Friday, June 10, 2016

At Home Finds

A week ago I had the immense pleasure of being a part of the grand opening of our local At Home store. Being from Houston, Texas, I never recall getting overly excited about certain stores coming to the area. Probably, because we generally already had the store, just maybe a few miles farther away. But now living in Oklahoma, I fully realize how exciting it is when a new store "comes to town." Read, I now operate like a small-city girl. The Norman/Moore area has been steadily growing over the last few years adding a bunch of stores that it used to never have, constantly making this area an even better place to live. Our latest edition, At Home, and boy, am I excited about it!

As an interior designer working on my own home and local design projects, I have found our shopping options limited in Norman/Moore. I love me some Target like all of y'all but Target just doesn't have everything and sometimes I really feel their prices aren't all they're chalked up to be on home items.

I texted Holly the day before the event and asked her to come with me, so happy she said yes, and we had the best time together. We really didn't know what to expect when we stepped in At Home but I was super surprised! If you could combine the best of Target's home items, my beloved-The Container Store, World Market and then some, you'd get At Home, only better. I love that it's a giant store of all the small things for your home. They do have some furniture pieces, I was in love with their outdoor furniture items, but I think where they really shine is all the small decor pieces. Everything from rugs and lamps to big artwork for the walls and even organization items for your kitchen cabinets.

The grand opening event floored me! We were greeted by the store owner and plenty of At Home staff that really made us feel welcomed and seemed genuinely excited to be there. There were some yummies for us to munch on too. They gave us a history on the store, did you know they used to be Garden Ridge?!, and information on what to expect, which you can find more on below, and finally the opportunity to go shopping with some of their staff to understand the layout of the store and bring home an item or two for ourselves. It was fun getting to know the other guests there, many of whom were bloggers or social media gurus. Holly and I enjoyed telling people that we met through our blogs and had become best friends. Plus, I knew the gal organizing the event, but just barely, and I just loved getting to chat with her more while we shopped. Seriously, such a wonderful event in my busy work week!

I have to side note here: I really almost had a tear in my eye when I realized we were receiving a gift card to do a little shopping ourselves, I really didn't know what to expect but I did not expect this! I've been wanting to purchase a new lamp for our master bedroom for some time now but just haven't been able to spend the money on a lamp. I kept disappointing myself and telling myself to just wait a little longer. And wouldn't you know it? God hears our littlest desires y'all. This little gift from At Home gave me the opportunity to purchase a lamp! A better one than I really had looked at elsewhere too!

At Home describes their store as a "home decor superstore, carrying over 50,000 unique items at low everyday prices." I feel their description is pretty darn accurate. There is something for every room of your home here, there's even a section for our sweet fur babies! I also have to comment on the prices because I consider myself a pretty price conscious gal. I have to agree that most of the items are at lower prices than you'd find elsewhere but there are a some items that I'd say are on-par with other lower-priced home item stores. Nevertheless, you can't beat the selection. You may get a similar prices elsewhere, but there's certainly going to be at least 5x the options at At Home.

One more thing about At Home that I learned and found really fascinating. They have a design organization that makes it so much simpler for those of you without the "design eye. Every item in their store falls into one of these eight design styles: Library Luxe, Vintage, Gracious Living, Weekend Getaway, Boho Chic, Tribal Cadence, Urban Living, and Modern Metro. Personally, my style is a bit of all of them mixed together. Items in certain design styles are placed next to each other on the shelving. You can go down the lamp row and be able to distinguish the different design styles in groups lining the shelves. I'm loving this as a designer, because I could send a client to the store and tell them to come home with something mid-centuryish (which would fall under the Modern Metro/Urban Living) and they'd be able to easily find just that on their own.

I have a few more updates to make to our master bedroom, but I'm really enjoying how it's all coming together! The lamp was the perfect, last-item-I-needed for our dresser. I smile every time I see it now. I really can't wait to show you but I'm going to wait until the final reveal. I also have been keeping my eye on the lookout for a new lamp for our living room, Secret: I spied one at At Home that'll probably come home to me one day. I'm constantly making little changes to our home but you can find some home tour images here, a shot inside my craft room here and our old master in our old home here.

I had a major blogger fail and totally didn't take enough pictures! I'm learning snapchat and did quite a bit on there but yep, forgot to take enough to share here with you! Guess that means, you'll just have to go yourselves! If you want to see more before going to the store, search #AtHomeFinds in instagram and you'll find a bunch of great shots in the store.

As I mentioned, I did receive compensation for this post with a gift card to At Home. However, all thoughts and opinions mentioned here are truely my honest words.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Our Maui Vacation Video

Maui was a dream vacation we never dreamed for ourselves. Two years ago we were told we would be gifted a time share there but we didn't put solid plans in our hearts about it until last summer. It all began to feel real last summer as we researched flights and possible dates. Then suddenly it was May of 2016 and our trip was suddenly here! I'm not sure we could have possibly imagined a better vacation. It was absolutely delightful and beautiful. We enjoyed EVERY. SINGLE.DAY.

