the struggle is somewhat real...

Right now, I'm struggling. I see my goals, but my body is fighting me. This week was a little eratic and unpredictable and I have struggled everyday to accomplish my goals. I have not done any 5k training this week. I've only run a couple miles and I only put in about an hour with HIIT videos and/or weights.

We are currently visiting family and I am NOT in my element. I miss (but still hate) my trainer. I miss real gym equipement. I miss my kitchen & cookbooks. I miss my routine of working on my planners on Fridays and making a plan for the upcoming weekend & following week. 

And thats it. I don't have a plan. BUT, today is the perfect time to come to this realization. Its Planner Friday and I can make a plan to keep me motivated, fueled, energized, and rested.

After sitting down and thinking of what is affecting my energy levels and recovery times, I need to focus on two things: food & work out plan. Today I sifted through

Meal Plan Monday is about it be a thing again. I have kept on track with snacks lately with snacks (in LOVE with Simple Squares) and juicing, so those aren't really my problem areas with food atm other than I'm not working out enough to really take advantage of the benefits. Side note, I'm going to steal ALL the juice recipes...  Taking over the cooking at my mom/grandma's house will be HUGE this week.

I have also been saving pretty much every work out from FitnessBlender on youTube. Their videos seem approachable and modify-able. This week I think I am going to work on their fat burning/muscle building challenge as a sort of boot camp to get me back in gear. I really miss my trainer. Who knew THAT would happen...

With a challenge in mind for the week, I think I will keep running goals slow. Continue using the Zombies, RUN! 5K training app 3 days this week (meaning Friday-Thursday) and aim for a sunrise walk with my grandma. She walks a 24ish minute mile every morning. Very mellow. 

Here goes nothing... Do you have any tips for getting back on track? I'de LOVE to hear them!! 
Happy Friday! 


Pinterest got me excited this week with...

Painting leather... which is basically just painting leather but I like it and I would totally do it.

Making juice pops from my juicer!

This Lumpy Space Princess Tank even makes the boy want to work out with me!

Then... my feed was filled with muffins. Oh dear lord, MUFFINS. There is no other choice here but to make these..

and these too...

and these for sure!

now... we know I'm going to be busy working on these pinterest projects because that is totally how pinterest works. (i.e. see project, do project... right? maybe? once in a blue moon?) but I still want to hear, from you! Any good pinterest projects lately? Wanna come over and have some muffins?!?!?!


How I got my priorities back...

simply put... I got fed the fuck up. 

I enjoy volunteering my "talents" to the communities that surround me. This past spring I stuck my neck out just a little too far and was left feeling abused and taken advantage of. With out getting into the ugly details and finger pointing, I can confidently state that I finally learned my lesson of where to draw the line in terms of "giving" my time. 

After the dust settled from the last event I volunteered to chair, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I did wrong; what I could have done differently; what I could change. And the answer to all of the above was nothing. NOTHING. There was nothing I could have done that would have made this fundraiser a more successful event.

Following that train of thought, if I could do nothing. then what was I doing there at all? 

I looked around at our um... lived in house... at our two kids who need nothing more than my time and here I am GIVING it to other causes and I thought "where are my priorities?" 
Once there, I started looking at each thing in my life and I made a list of what I wanted to do with my time and where it ranked. My list looked something like this:

1. Our Family (live an active life with my children, encouraging and nurturing them into the amazing human beings they have the potential to be)
2. My Marriage (spend time and effort cultivating the relationship I have and hope to have with my husband) 
3. Health and  Fitness Goals (regain control of my eating habits and activity levels) 
4. Future Planning (spending time and effort adding to our financial goals/gains and security) 
5. Friendships (grow true and meaningful relationships with friends from the past, present and future)

Volunteering and helping others (on a MUCH smaller scale, with smaller roles) was and still on the list, but, RIGHT NOW, its not a top five priority. 

Once I could articulate my priorities, I could really see that I have been missing the mark on the things that were and are the most important... at least in my head. I found it heartbreaking that I gave away so much of myself when it was in no way beneficial to my goals. BUT, it marked a change in me and a change for the better. Since sitting down with my broken heart and my list, I have made changes and I'm seeing results. While my example of a "breaking point" is completely a first world problem, it was enough to have me evaluate and strive towards goals that truly impact MY life and I am a better person for it.

Have you taken time to think about your priorities? Are you living your life how you want to?


a long road ahead...

For the past year or so, I have been working on my personal health... or at least thinking about it. It all started with a fitbit. Tracking movement (or lack there of) really got me thinking about what I do everyday... How was I moving? What was I eating? Where was time going?

