House · Life · travel

Sunflowers Galore

Who doesn’t love sunflowers? They’re big, bright, and scream summer.

Yesterday we went to the first annual Sunflower Festival at Wild Things Farm. We knew it was going to be a hot day so we were there at the 9am opening. It didn’t help one bit. It was hot as blazes! We spent an hour picking sunflowers and taking photos under the suns death rays before we were all drenched in sweat and called it quits. We did make it out with tons of sunflowers though.  My house is covered in vases of sunflowers and I LOVE IT!

untitled-1-114

untitled-1-117
Paula, Me, Liam, Emily

After that, we needed something cold to drink so we went to the ever faithful Savoy Tea Company and enjoyed their drinks and air conditioning.

untitled-1-115untitled-1-116untitled-1-112

untitled-1-110

I can’t believe how much I’ve done this month. I mean, it was intended and I have been working toward having months exactly like this one, but wow, I’m really living life to the fullest! In July I have spent a week in San Antonio, a weekend in Missouri, went to a festival, had the best massage and facial I could have ever imagined, and still had time to work out regularly. I feel better mentally and physically than I have in years.

Advertisements
Life · stress free zone · travel

Turning 40

I have been so excited to turn forty. To many, it’s THE dreaded birthday, but not for me. I couldn’t be happier. Since the beginning of the year I started making changes in my life and through a ton of hard work and perseverance, I’m seeing the results of all the planning and work. I know to the bottom of my soul that my 40’s are going to be my best years yet!  They are because I’m going to make them the best.  I’m going to live my best life and all my goals are going to happen.untitled-1-125

untitled-1-126
How I plan to spend much of the next forty years!

For my birthday, my friends (The Dinner Club) took me two and a half hours away to Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri for the night. Holy cow, guys. This place was amazing! Everywhere you drove, everywhere you looked, there was a view! I would have taken far more photos, but we were too busy enjoying all the amenities to carry around a camera all over the large resort. Big Cedar even had me a little birthday cake and a card welcoming us there. I mean, come on… If you can make the trip to Big Cedar, DO IT!  It’s so worth it.

untitled-1-118untitled-1-119untitled-1-121untitled-1-120

We took a trip down the lazy river before eating ice cream then going to the salt water pool and relaxing. We went to lunch and dinner at the Devil’s Pool Restaurant and I had the oven prosciutto and brie pizza, which I loved. For dinner that night I had an appetizer of pork belly over a pea puree (seriously, the pork belly was freaking phenomenal) and for my entrée I had the Fresh Trout over lemon rice and spinach. They also brought us out a large brownie covered in ice cream for my birthday. It was great and we ate it all!

 

My sweet friends spent the day making me feel so special. I can’t tell you the amount of times I was nearly in tears from the amount of kindness that was showed to me the entire day. And even though my gift was them taking me there, they still got me a gift certificate for a massage and facial for when I got home.

My advice, find friends who truly care about you. I don’t mean friends who will buy you things and take you places, I mean friends who go out of their way to put a smile on your face and make you feel special. I’m lucky to have friends like that.

As for turning 40, other than my husband not being able to be there, it was the best birthday I’ve ever had. All thanks to The Dinner Club and Big Cedar Lodge.

Life · stress free zone · travel

Daycation

In late December, I listened to a Podcast episode from Rachel and Dave Hollis that impacted me deeply. So much so I begged my husband to listen to it (and he did) so he would understand what was about to happen, had to happen, and hoped he would be 100% behind me (and he is). I preordered Girl Wash Your Face and by doing that I received a video she did giving steps on how to achieve your goals. That night I bought a notebook and wrote down exactly how I wanted my life to be. A very detailed list. Seriously, I even wrote down what color nail polish I could see myself wearing in my vision of myself.

I had made the decision that if I wanted this life I envisioned, I’m the only person who was going to make it happen. No fairy god-mother was going to come down with her magical wand and grant me my dreams. I was going to work hard, real hard, and live the life I want.

Every morning (I have missed a handful of days) I get up an hour earlier than I used to. I spend at least thirty minutes looking at my vision, dream, goal, whatever you want to call it, list then write down what I’m going to do that day to get a step, even if it’s small, closer to my goal. I also write down what happened the day before. This way every single day I have a mission and I don’t forget what I’m working towards.

Amazingly enough, it’s working.

