Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Circle your Prayers - 2015 Year in Review

God is FAITHFUL. The ultimate message of this post can summed up in those three words. GOD. IS. FAITHFUL. On the night before the ball dropped to ring in 2015, I sat with my journal and scribbled down a plethora of ideas, visions, dreams and intentions I had planned for myself and my little family in the upcoming New Year. As I wrote, I remember keeping a couple of things in mind:

  • Nothing is TOO BIG for God, but nothing is also too small
  • God wants us to get to where God wants us to go more than WE WANT to go where God wants us to go
  • We can’t perform miracles, all we can do is pray for them
And finally,the reminder from Proverbs 16:9 that we can make our plans, but it is God that is directing our steps.

Bearing those truths in mind, I created my “2015 Intentions List”, read them aloud when finished ,prayed over every line item and fully submitted each intention to the Big Man Upstairs. BOOM. The year has come and gone. To say that each intention was fulfilled (or not fulfilled) the way I had originally anticipated would be a lie. Most everything I had envisioned has come to fruition this year - and even the things I may have hoped for that didn’t pan out resulted in an outcome far better than I could have dreamed. 

Here are some items from my 2015 list and their individual outcomes:

Blessed to have been able to see and experience these places this year…
  • Steamboat, Colorado
  • Yosemite National Park, California
  • Napa Valley, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Red River, New Mexico
  • Moab, Utah
  • Telluride, Colorado
  • Cancun, Mexico
  • Louisville, Kentucky
(because of a sick puppy, missed out on a trip to New Orleans and Florida, but thankful for the time spent snuggling and nursing my furry son back to health!)

Blessed to have had the time to read a book/publication per month that fed me on many levels spiritually, mentally, and creatively.

Blessed to have made a leap of faith with J and open up a small handmade furniture and home decor business, Dosser Design & Decor, and to have secured a small retail space in the Antique Gallery of Spring — and actually turn a profit each month!

The Lord tested me a lot on this one, but ultimately, leaning “in” and leaning “on” him totally paid off. With the help of his supernatural strength and courage breathed in me, I was able to:

  • Start a side-business with my hubs (a wild dream that requires crazy faith and sacrifice)
  • Enroll in a yoga class (it was awkward and unfamiliar to me, but I did it!)
  • Joined a local women’s bible study (was vulnerable & in fellowship with other women)
  • Said “No” (resisted the constant need to please and respected personal time boundaries)
  • Practiced authenticity and anti-perfectionism (cut the BS & was intentionally more transparent with myself and with others)
  • Spoke at a Christian Women’s Conference (shared my passion for fitness and caring for the human body like the gift from God and temple that it is ——crazy scary and crazy gratifying)
  • Shifted my Perspective -adopted a GRATITUDE ATTITUDE — was intentional about making myself shift my negative and defeated thoughts to hope for positive outcomes

  • With the help of my handy hubs, I was able to check off and complete (most, but not all) DIY projects I have had tucked away in my mind or chicken scratched on memo boards for both our house and our decor booth. The projects that have been altered or may never come to pass are being prayed over. As in, everything happens for a reason and so does everything that doesn’t. What I need, God will equip me to make happen. And what I don’t, he’ll be there protecting me from it. I’ve slowly but surely gotten better at accepting that, being at peace about it, and moving on. 

  • Whether it was smiling at a stranger, listening instead of speaking, making coffee dates with friends, offering an all new fitness boot camp in a new location of Houston, or launching my own virtual bible study for women, I wanted to find ways to bless others (women specifically) in even the teeniest tiniest of ways. 

  • Received the blessing of pregnancy news in May - Welcoming our first born son in February!

  • Simply just made the choice to choose "love" --- It was about choosing a mindset that serves to make me better, push me further, elevate me, and help me evolve

There you have it. Proof of prayers answered and unanswered, but nonetheless still #blessed. There is more to my list, but good gravy, we will stop there. Reminiscing and sharing this with you all has me even more excited now to prepare my 2016 List and surrender all those intentions to our Heavenly Father and his will. “Intentions” not rules. “Intentions” not regulations. “Intentions” not restrictions. In this New Year, I pray that both you and I continue to have goals and a driven focus, but that ultimately we watch for his signs, listen to his words, obey his instruction, trust his judgement, and follow where he leads us (whether it's where we had anticipated on going or not)

Jot down those dreams, those intentions and those plans, friends! I just know God is going to bless you and use you in wonderful, inspiring, and surprising ways in the year of 2016!



