May 23, 2016

Food & Jewelry - Two of My Favorite Things

This is my absolute favorite meal right now. A cup of brown rice. Tons of protein - this day I had steak but I rotate. Chicken breast is really good with it too. And avocado. Add a tough of salt and it's delicious! I'm sure I'll eat it every day until I get burnt out on it.

I received my Keep Collective kit last week so I've been changing up my jewelry every day. I love the necklace and I really like that you don't have to wear the same thing twice. The possibilities are endless!

This was Friday. I wanted to show some love for my original fur-baby in Seattle, Nash. 

And this is what the necklace looks like on.

This kid cracks me up. I love when he stands up tall like he owns the backyard. Stephen keeps asking him when he's going to go out and get a job because he isn't contributing around the house at all.

On Friday night Stephen had the opportunity to go to Ruth's Chris with his colleagues. And my mom was going out with a friend so my dad invited me over for dinner. He made chicken enchiladas. It was so good! Always nice to go home to a home cooked meal {even if it is just a five mile drive}. And he even set out my favorite fork for me. I've had this set since college and they stay at my parents house so I can use them when I'm home.

This was Saturday's Keep of the day. Saturday night Stephen and I went out on a dinner date. That was nice. And I may have had a margarita...or two.

I made protein pancakes and turkey bacon for breakfast on Sunday. It takes a lot to get Stephen to eat breakfast. He usually only eats a banana. But every once in a while I can convince him with pancakes. He had to work a little on Sunday which was sad because it was our only day off together this week. Luckily next weekend is a holiday weekend and we'll have all three days together!

Vader rode with me to Starbucks. He's such a good boy. He just sits there and enjoys the scenery.

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May 18, 2016

Home Sweet Home

One year ago today we received the keys to our first house. I looked back on my posts and realized I had never actually shared the story of how we found and purchased our home. 

We had been pre-approved for a mortgage while we were living in Palm Desert in 2014. We utilized a lender that was referred to us by a realtor we were working with out there. At the time, we were interested in purchasing in the desert. Then Stephen found out he'd most likely get a job transfer to San Diego so we held off on purchasing. In December of 2014 we moved in with his parents temporarily while Stephen wrapped up his work in the desert. Then we moved in with my parents temporarily when he was officially transferred to San Diego. 

We knew we wanted to purchase but we just weren't sure where. We had no idea where we were going to end up. We just kind of left it in God's hands. I started looking online for fun. I found a condo that I really liked so I contacted a realtor on Redfin. He was not very responsive and I was frustrated that I hadn't heard back from him after a few days so I contacted another realtor who ended up being the owner of the office and a broker. He was extremely helpful and even made it possible for me to see the condo that night. He had bible study with his wife but he made sure one of his realtors was able to meet me. I liked it but it was three stories, so the third story would require tons of air conditioning {something Stephen and I take into consideration because neither one of us enjoys the heat}. My parents also reminded me with a condo, we'd have a huge HOA payment each month on top of higher taxes because it was a newer property.

Stephen had a crazy work schedule back then but I had made an appointment for him to see the condo on that upcoming Sunday. That Friday night, Stephen and I looked at photos of listings online. There was one in particular that stood out to us. He loved the fireplace in the backyard and the fact that it was a one story. It was built in 1988 and it seemed as if the owner put all his money into the landscaping rather than updating the inside over the years but we liked that we could go in there and make it our own. I asked the realtor to add that house to the list of homes we'd see on Sunday. 

The next day, Saturday, April 11th, I wanted to purchase a car. My dad and I actually went to the dealership and I picked out a pearl white Prius. I told the guy I had to bring my fiance back to co-sign with me but we'd be back that night. On our way back into town, my dad and I told my mom to meet us at the house Stephen and I had seen online. I knew we could't get in but I just wanted to see the neighborhood because there was no HOA. I loved it right away. The landscaping was beautiful. We were peaking in the windows and my mom made her way to the backyard. She noticed tons of business cards on the counter. She told me, "You see all those cards? You need to put an offer on the place immediately." 

I called my realtor. She was doing a showing but she told me she'd be there in twenty minutes. We were able to get into the house and I told my realtor I wanted to make an offer. The house had only been on the market a few days and I knew it wasn't going to last long. I had to contact my lender to see if we could get pre-approved again because the homes in the desert were a little less expensive and Stephen had taken a promotion so a lot had changed since we were first pre-approved. She gave me a temporary pre-approval so we could make the official offer but I needed to send her documents to back up Stephen's change in income.

I had to call Stephen and tell him I put an offer on the house we liked...even before he saw it in person. He said, "Okay..." I said, "You'll get to see it tomorrow!" He wasn't upset at all but Stephen is a thinker. He needs to think about any decision before acting on it. I'm more of a - let's do it and I act on it immediately. As you can tell by this story.

