28 November 2018

Wishlist Wednesday {My Christmas List}

Hey y'all,

With the Christmas season officially kicked off now that we have pasted Christmas, I thought I would share my Christmas list. Don't worry, I am the kind of person that had my Christmas list to my family before November so that everyone could enjoy some great sales this past week.

I lucked out that this Fall, I found my favorite cookware at Homegoods. I immediately called my Mom as this is her brand of cookware and grabbed a piece for her as well. So, I was reimbursed and I have been loving using my Christmas present already the last few weeks.
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I can't find my cookware but it is the same kind my Mom purchased in Germany when we lived there 15 years ago and her pans still look brand new.

NOOK GlowLight 3
I have a first generation nook simple touch that was not working in October when I arrived at the airport so I think it's time to upgrade.

J.Crew Mercantile quilted vest
j.crew mercantile quilted puffer vest with eco-friendly primaloft® : women fleece & vests
I live in these vests during the Fall and Winter and think this green color is gorgeous! I have an ivory, black, and pink vest already.

2019 Yearly Prayer Journal by Val Marie Paper, women's ministry, prayer tools, praying for your kids, how to start a prayer journal, notebook, war room, praying Scripture, praying for your husband, how to make a, for beginners, motherhood
I received the 2018 prayer journal for Christmas last year and I have loved using this prompted journal throughout the year to record prayers for the world, my community, my friends, and my gratitude.

I love Courtney's blog and all of her fun decor and party ideas so I think this would be a fun coffee table book.

I mean sloths+pajamas. Enough said.

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Perfect for relaxing in my epsom salt bath every Sunday after Barre3.

Other ideas:
An airmattress for guests
Crazy Rich Asians DVD
Invisiboble hair ties
Bubba plastic reusable straws

What's on your Christmas list?

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14 November 2018

What I'm Reading Wednesday {October Reads}

Hey y'all,

As usual, I am sharing the books I finished in October. Even with a vacation with family, I only finished three books. They were all okay reads but nothing out of the ordinary. Here we go:

Her Royal Sypness

Her Royal Spyness (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #1)Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932.
So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.
Everything seems to be going swimmingly until she finds a body in her bathtub... and someone is definitely trying to kill her.

This is the first of a series and which cute, I wasn't too impressed. If you love a good british spy novel, I say read the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig and skip these. I started the second book and returned it to the library as I wasn't loving it.

Trade Me

Trade Me (Cyclone, #1)Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Technology. But when he makes an off-hand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.
To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.
But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart...but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.

A classic rich boy, struggling girl romance but this book included a lot of different discussions on mental health and the struggles behind success. I enjoyed the book and I am interested to read the rest of the series.

Without Merit

Without MeritThe Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.
Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.
Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Another quick read from Colleen Hoover. I love that Colleen is not afraid to tackle some darker topics. I always know I am going to finish her books in under 3 days and I will cry at some point. Without Merit is revolves around a family and how keeping secrets could negatively effect someone to the point of attempting escape. 

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13 November 2018

Thanksgiving in October {San Diego Days 5, 6 & 7}

Hey y'all,

Sorry for the delay in posts, last weekend was very hectic so I decided this weekend would be quieter and slower. I'm finally wrapping up my vacation posts from our trip to California last month. You can read the first few days here.


Saturday was going to be one busy day. Our family was coming down from the Orange County area for my cousin's gender reveal and for our Thanksgiving meal. This was the first time seeing some of the family in 10 years. Others I saw when I was out West in March.

Once everyone arrived it was time for my cousins' gender reveal. Of course, my family though had to place bets on which confetti cannon would hold the reveal and the gender.

It's another boy for Michelle. She is already an amazing mom to two little guys and this cements her Boy Mom status. Also, by luck, her husband won the bet-cannon 6, boy.

After the reveal it was time to hang out on the bay for a bit while the Thanksgiving feast was completed. It was nice to all gather for Thanksgiving as we have never had the whole family together for Thanksgiving. Our family has always lived in the South or North East far from Cali for the holidays.

We all ate, hung out some more then it was time for family pictures.
The whole group-my mom's side of the family (minus two cousins and an uncle)
My Mom and her siblings
The cousins and the littles
The cousins. This is 9 out of the 11 of us.
My family
With my siblings

After family photos, it was time for the Wally World photo.
The rest of the night was just hanging out, playing uno with the littles, and enjoying the family.


