Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spring Must Haves

I'm not a fashion blogger, but I love clothes and shoes.  I may even have an If I Was a Fashion Blogger post planned.  :)

With spring, sunshine and warm weather right around the corner, I'm dying for some new pieces for my wardrobe.  And specifically, some monogrammed things.  I'm loving all of these things!

Source: via Anna on Pinterest

Source: via Anna on Pinterest

What's on your list of must haves for this Spring?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Random Wednesday {February 27, 2013}

It's my favorite time of the week: Random Wednesday with Shanna!

Our electricity went out for several hours due to a small tornado last night.  That's twice we've been without lights in the past two weeks.  Weird.  The boys didn't seem to mind too much when we had all the candles going and I think they really enjoyed their bath by candlelight.

I now know how to find these awesome gifs and I am addicted!  Thanks to Kayla, I can see that my time online is going to be consumed with watching these!

I officially want to go where Bella and Edward went on their honeymoon. How about it, KT?

I'm ready for it to stop raining because I want to watch the boys play soccer and I want to stop running on the dreadmill. 

I've been feeling quite domestic lately.  Monday night, I made a chicken pot pie for the first time ever.  We ate it last night and it was good!  I'm always excited when I cook new things and the boys actually love them.  I'm still trying to cut out as many processed foods as I can because I know it's healthier for our family.  Doing this is requiring me to plan even more in advance.  I made chocolate chip cookies for the boys' lunches as opposed to the mini Chips Ahoy I usually send and made my own croutons for salads.  Every little bit counts, right?

Sometimes I wish I blogged totally anonymously so I could say what I really think about things.  There are just some things that are acceptable and others that aren't.

I know this is late, but I'm really excited about this year's Pantone Color of the Year!  I love this color and can't wait to add pops of it to my wardrobe!

{via Pantone}

I'm ready for my next few races.  There are four awesome races held here in the next few weeks and my fingers are crossed that I'll get to race them all.  I'm particularly excited about two of them.

I need to get a move on it and order my bridal portrait.  I think we've decided to go with this one:

I know it's not traditional, but it's very me.  I also want to order a smaller canvas of another one, maybe this one

or this one

Speaking of photos, I have a few I need to print that I want to use in our house.  I also think I want to do some type of collage over the chest of drawers in our bedroom, but haven't decided what yet.  Do you have any ideas or have any pins to share?

I'm really enjoying reading lately.  I'm currently reading three books {and I'm not normally one of those that can read more than one book at a time}.  I'm reading:

Have you read anything good recently?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Secrets of Doing It All

If you want to learn about how you can do it all, you've come to the right place!  Today, I'll tell you my secrets to doing it all.

Over the last few weeks, I've noticed both in blogland and in my own "drafts" folder, there have been quite a few posts about how we need to be refreshed, need more time in the day, feel like we're leaving things out and other posts along these lines.  The truth is, our society values busyness.  We are brought up thinking that we have to be involved in this, volunteer for that, go to this or that event and a whole myriad of other things to have a good life.  But you know what?  We're so wrong.

One of my greatest fears is that I will let things pass me by because I am too busy to be still and to soak it in.  If you've been around here a while, you may recall that my theme for this year is Soak It In.  And I'm really trying to do that.

I won't apologize for wanting to do it all.  I won't tell you that I don't constantly try to be better.  And I won't tell you that I have a lot of downtime because I don't.  But I will tell you the things that I'm learning {key word - learning}.

Secret #1: There is no such thing as doing it all.
One of the greatest impediments of doing it all is this notion that we can do it all.  It's really not possible {and for my extremely optimistic self to say something isn't possible, it isn't}.  We can do a lot, but even doing a lot, we're not going to do it all well.

Some time ago, I had to give up the thought that I can do it all.  And you know what?  It made my life easier.  I'll be the first to tell you that I try to do a lot, but I've learned that it's ok to sign up to bring the bag of chips to a preschool party as opposed to making homemade cookies or cupcakes.

