Friday, February 24, 2017

Bringing Me Joy · Vol. 6

Woah. Is any one else finding it very hard to believe that February is almost over? I expected to be super busy with work these past two weeks, but it turned out to be quite the opposite. I've been loving my days off though.

Before last week, I had never been to a coffee shop alone. When I was feeling stressed out one day, I drove to one of my favorite coffee shops to sip on a butterscotch latte and read for a little while. It was so nice that I want to make these solo trips a priority going forward. Even if it's 1-2x a month, I think it would be beneficial.

We met up with my aunt + uncle for lunch one afternoon, visited my grandpa a couple days after that and had my niece + nephew over for a sleepover last night. Time spent with family really is the best.

This little device has proved to be so handy. It's far more useful than I ever imagined it would be. Being able to track my steps, calories I've burned + my heart rate is awesome. I still want to do a review on it.

I was afraid we were going to miss out on this, but we got to go last Friday! We only stayed a few hours, but it was still enjoyable. I'm just glad that we were able to view it.

Went to my second CG boot camp class with my friend, Esther. It was her 100th check-in (she's a beast). I was surprised at how well I kept up with the HIIT workout they were having us do. Yay for not dying.

It was actually more like a massive worship session led by Kari. I loved every single second of it. If you haven't heard her latest album, The Garden, you've been missing out on some really good praise + worship music!

Even though I have always had a thing for classic movies, I'm finding myself drawn to them even more as I get older. I watched The African Queen with Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart for the first time this week.

G and I have still been hitting the gym about twice a week. I've also been making it a point to do at least 20-30 minutes of cardio each day at home. I love working out now that I've gotten into a routine.

It's delicious and it gives me energy. I've been drinking 2-3 cups a day with monk fruit (in the raw) sweetener.

My mama and I have been obsessed with this show lately. We just set up our DVR to record all of the old episodes that play on TLC. Don't laugh, but I normally watch it while doing my workout at home. It's motivating.

What are some things that are bringing you joy lately?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Currently // February

EATING · Big salads dressed with avocado oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Seriously so tasty. And, on a not-so-healthy note, Taco Bell's new naked chicken chalupa is dangerous (#cheatdayeats). You've been warned.

DRINKING · I started making protein shakes for breakfast or a post-workout snack. Orgain's creamy chocolate fudge is delicious. I like it best mixed with coffee, coconut almond milk, powdered peanut butter, and banana.

READING · Okay, please don't judge me. I haven't even started reading the book that I wanted to complete this month The Forgetting. I need to carve out some time each day so I can get it knocked out before March.

WATCHING · Well, obviously The Walking Dead since it returned this past Sunday! Can Negan just be taken out already? Sheesh. I've also been occasionally binging on Intervention (it always sucks me in), and This Is Us.
LISTENING TO · Lauren Diagle, Ellie Holcomb + Kari Jobe have all been on repeat this month! Their songs really usher in the presence of God. The song below is so powerful and I basically get goosebumps every single time I hear it. Kari Jobe is coming to town next Thursday. I'm really hoping my schedule allows me to go see her.

PLANNING · A Disney trip for just my husband and I. We haven't gone (alone) since we became passholders, or ever come to think of it. It'd be nice to make some memories together before our passes expire.

WISH-LISTING · Really digging these curvy destructed skinny jeans from Target, this faux taxidermy gold lion head for the gallery wall in our bedroom, and this Eleven (Stranger Things) enamel pin for my collection.

LEARNING · That things aren't nearly as bad as I chock them up to be in my mind. I'll admit, I can be an over-analyzer at times. I'm sure you can relate. I come up with different scenarios internally, but they never play out the way I think they will when it comes down to it. So all that time thinking was simply time wasted.

FEELING · Pretty overwhelmed. I'm normally not one to struggle with bouts of anxiety (I used to in the past), but I've been suffering with tension headaches off and on for a few weeks. They usually start whenever I'm overthinking our finances and, quite frankly, underestimating God's faithfulness and ability to provide for us.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Our Valentine's Day

Hey, guys! I really hope you all enjoyed celebrating with your loved ones yesterday. This was actually our eighth Valentine's Day together (woah). We don't really observe the holiday like we used to when we first got together. I guess we just stopped buying into all the hype and pressure associated with it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not like the Ebenezer Scrooge of Valentine's Day or whatever. It's way too commercialized. Maybe it's because I'm simple. It doesn't take much to appease me. Just feed me tacos, touch my butt and tell me you love me ;)

Even though we don't go all out for Valentine's, we still do a little bit of celebrating. I knew I wanted to cook a nice meal at home so that we could include my mama as well. It's almost been five years since my dad passed away and I didn't want her to feel like she was alone. I figured we could have a homemade dinner and then G and I could go out (just the two of us) for drinks + dessert afterwards. Aside from flowers, we didn't get each other gifts. Although we did use the holiday as an excuse opportunity to each purchase the Fitbit Charge 2 (they were on sale). All I can say is that I've really been missing out. I'm blown away with all that it can do!

