Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Who doesn't love a 3 day weekend? I am thankful to have one right before summer school starts and the students come back into town.

Saturday I relaxed with a mani/pedi, then went shopping. With so many Memorial Day sales I had to see if there were any must haves :) I came home with several items. I shop Target for a lot of the basic things in my closet. I'm often cold so I own a lot of cardigans. Not pictured are the new workout clothes from Marshalls. I hate spending a lot of money on clothes I'm going to sweat in!
Loft Sailor Pants   |   Express Striped Long Sleeve Zip Front Blouse   |   Express Original Fit Sleeveless Portofino Shirt
Target Cardigan   |   Target Favorite Vee Tee   |   Target 3/4 Sleeve Cardigan
Sunday the hubs and I went out of town to spent time with his mom and dad and enjoy the weather. Lexi chased us on 4-wheelers and encountered a few cows!

Lexi is very good about riding on the 4-wheeler when she's tired.

Lazy! Laying down to drink water hahaha
Today we went grocery shopping, cleaned the apartment, and had a steak and baked potato dinner made by the hubs.

What did you do for Memorial Day weekend? Comment below! Remember to come back Friday for an announcement. Until next post...xoxo Becca

Friday, May 27, 2016

Favorite Pin Friday | Volume 51

Back again for another Friday addition. Thanks for stopping by! A few months ago one of our Plated. meals was a breakfast pizza. (Read my Plated. review here.) It got my attention because I never thought about putting breakfast items in pizza form. The Plated. meal was ok. Both the hubs and I would have changed some things about it. Then just last week I came across this recipe (kind of like pizza!).

Pic Source
Until next post...xoxo Becca

Monday, May 23, 2016

P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way SYDNEY

That's right mates (in my very best Australian accent) we're going to Sydney! In less than a month the hubs and I will make the 17+ hour flight to Sydney. Why? Because the hubs has always wanted to go and we are at a point in our life where we can.

June is their winter so it will be a lovely break from the Texas heat. I have read that Sydney's winters are pretty mild with daytime temperatures around 60-70 degrees. I imagine with all the walking we'll be doing there will only be tennis shoes in my suitcase and items that I'm able to dress in layers.

Where We Are Staying
It seems everything in Sydney is expensive. The hubs found an Airbnb just west of the Sydney Harbour in Balmain, a suburb in the Inner West of Sydney. It's a newly renovated one bedroom suite with its own private deck and entrance. It has high ratings and positive feedback from previous guests. The hosts own and operate a cocktail bar in the area. I'm looking forward to meeting them.

What We'll Do
When we first started thinking about visiting Sydney I told the hubs I wanted to hold a koala. They just seem so fluffy! The hubs booked a visit to the Featherdale Wildlife Park so I could touch a koala (they don't allow you to hold them). I'm so excited!


While we are there the city will be celebrating Vivid Sydney, a 23-day festival of light, music and ideas. Vivid Light transforms Sydney into a wonderland of 'light art' sculptures, innovative light installations and grand-scale projections. (Explanation taken from the Vivid Sydney website.) The light installations are free to enjoy, but we also booked a dinner cruise in the harbor to get a better view.

We would like to walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Initially we found the BridgeClimb, but after reading more about it it seemed like a waste of money (anywhere from $158-$373 per adult) and for safety reasons you cannot take your cell phone or camera with you. Your ticket price includes 1 photo, but you can purchase additional photos after the climb. mmmhmmm I'll walk my behind across the bridge for free! Thank you very much.

West of Sydney is an area called the Blue Mountains (home to the Three Sisters sandstone rock formation). There is also a privately owned tourist attraction called Scenic World. The park offers several options for viewing the famous mountain area; skyway, walkway, cableway, and railway. Each seem pretty fun so we will make the 2 hour drive west for a day. Read as the hubs will drive...on the wrong side of the car and the wrong side of the road. Pray for us! :P

There are a lot of other sites and museums we have on our list to explore. The countdown is on, everything is booked, and we're wheels up on June 9!

Until next post...xoxo Becca

Friday, May 20, 2016

Favorite Pin Friday | Volume 50

Happy Friday! I have been loving light colors and outfits made of all neutrals. The first day of summer is 1 month away. Get inspired! This post is picture overload, but I loved all these.








