Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tuesday Topics is Back!

My favorite Tuesday link-up is back!! What a fun way to bring in 2013 with the first Tuesday Topic being "Ten New Years Resolutions! 

Link-up with my girls Tiffany and Lauren this Tuesday - I can't wait!

The Austin Family Diary

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Newtown - One Week Later

On December 14th the nation was crushed with the tragic news in Newtown, Connecticut. My heart broke for all of those who were involved. I came across Karla's blog and she is from Newtown and hearing someone talk first hand about the horror in this quaint city made it feel even more real to me.  Kayla was my connection to someone in Newtown and I thought of her daily wondering how her, her family and friends were coping.  She graciously accepted my offer to do a guest post for me today on how we can help the city of Newtown build hope and give them reasons to smile again.

While it may be one week later and the media may have shifted its attention on to something else - please remember this Christmas that there are still families grieving, families that will be broken forever. Reach out, pay it forward and always remember Newtown.

Hello to all of Kathleen’s lovely readers!
I am so grateful to Kathleen for letting me reach out to you all today.
My name is Karla,
& I blog over @ Forever Newly Wedded.
I’m a newlywed, and I blog about my day to day life,
as a newlywed newbie.
I have a very light-hearted blog,
but after the tragic shooting that took place in Newtown on
December 14, I have been finding it difficult to post about anything happy.
Newtown is my hometown.
I was raised there,
my little cousin attends 2nd grade at Sandy Hook School,
& my father works there as well.
(both are safe)
So, this tragedy has not only struck home,
it has struck my heart.
It has been over a week since the shooting,
& though my heart (and the hearts of many others) are not
& never will be completely mended,
I have started to smile again seeing all the love & support the town has gotten.
It’s been unbelievable. 
It helps me re-gain hope that this world really does have more good, than bad in it.
& I want everyone to know that my town has been absolutely inundated with donations… so much so that the problem now is just getting it all where it needs to go.
If you’d like to help,
Here is how!
The need right now is:
- School supplies (pencils, paper, notebooks)
-School decorations (they could be winter décor, or just school décor)
Their new school for the remainder of the year will be a middle school in a neighboring town, and it needs to look welcoming for the students)
-       Money  (Both for a new school & a scholarship fund for all students at SHS, and their siblings, including siblings of victims).
- Prayers (can never have too many)
The address to send this to is:
Newtown Board of Education
3 Primrose Street
Newtown, CT 06470
Newtown was also collecting teddy bears too for all the students in the school, but there have been thousands of those already donated.
In fact, a lot of school decorations have been donated too.
& The Sandy Hook School Support Fund online has reached over $100,000.
It’s been absolutely incredible.
These are things that you don’t really read about it the paper, or see on the news, so for all of you who have been inundated with bad news about this shooting, I hope that this brings you a little bit of happiness.
Though nothing in the world could buy the victims lives back,
my town is starting to heal,
& I’ve started to see smiles again,
at a coffee shop in Newtown,
where an anonymous man in Florida
called and told the owner of the shop to put everyone’s coffee on his tab at the end of the day.
Now, that is something to smile about.
Newtown will get better.
Newtown will heal.
Because when a tragedy like this happens,
we are all,
Newtown Strong.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December Happenings

Has your December been as crazy as mine has been?

I am exhausted.


And am trying to find time to get some me time in - but somehow I keep adding things to my schedule.

December has been my month of random blog posts. Here is another for you!

My little brother is a college graduate! I briefly mentioned this last week - but I love this family picture. What a happy day it was and I cannot explain how proud I am of my brother!

I really am so surprised that I have not discussed these amazing glassybaby votive candle holders. These are a HIT in Washington and I will need to dedicate a whole post about them in the near future.  These Christmas colors have completed the dining room table at my parents house. 

I am really good at shopping. But really bad at wrapping. I have told myself every single night this week that I would wrap and get it all done by this weekend. It is Thursday and I have not even started. Maybe tonight with be the night?? Ha! I make myself laugh!

It makes me so happy when blog friends become real life friends.  One of the most beautiful Christmas cards I have received this year. My preggo blog friend Tiffany at the Austin Family Diaries is adorable and just one of the sweetest girls I know - hopefully J and I will get a chance to visit them the next time we go to Arizona.

Christmas came early for me! I got my amazing May Book in the mail yesterday and am so excited! There is something about a empty planner that gets be so excited. 2013 will be an amazing year and I cannot wait to fill those pages up with fun things happening in our life! 

I am usually the girl that is 100% on point when it comes to getting our adorable, photographed Christmas cards out. It is December 20th and I never got around to creating a card let alone getting anything out in the mail. I do not know what it was for me this year but I just could not get in to it like usual. Tonight along with wrapping (ha) I will be writing out some Christmas cards!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Homemade Dog Treats

Today was a baking day.

A rainy Sunday inside cooking up a storm with my Mom.

Indeed it was a good day.

While I spent a lot of our time making delicious goodies, I wanted the dogs to benefit from all things yummy too.. so I found a simple dog treat recipe and made them in to little gingerbread men! 

All this recipe calls for is:

- 2 cups of whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 cup peanut butter

Heat the oven to 375 degrees and cook for 20 minutes! That is all ladies - like I said it is so simple!

