Everything Erica (1)

As a lifestyle blogger, it’s good to keep up with the treads, find out what everyone is talking about or what they are up to, getting the best advice to starting a project, to get over something, to share how you feel…I could go on and on.

August has gone by extremely fast and I do realize that it’s only the middle of the month but I honestly have no idea where this entire year has gone. So far in August I have discovered a couple of things that I wanted to share with you just in case some of you all have interest in new things.

So here’s Everything Erica (1)

Reading: Into the Dark-Elizabeth Haynes

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I started this book recently and I’m about half way through it. I try to read as often as I can. Usually during my lunch break I’ll take my book up to the Capitol and read outside on a bench..in the shade of course because your girl has no pigments in her skin. Anyways, that’s besides the point.

The book goes back and forth from 2003 to 2007. When I first started reading it, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. It was easy to pick up the fact that there were flashbacks (when it does, it tells the year at the beginning). Its a true page turner and may be slow starting out for others. I do enjoy a good suspense book or a book that has a plot twist.  Something that seems too perfect to be true turns into jealousy and something dark. I’m eager to keep reading!

Watching: Orange is the New Black (season 6)

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I know, I know…I’m a couple of seasons behind but I actually completely forgot about the show at one point in my life. I decided to start back into it. I’m half way through season 6. To be honest with you, I really enjoyed the first two or three seasons of the show…after that, it kinda got boring for me and a little strange. Of course it’s pretty different but I even got Kane to watch it with me. Yeah, sure, he’s a little confused because this is the first season he’s watched…but I’m sure he secretly enjoys watching it with me!

Listening: Soulmate-Justin Timberlake

This is actually his new single that I just happened to pass while on the iTunes app.

SUMMER STARTS NOW!

It’s a nice, fun, little summer jam to listen to while on a walk, working out, sitting around or even enjoying a nice car ride.

Obsessing: FOMO Jelly Face Mask from Lush

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I’m a huge fan of Lush and a lot of their cosmetics. I recently discovered the FOMO Jelly Face Mask. This has helped my skin a lot with moisturizing and the redness in my face.

Every morning once my face is clean from my shower, I rub a fair amount on my face and let it sit for 10 minutes. I then rinse it off with warm water and pat my face dry. I have noticed a significant change in the redness which has reduced. Plus it makes my face feel clean and moisturized (not oily) at the same time.

Trying: 20 Seconds of Courage.

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This has been a series for a couple of weeks now during our church service. Taking 20 seconds of courage by choosing faith over fear. It takes 20 seconds for a battle to go on in your head. You decide…faith or fear.

There’s my August update for you all. What are you all currently reading, watching, listening, obsessing and trying!? I’d love to know!

XO!

E!

 

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Most Awkward Date

grossReed (not his real name, but we will call him Reed for privacy purposes), had a very distinct tattoo on his arm, red hair, was a cook at a local restaurant, went to Hawkeye Community College, met him at UNI, also met him on Tinder.

Most. Awkward. Date. Ever.

Kane and I have exchanged our nice share of awkward dates, I find his really weird…he finds mine…well awkward and funny. I’m sure we’ve all had plenty of awkward dates that we wished would have ended sooner than expected, so I decided to share one of mine. But before I begin, it was honestly hard to choose which one to share because I’ve had A LOT of awkward dates. Ask any of my friends.

Reed** picked me up at the dorm parking lot (I wasn’t going to let him know which dorm I lived in..specifically for this reason). At first the date was going very well, we took a walk on a trail by a lake or a pond or whatever it was called. But don’t worry, it was broad daylight and there were people around. As time went by, we decided that were getting hungry so we should probably go somewhere for supper.  I guess Applebees it was.

When we got to Applebees, I honestly don’t remember what I ordered but he ended up ordering a burger and fries (I remember this for the upcoming part of the date). He ate his fries first but waited last minute for the sandwich. “You can’t reheat up fries because it doesn’t taste the same.” Fine, I get it. I know people that do it but how the tone of his voice was just made it awkward. Whatever. I finished my food and he ended up eating all of his fries and burger. As we sat there waiting for our check (he paid), he asked if I wanted to go back to his place to watch a movie. Fine, lets do it. He lived in Waterloo I and had no idea where we were going or how to get out.

When we arrived at his place he asked me if I would stay in the car for a minute and he would be right back. First off, leaving me in the car alone in Waterloo was not my idea of fun. I didn’t complain but agreed to sit in the car and wait. A couple of minutes went by and he told me that I had to be quiet when I got inside and go down to the basement. Uhhh…what!? I told him I had to use the bathroom and he told me that it was down the hall but I had to be really quiet.

