Enduring All Things: February 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

T.G.I.F.

TGIF TGIF TGIF TGIF! (Are you chanting that like Katy Perry? Because that's what I had in mind). This week has gone by so slowly. I am so tired of the snow. I am starting to get cabin fever and I want spring now! I want to see everything come back to life. I want to wear fewer clothes. Seriously, I'm usually wearing 2 layers at the least at all times right now. But, of course, I am thankful for our apartment, warm bed, and heat. Anywan, enough complaining! Let's move on to Friday Five, shall we? Here's what I've loved this week...

ONE || The Oscars
I really enjoyed the production this year. As usual, I was a bit disappointed with some of the winners, but I loved the performances and speeches. I was pleasantly surprised with Lady Gaga's tribute to The Sound of Music. I was a little nervous, but she did wonderfully. And I loved her interaction with Julie Andrews. Brought tears to my eyes. Idina Menzel and John Travolta presenting together was very classy and fun. And Neal Patrick Harris certainly didn't disappoint. And I loved a lot of the dresses! It was really hard for me to pick even a top 3 but here they are.
TWO || Seeing the Duggars 
Last Saturday a friend and I saw Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar speak here in Columbus! I really enjoyed it and learned a lot about them and some advice. Also, Anita Renfroe opened for them. I had never heard of her but I've now subscribed to her Youtube channel and will be a fan forever. She's hilarious! 

THREE || fleece lined leggings
These things are a life saver! I have 3 pairs and I wear them all the time! Under jeans. Under dress pants. Under skirts. I don't care. They're so warm and amazing and like the only thing getting me through winter.
FOUR || Snow
Ok, I'll admit it... The snow is pretty. We've had quite a bit of snow for quite a while now. And I really am getting tired of it. But since the rest of the world (or at least the South) has decided to join us in the last week or so and since they all have reacted so lovingly toward the stuff, I've decided to enjoy it again. I don't mean I'm gonna have a snow-ball fight or build a snow man, but I'm not going to complain so much. It's pretty and kinda puts a cheery spin on an otherwise dreary season, you know?

FIVE || This video
I really wish I could embed the video but I couldn't find it on Youtube. Anyway, this is why I'm leaning further and further away from Country music. I still love the stuff I grew up on (and the stuff my parents grew up on) and I still love some specific artists (Carrie Underwood, I'm looking at you), but the stuff on the radio these days is just not that exciting to me. And this video explains, in part, why.

So what have you loved this week?
Thanks for reading!
THE GOOD LIFE BLOG  Bright on a Budget
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thankful Thursday Party - February {link up}

Y'all... It's cold here, but I don't think that's a secret. I am so tired of the snow and the below zero temperatures. Spring can not get here fast enough. But I'm trying to look on the bright side. This could be so much worse because, you know what? I have an apartment and heat. I have a warm bed. And I don't have to leave my home to go to work.
I am oh so thankful for these things. I have a home. I have shelter when some people don't. I couldn't be more thankful for that right now. Sometimes I complain about the cold. Sometimes I really wish I still lived in the south (though they're getting it pretty bad right now too). And I'm starting to get cabin fever. I get annoyed that I have to bundle up every time I have to take Pip on a walk. 

But I am so glad we live in an apartment. I am thankful for our heat and our warm bed and that I can stay in the apartment safe from the weather. Now I just need to remember this when I get cranky because of the cold and snow!

What's something you've been thankful for this month? Link up below!
Thanks for reading!
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We have so much to be thankful for and a lot of us take that for granted. Lets change that! I bring you the #ThankfulThursdayParty linkup with Charlene @ From Bisons to Buckeyes! We will be writing about what we are thankful for and linking  up on the last Thursday of every month. I would love to have you and can't wait to see what you're thankful for in your life! 

If you're interested in co-hosting, please send an email to Charlenemarie11@gmail.com.
Host: Charlene- Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook || Co-Host: Cait- Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook
Linkup Rules (Guidelines):
  1. Follow your host and co-host
  2. Link up your Thankful Thursday Party post, NOT your blog URL
  3. Use the hashtag #ThankfulThursdayParty when you share on social media
  4. Grab the button and display it on your blog so others can join the party
From Bisons to Buckeyes: Thankful Thursday Party




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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Inspiration of the Month: Baby Brother

Today is a very special day. It's my baby brother's 22nd birthday! Oh my goodness. I cannot believe he is 22 and will be graduating from Harding this year. He'll get a big kid job and be out in the real world. But, as unbelievable as it is, I have no doubt that he is ready. I am so proud of him!
I've chosen Tyler as my inspiration of the month this month because that's what he is. Inspirational. He is the sweetest guy I know. He never wants to hurt anyone's feelings. He always thinks of the most thoughtful gifts. He always wants to give to others even when he doesn't have much because he's a broke college student. He always has a smile on his face. And that is not an exaggeration.

