Friday Favorites | vol 5

Friday Favorites | vol 5 | |

Happy Friday!

This week was pretty crazy…and oh, so tiring. Greyson has been dealing with diarrhea and threw up a couple times earlier in the week. Luckily we had his baby Zofran (from when he had a stomach bug in D.C.) to help curb the vomiting, but the diarrhea is ever so persistent. So, it’s been a lot of sleepy days, laundry, diaper changes, and a constant smell of poop in our home. I’ve had him on the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) diet to help, but nothing seems to be working. I’m afraid this will just have to run it’s course – poor guy. Nonetheless, Greyson is still just as smiley, bright, lovable, and curious as he’s always been.

Despite keeping up with Grey, here are a few of my favorites from the week!

One | Never Stop Wandering

This past weekend we took the train to Santa Barbara and went wine tasting. I love taking the train because 1) it’s convenient. The station is right down the street from our place and we don’t have to worry about driving, parking, or the traffic coming home. And 2) the views are absolutely beautiful. The husband captured this photo of Greyson up against the glass looking out to the ocean and my heartstrings just burst. A 45 minute ride with nothing but ocean passing you by is not too shabby of a way to travel.

Travel is in our blood. Whether it’s a day trip, over the weekend, or big trips across the country or internationally. I want Greyson to always have this sense of awe and to never stop wandering and discovering new places.

Two | Grilled Artichokes

Since learning how to use the grill on the complex and warmer weather heading our way, we’ve been kind of obsessed with grilling lately. It’s fun, gives the husband fire to play with, and food from the grill just tastes better. I found this recipe for grilled artichokes and I can’t wait to try them. We’ve had similar grilled artichokes from our favorite restaurant called The Hitching Post and is going to be a hard recipe to beat. But nonetheless I’m excited to try.

What are your favorite grilled recipes?

Three | Growing

As many of you know for the last few weeks I’ve been working my way through this book The Power of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith and every chapter I feel as though I learn more and more about myself and how to relate to others. I know, deep, right?

Well, this week I read a chapter called Growth and it discusses the power of grief and how crippling experiencing trauma can be; that if we don’t have a sense of meaning in our lives we can lose sight of our greater purpose. Esfahani Smith introduces various people and shares their stories of crisis, trauma, and grief and how these same people, despite their circumstances, found a way to be resilient. Wow.

Reading this chapter dug up a lot of things I thought I made peace with, but actually inspired this post I wrote this week. It emotionally took me by surprise, but doesn’t God always work that way? After having a day or so to process and reflect, I have a much clearer understanding of the suffering we all experience at some point in our lives and how to cope with it.

Four | Adoption Auction

I don’t know if you’re familiar with Sarah from Tucker Up, but one of her most recent posts shares about a friend of hers who is battling infertility and after multiple failed IVF treatments they’ve decided to adopt. But anyone who has adopted or is currently going through the process, it’s expensive. So in support of her friend, Sarah is participating in an Adoption Auction where items from her Etsy print shop will be featured and those proceeds will be donated to her friend’s adoption fund.

Although I don’t know this family, or even Sarah, personally – I am a woman and a mother and much like Sarah, once I had Greyson I became much more empathetic towards women who struggle to have a family. I am happy to help in any way whether it’s to share this cause, send up a prayer, or donate I feel like it’s important to be a part of the story to help this family.

Five | Dating Your Spouse

When we first got pregnant I was doing a bunch of reading and amongst the top popular topics for new parents-to-be was this concept of continuing to date. At the time I was like, pssht we’ve got this. Flash forward a year and here we are…in this place where our identities have become more “mom” and “dad” and less of “wife” and “husband.” Although we’re working through this transition, these last few weeks we’ve been intentional about our time together and carving out a date night where it’s just the two of us. We are so blessed to have Greyson’s Nana be able to watch him so we have this precious time together as a couple. It’s a work in progress, but at least we’re being proactive about finding our groove in our marriage now that we’re parents.

I hope all of you have a beautiful weekend filled with family, love, and laughter! Not sure what we’ll be up to this weekend, but as long as I have a cold glass of rose and the sun is shining I’ll consider it a good weekend.


Linking up with Amanda, Erika, and Amy.

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Marriage Deal Breakers & Why You Need To Talk About Them

Marriage Deal Breakers & Why You Need To Talk About Them | the |

A couple of years ago I came across a post from Ashley of Far Beyond Love entitled, “Does Your Marriage Have a Deal-Breaker?” Her article stuck out to me and I immediately found myself beginning to question and think about the points she makes as it relates to my own marriage. Do I, in fact, have a deal-breaker? Do I have more than one? Is there one thing that would mean the end of my marriage? Today I’m digging deep into the depths of my relationship and sharing my thoughts on this topic of marriage deal breakers.

Now, this concept of a deal-breaker is simple. Ask yourself:

what, if any, is the one act that would mean the dissolution of my marriage?