Alright, back to dinner. I totally splurged on some thick strip steaks + shrimp to cook, as well as asparagus and mashed cauliflower. Everything turned out great! The steaks were so big that we all had leftovers. I actually had steak, eggs and asparagus for breakfast today, and put the rest on a salad for lunch. Sometime after 8pm, we went out for dessert. We chose Applebee's because it's right up the street and we figured it wouldn't be too packed. Wrong. It was loaded, but we were able to get a booth quickly. After a glass of sangria + splitting a triple chocolate meltdown, it was back to the house to watch a movie (John Wick) before knocking out. It may not have been all over-the-top or society's version of romantic, but I loved spending time with my hubby.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sammie's Struvite Scare

I know I briefly mentioned the little scare we had with our kitty, Sammie, in my post on Friday. I noticed him acting stranger than usual on Thursday morning. He's normally pretty vocal, but his meowing was nothing short of obnoxious that morning. He had also been licking himself (down there) more frequently. Things started adding up once I saw him jumping into the litter box a few times in a row. After the third time he hopped out, I took a peak and that's when I realized what was going on. He was trying to pee, but nothing was coming out. It was clear he had a blockage and I was 99% sure it was struvite crystals (or urinary crystals).

We've actually had two other cats experience this painful condition in the past ― Orion's seemed to clear up with a diet change (he passed away of old age over a year ago), but Toby's was much worse. It could only be fixed by having a Perineal Urethostomy (PU) surgery. Simply put, they had to remove his penis. I know. It was pretty crazy and expensive as heck, but no more blockages for that guy. Whenever we adopted Sammie back in 2011, I knew I wanted him on a high quality dry food. I thought we'd be able to avoid this whole situation if we put him on a good diet from the get-go. We fed him California Natural and later switched to Blue Buffalo. Little did I know that feeding him an all dry food diet could be just as harmful in the long run. Research suggests that urine pH and water consumption factor into the formation of crystals. Dry food has a tendency of dehydrating cats, especially if they don't drink much water to begin with. This was likely the case with Sammie.

We were able to get him down to the vets office within a few hours of becoming aware of the issue. They had to catheterize him, shoot him full of IV's, and keep him overnight for observation. He was released on Friday afternoon. 5 different medications, a few cans of prescription wet food and a $1,400 bill later, he was home and on the mend! Now, we just have to recover from the unexpected expense. Thank God our vet just started accepting CareCredit. We had to watch him like a hawk the first couple days back home (to monitor his urine output), but he's back to normal now. I've been switching him between Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO + Purina Pro Plan Focus Urinary Tract Health canned food, as well as the Purina One Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health dry food. They want him back in a couple of weeks to do another urinalysis to see where his pH is.

Yay for pet ownership, even when things get tough and mad expensive! Ha. He's worth every penny.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Bringing Me Joy · Vol. 5

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of highs and lows, but I'm determined to stay focused on all the good rather than dwelling on the difficult days (I'll share some specifics later on).

I shared it on Instagram, but I finally got my ribs inked the Thursday before last! I've been wanting a little side piece for a long time now. I kept saying that I wanted to wait until I lost more weight. Bump that. I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out and plan on sharing a more in-depth post about it (plus all my other tattoos).

Kinda late to this Halo Top party! I've been hooked ever since I tried their mint chip a few weeks back. I've also tried the chocolate chip cookie dough, sea salted caramel, birthday cake + strawberry. Every flavor is delicious.

One of my best friends, Jennifer, is having a baby girl in April! It was so nice to get together with everyone last Saturday to celebrate little miss Calia Rose. The shower was coed, so G was able to join in on the fun too.

I spent most of Saturday night catching up with a group of ladies from the church we used to go to. Long talks about God over homemade flatbread + wine around the fire. It was so refreshing to catch up with old friends.

You guys know this had been on my to-do list for over a year now. I guess I had assumed it would be more difficult than it actually was, lol. I thought I had to plan everything out, but G told me I should just hang it all and fill in the gaps as I go. His strategy worked well! I only have a few more little pieces to add now.

Got together with one of my friends from Target on Tuesday. We were finally able to meet up and exchange our Christmas gifts! Had a great time chatting over a butterscotch latte at one of my favorite local coffee shops.

We've been about 4x over the past two weeks. Not too shabby! I really love being back in the gym. 25 minutes of cardio + 25 minutes of weights. Perfect combo for me at the moment.

I don't get to see my niece and nephew as much as I'd like. On Wednesday, I invited my niece, Hannah, to come to church with me. One of her friends was actually getting baptized and Hannah was able to surprise her. We went out to eat afterwards and she ended up spending the night. We're hoping to get together more often.

Whenever we first began using our annual passes, I was planning on starting a small Disney pin collection (purchasing one each time we visited). Well, thanks to Etsy, I stumbled upon more pins than I had bargained for! I'm only allowing myself one board for all of them, so I'll be sure to only purchase my absolute favorites. It's a great way to collect pieces that represent my love for certain movies / television shows ― Star Wars, Terminator, Stranger Things, Hunger Games, Alice in Wonderland, etc. Pins don't take up much space at all.

Long story short (I'll probably share the longer version next week), we had to bring Sammie to the vet on Thursday morning as he was unable to pass any urine due to a blockage (struvite crystals). A little over 24 hours + one outrageous vet bill later, he's home and seems to be on the mend. Keeping a very close eye on him. We're just thankful we caught it early. He's okay and he's home now. That little guy is my baby.

What are some things that are bringing you joy lately?  

(linking up with Lindsay, Charlotte + Krysten for 10 things that make me happy)