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Our Guest Bedroom Accommodations

Because our bun in the oven is due in 6 weeks, J and I hosted family at our house throughout this holiday season. Before their cute faces arrived at our doorstop, I wanted to add few things to the guest bedroom in order to add a little comfort and help accommodate their needs. With some scrap shiplap we had in our garage, we were able to build a sweet little shelving unit with hangers for bathroom towels. In addition to that quick DIY project, I created a little vanity area atop a vintage sewing table with cotton balls, Q-tips, and a yummy smelling candle nestled in a salvaged kitchen tray. A luggage stool, laundry basket, and ottoman were also added to our small guest room. In the end, I love how cozy, yet functional it turned out to be! Hope you like it, too!


Our Country Christmas 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Halloween on a Dime: Dollar Store Decorations

  • Plastic Skulls & Skeleton
  • Candles: votives, pillars, candlesticks
  • Dishware: glasses, plates, bowls, serving trays for parties
  • Signage: cardboard halloween-themed signs with burlap hanger
  • Planter’s Moss & Foam: to create your own spooky arrangements from tree branches 
  • Fake Crows, rats, spiders for creating vignettes
  • Styrofoam Pumpkins: to spray paint white, black, or create a more natural orange
  • Cheesecloths & Netting: to create tablecloths and drape over mantels and bookshelves
  • Spider webs: to spread over bushes or bookshelves
  • Styrofoam Tombstones: to create your own graveyard
  • Plug-in Lights
  • Fake Floral Arrangements
  • Glass Bottles
  • Chalkboards
  • Labels


What are your favorite goodies to pick up from the Dollar Store?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

MY SECOND TRIMESTER MUST-HAVES (for a first time mama-to-be)

SNOOGLE - Having a baby percolating inside your body is exhausting! When it’s time to go to bed at night you’re A) tossing and turning trying to get comfortable to no avail B) your back feels like it’s on fire, or like you're being stabbed with a thousand little needles, or both or C) you’re getting up from bed every 10 minutes to go potty. Oh wait, you’re pregnant. ALL OF THE ABOVE APPLIES. Thus, interrupting you from precious sleep. This oddly-shaped pillow has been a godsend for me in all of those areas. I still go potty, duh, but because I’m able to sleep more soundly, I wake up less during the night. Makes sense in my book!

EPSOM SALTS - Another gem for those achy lower back pangs you may be feeling. A warm bath is just the ticket to relax you before bedtime! 

VASELINE - That whole “glow” I was looking forward to experiencing during pregnancy has been completely non-existent. Straight up, I missed the glow boat. Or the glow boat missed me, Either way, my skin has been all sorts of funky funk - in more ways than one. Let’s take my hands and feet for example. In the past couple of weeks, the inside of my palms and heels have closely resembled that of a small reptile. Out of nowhere, I woke up one morning with scaly, peeling hands and feet. It was wild! And although it’s still an ongoing battle, dousing those babies with vaseline has helped wonders! Before I go to bed, I slather some on my hands and feet and then slip on socks and gloves to lock the moisture in overnight.

NUTRIENTS - Pre-Natal Vitamins are of high importance to any pregnant gal (or planning to becoming pregnant gal), and this brand has particularly been my favorite. It contains all things that are vital to both you and baby, in addition to probiotics - which aid in restoring good bacteria in your weakened immune system.

NUTRIENTS X 2 - Chipotle. My obsession. Because it’s awesome and I can eat it 3 times in one day.  Seriously, ask Juston.

NATURAL SKINCARE - I told you my skin has been funky, but the breakouts I’ve been having on my face takes “funky” to a whole new level. It’s like I’m going through puberty all over again. Gnarly. Gnarly. Gnarly. So bad, I had to say it three times. In addition to pregnancy hormones raging through my body, I also have PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) which in and of itself comes with its own hormonal imbalances. Thus, complicates treatment. SO, in addition to many many prayers and being a detective with my eating, I’ve also made a conscious effort to keep my skincare routine as natural as possible using organic washes and healing oils like tamanu, rosehip, and tea tree. I’ve been on a long journey with skin issues and hormonal balance, but for now, I’m feeling hopeful about natural approaches for both me and Baby L.

