Open Letters June

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Dear Greyson,

You are a super champ, my love! Mommy started putting you on new feeding and sleeping routines during the day and you’ve done such a great job learning these new habits. I am just so proud of how well you take to new things and adapt and I just pray this part of you continues to shine as you grow up.

Dear Philip,

You continue to amaze me each and every day even though I may not say it all the time. I see the dedication you have to our family through your work ethic, ability to push your tiredness aside to be with your son, and willingness to give me everything I ask for and the things that I don’t. I am grateful to be your wife and to share these last two wedded years with you.

Dear Bravo TV,

I’ve been a huge fan of your network for what feels like a lifetime. I am also a huge Housewives fan…but, Dallas? Really? This franchise had so much potential because of the ‘old oil money’ thing and I’ll even give you the charity bit, but I couldn’t get on board with the ladies chosen this season. They were immature, desperate for a storyline, and just plain awful to watch – and that’s saying something. Please consider re-casting or at the very least bring back Most Eligible Dallas. Thanks <3

P.S. I’m kind of in love with Kelly from this new season of RHOC and please tell me that Erika is coming back next season in Beverly Hills!

Dear Duolingo,

Merci beaucoup, Duolingo pour me aider á apprendre une nouvelle langue. As you can tell my French is getting somewhat better and I only needed to check my writing with Google Translate once – with a few mistakes. Nonetheless I am so thankful for your app as it’s helped me get back into learning French and according to you I’m 5% fluent! You know, if Trump were to ever win the presidency you’ll know where to find me.

Linking up with…Julie of A Hopeful Hood

Open Letters May


 

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Celebrating Our Love Story

Today is our second wedding anniversary and I can’t believe that two whole years have already flown by. I remember the very moment we met and cherish the time my husband and I have been able to share with each other whilst looking forward to the many years we still have in this life. Here’s our love story.

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I met my husband back in April of 2012. During that season of my life I was barely hanging on by a thread, but no one other than my best friend knew it at the time. I was struggling at work, my longtime relationship had brutally ended, I found myself distant from God, and was making choices that weren’t healthy. I had tried, and failed, at online dating in attempts to block all of the emotions from being dumped and continued on a path of self-destruction. I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore. Due to the person I had become within just a few short months, I didn’t believe that I was worthy of love the way my husband has always loved me.

One night in April my girlfriend wanted me to get out of my funk and invited me to tag along to a going-away party that was in honor of one of our mutual friends who was soon deploying. We set off and arrived at Murphy’s Irish Pub in Old Town, Alexandria and made our way upstairs to meet our friends. I don’t know about you, but whenever I entered a room I always did a quick scan just to see who all was there. That’s when I noticed this cute dark-haired fella who was already seated at one of the tables engaged in conversation with another party-goer. I slowly made my way around the crowd, saying hello to everyone and grabbing a beer from the bar. I stuck close with my girlfriend and her boyfriend since I was a bit shy to talk to anyone else.

That’s when he first approached me.

I remember feeling the initial butterflies as he came up to us and introduced himself – asking who all we knew. He told me his name was Philip, turned out to be new to D.C., and only knew one other person there at the party – a woman whom he served with (also named Kelli) when he was deployed in Greenland. I was already intrigued with this man and was mentally kicking myself when he offered to buy me a drink and I already had one. I wanted a reason to keep talking with him, but didn’t want to appear too interested; not to mention my shyness beginning to get the better of me. So, he made his way around the group, striking up conversation with others as I kept to my little circle and mingled with others here and there. Philip then popped up again asking if he could refresh my drink and again I had to decline, hating that I had only managed to drink about a quarter of it during the time it took for him to come back around.