While I was in the bathroom, I heard an older man talking but didn’t think anything of it. I did what Reed said and was quiet as I went downstairs to the basement. Let me tell you, it was a cement basement, cold and scary but it was fully lit. As I approached the basement the first thing I noticed was how MESSY it was. Random boxes, clothes, garbage, random items just everywhere. As I walked more into the basement, there was the ‘living room/bedroom’. A couch, where I’m assuming he slept on, a chair and a TV. Ohhhh boy. So I sat down on the couch and we started the movie. I honestly couldn’t tell you what movie we watched because I was trying to come up with an escape plan. As the movie was playing he soon STRADDLED me and he full on scared the crap out of me. He tried to kiss me but I told him no, to get off me and that I didn’t do that on the first date (HA!) he respected that and got away from me. I told him that he needed to take me back to the dorm parking lot and that the night was over. Let’s just say the entire ride back to UNI was quiet.

The night ended. He texted me the next day. I told him that I didn’t like him in that way. He freaked out on me saying that he thought we had a good connection. HAAAAAAAAAA…no.

So, the man who I heard while I was going to the bathroom….I’m assuming it was his dad and Reed snuck me into his house. Are we in high school? I will never know for sure who the man was or why he had me be really quiet when I got inside. Does it matter? Not now but it did freak me out.

I never spoke to or saw Reed ever again. But if I do…I may run away…

What’s your most awkward date?

XO!

E!

 

Waking Up At 5AM Changed My Life

How many people can be a night owl and still wake up at the ass crack of dawn? There’s probably not many people that can do that. But I am one of them. That’s right. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sleep but I also don’t like wasting time or the day away. Hence why I usually wake up around 5am…not every morning though. Hello, weekends are made to ‘sleep in’. By sleeping in, I mean 7:30/8:00am.

In the past, I would get up around 6:30am every morning. Whether it was school related or job related. I did take 8am classes so I could get them out of the way, my school day would be over earlier so I could get my internship in and I could also go to my part time job…can’t forget about having a social life, right?

So getting up early for me wasn’t that big of a deal. I became a morning person. When I moved to Des Moines, I started to become an early(ier) bird. For starters, I had a 15 minute (usually) commute to work when I lived in West Des Moines and worked in Des Moines. Now I live on the edge of Altoona and Des Moines so it’s not so much a long of a drive from before. Waking up early in the morning has made me productive and has changed my lifestyle.

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Most people say that they don’t have time in the morning to do specific things because they wake up, get ready and go to work so that leaves after work to crunch a lot of things in.

The night before, I like to do a couple of things to save me some time in the morning…so I can do other things and not feel too rushed to head out the door for work.

 

  • I wash my dishes from that evening. ( I can’t go to sleep knowing that there are dishes in my sink)

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  • I put everything I need in my bag that I take to work.

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  • If I work out in the morning, I make sure that I have everything together in one place ready to go.

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  • I figure out what I’m taking for lunch to work in the morning.

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I limit my distractions in the morning. I try not to text anyone in the morning and wait until my way to work to talk on the phone/have a conference call with my mom and sister. I usually respond back to text messages when I arrive at work. But sometimes I will be texting people in the morning while getting ready for work.

Working out in the morning makes me have an open mind for the day. I feel more energized throughout the afternoon because we all usually hit that brick wall around 3…am I right? I start the day off on the right foot knowing that I did something healthy that morning. It also helps me get at least 24 ounces of water in. Hey, it’s not even 6am and I already have that accomplished!

I have a talk with God. I wake up in the morning, thank God for another day of being alive, asking Him to let me have a great day and if I’m struggling through something during the day, if He would power me through it. I also thank Him for the amazing people in my life and I hope for them to have a great day as well.

In the mornings, I also find myself tiding up or cleaning something. Why? Because I don’t have to worry about it after work. After work, I usually come home, change, grab something quick to eat full of protein or drink a protein shake, go work out with Kane and then we hang out for the rest of the evening. I have more free time to do the things that I want to do.

I have also ran to Walmart before in the morning before going to work. I wasn’t fully ready for work yet but I still went. I was a good cat mom and went and got Eli cat food because someone forgot that he was out.

I also read in the morning. It gets my brain moving and plus if you are reading a good book, why put it down?

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Doing all these things in the morning because I wake up at 5 am has changed my life. I have more time to get things done around my apartment, open my mind up, still be healthy, not rushing to get ready in the morning (I’m a girl..it can take us some time to be presentable) and to just enjoy the start of a brand new day. If you don’t believe that it has changed my life, then you should try for yourself. I understand if most people do enjoy their sleep and can’t get up in the morning, that’s who YOU are. But, you can always sleep when you’re dead or make time for a nap.

I feel like it has made me a better person. Appreciating the smalls things in life like the morning sunrise, morning cuddles with Eli, waking up to a brand new day, being able to get up out of bed, being able to work out, take a warm shower or having food in my fridge for breakfast and lunch. I may get tired throughout the day but I think it’s well worth waking up early in the morning and getting a jump start on your day!

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XO!

E!

 

 

To The College Professor Who Impacted Me, Thank You!

Some people would say that your high school years are the best years of your life. First off, who came up with that? Second, they were wrong. My college years were some of the best years of my life. I went to a great community college and then to the University of Northern Iowa where I met some amazing life long friends and professors who really impacted my life.

Meet Teresa Jackson, or Mrs. J.

