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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A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |When you visit the Garden Isle you can’t not go hiking or enjoy something outdoorsy. However I am not shy about sharing how not outdoorsy I am – I do like a good patio and a cold drink, though. So when the hubs mentioned how much he would like to do this popular hike of Waimea Canyon while on our anniversary trip, I did have a sincere moment of pause. Who works out on vacation?

But every now and then a wife must take part in something their husband enjoys or wants to do. He’s so great about being a good sport about the things I want or activities I enjoy, so it was easy to give that same courtesy in return.

Nonetheless, on our second day we were off to Waimea Canyon State Park to begin this excursion. Waimea actually means “reddish water” and reflects the erosion and reddish-tint of the canyon’s soil. This canyon, and pretty much the entire island of Kaua’i, is an enormous volcano that arose from the ocean floor. So the canyon valleys we saw while on our hike were created by the collapse of this volcano ages ago. Pretty neat, huh?

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |
A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | | We set out pretty early in the morning after a quick breakfast at a fun spot near our hotel. We knew this hike was going to be an upwards of 2-3 hours so we were sure to eat well beforehand – yay carbs! The only issue we ran into, and lesson learned, was to bring a hell of a lot more water than just a 12 oz bottle between the both of us.

Yeah, another duh moment.

The drive up the hillside and towards the canyon was absolutely beautiful. It was neat driving up the windy roads and having an excuse to take the top of our Jeep off (we eventually had to put it back on because of the sun and eventually a little bit of rain). The views as we made our ascent were picturesque as well as the ocean – it seemed as if blue just went on forever.

Once we trailed further and further from town our scene just turned green. Green grass, green hills, green trees…It was no wonder why Kaua’i was given the name the Garden Isle.

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

We finally made it to the state park and got situated with our things. I had bought a Longchamp backpack just for this trip since I didn’t want the hassle of carrying a purse and this little guy came in handy more than once. A great little buy for a vacation or traveling!

Anyways, back to our hike.

We set off mid-morning and began making our way along the trail. Now mind you, this trail is simply a one way dirt path that seemingly never ends. After about 10 minutes or so we came across a little fork in our path, not really knowing which way to go. There were no indications of what was at either end so we chose left. Unfortunately this decision lead us to nowhere and we had to turn around. Already a bit tired (we only had just begun!) I couldn’t believe we made a wrong turn.

Eventually we made it back to the fork once more and chose right. Although there were no official signs, people wrote the word ‘waterfall’ and an arrow pointing in the direction we were walking. Of course we were excited at the thought of finding a waterfall, so we continued on.

I can see why people find an interest in hiking, especially long distance hikes. It definitely challenges you physically as well as mentally. I’m glad we decided to do this because it allowed us to be unplugged and talk amongst ourselves as we journeyed further.

I was also able to be within my own thoughts and almost kind of let go of anything running through my mind. Doing this hike I found to be quite freeing – all you can do is just be one with nature, as corny as that sounds.

About 45 minutes to an hour later we came to an opening on our path. For the first time we were semi out of the woods and had a clear view of the canyon below and beyond us.

Just, wow. Standing there and looking out ahead makes one feel so small.

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

Yay! We finally made it to the top!

But this, believe it or not, was only the half way mark. Half way!

Philip wanted to continue on to the waterfall, which was another 30 minutes or so along the trail. As tired, hot, and sweaty that we both were we couldn’t pass up seeing it. So, we hung out here for a moment – caught our breath, then made our way…
A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

While on our hike down to the waterfall we came across this giant boulder that had the letters ‘K’ & ‘P’ carved into them.

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

Finally a waterfall!

We made it to our destination and found it to be the perfect place to take a rest. We’d been on this hike for a couple of hours at that point and all we wanted to do was take in our surroundings and cool off. But of course this would also mark a time where Philip chose to cool off by actually going for a swim!

Leave it to me to decline a dip only because of my fear of bacteria or fish in the water. It did look refreshing, though.

(I should note there were no fish or deadly bacteria in the water. Philip survived his swim.)

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |

A Hawaiian Anniversary | Part Two | A recap of our vacation in Kauai, Hawaii | |After enjoying our rest, and Philip’s swim in the water, it dawned on us that we eventually needed to begin our trek back up the canyon.


Our journey back up was difficult for me only considering how much work it took to get to where we were at the the bottom of this canyon. This time instead of hiking down, we were hiking up so imagine a Stair Master from hell lasting another hour and a half. Kill me. This is also when running out of the water we packed became another issue. I was tired, thirsty, and at various moments wanted to give up. Once we were making it closer to the top, and where our car was parked, it began to pour down rain. It only lasted for a moment before passing, but finally we made it back to the comfort of our Jeep.