Secret #2: Prioritize.
It's important to know what the most important people/things to you in life are and then make sure you're making those people/things your priorities.  For me, it's easy.  My husband, our boys, our families, my relationship with Christ, my job, my friends and exercise are the things that are most important to me.  Sometimes that means I have to stay up late if I want to have a few minutes alone my husband. It means I have to say no to doing something that I might want to do because I know our boys have an activity and I don't want to miss those. It means I may read my Bible and prayer during my lunch break.  It means I plan ahead for my exercise and often run out of the house in the morning to fit it in so I can devote my evenings to the ones I love.

Secret #3: Don't commit if you can't give it your all.
Over the years, I've been involved in lots of different things.  From activities at church to the Junior League to  the Heart Ball.  I know I am/was that woman people saw and thought, "hey, we'll ask Anna to do this.  She can't say no."

Recently, I've learned to say no.  Here's an example for you.

I was super involved in the Junior League when I first started.  I volunteered for any and everything and loved it.  I was over various areas of our largest fundraiser and this year, chaired that fundraiser.  But things have changed.  I have a new job and while it affords me some flexibility, I don't have the ability to be gone several hours every Friday to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club {and my new position is very community-minded so I'm still able to do things}.  We also have two very active boys and I don't want to miss their soccer / t-ball or whatever else because of meetings.  That, plus some other things and mainly the busyness in my life, has caused me to decide to step down from the League this year.  While I wish I could still be involved and help out, I just can't commit because I know that I can't give it my all.

The same goes for other things.  This sounds horrible to say, but I would absolutely love to be in a Bible study that some women do at our church during the week.  Unfortunately, I can't commit to go but every other week, so I decided not to do it.  During this season of my life, it's just not working, but later, it will.  Even though I'm not participating in this study at church, I'm starting a study with a group of lovely ladies later this week.  I am so thankful that God has answered my prayers to be able to learn more about Him and grow closer to Him in a group of other like-minded women.

Secret #4: Invest your time in what matters.
The last secret I have for you is to invest your time / talents into what matters most to you.  Look at those priorities, look at your commitments and invest yourself into those.  Make sure they align.

I have a list of projects a mile long that I want to complete, recipes pinned that I want to try and things I want to do, but I choose to invest my time in what matters to me.  I choose to sit down at night and play ninja warriors, legos or trains.  I choose to make an effort to not go to sleep when we put the boys to bed so I can spend quality time with my husband.  I choose to watch my favorite shows On Demand.  I choose to plan ahead so that I can get my workouts in and my meals cooked.  I choose to run and workout when I'm able to in the mornings or at lunch.  I choose to live my life and enjoy it and not be stuck in a rut of busyness.  I choose to soak it in.

February Cara Box Reveal

This month's Cara Box theme was #ClubSexy.  {If you haven't participated in the Cara Box swap hosted by Wifessionals, you're seriously missing out!}  I was received an awesome box from the lovely Beth and I sent my box to Kelly.

Beth filled my box with all kinds of fun things!

She sent a fun "Book of Love" for both KT and I to fill out one date night with questions about each other in each book.  {I should say that when my husband was flipping through his book for me, he said there wasn't enough space to write about the toppings I put on my froyo!}

She also included a delicious sounding recipe, Romantic Greek Chicken.  We love Greek Chicken and I'm always looking for new recipes.  I can't wait to try it out!

She also made us a bookmark that includes verses from 1 Corinthians as well as a thumbprint tree.

The beach is a special place for us {we even got engaged there} and this candle smells just like the beach!

Thank you, Beth, for a great #ClubSexy Cara Box!

If you haven't signed up to be a part of March's Cara Box, you still have time!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Our Weekend, Oscar Picks and Some Other Miscellaneous Things

1. We had a great weekend.  Friday night, we celebrated our niece's ninth birthday {Happy Birthday, KK!} at Chuck E. Cheese.  At 7:30 p.m.  And it was fun!  There were so many kids running around and I felt like I needed to take a shower when we got home, but we had fun.  The boys loved playing the games.  KT and K.C. stuck together and Kaden and I did.  He was so cute with his little cup of coins.  They also love air hockey.

2. Saturday was a really productive day for us. I finally finished the wedding scrapbook I've been wanting to put together with our invitation, program and cards, we got some other things done around the house, I had a great workout and we had a fun date night complete with Italian from our favorite local restaurant, frozen yogurt {for me} and a game of Super Mario World.

