Month: December 2014


guidelines typewriter wide LRSo 2015 is almost here…how did THAT happen?  I don’t know about y’all, but this year absolutely flew by for me.  Don’t get me wrong, even though I am super excited for 2015 to arrive, along with the boost of “anything is possible” energy that always sets in come January, 2014 was pretty awesome and I’m a little sad to see it go.  After all, 2014 was (among other things):

1) the year I finally started to feel settled in our new home.
2) the year I fell in love with gardening.
3) the year we finished the fence (an epic journey that requires its own post).
4) the year I started this blog (!!!).

Still, a fresh start gets me every time. Raise your hand if you were the kid who LOVED shopping for school supplies.  Raise your other hand if walking into an Office Max or Staples still makes your heart flutter just a bit.  Now that both hands are in the air, wave ’em around like you just don’t care – you know you want to, people, admit it!

In all seriousness though, as most people do, I have spent the last few days reflecting on 2014 and the changes I want to make in the future.  I hesitate to call them “New Years Resolutions,” because I feel like that’s pretty much assuring they will be abandoned at some point (history would agree).  So instead I will simply call them “guideposts” – stuff I have mentally noted that I want to guide my life and actions in the future.  Guidepost sounds so much less daunting than resolution, don’t y’all agree?  So now, I invite you to relax, let me pull up a chair, as Circa 1932 proudly presents…my guideposts (bonus points if you caught that reference):

1) Less pressure, more presence:

This is really more of an overarching theme than anything else.  After alot of reflection, I think many if not all of the frustrations and stress in my life come from putting too much pressure on myself and others.  That’s not to say that 2015 will be the year of free passes or anything, but the older I get the more I realize that I have to be okay with imperfection.  I cannot possibly be a perfect wife, homemaker, sister, blogger, daughter, pup-parent, and friend, ALL at once, ALL the time – and that’s okay.  The Doctor cannot possibly be a perfect husband, physician, son, handyman, brother, pup-parent, and friend, ALL at once, ALL the time – and that’s okay, too!  Trying to be Wonder Woman 24/7, 365 just stresses me out to the point where I shut down and stop being present in my own life.  I get so overwhelmed that I just STOP – stop being there for my loved ones like I want to be, stop taking care of myself the way I deserve, stop laughing along with life…no bueno y’all.

I don’t know where I got the idea that we all have to be superheroes all the time.  I think perhaps it has something to do with social media and the feeling that we have to keep up with the digital Jonses.  But let’s be real – my life isn’t nearly as flawless as it would seem from my facebook profile, my tweets, or heck even this blog.  It’s easy to have a beautifully clean mantle in a picture when you can just move all the laundry and shoes and general life “stuff” out of frame, but you can’t sanitize your LIFE like that, and pressuring yourself or others to do so is a surefire recipe for disappointment.  So, this year, I am going to work on accepting the extra “stuff” – being content to be good at things in their own season and trying my best to be present in my own life, no matter how messy or uncomfortable it may be at any given moment.  I’m kind of a perfectionist so this is going to be super hard – check in on me in a few weeks (and bring chocolate and wine just in case).

2) Get healthy:

In past years, this would have been “lose weight,” and that is indeed part of the goal.  I have a bunch of extra baggage I have been carrying around, and my joints will be grateful if I lighten the load.  But this isn’t about just the number on the scale or on the tag in my favorite dress – I want to be HEALTHIER.  Eat better foods, meditate and pray more, laugh more, take better care of my skin and hair and nails.  I deserve that – I owe that to myself.  You only get one body so you better make is as awesome as it can be.  Which leads me to my next guidepost…

3) Lose the Diet Coke:

I am pretty sure if I went to donate blood today, they would get a bag full of Diet Coke.  I am hopelessly addicted to the stuff, and drink WAY more than I should.  For the Doctor, it’s Dr. Pepper (fitting, eh?), and he is trying to cut back as well.  There’s just no real reason to drink it – it’s expensive, it’s full of chemicals, it can promote osteoporosis by leeching calcium from our bones, etc.  Unfortunately for me it is also delicious, and pretty much the only way I drink caffeine, but I am determined to try and get off the soft drink train in 2015.

