Me ‘n my girls.


What a weekend we had.  One for the memory files, for sure. It doesn’t happen very often, so when it does – it’s a treasure.  Two full days.  At a resort.  With my two beauties.  No boys allowed.

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Me ‘N My Girls

Our friend Sarah helped us find a wonderful rate at a local resort so our big travel time was about 45 minutes.  (Sure beats driving for 6-7 hours to get anywhere else, IMHO!)

We stopped by our local mall – spent a solid amount of time looking through the treasures and finding a few objects our lives wouldn’t be complete without.  Mostly make-up related and a few summer dresses.  Of course.

The accommodations were just amazing.  Customer service was outstanding – and, I may or may not be a little bit hard to impress.  I really do believe that the employees were genuinely happy to be there and went out of their way to make the guests feel welcome and taken care of.  Our casita faced the pool area, but was far enough away that there was no noise to speak of.  {Well, maybe that had more to do with the fact that it was approximately 1000°(F) and most sane people go to the mountains to vacation this time of year.}

We were all looking forward to our getaway!  We had loaded up our creativity-supplies – markers, pens, watercolors for the trip.  I had the need to get my creative on.  I loved every minute of it – geeking out over the recent discovery of #bulletjournaling #bujo (apparently, I do live under a rock) and #biblejournaling!  I took advantage of the down-time to binge watch YouTube videos of experienced #bujo-ers.  Some are SO elaborate while others are simple and utilitarian.  I am probably in the middle somewhere on that scale.  I love to be creative, but most of the time, I don’t have the TIME so rather than do NOTHING AT ALL, I am opting for a simpler approach, with a small amount of sketching.  I’m also learning to hand-letter; picking back up the basic beginner skills of calligraphy I learned from my Aunt Miriam years ago.  She is a legit pro, y’all.

We also found time for a little pampering.  This weekend’s choices were two-fold: spray tanning, and pedicures.  We pale girls really do NOT look like we live full-time in Arizona; more like we only come out at night and are frightening by the sun.  We decided we needed to look a little more bronze and found a spray tanning place on Yelp with good reviews near where we were staying.  So, I texted the business at 11pm and got a quick response from the owner and bam! We had appointments for the next morning.   We showed up, got the run-down, answered a list of twenty questions, signed away our first-born children and, one by one, we went in to get hosed down – er, I mean spray tanned.   So, what did I learn about spray tanning??  Super glad you asked.  Well, I learned a few things.  I learned that when it’s approximately 1000°(F), and you get a spray tan, you feel sticky.  Sticky like the lotion you put on eight hours ago won’t dry.  For eight straight hours, ladies.  Sticky like a mother nature.  I learned that you can’t shower off said spray tan for forever (well, forever meaning 8-10 hours), or the processing of the spray tan will be interrupted.  I also learned that you wear DARK colors when getting a spray tan that you may not shower off from for all day when it’s 1000°(F) because if you wear WHITE clothes, you end up with bronzing streaks from where you couldn’t possibly keep your arms from touching your shirt, shorts, shoes, car seat, linens… I also learned that a shower can actually feel like nirvana at the end of the eight hours of sticky.  I learned that I really do enjoy looking a little bit tan, but that when someone sees you and her first comment is, “Wow, you are really tan!”, maybe the spray tanner didn’t read your choice to have a LIGHT tan.

He he he… It was all just so fun – sticky spray tan and all.  Know why?  My girls.  They are so fun, growing up so fast, learning how to adult… and, we had a great time making memories together.  We decided to make it an annual thing.  So, yep – it’s a thing now.  Minus the spray tan.

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Yummy dip trio – we really liked the onion one and the avacado-hummus best. The hibiscus was fun to try, but we just didn’t love it. (Check out Maddie’s new birks.)

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Well, we ate this caprese flatbread before I remembered to photo it. It was delish.

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The Onyx Lounge @ #FourSeasonsScottsdale

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What. Churros. Dipped. In. Hot Fudge. Yes.

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Get your creative juices flowing girls!

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#bujo

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#bujo

 

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Ready to go out!

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PROOF at the #FourSeasonsScottsdale was amazing! Have a little coffee with your cream, will you?

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#FourSeasonsScottsdale

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#FourSeasonsScottsdale

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#FourSeasonsScottsdale

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Sister Love

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Beauty of the desert…

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Sweet welcome note from our friend Sarah… and some yummy healthy snacks too! #FourSeasonsScottsdale

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#FourSeasonsScottsdale

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Tidying the Pantry.


We all have one. A place – cabinet, closet, cupboard, hidden room behind the fridge, cellar in the garage – to keep the food stuffs and maybe several seldom used small kitchen appliances.  It may also be home to 6 jars of pickled peaches that you spent HOURS on during the summer of 2006, or that gotta have it spice that expired in 2010 (which was three moves ago).  Just sayin’.

I’m going to just tell myself that the majority of households in the U.S. have the same issue… that space gets messy after just a short period of time. There are levels on the continuum of “messy”.  No judgement here.  I’d give mine a pain level of about 7 on a scale of 10.  Something must be done.