Tyler is such a lovable person. He is getting a degree in broadcast journalism and he is good at it! He's good at getting excited about the news. He's good at keeping a smile and good tone of voice. And he is brave. He's not afraid to be on TV. I'd be terrified of messing something up. And when he does mess up, he can laugh at himself. He's not worried about what people will think of him when he's reporting one day.

He is confident in his abilities. That's something I could learn too. And yet, he's not afraid to ask for help either. I am always honored when he asks me for advice. When I tell him something new, he's always so surprised, excited. and thankful to learn.

Even though he's confident, he is not proud. He doesn't think of himself better than anyone else. He knows his talents and accomplishments come from God. However, he is proud of his school, his news team, his club, and people around him. I truly haven't seen many people with so much club pride. He brags about them and cheers them all on in everything they do.

Tyler, you are going to do just fine in life. I couldn't be more proud of you. You're a great friend, a hard worker, and a joy to be around. I can't wait to see where life takes you but I know wherever you end up, you will thrive!

Oh! And happy birthday! I hope you're day is fantastic!

Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Blogger Men Tell All {Volume 6}

It's time for another Blogger Men Tell All! I love these posts because they always make me laugh and of course they're fun to write. As usual, my comments are in bold. So lets see what Pearson's answers are this month, shall we?
ONE || What is your favorite winter hobby holiday?
Christmas! No wait! Hobby! What's your favorite winter hobby? Watch Netflix. Drink hot tea.

TWO || Did you do anything special for your blogger on February 14th?
We cooked dinner together. And went to the dentist. And we had a very romantic brunch at La Chatelaine! Yep. That too.

TREE || What's your favorite kind of candy?
Uh.. You know those fruit slices with the sugar on the outside? Yep. Yeah those are good. They're like orange slices but also yellow and purple and green and red.

FOUR || Which Rom-Com would you choose to watch while you snuggle up with your Valentine?
When Harry Met Sally

FIVE || Who, in your opinion, is the best US president ever?
Abraham Freaking Lincoln

How were his answers? Entertaining?
Thanks for reading!
Blogger Men Tell All
Linking up with Samantha for Blogger Men Tell All!
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Content - Peony Project Prompt

Content. What does that word mean to you? To a lot of people it means being happy with where you are in life. And I think that's a lot of it. But I also think there's nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself and having dreams for the future. It really is a fine line to walk.
God tells us to be content in knowing that He is with us and will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). I think the biggest problem I have with contentment is materialistic. I always want to wear the newest trend and have the most attractive of everything.

I like to make myself feel better by remembering that I don't buy the most expensive things or the biggest brands, but I still always want more. I'm never content with what I have. But in Hebrews 13, the Hebrew writer specifically commands us to keep our lives free from the love of money and that's really what this boils down to, right?

But for me (and I think for a lot of other people too) wanting to stay on trend and buy all the newest stuff comes from comparing myself to others. If I keep this mindset, I may never be content. Why do I think I need to compete with other people. The only people who's opinions I should care about are God's and my own. And maybe my husband's.
Not comparing ourselves to others and not wanting to have all the newest stuff is so tough because it's fun to be complemented on our clothes or hair or our apartment or car. It feels good to have the approval of others.

I know I always want others to like me. That goes beyond material matters, too. I constantly want better relationships. I want more friends. I want my friends to like me and invite me to hang out. It's certainly something I struggle with being content with.

But God is all we need to be content. We don't need stuff. We don't need lots of friends. We don't need the approval of people. I'm still working on this, but I'm sure trying.

Do you struggle with contentment? What is it you have the hardest time being content with in your life?
Thanks for reading!
Linking up with the Peony Project
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Friday, February 20, 2015

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! So I had today reserved for a post predicting who would win the Oscars... But when I sat down and really looked at the nominees this week, I realized that out of the 5 main categories (best picture, best actor, best actress, supporting actor, and supporting actress), I realized I have only seen one nominated film. 

That's right. I've only seen Into the Woods. AND that film only had one nomination... Meryl Streep for best supporting actress. Don't get me wrong, I very much think Meryl deserves the Oscar, but I can't speak for any of the other nominees.

Anyway, all this to say that there has been a change of plans and I'm linking up with some of the "5 on Friday" link ups for the first time! And I am super excited! Ok, lets get started.
ONE || This picture is fantastic! I saw it on Facebook the other day and had to share. I am so ready for spring it's not even funny. Can whoever ticked off Elsa please go apologize??