My sister and her boyfriend joined us. We made it their graduation celebration trip! We weren't sure what to expect with them joining us. We'd never stayed with someone before on vacation. Also, we had only met her boyfriend once. But vacationing with them was SO MUCH FUN. We had the best time with those two and I'm seriously hoping the future holds more trips for us together.

Hopefully, some day I'll share a little more about what we did in Maui but until then, there's this sweet video for me to share. We intentionally took lots of video footage (some on phones and some with our cameras) to have a little recap video at the end of our trip. Kevin enjoys a little video edit project from time to time, Like our anniversary video yesterday, so this was the perfect end-of-vacation project for him. Hope you enjoy it!

Link here:

I'm already dreaming of going back.

Oh, how I miss this trip so Maui Much!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June Goals & Anniversary 4 Video

We celebrated FOUR years this month! June 1st we spent the day together in our city, wandering around, taking our traditional wedding attire pictures and tasting some yummy foods. As always, Kevin made a fun video to document our year of marriage:

Here's the link to the video, in case the below embedded video doesn't work:

I have three drafts of started posts sitting in blogger. Three. Blogging ends up being put on the back burner time and time again. I miss it. I wish when ideas formed in my mind, they would quickly become typed words and a ready-to-publish posts. I've really worked on what I fill my plate with over the last several months. That is, what I'm spending time on. And of those things what type of value am I gaining for myself or am I giving to others? So while I enjoy blogging and do miss it, it doesn't give quite the same joy as sitting down at my beautiful scrapbook table and working on my books, or running outside with my puppy and watching her swim, or catching up with a friend over lunch etc. so it will probably continue to be on the back burner for some time, and that's okay with me. Thanks to those of you who continue to come back around! Yall are the best! And please know, while my blog has seen less action, I've been reading most of yours, even if you don't see a comment from me. Love my bloggie friends.

I will try and continue to do my goals posts though, because I enjoy these and they help me be more mindful and purposeful about the month ahead. Last month, I skipped a goals post, because, well Hawaii. Our vacation to LA and then Maui was an absolute dream and I can't believe it's already gone. Insert, so many sad faces here, also we have to go back!

but anyway, goals:

A look back at April Goals:
*Choose a date for the first IF Table with girlfriends. Date chosen by me and my co-planner but we haven't informed the ladies...whoops! So guess I'm halfway crossing this one off. Anyone done If Table out there?!? I'd love to hear how yours got started! It's a bit intimating to get it going.
*Buy that darn face moisturizer...any recommendations??? Didn't happen in April but DID happen in MAY!
*Try and get back into the prayer journal with Kevin, even if just one week! Yall, Kevin reminded me of this goal in April and I almost cried happy tears because I was so impressed that he remembered. That blessed my heart so much. Here's to getting better and better at this! May got missed but that doesn't mean June will too!
*Plan out our Houston wkend (NEXT wkend!)...I'm going HOME to Htown yall! Houston weekend happened and my plans basically went out the window but you know what? We had an excellent time!
*Stick to healthy eating/ working out...drop four pounds  I didn't go down four but I did go down two! All glory to God! I've been wanting to do an update blog post about my fitness journey since the first post...anyone interested? The change that has happened in my body is all due to the power of God and I'm so beyond amazed, proud and incredibly thankful for it.
*Consistently choose Jesus time....I was recently convicted on the amount of time I spend working out versus the amount of time I spend in the Word. I want to be conscious about evenly dividing both and being in prayer during some work outsDoing better on this but still have room to grow.
* Pay off another loan. I should have put this in the past month goals. In January we had a goal to pay off ONE  big loan by our trip to Hawaii, God is so gracious and not only have we paid off that one but we've paid off THREE others, and are on track to pay off another one this month..that's FIVE. God's dreams are always bigger and better. May didn't allow for a loan to be paid off but maybe June will be!
*Run a 10K, no walking, it's been a while since I've gotten back into "long" distance running since my half marathon. I actually ran a 10K last weekend unintentionally but we did stop a bit (text messages were coming in like crazy) but this week no checking messages, just running!  donesies! It went so well! I literally did it that very Saturday after this post went live. 61 minute 10K, thankya very much!

*Get seriously back into my fitness routine and healthy lifestyle. It's been rough getting back into it post vacation and I just don't even really know why. Time to get with it!
*Run a 10K again. I decided to make it a goal to run a 10K at least once a month on my own.
*Be purposeful about connecting with at least one woman from our small group.  This is a year goal that I've hardly worked on at all. I'm not sure what it looks like yet but I just have to do something about it more this month.
*Memorize more scripture.

What's on your goals for June? 
Would yall want a post on our Maui adventure?
I can't wait to share about the At Home event I got to attend this last week! It was a blast and that store might be one of my new favorites.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

April Goals

Images from the month of March

Starting tomorrow we are exactly one month away from our big vacation for the year. We've been looking forward to this one for over two years and I can't believe it's just at our fingertips now! 


We were gifted a time share there, plus Kevin was able to utilize miles from his work travels, so that meant all we had to purchase was my plane ticket there. Of course, all the activities/food is on us too but we've been anticipating this trip for a while and thus have been happily saving up for it. We're beginning our trip to the island with some time in LA with one of our best friends. So, yall have any LA suggestions?? I'm really hoping we get on Ellen (yes, we applied for tickets), but I'm not sure that's going to pan out...but I'm this close to sending her an email a day till I know for sure. 