3. Yesterday was good, too.  I got in a great run after church and last night, my parents and sister came to see us {I really think they just come for the boys!}

4. I attempted to watch the Oscars, but y'all, I just wasn't feeling it last night.  I did, however, like some of the fashion.  My favorites {which surprisingly to me did not include my normal loves of Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Garner} were:

{Images via Huffington Post}

5. I am pretty excited about all the monogrammed pretties I'm falling in love with for the Spring.  I love that I have a new monogram and I can't wait to have it on things {you know, like shoes, purses, phone cases and pillows}.  Later this week, I'll share my Spring Must Haves.

6. I have a slight addiction for kitchen gadgets.  I picked up a Tiffany Blue Kitchen Aid slotted turner this weekend.  Why I love gadgets, I don't know, but they make me happy.

7.  A few of the women I work with and I are starting a Bible study this week.  I'm pretty excited!  It's amazing to see how God places certain people in your life and I feel so blessed to work with the people I do.

8. I used the griddle my mom gave me for Valentine's Day to make french toast for the first time.  It's great and easy!

I'm linking up with:


miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Friday, February 22, 2013

Some New Exercises: Health & Fitness Friday {February 22, 2013}

I'm glad to finally be back linking up with Jen for today's Health & Fitness Friday!

After having to take a little time off, it feels great to be back in my regular exercise routine!  

Workouts for the Week
Friday: 5.2 miles
Saturday & Sunday: Off Days - I did run around in the snow both days if that counts!
Monday: 5.65 miles/40:00; ab workout
Tuesday: 2.16/ 15 minutes; upper body, abs, glutes at the gym
Wednesday: 3.1 miles; 200 weighted sit ups, 60 weighted side sit ups, 40 pull ups
Thursday: Upper body, abs, and glutes at the gym
Today: 3.1 miles; 250 weighted sit ups, 60 weighted side sit ups, 50 pull ups

Total Miles: 19.21
Total Workouts: 6

I also had a healthy eating week.  With the exception of Zaxby's one night, Chickfila another and some eggos for breakfast one day, I ate clean all week.  I've also only been drinking water with an occasional {sugarless} coffee.

I've also found a lot of healthy, clean recipes and I'm looking forward to trying them out next week.

With swimsuit season right around the corner, I really want to work on defining my abs more.  While I do a lot of core work, I want to add in some more exercises specifically targeting my abs.  I found this workout from Women's Health Magazine on Pinterest yesterday and plan to start it.  

I'm also going to do this one:

Have you found any other good workouts to do to make sure you're bikini ready?

Friday's Letters and Confessions {February 22, 2013}


dear husband: I'm glad you're finally feeling more like yourself.  It's no fun when you have the flu.  I don't like seeing you sick.  I love you! dear sweet boys: Can I tell you just how much Anna Belle likes to snuggle with you?  While I'm striving to teach you things, you're teaching me more than I ever dreamed possible. I love you to the moon and back sweet boys! dear stephanie: Proud is not an adequate word to describe how I feel about you.  I love you and I'm so glad you're my sister.  dear week: You have flown by.  Thank you!  dear blogger bffs: You are the best.  I'm really, truly humbled that you come back to read again and again.  dear spring: Bring it on!  dear God: Thank you for loving me, for your grace, mercy and guidance.

Confession: I could eat my weight in frozen yogurt.  Really, I could.  I once spent $14 on frozen yogurt for myself.  I really think I'm a fat girl in a skinny girl's body.  I'm also wondering when my husband is planning to cash in his February date because it may or may not have included a gift card to Sweet Frog.  {Oh, about those dates, I gave him lots of dates for Valentine's Day and I'll be sharing those on Tuesday.}

Confession: I don't like to pay for manicures for several reasons.  (1) We have a 3 year old and a 5 year old.  That equates to lots of playing and bathing.  (2) Washing dishes {yes, I'm the one who makes sure my plates are spotless before they go in the dishwasher - yes, Mama, it's true!} makes the polish come off faster than I want it to.  (3) I bite my nails when I'm nervous / bored / worried.  Instead of {rarely} paying for them, I use OPI's base coat, some nude/light pink OPI polish, and OPI's Top Coat at home.  I don't think they look too bad.  While we're on nails, I don't like nail designs either.  Just a personal preference.  When I was 3, yes, but as a professional woman, no.