Sunday was another day of relaxing on the bay with family and my best friend who is now living in Southern California for her residency was able to come down and visit.

The rest of the afternoon was more bay time, a sandcaste competition where one of the littles made an Octopus.
The SpaceX launch occurred on Sunday night and it was cool to see the rocket.


Monday was our last day on the bay. We hung out some more, ate pizza, and there was a hysterical incident on the slip and slide involving my brother crashing into one of the littles. Then we were off back to the East early on Tuesday morning.

And now to plan the next family gathering before it hits 10 years again.

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05 November 2018

TBB Asks {November}

Hey y'all,

It's a new month so of course I am joining the wonderful ladies of the Blended blog for their monthly questions post!

1. Have you ever kept a Gratitude Journal? Yes or No? 

Yes! I love keeping a gratitude journal especially in times where I am struggling in feeling the Lord's provision. You will be amazed of the things you begin to list as you think past being grateful for friends and family. Here are three things I'm grateful for today:
Lara bars for quick breakfasts on the go
hot water for my shower this morning
my friends Shelby and Laura Caroline on their birthdays

2. Hosting Thanksgiving at your house? Yes or No?

No. I will be visiting my family for Thanksgiving as usual. I am attending a Friendsgiving the Sunday before Thanksgiving and I am going to attempt Danielle Walker's herb biscuits from her book Celebrations.

3. Favorite Food from The Thanksgiving Meal?

This is a tie between the green bean casserole, my mom's homemade apple pie, and the smoked turkey.

4. What one thing in Nature are you most grateful for? 

Trees. Trees in the Fall are my favorite! I love long walks and just looking at all the trees changing.

5. Pumpkin Pie: Yes or No?

Hard no.

6. Traditional Cookbook: Yes or No?

I recently purged my cookbooks. I have mostly cookbooks from bloggers. I love Lisa Leake, Ree Drummond, Gina Homolka, and Danielle Walker. My mom still uses cookbooks from our pre-school that was filled with family recipes.

7. Oven Baked or Deep-Fried Turkey?

We started having smoked turkey for thanksgiving. It is already smoked and my dad puts it on the grill to heat up.

8. Thanksgiving Leftovers: Yes or No? 

Yes. We eat a lot of turkey sandwiches over the days following and eventually my mom makes a turkey casserole from my godmother's recipe with the leftovers as well.

9. What is one household product your most grateful for?

I'm grateful for my crockpot during this time of year!

10. Are you most grateful for home cooked meals or restaurant meals?

Home cooked meals from my family. I love a restaurant meal during the week as a break from cooking for myself but if I am home, I love having meals my mom or dad have made. 
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02 November 2018

Five on Friday {November 2}

Hey y'all,

I am excited it is Friday! I have been battling a cold since Tuesday so I am hoping some fun this weekend with lots of rest heals me back up. I am not complaining that we get an extra hour of sleep this weekend either!

one. Sloth blanket.

On Friday, I had dinner with Traci and she was so sweet and gifted me this adorable sloth throw blanket for helping host her baby shower this summer. Sloths are one of my favorite animals and even Max approves of the new throw.

two. Dracula the ballet.

I went to Dracula on Sunday with my friend Christie and we really enjoyed the Carolina Ballet's performance. We felt that the Black Death piece that was performed before intermission was a little slow to start but the performance of Dracula was spectacular. I loved the costumes and the fact that they chose to have a narrator as part of the performance.

three. Sunset.

The sunset on Sunday was unreal. I had a church event that evening and this was the sun at 6:30pm when I was headed out. Gorgeous!

four. Wicked Halloween.

Did you catch the Wicked Halloween special on Monday? I am a huge fan of Wicked and loved the fun performances. The show made me want to buy tickets and see it again. I have seen it three times already but it is such a wonderful show!

five. 5 things I am thankful for.

I am planning on including 5 things I am thankful for in each of my 5 on Friday posts this month. Here are this weeks:
honey vanilla chamomile tea
friends to watch Hocus Pocus with on Halloween
modern medicine-I'm looking at you Nyquil/Dayquil
hot showers that help with congestion
great community in my bible studies this Fall

Link up with April, Christina, and Natasha.  
Also linking up with Tif, Becky, and Katie.
And Erika, Narci, and Andrea

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