Friday, February 28, 2014

Peachy Keen

My favorite scent of all time is peach! I love peach lotion, peach lip gloss, peach candles...even the color peach is a favorite. I gathered a few of my favorite peach products right now to share with you! I will have you craving a peach cobbler by the end of this post:).

Left: Ellen Tracy Peach Caramel Hand Soap (Michaels), Peach Market Candle (B&BW), Peach Bellini Candle (B&BW), White Peach Mango Candle by Melt (Target) Middle: Ellen Tracy Small Candle in Peach Caramel (Michaels), Vineyard Peach Body Butter (The Body Shop) and in front: Green Tea with Peach by Bigelow (Vons).

I have not tried the Ellen Tracy items from Michael's yet, but they smell soooo good. I have purchased hand soap from Joann's before (Dollar section) and it was horrible. I am hoping this craft store hand soap is better! The Bath and Body Works candles are AMAZING. The Peach Bellini is one I just finished and was happy to see that they still have it in the store, it is just in different packaging(my candle was purchased around New Years). I also saw online that they have a lip butter in peach market...looks like I need to take another trip to B&BW!!! The Melt candle from Target is one I mentioned before in a post and have not been able to find again. I am so glad I stocked up when they went on clearance. The Body Shop Body Butter smells exactly like a peach. I have to stop myself from eating it! It literally smells just like a juicy peach. If you have never tried a body butter by The Body Shop. I highly recommend them! Lastly, this Green Tea by Bigelow is awesome. I think I have mentioned this one too(sorry I am obsessed with PEACH). I like to add a decaf tea bag to the Peach Green Tea bag for my iced teas. DELISH!

It is a rainy gloomy day today, but if you live in SoCal you know the weather has been more like spring and summer weather rather than Winter. Peach reminds me of summer and I can't get enough of it! Let me know your favorite scent and any products you have tried and love!

I will leave you with some home decor inspiration featuring peach as well. I think it is so pretty in a little girls room or any girly space.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Crush the Chatterbox: Learning to step outside of the box you've built

Remember that box I lived in? The one I talked about here. It was my safe place. Free from judgment and chatter. Few were allowed in and I rarely stepped outside of it. Inside of the walls I could hide. I had built up the walls so high by now, that few people tried to get in. The walls were too just wasn't worth it to try anymore. I thought it was safe in there, but in reality it was eating me alive. The walls were beginning to fall in on me and I was suffocating. I was looking for perfection inside of myself. It is really the main reason I stayed inside of the box. No one could see in and see the mess I had made. On the outside everything looked to be in order.

One day I decided to step out of that mess. I decided to expose what a wreck I was inside. I realized that perfection couldn't be found in those walls of the box. I had once thought, if I just stayed still inside and didn't let anything come in or out, that I could be in control. I could control what I said or heard. I could control who I saw and who I let in. There I could find perfection. Unfortunately, what I was left with was my own destructive... imperfect thoughts. What I was left with was nothing but an empty box. So, I took a box cutter to that box and laid it out flat. I am no longer able to get into that box I filled with lies about myself and others. I can no longer hide inside or behind the walls of that box. I have to be careful though. It can still be put back together and I can easily go back to it. I can quickly tape it all back together, step inside..curl up and close the top. But I can't...I must crush it!

I have to find my safety now in the only One who is perfect. The only One who can hush the chatter of lies I believe. The only One who can set me free. It is a much happier place...outside the box. It is filled with hope. Sure, there are still fears that surround me, but outside of the box I can hear things clearer. I don't have as much time to my own thoughts. I can hear God's voice a little better. It was always there..but just a bit muffled in the box. I call it my chatterbox and that chatterbox needs to be crushed, so I can hear God's voice. The voice that will be my safe place. That is all that I need. He will be my comfort and He will fill my heart and mind with His loving goodness.