We stopped into town and grabbed a bite to eat to refuel after our little hiking adventure then made our way back to our hotel for much needed drinks and a splash in the hot tub.

Although my mind hasn’t changed on the whole outdoorsy-ness thing (if you haven’t sensed that already), I can say that I appreciate even more God’s creation and how vast it is. You truly seem so small compared to nature and I loved that the hubs pulled me outside of my comfort zone so we could experience this together.

Next time though, I’m opting for the helicopter tour.

Part One

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Moving with Minted + Free Foil Event

Affiliate links are included in this post but all opinions expressed are 100% my own. Thank you to Minted for providing this opportunity!

Happy Spring everyone! This season has me filled will all kinds of inspiration and a sense of renewing considering a few new circumstances for us as a family on the horizon.

One of the biggest things coming up that we’re most excited for is our move. Now, we’re not moving very far…actually just a few apartments down from where we currently live. Our complex offers one and two bedroom units and after almost three years in our one bedroom it’s time for us to make that transition into, what’s hopefully, our forever home. The two bedroom townhome style apartments are two levels, which will provide us with so much more space, a larger patio (and balcony off the master bedroom), and a half bath on the first level. The second level is a full bath as well as the master bedroom and what will be Greyson’s nursery.

Since he was still in utero we decided on a woodland theme and we’re going to continue this trend in his new bedroom. However, now that he’s a bit older we want his room to transition with him; we’re going with less of a baby nursery and more of a young boy version of the woodland concept. I’ve had all kinds of fun pinning various inspirations for this idea from mountain wall murals to decor to hang on the walls. When browsing around Minted for a personalized print for his room, this piece stood out to me immediately.

Greatest Journey Foil Pressed Print

I mean, this is probably the most perfect piece I could have stumbled upon. The layout of the print accompanied with the foil detailing makes it an eye catching print for Greyson’s new room. I love the mountains with the pine trees mixed in there – it resembles the mountains we have that run along central California. It’s like a little piece of Ventura in our own home.

Greatest Journey Foil-Stamped Art Print | Ivory with Gold Foil

The gold foil option for this print makes it not only unique, but offers a quality that makes the whole thing really special. I love how it catches the light and I know it’ll be one of my favorite prints to hang.

Minted’s customization platform online made it really easy for me to plug in Greyson’s birth information and within moments see a preview of what the final product would look like. This print comes in a variety of formats with different color backgrounds and foil options. If you so desire, for an added convenience you can purchase it framed. I opted for the print considering it’ll be easier to move it this way, then hang in his bedroom later on.

But art prints aren’t the only foil-pressed options Minted provides (although they do have many fabulous choices!).

Turn-key Foil Pressed Moving Announcement

It’s no secret that I love a good photo card, especially when we have new beautiful prints captured by our lovely family photographer a couple of weeks ago. So when it came to ordering a set of moving announcements I found this beautifully simple turn-key design. As you’ve noticed I’m kind of obsessed with the foil pressed option since it just adds a unique shimmery touch to our printed items that you couldn’t find anywhere else.

Turn-key Foil Pressed Moving Announcement | Gold Foil

Each order is hand packaged by a member of the Minted team, and in my case Deb packaged mine. And as a part of your order you get a note from the artist which gives you more detail about the particular design you chose. I love that Minted works closely with real artists which supports a community of creatives with each order. This personal touch, and essence of giving back to the artists behind these designs, is another reason I always go back to Minted for all of my paperie needs. Oh, and for their free recipient addressing 😉

The Free Foil Event!

Starting today and ending April 24th, Minted is giving you this foil-pressed option for FREE! It’s their Semi-Annual Free Foil Event where you can get 20% off of all foil pressed items. Have a graduate or know someone who is? This deal also coincides with Minted’s Graduation Event where you can earn an additional 15% off grad cards and gifts. All you need to do is use the code: SHINE during checkout.

Don’t have a grad but want to know what you can get with the foil option? Here are a few items Minted offers that can be foil-pressed:

  • Minted Art & Gifts
  • Birth Announcements
  • Wedding Announcements & Invitations
  • Wedding Stationary & Decor
  • Save the Date Cards
  • Holiday Cards
  • Business Cards (great option for bloggers!)

What do you think of the foil option for Greyson’s customized print and our moving announcements?

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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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