And these handbags...

Tory Burch   |   Zac Zac Posen

Until next post...xoxo Becca

Monday, May 16, 2016

Cleaning is Therapy

I am sure based on the title of this post you are thinking I am completely nuts. You're thinking: "Who uses cleaning as therapy?" "Cleaning is time consuming and a nuisance."  You didn't know I was psychic ;) However, for me it's not. Sometimes it is a chore, but for the most part it is calming. Cleaning is a project I can:
  • Do on my own (hello introvert)
  • Manage myself (OCD moment)
  • See the results of my efforts quickly (instant gratification generation)

Last night, after a frustrating day, I cleaned and organized the cabinet under the bathroom sink. Projects like this take my mind off things and allow me to immerse myself in the task at hand. Afterwards I feel calm.

iheart organizing is one of my favorite blogs to visit because well it's all about organizing! :) I know cleaning isn't everyone's therapy, but here are two ways to declutter and organize the cabinet under your sink.

For every situation there is a suitable line from a song...
Source  |  Source

What's therapeutic for you or your way of decompressing?

Until next post...xoxo Becca

Friday, May 13, 2016

Favorite Pin Friday | Volume 49

Hello again. Not much to report around here. The week was super busy and went by quickly. Which I guess is a good thing.

I'm always looking for new party inspiration. With it being graduation season this one popped up on my Pinterest feed. I am in love with the black, white, and gold color scheme right now. Plus this sign is perfection for a graduation! Perfect for a high school or college graduation party.

View the rest of this party design here. What a fun website to get hooked on! Excuse me while I go pin half their website ;)

Until next post...xoxo Becca

Monday, May 9, 2016

Apartment Living - 6 month update

Hi all! I hope everyone had a good weekend and for those mothers reading, I hope Mother's Day was awesome. The hubs and I went to Katy to spend time with his mom and two sisters. It was relaxing and gave Lexi a chance to run and play.

Here is an update on how apartment living is going. Little bit of background if you are new or missed it: in October we sold our almost 2,000 square foot house to move to a less than 800 square foot apartment. What a drastic change! I remember signing the lease and being given the keys. The hubs was working so I was alone. I got in the car at the front office and drove around until I found our apartment building. Then walked around until I found our apartment. I had looked at (read as deeply studied) the floor plan online and had an understanding of what it would look like, but when I opened the door and got that first look I immediately thought "What have we done?" It was so tiny and everything was white; white kitchen and bathroom cabinets, white walls, white trim, light carpet. When the hubs asked how it was I didn't know how to respond without sounding negative. I wasn't feeling very optimistic about the space. I would spend the next two weeks going to the apartment on my lunch hour to clean. I liked the three minute commute from the office to "home." I would even workout in the mornings at the university rec and go "home" to shower and get ready for work. The small empty space was starting to grow on me. Then we moved. I was strategic in what was packed for the apartment and what was packed for the storage unit. Friends helped us move and without them I'm not sure we would have made it.

Now that we have been in the apartment for a little over 6 months I am able to say I am much happier about the space. It doesn't seem as small and it certainly doesn't take as much time to clean as the house did. :) The hubs and I are both close to work and friends. It has a lot of pros! We do struggle with the size sometimes and get frustrated when the kitchen isn't big enough or the clutter gets overwhelming. The smallest amount of clutter really brings the walls in tight, but I try to keep it clean and as clutter free as possible. I know Lexi misses her backyard and the ability to go in and out of her doggie door.

Initially I was worried about living with college students. Would they be up all night partying and making noise? Would they treat us different because they knew the hubs was the courtesy officer? Would they try to mess with our stuff or our cars because he is a cop? All these things worried me, but I can honestly say it hasn't been bad, (minus the neighbor who smoked weed and has now been evicted) I don't notice them much. They definitely know who we are, but they don't seem to care.