Mrs. J is an advanced instructor in the communications department and the theater director at Iowa Central Community College.

If any of you know Teresa Jackson, you know she’s smart, is FANTASTIC at her job, caring, gentle, sweet, an amazing mother, loving wife, awesome christian and energetic.

When I first met Mrs. J, I thought she was one of the most heart-felt person I’ve ever met. She was kind, gentle, sweet and she always knew how to make someone comfortable when meeting them. Her door is always open ready for one of her students, even alumni, to pop in and say hi.

When I started my semester at Iowa Central in 2010, I was still a huge fan of theater and wanted to continue to do it. I applied for a theater scholarship, which I received, and one of the requirements was to try out for the play and musical. I auditioned for the fall play, but didn’t get a part. Instead, I was the rehearsal assistant. Now, let me tell you…I feel like I’ve learned a lot more behind the scenes rather than being on stage.

My duties were making sure that I wrote down everything…I mean EVERYTHING when it came to blocking and I did a darn good job at it! (Not to toot my own horn or anything), made sure props were on the stage correctly, made sure the cast was gathered and where they were suppose to be, made sure no one went hungry when it came to ordering pizza for late night practices, ran into Teresa’s office if she forgot something…AND she would always tell me that I could eat some of her tootsie rolls…MMMM!

Throughout my time at Iowa Central, I took both of her acting classes and participated in productions. I learned many things by taking her acting classes even when a play was supposed to be funny…when we made it serious…ooops. Or when Becca and I NAILED our Chapter Two scene. Thank you, thank you very much! I definitely learned to get out of my comfort zone and to use my laugh to cry (also used this during improv!), the reaction is KEY, you need to pay attention and follow directions otherwise you have to run a lap, really punch your lines and movements, practice, practice, practice but most importantly…have fun!

Mrs J. taught me that you can balance your school, social, family, and christian life, job, working out, and still find time to take a quick cat nap in between. I’ve seriously never met someone who can balance so much and still have their life together. Mrs. J is SO hard working between having kids that were still in high school (when I was in college) that did after school activities, to teaching, late night practices, working out, enjoying her time with her family and husband, to going to church and still having time to talk to anyone throughout the day.

She has also taught me that it’s okay to get out of your comfort zone and to do things that you would’t expect yourself to do, to take chances, follow through on what you do, make goals and reach them, don’t just dream about something…chase it.

Iowa Central is a home to me. I met some of the most amazing people there during my college days and it was close to my hometown. Teresa helped with that feeling. I always enjoy going back to the fall and spring productions because they are truly amazing to watch. She puts her own spin on productions that make it so unique and want you coming back for more.

Mrs. J has taught me so much not just in the theater world but in the real world.

I love watching her reaction when she spots me from across the room and she gives one of the best hugs I have ever received in my life. She’s always so happy to see her students and alumni and she’s so caring when it comes to an update on life.

Mrs. J, I want to thank you for the impact you have made on me throughout my life. I truly enjoy visiting you and catching up. You’re one amazing woman who can conquer anything and you let your students and alumni know that they can do the exact same thing. You’re a rock star and I appreciate everything you have done!

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XO!

E!

 

 

You’ll Be In My Heart

Before I write a blog, most of the time I plan out what I’m going to write. Like my points that I want to get across and then I bullet point those points. For this blog post, I didn’t do any of it. I just pressed my fingers to the keyboard and started to type what I felt.

Today is Father’s Day. A day celebrating and honoring dads and celebrating fatherhood. Every year was special to my dad. Calling him in the morning wishing him a Happy Father’s Day, going over to see him, taking him out for lunch or supper, giving him a gift that had to do with the Cowboys, laughing with him and just enjoying being with him. This year is completely different.

There isn’t a phone call.

There isn’t the sound of his voice on the other side of the phone.

The screen doesn’t say, “Calling Daddy…”

There isn’t a gift bag sitting in the living room being ready to grab to take over.

There isn’t the car ride to Storm Lake.

There isn’t the walker in the back of the car.

There isn’t anyone in the passenger’s seat.

There isn’t an empty Coors Light bottle on the table.

There isn’t a stack of ribs to be eaten.

There isn’t laughter filling the air.

There aren’t stories being shared.

There aren’t smiles in the room.

There aren’t hugs being passed around.

There isn’t a “I love you, dad! Happy Father’s Day”.

There’s only tears and emptiness.

I wish I could see you.

I wish I could hug you.

I wish I could see your smile.

I wish I could hear your laugh.

I wish I could hear your voice.

I have my dad’s obituary hanging in my office, on my fridge and in my living room.

I have pictures of him and I on my bookshelf, on my night stand, and I carry a picture with me in my purse.

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my dad. Everyday I miss him even more. I still don’t cope with it very well and I have my breakdowns randomly at least once a weak.

I was angry for a while because I didn’t understand why he wasn’t here anymore. Why he had to leave so soon. Why, why, why!!

I won’t be able to have my father-daughter dance with him.

He won’t be able to walk me down for my wedding when that time comes.