I’m not going to say everything that’s on my list, but its three pages long. So far I’ve paid off two credit cards and by this time next year we should be completely out of credit card debit. I haven’t drank Dr. Pepper since January 1st and honestly, I was addicted to it. I have a regular physical activity routine. I trained for and ran a 5k!!! I get out more and spend time with friends. A couple of weeks ago I went on a daycation kayaking trip with my bestie and had more fun than I’ve had in far too long. I was in my element. Kayaking and traveling were both on my list too! And this isn’t a check off list. This is a lifestyle list.

BTW, kayaking at Hochatown was one of the cleanest and fun rivers I’ve kayaked down!

untitled-1-109

untitled-1-107
My face cracks me up.  The water was freezing!

 

Speaking of traveling, in 2019 I may have the chance to take two trips out of country! Not one, but two! Without making my goal list and looking at it every day, I don’t think it would be even remotely possible.

My 20’s were long and I had small children. My focus was on them. My 30’s flew by so quickly it’s mind boggling. Now, being less than a month away from 40 (it doesn’t seem possible), I want to spend this decade enjoying every single year! I want to soak it in. I am going to travel, live with less, have adventures, and be debt free. I want to take cooking classes and have photos my great grandchildren think, “dang, my Yaya knew how to live!”.  Curveballs happen, they always do. Heck, I’ve already had a few big ones in the last 6 months, but I just go back and read my list and figure out how the new circumstance can fit into my goal and not how I’m going to fit into the circumstance.

Life’s short ya’ll. We gotta live it while we can.

health · stress free zone

We Did It!

The Dinner Club Runs!

We ran (I use that word loosely) a 5k yesterday!  It was 75 degrees with 88% humidity and most of the time I felt like I was going to pass out or die, but we made it.  My goal was to finish in 40 minutes or less, but with the heat, I couldn’t force myself to go any faster than I was.  No kidding, I was seeing spots.  We did finish in 45:15, which isn’t too bad for my second race ever.

My husband is amazing.  He could have ran it twice and still beat me, but he stuck by my side and give me all the encouraging words to keep going when all I really wanted to do was lay down on the sidewalk until a golf cart picked me up.  I’m one lucky lady!

Here are some photos.  They are not great quality, but thought I would share.  Doing more 5k’s was on my goal list and every single day I’m chipping away at that list to become the person I want to be.  I’m happy I was able to take one little step, but it felt huge.  We can all do anything if we set our minds to it.

untitled-1-101
Michael and Me before the race.
untitled-1-102
Michael and his sister and one of my best friends, Carrie
untitled-1-100
From left to right: Carrie, Darla, Amanda, Me, Paula (The Dinner Club)

untitled-1-103

untitled-1-105
Halfway mark and I was dying! It was so hot!!
DIY · Sewing

Jewell Quilt

This quilt! Oh, how I love it. First, let’s start off with the fabric. This is probably my favorite to date. It’s Desert Bloom by Moda and I adore every design in the collection. I had a jelly roll I purchased from Missouri Star Quilt Company and I went on the search for a pattern a quilter like me, a semi-beginner, could tackle. I came across the Scrappy On Point Triangle Quilt Angela Walters posted on YouTube.untitled-1-88

I downloaded the free pattern on Craftsy and got to work. I did add to the size as I knew I wanted it for a summer blanket on my bed. This sucker ended up being a whopping 72”x77”. The top was a breeze. What was not a breeze was fitting that humongous quilt under the neck of my little sewing machine. I’m going to be honest and tell you the “straight line” quilting isn’t so straight. Actually, it’s pretty much a wave all the way through.

untitled-1-89

The neck of my sewing machine is about three inches long. There wasn’t any amount of rolling, tugging, and crying (yes, there was a point I was in literal tears) that is going to give me straight lines on this big girl. So, I did the best I could all the while swearing and shaking my fist in the air like Scarlett O’Hara that one day I’d never have to quilt on this sewing machine again. I can’t tell you guys how many times I’ve looked longingly at sewing machines with an eight inch neck. All that space? I would be unstoppable. Anyways, I digress.

untitled-1-91
See what I mean about the straight lines?  I should have color coordinated my backing thread…

 

I made the binding using the continuous bias binding method that’s just too simple for words and hand sewed the binding to the quilt. Even with all its imperfections, I love this quilt. I named it Jewell because the pattern reminds me of little jewels. My grandmother Jewell, would have loved to see this quilt, but I’ll think of her every time I see it. I miss her so much.

untitled-1-90

 

Product List

Fabric – Desert Bloom by Moda. 1 jelly roll

Background fabric – some white fabric I had on hand.

Backing – Desert Bloom by Moda. 5 yards.

