Life Is More Interesting When You're Happy

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Some people just enjoy being grumpy and can find the negative in anything. Well there is just not enough time on this earth to spend one second with an attitude like that! Life can be beautiful and quirky and fun and one big adventure if you let it!! 

Even on bad days, choosing to be positive and embrace each day that your given is such a freeing feeling. :) So in the spirit of good vibes, here are ten lovely things that have been bringing me joy over the past month or two.

1. My babiest of brothers. I haven't seen him as much as I probably should, but when I do this little ginger always puts a smile on my face. 

River loves him almost as much as I do. :)

2. New Art and anything gilded.

3. Time spent with my adorable goddaughter. 

4. Epcot's Food and Wine Festival with the hubs, my beautiful sister in law and Tampa friends. 


And with all the countries it was like a delicious reminder of our trip! France was 
hands down my favorite with these heaven sent items on their menu:

-Tartelette aux escargots (Escargot tart w/ garlci, spinach, bacon and parmesan) 
-Gratin de crozet de savoie (Wheat pasta gratin w/ mushrooms and Gruyere cheese) 
-Boeuf Bourguignon (braised short ribs in cabernet w/ mashed potatoes)
-Creme Brulee caramel fleur de sel (Sea Salt caramel creme brulee topped w/ caramelized sugar)

I may have gone through the line twice...

5. Healthy and clean eating. Also really loving the local markets and health food 
stores we have in the area to shop for REAL food!

Shout out to my food shopping PIC, Nikki. Love you boo! Thanks for making a tedious chore fun!! <3

6. Seeing one of my all time favorite country artists, Carrie Underwood, live! I've been to 
a concert of hers once before but she always puts on such a good show and has an 
amazing voice!! Plus, one of my work bff's and I were able to get the tickets super cheap 
from the USO! Thank heavens for military discounts!

Tab and I drug our men along but they weren't as excited as we were. They hate country... but they are both GREAT hubs and at least had her pretty face to look at! :)

Also, there MAY have been a soccer game promised that we were too late to see more than 5 minutes of.. sorry boys! xoxo

 7. Window Shopping at West Elm.

This place makes my heart skip a beat. If only they didn't want my left leg for a coffee table. *Sigh* At least its a super inspiring place to visit. I always leave with a long list of things I love and think I can DIY.

8. My new lab-german shepherd nephew, Banner. He the cutest, clumsiest all boy puppy!

9. FRIENDS!!! They truly do make the world go round.

10. Last but not least, this sexy man. He is my ultimate best friend and always puts a smile on my face.

I wouldn't want to live this life with anyone else. <3


So what things bring you good vibes and remind you how grand life is?? 

Being Unique is Better Than Being Perfect

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Hey guys! So, I took some time off from blogging. I know. I kind of left without warning..

Please don't be tooo hard on me. Let me explain myself and you'll see where my mind is at and maybe we can still be friends. Deal?

As much as I love writing and sharing my life with you guys,  I let the my unrealistic expectations and comparative tendencies change this experience into something I never wanted it to be.

This blog was supposed to be a special place where I was just me without worrying what anyone else thought about it.  A place where I could share my thoughts and projects and life and just be the person God made me to be. I knew I would learn more about myself and maybe change in some aspects of my life as I starting really analyzing my thoughts and putting them down on "paper",  but I didn't want those changes to be a result of covetousness.

So that brings me to the point, I have always had a problem with comparing myself to others.

My parents and family have always done a great job of encouraging me and making me feel special so I'm not sure where this feeling came from, but it is definitely there. At times, I just let my low self esteem and doubt creep its way into my mind without realizing it. It could be something like feeling pretty just to see someone with thick beautiful hair and suddenly I hate how my hair looks. Or buying new decor that I'm in love with but then seeing someone else's well decorated house and now I feel like everything in my house needs to be re designed.

I know this is kind of a common thing now days and might seem petty, but it something that I have been trying very hard to eliminate from my life for a few years now. I have gotten much better about loving myself and being content with all the wonderful things we are blessed with.