This post is a little different from my others. It may be a bit heavy, but my heart has been heavy for a long time. God is doing great things in my life. He was always right next to that box I lived inside. Waiting. Thank you Lord for your patience! I was inspired by a book I am reading called, "Crash the Chatterbox"( I used the word crush and not crash, because I picture in my mind stepping on it and crushing it, making it useless). I can't even tell you how I stumbled upon the book, but I know God wanted me to read it. It is exactly what I need right now. I can see He is right there beside me and many times He is carrying me when I need a lift and can't handle it all on my own anymore. It is awesome to see God work presently. Many times we can look back on an event in our life and see how God was working. We didn't see it though as it was happening. It was not until later that we can see what God was up to. This can be great... but, I love knowing that presently God is working on and with me. I tend to be a little more faithful and attentive to His voice. It should be this way all the time, but unfortunately it is not. There are so many more examples I can give of how Great God is to me. I pray that you will step outside of the box you may have built. It may have been built with fear, insecurities, sadness, loneliness or hate. Maybe a combination of all those "materials". Just know that God sees you in there. He is sitting right next to that box. He is waiting to grab your hand and help you step outside and become who He made you to be. Finding healing in Christ will lead to wholeness in Him and will crush the chatterbox that wants to fill your heart and mind up with something other than Christ.

"Sometimes the danger of missing out is greater than the risk that comes with stepping out" -Steven Furtick
"You either kick fear out of your heart or it will keep you out of the places God has prepared for you".-Steven Furtick

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Night In: Valentine's Cooking Date

One of the passions The Hubs and I share is food. We love watching cooking shows. They are one of the few shows that we both enjoy watching together. We love going to new restaurants and old favorites. Good food, good ambiance and good company can't be beat! As I mentioned before, The Hubs isn't a fan of V-day so, we usually celebrate it a week later to avoid the crowds. To be honest we go out to eat a lot. So, this year we decided to stay in and cook dinner together. It was so fun and The Hubs did an amazing job. I went to Culinary School and I can get a bit robotic at times when I cook. I find my best dishes are those that I get creative with and put my heart into it. That is exactly what we did on Valentine's Day...after all it is all about love! We took the time to prepare a few different dishes and they were all so good!

First up I had some artichokes steaming (we had to have something to fuel us for the long night of cooking). I just melted some butter and added in some garlic powder to dip the leaves and hearts in. I eat the leaves and I usually let The Hubs have the hearts. Just realized another reference to hearts!

The Hubs made his awesome mashed potatoes. We made these mainly for Shane as we made a lot of food Shane wasn't too thrilled with.
 Next up was Gorgonzola and Honey Bruschetta. A super simple appetizer.
I began by cutting a baguette into a few slices and brushed them with olive oil. Then put the slices in a 400 degree oven and baked for 8 minutes.
Added a chunk of Gorgonzola to each little toast and put them back in the oven for about 2-3 minutes. Finally, I drizzled some honey on each one and yummmm..they were delish!
Next we started on the veggies. I showed The Hubs how to snap off the woody section of the asparagus. About 1 to 2 inches at the bottom of asparagus is where it will naturally snap off and you can remove the inedible section.
We decided to add a little of Gorgonzola in between the asparagus and prosciutto. Simply wrap a small chunk of the cheese as you cover the asparagus in prosciutto. Bake on a foil lined baking sheet...drizzled with olive oil... at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Then turn over each asparagus and bake for another 5-7 minutes until the prosciutto is crispy. Our cheese melted out so we decided that wasn't a great idea! It also added a bit more saltiness. The prosciutto is so salty on it's own so, I think we will skip this next time. We will also use less prosciutto on each asparagus spear. Overall though... these were tasty.
I couldn't pass up this heart shaped Brie!
I bought Shane his favorite "fancy"drink. Sparkling water. No joke, this kid loves him some Pellegrino!
 Last but not least, The Hubs made the most amazing scallops! He has never made scallops before and requested we make them. He has watched so many chefs on tv make them and seriously just took their lead and pulled it off perfectly! He seared them first in some  olive oil. Added butter and some finely chopped thyme and sage. He spooned the butter over it all until the scallops were cooked. He finished the butter sauce off with a squeeze of lemon and BAM! The Hubs can cook(I think he may needs to get in the kitchen more often).
Look at those scallops! So amazing! They were cooked to perfection, which we have found is hard to do. Many restaurants can't get it right. So, we were excited that the main star of our Valentine's dinner turned out!
I knew after all this cooking I wouldn't feel like putting together a fancy dessert. So, I made a boxed brownie mix earlier in the day. I cut them out with a heart shaped cookie cutter and finished it with a scoop of ice cream. S.I.M.P.L.E <3 font="">