For a perfectionist, as I am, this simple issue can weigh heavily and cause frustration.  The thinking there is if it can’t be perfect, then why even try or start?  I am working to have less perfectionist thinking because I do think in the long run, and even the short run, the benefits far outweigh the costs.  If I don’t tidy the pantry because I don’t know how to do it with PERFECTION, I still have a messy pantry at the end of yet another weekend.  If I allow the fear of not getting it perfect to keep me from even trying to tidy a little bit, again, I still have the same messy pantry, and along with it a sense of defeat starts building.  This time, I’m going in with a little bit of grit and telling myself, “Let’s DO this.”  Oh, and I enlisted the help of my two awesome kids to help because summer break. Ha!

I did invest a little bit in my pantry by building on a few things I already had and adding to it with similar items.  But, you certainly do not have to spend money to improve your space.  My grandmother used to use old cereal boxes, cover them with contact paper, and use them all over her kitchen and sewing room for organization.  Use what you have, or invest in some new things; it’s up to you and your budget!  Get creative!  Pinterest has amazing ideas.

So, here’s a few photos of my pantry mission.  And, you’ll notice a few kitchen drawers made this post as well.  It felt SO AMAZING to have a beautiful pantry that I didn’t stop there!  I tidied up several drawers.  I feel like my kitchen dropped a dress size and just feels sassy and free!

My original wire baskets with the copper handles, as well as the white canvas lined silver metal baskets, all came from Threshold (Target).  I had also previously purchased the two canned goods racks from Amazon.  I think the white canvas bins also came from Target but I’m not 100% sure on that one.  I went on a trip to my local At Home furnishings warehouse store.  I forget how big that place is!  We were able to find very similar dark brown metal baskets with copper handles in various sizes which I used throughout the pantry.  I also found several adorable smaller lined wire baskets with spiraled copper handles.   I think they are so sweet and break up the space a little bit.  I had also previously purchased large Mason jars with the intention of using them for dry goods, but just never got around to it.  Now is the time!  Again, no judgement here for sure. If you are in the same boat, we’re both in good company.

Finally, on the drawer project, I did find some shallow drawer dividers of various sizes that I used to make the kitchen drawers so much more functional and organized.  I bought some at At Home, and then ended up buying more on Amazon.

I’m glad I dove in.  It might be something simple, but what a huge difference.  I feel so happy when I look in there.  I also found two fun pieces of wall decor that just seemed to have my name on them.  My sweet husband said, where are you going to hang these?  I told him, the pantry (of course).  He just smiled.  He’s a smart man.  My two teens came home and saw the wall decor, commenting that they’d never seen anyone decorate the pantry before.  But, they’re smart too; they like it.

The pantry is still sighing a breath of relief.

 

Identity.


How a person sees herself is absolutely crucial.  The lens through which I see my reflection may be tainted by sadness, pain, abuse, hurt  – all my past mistakes – the things that I have done and the things that have been done to me.  Or, my view can be rose-colored, choosing to see only the good, perhaps in deep denial – hoping to hide my many short-comings from myself and others.  Either version seems a bit “off”.

Reflecting on a quote from a sermon I heard recently, “What you believe about God is the most important thing about you.” Whoa. Chew on that for a minute.

Do you see the connection of what you believe about God and what you believe about yourself?  For me as a believer, what I believe about my Heavenly Father is a direct reflection of what I believe about myself.  Do I see in the reflection, a woman created in the image of the Most High King?  For many, many years, no.

But, God.

There is always hope when God is involved.  I did not used to see someone I liked when I looked in the mirror or caught my reflection unexpectedly.  I used to struggle with self-loathing, toxic shame, and low self-worth.  Basic self-care was a chore.  If you struggle with this, you may understand – taking showers, going grocery shopping for healthy food, preparing said healthy food, cleaning up afterwards, making sure clothes are ready to go for the week, laundry done and put away…  If you don’t really like yourself, let alone LOVE yourself, these things can become a struggle.  If you believe you have no value or worth, then what’s the point of a healthy meal?

As God and I worked my journey of recovery from past hurts, habits and hang-ups, over time, with healing and willingness, I began to see a different person when I looked into the mirror.  I started to actually LIKE her a little.  I thought she had a few cools things going on.  She’s pretty funny, too.  And, she can harmonize.

Do I see Him in my eyes? Him in whose image I am created?  That’s what I should see – that’s what I want to see because I believe that is how He sees me; only love, only compassion, only excitement… sheer anticipation bursting at the seams of His heart – like watching my own child achieve something exciting, reaching a milestone, or maybe just making his bed without being asked.  (He he…) That’s what only my heart can feel, and my mind has not enough capacity to put into words. I’m proud of him because he’s my kid and for no other reason.  There doesn’t really need to be one.

I know that MY DADDY GOD, The Creator, thinks I am amazing because He made me in HIS IMAGE.  I am not a mistake, not wrong, not unimportant in His view.  And, I also know this – He absolutely thinks YOU are AMAZING, too.  He loves you and wants you to know that He moved heaven and earth, for you.  He gave His only begotten Son, for you.  Soak it in, my friend, and let that truth seep deep down, all the way to your toes.  Let it change your thinking about yourself.  I did, and it did.  You are a masterpiece.

Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 GNB (https://www.bible.com/bible/296/2CO.5.17.GNB)

Celebrating 3!


Orange Sky. Scottsdale, AZ. Best food for miles. Best server ever. *Ask for Elyssa. Best view of God’s painted desert and a sunset that was accentuated by the atypical clouds last night. And best of all… three years with this sweetheart.

Gonna find me a camel colored pencil skirt. How many looks can I come up with for one skirt?


Gonna find me a camel colored pencil skirt. How many looks can I come up with for one skirt?