OILS - Since I’m on the subject and it is a seemingly perfect segway, I might as well make oil its own category as it applies to moisturizing those baby bumps!  While I have heard good things about Cocoa Butter and Bio-Oil, I have personally been using Grapeseed & Coconut oils to massage my growing belly and every other place a good moisturizer should go. Grapeseed oil specifically is also known for aiding in circulation and healing varicose veins. Which, sorry charlies, is something else you may also have to deal with during pregnancy due to increased blood flow. Stretch marks, spider veins, and cellulite, oh my! …..but so totally worth the end result. Hellooooo, we are bringing a life into this world. Of course it’s going to require some battle scars and growing pains. We got this!

DRY BRUSHING - Another one of those fabulous things you can do to help improve circulation, lymphatic flow, and prevent the accumulation of cellulite. Pre-shower!

MY MEN - Jesus and Hubs. Jesus - Because he’s awesome and has literally been the strength that gets my tired butt out of bed in the morning. I’m especially chasing hard after him during this particular season of my life - I need my little ole physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self all sorts of prepped for what lies ahead of me with motherhood. 

Last, but not least, my amazingly supportive and serving husband - the man of my dreams and prayers. I'm grateful for your partnership more than you'll ever know. It's my life's honor to love you, dream with you, work along side you, and adventure with you. The best is yet to come! Parents of Year 2016? Haha, I hope so! 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Our UPDATED Kitchen Tour

Up until recently, our kitchen was the room in our home *most* neglected and *least* photographed. I love our home and I’m proud of everything we've done to it in the nearly two years we’ve lived here,but our kitchen area has been the hardest area for me to tackle thus far. Mostly in the sense that I just lacked inspiration. Prior to moving into this home, Juston and I agreed that this was not going to be our “forever” home, or a home that would even live in for 5+ years. It was simply going to be our starting home. One to get us off our feet, begin our marriage in, and bring our first born home to. It’s a home that was built in the 1980s and despite some of its outdated features, I absolutely love it. I love that it’s ours, and I love that is has been the perfect canvas for our creativity. It has been so much fun to make this house our home - especially since it’s been something we’ve done together! (all the bickering over paint color and nail placement has really strengthened our marriage :)  )

But I digress, what was I saying? Oh yea, this kitchen was a toughie! When we had made the agreement that this was merely our starter home, I understood that meant we would be doing little to no MAJOR overhauls or demolitions in this house. And that was perfectly fine with me! I love focusing on the cosmetic and aesthetic touches that can be done with a little elbow grease throughout a home. Which, as a matter a fact, was all this kitchen really needed. Yes, it came with popcorn ceilings, dim lighting, black appliances, outdated cabinets, dark paint on the walls, and tile countertops that we aren’t necessarily in love with, but it’s OURS, and it’s workable. We could do the best we could with what we had…we just needed a little inspiration.

(Insert Pregnancy Here)…..which subsequently then brought on my full on crazy “nesting” mode. Nesting….look it up. It’s a thing! Once I found out I was pregnant and that there would be another human occupying this home, it was all the inspiration and motivation I needed to get in gear to finally tackle the lagging projects on my to-do list. Cue…DIY project planning & farmhouse decor shopping galore! READ: But always always staying within our means. I am a budget friendly home stylist. Breaking the bank for home decor just ain’t my thing. If I don’t find what I want, at the price I want, I usually just end up making it. And by that I mean, my hubz gets involved ;)

Fast forwarding —— I LOVE our kitchen like crazy now - despite its poor lighting! And the best news is, it’s DONE!…Our overall changes to the kitchen include but is not limited to: adding a stainless steel refrigerator, repurposed and painted farmhouse pantry door, added a coffee bar, built a kitchen console buffet table for extra storage, replaced the fluorescent lighting with track lighting, created a memo and recipe board from an old screen door and chicken wire, and repurposed an a boring bakers rack into a stylish farmhouse shelving unit. Fun decor filled in the rest of the holes. 

Enough of my talking - please feel free to take a peek at our Before & Afters.