Thursday, July 12, 2012

he was a good man.


this world lost a wonderful man this week.
on Wednesday, my uncle lost a battle with time.
it was quick, it was emotional, and it was unexpected.
we will forever remember him.

he was a good father. husband. uncle. brother. papa. friend. employee.
the list could go on and on.

tomorrow we will celebrate his life.
we will gather together, remembering all of the good times we had with “Toad”.
we will cry, laugh, smile, and embrace the short 59 years he graced this earth with his presence.


Uncle Toad was always in a good mood. 
he loved being around his family and we are a big family to be around.
he seemed to cherish every moment when this big, loud, rambunctious family gathered together.
he always had the ability to put a smile on your face.
I will miss him being there to liven up the party (not that this family needs any help)

in this family, you work, and then you learn to work harder.
he exuded that in every aspect of his life.
at his job, taking care of his car or his lawn, or his ability to love.
he is the epitome of “work hard, play harder”.

after this week, I think we will all embrace time a little more.

we will hug a little longer.
we will say more I love you’s.
we will stop worrying about other things and start worrying about spending time together.

he will be extremely missed.
my heart hurts thinking about him not being here anymore.
my heart breaks for the family members he has left behind.
but, my heart rejoices knowing he is in a better place.
my heart contains great joy knowing he is with God, his dad, brother, brother and sister-in-laws and that we will see him again one day.

and because life is better with country music, I thought of him when I heard this song on my way home from Iowa. it will always make me think of him.

I don’t need a whole lot of money
But I wouldn’t turn a lottery down
I just need a little green in my pocket
So I can buy my buddies a round
All I want is a place to lay my head with the woman I love lyin’ in my bed
Kind of understated
My dreams aren’t that complicated…

I wanna be the one
When all is said and done
Who lived a good life, loved a good wife, and always helped someone in trouble
On the day they lay me down
I want everyone to gather ‘round
And say he was a father, brother, neighbour and a friend
He was a good man!

When I’m gone, I wanna leave a legacy
Of love and laughs and honesty behind me
Behind me…

love you uncle toad.

Monday, March 19, 2012

could it be love?

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to work out at least three times a week.

I always make resolutions and never stick to them. Just like I always give up something for lent, and in all my years of existence, I have never succeeded in completing the 40 days.

This year, since I documented them and shared them here, I feel like I am being held more accountable for them. Every time I see my brother he asks how the gym is. It is nice to have them out there so you feel like you really need to stick to them or you are letting more than yourself down.

So this year, workout 3x a week. It was a simple resolution that was turned into somewhat of an addiction. I wouldn't say I am totally dependent yet.

Since we are now 11 weeks in to the year, I have decided to document my progress.

11 weeks in and I have only failed one week so far. I have been pretty impressed with myself. Most weeks, I am making it 5x a week, other weeks, that is just not possible.

I have found myself enjoying the gym. I enjoy seeing the same faces depending on the time of day I go. I enjoy the adrenaline and energy I have after a good workout. I love the feeling of pride I have in myself after a good run. (I have not enjoyed the excess amount of laundry I now have)

I have always been active and in relatively good shape. In high school, I could eat whatever I wanted and never thought about it. In college, I found myself in jobs where I walked a lot, so I never stressed about hitting the gym. I gained weight in college but never to the point where I felt out of control of my body.

The day I graduated college though, I swear a switch flipped. Like my body accepted I was an adult and was going to make me pay for it. I started work, and more days than not I sat at a desk doing computer work. Being sedentary all day will kick your booty.

So fast forward to New Years. Resolution made and goal weight set.

My realistic goal is 12 pounds. My overzealous goal is 22lbs. For my body type and the way I want my body toned, 12 is logical (since muscle weighs more than fat :-) ).

Eleven weeks in, I am down 4.5. But I am more proud of the time, determination and love for running that I have gained from this.

I really hated running before. Running and I never have gotten along. In high school, I could play sports all day but throw me out to run 2 miles and I would keel over and die. Now I am running 32 minutes continuously. That isn't much. Marathon runners would laugh at that. But for me, 32 minutes, which translates to 3.5 miles, is a huge accomplishment. Something I am proud of. Now I will strive to never have to start back at the starting line. To never go back to the beginning.

It seems like when your body is telling you you can't, your mind is yelling you can't, and the world doesn't care if you can, you strive to make it happen. You strive to prove to all, that you are stronger and have more perseverance then ever before.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How to Paint Chevron Stripes

Chevron strips are all the rage right now. Well they were when I came up with this idea, but the time I executed it, who knows. My mind tends to work that way; think ahead but wait a long time to put it in to action. I definitely put the pro in procrastination.

I love chevron. Anything I can get in chevron stripes, I will be a happy camper. So naturally when repainting my room and redoing Olivia's room I wanted to add chevron on the wall. It makes a big impact I believe in my opinion.

