September 30, 2014

DIY GUEST ROOM BASKET

DIY Guest Room Basket, Easy Guest Room Basket, 5 Minute Guest Room Basket
For the first time ever I made a guest room basket. When Caitlin came to visit I thought it would be fun and welcoming to put together a little something for her room. And for the first time I actually had fun goodies to put inside. It was a win win situation! I think guest room baskets are the cutest and I loved being able to gather items that I thought would be useful.
DIY Guest Room Basket, Easy Guest Room Basket, 5 Minute Guest Room Basket
When I stay at other people's homes I always find myself either hungry or thirsty and sometimes I just need some time alone. I thought that creating a basket to meet those needs would be a great starting point.
DIY Guest Room Basket, Easy Guest Room Basket, 5 Minute Guest Room Basket
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
1.) Basket
2.) Fabric for lining the basket
3.) Goodies for basket

WHAT'S IN MY BASKET
1.) Fruit snacks
2.) Protein Bars
3.) Water
4.) Bath and Body shower gel and spray.
DIY Guest Room Basket, Easy Guest Room Basket, 5 Minute Guest Room Basket
DIY Guest Room Basket, Easy Guest Room Basket, 5 Minute Guest Room Basket
I filled my basket with all the goodies and had it ready to go by the time Caitlin arrived. I love the idea of creating a special guest room basket for all my guests and I can't wait to start creating them to include some of their favorite items. Do you have any guests coming that you can create a guest room basket for?

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September 29, 2014

5 THINGS / VOL. 25

RECAPS
1.) I'm back from last week's travels. I had to best time in Georgia! I love seeing my brother and I am so proud of him! We arrived in Georgia late Monday night and on Tuesday we finally got to see Jacob. We got all dressed up for the Graduation formal and partied the evening away. It was so lovely and beautiful. I ate way to much and had so much fun putting my hair up and getting pretty.

2.) Wednesday was a quiet day. We had an early breakfast with Jacob and then I spent the rest of the day laying in bed and watching movies until hearing from Jacob. I was super tired.

3) We totally loved the location of our hotel! It was so cute and quaint and it was surrounded by lots of lovely eateries, including Panera. Hello mango smoothie.

4.) Jacob's graduation was on Thursday. I was holding the tears back I was so proud of him. He was pretty excited too, even though he's not smiling in the picture. Proud sister moment!

5.) Friday was extra fun because we all got to fly back together, well we flew back together half way. Jacob has a week off before he begins at Fort Leonard Wood so he flew back to Missouri. We all flew to Denver and then headed our separate ways.

LINK LOVE
Autumn favorites! Catch up with all the lovely Autumn favorites from so many lovely people.
We all love sending and receiving snail mail.
Swooning over these lovely DIY wedding decorations.
All the different scenes from the Maiedae Mixer, has me wanting to definitely go to next years.
These shades, yes please.

