Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Favorites

I'm joining the link-up today with my Friday Favorites!! Henley and I have been getting in lots and lots of quality time together this week, so my favorites mostly revolve around her. Enjoy lots of cute pictures! 


The main event of our week has been the North Texas Fair and Rodeo! Ben is in charge of the beer booths this year (yes, I feel super classy telling people that), so he has been up there pretty much 24/7 for the past 10 days. We have gone up there every night to say hi, ride in the mule (or "mooooole" as Henley says), and go to the petting zoo. Henley is obsessed with the petting zoo!! They is a little calf and about 3-4 baby (like tiny) goats that she adores. She is not so much a fun of the other goats and bigger animals walking close to her. 

The first official night of the fair was also an absolute downpour. My sister, her husband, their little boy and my parents came up anyway and we braved the mud and rain. It was a blast and the kids could not have looked cuter! 

They also have a bounce house that she owned last night! She bounced for a good 30 minutes all by herself and was soaked with sweat when she got out. We will be visiting that again tonight! Tonight is our last night because we have my nephew's birthday party on Saturday, so I promised Henley a pony ride since she asks to ride all the other animals! I'm super excited! 

Last night she tried to get on stage twice while the first concert was going on! She loves loves loves the music and usually makes a bee line to be front and center to clap after each song. I will be so sad that we won't have our nightly activity together, but we will be happy for Ben to get home. We'll just have lots to look forward to next year! 

Henley was mesmerized by the rodeo! 


This week, I have also started keeping our best friend's little boy, Noah. He isn't old enough yet for the daycare he's going to go to, so I am keeping him for the first month of school. It has been a blast! 

Henley and Noah play so well together and I'm pretty sure they are also in love! We have done something fun everyday this week and they have had so much fun together. They have also napped like champs and given this mom time to clean the house up after their morning mess and get some work done too. I'm not gonna lie, I'm liking this two kids thing! 

They love giving each other kisses and hugs! 

Our activities this week have included: an indoor play place, the library, the park, a trip to the donut shop, a fun walk and afternoon snacks on the front porch. We have loved keeping sweet Noah! 


Y'all, all of a sudden, Henley has enough hair for ponytails and pigtails!! It is killing me! I put her hair up on Monday in her usual little palm tree and thought, hmm...that looks kind of weird now with all of her other hair. Sad day! So, we tried a ponytail on Tuesday and pigtails on Wednesday! I am obsessed! With her super sweaty hair at the fair on Thursday, we were even able to put it up in a high ponytail on top of her head. I can't wait for braids!! 

When did my little girl get so big?!?


Last week it was super rainy, so Henley and I found some fun activities to do. One afternoon, when she napped early so she was up early, we painted with pudding in the bathtub and played in the rain. Another afternoon, we went to a local gymnastics place for toddler time and Henley was in love. Rainy day activities are a favorite of mine this week! I had so much fun watching Henley discover some new things! 

My little future Olympian! 

This was such an easy activity to put together. I just combined vanilla pudding with some food coloring, put them in a cupcake tin and plopped Henley in the bathtub with them. I got her some paintbrushes I had on hand to paint with and she loved it! She even enjoyed painting her toes and belly button! 

Puddle jumping is definitely a new favorite of Henley's! She kept climbing down our porch steps and yelling "bouncy, bouncy," and then coming back up the steps. There wasn't a puddle right in front of our steps, but she had fun anyway. She finally got the hang of it at the fair when there were plenty of puddles to bounce in! 

I love looking back on these posts and seeing what we were doing each week and how much we enjoyed our time together! This week has been one for the books and I will definitely be looking back at these pictures! 

I hope y'all have had a great week too and have some favorites to look back on! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

My New Favorite Workout

Y'all!! I am kind of obsessed with this new workout I came up with last week! 

I am currently keeping our best friend's little man for the first month of school, so I am not getting to the gym at my normal times. That means that I am not going to my usual classes, so my workouts are completely up to me. I am trying my hardest not to just hop on the elliptical and zone out for an hour and actually push myself each day that I go. This workout absolutely kills a good way! I leave the gym feeling like I maxed myself out and that my whole body got a great workout. 