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It is understood that when one enters a marriage it should be grounded in love, respect, honesty, trust, and yada, yada, yada. If that holds true, and people enter marriage with the best of intentions, then why do people divorce in the first place? Do people really jump ship that easily? To answer that, let’s take a little peek at a few facts.

The Stats

According to the Center for Disease Control and their National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends report, in 2014 my husband and I were counted as one of the 2 million people that married that year*. Surprisingly, within that same year there were an average of 800,000 reported divorces**. This equates to a rate of an average of 3 people divorcing per 1,000 people.

*excludes data from Georgia and Louisiana.
** of 45 reporting states and DC.

Although this means that divorce still tends to be the answer for many couples, it doesn’t reflect the common notion that we’ve all heard, “half of marriages end in divorce.” It’s simply not true anymore. The divorce rate actually appears to be falling, which could mean one of two things: A) more couples are waiting or not marrying at all or B) more marriages are lasting. Either way, it’s encouraging to know that marriages do stand a chance in a culture that oftentimes treats the institution as a fleeting choice that’s easily exchanged or discarded.

Changing the approach: raw communication.

When my husband and I first met we were both fresh from leaving our respective relationships. We found ourselves in no rush to enter into anything new, but of course God had other plans for us. It was an instant connection or you could call it the fabled love at first sight. Either way, we knew we found something special in one another and became fiercely protective of it.

Although falling in love were easy choices for us, for the first time in our dating lives we changed our approach to how we related to one another. We tried something new for ourselves considering the mistakes of our previous relationships and those depressing seasons of our past lives. We were honest, wholeheartedly, with each other and up front about what we wanted or expected. I will call these the non-negotiables. These are the values or lifestyles that are equally important to the both of us and are the things we will not tolerate within our relationship.

The non-negotiables list.

One way we evaluated what our non-negotiables are was to make a list. We thought about what values, beliefs, or expectations we have and communicated them to each other.

This is something easy you can do regardless of if you’re dating, engaged, or have been married for 50 years. Your list doesn’t need to be lengthy, but in reality we all have at least a few things that are super important for us that shouldn’t be minimized or altered just because of who our significant other is or how long we’ve been together.


I want children. Maybe two.

I want to be married when we have children.

I want to raise our family in the Christian faith.

My husband must be a non-smoker.

Must have a steady career.

Always reaching to elevate yourself and others.

I want to be completely open and included in our family finances.

Must have clean habits and enjoys a clean home.

Must be flexible and open minded in life.


Must like children and dogs.

Must take care of yourself (in diet, exercise, etc).

Share in the same interests.

Be flexible and adaptable.

Accept him as he is and to not try and change him.

Let him be the man in the relationship.

Enjoy wine.

Must have good personal/oral hygiene. 

Having an continuous and open dialogue about these non-negotiables has been one of the strongest bonds my husband and I both share and can even be said three married years later. We respect the values and opinions we have and love each other despite what’s on our lists.

“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”
1 Peter 3:7

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Bringing it full circle.

So, if you could make a list today of your non-negotiables what would be on it? I challenge you today to make your list and share it with your spouse and see what conversations stem from this openness and place of honesty. How can your marriage flourish by recognizing ways in which your non-negotiables can influence your relationship?

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”
Ecclesiastes 4:9


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Friday Favorites | vol 4

God is good, isn’t he? It must be that I’m still on the high from Easter Sunday, but boy has He been filling my soul this week. I am experiencing a renewed sense of my relationship not only with Him, but with new friends through church.

But, let me back up…

Greyson has been going through a tough go of separation anxiety. It’s to the point where I can’t even enjoy church service because of the meltdown he throws when I drop him off at the nursery and the mom-guilt I carry when I leave him. I know it just takes time, but it’s hard a lot of the time because on one hand I crave alone time and on the other I have a duty to care for him and I love doing it.

However, it took the kind woman who works in the nursery to recommend a moms group that meets at church once a week in the morning; that it would be a great thing for both me and Greyson (i.e. giving him another opportunity during the week to get used to being away for a period of time). I couldn’t have fallen in love with this group more and as I have become more invested I’ve learned about other fellowship opportunities and have made more friends in the process.

This leads me to…

One | MOMS

If you have an opportunity to visit a moms group in your neighborhood or community I couldn’t recommend it more. I was very hesitant about groups like these just because of the thought of women getting together to complain about their husbands, children, or lives. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth and I’ve found to really cherish this time just for me. During this time I’m not a mom or a wife…just a woman trying to navigate this life and everything that comes along with it.

Two | Apartment Pinterest Inspirations


Yes, I’m back expressing just how excited I am about moving. And yes, I have even more inspirations I’ve pinned within this past week. Mainly it’s been about paint colors and new furniture for each room. Surprisingly I’ve managed to nail down my mood boards for most of the rooms in our new place as it relates to color, fixtures, and DIY ideas.