So with this trip upcoming, much of my April goals are relevant to the vacation.

But first, a look back at March Goals:
*Purchase the face moisturizer cream! I went to do this with a gift card from Ulta but was disappointed in the options, I had a sample from Sephora that I liked so I just might need to get back there.
*Stay on track with fitness/eating...2 months to Hawaii! I'm happy to report this was accomplished! I'm officially 26 pounds down from my highest weight last year!
*Plan weekend for friends coming to visit us. This was so fun. We enjoyed spending time with our sweet friends and their little babe. We went to the zoo, walked on campus and ate some yummy food. We miss them! See pictures above.
*Work with a friend on organizing the IF Table I'm going to cross this one off because we did chat and organize who we'd like to invite but unfortunately we didn't schedule the first date. But that's okay! We made progress and that's what counts.
*Stick to my home cleaning schedule.I spent time making a cleaning calendar for the  year and then plugged what I needed to accomplish weekly into my planner...this has been a game changer! We're four months into the year and I think this plan is going to have to be a yearly thing I do. I'm loving it.
*Organizer recipe binder: clean out, add new & edit I sorta did this and sorta didn't. There's more to do but I did get maybe half of my goal done for this so I'm going to cross it out and come back to it another month, maybe in June haha.
*Try at least two new recipes that I've pinned, dinners or desserts Yes! I tried Liz's Avocado truffles, I made Danish 
Smørrebrød for Easter with healthy deviled eggs; I tried making pico de gallo(mom's recipe) for the first time on my own and was told it was amazing; and we tried some Dashing Dish recipes (side note, I just scored her cookbook for $5 from Mardel!)
*Get back on track with Kevin on doing our weekly prayer journal Nope...

*Choose a date for the first IF Table with girlfriends.
*Buy that darn face moisturizer...any recommendations???
*Try and get back into the prayer journal with Kevin, even if just one week!
*Plan out our Houston wkend (NEXT wkend!)...I'm going HOME to Htown yall!
*Stick to healthy eating/ working out...drop four pounds
*Consistently choose Jesus time....I was recently convicted on the amount of time I spend working out versus the amount of time I spend in the Word. I want to be conscious about evenly dividing both and being in prayer during some work outs. 
* Pay off another loan. I should have put this in the past month goals. In January we had a goal to pay off ONE  big loan by our trip to Hawaii, God is so gracious and not only have we paid off that one but we've paid off THREE others, and are on track to pay off another one this month..that's FIVE. God's dreams are always bigger and better.
*Run a 10K, no walking, it's been a while since I've gotten back into "long" distance running since my half marathon. I actually ran a 10K last weekend unintentionally but we did stop a bit (text messages were coming in like crazy) but this week no checking messages, just running!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Bit on Marriage

wedding pictures circa 2012 by our talented photographer Anna with Birds&Coffee

So blogger was weird, and this didn't show up with the video of today, here it is!

Our church does video stories on individuals, couples, and families. For nearly eight years I've watched these videos, often times with tears in my eyes, of both joy and sorrow. Those videos are among my favorite things our church does. A month back, the college team (of which we serve weekly at) asked us to be interviewed for a video about us. US! I was both excited and nervous about it and totally unprepared. They gave us a list of question to discuss the night before, and to be blatantly honest, we argued our way through the first two questions and then had to give up for a few minutes to cool off. After space, and praying together we approached the questions again. They were hard. It's one thing to enjoy marriage together and feel like we're doing a "good job" at it, it's entirely different thing to explain your heart behind marriage. The words just didn't seem right sometimes. I swear the interview was even more disjointed than our conversation the evening before yet God found ways to interject our mess of words. Plus those video master/creatives sure did quite the creative work to put together one cohesive video of us. Click here to watch it.

A little side thought on marriage,
Nicole wrote about how she's been working to put her marriage first, directly in front of herself in order to be grateful and intentionally mindful of caring for her marriage daily instead of letting the waiting take over the current. SO MUCH YES! Starting last fall I allowed myself to become unhealthily obsessed with the amount of college debt we still had yet to pay off and what that meant for our future. Ie: waiting on x, y and z till it's paid off. It brought me to tears too many times and it broke me for a little while. Then one day, the stress, the focus, the obsessiveness of the "waiting until/for ___," came to a stop and God replaced it with serene peace. He brought to my eyes the current once again. The now. I want so badly to enjoy the now. It's part of my new years resolutions and it's been something Kevin and I have been focusing on more since last fall as a couple. We are here in Oklahoma right now for the purpose of magnifying God, in the lives of those that are near us now, here. In this season of now, we want to invest deeper into those lives and this marriage that God has given us. Marriage is a gift. Where we are and the people we call friends, it's all a gift. I want to cherish those gifts, not take them for granted and look toward the next new thing, After all, this life is worth nothing if are not making it about CHRIST! Those things we're waiting for, those are insignificant to the waiting of Jesus' return.
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