Thursday, August 28, 2014

7 Ways to Save When Planning a Wedding

1. Bridal Accessories

Bridal accessories are extremely over priced, especially in the small boutiques that we all love.
However, it is possible to stick to your budget without sacrificing style. My bridal veil (which start at $300.00) was $7.00 at Hobby Lobby. I wanted a long and simple veil. The one that we bought had a wavy trim on it, totally not my style. Luckily, we were able to see past it and  Georgia knew that tulle could easily be cut, viola! For my belt, I wanted something chic, dainty and antique. I fell in love with a head piece that was almost a third of the price of other similar styles. With some creativity, we were able to sew the piece on the dress and create our own bridal belt.


2. Bridesmaid Robes

The minute you type "bridal" or "bridesmaid" in front of any word, the prices are more than likely to spike. I spent months trying to find nice and affordable robes (less than $40.00 each) for my bridesmaids. I scored these gray robes from Kohl's and they were only $25.00 each after coupons that I had saved. I then paid separately to have them monogrammed. Affordable and cute!

3. Centerpieces

We paid next to nothing for our centerpieces thanks to skilled men and generous friends. Dustin and his dad cut adorable wood rounds that fit with our "rustic chic" wedding vision. Teresa and Tiffany were extremely generous and allowed us to borrow the perfect lanterns to place atop each wood round. We used electric candles (since our venue didn't allow us to have open flames, hello wooden barn) that were collected between my mom's home and Georgia's home. In each dollar store frame sat the perfect table numbers that Morgan and I created using the Rifle Bond Paper Co. floral garland tiles that I used as my inspiration and color palate.

4. Decorations

I found it tough to put a lot of money towards decor that would only suffice for one night, however I wanted the reception to look beautiful and timeless. I found this flash sale site to be helpful and also picked up affordable paper table runners here. My friend Marissa got married two weeks before and we were able to split the cost of string lights that were used at both of our receptions. Borrowing things is a wonderful money saver!

5. Flowers

Your jaw might drop when you hear that we only spent $300.00 on our flowers, total! We used a local flower wear house for our blooms instead of a pricey florist. Making beautiful things affordable is possible! 

 6. Catering

If you want good food and service it comes with a hefty price, especially since we opted for the preferred caterer of our venue. I always loved the idea of having a family style dinner or a server per table, but simply didn't fit within our budget. When I told my caterer that I did not want people to wait forever to eat (my problem with buffets), she suggested having salad and bread plated before the buffet even opened. This way we did not have to pay extra for a larger catering staff. I also think it is a nice touch to show appreciation for you your guests by having food ready for them to eat as they sit down. It was a great alternative that made our guests happy and our wallets happy.

7. Picking a Venue

The price for our wedding venue was fairly average and it came with a lot. We didn't have to rent tables, chairs, string lights for the patio or even decorate for our ceremony. Everything was already there and beautiful by itself. Consider everything that your venue will offer versus shutting it down for the price tag. Most of the time it will pay out to spend a bit more on your venue versus trying to coordinate and negotiate with rental vendors and buying extra decor.

Most of all, thank you to everyone who poured their hearts and souls into your wedding. We were blessed with an abundance of help. We are especially thankful for Dad and Karen who funded our big day and never complained. We love you all! 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Eagles Landing Park

About .9 miles from our home sits a trail head that will lead you to Eagles Landing Park. You'll run about a 1/4 mile on a well maintained trails and head down 10 flights of stairs that lead you to a small rocky beach. Although I didn't see an Eagle, the park opened in 2005 because of the abundance of Eagles that nest in the trees above. Discovering hidden gems like this make me one happy girl! I hope to make several more visits here while the sun is still shining after work.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hi There

Hello! I am still here, please don't stop reading my blog. I find myself staring at the blank blogger screen with no words to type. They will come eventually! For now, how perfect is Nehemiah 8:108? Enjoy and have a happy Tuesday :).

Friday, August 15, 2014

Wish List

They say what you do while procrastinating should become your job. If you love what you do, then you will never feeling like you are working! If that were the case, I would love to stay at home all day and decorate, please!

Here are some items I have been eyeing lately, we'll see which of these end up in our home some day! For now, I have placed "Love Does" on hold at the library, so I look forward to reading it sooner than later. Happy weekend! xoxo

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Guest Post - Coping with an Eating Disorder

Guest Blogger - Megan Haskins

Do I share? Do I expose myself? Let others in on my weaknesses?

Why do others deserve to know my secrets? Aren't secrets meant to be secretive?

Yes and no. Secrets can lead to sin and sin causes hurt, pain, and dark times. As I hesitate in sharing what is on my heart I remind myself that other people have secrets too - some people just aren't strong enough yet to let others in that space with them - to ask for support or a listening ear.

I've been working hard on being transparent, raw, and genuine during this difficult time. My Mom's death did not come as a surprise but one can never be fully prepared for the loss.

The past six years have been intense and hard, but I've come to learn A LOT about life, what it means to love, what it means to be secure, my faith, my marriage, and how I deal with life's issues.

