Happy Independence Day!

IndependenceDay

It’s Independence Day here in the United States of America, and while I’ve never really been a person who is interested in politics, this year has really made me think about what being an American is and what independence means to me.

No worries, I am not going to shovel my deep thoughts on you, let’s keep it light! What I will say that I am thankful I have been given the right to live my life the way I want to live it due to others before me standing for what they believe in. I am also thankful for those who are doing what they can now to ensure that we still have that freedom. I hope you have the freedom celebrate this holiday in your own way.

ReadytomaketheWorld

Father’s Day Inspiration

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It’s almost that special time of the year when we recognize the fathers in our lives for being there to love and support us through it all. Like our mothers, our fathers would be happy just to know that his child/children love him and grateful for everything he’s done, but whether you want to show your appreciation through action or give him a gift, sometimes its hard to choose.

Now I know you know your dad best, but just in case you’re stumped I’ve made a list of ideas to spark your imagination.

Go for a drive. There’s nothing like hitting the open road with your dad and sibling or siblings if you have them. It doesn’t have to be to somewhere you’ve never been, just a scenic stretch of road and maybe a bite to eat along the way.

Get crafty and make him a masterpiece: Play to your strengths and make him something that you’re good at making. It doesn’t matter what that may be, as long as you have your Dad in mind when you’re creating it.

Give him something he’s interested in. Think of his hobbies and get him something that compliments those hobbies. Get him a tool for that project he’s been really into, buy him that vintage fishing reel to round out his collection; everyone has something they love doing.

Work on a project together. Ask him if he’d like your help with something he’s been working on and pitch in when and where you can, or just keep him company while he works if he doesn’t need the help.

Make him a meal or meals with his favorite foods. Fire up a grill and make some side dishes, or you make the side dishes and let him grill if that’s what he likes. If cooking isn’t your thing you could always buy him a meal or meals instead, no judgement!

Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary!

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It’s hard to believe Cameron and I have been married now for 5 years! I am incredibly blessed to have such a wonderful man in my life and I look forward to each and every moment we spend together.

Before we were married, and for 4 years into our marriage, I had never heard of the list of traditional anniversary gifts by year and now that I’ve discovered it, I can’t wait to get all kinds of creative!*

Anniversary Gifts

Our year is Wood, visit my Instagram to see what we gifted one another!

*After searching through several sources, I found that some of the gifts on the list varied depending on country and timeframe. I mostly stuck to the traditional list from the United States, but inserted a few of the United Kingdom gifts where appropriate.

Mother’s Day Inspiration

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It’s almost that special time of the year when we honor the mothers in our lives for being there to love and support us through it all. Any mother would be happy just to know that her child/children love her and grateful for everything she’s done, but whether you want to show your appreciation through actions or give her a gift sometimes its hard to choose.

Now I know no one knows your mom like you know your mom, but I’ve made a list of ideas to spark your imagination and inspire you to do something good for you mom.

Clean something without being asked: Take note of what may be dirty or messy in or around the house and take some of the pressure off your mom by cleaning it up for her. You could also give her “coupons” for different chores that can be done over time, when she needs them most, so follow through!

Get crafty and make her a masterpiece: Play to your strengths and make her something that you’re good at making. It doesn’t matter what that may be, as long as you have your mother in mind when you’re creating it.

Give her something she’s interested in: Think of her hobbies and get her something that compliments those hobbies. Get her the next book in that series she’s been reading, buy her supplies for that craft she’s really into, everyone has something they love doing.

Make her a meal or meals so she doesn’t have to cook for herself: Breakfast in bed, lunch in the sun, and/or dinner. If cooking isn’t your thing you could always buy her a meal or meals instead, no judgement!

Make her something for her sweet tooth: Whip her up some chocolate or bake her something nice like a cake, cupcakes or brownies. Again you could always buy her some sweets if baking isn’t your thing!

Welcome Autumn!

Okami Fall Wallpaper

I love autumn for the warmth it generates inside your home and soul. Where I live, September and October are still rather warm on some days, turning wet and cold as the months progress toward Winter.  I cannot get enough of the rain this time of year. The cold, wet weather begins to take over outside, driving us all inside to be together and warm. There’s nothing like cuddling up with people you love, reading a good book, watching a movie or playing a video game while the weather misbehaves outside.

Some of the best holidays are found in these “ber” months. Christmas is my personal favorite, but Halloween and Thanksgiving are definitely not to be ignored. Who wouldn’t like playing dress up or cooking, eating and spending time with family and friends?

I intend on fully enjoying myself this season and invite you to join me. I will be doing a lot of cooking, crafting, book reading and game playing; among other things. Follow along and try some of these activities for yourself, this is a time we should all enjoy!

I intend on:

  • Decorating for Halloween.
  • Watching Halloween mood movies.
  • Assembling a Halloween costume.
  • Hosting a Halloween dinner party.
  • Carving pumpkins.
  • Roasting pumpkin seeds.
  • Making candy/caramel apples.
  • Cooking a dish for Thanksgiving.
  • Creating and sending Christmas cards.
  • Creating and hanging Christmas ornaments.
  • Decorating for Christmas.
  • Baking Christmas cookies/cake.
  • Watching Christmas mood movies/specials.
  • Visiting local Christmas festivals.
  • Visiting Christmas Disneyland.
  • Hosting a Christmas dinner party.
  • Baking Christmas Cookies.

There will be other activities I do, but these are the core basics I’ve set up for myself.

Giving up energy drinks and sodas

Growing up, I remember when fast food was a treat we were bought every other week or so and I remember when I wasn’t allowed to drink any soda with caffeine in it, not to mention energy drinks. If I was allowed soda at all, it had to be something caffeine free.

As I grew up I was given more allowances and I was allowed to start making my own decisions. I was introduced to caffeinated soda and still maintained a healthy distance.

As an adult I’ve started an office job that is relatively stressful, but not painfully so. I started buying caffeinated sodas and eventually graduated to energy drinks to “treat” or “reward” myself during the work day, but it’s become too frequent. I can feel the negative effects of the sugar and caffeine in these drinks on my mind and body, but I still crave them anyway! As we plan on starting a family I think it’s time to find some healthier “treat”  or “reward” options and get back to my healthier habits. As of last Friday, I’ve stopped drinking sodas and energy drinks. It’s definitely rough while my body is figuring out how to cope without all the sugar and caffeine, but it’ll pass!

We went camping!?

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Cameron and I went camping with his family at Lopez Lake this weekend! It was the first time we’ve been camping together and the first time I’ve been camping since my Girl Scout days in high school and before, and boy, was I out of practice!

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As much as I’ve always loved nature, I’ve grown close to technology and haven’t really thought about how much I’ve come to rely on it. Cameron’s parents and his brother’s family own campers, so it was an easier transition after all these years to have them nearby with electricity and running water (including toilets and showers)! Cameron and I opted to sleep in a tent and while the padding underneath us was comfortable and the sleeping bags were warm, I did not sleep as well as I hoped.

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I dragged my sleepy self out of bag on Saturday morning and after a hearty breakfast, we all went for a walk with the dogs. The scenery was just as beautiful as I remembered, but it really broke my heart, and put the drought into perspective, when I saw just how low the water has sunk. We were walking on a dried out bed of sand and brush that used to be completely under water with the banks high above us and it was incredibly humbling.

When we returned to camp there was some free time and even though I brought my iPhone, iPad and Nintendo 3DS along with me, I ultimately found myself wanting to read whenever we weren’t socializing. We talked, we laughed, we ate a lot of tasty food and celebrated our Nephew’s birthday, it was a good weekend!