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September 25, 2014

GET FIT GET HEALTHY

Tyler and I are half way through our 90 days of P90X3. Did you know we have been doing P90X3? I  have always loved the idea of fitness. We enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, and lots of out door activities, but I had never committed to any type of everyday fitness. When a friend from church asked if we would like to take the P90X3 challenge we were super pumped about it.
Tyler and I had both come to a place where we wanted to get more healthy and fit. We have the regular P90X program, but I was always discouraged because  I had a difficult time completely the hour long workouts. I knew that P90X3 would be a great fit for me because the work outs are only 30 minutes.
The program includes our 90 day workout plan and a nutrition guide. I reviewed the nutrition guide and added a few different snacks to our everyday meals, but didn't change a whole lot in our regular diet. Prior to beginning our workouts Tyler and I had been working on eating healthy and I was grateful we didn't have to change things to drastically. I did cut back on snack cracker foods. I love eating hummus and pretzel chips, but I switched out the pretzel chips with veggies. Are you wondering if we still eat normal people food? Of course we do and I still eat chocolate and sweet treats. I just don't eat a ton of those kind of things. Overall we eat a lot of chicken, fish, veggies, and brown rice. I throw in tacos and burgers occasionally.
When we started P90X3 my goal wasn't necessarily to lose weight. I've always been pretty small and I didn't think I had a whole lot of weight to lose. My goal was to get fit, healthy, and strong. Tyler and I both took before photos and measurements and we have been keeping track of our goals. The most exciting thing about this process is the results. The photos and measurements help a ton. I can definitely see changes in my body and I can tell I'm getting stronger. Something that used to be really discouraging to me was I had really shallow breathing and I didn't feel like my lungs could keep up with the workouts. I have noticed that the more I work out the stronger my lungs get. Super exciting!
The hardest part for me in this journey has been figuring out how much to eat. The first month I didn't actually eat enough. It didn't take me until the second month to figure out that if I wanted to build muscle I needed to eat more.  If you're interested in starting a fitness journey I highly recommend P90X3. The program is easy to follow, they layout everything that you need and I love that there are different workout programs that you can work up to. Tyler and I are currently working through the classic fitness program and then we're going through the lean program. I can't wait! What are some of you favorite ways to stay fit and healthy?

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September 24, 2014

PHOTOGRAPHY TALK: GETTING STARTED

Photography Basics, Learning Photography,
Occasionally I get questions about my camera gear, how I shoot and how I learned. I think there is something magical about photography. Something beautiful that stirs my senses. Even though I have such an affinity for photography it's still tough sometimes and I'm always learning. 

I would love to share with you a break down of what I currently shoot with and what I started out with. First, I'm a Nikon shooter through and through. I don't think Nikon is better then Canon or vise versa. My first camera was Nikon and that's what I have shot with ever since and I really love it.


Photography Basics, Learning Photography,
Currently I shoot with a Nikon D300s and I think it's lovely. The primary lens I shoot with is the Nikkor 50 mm 1.8. That is what I run around with on a daily basis. Occasionally I use the Nikkor 55-300 lens, espeically if Tyler and I are out doing fun stuff.  When we purchased our Nikon D300s we also purchased a Nikon Speedligh SB-600, which I'm still learning. It's been rather tricky. We also have a battery pack for our D300s, which I don't use that often because we don't do hours and hours of shooting, but it is awesome to have on hand. 
Photography Basics, Learning Photography,



When I first started shooting I started with a Nikon D60, which Nikon doesn't actually make anymore. Starting out with the D60 was great at getting my feet on the ground. It was very user friendly and it's made with automatic settings and manual settings. I learned how to shoot manual on my D60. Another thing I used a lot when I started out was a Gary Fong diffuser. Shooting with an external flash is tough but this diffuser really helped when I was starting out.

Choosing your first camera can be a little over whelming and really depends on how much you want to spend and how much you want to push yourself in photography. The D300s has no automatic setting which means I always have to shoot manually. Not everyone likes to do that or learn that so it depends on what your looking for.  I think this one, this one, and this one would be great options with lots of fun features to start out with. Do you have any specific photography questions for me? I would love to hear them.

