Up to this point, ya'll probably don't need any reminding that I've been a inconsistent, at best, at keeping up with this blog! (which will be gettin' a little facelift soon! ok, maybe not a total facelift but, maybe a lil' botox here and there!)

Moving, renovating, building a home-based business - all with 3 kids 5 and under will do that to a person!

But there is light. Light at the end of the tunnel and I see so clearly now - like never before. I really considered scrapping this blog completely and starting over but, this blog is a very inconsistent journey of my 4 past years and you can't just delete your past!

Thankfully, you CAN be healed and broken free from it, but it can't be deleted. 

I totally find encouragement in that and I hope you do too! The past is the past but, the future is so bright. SO bright.

And that's really where my journey began. Once someone shared that with me and taught me about forgiveness, my entire world changed. Everything in and around me. And it is so awesome. So awesome.

I want to share what I've learned along the way in hopes of it transforming your life and helping you advance in all areas.

So I've basically gone from hot mess express to completely unoffendable, totally at peace and I have zero fear. I mean, who doesn't want that?! You guys, it's the most incredible place to be.

Maybe there's something holding you back - I want to show you how to break free.
Maybe you're looking for encouragement and inspiration.
Maybe you have set a life or business goal but for the life of you, you cannot hit your target.
Maybe you want a better marriage.
Maybe you want to be a better mom.
Maybe you want to be challenged to become more.

Maybe you want some good recipes and workouts.
Maybe you want to know that your kids aren't the only ones who pee in the front yard every chance they get (if you have girls, I hope that's not accurate ha!)
Maybe you want to know that you aren't married to the only man who needs one of these...

Note: I may be unoffendable but, still highly irritated 
by facial hair all over my countertop - we're all a work in progress!

Well, friend. You're in the right place!
Here you will find experience, coupled with Truths.
Ones that I hope you will use to launch into and fulfill your God-given purpose and destiny!

You were created to be BIG and do BIG THINGS!

Monday, May 16, 2016

What's Up Wednesday!

Disclaimer: the formatting may or may not be a hot mess due to my typing this in Pages on a plane and attempting to transfer to blogger. Apparently, the two don't jive!

And by Wednesday - apparently, I mean Friday! This was supposed to publish two days ago but but was too busy yesterday to check! Good busy 😄💪 
Been a fun week of traveling - Denver, Dallas and Nashville and then off to Orlando in a couple weeks! Love traveling but I haven't quite figured out the meal prep while traveling situation yet. For instance, in the airport. They've 100% stepped their meal game up. There are all kinds of great options there now, stir fry, salads, etc but here's my demise.  S U S H I.

I know what you're thinking. airport sushi.

It could go horribly wrong...or horribly right. And my friends, it went so right. And these airport rolls are not your average roll. They're like mondo rolls. And of course I can't waste perfectly good sushi, right?

Let's just say that shortly after this was taken I was googling "is there such a thing as a carb headache" and "how to get rid of a carb headache."

But friends - SO worth it.

Ok so on with the show!

What I’m reading

Disclaimer: seems to be a lot of those lol...

this should say what I’m listening to. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve read (and completed) an actual book. I listen in the car on the way to the gym, while I’m folding laundry, doing dishes, etc. It’s the most efficient way for me to get the info into my brain in this particular season of life…Since I have some catching up to do, I’ll have to save a post for another day on the backlog on what I’ve read because there are some solid recommendations in there BUT, here’s what I’m reading right now.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

This book. Swear. It was written for me. It’s all about surrounding yourself ONLY with things you love and if it doesn’t “spark joy”. Get rid of it. So basically the way I lived ages 18-22. I moved approximately 37 and a half times and each time my list of belongings got smaller. 

“Have I used that in the last 4 hours? No? Ok, toss it. Ain’t nobody got time to pack and move that.” I’ve since married a man whose hobbies include garage saleing and collecting “cool stuff”…but because that’s apparently subjective, we disagree on what’s “cool” but, I digress. Once you get past her talking to inanimate objects (? does not compute) you will find this technique to be very effective in creating simplicity. I’ve done a few areas of the house and let me tell you what. You haven’t lived till you’ve KonMari’d. Mostly your husbands stuff.