4) Stay Organized:

Note I said “stay organized” rather than “get organized.”  I am really good at coming up with all sorts of fun and pretty ways to get things in my life organized.  The problem is, they rarely stay that way.  Inevitably, life gets in the way and that drop zone bowl that was only going to hold my essentials (phone, wallet, keys) overflows with a hodgepodge of assorted (warning: technical term) crapola.  This year, I am determined to be more focused in my efforts and prioritize function and user-friendliness (read: long term doability) over “pretty” in my organizational efforts.  I’m not giving up my label-maker though – you’ll have to fight me for it, haha!

There are of course other ways I want to grow and change in 2015, but these are the main ones.  I am also going to make each of these guideposts a tag here on the blog, so that if I find a method or a product that help me follow the guideposts, I can share it with all of you in an easy-to-find way.  Hopefully there will be many many such posts!  What are your guideposts for this year?  Share them with me in the comments – I’d love to hear all about them!

Till next time,


It’s a four SOLO cup kinda night – a.k.a. DIY gold striped candles

Hey Y’all!  Today is just a super quick post to show you how I added some pizazz to plain ivory tapers for my Christmas decor.  I had seen these candles on an e-mail from World Market, but because there are no locations where I live (insert sad face here), I decided to DIY them.  I suppose I could have ordered online, but it seemed silly to pay shipping for just a few tapers.  And while I am certain I could have found other pretties on the website to keep my lonely tapers company, I am not sure the Doctor would be as thrilled with that as I would be.

These were crazy simple – all you need is some plain taper candles, some painters tape, and my favorite buddy, liquid leaf paint.  Just tape off your candles in whatever pattern you want – I chose stripes, like this:

candles taped
since I was DIYing, I decided to space the stripes out more 🙂

and then paint the exposed portions with the liquid leaf.  I used a disposable foam brush to minimize brushstrokes and save me the mineral spirits cleanup.  Peel off your tape immediately to ensure clean lines, and let them dry on your super sophisticated drying apparatus (see, SOLO cups don’t have to be associated with poor college decisions!).  Drying only takes 10 minutes or so, but it’s important to let them cure for an hour or so before you use them.

candles drying
ignore the bottle of glitter in this picture – I decided not to use it.

As a sidenote, I chose to leave the top inch or so plain wax, so I could burn them some without running into the liquid leaf.  I am not sure how it will react to the flame!  If you want to burn these all night, I would suggest just banding the bottom with gold so you have plenty of plain wax at the top.

I love the modern glam vibe these have – they are such a fun touch to my Christmas decor.  Want to know the best part?  These were free to me, since I had all the supplies on hand.  Can’t beat that!

Tune in later this week to see how I used these, as well as a look at my 2014 Christmas decor.  As always, feel free to comment – I love hearing from y’all!

Till next time,


New Camera and a Christmas Tree Reveal

Hello my lovelies!  Sorry for the silence the last few weeks – with the holiday season approaching here my time is not my own.  Hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are as excited as I am that Christmas is nearly upon us.

Speaking of Christmas, the Doctor let me open my gift a few weeks early (woo Cyber Monday!).  I am sure you can guess what it is from the title, but just in case you skimmed over that part, it’s a new DSLR!!!  <—three exclamation points ’cause I’m so darn excited 🙂

Specifically, it’s a Canon EOS Rebel T5i, and I am pretty smitten, I gotta admit.  As I do with all things I love, I am going to have to give her (yes, it’s a girl) a name.  I am leaning towards “Olive” or “Sadie” – both old fashioned names I love.  I am open to suggestions though – leave me a comment and weigh in!

I am a total DSLR novice, but I am already blown away by the quality of the pictures compared to my old cameras (iPhone 6 and Minolta Dimage 7i).  Here are some comparison shots so you can see the difference – both are straight out of the respective cameras (auto mode, no editing):

IPhone 6:

iphone tree

photobomb brought to you by the one and only Isabelle.
photobomb brought to you by the one and only Isabelle.

Not terrible, but not particularly good either.  Now the Canon:

canon treecanon tree 2

So much better, no?  And because I couldn’t resist, here are some edited shots from the Canon showing what it can really do.  I wouldn’t even attempt these with the iPhone or my old Dimage 7i – they just wouldn’t turn out.

Look at the subtle bokeh effect on the ribbon!  So in love.
Look at the subtle bokeh effect on the ribbon! So in love.
canon tree 3
slow shutter + high f-stop = starburst lights!
canon tree 4
check out that crystal ornament – so pretty and the camera caught every detail!

Needless to day, The Doctor gets beaucoup brownie points for an awesome Christmas gift.  What are y’all hoping to see under the tree this year?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Till next time,