How do I deal with the issues that life has presented me? Well, not well...

This may come as a shock to some of you, others may have guessed it, and a small handful of people have been on this journey with me. 

I have been in treatment since March 17th for a severe eating disorder. This disorder did not come overnight and surely wasn't something that begun March 16th. Here is my story and my prayer is that someone (if only ONE person) can find encouragement, freedom, peace, and/or strength from it. It truly began in 9th grade....

Ninth grade was a challenge. My parents were separated for about 3-4 months. It took a huge toll on my heart and it was hard for me to understand why and maintain faith. It also took me the longest time to forgive my parents for all the hurt they had caused me. I fell away from God, not relying on Him for the comfort I needed. I let it distract me at school and it rearranged my sleep habits. Eventually I began to deprive myself from food. I figured that the whole situation was my fault and if I couldn't control my parents I could at least control what I ate. I also wanted and desired attention from them...anyone. I felt so alone during this time.

Ninth grade to freshman year of college I surely played with fire and danced around eating disordered behavior. It was my freshman year of college that I eventually turned to alcohol. It seemed alcohol was all I could rely on at the time with the adjustment of moving away from home and having to make new friends. And when alcohol wasn't enough I discovered the power of the treadmill and the powerful feeling of restricting food. The mighty feeling of power was mine! I felt I had finally found my true love and confidant. 

It was my junior year that I began to feel life spinning out of control again. I was trying so hard to hold on to what God was offering me but at the same time trying to take things into my own hands. Sure enough, I spiraled downward and relapsed, having one of the worst bouts with ED (my eating disorder). I had dropped close to 50 pounds in 3 years (possibly 20 of it being necessary - the other 30 was going too far!) I restricted and ran, restricted and ran, and I wasn't a runner! I eventually made myself a runner though! 

The past ten years with this beast has not been fun (yet appearing so shiny at the time!).

I lost friendships and missed out on hundreds of normal college-aged social events. I forfeited time with family and took my husband's time and love for granted. I would have rather spent my time at the gym than with others.

December of 2012 my Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 carcinoid cancer. I was 26 and she was 53! We still had our whole lives ahead of us - together! I knew people with cancer but never thought it would strike my own family. As shocking as this was I chose not to process the information and decided to head back into my graduate program as if nothing had occurred over Christmas break. As time went on ED continued to rule my life. Instead of dealing with the emotions I would run and restrict, run and restrict, with the occasional binge and purge. I seemed to have hidden it well. When home visiting my Mom (we live 5 hours apart), as she went through her rounds of chemo, I chose to run instead of spend time with her. I was more worried about my calorie burn than her well-being. It was a horrible addiction that took away mother/daughter time!

November of 2013 I was referred to The Emily Program (an ED treatment facility here in Spokane) by my outside therapist. She was growing concerned. I didn't see why the concern because I had actually started putting on weight! Little did I know my body had shut down and, even though I wasn't eating over a thousand calories and continuing to workout daily, I began gaining weight, which only caused me to work out longer and harder. I didn't understand why and it was frustrating! 

I came home from my session with my therapist to share the referral with my husband and he immediately called to set up a tour and a Q&A with the site manager at The Emily Program. I agreed.

My husband and I returned back to our home after the holiday break and I jumped right back into my second year of graduate school. But the stress from the holidays turned into 3-4 hours at the gym! I spiraled downward and knew I was in danger (despite my current weight gain). I agreed to an intake at The Emily Program.

I have now been there since March 17th...149 days in treatment. I began with IOP (Intensive Outpatient Programming), which lasted 3 weeks. My symptoms worsened and I was then placed in PHP (Partial Hospitalization Programming) for 16 weeks. PHP was a higher level of care at 40 hours a week with the goal of symptom reduction and health stabilization. The past week was my first week back in IOP, which is only 20 hours a week. It is so discouraging and the hardest thing I have EVER, EVER gone through. They put me on an exercise restriction, which has only brought about other symptoms!! This is by far the hardest fight of my life but I could not be more grateful for the staff there. It is temporarily my home away from home - the place that holds my hope for me right now, for most days I can't even see recovery for myself. Every other day I am tempted to jump right back into what's comfortable. I'm gaining even more weight there and have put on 20 pounds since my wedding!!! The shear number on the scale makes me want ED back. I can't seem to let him go.

I had to take spring quarter off, which is why I won't finish my graduate program until December. Life has definitely been put on hold for my sanity and well-being.

My treatment was then interrupted on May 12th. It was the day after Mother's Day that I got the dreaded phone call. I had just showed up to programming and answered the phone. My Mom was gone. She had passed away. I couldn't have been in a better place when I received the news, for the staff knew exactly what to do and were God's angels that day. 

It seemed my recovery journey then started over the day I returned to Spokane from a week at home preparing mom's funeral. I was back to day one. I had relapsed the week I was home and now cannot seem to find the same motivation for a recovered life. 