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After a little more time had passed, and having caught my interest in him, he came around a third time and instead of offering to buy me a drink, seeing that I was doing a poor job at drinking mine, he simply asked if I could walk with him to the bar since he had offered to get the next round for a few of the guys he had met that night. That I could do without looking desperate – even though at that point I wouldn’t have cared. I walked with him to the bar and he told me then that he just wanted to get me away from my friends so we could talk more. I smiled, feeling my cheeks get rosy. Was this guy flirting with me? I almost wanted to glance around just to make sure I was the one he was, in fact, talking to- I wasn’t the girl who got hit on at bars. Thankfully it wasn’t just my imagination and somewhere between needing ‘tits to get a drink’, many Snake Bites, and hours of conversation later, we shared our first kiss and he had asked me to take me out the next night.

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The very next (hungover) morning I drove him back to his place and that night he picked me up for our first official date. He let me choose the place so I picked Maggiano’s, a cute Italian restaurant that seemed fancy. Although he lived a good 40 minutes away, he was determined to do things right and insisted on picking me up at my place and actually take me out – he scoffed when I offered to meet him at the restaurant. I wasn’t used to feelings like these so soon let alone meeting a man for the first time who was an actual grown up. All night we talked as if we’d known each other in a past life, laughed, and truly enjoyed how easily we connected. He was such the gentleman and made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the room and continues to do so even four years later.

We were married on June 28, 2014 at The Wynn in Las Vegas in front of our dearest friends and family. It was five days of debauchery, laughter, and memories made with friends who have become family.

Flashing forward to our lives today we’ve accomplished a lot in this life together and I am so thankful that although he met me at a point in my life where I didn’t know which direction to move, he became my compass. I was just some girl in a bar and he was just some guy who managed to sweep me off my feet when I least expected it.

Cheers to many more years, my love.

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5 Easy DIY Rental Upgrades

I have yet to be a homeowner and I cannot wait for the day because I find extreme satisfaction in renovating, decorating, and finding new ways to organize my home. Living in a rental doesn’t allow much in the way of renovating beyond paint so I find myself having to get pretty crafty in order to achieve a home I most desire. The apartment we’re living in now was built in the 70s and some of the original charm can still be found – and something I so badly would love to rip out and replace! But, considering I can’t, I have found a few ways I can easily upgrade this rental that is budget friendly and instantly adds a personal touch!

It doesn’t take much to make simple, yet transformative, upgrades to your rental. Here are 5 easy ways you can upgrade your rental to reflect your personal home style!

*Always keep in mind that before starting any project in a rental be sure to gain approval from your management and/or look over your lease agreement.

Instant Granite & Backsplash.

Image Source: Lesli Devito for Domino

I just love the look of granite and to find out that it’s possible to achieve this same look not only on a budget, but that’s perfect for apartment dwellers like us just made my heart skip a beat. Instant granite is similar to contact paper and simply adheres to any surface. I love this option because you can transform any countertop with minimal effort and money. It’s also something that is easily removed with a hair dryer.

*Keep in mind it is like a sticker so be cautious of hot items on countertops or just normal wear and tear when used in a kitchen or bathroom.

Image Source: Jen of Paint By The Light Blog

Backsplash is also an easy way to add some depth and design to your kitchen or bathroom, but living in a rental I can’t apply the real thing. So, insert some peel-and-stick backsplash to instantly create the same look and can be easily removed when it’s time to move out. Backsplash looks gorgeous no matter if it’s in your kitchen or added to your bathroom and there’s so many options in terms of design and color.

Replace Cabinet Knobs & Fixtures

Image Source: onekingslane.com

A super easy DIY fix for any cabinetry whether it’s in your bathroom or kitchen is simply replacing the knobs you moved in with, with fun new ones! You can easily upgrade furniture pieces too with a simple replacement of knobs and other fixtures likes faucets and shower heads. The nice part about this is that you get to keep what you invest in – just swap the new with the old when it’s time to move.

