Sunday, August 2, 2015

Beach Day!!

 We drove to Seaside this morning and when we arrived, it was crowded and by crowded I mean, tons of people, so busy that there were lines for the foodie trucks, no place for parking. Huge crowds and lots of noise is definitely not my cup of tea. We made the decision to move on to a less crowded beach, so we ended up settling on the Santa Rosa Beach area and hopefully go back to Seaside in the Fall when there are less people at the beach.

We ate at the Perfect Pig in Santa Rosa for lunch. I ordered the quiche & the hubby ordered the pulled pork sandwich on brioche. Lunch was delicious and our food didn't take long to arrive- which was great because I was ready to get to the beach! Such a cute spot for lunch- it was obviously very popular because there were no seats left when we arrived & they seated us by the bar, which worked out well because it was a quieter spot with just the two of us.

It was such a gorgeous day! I ended up reading 2 books and got a nice tan- great day in all!!

 Snacks for the road

Found this cute swim-suit + sandals at Target for our upcoming cruise!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Finding the Silver Lining//

Hello y'all! Sorry for disappearing- usually when I don't blog, it's because there is just so much going on in my life. I hope that changes soon, because I really love coming here to write. Remember when I wrote about how I had been sick? If you haven't seen the blog post, you can check it out here.

The good news is that for the past week, I have been feeling much better! Not all of my symptoms are completely gone, but the really serious ones have not come back after 7 days- so I am claiming the healing! I still do not know exactly what was wrong with me, but it was something extremely serious and I know that because of  the prayers from friends and family- that God heard our prayers and healed my body. I could feel whatever it was, constantly eating away at my insides and losing weight rapidly- definitely not a good feeling. But I never stopped praying and never stopped believing that God was going to heal me. When the enemy tried to sneak in with words like stomach cancer and pancreatic cancer, I refused to claim it- I prayed and declared healing over my body. Jesus said, "For truly if you have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

To be honest, I didn't realize how much my health truly meant to me, until it was being taken away. It is extremely devastating to be in my thirties and having to deal with health issues. It has been a huge wake-up call for me to make some changes in my life. I am still unable to eat gluten or soy without having reactions like my throat closing up, so I have had to eliminate them altogether. Dairy and sugar still aggravate me as well so I am looking into changing over completely to stevia and possibly coconut milk, hopefully that will help.

So, you know how I always find the silver lining in every trial? Well, the silver lining to this trial is that now do I not only appreciate being in good health, but also that I finally lost the weight that I have been trying to get off for the last couple of years. I have lost 17 pounds in a 2 month time frame- there is no way that I could have done that without being sick. I was not planning on giving up my pasta and cheese anytime soon- I can't help it, I'm a major foodie! So if there is something to be thankful for through this trial, that would be it! On top of all of that, my faith has become even stronger, if that is even possible. I truly believe that with faith and prayer, that anything is possible!!

I just want to say thank you to the ones who checked on me and prayed for me- the support means so much to me. It's such a blessing to have my health back and I beyond grateful. To celebrate, the hubby and I are going to Seaside tomorrow to take a much needed break! Plus, we are going to celebrate his birthday since we didn't get to celebrate last Monday. Speaking of, I need to go & pack a beach bag- we are leaving early tomorrow morning!

I did some research on Seaside, FL and they have lots of cute little shops and foodie trucks. The Truman Show was also filmed in this little town as well as the Food Network. I am so excited to sample from all of the different foodie trucks!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Enjoyable Weekend//

I had such a nice weekend, mainly because after researching for over a month, the hubby and I finally decided on a trip! We will be traveling to the Turks & Caicos, San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, St. Marteen (we visited there last when we were dating!). We will be celebrating my husband's birthday + our 16th Wedding Anniversary + our home being completed- lots of great milestones to celebrate together! Let's be honest, I am so excited that I have already started researching places to visit & I have already started setting a few things aside to pack! (Surprising, since we still have a month until we leave).

Other than that, we were able to get a few things done this weekend- the siding is officially finished! Now we just need to do the prep work and spray paint the house- thank goodness for the Wagner, because I cannot imagine painting two stories worth of siding- no thank you! I also did the usual house-cleaning, and I finally broke down and washed the couch slip-cover- definitely hard work, but I'm so glad it's done now. Also cleaned out the fridge & did some Food shopping. The hubby is going to be supportive and do the gluten-free diet with me, so we went out & bought everything for the week- I'm excited to see how he likes it!