Confession: I felt like a real grown up last Saturday when at the grocery store, I not only purchased a real ham {of the cook several hours category}, I also had the butcher cut it for me.  I was also surprised when I discovered that chicken that isn't boneless and skinless is like dirt cheap.

Confession: Did you read about The Time I Thought My Husband Was Faking It?  I confess that I feel really bad about this.

Confession: My sister got into Clemson this week.  While I'm extremely proud of her, I also am thinking selfishly of the fun we can have if she does go there.  Excuses to go to the Upstate for long weekends {and maybe hit up the Lazy Goat}, closer proximity to cool places like Asheville {and Biltmore} and some other selfish things.  In reality, I want her to go where she feels like she needs to go and I'm bursting at the seams with excitement and pride for her accomplishments.

Confession: I have major nursery fever thanks to Pinterest.  I may have even created a board for my future babes.  I should clarify that I don't have baby fever, just baby nursery fever, so husband, if you're reading, please don't freak out, and grandparents, don't get excited.  This girl can't wait to have some more babies to love, but give me a few years please.

And in case you missed them, posts from this week:
Guilty Conscience {The One Time I Thought My Husband Was Faking It}
Some Pretty Words for a Dreary Day
I'm the Kinda Girl
Random Wednesday
Striving for Perfection

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Striving for Perfection

As I was growing up, my parents instilled in me confidence and a strong sense of self.  It's also something that I pray we're teaching our boys.  Along with those two things, they also encouraged me to do my best in everything I did and that's something that I continue to carry with me today.

I, like most all of you, want to be better at what I do.  I don't believe in standing still because I know that if we're not moving forward, we're moving backwards and we all know that backwards isn't good.  I also don't want to just get by.  I'm not wired that way; I'm wired to try to do more and do it better.

Source: via Anna on Pinterest

I'm a thinker.  Big time.  It's both a blessing and a curse though.  It's a blessing because it's natural for me to think about my life and look at it and see the areas where I can improve, but it's a curse because it keeps me up at night sometimes.

I know that I'm not perfect and know that I won't ever be.  I also hope that I don't come across as having the perfect life on my blog.  While my life is pretty great and I wouldn't trade it for anything in this world, it's not perfect and it won't ever be.

But with that said, I try to be better everyday.  I want to be a better wife and make sure I show my husband the love, attention and encouragement that he not only needs and deserves, but I want to give him.  I want to be a better mother to our boys and make sure they know how much they're loved, how much we believe in them and how much they're teaching me.  I want to be a better Christian and spend more time actually getting to know my Savior and not simply reading my Bible and saying my prayers to "check" some proverbial list we're almost pre-programmed to use.  I want to be better in my job and not only do the things that have to be done well, but also develop new concepts, plans and strategies that will help us reach our goals.  I want to be a better athlete and push myself to the limits.  I want to be faster and stronger and look more fit.  I want to be better for myself.  I want to take the time to do things I enjoy, try cooking new recipes, daydream about the future, plan some fun things and just relax.

Source: via Anna on Pinterest

I know I won't ever be the best at everything I do, but I want to be the best version of myself.  There are constantly things we can improve upon.  We can smile more and be friendlier to the people we pass in the halls.  We can sit down to listen more instead of trying to accomplish 99 things at the same time.  We can slow down to enjoy things we love instead of rushing through to the next thing on our calendar. 

How about you?  Do you strive to be perfect?  Do you want to feel like a better version of yourself?

My advice is this:

Think about your life and the things you do.

Are there things that upset you because you know you want / need to do them {things like spending more time with your husband and kids, getting to work on time or taking the time to work out}?

Pick one area each week you want to improve.  Could it be that you start packing yours and your kids lunches at night so you can sit down and eat breakfast as a family?  Do you want to spend more time with God, but don't know how to fit it in? {I'm guilty of this one.} How about getting up earlier than everyone else to have those extra 20-30 minutes.