It sucks not being able to just pick up the phone and call him when I wanted to talk to him.

It sucks not being able to sit down with him, have a conversation with him and laugh with him.

I do know that he’s always with me and there’s always a piece of him that I carry with me where ever I go. It’s just hard not physically seeing him and talking to him.

So not just today but any other day, tell your dad (and even mom) how much you love them, appreciate them and thank them for everything that they have done. Give extra love to the fathers who are SUPER awesome and deserve the world because my dad was super awesome and deserved so much in life.

Happy Father’s Day!

XO!

E!

 

Let’s Not Sugar Coat Anything

Sugar. Mmm…who doesn’t love sugar? Sugar in your coffee, sugar in your cookies…sugar cookies, sugar in ice cream, sugar in candy bars. Sugar, sugar, sugar. Sugar is every where. But is it coated on the truth? No. You can’t sugar coat the truth if you REALLY want to know the truth.

I’m nine months post op as of June 6th. Isn’t that crazy? I had my nine month check up on Tuesday, June 4th…

I walked into my appointment with a notebook full of questions and concerns. As I filled out a piece of paper (the same questions every time), I waited until a nurse came and got me so I could weigh in. As I stepped on the scale, I was relieved and happy.

The nurse sat me down and we went through my numbers, blood pressure, pulse, medications and any other changes. Afterwards my dietitian walked in with a HUGE smile on her face. She told me that I looked great, healthy and happy. She answered a lot of my questions like how many calories I should be getting in now that I’m nine months out, how many grams of protein, carbs and fats for each meal (which did help a lot).

After she left, the physician came in…she also had a huge smile on her face and we ended up taking a closer and deeper look at my current numbers. She congratulated me on my success and told me that I’ve lost 75% of my body weight and that they set a goal for their patients to lose 60% by their one year. I have already surpassed it which is TRULY amazing. I’m seriously stunned.

Before my surgery when I had an appointment with my surgeon, she told me the weight she predicted I would be at one year. I’m already in that range, which is another truly amazing thing being only nine months post-op.

Overall, my appointment went very well and it was reassuring knowing that I’m still right on track even when I do have some mistakes and fall off the wagon.

I walked out of my appointment a very happy, confident and healthy person and I WILL continue to feel that way.

Let me jump to all the good things that have came out of this these past nine months:

  • My joints feel better
  • I have more energy
  • I can work out longer
  • My A1C levels are normal
  • My blood pressure is under control
  • My blood work is great
  • I feel better mentally and physically
  • I love getting rid of clothes that don’t fit
  • I love shopping NOT in the plus size section anymore
  • My confidence has boosted

The negatives:

  • The excess skin
  • Slider foods are a real thing
  • I’m way more emotional
  • My hormones have changed and my period has been out of wack—even when I’m on birth control
  • I NEED to take my vitamins every day (but shouldn’t everyone)
  • Hair loss is a real thing. REAL THING!

Now, let’s not sugar coat anything and get into the real truth:

I feel like people judge me when I go out to eat or if I eat in front of them…”You can’t have that..can you?”: Truth be told…some foods sit better in my stomach than most. Some foods I can tolerate better than other people who have had the sleeve done. It’s my body, mind your own business…BUT I do appreciate you being curious and concerned….

We still get hungry: Just because my stomach is smaller, doesn’t mean I’m never hungry. I do get hungry and sometimes even hangry. Give me a piece of cheese and I’ll be fine.

I’ve made mistakes: Yes, I probably shouldn’t’ have had that ice cream, chocolate, bowl of potato chips or ate more than what I should have. Yes, I get it. I made a mistake. We are all human. Kane always tells me that I shouldn’t beat myself up over it, do I? Of course I do. Do I get over it? Yes. Everyday is a new day.

I drank alcohol: Most people that I’ve talked to who have had surgery and drink get drunker quicker (1/2 a glass of vodka water for me) but sober up quicker. I have gone out a couple of times and have drank. Does that make me a bad person? No. Should I be drinking? Probably not…but it’s not every day and it’s not a large amount. I’m over my ‘drunken days’ and I hate not being able to control my thoughts or my movements. It’s once in a blue moon.

I’ve had more coffee than what I should have: You’re very limited to how much coffee to drink if you’ve had the sleeve done. Coffee is very acidic and it can develop ulcers in your stomach. But, I’m a coffee snob. I love coffee too much. Let’s just say that I have cut down on my coffee intake drastically.

I hate the taste of Premier Protein: IIICCKKK! Some people don’t like it either but do I take it? Yes. Because I NEED protein.

I don’t always get my 64+ ounces of water in a day: I try. I really do. You all are probably like, “What? 64 ounces is a piece of cake!” Yes…if you can chug water. I can’t. If I even TRY to chug water, it hurts and I pay for it. Something that I can’t do now-a-days. SIP SIP SIP.

I don’t exercise everyday: It’s true. Some weeks it may be going to the gym 3 times. Some weeks it may be 5 times. It varies. BUT the nights that I don’t go to the gym, I get up early in the morning and do a home workout before getting ready for work. If I can wake up in the morning, so can you.