It was great cooking together and not having to deal with the crowds. It is awesome to enjoy something we both love. We were glad it all turned out as these were all new recipes. We tweaked them all a bit..but here is a link to each recipe:

Bruschetta with Gorgonzola Cheese and Honey
Asparagus Wrapped in Crisp Prosciutto
Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mid Century Master Ideas

One of the last rooms I have left to decorate in my house is my master. Doesn't it always seem to be the last room to get done? My previous bedroom was Hollywood Glam and although I could probably work that into my Mid Century design I decided to go for a more natural eclectic look. This design is new to me so, I really want to be patient and make sure I make the right design decisions. In the past I have been quick to get stuff from the clearance aisle at Target and bring it home only to realize it just didn't go. I look back at many of my design decisions and think wow that was just hideous. I am trying to mature my design taste and I realized I have to always be on the look out for great pieces and to have a plan in place.

With Mid Century design I can't just go to HomeGoods(although I did find an awesome Mid Century Modern clock there).

Other than small accent pieces, the bigger furniture and art pieces need to be vintage. Our home was built in 1959 and so we try to get pieces from the late 50s and early 60s. It is so much fun to go to flea markets and stalk CraigsList, but it is a waiting game. You never know what you are going to find. Luckily, we have made friends with a wonderful Mid Century Modern dealer and have bought many pieces from him. Currently on our list for our master is: two nightstands. I have even thought about stripping down the nightstands I painted(Lord, forgive me) and using those. We need to re-wire a lamp we bought at the Rose Bowl and find another one.

We need a new King size mattress to go with our headboard we got from our favorite dealer. New bedding...this is so hard for me! I spent years finding my last bedspread...hoping I have better luck this time around. I would also love a chest for the end of the bed to house our extra pillows and blankets. Last but not least we need art! Our whole house needs art. I only have one picture up in our whole house.

So, here are a few items I have spotted and am loving. Many have a Native American vibe..which I love!!!

I spotted this on Etsy. I decided against it since my Mom has an Indian picture she is giving me or that I am stealing. This is a rug, but thought it would be cool hanging on the wall. It was made in the 60s by a Grandfather for his Grandchildren. Amazing!

I want some Lucite somewhere in our master and I just love this mirrored tray with Lucite and brass detailing. This is from the 50s and would look fabulous on my nightstand!

This bedspread is the color palette I am going for in our Master. I never thought about adding grey though. I think it adds a modern touch. This is a twin and the seller has two. I thought about just draping it on my bed and using it more as an accent. Also, thought about buying both and sewing them together??? I am not completely sure about this one but I love that it is vintage(late 50s to mid 60s) and has the warm browns, yellows and oranges I am looking for.
More updates will come along the way. We missed the last Rose Bowl and can't go next month either. I am having withdrawls!!! I am having no luck on Craigslist or thrift stores either. It will come together slowly and I am ok with that:).

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Jesus loves ME: Learning to love yourself so that you can love others

Nobody likes me...everybody hates me...I guess I'll go eat worms.

I remember the first time I read this book in Elementary school and I so related.
As a young girl I should have not found a connection with this self loathing little boy depicted in, "How to Eat Fried Worms", but I did. I was shy and not very happy with myself even as a child. So fast forward to year 31 of my life and I still can relate to that little boy. I thought one day the self-hate would switch off, but it hasn't. I realized, very slowly, that I had to actually work at it. You see I thought if I just prayed, it would go away. At times that did work. I remember in 11th grade getting on my knees begging God to take away my fear. To make me not shy and guess what He did. He took away my fear, but I did not doing anything after that point and the fear began to creep back in.