Over the summer of 2014 I moved more and I ate better and I lost 25lbs or so going into the fall. Then traveling husband and holidays happened and off the wagon I fell... tumbled... crashed in a horrific fiery explosion. KA-POW! In the spring of 2015 I started moving again but I also was working on a fundraiser that pushed me over my stress edge and into the land of eating out and playing video games. Along with some family drama, life was causing problems and I really didn't have motivation to do more. 

So I never really fully got back onto the wagon after all. Long story short, the stress of the fundraiser got me to my breaking point of "eff this, i'm out..." drops mic... 

Which was good in reality. I looked deeply at my obligations, where I spent my time, and what was valuable to me at the end of the day. I found the power to say no. To stop. To take the time to do what was important to me. I MADE PRIORITIES. 

In the list of my top 5 priorities, my personal health popped back up. Somehow I got it into my head that I wanted to run. There was a goal... How was I going to get there? When was I going to run? What did running mean? 

How? I was going to find a place where childcare would not be an issue and I was going to work out. I was going to move. 

When? Star Wars Half Marathon in January 2016. Done. (ps. is it crazy to sign up for a half marathon with out running ever before in my adult life? lil bit? k.) 

What does this  mean? It means I'm going to develop healthy habits and gain a more active lifestyle. Weight loss, strength training, endurance training, sweating a lot... 

One day, I wrote in my planner to look into gyms. You know, find some... price them... see about childcare... then not do anything about it. Later that day, I stopped into a local gym... and joined. 

Just. Like. That. 

Now, just about two months later, I've made some gains, hired a trainer, have experienced pains I didn't know could exist, and typed a very long post. There is more in there... but I'll talk about that more later... just happy to be moving again, no matter how long the road ahead of me is... 


National Scrapbook Day Blog Hop!!

Happy National Scrapbook Day 2015!! 

To kick off this NSD right, I thought I would share something HIGHLY appropriate. My very 1st layout of 2015.... dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun....

Most of my scrapbooks these days are filled with pocket pages. They work well for me and I can mostly keep up with our daily lives. But, every now and again, I like to throw a good ol' 12x12 layout into the mix. In honor of NSD, here is my current take on traditional scrapbooking. 

I mean, look at all those goodies I can get onto the page. They really do capture parts of our Pip! 

What are your plans for NSD? I have my regular Saturday night crop to attend and I will be co-hosting an all day crop on the 16th! Hopefully I can get a few more layouts done for the album and keep things interesting! 

A little bit from out sponsors...
Chances are, if you are reading this blog you love to scrapbook. Today, scrapbooking takes on many different forms from the traditional 12x12 layouts to smaller formats like 8.5 x 11, 6x6 and the ever growing popular pocket scrapbooking. Whichever form you prefer, we are all story tellers and love to preserve our family memories for generations to come. That is why I love that we take out the first Saturday each May to celebrate this wonderful hobby. As you hang out at crops at your Local Scrapbooking Store or perhaps just have a group of friends over for an in home crop, we have a wonderful hop here to inspire you as you pull out your pictures, papers, embellishments and the ever important adhesive to hold all these together and tell your stories! We have a great group of bloggers and scrapbookers just like you joining us today so I hope you will take a moment to visit each one. 

We also have two amazing sponsors for this blog hop:

Scrapbook Adhesives Logo with reg pink

  Prize: Five Stamp Pads of Winner's Choice! Prize: Grab bag worth $25 

 Use the link at the end of this post to enter to win and be sure to visit all of the blogs on the hop: 

 Please stop by our sponsors' Facebook Pages and say "hello"!


Setting the mood for SUMMER CELEBRATIONS with Clearsnap

Over on the Clearsnap blog, Jennifer Priest has shared a mood board for may! Its sherbert-y and YUMMY!

I couldn't resists making a few quick cards featuring the colors and that laid back, summer fun feel.

To create these cards I used a variety of vivid ColorBox inks with ColorBox Art Daubers and a couple fun stencils.

The Art Daubers are the perfect tool to get the most out of a detailed stencil while flawlessly blending your inks.

The ice cream cones were no challenge even with the layering of two colors. The cones even have some really cool shadowing that just magically happened independent of my efforts. LOVE IT!

Supply List:
Pigment Ink Colors:
ColorBox Art Daubers
Grosgrain Ribbon


I was having so much fun with this color scheme, it worked its way into another project. Here is a sneak peak of a card made using the incredible Art Wheel to layer gorgeous colors from a ColorBox Queue. Check back soon for a new tutorial with details on this artful and easy technique!


Tombow and Clearsnap STICK TOGETHER with simple, all-occasion cards!