I get discouraged: ALL. THE. TIME. I still see my 275 pound old self (look, I said it…) in the mirror. Sometimes I feel like my 275 pound old self. Sometime I feel like I’m not getting enough calories throughout the day . Sometimes I feel like I’m getting TOO much calories throughout the day. And I see that people who have had the surgery have lost faster than me and look better than me. WAIT! Our bodies are all different…I need to remind myself that it’s not a competition.

I have had thoughts of “I’m better than other people”:  UGH. I cringed when I typed that out. But it’s true. I have had those thoughts and I hate it. I absolutely hate it because 1) It’s not true 2) why am I having those thoughts and 3) that’s not like me to do that. Oooofta! It takes a mental toll on you and I’m so sorry that I have even had those thoughts!

I love my carbs:  I love popcorn. Plain. Simple. Well, not plain popcorn, it’s gotta have some butter and some nacho cheese seasoning. I love the fact that my stomach can tolerate it but I hate it because it’s considered a ‘slider food’. Pasta? Bread? Rice? Oh, you mean veggie noodles, no bread and cauliflower rice? Why, yes!!

I miss being able to drink with my meals: Yup, can’t drink 10 minutes before a meal, during a meal and 40 minutes after a meal. Why? Because if you drink while eating, it pushes the nutrition out and makes room for more food. Plus, it’s been said that if you drink while eating, it’s going to hurt. Not worth it. But I do get excited once that 40 minutes is up to be able to drink again!

There are foods that I miss having: Ohhhh boy, yes! There are food that I miss. Spaghetti. Ohhhh do I miss spaghetti, lasagna, French toast, toast, pancakes, waffles, muffins, cookies, ice cream, Oreos, cereal with milk. The list could go on and on!

I’ve thought and considered going to a food counselor: Before surgery, I was required to go to two mental health evaluations and talk to a counselor about my eating habits and to see if I was addicted to food. Come to find out, they thought I wasn’t as addicted to food as I thought I was…so I put it in my head that I wasn’t at all. I was eating healthy but my portion size was what was out of control. After having surgery, you realize and know that you can’t eat like how you used to. Can’t be having that junk food let alone the insane amount of food that you thought was ‘okay’. I have to chew 30 times before swallowing, eat slow and not take as big of bites as what I used to do. Sometimes, I don’t follow those rules and I secret eat. Yes, secret eating is a real thing and I’ve done it multiple times. Am I proud of it? No. At my nine month appointment, I did get a few names of people to talk to. Am I going to consider it? Absolutely. There’s nothing wrong with doing that.

Having weight loss surgery isn’t all rainbows and butterflies as you can see. It’s hard. Very hard. Even when you try not to make it hard. It still is. Whether it be mentally, physically or emotionally. I was just a couple months out when my dad passed away which made my emotions 10 times more crazier than what they were. It takes a toll on you but I’m going to keep saying this over and over again…It’s the best decision I have ever made and I don’t regret it one tiny bit! The only thing I regret is probably not doing it sooner but who knew!? I thought I was getting my health on track but turns out…it was just getting worse. Now, I feel incredible and I’m SO SO SO happy. Even when I’m an emotional wreck, I still remind myself that I’m becoming a better and healthier person.

I love it and I can’t wait for more and more months of feeling great!

I truly appreciate those who have stuck around reading to the end. Thank you following me on my journey and I can’t wait to see what else I can do.

XO!

E!

 

 

Trust The Timing & Opportunities

I couldn’t wait to go from middle school to high school, getting my license and being able to drive alone for the first time, getting my first boyfriend and ‘falling in love’ (ha!), graduating from high school and starting college, being able to drink for the firs time legally, then graduating college, trying to get a full time job and living on my own. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s slow down for a moment.

Exactly.

My point exactly.

Slow down.

We all get ahead of ourselves and want things to happen quick, right now, in this time frame. In this lifetime. Chill. Out.

If anyone knows me they know that I’m always on the go. Every weekend there’s always something going on. After work there’s always something going on that I need to get done before I head to the gym for the evening. My Sunday late afternoon’s are spent grocery shopping and planning out my meals for the week so I have time after work to eat something quick and get to the gym or do what I need to do.

Time management is KEY in my life. (blehhhh)

I’ve been guilty for wanting to rush many things in my life. I wasn’t patient. Which got me into trouble a lot with relationships (both romantically and friendships), work life, social life, family, school life and even my personal life that effected me emotionally, mentally and physically.

I’ll admit that I am a procrastinator at times but I get the job done…I just wait a little longer for things to get finished, then I start being impatient, feeling rushed and decide to, sometimes, do a crappy job and half-ass it.

Rush, rush, rush.

We all need to pause, step back, open our eyes, look around, close our eyes, take in a deep breath, release and be still.

I always feel like I need to get a head of myself, rush into things and not process it. This even goes for communication. As soon as I see a text message come, I instantly think that I need to respond because that’s what I expect from everyone else that I text. Wrong.