What we have learned:
  • Material things don't make you happy. (That's not to say I don't love new clothes and handbags!)
  • Americans have wayyyy too much stuff and place too much value in owning lots of stuff.
  • It's better to be rich in experience and happiness!
  • There are so many points made in this article I found to be true I had to share it. 
I am thankful for this opportunity! Until next post...xoxo Becca

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Architects of Tomorrow

Last May I wrote about an event I attended called Leadercast. The university I work for is an annual host site for this event. One of the perks of working for a university is hearing from speakers on a myriad of topics. Whether the speaker is on campus for staff professional development or there to speak to students I try to take advantage of listening to their presentations. Leadercast is by far one of my favorite though. If you didn't get a chance to read last year's post you can do so here.

A little background on Leadercast...Leadercast is an organization whose mission is to bring leaders together to inspire each other and their surrounding communities. It's the sharing of knowledge from prominent and community leaders to cultivate the type of leaders worth following.

This year we heard from leaders like Kat Cole, President of FOCUS Brands, Dr. Henry Cloud, Leadership Expert, Clinical Psychologist, and Best Selling Author, and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, Inc. The theme this year was Architects of Tomorrow. The four content areas were Eyes to See, Voice to Share, Heart to Inspire, and Feet to Lead.

Here are my takeaways:
  • We value integrity, but we follow clarity (Andy Stanley): While we hope for leaders with integrity we often follow leaders who have a clear vision. Andy gave the example of Adolf Hitler, a man with little integrity, but because he had a clear vision for the future and presented a clear execution for the plan people followed his lead. 
  • Get off autopilot (Chris Barez-Brown): Humans are creatures of habit and therefore our subconscious carries us through daily tasks. Some of the most creative people purposely take themselves off autopilot by changing their routine and challenging their minds to learn new things. Engage your creative potential and you will see the world differently.
  • The connection to others drives performance (Dr. Henry Cloud):
    4 Types of Connections
    • No connection - Solitude. Humans need connection.
    • Bad connection - Where others make you feel less than you are, worthless. This can become ingrained in your psyche.
    • Pseudo Good Connection - "happy talk" Not genuine connections. Temporary feel good connections.
    • Real Connection - Where you can be who you are and surrounded by people who are who they are.
  • Sprint hard all the time (Rorke Denver): If you set the example of "sprinting hard" all the time, then your team will do the same.
Thank you Leadercast for another inspirational event. Next year's theme is Powered by Purpose. Until next post...xoxo Becca

Monday, May 2, 2016

In the Bag

A year ago I was just beginning to verbally tell friends and coworkers I had a blog. I wasn't sure how people would respond or if I would continue to post on a regular schedule. I created a facebook page specifically for the blog and of course being the super supportive person he is, the hubs announced to all our friends on facebook I had a blog. He made a public promise to buy me whatever purse I wanted if 150 people liked the page. Of course it happened and then he began bugging me about what purse I wanted.

Truth be told I have always wanted a Louis Vuitton. I can remember all the way back to freshman year of high school loving the pattern and the fashion statement a Louis made. However, I would never purchase one on my own or ask for one either. Spending that much on a single bag makes me queasy. I looked for bags from all designers and never found one I true loved so I told the hubs I hadn't found anything.

Fast forward to our NYC trip (Part 1, 2, 3) in December (9 months later). On our last day in the city we went to 5th Avenue, the holy grail of shopping! The hubs and our friends walked me into and through Louis Vuitton. Repeat, I would never purchase a Louis or ask for one. They asked, "What style of bag do you like?" "What pattern do you like?" "Do you like bags with a zip top or open?" No planning among the group went into this, but somehow they had me holding different bags, answering their questions, and dying at the thought of owning my own Louis! Needless to say after they saw my reaction to the Neverfull MM in Damier with red lining (I love red!) the hubs marched over to a salesman and made the purchase. We carried the store bag (with box) around all day. That sucker was heavy!

I had every intention of returning the bag when we got back to Houston. I couldn't stomach the thought of paying so much for a bag! But it was beautiful and it was something I had always wanted. Why didn't I deserve it? I work hard. I have a loving husband (who had saved for 9 months to get it for me). Wouldn't it be an insult to him if I returned it? stayed! It has been one of the best bags I have owned. I purchased a baseshaper to make sure the bottom would never sag and will be purchasing an insert for extra support and compartments soon.

So thank you for my friends, family, and followers for liking my facebook page last year and getting me the bag I've always dreamed of owning. If you haven't liked the page, then please do. 

Until next post...xoxo Becca