 Hello and Welcome to the Tombow USA and Clearsnap Blog Hop! For this hop we swapped products that were made for each other: Tombow Adhesives and Clearsnap Foils! On this hop we will share easy, affordable and fun ways to use Clearsnap's Designer Foils with Tombow adhesive as well as other fun ways Tombow and Clearsnap products work together. 

"Stick" with us for the next two days to be inspired!


 You probably got here from Jennie’s blog but if you stumbled across my blog go the Tombow USA Blog to get this hop started right!

I have been blessed with an amazing group of friends who LOVE to send each other cards. I mean, really, who doesn't love getting a little something special in the mail? That being said, I always need to have a few unique cards on hand to send out in reply to a friend or for no reason at all!

Not always knowing what occasions will pop up, I created a set of cards that will not let me down. On a piece of smooth white cardstock, a full sized Clearnsnap Colorbox pigment ink pad makes a great background swatch of color. The variety which these pigment inks are available in is stunning. I have used the following colors: sweet melon, royal blue, sunflower, and ocean.

Once your color swatch is completely dry, use the incredible Tombow glue pen and write your greeting. No stamps. No clean up. Just write what's on your mind and in your heart! The Tombow glue pen has a great flow of adhesive that works amazing with all types of teeny mediums.

Quickly cover your glue writing in ColorBox Embossing Powder in white, shake off excess, and use a heat tool to melt/fix your powder. Mount your white cardstock onto a coordinating piece of colored cardstock and you are all done.

So, the lesson learned today, Clearsnap  and Tombow are not only amazing on their own there is no limit to their creativity and usefulness together. Ready to give some a try? Check out the generous prize pack that Clearsnap and Tombow have contributed to our hop!


 To win, visit and comment on the participating blog posts. You have until April 21 at 11:59 EST to comment. A winner will be picked randomly and announced on April 22 2015. The prize includes: Tombow Xtreme Adhesive, NEW Tombow Adhesive Dots, Tombow Stamp Runner Dot Adhesive and the Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue. Glitter – Gold Sparkle and Ruby Slippers, Designer Foils – Cherry 

Looking to catch up? Check out the other fabulous bloggers participating in this blog hop!
Friday: Tombow USA Blog Sabrina Alery Beth Watson Jennifer Priest Daniella Hayes Guest Designer Jennifer Loftfield Jennie Garcia Guest Designer Holly King Latrice Murphy Clearsnap Blog

Saturday: Clearsnap Blog Meihsia Liu Latrice Murphy Dana Tatar Jennifer Priest Suzanne Austin Tami Sanders Tombow USA Blog


Sprinkling a Little Love....

After the Christmas season has past, I always want to de-clutter the house and keep the decorations (if any are even allowed) simple. This year Valentines Day was allowed to be festive. A new table runner from Ikea, a few candles in pretty containers (after christmas sales at World Market), and simple ribbon and paper garlands for the windows....

(Look at that determination!)

The first project we tackled were simple paper heart chains. The boy cut strips of 1" paper out of scraps (more on that later) and used a simple stapler to create a chain to adorn the window in his room.

The boy was quite pleased with his handy work once we draped it over his curtain rod. Great project for smaller hands and short attention spans!

(Terrible photo, but the boy's room is mid-sprucing. Reveal to come...)

Next, I worked a bit more solo and got out the trusty Silhouette. It always feels nice to dust off one of those fancy crafting machines that I just had to have! Not to mention use some of my stockpiled credit in the silhouette store. That too.

One slightly gloomy afternoon, my silhouette got a great work out. Knowing I wanted to pull together something Valentines like, I hit the paper scrap stash hard to gather materials. I sort my paper scraps by color, kinda. In a set of these drawers, I have 3 groups of colors: 1) red, pinks, oranges, & yellows 2) blues, greens, & purples 3) whites, browns, blacks, & greys. This system has worked well for me for many years now. Most importantly, it limits the amount of scraps I can have at any one point, its a pretty nifty feeling to use scraps for a project rather than cut into full sheets of paper, and, lastly, the boy knows this is the area paper is kept that he can always use and he does.

So, armed with big hunks of paper in reds and pinks, I started to cut. I went with a geometric heart and a couple other more classic heart shapes and cut until I ran out of scraps.

(kitchen table window)

 Dressing the window was very simple. A few strings of ribbon (its nice to have a healthy stash of all sorts of ribbons. seam binding and wholesale floral supplies are your friends) strung to end to end and I stapled the hearts at will.

(living room window)

I hope this has inspired you to sprinkle a little love around your home. Keep it simple. Keep it light. BUT, KEEP IT!!!

Sunshine & Bunnies, 


Looking for  paper chain tutorial? Try this one! 


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