For example, if I get angry or worked up over a text, I don’t take the time to process what it said, what I NEED to say so I don’t step on any toes and then process what I just said. I rush to respond. I need to think things through before doing anything.

Now, I feel like I’m talking in circles. Enough of the examples.

Since moving down to Des Moines, many opportunities have approached me. At first I was very hesitant to even jump on those opportunities. Before I moved down to Des Moines, (I’m not sure if I have already mentioned this in a previous blog post) but I had two job offers at the same time. One at the job I have now and one at Iowa Central Community College. I had a second interview at both places. At the Iowa Newspaper Association, I had first a phone interview and then an in person interview. At Iowa Central, I had an in person interview then a second interview with the President of the college. Before I could say yes to a second interview at Iowa Central, I had already accepted the position at the Iowa Newspaper Association—don’t worry, I didn’t rush into making a decision. It was clear. Why’s that, though?

A lot of you may know that I love my sister, very much. She’s my best friend and I go to her a lot for advice. I was trying to decide to either take the job in Des Moines or in Fort Dodge. She asked me if I wanted the job in Fort Dodge because it was close to home and for the comfort. After thinking it through, it was because it was close to home. That was the main reason why. Don’t get me wrong, I love love love Iowa Central and I made MANY great memories but something about moving to Des Moines and starting a new chapter in a place that I wasn’t very familiar with really made me want to do it. So I did it.

The next opportunity was to go over to Bre’s place the week that I moved down to Des Moines. Back story if no one knows…I graduated high school with Bre. One night she had a LipSense party, I went, met Megan, who introduced me to Kane. I kept debating if I wanted to even go to her place that night because it was 25 minutes away. If you’re from a small town, you realize that traveling 25 minutes is a hassle…well it was in my case. But I decided that I wanted to see Bre because I haven’t seen her in a couple of years so it would be nice to and plus it got me out of the house. Opportunity taken.

After that opportunity, I got approached by another one. “Do you want me meet Kane?” OF COURSE YOU ALL KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT!

Opportunity after opportunity.

Last year I purchased a bracelet. It’s an opportunity bracelet. When God gives you opportunities, you take them. And that’s exactly what I have been doing.

bracelet

Let’s get to the main point of this blog post, shall we?

I’ve been involved with our church’s women’s ministry and let me tell you, it’s been a blast! I mentioned to someone that I love planning events, which led me to plan a birthday bash, that led to planning the decorations/decorating our women’s retreat to planning future events with a couple of women. God has given me these opportunities for a reason, these women have reached out to me for a reason.  I know that I want to get more involved with the church with the women’s ministry but I don’t want to rush that just yet. I’ve been praying about it and talking to my friends and family for an opportunity. When one approaches, it will be the right timing. Will I take it? You betcha I will!

I need to trust God’s timing. He has a plan. I need to pray and believe that something that I really want will come up. I need to be patient and trust him. Everything happens for a reason.

I need to stop competing with others. Life is not a competition. Just because everyone is getting married, people are having babies, people are moving in together, doesn’t mean that I HAVE TO right at this very moment. I need to take my time with many things because I’m known (from myself, personally) that rushing into things can damage a lot of precious things.

I took my time with Kane, getting to know him, him becoming my best friend, to becoming my boyfriend. annnndddd look how that turned out.

Trust God’s timing because you won’t regret waiting.

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XO!

E!

 

What I Haven’t Told My Mom Enough

Sometimes we take things in life for granted. People, things, money, food, luxury items, etc. Over the past years I’ve learned not to take so much stuff for granted. Like how many times do we wiggle our toes, itch our nose, move our legs, smile, blink, run our debit card, ignore a text message, ignore a phone call, scroll past pictures? Many times and yet we don’t really notice that we do that.

If you all don’t know my mom, you should. If you do, then you do know many great qualities about her. You know her strengths and you know her weakness. I know most people say the same thing about their mothers and they all seem to be true. Saying how “I have the best mom!” Mostly everyone says that about their mom, but let me tell you…my mom is seriously the best mom. I’m biased I know…but if you know her the way that I know her, you would agree 100%. And for those who just know my mom in general, you would say that she’s a pretty good mom. GREAT mom to be exact. SUPER MOM!

So, I came up with 30 things that I don’t tell my mom enough of. Here we go.

Mom, thank you in general. Thank you for popping me out, carrying me for 9 months…and then some because I obviously couldn’t walk until later, putting food in my mouth, clothes on my body, money in my bank account, a roof over my head, making sure everything was okay, protecting me, being my cheerleader…the list could go on and on! Trust me.

Thank you for the little things that you do. Even when it’s bringing me a cup of coffee when I come home, having mac n cheese on hand when I’m hungry, sparing me a dollar for a water from the vending machine.

Thank you for the big things that you do in my life. Like giving me money for groceries, getting me tickets to go see Rain, filling up my gas tank, buying me jewelry, paying for part of my college education, making a trip down to Des Moines for a couple of hours just because!