I feel defeated and exhausted but find such hope in God's grace, my future, and my story I have to share. 
A big thank you to my sister for telling her story. I have encountered multiple people this past year who have struggled with ED and it's important to know that it is more common than we may think. Understand you aren't alone and please never be afraid to ask for help.

For more information visit:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

5 Reasons to Workout in the Morning

1) Jump start your metabolism

Exercising early in the morning "jump starts" your metabolism, keeping it elevated for hours, sometimes for up to 24 hours! As a result, you’ll be burning more calories all day long—just because you exercised in the morning. Via Spark People 

2) Boost your mood

It boosts your mood: A long stream of research has indicated that exercise boosts endorphins and other feel-good hormones in your body, and it may be enough to push you through the morning slump and keep you smiling all day.  Via Glamour 

3) Start the day off right

Set a heathly tone for the day. You usually will feel so good that you want to refuel with good food. Via Women's Health Magazine 

4)  Be consistent

A consistent work out. A big barrier to getting enough exercise is often the fact that it’s hard to fit it into a daily schedule. It’s extra hard if you have kids, work unpredictable hours, or have a somewhat spontaneous social life. If you commit to working out in the morning, however, you’re way less likely to have the excuse of things just popping up. Plus, you won’t be exhausted from a rough day at the office. In fact, people who work out in the morning have shown to stick to their exercise plans better than people who plan to exercise after work. Via Daily Health Post

5) Long-term results

Better long-term results. Research shows that those who exercise in the morning are more consistent exercisers than those who exercise later in the day. Our bodies love routine. If you force yourself to get up when your alarm goes off, your body will thank you and pay you back by feeling rested and ready for the day. Via US News 

How to Work Out in the Morning?

I found these tips to be very helpful!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

3 Months

This morning I woke up to sweet text messages from both my sister and aunt. Mom passed away just three short months ago and the grieving process is still in full force. As I reflect on these months, I am amazed by the things I have found the strength to do and the things that I still simply cannot do. Some of these things may sound silly, but if you knew our relationship you would understand that the smallest things became our livelihood, our joys and our way of making memories towards the end of mom's life. Truth be told, I started this post by titling it "Things I Haven't Done" when realized there are things I have been able to overcome as well that are worth mentioning.

Things I haven't done-

Listen to my voice mails from the week mom passed

Watch our weekly shows (Shark Tank, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune)

Eat her favorite foods, especially Costco pizza

Spend long periods of time in her room, house and honestly even being in Federal Way is extremely painful

Things I have done -

Read through text messages, cards and Facebook messages we shared

Watched the video she left behind for me

Sorted through her clothes and closet items
Drive her car

Go back to church

I don't know when this all is going to get easier. I often get down on myself for still feeling emotional three months later, but also hear the first year is the hardest. I truly want to be happy and live in the moment again. I believe I will get there, it will just take time.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Weekend Recap

Sadly, that living room photo is not ours, it belongs in the beautiful home of my aunt and uncle! Our weekend was spent building furniture (desk, file cabinet and media console), browsing Goodwil, removing the chain link fence, celebrating Lindsay's 29th birthday, drinking margaritas and BBQ's! We even celebrated National S'more Day. I hope everyone enjoyed their summer weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer Goals

Lately, I have been enjoying my good friend Jessica's yoga classes on the water. I had a revelation last night while we chatted afterwards about having power to say "yes"! For so long, I have said "no" to many activities + events with friends. Between caring for mom, planning our wedding and buying our home, I was always restricting myself from taking on too much. So I have decided to take advantage of what is left of this gorgeous summer and try to worry less about things that don't need to be done immediately.

1. Roast s'mores + go camping 

2. BBQ more - even if it means using our small portable Coleman grill

3. Continue outdoor yoga classes

4. Go to Dustin's softball games + races

5. Run in the morning while it is still light out

6. Try new restaurants on our street

7. Visit Seahurst Park

8. Stroll Pikes Place on my lunch

9. Walk with friends

10. Go swimming!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


In all honestly, I have been thinking a lot about what social media "portrays". Does everyone live flawless lives with perfect friends, family + significant others? Do people struggle with happiness, ever feel upset and pick fights? Or is that just me? I decided to write this list for some much needed self-reflection and I found these things I have associated with "happiness" lately were actually things that were far from happiness and where I desire to be in life.

Happiness is:

Patience, love, trust and kindness

Having faith and not seeking to understand

Being with family and pups

A fresh cup of coffee in the morning, made with love by your husband

Hugs, kisses and small surprises

Silly photos, text messages and emails from girlfriends

Having too much wine

Enjoying the moment (yardstick!)

Getting snail mail

Dancing, lots of laughter, ILYTP

Summer nights and spontaniety


Healthy fitness

Happiness is not:

Worry, anxiety and stress

Materialistic items

Angry words, jealously and spite


The perfect body

Scheduled and timely

iPads, iPhones and screen time

A perfect home

Striving to be perfect and creating and image

Monday, August 4, 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014

Instagram's of July

July has come and gone! We started out by celebrating 4th of July, moved into our new home, got married and honeymooned in Maui. I think this month was one to remember!