TWO || This awesome video of Disney characters surprising mall shoppers brought tears to my eyes. Isn't Disney just great? Pearson and I are already planning to go to Orlando and do Disney and Universal for our 5th anniversary and I cannot wait!
THREE || Our Valentine's day and Pearson's birthday were both great! This has been a very good week for celebrating.
FOUR || We finished season 5 of Friends on Netflix last night. I'm pretty sure we watched seasons 4 and 5 in like a week. It's suddenly gotten very addicting and I think we may finish the series in March... Which is good because we won't be too far behind on all our live shows that are starting to come back already.

FIVE || This article says that I'm basically the whole reason my brother has turned out to be so great! That's right, Tyler. Remember that when you're picking out my Christmas gift next year!
How has your week been and what have you been loving this week?
Thanks for reading!
Linking up with September Farm for Oh Hey Friday and with Bright on a Budget for High Five for Friday.

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Let me introduce you to Lexi from A Blissful Haven! Lexi is a fellow Ohio blogger so she knows what it's like here in this freezing state recently!
Here's what Lexi has to say about herself and her blog.
Hi, I'm Lexi.  I'm a 22 year old blogging over at A Blissful Haven.  I live in Ohio with my boyfriend, Brad, and our sweet fur baby, Boone.  I enjoy curling up with a good book or movie, shopping for the newest fashion or beauty trend, spending time outdoors exploring, fishing, or hunting, and my family is a big part of who I am. Come follow along with me in the adventure called life.
I asked her a few questions to help us get to know her.
  • If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why? I would be Aquamarine or Wisteria.  Aquamarine is a turquoise/mint color and I loving all things mint right now.  Wisteria is a pale purple/lilac color.  This is what I will be decorating our master bedroom in.  I love how it is feminine but not over the top feminine.
  • What's your favorite way to spend a Saturday? My favorite way to spend a Saturday would be going exploring with Brad at our favorite hunting/shooting range and then stopping at our favorite restaurant for lunch.  Then coming back home and curling up on the couch with a movie or binge watching Netflix.  I love the Saturdays where we have a busy late morning/afternoon and finish it off relaxing on the couch.
  • If you could have a super power, what would it be? If I could have any super power, I would want a super power where I could eat all the sweets in the world (I'm obsessed with donuts) and not gain any weight!  I think this is every girl's dream.
Go give Lexi some love and be sure to check out these great posts while you're there!
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Low-Key Valentine's Day is My Favorite

This Valentine's day was very special in it's own way. I'm usually not a big fan of Valentine's day and I certainly hate going out and fighting the crowds. I'm also that big into dressing up and going all fancy on dates. However, I am a fan of intentionally dating your spouse. But you can certainly do that on a low scale or without even leaving your home!

On Valentine's day, we both had dentist appointments in the morning. I know, so romantic, right? But after our appointments, we decided to head to La Chatelaine for a romantic brunch. And boy was it romantic! We sat by the window and watched the snow cover the earth in a beautiful white blanket. We hung out for a long time after we finished our breakfast drinking too many cups of coffee and we even splurged on some dessert.
After our romantic brunch, we went to the grocery store to pick up some things for what we had planned that night. When we got home, we chilled for a while watching Friends on Netflix. Even though the apartment was a mess, we didn't do any chores and we both left our phones in the other room all day.

Around about 5 pm we started dinner. We'd decided on breakfast for dinner a few days earlier (before we knew we were going to brunch) because it's easy to cook together. You know, there is such a thing as "too many cooks in the kitchen" and for me a lot of times that happens at 2 people... Anyway, so Pearson made a wonderful skillet of potatoes, eggs, chicken, bacon, and cheese while I made pancakes.
In the living room, I set up a small table made of 2 TV trays, used a sheet as a table cloth, and a battery powered candle as a center piece. Eating by candle light and in a different location than usual helped make the date seem extra special.

We enjoyed our dinner and then watched Sleepless in Seattle. I think Pearson actually enjoyed the movie even if he won't admit it himself.

How was your Valentine's Day? Thanks for reading!
Linking up with Elizabeth for Project Date Your Husband!
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Birthday Gift For Every Hour

Yesterday was Pearson's birthday and I wanted to do something really special this year. 25 is kind of a big deal and I just love planning things and spoiling that hubby of mine. So I decided to give him 12 gifts; one on every hour starting with when he woke up. You have probably seen this idea on the internet. Here is the original pin I got the idea from. Here is the post the pin is linked to. And here is the post that blogger referenced.