We went to spend the night at Stephen's parents house. We already had this planned because we thought we were going to be buying a car in their area. My realtor told me I wasn't allowed to anymore. We couldn't do anything that would affect our credit. My mother-in-law had asked me what she should pick up for dinner before Stephen was off work. I told her, "I've already purchased a home without his input today. Let me find out what he'd like before I order his dinner for him too." 

We signed the paperwork to make the offer official that night at Stephen's parents house. The next day, Sunday, April 12th, we all went back to see the house. At that point my mom was already taking pictures of everything. Stephen was talking about flooring and my dad was talking about shutters. After that, Stephen and I went to Home Depot to pick out paint. 

Around 5 o'clock pm on Monday, April 13th my realtor called to tell me they accepted our offer. Our lives changed that night. We went through a thirty day escrow. It ended up being a thirty-five day escrow because of our lender. She ended up being a nightmare. BUT everything else was an extremely positive experience. Dan and Ricki with ReMax were amazing and if and/or when we decide to move, I would contact them again in a heart beat. They even sent us a Happy Anniversary card to mark our first year in our home. How sweet is that? 

Stephen says he'll never want to sell this house, especially since we held our wedding reception in our backyard. We've made so many memories here and I am looking forward to creating many more. There is no other place on earth I'd rather be than at home with Stephen and Vader. 

Very early on in our relationship, Stephen spoke of purchasing a home. He had been saving money long before he met me. I'm so happy his dreams came true and I am very grateful to God for allowing this opportunity to come to us. It's not easy purchasing a home but everything just fell into place for us and we will never forget who is owed appreciation. 

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May 12, 2016

Keep Collective

I had been eyeing the beautiful bracelets from Keep Collective for a few weeks now. I showed my mom a picture of one and she ended up ordering it for me {bracelet in the center above} as a surprise. I knew right away that I'd want to order more. I've been playing around with all my options. Look how beautiful these are! The possibilities are endless!

If you are interested in any of their pieces, email me at or click here.
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May 9, 2016

Mother's Day Weekend

This past weekend went by extremely fast. We were going going going. I get off work at noon on Fridays but I was running around grabbing things for Sunday since we were having everyone over. On Saturday I went to work with my husband. I dropped him off and then took his car in to get new tires put on. While I was getting ready Saturday morning I noticed my triceps. Of course I had to take a photo. I feel extremely puffy. I've gained weight. My clothes are tight. But muscles are still there so that makes me happy. 

While I was waiting for Stephen's car to be done I read a magazine. I loved reading that sweet potato fries are no better for you than regular french fries. I can't stand sweet potato fries. Yuck! "Bottom line: If you're having fried potatoes, order what you're craving." I will be sure to do that, Better Homes and Gardens. 

After work (for Stephen) and more errands to prepare for Sunday, we had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. We had a gift card from Christmas 2014! Finally got around to using it. Stephen said the only good thing was the waiter. It was just okay. Nothing I can't live without. It was nice to go to a sit down restaurant and enjoy each other's company though. We haven't done that in quite a while. 

We had our families over for Mother's Day. We had been putting away extra money for a barbecue and we finally made the purchase so Stephen wanted to grill for everyone.

The weather was just right yesterday and the company was perfect.

Love my mommy so much. I'm glad she only lives 5 minutes away so I can see her any time I want.

I used some of our wedding decor to decorate the tables.

The spread.

I made my mom and my mother-in-law books of pictures from our wedding. They were both extremely happy with their gifts. I knew they would be. Mom's always love photos of their kids.

My mother-in-law made me a gift for being her grand-dog's mom. Isn't this so perfect? She knows my office is all teal decor. Little cork boards and a magnet board in the center. She glued magnets on the back of the chocolates but those won't last long. 

I don't think we were entertaining enough for my brother-in-law. He fell asleep on our couch while all the mom's were opening their gifts.

I love watching my husband play with his niece and nephew. I can't wait to see him with our babies.

My mother-in-law with her grand babies. They are growing so fast. When I first met Paige she was only a little bigger than Logan is now.

The best in-laws a girl could ever hope and pray for. I tried getting a good photo of them with Vader but he wouldn't have it. He just wanted to play with the kids.

My mother-in-law and her boys. My husband is so handsome. I can barely stand it sometimes. 

My wonderful parents. I know I'm going to cherish these photos because they were all taken on our front lawn.

Family photo. I love my boys so much!

Vader had so much fun yesterday. He loved having company over and I loved sharing my first Mother's Day with him.

He slept really well last night and he stayed in bed this morning later than usual. I think the kiddos wore him out.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mama's out there! 

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