After searching for DIY instructions on many different websites, I couldn't find one with the dimensions I needed. I wanted my chevron strips long and a little bit flatter. Rather then tight together and pokey, if that makes sense! So here is my simple, not so simple to explain instructions.

First, figure out your measurements. I knew I wanted them longer so I figured out what distance between the peaks would be best and how thick I wanted them. The diagram below shows my measurements. 27" between peaks and 9" thickness.

Next find the middle of your wall. On my bedroom walls I wanted them to go to the floor so I started at the top of my wall, right in the middle. For Olivia's, we were only going 2/3 the way up the wall so I found the bottom, center, so that the stripes would land perfectly at the bottom.

In the middle of your wall, make a mark. That is where you first, top peak will be. Measure 9" down from that and that is where the bottom of that chevron will be.

From there, center of your wall measure 13 1/2" over on each side and then 4 1/2" down from there. That is where the down peaks will be, so measure down 4 1/2" down from 13 1/2" marks.
(27/2=13 1/2 :: 9/2=4 1/2)

From there, continue that on each side of your wall. The first stripe will be the hardest so be patient with this one.

From there, you will continue to measure down 9" from each peak. You can either make all your markings at once, or do one stripe and tape and then continue. I recommend doing all your marks at once so your tape does not throw you off.

Once all markings are made, start taping! Be sure to know what stripes are going to be what color so you account for the tape. You want them to all be the same size so make sure your tape is placed properly.

Once taped, take a razor blade and ruler and cut your tape where the corners intersect. To save you time you only have to cut the edges on the inside of the stripes that will be painted a different color.

Once you are all taped, seal your edges. Which is the most simple, most revolutionary thing for stripes. Take your wall color and paint over the tape to seal the tape, that way your stripe color cannot seep under the tape.

Once that is dry, start painting your stripes. I had to do two coats, so once your second is painted take your tape off while the paint is still wet.

Step back and enjoy your work!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

DIY Smoothie Packs

I am not a breakfast person. Hate eggs, cringe at the smell of sausage, and can't stand an egg mcmuffin. I am weird, I know. I would have rather starved than ate breakfast for lunch growing up. So with going to school early and now work, I have to eat something in order to survive the day.

DIY Smoothie Packs is where that comes in. I love smoothies. I have a hard time getting them from McDonalds or Smoothie King because I am picky with flavors. High maintenance I know. I pretty much like strawberry smoothies and thats the extent of in.

Anyways, when I found this and this, I thought it would be a great idea for a quick, cheap breakfast.

This recipe is very versatile and easy to manipulate to your liking. Feel free to mix it up and have fun.

Ingrediants ::
2 bags of frozen strawberries
3 bananas
1 bag of frozen raspberries
1 big thing of vanilla yogurt

-Cut any ingrediants necessary and freeze. This will keep cut up fruit pieces from freezing together. 
-Measure your yogurt into mini muffin pans or regular cupcake pans. I ran out of mini muffin pans so I used regular. Each bag got 3 mini muffin size yogurt pieces or 1 regular sized cupcake pan yogurt cube in it. 
-Mini pan=1 tablespoon of yogurt in each. Regular pan=3 tablespoons of yogurt. Freeze those for a few hours.

Once everything is frozen prepare your bags. Each of mine got a cup and a half of fruit and 3 tablespoons of yogurt. When preparing I will add 4oz of OJ and 1/4 of oatmeal. Since I eat it for breakfast I like to bulk of the smoothie a little. So good.

With the ingrediants listed above I was able to get 11 full size smoothies out of them. I tend to portion it in half and just use half. 

$13.14 for ingrediants / 11 smoothies = $1.19 a smoothie. 
Beats $5 at McDonalds. and they taste so much better.

Insta..Friday? on a Saturday?

Lots of weeks of pictures.

PhotoADay Challenge on Instagram :: something you adore (craft room with friends on) :: letterbox (Mitch's mailbox at his house) :: something you wore (new Vera bag, Thanks for the suggestion Nat) :: favorite (curls) :: your sky (Omaha sky) :: daily routine (nightly bath as often as possible) :: childhood (milkshakes after the dentist) :: in your bag (running shoes, laptop, lip gloss, earphones, wallet, sunglasses) :: close up (running shoes) :: something you are reading (guilty pleasure, Nicholas Sparks) :: morning (early flight home from Phoenix) :: water (daily intake) ::

Target loveliness :: chevron stripes done! :: night out with the bestie :: dinner with the parents :: shelves my talented mom made :: typical new years resolution :: Keaton's face was priceless seeing his room :: bestie ran her first half marathon :: IKEA!! :: and In-n-Out 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

recipe :: runza casserole

Runza is a restaurant that we always had to make a pit stop at whenever we visited Omaha. Known for their Runza's and not having on close, I found a pretty dang close substitute.