Anyway, even though this idea isn't new and is already all over the internet, I wanted to share what I did. First of all, since Monday was president's day and Pearson's boss was out of town, he decided to take that day off to in honor of his birthday. So that's when I did the gifts even though his birthday was actually yesterday (Tuesday).
Above are some of the gifts I gave him. For the 'bigger' gifts, I gave him the next 2 books in the Wheel of Time series since he's collecting them and 2 marvel DVDs because we're collecting those too. I also gave him some things to go on his new desk in his new office because his lab group just moved to a new office in a nicer building and he as a lot more space. Some of these included a funny desk calendar, a framed wedding photo of us, and a water bottle to keep him hydrated at work. And I included some other little fun things like his favorite snacks and drink and Darth Vader body wash from the dollar section of Target.
I tried to wrap them all the same and numbered them 1-12. I didn't put actual times on them because I wasn't sure when he would wake up since he wasn't going to work that day. I did work that day though so I just brought him one present at a time on the 25 minute mark of each hour since he turned 25. He played video games most of the day and whenever I came out he would say "It's time again already??"
When we went to bed that night he said "I don't want this day to end." That husband of mine is such a cutie! I think the whole thing was a success, what do you think?

Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Pearson!

WARNING: Sappy blog post ahead. Continue at your own risk. You've been warned.
I'd like to wish a very happy birthday to the love of my life! Pearson and I started dating when we were 16 so I really don't know much of life without him. But I would never want it any other way. He's been with me through a lot. He loves me even at my worst and my best.
I love how he loves kicking back, relaxing and watching TV with me. I love how he asks me every morning if I slept OK and he asks me every evening how my day was. I love how he calls me when he's on his way home from work every day just to let me know he's on his way home but then he doesn't hang up till he gets home because he can't wait to tell me everything about his day. I love how he truly appreciates me and how I "have dealt with his coming home late so much lately."
I love how he always wants to help in the kitchen, with the laundry or anything else I'm doing. I love how he tells me I'm pretty all the time. I love how he can't keep a secret from me. I love how he gets so excited to give me presents. He always wants me to open them as soon as he gets them and never wants to wait till my actual birthday or Christmas or whatever the occasion is.
I love how brilliant he is yet he thinks he's nothing special. I love how I can ask him anything and I know he not only knows the answer, but he won't look down on me for not knowing the answer. I love how passionate he gets about anything he cares about whether that's me, his car we just had to get rid of that he's had since high school, his schooling, or Miami football. Whatever it is, he cares with his whole heart.
I love how much he loves his family. And I love how he loves my family as much as his. I love how he finds joy in all the little things. Just giving him dried mangoes and a Vernor's Ginger Ale or Apple Fanta will make his whole week.
Happy birthday, love. I hope it's a great one! I'm so glad we're the same age again. ;)
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Letters to the World {February 2015 - Link Up}

It's that time again. Time for some letters to the world. I always love writing these posts and collecting letters through the month. Sometimes they're funny, sometimes they just allow me to get things off my chest or they're a fun way to let my readers know a little bit of what's going on in my world. Anyway, they're just fun and you should totally read the last letter in this post and join me this month!
Dear Husband,
Happy Valentine's Day (Saturday) and Birthday (tomorrow)! I love this time of year because I LOVE celebrating you and spoiling you. I hope you've felt really loved this weekend and continuing today and tomorrow. Well, I hope you always feel loved, but I like having an excuse to do a little extra.

Dear 50 Shades,
I'm not going to say much here because I think plenty has already been said from all angles. But I want you to know that you make me sad for our society and where it seems to be heading.
Dear Target,
Why are you so addicting and appealing. And why did you have to build another location really close to me. You already had one only a couple miles down the road and now you have another, less crowded, newer and more awesome one a couple miles in the other direction. I see you and have access to you no matter which way I go. I really shouldn't be complaining except that you tend to hurt my bank account sometimes.

Dear Weather,
Can you please choose this year to warm up quickly? As I sort of alluded to in my last letter, we only have one car right now. Life would be so much easier if you would warm up because then I could walk to the few stores close to me or Pearson could maybe bike to school. I guess Esteban picked a bad time to go kerplunk, but all I ask is for a little cooperation from you.
Dear Esteban,
We miss you. You were such a good and faithful car for so many years. Pearson got you in high school and there's a lot of sentiment there. You were old and warn out so we knew this would happen eventually, but that doesn't make it any easier. (And I wish we'd had a little more time to save up for a replacement). RIP Esteban. You're in a better place now.

Dear Bloggers,
This is now a link up! Sorry I didn't warn you before today, but the link up will be open till next Monday so you still have time to write a post and link up. It will be live on the third Monday of every month so grab a button and plan ahead like we bloggers do best!

Who or what would you write to this month in an open letter? Link up below!
Thanks for reading!
From Bisons to Buckeyes: Letters to the World




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Friday, February 13, 2015

Appreciating the Differences in our Marriage

We all have little things that annoy us about our spouse. I mean, it's inevitable when two different people live together and are the biggest part of each other's lives. Whether it's squeezing from the middle of the toothpaste tube instead of the end or something more serious than that, we all have little quirks.

The true test though is how you react to the quirks your spouse presents. Do you sit silently while they annoy you on the inside until you snap one day? Do you nag and complain every time he does them? Or do you appreciate the differences and try to see positive things about him through them? I'm trying harder and harder every day to do the last one. Here are some examples. I'll list the quirk that could annoy me and then the positive aspect I see in it.
Pearson stays late at work almost every night these days... because he's smart, has a vision for the future, and is working hard to get there.