You are one of the best things in my life. Without you, I honestly don’t know where I would be if you weren’t in my life. Some people have lost their moms, some don’t even know their moms, some choose not to speak to their moms. You are the best.

Sam and I are extremely lucky to have you in our lives. You’ve supported us, been our cheerleader, constantly wanting to share things with us, share our news with others, and you put us first in your life.

You are my role model. I look up to you. You motivate me and you inspire me. You’ve taught me to be a hard worker and to work towards the things that I want.

You are beautiful. I love how people think you’re my older sister when we are out in public. You don’t look your age and you have aged very well. I hope I age well like you when I get older.

I miss you. Even when we do see each other, the moment that I leave or you leave, I miss you already.

I will cherish all the times that we have together. It’s not everyday that I get to see you so when we do have the time together, I take those in and cherish what’s in front of me.

I am very proud of you. You’ve been through many life changing events in your life. You don’t let them bring you down, you move past it and it makes you a stronger and better person each day.

You are BADASS. You take no crap from anyone. You’re tough and strong.

I’m sorry you’ve had to listen to me vent and whine. Whenever I need to talk to someone, I can go to you and you can get an earful of my problems. I appreciate it.

You are doing/have done a wonderful job. For 31 years (since raising Sam), you’ve done one hell of a job and still continue doing so.

You make me smile. Whenever I see you, you always greet me with a hug no matter how long we have gone without seeing each other. And it takes us about 20 minutes to say bye.

You remind me that I’m smarter than what I feel like at times. You cheered me on when I graduated high school, Iowa Central and the University of Northern Iowa. You remind me that I am smart and I can do whatever my little heart desires.

You have taught me very valuable information in my lifetime. “It’s not drinking and driving if you’re at a stop sign.” Just kidding..no one listen to that advice. LOL

You taught me to value moments in my life. Because in a blink of an eye, it could be gone or you could miss it.

Thank you for letting me make mistakes and learning from them. We’ve all been there but allowing me to let me make my mistakes so I don’t make them again has taught me many valuable things in life.

You’re inspiring. You inspire me to be a hard worker and take chances (a different shade of nail polish besides something dark).

You challenge me. You tell me that I can do it if I want to or if it’s up to me. Challenge accepted.

You give Sam and I unconditional love. You would jump out in front of a bus for us, take a bullet for us, beat someone up for us. You would do anything for us.

Thank you for not judging me on my coffee habits. I obviously take after you on the coffee gene.

You taught me that it’s okay to break down at times. So I do. It has helped me feel better both mentally and physically.

You don’t have to work so hard to be perfect. You’re super mom at everything that you do. You have the line when you’re my best friend and when you’re my mother. But also when you can be both!

Your opinions on my relationships matter to me. Not just Kane and I’s relationship but the relationship I have with friends, co-workers and people from the church. If you get a bad vibe from someone, I get that same vibe and you’re usually right on all of those things. Also, thank you for adoring Kane!

You stick up for me. You protect me from the bad and when someone is being mean or disagrees with you, you have my back.

There isn’t anyone like you. Not one little bit. I love that.

I couldn’t imagine life without you. I’d be lost for sure.

Being your daughter is one of the best things in the world. I truly mean that. I’m proud to be your daughter.

I love you. I know that I constantly say it to you and I may get upset or flustered at something sometimes, but you’ll always know that I love you!

Mom, thank you for being you, always being there for me, being my cheerleader, my rock, my mom, my best friend, someone I’d admire and look up to and MANY MANY MANY more things.

Happy Mother’s Day and I’m glad I got to spend it with you. Everyday is Mother’s Day to you…or at least it should be!

Love you,

E!

 

 

 

Celebrity Dinner Party

We all have those celebrities that we fantasize about meeting, marrying, seeing them in Target or on the streets, getting a picture with them. But have you ever fantasized about what it would be like to invite them over to your house for a dinner party? Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t. I thought that this blog post could be fun so I decided to share with you all on who I would invite to my Celebrity Dinner Party. I kept it at 10 people max, because, well…my list probably would have been longer but I don’t want to bore you all too much! 😉

Let’s say that this is my house…sound good?

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Job: Influencer (That’s why I know so many famous people)

This is also my pet sea otter looking in a pool. (a girl can dream right? I’ve always wanted a pet sea otter anyways!)

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Also, if you all were wondering..yes, I have a husband in my fantasy…currently working on having children.

Let’s stop getting off track but I wanted to give you some background information to visualize what you see.

But first, let me give you a tour of the house:

Living room

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Dining room (where our guests will eat) and obviously on the other side of the house..

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Before I jump into who’s on the list…here is the menu for the evening.

OPEN BAR!