No Excuses: The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy

This one is a pretty 'give it to ya straight' kinda book and I am LOVING it! It's all about commitment to achieving certain goals and it's got me straight fired up! If you want to get things done - this book is for you. 

I have figured out that consistency in a positive direction is the key to succeeding at anything in life. Literally, anything!

"Most people think success comes from good luck or enormous talent, but many successful people achieve their accomplishments in a simpler way: through self-discipline. No Excuses! shows you how you can achieve success in all three major areas of your life, including your personal goals, business and money goals, and overall happiness." - the inside front cover of the book 

What else is happnin' 

Finally getting some house projects done! The before and afters are INSANE. It's hard for me to remember what it even looked like before but loving seeing it come together! Lord, give me strength on our next remodel. This one about wore me OUT! 

And finally - I'm getting my NASM Personal Training Certification! As it happens, I'm just as terrible of a student now as I was in college (strangely enough, I'm a high 'Learner'.) and apparently it also corresponds with the way I view packing for vacation. Throw stuff in a suitcase 25 minutes before you're supposed to leave for the airport. May or may not have forgotten an average of 8 items each time I travel. But hey - I got my SUSHI! 

What are ya'll up to?! Love hearing from you :) 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Protein Pudding. Yes, this actually exists!

It is a widely known fact in my family that I am not a fan of cooking, baking or anything of the sort. When I do cook, I have two temperatures. 

Off or High. 

There is no medium. Who has time for medium? OR I'll turn something on, completely forget about it until I smell molten metal and realize I had a pan on high for 20 minutes. 

So, it's really best that I stick to cold, or less than 5 ingredient dishes. 

Something you'd feel comfortable letting a toddler cook. That's where I really shine. 

So this one is basically life changing. Protein and chocolate. What else is there in life?! ha!

Enter - Muscle. Gain. PUDDING. 

You guys. This concoction is so life-changing I practically’d it’s original creator. It traces back to a lovely lady name miss Susannah Padgett. She’s of AdvoCarian decent and you can find her here. She periodically posts food stuff but I secretly hope she starts posting how-to hair videos. Because really.

Usually my pre-bedtime (8:00pm) snack

2 Scoops Muscle Gain
2 Scoops COLD water
mix that up then add in:
1-2 TBS Sugar Free Pudding

Some insider tips:

Start with a tablespoon and as more as needed. Depends on the consistency you're looking for. I like more pudding mix because I like a really thick, almost frosting like consistency. Because, who doesn't #amiright

Stick that bad boy in the freezer for a few minutes and enjoy! 

You can mix up flavors as well. My current favorite is Vanilla Muscle Gain and Pistachio pudding mix! 

Hope ya'll enjoy this as much as I do. Protein at bedtime is so key for those gains! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Because nobody puts Baby in a corner. Nobody!

But evidently, it's the only way I operate. To back myself into a corner, commit to something and then just figure out how to do it. 

Because apparently keeping 3 miniature humans alive isn't enough. 

- I'm going to hit my macros everyday 

- I'm going to totally KonMari my life before June (don't worry - more on this practically created-for-me style of organizing later)

- I'm going to stick to a budget (WHICH I totally have, thank you very much! Except that Health & Beauty category - ladies, why lookin' so good gotta be so expensive?! But I've got some budget hacks I'm excited to share with you guys!)

- I'm going to schedule out my entire day the night before every, single night (this time/priority management thing has got me all kindsa hemmed up but, I've called in the pro's to share some systems - and ya'll know I love a good system.) 

- I'm going to get my NASM cert. 

- I'm going to blog once a week. There. THERE! I said it. 

Why, why is this?! Please tell me there are more of you out there. Can we start a support group? We'll just drink Spark and solve the world's problems in like 8 hours. It will be fabulous.