Being shy stems from being fearful. It also stems from a lack of self-confidence. I grew up with a lot of rules. A lot of boundaries. I learned to be happy and safe in my little square. Never taking any risks that might upset the safety I felt. Unfortunately, I never took the time to figure out who I was. Never took the time to figure out who I was in Christ, because that was scary to me. I was afraid I would make a mistake. I just went along with what my family believed and mindlessly lived. I was living very unintentionally.

When you are younger and you are shy, it is cute. I was "Sweet Summer". When you are older and shy/fearful you are seen as unapproachable, unloving and not someone most people want to be around. This breeds hate towards others. I thought, well they just need to accept me.People need to realize that I am shy and can't carry on a conversation. That is where I was wrong. I was not engaging people. I was not asking people questions. I didn't think anyone cared about me so, why would I care about anyone else. Sweet Summer....yeah she was long gone. I became Judgmental Summer and Unloving Summer. I was lost in my own mind many times. Without getting too personal(too late) I was falling apart. I am talking presently folks. I am trying to pick up the pieces and put myself back together.

The first step, God revealed to me was that I needed to love myself. At first I was like...this is selfish. But I began to read some sermons on loving yourself and how that turns into loving others. In Matthew, a rich young man asks Jesus, what good things he needed to do to have eternal life. I love Jesus' response: "Why do you ask me about what is good. There is only One who is good. If you want eternal life obey the commandments". One of those commandments is to love your neighbor as yourself. I can't help but picture one of those funny pics with the phrase NAILED IT or the ones that show what you think you look like as opposed to what you really look like. Let me show you a pic, just in case you don't know what I am talking about:

I thought I was "nailing it" as depicted in the top pic, when in reality I was totally wrong, looking like a  fool depicted in the bottom pics. What was happening was I was loving others as much as I loved myself...which was not at all.

As a Christian, we can be labeled as judgmental. I would say that was true of myself. I was so lost in being perfect. I could never measure up. I continually failed, because being perfect is only given to ONE, as Jesus mentioned in Matthew 19:17. Each time I failed at living this perfect life I felt worthless. I felt like I failed others. I felt like no one would like me since I sucked at life. Even at 31, after being married for 10 years and having a loving 4 year old(almost 5!!!) I still felt unwanted and depressed.

One day I woke up and was feeling especially unwanted. I felt most of my relationships were failing. I started the blame game and self-loathing. Why would anyone want to be my friend??...I am a mess! But, God stepped in. He is good like that. In my moments of despair He is always there. I have to say never once in my life have I ever felt unloved by God. Not ONCE! He has given me the strength to fight through my fears before. Most people in my life are a little tired of waiting for me to "grow up" but not God He is faithful and His love never waivers.

Through out this whole post...the enemy has told me I am not good enough. Nobody is going to want to read this. You are crazy(that may be a bit true). You are sharing too much. But.........God has given me this life to do great things and I can't be scared. I have to be me. I have to be who God wants me to be. Is this a struggle for you? I know daily I am faced with trying to measure up to others. Instead of measuring up... I want to be proud of others accomplishments. I want to work on my own strengths. Whatever I do, I need to give it my all. So, at the end of the day, even if I do fail, I know that I tried. I recently started working out everyday. Now it is more like 3-4 times a week but that is huge for me. I remember the first workout I did I was so weak, but I gave it all I had and when I was done I literally fell to the floor crying. One because I was in pain, but two because I did it! I accomplished something that I had told myself I couldn't. Believing lies about yourself is dangerous my friends. Living an unintentional life is dangerous. Be confident in who God has made you to be. If you have fears like me, ask God for help. If you truly believe He is God then know that He's got this. Whatever you are struggling with He will be right there along side you. These struggles even make us stronger. This isn't the first time I have had to talk myself out of a dark place. This is the first time I have made plans though and am learning to love myself.