Vinyl Floor Coverings

Image Source: Kerra Huerta via Apartment Therapy

In the bathroom we not only have those ugly sliding doors that look like they haven’t been replaced in years, but we also have some pretty ugly tile to pair with it. The tile is an ugly color and the grout just makes the whole thing difficult to keep clean. I love this idea of covering it all up with  vinyl flooring, which will give my bathroom a fresh look and make it so much easier to keep clean.

Command Velcro On Mirrors

Image Source: Shanty 2 Chic

I hate that in rentals, especially in our older apartment, there’s no design whatsoever when it comes to bathrooms let alone any other room in the house. We have a large mirror in our bathroom and one way to spruce it up is by adding a simple trim around the edges using Command velcro strips! It’s perfectly temporary and leaves no damage when it’s time to take them down. This takes a bit more prep in terms of cutting the trim or staining it if you wanted a color other than white, but the outcome looks amazing and definitely worth the work you put into it. Another option is using square corners so you can skip the trimming. It’s just fascinating the transformation of just adding trim to a mirror.

Just these five things alone can make any rental feel a bit more cozy and reflect your personal style and tastes in the process. The best part is that each of these ideas are fairly inexpensive, easy to apply or install, and a snap to remove when it’s time to move out. Who says you can’t enjoy your rental the way it was meant to be?

What are some of the ways you’ve upgraded  (or would like to update) your rental? Any other tips or tricks to share?


 

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Greyson James: 3 Month Update

This month was filled with all new experiences both for Greyson and my husband and I. The major new event that took place was beginning to allow him to ‘cry it out’ as a means to sleep train him at bedtime. I am happy to announce that it has been working wonders and since doing it consistently he only cries for about 2 cycles before he’s so tired he drifts to sleep on his own. I’ve also begun notice a little more independence in him, which may or may not be associated with allowing him to soothe himself at night. He’s content for longer periods of time in his crib alone during the day and even when he wakes up it’s cute to catch him talking to himself.

Another milestone quickly approaching this month is teething. I’m surprised that by three months he’s already showing the signs: fussiness, drooling, fingers constantly in the mouth, etc. He’s just a bit more fussy during the day and needs some extra TLC from mom despite doing so well sleeping at night and being more independent. Any tips or tricks for this new mom on teething would be greatly appreciated!

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Date: June 10, 2016

Nicknames: Chub-Chub, Mr. Chubs, My Love, Chunky Monkey, Greyson-baby.

Sleeping: has been so great these last few weeks! I’m sleeping, on average, about 6-7 hours and only sometimes need a diaper change in the middle of the night. I’m starting to get used to my new crib (no longer in the bedside bassinet), too!

Discovered: myself in the mirror! I’m still not sure what I’m looking at, but I love smiling at Mommy. I’m also becoming really good at using my hands to grasp and hold things! I am beginning to realize that I can actually control these things!

Went: to Mommy’s school to meet her 1st grade class and visit her teacher friends, wine tasting (I feel like this will be common for Mommy and Daddy), and many walks outside and along the Ventura Pier. I also went to Ojai for the first time and can’t wait to play on the awesome playground that was just put in!

Health Scare: Mommy noticed fluid building up under my skin on the back of my head near my soft spot, but we went to the doctor and got an ultrasound and I’m okay. (*the ultrasound showed nothing serious (sub-dermal hematoma) and that the swelling has completely gone away!).

Enjoys: my Wubbanub, nibbling on my hands, drooling, being held and bounced around, looking at everything and everyone, walks outside especially at trees, reading books with bright colors, and sleeping on Daddy’s chest. I also like watching Mommy do her workouts in the living room – she’s so funny looking!

Hates: being put down, strapped in the car seat, stop signs (or when the car isn’t moving), tummy time, and when my Wubbanub falls out of my mouth. I also don’t like this teething thing – it makes me extra fussy to Mommy.

Learning: to hold onto things like my pacifier and hold myself up during tummy time! I am also learning how to soothe myself at bedtime.

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Greyson James: 1 Month Update

Greyson James: 2 Month Update


 

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