See how you feel at the end of the week.  Are your days better?  Do you feel more relaxed?  Do you feel like you're better?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Random Wednesday {February 20, 2013}

It's time for one of my favorite link ups of the week: Random Wednesday with Shanna.

It's been a good week!  {Well, except for my husband having the flu.  Did you read my guilt-ridden post about this?}  I've enjoyed relaxing some this week which I haven't done in a long time.

We went to see Safe Haven Sunday.  Have any of you seen it?  While I liked the movie, I really liked the book better.  I just loved the details in the book.  One cool thing, a restaurant KT and I ate in was in the movie!  It's a place called Moore Street Market and it is delicious!  I may have tried to recreate the bacon pimento cheese sandwich my husband had.

I'm pretty excited about the Valentine's gifts I got from my husband and our boys last week.  Kevin and I don't really surprise each other with gifts often and I really enjoyed not knowing what I was getting.  {I think he did, too!}  Since neither of us have the love language of gifts, surprises aren't really a big deal, but I have to admit that it was a nice treat.

Speaking of love languages, have you read The Five Love Languages?  I read this years ago and last week, took the Five Love Languages quiz after seeing it on someone's blog {apologies for not remembering which blog I saw it on}.  Without taking the quiz, I would've told you that my love languages are physical touch and quality time and what do you know, that's exactly what the quiz told me.  Have you and your spouse ever done the quiz or read the book?

I have got to step my game up and decorate for the next holiday.  What I mean by that is I didn't decorate for Valentine's this year and our sweet Kaden didn't like it.  He even asked me last Thursday night after we had eaten our special Valentine's dinner and he and K.C. had opened their gifts if I was going to decorate like I usually do.  I like to do things around holidays to make it special for the boys and I majorly failed with my undecorated Valentine's Day! haha

Speaking of Valentine's Day, I can't wait to show you the gift I made for Kevin!

I've gotten back into my regular workout routine this past week and I feel so much better!  I think my abs needed those few weeks without much work, but my body feels great now that I'm back in the routine.  I've also been eating clean for the most part and that has made a big difference.

Kevin and I went to eat Mexican last night and it was so good.  If you don't already know this, I can eat Mexican like every day and not get tired of it.  My husband on the other hand, is not nearly as crazy about it as I am.  When we first started dating, I didn't know that and would always suggest it, but now that I know, I don't suggest it as often.  He's equally as sweet to me and doesn't make me eat Chinese / Japanese.

What's random on your Wednesday?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I'm The Kinda Girl

I saw this cute post on Whitney's blog and wanted to join in on the fun for myself!

I'm the kinda girl who...

... believes smiling is the perfect cure to anything.

... was made for summertime.  Give me hot sun, a cool breeze and the beach any day.

... always dreamed of being a wife and mother and I'm blessed to have an awesomely amazing husband and the two most precious boys in the world.

... has always wanted a house full of children running around.

... likes to sweat because I know it means I've worked hard.

... bites my nails when I'm nervous / stressed / bored.

... wants to be like Martha Stewart, but knows her limitations.

... prefers classic clothes and J.Crew to the trendier things.

... wants to be better everyday.

... loves to take photos and make photobooks to have memories that I can see.

... loves the Lord with all her heart and yet knows she fails to spend the time she wants to spend with him.

.... dreams of being spontaneous, but knows she's really not.

... plans things.  Everything.

... loves her career, but puts her family first because again, there's nothing she'd rather be than a wife and mom.

... likes to constantly have something to do, but really likes to relax.

... dress up for my husband.

... could eat Chick-fil-A for almost every meal.

... who gets settled in a routine fairly easily.

... who laughs out loud watching TV.

... doesn't want to leave the house without mascara and lipstick.

... who knows she doesn't deserve it, but is accepting of His abundant grace.

I'm linking up with:


Some Pretty Words for a Dreary Day

We're having a dreary day here.  It's one of those days where you want to be at home snuggled under your favorite blanket reading a great book or watching a movie.  To add some cheer to this dreary day, I thought I'd share some pretty words / pictures that inspire me and are words I strive to live by.

Source: via Anna on Pinterest

Source: via Anna on Pinterest

What inspires you?

Do you follow me on Pinterest?  How about Twitter?