I also finally decided on a logo for my Etsy Shop and even set aside time to do a book review + request another new book. I really have enjoyed reading lately- it's something that I have to carve out time for, but to me it's worth it because continued learning + growth is extremely important to me//

 Organized the coffee station//

Finished reading this week- great book!

 Costco- lots of new healthy, organic items!

 Free earned coffee drink- Espresso Frappucino made with coconut milk + 2 shots espresso

Tried out the new Grub Burger- gluten free burger + sweet potato fries- it was pretty good!

Purchased some cute Summer Shoes this month- all on sale!

I also had some fun this weekend breaking my camera out to practice some photography- I love where we live - it's like we have our own little forest:) Home is my peaceful place to relax and I love to be surrounded by the quiet and the beauty of nature//

I'm also hoping to surprise the hubby with a little get-away this weekend- just for the day and just the two of us. I'm very excited because we really could use a little break.

That's about it for now- hope that you all had a nice weekend as well!!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Book Review//

I recently read this book written by Patrick Di Justo and was very intrigued. I have always been interested in different food ingredients and anyone who knows me well, will find me in the Trader Joe's or Whole Foods food aisle, reading the back of labels before adding things to my cart. Thank goodness that my husband is a very patient man.

But I digress, onto the book review!

This was a quick but interesting read about what is really in the food that we put in our mouth. Very eye-opening on what we eat on a daily basis- for example, did you know that in the Hostess Lemon Fruit Pies, it contains an ingredient by the name of locust bean gum. It's an extract of the seeds of the carob tree. Ancient Egyptians used to bind the wrappings of mummies. Similar, to the way that it keeps the crust from getting soggy in the Lemon Fruit Pie. Not sure if I want to ingest the same ingredient that has been used to wrap mummies and preserve them, but to each their own, right? 

And who knew drinking coconut water, is practically the same thing as ingesting the plant reproduction fluids- basically, when drinking coconut water I am actually drinking liquid coconut endosperm. Now every time I drink coconut water (which is almost a daily basis)- I will have that lovely visual.

I personally found this book to be very interesting and I feel that it's a definite must read for the curious of minds. So next time you're at the bookstore, pick up a copy- I don't think you'll be disappointed!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Trusting in God//

So I know that I haven't done a follow-up post since the first of June, when I talked here about the health issues that I was going through. Mostly, because it's not really fun to talk about health issues and I hate being a person that complains. Since then, I have been doing research in my spare time, trying to figure out what is going on with my body. And unfortunately, my symptoms have gotten worse, instead of better.

Some new symptoms:
//Weight loss- I've lost 14 lbs. quite quickly
//Feels like there is something inside my stomach, eating away and twisting my insides- it's gotten so out of hand that it feels like there is a giant hole in my stomach & my tummy constantly rumbles// It makes it very difficult to live a normal life.
//Cramps/Pain in my chest
//Difficulty swallowing- sometimes, it feels like my throat is closing up & I have limited breathing
//Stomach upset + nausea

I still am unable to eat dairy, gluten, soy or sugar and I am avoiding alcohol. So pretty much I only eat lean meats (try to stay away from red meats & pork), olive oil, vegetables, hot teas and low-sugar fruits. I really miss my coffee (I still have some occasionally but it doesn't agree with me), pasta, cheese, wine, dairy, butter. Maybe one day I can eat those foods again, in moderation.

After a couple months of researching, I have come to the conclusion that I most likely I have a stomach ulcer/infection. Even as a child, I have always been a sensitive person-both physically and emotionally and it makes my body susceptible to attack.

I am not able to take prescription medicine because I am chemically-sensitive, even something as minor as advil or aspirin makes me nauseous and dizzy. The herbal remedies pictured above are what I am currently taking. I take all of these during the day with the exception of the probiotics, calm, colon cleanse,  msm and coconut oil. I mix those together to drink as a night-time cocktail with my Valerian to help with sleep. This afternoon, I ordered more vitamins that I researched- slippery elm, boswellia, more enzymes, apple cider vinegar and mastica gum.