Pearson plays XBox a lot... but he ALWAYS asks if I mind and only plays when I'm busy doing something else.

Pearson talks about UM football all. the. time... because it's something he's passionate about, so of course he follows with all his heart.

Pearson complains often and is very vocal about things that bother him... but I never have to try to guess what's bothering him and after he talks about it, he gets over it quickly.

Pearson cannot multitask very well... because he focuses all of his attention on the most important task at hand.

Pearson loads the dishwasher, folds laundry, and makes the bed differently than I do... but he is very eager to help out around the house.

You see, these things aren't necessarily bad themselves. They're just different than the way I do things. So instead of getting angry or bossy about them, I want to look for the positive and try to see things from his perspective. Who knows? Maybe his way is better than mine anyway!

What things does your spouse do that annoys you and what is a positive twist you can get out of it?
Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

One Great Way to Keep Your Marriage a Priority

Hey guys! I'm really excited that Cait (the blogger I spotlighted on Monday) is taking over the blog today. I absolutely love this post and think Cait makes some wonderful points about keeping your marriage a priority! Enjoy!
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Hey y'all! I'm Cait from My Life As A Long! Huge thanks to Charlene for letting me take over today.
Marriage is hard work. I say that all the time now, not to "knock" marriage, but because it is the truth. Think about it for just a second. You and your significant other get married and try to mesh two different lifestyles/habits. You are living in close proximity to another person all the time. There is a learning period where you learn to live together and adjust your habits so that you are able to, well live together comfortably. But what about those days when living together gets a little tough. You notice he has moon walked out of his socks again even though you have asked him a thousand times not to. He notices that the bathroom counter is full of make up, hair products, and all kinds of stuff so he can't even find his tooth brush. Those are the days when marriage requires a little extra work.

At times, life can even be a little overwhelming. For us, we both have 40+ hour a week jobs, we both are in school, then there is the usual home that needs cleaned, laundry that needs done, bills that need paid, a puppy who needs played with/walked/fed/let out/played with some more, I have a blog, we just started a small business, and don't forget to add church, family, and friends. That is a lot going on. Now for the biggie, add in that we are married and that is a priority. We have to make sure that we are talking to each other, learning together, growing together, praying together, making time for each other, and continuing to love each other. In today's society, too often marriage is what is dropped further and further down on the priority list when in reality it should be 2nd on the list, right after a relationship with God. So what do we do when life gets in the way and we see that our marriage is slipping a few spots on the priority list? We vacation.
If you ask me, vacations are so important for a marriage. Let me be a little more specific. Vacations with just you and your spouse are so important for marriage. Family vacations have their place, but I strongly believe that husband/wife vacations are something that should be a priority. I know what you are going to say. "Cait, we don't have the time to vacation for just us." or "Cait, we can't fit a vacation in the budget." I get that. I have said both of these things countless times. Here is what I have learned.
  • Vacations don't have to be a week long, or even a weekend long. Vacations can simply be a single night. 
  • Vacations don't have to be extravagant. A weekend in a cabin in the mountains, a weekend camping at a local park, spending a night in a hotel downtown (if you live in a larger city) can all count as a vacation. 
  • Vacations don't have to be expensive. If you can afford it, I suggest a cruise! Even those can be inexpensive. Several cruise lines sell last minute cruises pretty cheap, or if you aren't able to plan something last minute, Keep a watch on the websites. Cruise lines offer specials all the time. If that is too expensive, a night in a nice hotel or a weekend in a cabin can be much more cost efficient. If that is still too much, get creative. Go camping at a local park, or even your back yard! 
When you vacation together, make your marriage your priority. Spend the night/weekend/week talking to each other and connecting again. Talk about your future, your hopes and dreams, Take that time to focus on your spouse. In a world that goes 90 miles an hour, take the time to slow things down. Be there with your spouse. Turn off cell phones. Forget social media. Forget the cares of the world. I promise they will be there when you get back. Just spend that time with your spouse.

C and I plan one "big" vacation a year. We make sure to budget an amount each week for our vacation. The past 2 years we have gone on our vacation for our anniversary, and we have gone on a cruise. This year, we are planning a weekend get away to Atlanta. For us, a vacation is a priority, so we budget for it. I think every budget should have a small section for marriage vacations. Be sure to check out Living Social and Groupon for good vacation deals!