Practically my anthem. 

Uhm. No thank you. I'll take that diligence thing You mentioned. 

This is no bueno, folks. We must boss up and get busy.

So, here's to dreaming, digging in and DOING.

It's gonna be a blast - join me! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Linda, Linda just listen, Linda. Budgeting. It's all the go.

Admittingly, this was me. For the majority of my life.

I mean you guys, I had A KID. How on Earth would I possibly have time to figure out at budget?! I mean, seriously. Who has time for that.

Oh friends, the lies we tell ourselves...

But, I believed that lie for a lonnnng time. And the lie of, "well I certainly can't ask how much something costs. What if someone thinks I can't afford it?!" Oh, the humanity, right. 

Well, over the past few months I couldn't shake this almost nagging feeling to give. Like really give. Generously. Then I realized, I didn't even know if we could and if we could, how much is 'generous'? 

I don't know about you but, I personally don't like not being able to do something that I wanna do. Some call it a personality flaw, I prefer to call it 'resolute' ha!

The next morning, I was reading my devotional and lo and behold - this was the verse. 

The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty." -Proverbs 21:5

Uhm. What. I mean, if you don't hear that message loud and clear - you should find the nearest CVS and check your vital signs. 

Then, not even joking you guys, the next days devotion was this. 
And I'm not even reading Proverbs...

So, I was like ok, this is serious. I need to call in reinforcements. I have zero clue how to budget. Luckily, I have Rainman for a husband. Bonus. 

So, we sit down, I tell Justin what's up and he, of course, is all for it. That may, or may not have been because he's been trying to budget for the past 6 years of our marriage...but I digress.

Here's the real deal: I didn't want to budget. Money scared me. Like I wouldn't even look in the account. I'd just be like "oh, it's in there, it's fine." It completely controlled me

To the point that I didn't even know what was truly important to me because, if I wanted something well, I just went out and got it. I didn't want to sit down and actually be accountable for my spending. We didn't have debt other than our house so I'd be like, 'what's on the schedule today? Well, Target of course, and let's throw in some Flutter with a side of Lulu.' And THERE was the problem. It was the heart, coupled with lack of intention and stewardship behind it. Sadly, I think a lot of people live this way and I'm here to tell you, the other way, the hard(er) in the beginning way is SO WORTH IT. I have been asking God to clean out my heart. Make room for Him. And this was one of those areas of my life I hadn't given to Him. Because that meant I had to GROW UP, sit down, be a woman and budget. 

And I mean, who really wants any part of this?! 
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. - James 1:14-15

Uhm. No thank you. I'll just be obedient, thank you very much. 

So off we went! 

And what does every person do that wants to know how to do something? Why you google it, of course. Well, that pretty much sent my brain into self destruct shut down mode. Are you kidding me? Something that should be so simple. WHY IS THIS SO HARD?!

Wellll okaaayyy, so, this budget thing is no joke. That's right. Lifeline time. Phone a friend. 

Said friend, to whom we're forever grateful (Wendi and Jeff!) showed us their glorious, debt-free ways. We were mesmerized. It's called YNAB. And it's amazing. It's like an electronic envelope system. I love the envelope system. We even took Financial Peace a year ago but, it never clicked until this. I couldn't wrap my mind around someone carrying around hundreds, or thousands of dollars. For someone who loses a Chap Stick every 8 and a half seconds - the cash system was not for me. The app on your phone is always with you so you always know where you're at budget-wise and you won't lose your cash!

It took us Justin an hour and a half to enter all of our fixed expenses into the spreadsheet. And if you don't have an Oasis on deck, go ahead and whip one of those up - 'cause experience says - you may need it.  