The day after I was having a dark day, I wrote this on my wrist. I don't know if I will ever get a tattoo, but if I do I think having this wonderful reminder is a pretty great idea:

My plans are to get back to a place where I can love myself and love others in return. That my hardened heart would be made tender. I know helping others is where I need to start to focus. Doing selfless acts makes me love myself more..not in a selfish way... but in a way that I am proud to be doing what God has called me to. Getting off Facebook was one of those steps. I know some people really miss me...I feel really blessed, I really do. Many were bummed they wouldn't be able to read my blog posts. Again I was so happy to read that. For me Facebook has so much good, but there were days where I would get so judgmental of people. I began to hate some of my friends and it just wasn't healthy. So, Facebook has to go for a bit. I hope to be in a better place soon. I am so thankful to have a relationship with God and that He has made it very clear what I need to do. Yes, Jesus Loves me and you too!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Summer Lovin

I have a serious problem. I have been spending way too much money on stuff! I am adding more things and I have broken my New Years Resolution of limiting the things I bring into my home.'s only February. I guess the first step is admitting it. Now I must stop...maybe...probably not. I mean how could I pass up the newest pink lipstick that I already have 20 of????

First up is a natural cleaning product. I mentioned previously that I wanted to start using more natural beauty and cleaning products. I am still finishing up my non-natural cleaning products so I promise to do a post just about the natural cleaning products I purchased awhile back. I did however use this wonderful degreaser. I rarely find cleaning products that are just amazing, especially natural cleaning products. This one is great! I ordered it from Vitacost...another love. It is by grab green. I originally bought it for my oven hood that is glass and can build up some greasy grime. It worked like a charm. I just let it sit for a minute and it cleaned right up. I also purchased a new little glass dish from a recent Goodwill trip. It was a bit grimy but a little degreaser cleaned the dish up. I highly recommend it. Unfortunately I see that it is out of stock! Vitacost is good about restocking so keep checking if you are in need of a good natural degreaser.

Thyme with Fig Leaf power degreaser by grab green

One resolution that I actually have kept up is getting healthy! I am super happy about this one. Thanks to my handy dandy Blu-Ray player I stream work out videos from You Tube. I have two favorites currently. My all time favorite trainer is Jillian Michaels. She is mean but super encouraging. I love her kickboxing video.

 A new favorite is the videos by the girls at Tone It Up. They have a Bravo tv show. I am loving their kettle bell workout. Another reason I love using You Tube is that I never get bored with my workouts. I can find just about any type of workout I need. The Tone It Up girls have a great website and I found an awesome recipe for a drink that I make each morning. It is called Bombshell Spell. It is a great way to get in your apple cider vinegar. It really helps curb my appetite all day! This drink also has two of my favorite juices in it, pineapple and lime..mmmm. Simply add 1/2 cup of pineapple juice(100% organic is best), a splash of lime juice(organic-get mine at Ralphs), 1 TBS of Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 TBS of Honey(I warm mine up so it dissolves easier).


This post wouldn't be complete without a few makeup/beauty items! Nude lipsticks are all the rage. Some can make me look a bit washed out. I finally found one that is a great match to my natural lip color. It is by Maybelline, in the shade Warm Me Up. Maybelline actually has a new nude lipstick line called Color Sensational® The Buffs . This is not apart of that line but, if you are looking for a great nude, they have 10 different shades to chose from.


                                         This looks more pink in the pic but it is actually brown in person.
                                                I found my lipstick at Target and I had a coupon!!!
Another great product that I picked up recently is by Loreal. It is their Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Blow Out HeatSpray. I was looking for something to add volume to my lifeless hair and this is amazing. I use it while my hair is damp and blow dry my hair. Since it is also a heat protectant spray it reduces my frizzines and protects it from my blow dryer and flat iron. It added so much volume. It also adds a bit of texture, hence the added volume. If you are looking for a heat spray and volumizer look no further.