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September 23, 2014

GRIFFITH PARK & THE LA ABANDONED ZOO

Hiking in Griffith Park, LA abandonded zoo, things to do in LA, Free stuff in LA
Griffith Park is one of my very favorite places in Burbank. It was the first place that Tyler took me that was near our house that felt like I had left the city. We often miss being able to get away and spend time outdoors and Griffith Park is our ticket. At the base of Griffith park is the LA abandoned Zoo. Who knew there were still abandoned zoos around.
Hiking in Griffith Park, LA abandonded zoo, things to do in LA, Free stuff in LA
When my friend Caitlin was in town we didn't have a lot planned but we thought it would be super fun to go to Griffith Park and the abandoned zoo. It's a great place to get outside, do something unique and it's free! Win, win!
Hiking in Griffith Park, LA abandonded zoo, things to do in LA, Free stuff in LA
While exploring the zoo you can actually enter some of the old cages. Crazy, right? It's kind of weird knowing that at some point animals used to be caged there and sad. Some of the cages are rather small. As an on looker it is rather fun though, going inside, looking around, and wondering what kind of stories have been made there.
Hiking in Griffith Park, LA abandonded zoo, things to do in LA, Free stuff in LA
Hiking in Griffith Park, LA abandonded zoo, things to do in LA, Free stuff in LAI told Caitlin we HAD to take this picture. Because, really every adventure should be accompanied with this photos. Also, we look cute standing outside a creepy abandoned cage, right? That's what I'm telling myself.
Hiking in Griffith Park, LA abandonded zoo, things to do in LA, Free stuff in LA
After we walked through the Zoo we made our way up the mountain. The hike up Griffith Park isn't to bad. The first section leaves me most winded because it has the steepest incline. We totally killed it, though. Caitlin was a total trooper, too. We didn't tell her we were going hiking and she had only brought sandals. She dominated that mountain in those sandals, like a pro!
Hiking in Griffith Park, LA abandonded zoo, things to do in LA, Free stuff in LA
Hiking in Griffith Park, LA abandonded zoo, things to do in LA, Free stuff in LA
There are different trails to get to the top of the mountain to the helipad and we picked one that was a little shorter. I've never been one to make it up the mountain without stopping so we took a few break to catch our breaths. I'm working on getting those lungs into shape.
Hiking in Griffith Park, LA abandonded zoo, things to do in LA, Free stuff in LA
Hiking in Griffith Park, LA abandonded zoo, things to do in LA, Free stuff in LA
I had to include this top picture because it just screams LA. Don't ya think? Tyler was so super awesome at snapping such great and fun photos! We do love photography!
Hiking in Griffith Park, LA abandonded zoo, things to do in LA, Free stuff in LA
Hiking in Griffith Park, LA abandonded zoo, things to do in LA, Free stuff in LA
The view from the helipad is so beautiful! On clear days you can even see the ocean. It's so nice to get above the city, take it all in, and soak up Jesus. What are some of your favorite places to go in your town?

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September 22, 2014

5 THINGS / VOL. 24

RECAPS
1.) Snail mail is my favorite. I'm sure you know that. Last week I packaged up some goodies that had been sitting on my desk for far to long and I used the cutest little stamp to add some extra flair. Swoon.

2.) I'm headed to Georgia today and over the weekend I packed lots of pretty things. My brother is graduating Officer Candidacy School and tomorrow there is a formal. I love dressing up and can't wait!

3.) Last week I started the She Reads Truth Open Your Bible study and it has been so lovely. I love following along with She Reads Truth, so much that they share through the Word speaks to my heart.

4.) This weekend Tyler and I attended our Life Group Leadership Summit. We came away with lots of helpful tips and encouragement.

5.) Dark chocolate is my jam and I have a thing for keeping it in the house. I love having a small piece of chocolate after lunch. Plus, dark chocolate speeds up your metabolism! Win, win!

LINK LOVE
The cutest video ever.
Who knew fashion overseas could be so different?
Are you ready for Autumn?
Because we all need a good pair of hiking shoes.
The most adorable stripes and turquoise. 

How was your week, lovelies? 

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September 18, 2014

TIPS FOR STAYING INSPIRED & DRIVEN

Sometimes I have off days, sometimes I have off weeks. Sometimes my pictures don't turn out great and sometimes it feels like it takes me forever to get posts written. We all have days, weeks, or seasons where staying inspired is tough.
There are times where I want to give up, there are times when I feel discouraged and unmotivated. Tyler and I sat down one day and talked about ways that we could stay inspired and driven while we chase our dreams. We want to live lives with everything we have, we want to be there for every moment.

TIPS FOR STAYING INSPIRED & DRIVEN

1.) Be inspired by the greats: I hit on this topic last week and I believe it is one thing that has great effect in inspiring us. Inspiration from others can take us down two roads. A road of challenge or road of discouragement. Be inspired by the greats. Let their work inspire you and keep motivating you to do better.