Appetizers:

  • Chips & salsa (reason behind this)
  • Cheeseballs (the good/original kind)
  • Turkey meatballs

Salad: (your choice)

  • House salad with ranch or Italian

Main Course: (your choice)

  • Salmon and asparagus
  • Chicken and wild rice
  • Steak and potatoes
  • Burger and fries

Dessert: (your choice)

  • Chocolate cheesecake
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream

Now, for the fun part. Let’s meet our guests (no specific order):

Kevin Hart: Night School, Jumanji, Think Like a Man, Get Hard

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Tom Hardy: Venom, This Means War, Lawless, Inception

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Reese Witherspoon: Legally Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama, Cruel Intentions, Walk The Line

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Matt Carpenter: Infielder for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team

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Meryl Streep: Momma Mia, The Devil Wears Prada, Julie & Julia, It’s Complicated

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Ringo Starr: Drummer of The Beatles

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Will Smith: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Seven Pounds, Men In Black, Hitch

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Sandra Bullock: Miss Congeniality, The Blind Side, The Proposal, Practical Magic

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Justin Timberlake: Former NSYNC member, Friends With Benefits, The Social Network, Model Behavior, Bad Teacher

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Zooey Deschanel: New Girl, Yes Man, Elf, 500 Days of Summer

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Sounds like a good bunch with a nice variety of personalities, right?

I may have gone a little overboard on planning this Celebrity Dinner Party but I did make a seating chart. Of course I had to mix up the bunch so they all could equally socialize with each other.

You may be asking why I chose who I chose to come to my celebrity dinner party. Let’s break it down.

Sandra Bullock: She’s flawless. She aged so well, shes funny, she’s social and she’s passionate about her career.

Matt Carpenter: First off, he’s my favorite Cardinals baseball player AND his number is 13. Aka, my favorite number. It was bound to happen. Plus he makes his own salsa. (that’s why I had chips and salsa on the menu)

Kevin Hart: I honestly don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Kevin Hart…that I know of. But he’s funny, he’s got great acting skills..both serious and funny. I could see him striking up a conversation.

Ringo Starr: Ringo has been my favorite Beatles since I started to enjoy The Beatles. He’s dorky, quirky and talented. I see why not!

Justin Timberlake: Need I say more? He’s both an actor AND a singer. What more do you need? He would probably bust out in an NSYNC song if there happened to be some awkward silences at the table.

Tom Hardy: I’ve been a pretty big fan of Tom Hardy since I saw him in Lawless and fell more in love with him during This Means War. Plus he has can accent. Can’t go wrong with that. Hence why I sat him next to me. So he could whisper sweet nothings in my ear. Kane understands.

Zooey Deschanel: Zooey has been my girl crush for MANY, MANY years. She’s quirky, sweet and she would be willing to break out a game if needed.

Will Smith: Love him with both a serious and a funny role. I’m sure he can get anyone up on their feet to dance.

Reese Witherspoon: Been a huge fan for awhile. From her early acting career to her present and even to her book club. Should we mention how gorgeous she is?

Meryl Streep: Some of my friends don’t really care for Meryl Streep but I adore her. I admired her mostly in The Devil Wears Prada.

When everyone finally showed up we had delicious appetizers had a drink or two and socialized before dinner was served.

Once everyone was seated we all enjoyed our meal, more drinks followed by some delicious dessert. Then we all decided to make our way down to the finished basement for some Telestrations and to bust out the karaoke machine (Will and Zooey’s idea…not mine…)

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The night ended fairly late with Telestrations cards laying around, empty glasses, random pieces of popcorn on the floor, a couple of not-so-sober celebrities (don’t worry, they all had DD’s…duh!) and a kitchen sink full of dishes that needed to be placed in the dishwasher.

Overall, I would say that my celebrity dinner party was a success. It was fun to write about it and to come up with who I would invite. Now, if only it would actually happen.

Who would you invite to your celebrity dinner party? Let me know. I’m curious!

XO!

E!

 

Spring Into LOVE!

The spring has arrived and LOVE is in the air. Wouldn’t you agree? Warmer weather means people are getting out of their winter blues, sunshine, wanting to be outside and doing activities with friends, family or even loved ones..including your pets for all you fur parents.

A lot of things cost money when you want to have fun but there are activities that don’t require much money. Lets dive in!

  • Get the grill out and BBQ
  • Make breakfast for dinner
  • Go to a park with a frisbee
  • Make a bucket list together
  • Go to a flea market
  • Go to a farmer’s market
  • Make smoothies together
  • Go to a winery or visit a brewery
  • Goodwill date (if you’re not sure what that is..look it up!)
  • Plan your next road trip/vacation together
  • Spring picnic
  • Dinner on the patio
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter
  • Go for a nature walk
  • Visit the zoo
  • Movies in the park
  • Yard sale shopping
  • Go to a play/musical
  • Comedy or improv show
  • Rent a bike downtown
  • Attend a festival
  • Go to an outdoor concert
  • Mini golf
  • Go karting
  • Take a dancing class
  • Frisbee golf
  • Go paint balling
  • Attend a baseball game
  • Workout outside

Some of these spring date ideas do cost but most of them you totally don’t have to pay for. These date ideas will get you out of the the house and to enjoy the wonderful spring weather that has sprung onto us.

So, beat those winter blues since the beautiful spring weather has hit us, grab your significant other and enjoy each other’s company with fun spring dates!

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XO!

E!