The first time I did it, an older man even came up to me and asked me about the timer I was using. He commented on my workout and told me it looked like I was really working hard. I love hearing these things when I'm at the gym! 

I will definitely be pulling this one out of my bag at least once a week! 

My New Favorite Workout
Start with a 5 minute jog 
(each time I've done this, I've ended up running a warm-up mile just because it felt good, so do what you need.) 

Do each set twice through
Squats - 15 reps 
Squat with a left leg side lift - 15 reps 
Squat with a right leg side lift - 15 reps 
Box jumps - 30 seconds 

Bicep curls - 15 reps 
Servers with a leg lift - 15 reps 
Outer hammer curls -15 reps 
Burpees - 30 seconds 

Tricep kickbacks - 15 reps 
Skull crushers - 15 reps 
Tricep press (like chest press, but with elbows grazing rib cage) - 15 reps 
Tricep dips - 30 seconds 

Walking lunges - 30 reps 
Deadlifts - 15 reps 
Plie squats - 15 reps 
Touchdown jacks - 30 seconds 

Bent over row - 15 reps
Upright row - 15 reps 
Front raises - 15 reps 
Side raises - 15 reps 
Mountain climbers - 30 seconds 

You can use whatever weight you are comfortable with for each exercise. I typically use 30 pounds for the squats, 10 pounds for the biceps, 5-7.5 pounds for triceps, 20 pounds for lunges set, and 5-7.5 pounds for rows and raises. 

For my 30 second intervals, I use the "Interval Timer" app. It is seriously the best! You just press start and it makes the sound for you to start and stop, so you won't be looking at the clock the whole time. GAME CHANGER!! You can also create new interval workouts or just keep editing it to change the times you would like to be working and resting. It is fabulous! 

This is what the app looks like. 

Be on the lookout for more fun workouts to come! I am excited to be creating my own again! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday: Advice to My High School Self

Today I'm joining Andrea's link-up for Show and Tell Tuesdays, and today is ADVICE TO YOUR HIGH SCHOOL SELF. 

Ok friends, lets just be real and say that this list could go on forever. I'll try to just go with the most important advice, but if I could go back, I would have a lot to say to myself in high school. I liked high school, but I can't say that it was my favorite time in my life. My high school Young Life leader hit the nail on the the head when he saw me after a semester in college and said, "I always knew you weren't a high school girl. You're a college girl." 

College was my jam! High school was good and all, but I finally came into my own in college and am so thankful for that. Life got so much easier! 

So here we go...

- Quit worrying so much about how people feel about you. You don't have to change your opinions when you're around other people. If they're your friends, they'll love you for you. You don't need to please everyone. Enjoy the people who love you and don't worry about what everyone else is doing! 

- Be nice to your family! It doesn't matter what is going on in the other relationships in your life, you need your family and they love you the most. Don't take everything out on them! 

- Quit investing so much in your boyfriend! Ditch him every once in a while and go hang out with the girls! Oh man...this one is HUGE for me! I so wish that I would have skipped hanging out with my boyfriend more often and gone to those fun girl's nights or just made plans with friends. 

- Respect other relationships...yes, your closest friend might be a guy, but you've always got to respect his girlfriend just like you would want them to respect your relationship with your boyfriend. 

- Open up dang it!! You're never going to be totally comfortable in your own skin until you have other people who know all your SH!*! If no one knows everything that's going on in your life, then you'll always be uncomfortable around everyone. 

- DANCE!!! You will have so much fun with your friends and all the people around you. Plus, it's a place where no one cares what anyone else looks like! Y'all, I never danced at a single dance in high school. Mostly because the guy I dated never wanted to, but oh man did I miss out. When I got to college, I danced! I love dancing!

- And...try new things, not just the things you know you'll be good at or you know that you'll make. If you want to try out for the Wranglers or go back to cheerleading or volleyball, JUST DO IT!! 