* Duh! A week or weekend cruise!
* Head to the mountains
* Road trip along the coast
* Visit wine country
* A night at a fancy hotel
* Be a tourist in your own city (hint, stay in a hotel!)
* Camping at a local park (we prefer National or State parks, so get proper permits if needed)
* Go to the beach
* Visit landmarks
* Go skiing in Colorado
* Be spontaneous! Go to the airport with no destination in mind, buy tickets when you get there!
* Take your spouse to places where you vacationed as a child
* Go somewhere neither of you have been before
* Send the kids to Grandma's and camp in the back yard/living room, (Be sure to forget about the outside world)
* Pamper yourselves and spend the weekend or just a day at the spa! (be sure to stay in a hotel at least 1 night though!)

Be present on your vacation no matter how short or long it is. Stay off social media and only use your phones for emergencies.

Do you take married vacations? Share them on social media using #amarriedvacation
Do you have any other married vacation ideas? 

Thanks again to Charlene for letting me take over! Be sure to stop by and say hey! 
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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ways to Spoil Your Hubby for Valentine's Day

Valentine's day is Saturday! I used to hate Valentine's day. Even when I had a boyfriend. But now I really enjoy spending Valentine's day with the hubby. There's just something about being married that just takes Valentine's pressure off, you know? Anyway, I thought I'd share some ideas for how to make your special someone feel special this Valentine's day!
Let's start with some ideas for gifts, shall we?
  • Giant Microbes- Now this may not be something special for your hubby, but mine loves them. Last year I got him a Giant Microbes heart box which contained kissing disease among other things. It was so cute!
  • Boxers- you could buy him a a pack of his favorite brand and fit or you could find him some fun Valentine's themed ones.
  • Baked Goods- For our first dating Valentine's day, I baked Pearson a heart shaped cake and he LOVED it. He still talks about it. Truly the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
  • Love Coupons- Now of course I think you should show love to your spouse all the time and there is no need for coupons, but sometimes it's fun to just play around with these. The anticipation of when he will use the coupons is exciting and it certainly helps with communication on how he wants to feel loved today.
  • Tickets to something he wants to see- maybe a game, a concert, or a comedian coming to town.
  • Watch- We girls seem to get a lot of jewelry on romantic holidays, why not include the boys!

Now for some ideas to celebrate.
  • Skip the crowds and cook his favorite meal at home. Or cook something together and make that part of the fun. Pearson and I have decided that we are going to make breakfast for dinner together. It's not real fancy, but it's easy to make together and we can make it special. Can you say whipped cream and strawberries on top of pancakes?
  • Light candles and dim the lights to set the mood. Use fancier dishes and a lace tablecloth. Do whatever you need to to make this more special than a typical dinner at home.
  • Create a romantic playlist on Spotify to play throughout the evening. Last year I only used songs from our wedding. I think this year I'll add some of my more recent favorites.
  • Slow dance in the living room after dinner. Or find some ballroom dancing lessons on Youtube.
  • Plan a romantic movie. Even if he pretends not to like it, I think boys enjoy the occasional chick flick. (emphasis on the word occasional)
You don't have to go all out, get dressed up, fight the crowds compete with other couples. Just do whatever you need to do to make Valentine's day special. I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't make your spouse feel special every day of the year, but it's fun to have an excuse to do a little extra, right?

How do you plan on spoiling your sweetheart for Valentine's day?
Thanks for reading!
Helene in Between
(I'll be linking this post up with Helene and Sara on Friday, but I wanted to post it early in case any of you wanted to use these ideas and needed time to plan)
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Monday, February 9, 2015