I focus on the positive things and push out any negative that tries to get in the way. It's hard to think about how awesome someone else's kitchen looks compared to yours when your focusing on how very blessed you are to even own your own home when so many people don't have that luxury. But I'm human and recently those old feelings have been coming back to refocus my attention on the negative.

These feelings have now started affecting my blog in two ways:

1. For the past year or so I have poured my heart into this blog. I knew that I would probably not have many readers and that with so many talented bloggers out there I had little chance of becoming a known blog with a solid following.  I would be lying if I said I had not thought about the idea of one day blogging as a career but I knew that if that were ever the case it would be many many years from now. I just wanted to get a taste for it and see if I was even any good at it. This blog was just for me and I was ok with that.

But then I started investing time and thought and work into this blog. I spent hours on fonts and codes and picture editing. I was so excited with what this was turning into and started really having a desire to share it with people to see if they would like it too! I didn't really make it public for a while. Partially because I felt a little scared of what people would think and partially because I wanted to be sure I would stick with it. I'm a little notorious for starting things I don't finish.. But I came to a point where I felt I had solid material people would be interested in so I started putting myself out there. Through Facebook, Pinterest and word of mouth I started to actually have page views. I felt liberated and excited to get some feedback.

But very little came. I had no comments, short page view times and a broken heart. I hadn't expected to suddenly have a fan club or anything, but I guess I just wanted validation that what I was doing wasn't crap. The more I blogged, the more obsessed with stats I became. It turned into an unhealthy habit and instead of focusing on the joy the posts were supposed to bring to me, I was disappointing myself by constantly thinking of how bad my blog must be to have no readers. Eventually it became more of a burden than a release.

2. I originally thought this would be a DIY blog. I read so many wonderful DIY blogs and have always preferred making something myself instead of buying the more expensive version. Since I was already doing so many DIY projects, I thought this would be a no brainer. I've read you have to have a niche to be successful and this would be mine.

But then life got in the way. I had to put some projects on hold. New exciting things were going on that I wanted to share. And suddenly this blog became a whole lot of puppies and travel and reviews and not a whole lot of DIY.

This didn't bother me so much until number one above happened. I then started thinking I had to come up with the next super original and totally awesome DIY project if I wanted people to read what I had to say. I had to give people what they wanted and I had to be perfect if I wanted readers. So although I had plenty of travel posts lined up, I put them on hold. I already had so many travel things on this blog that I just new I had to wait for the perfect DIY project before I could post anything.

The problem is that time, money and a poor attitude didn't allow for any new projects. I struggle enough with getting the house clean, bills paid and homework done on time. How would I ever be able to whip out several DIY's worth blogging about? Not to mention the creative block I had driven myself into.

I starting spending so much time reading other blogs trying to figure out how they did it. What things did they have that I needed? Of all the coveting I was doing for this blog, I think comparing myself to other talented bloggers takes the cake. I remember reading Mandi's blog over at Vintage Revivals and thinking, how on earth can one person be so incredibly talented and creative? I can replicate a project like no ones business but that girl comes up with things I have never even dreamed of. Why can't I be like that?? Silly, I know.

Now that my mind has cleared I totally realize that there is no way I can I compare my babiest of blogs to that of a mega blogger like Mandi. She and most of the bloggers I follow have spent several years and lots of work to get to the point they are at. I just let it get the best of me and let doubt ruin what I had spent the last year building.

So its been three months of reflection and three months of putting myself in check. This blog was meant to be an outlet and to be a place to share my thoughts and ideas no matter how many readers that gets me. And I know that in time, I will become a better blogger. I can't be so hard on myself and expect to know it all right now. I just have to enjoy the journey for what it is and work to grow along the way.

From now on, this blog will just be about life and sharing fun or useful things with you guys. Whether that means recipes or DIY or puppies or product reviews or Italy, I am pledging to be true to myself and just share what is on my heart without worrying about any dumb niches or if it will bring in lots of page views.