Monday, August 15, 2016

The Reality of Social Media

Recently, I have had many conversations with friends about social media and our perception of people. I'm sure we all know that we portray our absolute best on social media, and no one ever knows the truth behind the perfect photos. Don't get me wrong, I love social media and how it allows me to keep up with people (something I am terrible at), and get a peek into other's lives, but it has it's disadvantages too. 

Something that I have always struggled with is the comparison game. I struggled with it growing up, especially in high school and college, and now I can sometimes struggle with it when it comes to marriages and how some people seem to just have everything together. I have to constantly remind myself not to compare and to focus on my family and what we have. 

Having had this conversation with people a lot recently, my Friday afternoon/evening left me laughing when I really wanted to cry. Ok, maybe I didn't really want to cry, but I was super disappointed with how it played out. 

Here's a little comparison of what I posted on social media for our Friday, and how it actually turned out! 

Ben was out of town last week from Wednesday morning until super late on Friday night, so we filled our time with a lot of activities to keep us busy. I planned on taking Henley to the water park again on Friday afternoon after her nap. It was the last day for the park to be open and since it was open until 8, I thought it would be a great way to spend the afternoon/evening. 

I packed a cooler for dinner and after Henley woke up, we loaded up the car and left the house at 4:30. We hit up Sonic for a drink for me and ice for Henley (her very favorite), and then hit the road. I posted this picture as we were leaving Sonic. 

The water park is about 15 minutes from where we were, so we should have gotten there around 5. Things went down hill fast! We got on the highway and immediately hit traffic. It was at least moving for a little while, but it quickly turned to a standstill and the clock was ticking. I also checked the weather before we left the house and it showed that no storms would be rolling into Lewisville (where the water park is) until 9, so I was staying hopeful that we would still get some good time on the slides and in the water. The clock kept ticking...we were in traffic for over an hour. Thankfully we were far enough behind the wreck that shut down the highway that we eventually got to exit and go around it. After that we made it to the park in 10 minutes. Hallelujah! 

We finally got there around can imagine how happy my 20 month old was to be in the car for over an hour. We paid our $3, changed Henley into her bathing suit, and hit the kiddie pool. Henley made it down her favorite slide twice before the lifeguards blew the whistle and we all had to get out on account of the thunder and lightening. Remember how I checked the weather?! Well, it was wrong! Henley sobbed! 

I distracted her with dinner, hoping that once we were finished, the 30 minutes would have passed and we could get back in. Wishful thinking, Natalie! We spent the rest of the evening (yes I waited there until 7:15, hoping that the storms would pass before closing), playing with the buckets I brought on the concrete and playing peek-a-boo behind a pole! 

Henley kept trying to inch closer and closer to the water! 

I finally came to terms with the fact that we were never going to be able to get back in the water, so we left the park and walked across the street to the playground to play for a little while. Henley was more than excited to get to go down some slides! We played for about 30 minutes before it started raining and lightning again, so we loaded up the car and headed for some ice cream. 

This is how we finished up our night, with frozen yogurt and lots and lots of sprinkles!! 

Thankfully, with our Friday night to the water park being a total disaster, we were able to go to the bigger water park in Denton on Sunday with daddy. Henley was thrilled to have Ben there to watch her go down the slides and she even watched Ben and I go down the big slides for a while and had a blast! She loved the lazy river with the tubes that she could sit in all by herself, and she could not get enough of jumping off the side of the indoor pool to Ben. Our Friday was redeemed!! 

Just in case you ever catch yourself thinking, "man she has it all together," or "wow they always seem to be having fun," let me just assure you that I DO NOT HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER. I am pretty much a hot mess 90% of the time. While I will say that Henley is such an easy baby/toddler and I just adore her sweet disposition, she also totally wears me out sometimes and can be all over the place. She is a toddler, so we have our good and bad days! Also, while I love my husband very much, we have had our fair share of issues and are open books about them.We don't get enough time together just he and I, and we definitely need to work on that. 