My Favorite Ways to Keep Warm Through the Ohio Winters

As I'm sure many of you know, I was born and raised in Georgia, I went to college in Arkansas, and I am the first of my family to ever live above the Mason-Dixon line. Needless to say, I've got southern blood and I hate the cold! This has been my 3rd winter in Ohio and I am still not used to it. Last year was so unbearable that I didn't think I could live through another winter. But of course, last year was a horrible winter for everyone. So far this winter has proven better. We've gotten plenty of snow. Enough snow to scare someone from Georgia who hasn't lived here this long. But it hasn't been as bad. (Knock on wood).
Even though I'm still not a fan after 3 Ohio winters, I have learned a few tricks and fun ways to keep warm and I thought I'd share them with you.
  1. Drink lots of coffee, hot chocolate, tea and other warm beverages. Our Keurig has actually been acting up lately because I've been using it so much.
  2. Cuddle under a blanket in the evenings. 
  3. Chill by the fire and even put my feet up to the screen. Unfortunately we don't have a fireplace in our apartment. I know. It was almost the breaking point to make us not take this apartment but it had too much going for it. Anyway, I used to do this all the time when I lived at home. And I've seriously been pushing to get an electric fire place since we moved here to no avail.
  4. Wear fleece or flannel pajamas. Now when I say pajamas here, I really mean lounge wear that may look like pajamas. Because, since I work from home I often wear said lounge wear all day or at least until lunch time when I workout.
  5. Eat warm soup. There is not much better than warm soup on a cold evening. Am I right? I love making this bacon cheeseburger soup and Paula Dean's creamy potato soup in the crock pot. But I love soup even more when I don't have to make it. Panera's broccoli cheddar or creamy tomato in a bread bowl? Yes please!
  6. Do Pilates. Ok, I think it's time to let the secret out. I'm addicted to Pilates. Blogilates and POP Pilates with Cassey Ho to be exact. I believe I have become a true POPster but that's another post for another day. But, to my point, Pilates is a great way to warm yourself up. You don't have to go crazy with cardio and sweat a bunch but just doing one video with a few moves can really warm you up. I LOVE it!
  7. Dance parties!! I love dancing. Now I'm not saying I'm good at it, but I like it. So if I'm cooking or cleaning, I'll put on my girl power, workout, or summer playlist on Spotify and get moving. It's a great way to stay warm and burn some calories. And it makes chores a little more fun. Also, Cassey has some great cardio dance videos that are a ton of fun too!
  8. Cuddle with your pet at night. We've been letting Pip sleep with us for about 6 months now and there are some downsides, but I love how he keeps the bed warm!
  9. Now as much as I would love to stay in my warm apartment and jammies 24/7 during the winter, I do have to venture out in the cold every now and then. Before I do though, I throw some clothes in the dryer before leaving the house.
  10. Another thing that helps when I leave the apartment is I almost always wear fleece lined leggings under my jeans or whatever I'm wearing and wool socks. These plus a scarf, hat, and good coat make all the difference! I look back at snow pictures from living in Georgia and Arkansas now and cringe because what I was wearing would NOT keep me very warm. 
So those are what I've discovered to be my favorite ways to keep warm through the Ohio winters.
What are your favorite ways to keep warm?
Thanks for reading!

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Hey readers! I'd love for you to meet my blog friend and fellow UGA fan, Cait Long from My Life as a Long! I 'met' Cait several months ago and I'd say we hit it off pretty well. I love reading bout her precious pup, Chaco who I know would be best friends with Pip. I have gotten several fitness and health ideas from her. And I'm a little jealous of her cruise vacations! Cait is a great friend. We have a lot in common and friends like her are the reason I love blogging so much!

Here's what Cait has to say about her blog...
Hey! I'm Cait! I love Chattanooga, hot chocolate, my puppy Chaco, and vacations. My Life As A Long is my little space of the interent where I can talk about anything I want. I like to talk about married life, my puppy, our new business adventure : Nooga Designs, and anything else I can think of. I'd love it if you stopped by and said Hey!
I asked her a few questions to help you get to know her a little.
  1. If you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why? Don't judge me, but I woulf totally be Elsa from Frozen. I love winter, so being able to make it snow whenever would be awesome!
  2. If a front page news article was written about you would would the headline be? I have no idea. I would love for it to say "Chattanooga Woman Quits Job At 25 to Sail To  The Caribbean." However, we all know that would never happen.
  3. What's your favorite cold-weather activity or your favorite way to stay warm in the winter? If it is snowing, you can find me outside until I can't stand it anymore. If it isn't snowing, I love finding shows that have ended and are on Netflix. Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, and Chuck are some of my favorites.
Now go show Cait some love and be sure to check out these great posts while you're there!
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Friday, February 6, 2015

How to Love Your Spouse: Acts of Service

Happy Friday everyone! This has been one of the longest weeks of my life and I am so ready for the weekend! Friday also means its time for a Love Language post. This week is the last Love Language in this series and it is Acts of Service!
Pearson cooking breakfast because I am SO not a morning person!
Acts of Service is interesting to me because I've never put much thought to it. It's always been at the bottom of both mine and Pearson's love language list. BUT when I retook the quiz in at the beginning of January, all the Acts of Service things it mentioned sounded so nice and what do you know, it moved up to spot number 2! However, it's still at the bottom of Pearson's list and that's why it's the last one I'm talking about.
  1. Ask for requests. Ask him what things he could use your help on or what you could do that would make him feel loved. Compile a list and stay on it!
  2. Do a chore that's usually his job. In our home an example would be taking out the trash.
  3. Clean a little extra sometime. I mean enough so that he notices.
  4. Fix the light bulb that's been bothering him or do other things on his long to-do list when you have time.
  5. Do his laundry and mend his clothes without his asking
  6. Scrape ice off his car before he leaves for work or fill his gas tank and wash his care when he doesn't expect it.
  7. Do something BIG like cleaning out the basement or garage and put a sign on it saying "for you"
  8. Cook his favorite meal. And cook for him in general.
  9. Put his towel in the dryer while he's showering so it's warm when he gets out!
  10. Bring him lunch at work. Especially if it's out of your way.
What kind of Acts of Service do you do for your spouse?
Maybe Pearson will read this and get a few ideas for me. :) Thanks for reading!
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Thursday, February 5, 2015