And of course, prayer is the most important thing that I am doing for myself. I am praying for healing for my body and I am believing for it.. The same way that I prayed for healing for Roscoe when he was paralyzed and was unable to walk. God showed me in a dream, months before, that Roscoe was walking again and after 8 months of being completely paralyzed, God healed his little body- one of the greatest miracles that I have ever seen in my life! He is so merciful and so good to me all of the time, even when I don't deserve his love. I love him so much, no matter what I have to go through.

God has never failed me or abandoned me, not one time and I know that even though I may feel like I am walking through this valley alone- He is right there by my side walking with me. I don't understand why I have to go through this, but God has his reasons and I am willing to go through this if it is what he requires from me. I know the plans that God has for me, plans for good and not evil, plans to give me a hope and a future. I don't know what life holds for me in my future, but as long as God is in it, I am at peace with his decision. I put my life in his hands, not fearing but with complete trust and faith that he will take care of me. After all, I am his child, he loves me so much:)

Have you ever seen a miracle that couldn't be explained away?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Weekend//

My niece, Olivia//

Friday- went shopping with my sister & found lots of cute clothing. It was the perfect afternoon filled with shopping, Starbucks, Froyo and fun! I've been burning both ends of the candle working a full-time job + coming home and working on the house, so I needed the break!

The rest of the weekend was filled with mostly work around the house:

//Cleaned House (laundry, dishes, etc.)
//Moved all Hardi-board siding and cleaned up the lawn area
//Read 4 inspirational books (some I browsed through & just took what applied to me)
//Listened to 5 motivational podcasts
//Added Google Adsense to my Blog to make some extra $$
//Cleaned off deck
//Organized/cleaned garage some more
//Picked up some sticks + had a bon-fire
//Cleaned my makeup brushes & organized makeup bag
//Called my Mom
//Researched vacations (I'm so ready to get away & just relax!)
//Working with a local photographer to trade some of my hand-made signs for a photo shoot- that was actually on my Goals list for 2015!

That's about it for the weekend- we are currently grilling some organic hamburgers + hot-dogs and will probably have some beer, watch a movie and call it a day.
Hope that you all had a fabulous weekend!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Life Lately//

Life has been busy- lately, I have been feeling like I have so many things that I want to accomplish and I've decided to just start doing the things that I have been wanting to do. Life doesn't have to be perfect to start going after my dreams- there will never be a more perfect time than now. If I don't start doing the things that I want to do now, I am afraid that I will wake up one day full of regrets and that is my worst nightmare.

 Weekend breakfast for the hubby

 Listening to music-one of my favorite things to do

 I finally broke out the sewing machine & made this tote bag- I haven't sewn since I was a teenager. Guess it's like riding a bike..

 I've been reading a variety of books- growing & learning about success, self-improvement

I free-handed these 2 signs- I used to dabble in calligraphy when I was a teenager - I think they turned out pretty good!

Went to Target & found lots of cute items in the dollar section

 Found some items for my Etsy Shop + home office supplies

Ordered these color blocked sandals that were on sale from AE

Looking forward to this t shirt set that I ordered for me & the hubby!

Over the weekend, I was able to get several things accomplished:
  • I decided upon a new Etsy Shop name & it was approved on Sunday!
  • I ordered a stamp for my Etsy Shop
  • I emailed a couple of Etsy shops inquiring about logos for my shop
  • I researched some great books about business, success in life, self-improvement & have put about 20 books on hold at our local library-I love learning new things!
  • I mended 7 clothing items
  • I finished staining underneath the deck
  • I finished painting the trim & rafters at the front entrance (now I have the other 3 sides left)
  • I cleaned the food  pantry + underneath the bath cabinet
  • Food shopping for the week
  • Hubby hooked up the new dishwasher (last week)-so happy to not have to hand-wash dishes anymore!
  • Finally finished our Estate Planning (I hate doing those type of things where death/separation of me & the hubby is discussed)
  • Hubby working on last bit of siding- another good weekend (without rain) & he will be finished! 
We're also looking at a vacation soon- hopefully, around August or September. Initially, we wanted to go to Europe or Hawaii, but I have been so exhausted lately that I just want something that is already planned- no flights, no hotel booking or worrying about meals and drinks. So I think we have decided to go on a cruise again- that way we don't have to worry about anything. The hubby's birthday is July and our Wedding Anniversary is August- so it will be the perfect time to getaway and relax. By that time, we will be finished painting and have the house pretty much finished.