I just thought I'd ease your mind in case you've ever put me on a pedestal...I'm not sure why you would, but you can go ahead and take me down! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Stranded: Footwear

GET EXCITED!! Today is another edition of STRANDED! 

I love thinking about these hypothetical scenarios, and how could you not love today's topic: FOOTWEAR! 

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take 3 pieces of footwear, what would they be?

This one is pretty much a no-brainer for me. Growing up, I had all sorts of shoes. My mom is definitely a shoe girl, so we all had lots and lots of shoes. Once I started spending my own money, shoes were always the last thing that I thought about for some reason. I still love shoes, but I try to buy pairs that I can pretty much wear with everything, so I don't need a closet full. While I love shoes, I somehow always end up spending my money elsewhere. Don't worry mom, you definitely passed down your love of shoes to Henley! She cannot get enough of shoes! 

My tennis shoes - I actually just bought this pair at the end of last week, but in general, my tennis shoes are rarely ever off of my feet. I sport these on a daily basis and I am loving this new pair. I will obviously need this on the island because I'll have nothing but time on my hands. When I have nothing but time on my hands, I tend to fill it with exercise. I'm sure I'll be running, jumping, using coconuts so I can lift weights, etc. Or, I might use them to build a hut or a raft to get me home! 

These babies are my go-to shoes for the summer. My sweet father-in-law and husband bought them for me 3 or 4 years ago before we headed to the Cayman Islands. They both requested that I wear something other than my beloved Rainbows at the time with my nice clothes! Whoops! I can't say that I would have ever pulled the trigger on purchasing these for myself, but thankfully they did. They go with absolutely everything, and I wear them pretty much every time I put on real clothes during the summer/spring. If you're wondering for yourself whether or not they're worth the price tag, the answer is absolutely! 

Now these are shoes that I don't actually have, but are on my wish list. I figure that 1. didn't uggs start in Australia, so I'm sure I need them on an island?! and 2. these are just so cozy and make me happy, and I will need some cozy and happy on a deserted island. I'm sure the evenings and mornings are chilly, so they would be fabulous! 

What is your MUST-HAVE footwear? 

I can't wait for the next stranded link-up with Shay and Erika

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday: Worst School Pictures

Oh you guys...have I got a treat for you!! 

Those of you who grew up with me or have seen my "school bus" (the fabulous thing that held all my school pics in my parent's house), you know what I'm talking about. For the rest of you, believe me, you are about to experience something awesome! 

I can't really say that any of my school pictures are all that great. I went through the awkward stage pretty much right up to my senior year. First of all, my mom was a fan of the chili bowl haircut and she also added to the awesomeness by putting a curling iron to it. I was also a pretty big tomboy, so caring about hair and makeup were not really a thing for me for a good while. I rocked the middle part (not in a good way) for quite a while, and I'm pretty sure I didn't own a good straightener until my junior year in high school. That being ya go! 

I asked my mom for my "school bus" pictures and she delivered! 

1st grade - a front tooth growing in and a curled chili bowl. Man, what a fabulous combination! 

2nd grade - check out the dress! Again with the curled chili bowl! 

4th grade - Oh you guys! I remember everything about this picture! This was my "chubby" phase. I hit my growth spurt hard in 4th grade. My best friend at the time was a bada$$ in my opinion, and she convinced me to put on this lip smackers lipstick before the picture. My mom was thrilled (sarcasm). Thanks Brittany Chapman for making me feel pretty dang cool! Also, the headband. I mean...WOW!! 

6th grade - Finally, the hair has grown out a little bit! 

7th grade - Oh gosh! Could someone please explain to me how I always had good friends and a boyfriend?!? I mean, really!! This was the only year I had braces thank goodness! 

9th grade - I loved this shirt and it was from...wait for it...Wet Seal! That's right!! 

10th grade - Back to the middle part! 

My senior picture - I finally took more of an interest in my appearance, probably because these were professional pictures and my mom made me! 

I hope you enjoyed a little walk through memory lane with me! 

What was your favorite/least favorite memory from your school days?