This is one of those recipes that is super easy with simple ingredients, but do not be disturbed after reading the ingredients. They are soooo amazing. And do not disregard this recipe after seeing those pictures. It is one of those, it tastes much better then it looks!

So here it goes ::

Ingredients ::
2 lbs of Hamburger
1 bag of Angel Hair Cabbage (I just buy a head of cabbage and but it up. 
Using about 2-3 cups)
1 small Onion
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 cups of Colby-Jack Cheese
2 tubes of Crescent Rolls
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning (to taste)

-Brown hamburger with creole seasoning and onion. Drain.
-Add cabbage, cooking for about five minutes.
-Mix soup, salt, and pepper. 

-Put one tube of crescent rolls on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. 
-Spread meat mixture on top.
-Spread cheese over mixture.
-Place second tube of crescent rolls on top.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Delicious, easy, and I promise you will continue to make it!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Goals for 2012

Last year at this time I would have never thought of setting the goals that I secretly had. Goals that had manifested in me for years and took strength to accomplish. After accomplishing them and the joy that came from that, I knew this year I need to make some, stick to them, and be determined to follow through with them.

These are much more subtle, simple life style changes that are so simple they are difficult. Putting them out here makes them public, forcing me to stick to them.

1. Fitness :: Working out and I have a major love/hate relationship. I love the feeling I have after a great workout. The getting up in the morning or making a stop after work is what is difficult. This year I am going to stick to it. Hitting the gym 3x a week at least. Working on the C25K program right now. Starting now and getting in good shape I hope to run 500+ miles this year. That is an average of 10 miles a week. And that means I can get new running shoes next Christmas!!

2.  Read 12 books. I thoroughly enjoy to read. Dorky, yes. Relaxing, definitely. I get way too attached to the characters and become sad when it is over. 12 a month. Easy.

3. Patience :: something I definitely need more of. Enough said.

4. Going to try and kick the Dr. Pepper habit. It may take time.

5. Hardest one :: pay off 75% of my student loans. That means lots of saving and less frivolous spending. It will be hard and take determination but you have to start somewhere.

So there they are. Five of the about fifty that are in my head. They will happen.

2012 just seems to be a promising year.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Best of 2011


What a year. 

I experienced things that I could only dream of. Life seemed to never be dull and I was always on the move. The way I like it. 

Dreams came true and changes were made. It was all amazing and hope 2012 can only live up to it.

January :: Chicago with the BFF for New Years. First time in we did all touristy things possible. :: FanFest for the Royals. A weekend of all things baseball in winter..always fun. :: Watched these guys for a week. Reminds me I don't want kids right now but of how much I love these little boys.

February :: Started with a snow skiing trip to Keystone. :: Followed by a Girls Family weekend in Atlanta. Such a blast. 25 women there to support my cousin. Amazing trip. 

March :: Involved more traveling. Last and final Spring Break was spent in Cancun. Beautiful weather and great company. :: Eli Young Band Concert :: Opening Day prep for the Royals. 

April :: Wouldn't be complete without running in the hot dog race. :: Three years later and my favorites still come to visit me at the games. :: Watched this sweet girl while many went to Jimmy Buffet.

May :: Don't even know where to begin with May. Easily the most amazing month of my life. :: Started with the Tim McGraw and Luke Bryan concert for a grad gift. :: The next night was my graduation party. Everyone I loved and cared for was there. It was amazing :: The day after that was graduation. So surreal to finally be making that walk down the hill in cap and gown. :: Then, the following day was moving day to Nashville and my start at CMT. What an amazing experience. 

June :: The surreal experiences at CMT continued. CMT Music Awards and CMA Music Fest. Both were so fun. :: In addition, lovely friends and family made their way down to visit Music City.

July & August :: Somehow zero pictures were taken in those months. :: Began working for CMT :: Turned the big 22 :: Continued to meet people I grew up listening too :: Such wonderful months.

September :: The month started with a visit from my mom and the BFF. :: People believed it was impossible but I found a Nebraska for in Nashville. :: Shayna visited CMT :: I bought my "baby" My lovely Rebel was purchased in September. Best money ever spent. 

October :: Sweet Sandy's Bachelorette Party took place. Fun to meet all her lovely friends. :: Surprise trip to California where we surprised my great Grandparents. So great to spend three days with them. 

November :: CMA's!! Can't believe it. Take about a surreal experience. Seeing and meeting people beyond my wildest expectations. :: NU vs Iowa Game in Lincoln. Fun, new day after Thanksgiving Family tradition.

December :: Lovely apartment in Nashville :: Family Christmas.

Phew. Longest post ever. Crazy year. Done rambling.