Thread – Amann Group, Isacord 40 Col. 0015 A7611 (100% cotton)

Pattern – Craftsy Scrappy On Point Triangle

2.5 inch binding – Continuous Binding Tutorial

DIY · Sewing

Lil Red

untitled-1-57As soon as I saw this panel by Susan Hsu for Moda in my local fabric shop I had to get it. The colors are vibrant and the pattern is simple and cute. It’s adorable and I know Harper will love playing with it in a year or so. For now, she will get to look at it from the shelves in her room.  I found the panel on Amazon if you would like to make one yourself.  Here

untitled-1-58

I’ve worked on it and put it aside to do other projects numerous times, but with having an extra day off work this week I finally had enough time to get it finish. It was nice to have a switch from a large project and nonstop quilts. It was also fabulous to work in my new office/sewing room. I can’t believe how much easier it was to get it finished when everything I needed was in one place.

untitled-1-59

It also happens to be my first mini-quilt. It called to sew the quilt right sides together and flip it inside out, but I decided to make it like a regular quilt and did a binding. I made the binding out of the red edging that framed out the panel. I’m not going to say it went smoothly, because it didn’t, but I do like that it has a red border around the quilt.

It’s definitely time to get my scissors sharpened, buy new needles for the sewing machine, and a new blade for my rotary cutter. I guess the two half-hexi quilt tops (I’ll be posting those soon) I finished has dulled all my cutting utensils. Though, I do think someone in the house has been using my scissors for something other than fabric!

Things that have been going on lately:

  1. My husband is currently tearing out the ugly rock fireplace so we can rebuild it the way we want. My house is covered in dust right now.
  2. I finished two half-hexi quilt tops. A twin size for Harper and a full size for a friend. I’m looking for the perfect backing for each then I’ll post about them.
  3. We painted the downstairs room which is now my office/sewing room. The paint alone made it look like a completely new room.  I still have a long way to go to make the room the way I want it.
  4. Emily (my daughter) and Liam (my 8 month old grandson) are down for the week and it’s been a blast!
  5. My friends and I had our monthly dinner club meeting and the host blew us away with her menu AND she did all that for us on her birthday!
  6. I have spring fever!  I’m ready for camping, kayaking, and fresh flowers on my table.

As always, life has been hectic, but it’s been great.  I’m learning to embrace the crazy and enjoy the moments of quiet peace when I find them.  I’m working hard on achieving my goals for the life I want and love being able to see the monthly progress we are making.

What have you been up to?  Any spring plans?  Any projects?

 

Life · stress free zone

One Hour Early

untitled-1-48

Trying to find time for myself in this season of my life is difficult. My days seem cram packed with work, cooking, cleaning, and babysitting. While I’m at work I imagine all the things I’m going to get done when I get home, but as soon as I clock out I have so many things to do by the time I can take a breath, it’s 9pm, I’m wore out and ready for bed.

Thanks to some advice from Rachel Hollis at The Chic Site, I’ve been waking up an hour early every morning (even weekends). I’m actually writing this post during one of my early mornings.   I’m surprised how much I can get done in one single hour while everyone else sleeps. I’m not talking about cleaning, laundry, etc. I’m talking about achieving my goals.

Every morning I sit down with my notebook containing my goal and all the thing that will have to be done to meet my goal and decide what I can do in that one day to get just a little bit closer to accomplishing it. My goal is huge for me. It’s a goal I have dreamed about for years now, but didn’t see a way to get there with my life the way it is right now. Things simply aren’t working the way they are now. I’m not happy in this season and neither is my husband. Happy with each other, yes! Happy with the direction we’re going in life, no. So you know what? It’s time to change my life to meet my goals.  That first step is waking up an hour early so I have the time to really look at myself and my day and make it happen.

I’m a month in, and though my goals are going to take a long time to achieve, I’m seeing small progress. Far more progress than I was at a month ago. In addition, I feel better about me. I’m becoming more optimistic about my dreams that I worried would never be fulfilled. Instead of dreading the day, I’m eager to get going and conquer the day. In general, my attitude toward myself and others has been far more forgiving and more pleasant. The people around me are noticing the difference also. I don’t know how many times in the last month I’ve been told it’s good to see the old me coming back to life. For over a year I’ve been in a complete fog and the light has finally started to clear the haze.

I’ve worked hard this month to create a good foundation on which I can build on throughout the rest of the year and the rest of my life. I’m more excited than I’ve been in a long time and can’t wait to see where this leads me.

Tell me what you would do with your hour?