Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Closet Makeover Step 1: The Purge

For lack of a better term. I'm still open for name suggestions?!?! A place to start...I was so thrilled when I came across AJ Wears Clothes. It was quite literally the thing I need to get my closet makeover underway. I was already headed in the right direction, but reading AJ's journey really helped me put a plan together. I'm using her blog as my main inspiration for this makeover, and I'll always give credit when and where it's due. So thank you AJ!

Step 1: The Purge

AJ actually had a step before this (she called it The Inventory) I'm however, skipping this step. Mostly because I've already done the purge. Ha. I really haven't bought much in the way of clothing lately. I was just really at a transition. I think I really need this makeover to get my style but in gear. So here are the rules I followed. They're mostly along the same lines as AJ's


This step was easier said then done. Mostly it was okay. I was really ready to get rid of things, especially the outdated, and outworn. But, what about the things I wasn't? Feeling sentimental anyone? I followed AJ's advice and asked myself would I ever wear it again? If I thought yes I had a follow up...where would I wear it again???? If I didn't have an answer, I got rid of it. Then there was the whole 'I WILL FIT IN IT AGAIN.' Suck it up butter cup, if you haven't lost that twenty pounds in the past two years, it might be a while before you do. Get. Rid. Of. It. (Sometimes I have to give myself pep talks). So, here it is, my widdled down closet. Eeep. Can't really believe I'm even showing it to you.


However, I'm super excited for the next steps. So there you go! Catch me next week for my version of The Inventory & The Basics.

Monday, July 14, 2014

This Season of My Life

I start this post with a big fat {{{sigh}}}. Literally. My life has just taken a giant turn, and I'm feeling lead to do much different things. In fact, I've felt this way for months now. Who I am, what I want, where I'm going. It's all changing. The biggest change of all is the balance in my life. In truth, the balance has been an ongoing thing for quite some time. I won't go too much into that now, because I have an announcement of sorts. I will no longer be running a photography business. I will, however, continue to blog, photograph my family, friends, and upon occasion, my loyal clients. This was with out a doubt one of the hardest decisions for me to ever make, and sometimes, it still makes my heart feel heavy. My photography business was such a huge part of my life for the better part of five years. It opened so many amazing doors, and my love affair with my camera is still ongoing. It just, sigh, was time. A decision I feel really at peace with. Which leads me to the next thing. You know, the whole, when one door closes another door opens thing. I'm going to be documenting what I'm calling my "closet re-org." Suggestions for better names are totally welcome (wink). It's kind of a funny story. I've been wanting to do a wardrobe update for quite sometime. It just felt overwhelming. Expensive. Where do I start? I would call it a coincidence (but I don't actually believe in coincidence, everything happens for a reason :). Yesterday we cleaned out all the closets in our house in an effort to get ready for back to school shopping. Mine was looking really sad and empty. Then, later that evening, I was browsing Pinterest and came upon this blog. And, whala, I had a place to start. AJ's blog was the push in the direction I needed. So starting next week I'll be posting about the process! I hope you're up for the adventure, and you'll follow along with me!

Happy Monday!
For fun here's a selfie from Friday of me and Jace!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Making Your Own Desserts

My healthy living journey is always an ongoing process. I can always do a little better, and in more recent efforts I've started making my own desserts. The reasons being;
  1. I can keep track of what's in them, including calories.
  2. They're yummy and pretty.
  3. It's fun, warms the house, and my heart!
I just thought I'd take a quick sec to share a few favorites!

Berries with whip cream (66 calories a serving)! This dessert is a family favorite! We've eaten a lot of it recently because Kroger has had berries insanely on sale!
1 pint of strawberries
1 pint of blueberries
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup cool whip
 
Wash and de-steam berries

sprinkle with sugar
refrigerate 1 hour
dish berries and dollop with cool whip
 
Semi-homemade peach cobbler (200 calories a serving)!So, it's pretty much cheating if you use a store bought mix, but I promise you this is one cheat you won't regret! My family loves Calhoun Bend Mill mixes, for reasons other than the obvious (wink)! It. Is. SO. Good. We've tried a few different ones, and they were all divine. Can't wait to try them all!
Peach Cobbler mix
5 fresh peaches (pealed and cut into slices)
Cool whip for topping
 
Prepare according to package directions. The package did call for canned peaches, but we used fresh and it was divine! We served it warm and the cool whip melted just a little, mmmm, so good!
 
Last, but not least, home made cookies! I used to make cookies once a year, but now I make them about once a week. In the winter the oven warms the house, and, I like having them on hand for when the kids want a lil snack. I figure it's got to be better than the packaged processed stuff, no?
 
Oatmeal Craisin Cookies (130 calories each)! I found the original recipe on the back of a Coach's Oats package, but I use any oats I have on hand (you can't always find Coach's). I've also adjusted it a little to my liking (a bit more cinnamon and the craisins)!
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 3/4 all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups oats
1 cup craisins
 
Preheat oven to 375* in a mixing bowl, cream together the sugars and butter. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla. Add combined baking powder, baking soda, flour, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well. Stir in oats and craisins. Drop by rounded teaspoons (I use a little ice cream scoop for uniformity) onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, I pull them out just before done. Then place them to cool on a rack. They will continue to cook a bit as they cool.
 


Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Life Changing Weekend

It sounds silly to say since nothing "extra ordinary" happened. I was with some of the people I love most in this world, and deeply missing the others. I had short but deep conversations. Sometimes I knew the right things to say, and at others, I was lost for words. I walked away with a new found appreciation. For the family I was visiting, and the one I had waiting for me at home. For my dearest friends, my sisters, and the connection between us. For my amazing and loyal clients, you will never know how much that means to me. For a deep understanding of love and forgiveness, both the giving and receiving. As things return to normal, and I go back to my daily routines, I wanted to wright my feelings down. I don't want to forget them. Even though it's making me feel super vulnerable I wanted to share them (Renee Brown would be proud :).
  • Life is gray. Don't judge others for their gray when all you see is black and white.
  • "Hard is not relative. Hard is hard." I heard this quote recently, and it is exactly one of the things we talked about that weekend.
  • Life is not a game, don't keep score. While at the time we were talking marriage I think it applies in all areas of life.
  • It's okay to feel vulnerable. Knowing that if you love someone, they could hurt you, love them anyways.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Walk Through a Wedding: The Notebook

Today is the tenth anniversary of The Notebook! I love, love, love the movie. But, I have a confession, I didn't see it until a countless number of people had referenced it after hearing our last name. They'd say, "oh, Calhoun, like in The Notebook?" Of course the first time I watched it, I was smitten. Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, Gena Rowlands...an epic love story. I mean, it's still hard to get through without tears. Today being the movies anniversary I thought I'd share some of my favorite pictures from the Walk Through a Wedding Richard and I were a part of last year. Since it was The Notebook themed and all (wink).

 


 
It was perfectly styled. And, Justin and Mary were absolutely amazing! It was an experience we'll never forget, and we're beyond gratefully for everyone we got to meet. For their kindness, for their friendship.
 
 


I mean...am I one lucky lady, or what?!
 
 
 
Lastly, some of my absolute favorites!

Happy anniversary to The Notebook!