A few random loves this month:
Worship song "Oceans(Where my feet May Fail) ohhhhh how I love this song. I have been in need of a reminder of God's Love and this is on repeat in my brain:).
Also, I have really loved not being on FaceBook. It has been about six weeks now. I survived! I had to reactivate my account though because a lot of my other sites use Facebook to sign in! I can't get away! So, I show that I am on but I am not. I am just using Facebook...and I am not ashamed. I have a blog post in the works about some things I have learned ...not just about Facebook but about myself. It is a little hard to talk about..but I have read some encouraging blogs about what I am dealing with and I think it is great to share your struggles with others, if you are ready and God has put it on your when I am ready I will dump it all on ya!
What have you been loving??? I probably shouldn't ask...since I do not need an excuse to buy anything else!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Celebrating LOVE

I am so over Wednesdays! Do you feel me? I wake up already wanting a nap. I have absolutely no motivation. The Hubs can guarantee to get a text asking if we can go to dinner on Wednesdays. That mid-week hump is a hard one for me to get over. I actually think I enjoy Mondays more! Oh goodness! This post is not going to be about how much I despise Wednesdays, I promise. I just needed to blow off a bit of steam before I get going on what I really want to talk about. the subject at hand. Valentine's Day! I am not sure what feeling conjure up when you think about this day of L-O-V-E but, I for one, truly do love Valentine's Day. The Hubs on the the other hand hates it. I know many men and women who share the same sentiment as The Hubs. Do I like that they mark up flowers 300%? No. Do I like that you have to make a reservation a month or so in advanced and have to fight the crowds of other lovers at your favorite restaurant? No. What I do love is that it is a day to take a step back and remember why you love your spouse or significant other. Just as I mentioned before, I love New Years for that same reason. It is a time to reflect on the new year and also the past year. It is a time to make changes and make new goals. I look at Valentine's Day the same. The Hubs says every day is Valentine's Day and to that I say..then where are my flowers dude?! Where are my love notes? Can you help a wifey out with the dishes then?

Can I get an AMEN? The Hubs is no romantic. Now, in his defense, he never was a romantic and I never wanted a super romantic man. I get a little weirded out at major moments of romance, but a little here and there never hurts. The Hubs and I joke about Valentine's Day all the time. We joke about what a big deal it is and how it has become over commercialized just like everything else. The main point of this whole post is really to treat each day like Valentine's Day in your marriage. As cheesy as that may sound, it really is the root to what the Hubs and I believe about this holiday to really mean. I can't help but use this same thought process in my Christian life. Christmas has become so much about being busy and the gifts that we forget the true meaning, Jesus' birth. I can say this is true about forgetting the real meaning of Valentine's Day, LOVE. Being married is such a joy. I feel so honored to be a wife. I do take it for granted many days. I get tired(especially on Wednesdays). I forget to speak The Hubs' Love Language.  That is why I want to use Valentine's Day as a day to refresh and a day to reflect on what our love means and what we mean to each other. I love my husband more than I could ever write about here. He keeps me laughing, he is a hard worker, he cares for others and is always thinking about others above himself. So, instead of making Valentine's Day "Let's test my Husband's love day" I want it to be a day to celebrate our love. I want it to be a time to reflect on what we love about each other and also what we need to work on. Love is work, but it is worth it. Marriage isn't something to give up easily on. Too many times it gets rough and it may seem easier to give up. Love is powerful and can heal many wounds. If your marriage is one that Christ blessed you can get through anything. I deal with so many civil cases each day at work. When I see a divorce case, I stop and pray for that family. Divorce just breaks my heart. I guess I am a bit of a romantic. I just want to find each couple dealing with these civil suits and tell them to remember why you first fell in love. Remember all the great things you love about your spouse. Also, remember nothing is too great for our God. I have seen broken marriages be renewed. There was so much hurt, but love prevailed and healed. Maybe your marriage is great. I encourage you to still take a time to ask your spouse if there is anything you need to work on or if there is anything that needs to change. It may be something small, but personally I want my husband to be happy. I don't ever want to be responsible for making my husband miserable. Too often I see couples in just an absolute pit of nastiness. They have lost that lovin' feeling. I truly believe it can be found again. So, reignite that fire or keep that fire burning. Where ever your marriage is right now, take the time to reflect this Valentine's Day!

P.S. Hubs if you are reading this...I love you and I still want flowers. You can't get off that easy:).

This pic was done by my amazingly talented friend, Val check her site will  love it!