Co-Hosting I Love My Online Friends 'GFC' Blog Hop

Welcome to another week of the I Love My Online Friends 'GFC' Blog Hop. 
For more info on the hop and guest hosting, please read HERE. Well, are you ready? Let's go hopping! 
1. Please follow your host and the fab five on Google Friend Connect (GFC). 
2. Link up your homepage and start hopping around. Remember, this is a blog hop, you've gotta do some hopping in order for it to truly be worth your time. When you get a new follower it's always nice to return the favour. Visit their blogs, leave them a comment and/or return the follow. 
3. You are not required to, but it would be great if you could tweet/like/pin/share this post and/or grab the button and share it on your blog. The more people that see this hop, the more blogs for us to visit and the more followers we gain. 
Thanks and Happy Hopping!
The Things We Find Inside

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Life Lately

Sorry friends - blogging has taken the backseat lately.
I have a lot on my mind - have started countless posts - but nothing ever feels good enough.
Ever have those days??
So today you will get the joy of listening to this girls random thoughts and life happenings. 
 I have a cold today. I felt it coming on Monday night and went to sleep so fast in hopes it was my stress and exhaustion teasing me.. I woke up yesterday and today with my new BFF cold. Not fun considering this week has been insane and work has been even crazier with it being the end of the year.
I am sad I was camera shy in 2012.  My picture taking skills were lacking and I did not carry my camera around with me enough.  I did not get to capture as many moments this year as I wished. Big mental note to myself on making that change in 2013. 
John and I may have some exciting news to come (no it is not a baby).. we have spent the last few months house hunting and we have narrowed it down to one we really love. We are showing both sets of families this weekend! Wish us luck, as I really love this house and I have high hopes. More to come on everything house...
I hate when I hear people say the "R" word.. I just cannot tolerate it at all.
Every single time I walk into the kitchen at my office there is a new fatty food "gifted" to our office.  Damn holiday season... cookies, candy, chips, popcorn, crackers..
I love ordering a new planner for the year to come. Seriously, this makes me SO happy. I ordered my new May Book planner and cannot wait until it comes. My 2013 calendar already has so many fun things going on. Can't wait to make them official and put them in the planner :)
My bridesmaid dress for a wedding I am in this summer came in the mail. Love, love, love it!
I need a haircut so bad. My last cut was almost one year ago and I just need to finally get one scheduled.  Adding that to my December goal sheet right now!
Speaking of goal sheets.. I make way to make charts, lists, plans..
Wine. I love it. Pinot Grigio you da man!
Wrapping Christmas presents is not my thing. I have not started and am honestly dreading that whole process. Maybe I will settle on cute bags this year.
Sunday my Mom and I will be spending the day in the kitchen! She is making her delish homemade spaghetti sauce and our family favorite Christmas cookies - while I whip up batches of homemade dog treats. Sunday will be a good day!
My brother graduated from college this past weekend from Washington State University - Go Cougs! I am so proud of him and know he will go places in life!
The Santa Clause (one of my favorites) was made made 17 years ago! How can this be???
Tomorrow we draw names at work for our office Secret Santa.. this makes me giddy!
And this my friends is my feel good for today - we could all use a Karma Cleanse every now and then.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Empowered Living Blog Hop

What a blessing it was to find Jesse at the Empowered Momma. This blog breathes positivity and insight and I am so happy to have found her and her link-up.  I am feeling so honored today to co-host a link-up and blog I believe in and find so much inspiration from.

It is so important to celebrate, recognize and support all the things we go through as women - and the blogging community is a great platform to gain support from women of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and lifestyles. I am honored to have met some fabulous women that continue to inspire me day by day.

Come link-up with some amazing women today with some amazing stories!
Happy Empowered Living everyone.

Today is the day where we gather and meet one another by simply sharing the love we have for ourselves, family and others. 

A place where you can let your confident and creative self shine by linking anything that made you or others feel empowered. 

Aunt To Be

My heart is complete.
I am going to be an Aunt.
To the Royal Baby to Be that is!
I have been waiting for this day to come and I am so happy to know that my darling Kate and Will are having their first baby! Not a bad family to be born into.. I guess I need to start shopping for a new hat for the christening!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Loosing Weight In December

Loosing weight during the holiday season is possible.

It is December and I have set my goals. 

I will loose 10 pounds this month.

It is so refreshing when a new month begins.  It is a new start. A new time to re-group my thoughts and establish new goals, new plans. Another month for me to work on me and become a much happier, healthier and confident version of myself.

The holiday season has officially arrived and if any of you are like me you have a full month full of holiday parties, cookie exchanges, happy hours.. you name it! While celebrating is my middle name - I plan on being full of aware of choices I make to make this month successful for myself.  I have lost 21 pounds since October and am so excited about my progress. I cannot and will not sabotage what I have started and accomplished to date.  

That being said - I do plan on over indulging at parties and being festive and merry this season! Some of my favorite foods are centered around this season and I plan on eating my favorites. The biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone struggling during the holidays is not to stress over every piece of food but be aware of what your weeks look like and go in to every week in December with a plan.

When starting my weeks this time of year I look at my planner and see what I have going on.  Usually I have a dinner party of some sort during the weekend and one or two happy hours during the week (the later in to December I get the more I have going on).. I am fully aware from the get go of what my plans are and I can successfully plan around what my exercise/food plan will be.  Having 4 days a week of no cheating, logging my food and at least a hour of cardio will make me feel less guilt while enjoying myself at holiday celebrations! 

Also, drink water.  Water is amazing and will help flush out all of the extra sodium stuck in your system! Water, water, water - no need to say more..

I have one week until my final weigh in for my Biggest Loser Challenge at my gym! Here is to hopefully being down 30 pounds and to feeling great during the holidays! 

B-Spears Forever

Happy Birthday to Miss Britney Spears!!