2.) You only have one life: We only have one opportunity to improve our craft, chase our passions and pursue our dreams. Complacency can sneak in at take that time away. Embrace every moment of your life, take every challenge and every opportunity to improve your craft and passions.
3.) Find others that challenge and encourage you: Surround yourself with others who want you to succeed. Others who will challenge and encourage you to do your best. Others who will keep you accountable and moving forward. These are the one's that will help you build ideas and strengthen idea.

4.) Clear you mind, get outside, get off the computer: It's easy to get sucked into the things we're passionate about. But if all your time is spent only on those things, it won't be to long that you're losing steam and passion. Take a break, get outside and get off the computer. Time outside and with friends will refresh and inspire you. And often times you'll be filled with new ideas and drive.
What are ways that you stay inspired and driven? Make sure to stop by the Advice Column tomorrow! We'll be chatting more about this topic!

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September 17, 2014

HEALTHY SPINACH EGG BREAKFAST

Tyler is the breakfast guy on the weekends. Which I love, because the likely hood of me making breakfast on the weekend is slim. Tyler started making breakfast on the weekends early on in our marriage. I think it was because he was usually up before I was so he would make us breakfast and the tradition stuck. Tyler is great a breakfast and he loves trying and experimenting with new breakfast dishes.
A couple weekends ago he was in the mood for something a little different and more fun for breakfast so he started looking for something to make.  He ended up making this super delicious and healthy spinach egg breakfast. And it's was his first time poaching an egg! He did awesome! It may have not come out exactly like a poached egg should, but that's totally okay.

Spinach Egg Breakfast
Ingredients: 1 English muffin, sliced tomato, fresh spinach, onions, sliced ham, two eggs.
Directions: saute onions and sliced ham, remove from heat and add spinach, toss together. Poach each egg, (use this link to help). Build with English muffin, tomato, sauteed onions, ham and spinach, top with your poached egg. Enjoy!
This may be one of my favorite breakfasts he has made! It was so good, filling, and healthy! What are some of you favorite breakfast meals?

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September 16, 2014

STYLE : MIDWEST MEETS LA

September ushers in Fall, lovely lovely Fall. After living in SoCal for two years, I have learned what Fall means here, which means it won't start cooling down until November. But I'm a Midwest girl at heart and I hope September will always mean Fall for me. Wearing this dress reminded me of one of my very first style shoots. It's so fascinating to look back and see how we've grown. I felt so awkward in those first shoots and Tyler and I were both learning how to be behind and in front of the camera. 
This dress is one of my favorite dresses, regardless of the season. I love the fit and the super soft fabric and it also has pockets! Dresses with pockets are my favorite! I also loved wearing this dress with cowgirl boots because it's just so fun! I love that it added a rustic feel to such a lovely floral dress. I hardly ever see any one wear cowgirl boots, but I still love them and stay true to my Midwest roots.
wearing // Dress: TJ Maxx // Boots: Justin Boots // Belt: Thrifted
I can't wait until the weather cools down and I'm able to add a few more layers to this outfit. Do you have pieces that you love and wear year after year? Has it started to cool down where you are?

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September 15, 2014

5 THINGS // VOL. 23

1.) I had my  first Fall drink of the season. It was super hot that day so I did get it iced, but it was so delicious and I feel that it officially ushered in this wonderful Autumn season.
2.) I love peanut butter! I kind of wish I could carry peanut butter in my purse, because peanut butter is one of those things I can eat when I'm hangry and I automatically feel better. My mornings have been filled with peanut butter toast and banana and it's basically amazing!
3.) Aren't style outtakes the best! Tyler is the best and he did so great at capturing some super fun style photos! You can see more tomorrow! Tyler has been so awesome at encouraging and empowering me lately and it's the best!
4.) We hung out with some super awesome friends and had a game night on Saturday! It's was so lovely because these friends are from our home town. Good food and good company. 
5.) These super rad shades arrived! I can't wait to give them a try. Warby Parker has the best Home Try-On Program! Have you tried Warby Parker?

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