I love the idea of creating a little workspace for me and my blogging by using a leaning desk concept with shelves. Since I have a laptop I don’t need a ton of space, but want a designated area for keeping myself organized and inspired. The paint scheme in this photo is beautiful, especially matched with the white desk and little bit of greenery of the plant. Looking forward to recreating this idea!

Three | Greyson’s Customized Print

Minted is hosting their Free Foil Event (ends next Monday!) and I couldn’t help but fall in love with this custom print for Greyson’s new bedroom! It fits perfectly with the woodland theme and I love the lettering. This week I shared my moving announcements and also a little peek at how the foil just adds that unique touch I couldn’t find anywhere else. I always look forward to this deal each year and was so happy with my final order!

Four | Fresh Blooms


Spring marks the return of beautiful blooms and I am all about tulips right now. For Easter I brought home a bouquet of pink tulips and I love how cozy they make our home feel. I love splurging on fresh flowers for the house because I don’t get to do it all that often. The next item to purchase more of: candles!

Five | Buttery Garlic Mushroom with Herbed Ricotta Spread


Not as though this recipe needs any kind of explanation, but I couldn’t help but share it nonetheless because it was absolutely one of the best crostini’s we had this week. Sometimes during the week I am all out of Fs when it comes to cooking dinner so one of the ways I lighten my load is by prepping a crostini and bruschetta assortment instead. Bon Appetit always has a variety of recipes to choose from that range from savory to mixing salty and sweet. Prep time is minimal and it allows you to play around with flavors.

It’s so easy to throw together a platter full of your favorites such as baked brie with prosciutto and honey, charcuterie and cheeses, this delicious pate from Trader Joe’s, smoked salmon with cream cheese…and the list goes on. Pair with your favorite bottle of wine and dinner is served!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Linking up with Amanda, Erika, and Amy

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Friday Favorites | Easter Weekend

It’s Easter weekend and in honor of our Lord and His miraculous ascension into heaven, I am sharing a few of my Easter favorites for celebrating such a season. How powerful is this that our God, the Creator of all, gave His son so that we may all experience eternal life with Him in heaven? This act of sacrifice both by God, and by Jesus, brings me down to my knees each and every year.

With that being said, here are a few of my Easter Friday favorites 😉

One | Nelle’s Cool Whip Easter Eggs


Having a toddler around the same age as Nelle’s helps me find inspiration for creating fun memories that both Greyson and us, the parents, can equally enjoy. I just love her idea of using Cool Whip and food coloring for her son to decorate his Easter eggs. Adorable (messy, but really what toddler activity isn’t?!) and easy for a child to do. You can check out her tutorial over at her blog, Simply Love.

Two | Easter Baskets for Babies


This year Greyson is a touch too young to understand an Easter Egg Hunt (perhaps next year?) so we haven’t done much in the Easter basket department. However, I’m keeping an eye on what exactly a mom is to put inside a basket for a toddler and when I found this list I found it to be quite helpful! I love the idea of placing a book, some treats, and maybe a couple of toys.

Are you making an Easter basket for your kids? How do you change them up every year?

Three | Passion of the Christ


I know…it’s a bit serious for Easter weekend, right? Where things should be everything pastel, brunch with bottomless mimosas, Easter eggs, bunny photos, and family, right? Well, it is all of those things but for me (and much like at Christmastime) it’s important to recognize the purpose of this holiday and teach to Greyson as he grows up about the sacrifice Jesus made for all of us on Good Friday leading up to Easter Sunday.

Obviously Passion will not be a family movie night choice considering the graphic violence that’s portrayed, but for me it’s almost a little tradition I have. I always watch it around Good Friday as a reminder of what Jesus willingly endured all for his love of humanity despite our sinful nature. It’s a tough film to watch for sure, but a necessary one to truly understand the words written about his betrayal, crucifixion, and ascension in Matthew 26-27.

Four | The Easter Bunny

Back to the lighthearted stuff…

And speaking of the Easter Bunny…

Greyson had his first encounter with the Easter Bunny yesterday and we were both curious to see how this would play out. Standing in line he was very curious; crouching down to see under the barrier, babbling to him and even giving him a wave. All seemed well. Until we had him sit in his lap and he just wasn’t having it. We did, however, walk away with a pretty awesome photo and keepsake.

Five | Strawberry Citrus Easter Punch


You all know I couldn’t escape this post without a little brunch cocktail inspiration, now could I? Jessica’s citrus punch looks absolutely refreshing and is so easy to pull together (and possibly something that’ll impress your friends and family) using champagne and a splash of brandy as your booze with club soda. The rest is fruit juice such as strawberries, pineapple, and orange, blood orange soda, and serve over ice and fruit slices for garnish! This will definitely be a fun summer staple for sure this year!

I hope you all find yourselves with a relaxing weekend with friends and family close by. This weekend is an important one for us Christians and I pray that each of you have a blessed evening and Easter Sunday!

10 Songs to Sing at Easter and Why | Hillsong

Linking up with Amanda, Amy, and Erika

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