What I'm Up To {February 2015}

Happy February again, everyone! It's the month of love. Lets start by loving ourselves. I had a very good January and I'm excited to have a fantastic February. My life is so good. Lets see what I'm up to this month, shall we?
Making: Time for God and Pearson
Cooking: More in general
Clicking: Articles that help me refresh my programming knowledge because I've moved to "Junior Developer" at work!!
Drinking: Water
Reading: Muscle & a Shovel by Michael Shank, The Bible in a year. And the She Reads Truth Esther study
Playing: Trivia Crack, Draw Something, and Words With Friends
Wishing: It would be summer already
Enjoying: Finding the perfect gifts for Pearson for Valentine's Day and his birthday
Waiting: For Spring
Liking: Reading through both Job and James in the #365DaysOfTruth right now
Wondering: How you're all doing on your New Year's resolutions! Let me know!
Loving: My"Promotion" at work! I made a lateral move to "Junior Developer" this week. I am so excited and it is certainly a promotion in my book even if it technically isn't in the company.
Hoping: The Seahawks win.
Needing: To refocus my life. I need to get rid of "things" I don't need so there's more room for a relationship with the Father. I want to be more like Mary and less like Martha.
Smelling: Like Bath and Body Works' "Endless Weekend." My sister-in-law gave me spray, lotion, and body wash in this scent 
Wearing: Fun work out clothes that make me more excited to work out.
Following: The Oscars. Sorta. I have hardly seen any of the nominated movies but it's still always exciting to follow along.
Noticing: That I'm growing up. I'm almost as old as the "Friends" were in the first season.
Knowing: God loves me and wants me to have a relationship with Him.
Thinking: My life is so good right now! I am truly blessed and I want to use those blessings to bless others.
Feeling: Good about how well I've done so far on my resolutions. More on that tomorrow!
Giggling: At my coworkers. That's one plus to working in the office like I did last week
Watching: Friends, Agent Carter, and all our live shows that come back soon.
Listening to: A Capella worship music on Spotify.
Obsessing over: THIS!!! <- Check it out. You won't be sorry! Ok, I'll tell you that it has to do with a famous Witch becoming a Disney Princess!
Shopping for: V-Day and birthday gifts for Pearson
Learning: About EVERYTHING because "learn" is my word of the year
Bothered by: People saying 22 was too young to get married. And judging me.
Eating: Healthy
Wasting time on: Lots of things.
Praying for: God to open my heart for me to see the needs of others around me and to give me a cheerful heart and good attitude about serving others.
Working on: Having cheery attitude
Looking forward to: Pearson's birthday and Valentine's Day

What are you up to this month?
Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Personal Goals for February

At the beginning of last month, I made some resolutions or personal goals of sorts. Lets see how I did!
Spiritual:
I planned to read through the entire Bible with the free #SheReadsTruth #365DaysofTruth this year and so far, so good! I got behind a few times and I always caught up. This has actually become one of my favorite parts of my day. But I still don't have a set time to really do this. So this month, I want to read the Bible right after I get off of work every day.

Pearson and I planned going to read through the One Year Love Language Minute Devotional by Gary Chapman. So far, so good! We missed a day or two here and there when he stayed at the lab late and went to bed at different times or when I was in Atlanta, but we caught up. This month I want to talk about what we read in the devotional every night. In January, we talked about it sometimes, but a lot of times we just read the excerpt and put it down.

Physical:
My goal for the year was to stay under my caloric goal every day, not drink any soda, and do something active 6 days per week. Well, I did a pretty good job staying under the caloric goals with a few YOLO meals here and there. I only had 2 sodas. And I stuck to the Blogilates beginners plan except for when I was in Atlanta, but I did workout a couple times that week, and I'm excusing myself for that. This month, I am doing the February Blogilates Calendar and adding cardio through the Couch to 5K program.

I also resolved to go to bed early, wake up early, drink lots of water, and just make my health a priority. Well, for the most part, I've made these changes and I will continue all of them.

Mental:
Since my word for the year is LEARN, I resolved to learn all I can about the people as well as the things in my life. I plan to read at least 15 books and 5 of those have to be non-fiction. So far, so good yet again! I finished Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers and I'm currently reading Happy Wives Club and Muscle and a Shovel to count towards my non-fiction list.

How are you doing on your resolutions?
Thanks for reading!
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

20 Questions to Help You Learn More About Your Spouse

Hey y'all! I'm hanging out over at A Little Too Jolley today sharing 20 questions to help you learn more about your spouse! Remember how I chose LEARN as my 2015 word of the year? Well one way I'm learning about my husband this year is by asking him deep questions. I ask at dinner, laying in bed at night and whenever I feel like it. Click HERE to head over to A Little Too Jolley and catch my post!
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