2017 and I'm Back!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hello stranger! Happy 2017! I already have a feeling it's going to be a great year! How have y'all been?

I know, I know. I've been the stranger for the past month. Or two. Well, lets be honest, probably the past whole year! But between cooking dinner, doing laundry, trying to keep the house straight, going to work for at least 40 hours every week and trying to have a bit of a social life, things can get really crazy and sometimes things have to give. Unfortunately the blog was that thing. I had decided to put the blog on the back burner to focus on life and my job and just having an awesome relationship with the people in my life. If y'all are anything like me, 24 hours in the day is not enough.

But now that the holidays are over, I think I am ready to jump back into blog life! I've missed it so much. My creative juices are flowing and I honestly feel like something has been missing in my life. Like I couldn't show my creativity as much and, well, that made me very sad.

I can't promise y'all that I will be back 100% posting 5 days a week. I'm going to start a crawl before I run! My goal is to post once a week. I'll see how that goes and if I have so many ideas I'm busting at the seems, I will increase it. But as for today, I figured I would start off small and dip a toe or two into the blogging water. Enough to tell you that I'm back, give a small holiday recap and let you know I'd be pleased if you still follow me and were on the lookout for new posts to come!

NPG and I had an awesome Christmas and New Years though! It went way too fast! Did anybody else feel that way? I felt like I was just getting off of work on Thursday before Christmas, I went to sleep and it was already Christmas day! And then back to work! Where does the time go?

We had a really nice Christmas though. NPG and I spent time with friends and family visiting everybody and just having a grand ole' time. We went to look at Christmas lights with some of my friends and then visiting my family Christmas eve and Christmas day.

Christmas was really about giving for me this year. I wanted to make sure I gave really thought out gifts. I think I did a superb job because NPG was elated with one of his Christmas gifts. Most of them were practical like warm winter clothes or heated gloves. Because really, who wouldn't want that when you get over a foot of snow at a time! But his biggest gift, and my personal favorite, was his biggest surprise! He had no clue what he was getting!

Texas String Art! He loved it. He had no clue I had been working on it. I'm happy we will finally have something on the walls besides my temporary Christmas decorations. Though NPG wants to put it in his office with his other Texas stuff. But baby steps y'all!

Thanks to Pinterest for the idea and getting down to it and making this cool project, I've come up with some of my next blog posts. I've decided to use my creative juices for getting back into blogging. Making this state string art will actually be my first real post back!

I've had the urge to create a vlog channel for a while. So I need your advice.

Would having blog posts and vlogs with tutorials be something you're interested in? 
Would you be interested in watching craft and recipe tutorials instead of just reading them? 

Please let me know in the comments below!

Vlogmas 2016!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Well, well... back once again after a month or two of absence. I swear, this life thing can be hard sometimes. I never used to post on the weekends because I felt like it was time for me to relax and prepare for the week ahead. Now it seems like the weekends might be my only time for blogging. I have such a hard time sitting down to write anymore.

This calls a picture of Bently because everyone needs to see a cute dog sometimes! We'll just go with the sad picture of him though because we are sad I can't keep up with the blog! But don't worry, there is good news!

With my unfortunate lack of time, I decided I would seriously consider getting into the vlogging community. I am starting with Vlogmas (vlogging December 1 through December 25) and seeing how that goes. If it goes well, the vlog may stay more active. I hope y'all will keep up with me over there as well as read up on some of my going-ons around here on this little blog!

Check out Vlogmas Day One here as well as Vlogmas Day 2 below! Don't forget to subscribe and like the videos!

What is something y'all might like to see in future Vlogmas videos?

Fall is Here!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Warm days with cool evening. Apple picking. Pumpkin patches. Warm cider. Football. Scarves. The list could go on and on. Oh Fall, I always dread your arrival but I love you once you get here!

Does anybody else feel that way? I think I dread it because I know that Winter is next and I dread those short days and long nights. But all the perks of fall definitely make up for it.

One of my absolute favorite things about Fall (and Christmas for that matter) is decorating the house! I love being able to transform the house into different looks and feels with the seasons or holidays. And this year I'm all about some pumpkins!

This is actually my first year of decorating the house myself. Before living with my parents, my mom always decorated, but I'm finally getting my hand at it. NPG's mom and sister also used to decorate so we had some of their leftover fall decorations. I loved being able to mix their fun cozy decorations with mine and bring it all together. Plus it is a great chance for me to practice my interior photography! :)


Happy Fall Y'all!

Photography Passion Brought to Life

Friday, September 9, 2016

Photography has always been a passion of mine. I went into high school (so long ago *frown* ) knowing that I wanted to work on the yearbook and take awesome pictures that would be captured forever. I got my first DSLR back sometime around 2008 (maybe before then?!) but you can read more about that and my new camera here. After posting that I saw a Groupon for a walking tour for photography. The photographer would teach you how to use your camera and walk with you through the city showing you how to compose your pictures. 

Hands on help is always better helpful so I bought the Groupon for my mom and I. This Groupon was almost disastrous, but it worked out in the end. I put a sneak peak of some of my pictures in my August Vlog

After getting quite a few shots I really liked I set out to figure out ways to better edit my photos in Photoshop. I was able to figure out some "actions" and got free downloads, score! I was able to make my pictures look brighter and more vibrant with this. For example here is the before and after of my mom and I that the photographer took while we were at the park.

Even since editing this photo I've learned so much more! I want to keep getting better and sharing my photos (and hopefully one day make some money because of it). But right now, I just want to share my photos. So I created an Unsplash account. If you are unfamiliar with them, it is free pictures you can use in any way you want to. I loved using pictures from there for my blog. So now I'm glad I can give back. My goal is to get 20 likes on my photos!

You can check out some of my pictures, like them or use them for whatever you want! Click HERE to go to my Unsplash page! 

Dinner Ideas for Busy People

Friday, September 2, 2016

It gets very hard trying to come up with dinners to cook when you work in the evening. Cooking dinner for me takes place at roughly 7 or 8 am! I proceed to pack it up in to-to containers for myself and put the rest in the fridge for NPG for dinner. It's not easy to ask yourself what you want to eat for dinner when it's nearly 12 hours before dinner time!

I decided the best move for me to make was to make a meal plan for the month (August) and it extremely helped me to know what I was cooking and actually cook it. Plus it saved on grocery bills since we knew exactly what we were going to eat and what we needed to buy. I think one week I spent $40 for the whole week, minus dog food and alcohol.

Some of these recipes I saw on friends pages so I will list the links below so you can also try them out. Some really turned out to be favorites so I switched out some meals to make our favorites again.  

Basically I tried to have something new at least twice a week and have leftovers often so the fridge didn't get too piled up with food since it's only 2 of us eating. I'm thinking for some of the casseroles I may cut them in half next time because I know personally I get tired of a meal after eating it twice. But I can say the dog sure enjoyed the leftovers that we didn't finish. Also, I didn't plan for the weekends because we could be doing anything or going anywhere so they were often quick meals or eating out.

So without further ado, here is my August meal plan:

Recipes linked by date

3. Goulash
8. Stuffed Bell Peppers
9 (23). Skillet Sausage and Veggies
11. Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
12. Cowboy Casserole
15. One Skillet Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
17. King Ranch Casserole
18. Buffalo Ranch Chicken Quesadillas

If y'all know of any other great recipes please share them!  I'm still filling in my future months calendars!