I will be content with the wonderful life I have been blessed with and will not compare what I have to someone else.

Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
— 1 Timothy 6:6-10

We all are blessed more than we give credit too. We focus on trying to get or be all the best things without being content with what we already have.

We all have something unique to offer that we cannot find by trying to mimic others. They world has only been blessed with one of you and you owe it to yourself and to us to shine in this world as an original.

Freedom feels so good! Am I right??

I hope that by opening myself up to you guys and sharing all my ugly imperfections I can maybe help someone dealing with the same things. In today's world it is easy to put the "perfect" you out there on blogs and facebook and insta without ever showing anyone the real person you are. I challenge you guys to accept and love yourself and be the real you! It's so liberating!

Here's to new and better months ahead you guys!! Looking forward to all this fall has to offer!!!

An Ode to October

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October is probably my favorite month of the entire year. 

It has a way of making me feel refreshed and renewed and just puts the biggest smile on my face! Yes, yes my birthday IS this month.. a birthday month I share with my two very best friends.. maybe thats why October usually makes me feel nostalgic and happy and loved.

October feels to me, like a big start button to the entire year! I usually start thinking of all the fantastic life experiences and all the struggles I experienced over the past year and how all those things can help me create what ever kind of better and older wiser person I want myself to be in this new year of my life.

Other than just birthdays, there are so many other things about this PERFECT month that I know you all just cannot get enough of too. :) So in honor of this obviously awesome month.... I give you my not so poetically correct ode to all the things that make October so loveable.

1. The start of my FAVORITE time of the year: Fall!!

2. That chilly fall crisp air that convinces us Floridians that its time to break out the scarves and boots! To all my non southern friends... contain your laugh if you please.

3. Pumpkin Spice everything.. yes, I'm one of those girls.. NO SHAME.

4. The leaves starting to change colors.

5. Homey, warm and inviting candle scents. (I am a candle fanatic.)

6. Morning snuggling on the couch with a warm cup of coffee or tea to warm your soul.

7. Bonfires and oyster roasts!

8. Football season is in full swing!! I don't follow football as much as I should but I love watching the games and supporting my boys! (GO GATORS!!)

9. That brings me to the highlight of football season for me... the UF vs. UGA game! Even if you don't like football you can still appreciate the Florida Georgia game in this city.

* I have to elaborate a little on this one... In this part of the state we are so close to Georgia that it when it comes to college football your more than likely either a FSU, UF or UGA fan. Smack talk is required. This game can make or break friendships, ya'll. It happens every year on my birthday weekend and there are always concerts and events the 3 days prior.

Me and one of my besties have our own tradition close to 10 years running of breakfast that morning at Waffle House where we dress up in our Orange and Blue and go watch people eat breakfast and yell at each other across the diner about how much the others team sucks. It's awesome and I love every minute of it. I've even got my husband to start tagging along and he hates football AND waffle house. I know I know... how is that even possible right?? Who hates Waffle House!?!

10. Although it's not my favorite holiday because it interferes with my birthday... I have learned to start loving Halloween for the sheer fact that every year the hubs and I make our own costumes from scratch or from thrift store finds. It's so fun to use the cheapest of things to make some pretty believable costumes. Jon oozes creativity and seeing him come up with such unique ideas really just reminds me how incredibly awesome this man is that I call my husband. I'm a lucky lady.

11. Warm chili season!!!

12. The return of The Walking Dead. Reason enough to love October.

13. The beginning of all the holidays that just make your heart happy. Its like the season premiere that gets you all excited for whats to come! Thanksgiving, CHRISTMAS!!! Ahh I'm getting all giddy just thinking about it!!

Ok so I know that there are hundreds more reasons that October is awesome, so tell me.. What is it that you love about October?? I know I'm not alone!

I hope your month is full of all of the things that bring you joy and that bring the fall season to life!!!

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