Goal: To figure out where your money goes, give each dollar a 'job' and get control of your finances

  • Step 1: put your income into "To Be Budgeted"
  • Step 2: Assign appropriate amount for giving
  • Step 3: Divvy up remaining amongst "Immediate Obligations" (mortgage, electric, food)
  • Step 3: Followed by savings
  • Step 4: Followed by "True Expenses" (Gifts, health/beauty - and oh was this one tested this     month, etc. Not supplements. Ya'll know, those are up in the immediate obligations category) These are monthly essentials but not necessarily obligations, if that makes sense. These are some of the areas where we cut the fat.
  • Step 5: Followed by "Quality of Life Goals" (vacations, Christmas, home projects, etc.)
  • Step 6: Followed by "Fun Money"

Don't sweat, if even this lost ya. YNAB has awesome tutorials and help. Hang with me, kid. 
The key is that EVERY dollar has a job. So even if your pest control is $90 every 3 months, you still budget $30 for it each month so when the time comes, it's already spoken for. 
Which brings me to an important point. You may get to where there's money in your bank account and you're like "oh! yay! Shopping!" No ma'am. That money already has a job. It's paying your car insurance 4 months from now. See? Discipline is definitely required but, He doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called so, ante up baby!

The app is SO easy to use and the most notable unintended consequence is that apparently, I'm lazy and I'd rather not spend money than have to spend it and put it into the app so, there's also that.

So a little recap: 

Month 1: 

Ate tuna and pickles for the last 3 nights of January because apparently, the gourmet rice cakes and super awesome already trimmed $10/lb chicken I bought the first week wasn't exactly 'in the budget'. Hey, I'm learning. And what better way to teach me than with protein!

Month 2:

Mama's got this thing on lock down. And it wasn't without being tested, that's for sure but, now I'm super good at saying, "uh, ma'am. That $42 face wash isn't in the budget." (got a fun story about that one for another day) And our kids - just got a whole new wardrobe of garage sale clothes and I'm straight fired up about it. It's funny how when you want something so badly (for us it's giving and debt-freedom, for some it may be a Disney vacation or to turn the heat up past 65) that you'll do whatever you've got to do to figure it out. There is so much freedom and grown-upness in that and I'm so grateful for my freedom. 

Living a life of decrease is so indescribably freeing. It's making room for the things that matter! I'll be journaling my journey of decrease and simplifying, in case you want to join me. It's a lot more fun to do with others! 

Bottom line: For me, it's about learning to do hard things and LIKING to do hard things before I have to do hard things. Obedience isn't always easy but, it's so worth it!

Monday, February 1, 2016

So basically...

I love blogging. It's how I organize my brain. And I have more time now as I'm figuring some things out in life! Whew eeee it's been an amazing, challenging year of growth and freedom!

I definitely don't have it all figured out but, I have a LOT more figured out than I did a year ago and really just learning along side all the rest of you and having a blast doing life with some of the greatest people on the planet!  

Because, basically. I'm unoffendable. And it's so freeing. 

So, on this weeks agenda:

  • Gym time at a new gym. Yay for new, right?! I literally join a new gym every 48 seconds. I'm like someone please stop me. Seriously. But don't. Because I love it.
  • Groceries. Finally. You guys. I did the unthinkable and asked Justin to do a budget. And guess what's not in there. TARGET. I know. It's been...interesting. Don't worry. I'll fill you in. I had tuna and pickles for dinner Wednesday night if that tells you how well I did in January...
  • Can someone please just give me a schedule of daily life. Like, what do you do when you and your husband both work from home and have 3 kids 5 and under? If there's anyone matching that description. Holla at your girl. I have a job for you.
  • Unlikely so, I'll be figuring it out and sharing those fun times. And mark my words, I WILL figure it out! #yaysystems!
  • Pushing Facebook into the fire (I'll attempt to explain that analogy later.) You guys. I'm seriously so over it. I have such a love/hate relationship with it. I love seeing people's lives and their adorable kids but like I can't even deal with the other side. The whining, complaining, negativity and basic uselessness of that kind of thinking. Like can. not. deal. But, I love connecting. And memes. So....yeah. We'll see how that pans out.
You guys are so great. 2016 is going to be awesome in different ways for each of us :)