Saturday, November 20, 2010

Some recent photography

I have been having lots of fun lately stretching my photography muscle without the pressure of charging and being able to take on projects at my discretion. I enjoy photography so much more as a hobby than as a job. Lately, I have been doing photo shoots for friends that wouldn't be able to get personalized and good photos otherwise. I wanted to share a few photos from those sessions!

This is a young couple that are engaged to be married in September. This was such a fun shoot!

This lovely family was so fun and easy to shoot! We were out for less than an hour and I walked away with so many great photos for them! I threw a baby-shower for Heather before baby J was born so it was really fun to be involved in their family photos!

Lots of love in this little family.

Josh, Peyton, and the Carlsons, Thank you so much for letting me capture these wonderful moments! I had so much fun with both of these sessions and it reminded me how much I love photography. You guys are great!
Be Lovely!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Can I please be typical for a moment?

Is it okay with everyone if I find a great idea, get super pumped about it for about a week, lose interest, and then rush to finish the project so I can start a new idea that I'm super pumped about?
Yes, no?
Well...I'm tempted.
This 30 days of Me thing has tripped me up. I know it is a is Physio homework. So...seriously, is it okay if I quickly sum up "Me" and then move on?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's that time...

Time to start thinking of Christmas Decor! YAY! I know, I know-Thanksgiving is still a month away, but I'm a planner! And, in order to get these kind of things done I need to plan and start on them early!
We haven't had stockings yet because we have never had a place to hang them. But, our new home has a fireplace mantle! Wahoo! So, I will be making 3 pretty little stockings this year! Growing up, we had stockings that my Momma handmade and I love them. They were the simple red stocking with the white fold at the top and she put each of our names on the white part in different colors of glitter. They were simple but they mean "Christmas morning" to me. I want Abbey to have that same sentimental feeling when she sees her handmade stocking =)
So, here are some ideas and inspirations I've been tossing around.

I really like the simplicity of these. Not really diggin' the cat one, btw.

I love, love, love these. Especially the red, polka-dot ones. In any case, that garland will be mine.

I think these are gorgeous. And I think I could replicate at least the idea of them.
These are the front-runners as of now, probably to no one's surprise. I love all the colors and the whimsy. And, it would be fun to decide what each member of our little family had as their "theme". So fun!

Better have my hubby get on here and vote =)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 9: 30 Days of Me

I have actually been really proud of myself lately. I feel like I'm in a really good place in my personal life. As some of you know, I struggled with postpartum depression after pretty Abbey was born. I am pretty much passed it all now, but I do still have days that are harder than others. One thing I have learned is that if I can just get out of bed and get dressed, do my hair, and put make-up on I will have a much better day. So, I'm proud of myself because I have done that every school day since the beginning of this semester. Sometimes (actually, a lot of the time) I throw my hair up in a messy bun but I don't count off points for that because I still wear make up and it kind of works. Because I try to start my days off well, I am more productive during the day. I am caught up completely in all of my classes but 1 and everyday I do something productive to get myself on track. It was in my nature in the past to get overwhelmed and shut-down when I got behind and I don't do that anymore. I'm proud of myself for that. I cleaned the house today. That makes me proud. I have stopped telling myself "you're a bad person because you didn't get ____done." It really doesn't help anything and when I keep from being mean to myself I actually get a lot more done. This is in part because my husband is very encouraging and doesn't feed into or tolerate my beating myself up about things. I am proud of myself for being realistic and for accepting when I'm really just not cut-out for something. I proud that I can kind of lose gracefully and not dwell on trying to turn myself into something I'm not. Again, my husband plays a huge role in this because he never tries to turn me into any ideal or belittle me if I'm not Miss Perfect. My uncle recently kind of categorized me in the company of my Momma. That was the biggest compliment. If people are seeing me as a wonderful Mom, a supportive wife, a hard-working, committed, achieving, caring, poised, "kicking booty and taking names", room-brightening, beautiful woman of God then that makes me so proud.
I'm just really proud that I'm learning to really love myself. I'm proud that I'm accepting parts of me that are less-than-perfect and forgiving myself for not living up to these ridiculous standards that I've set for myself for some strange reason. And the best part is, in learning to let go and just be Me, I am actually getting closer to those standards than ever before.
Ahh...the power of self-love.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 8: 30 Days of Me

So, since it's almost the middle of October, I'm going to talk about my short-term goals for the month of November instead. But, knowing me, the goals I have in October will most likely bleed into November.

1. Give Abbey a successful and happy birthday party. This is pretty obvious.
2. Get/ Stay caught-up in my schoolwork.
3. Consistently provide my family with a clean home.
4. Don't make anymore goals or your head will explode.

Is that sad?

Setting some limits

We talked about technology in class today. About how it can kind of rule people's lives and that without it, at times, we can get very anxious. There is even debate about adding an addiction to the DSM-IV TR to explain this. I don't believe an addiction category is completely appropriate, but I do recognize that an addiction is classified not by the frequency of the behavior, but by how the behavior effects the person's life. With that said, I can definitely see technology having a negative effect on people's lives. I'm not saying technology should be avoided all together, but maybe we should be setting some limits on ourselves. I really do not want my daughter to grow up with a mental picture of me attached to my iPhone checking Facebook every 10 minutes. Yuck. So here's the deal: I'm designating "Outage Hours". I will not be on my phone before 8 am or after 10pm except in the case of traveling or emergencies. Furthermore, I will not check email, Facebook, Twitter, or surf around online from 12:30-3:00. And from 3:00-5:00 I will be focusing on productive online activities (sending emails, doing homework etc). These are times allotted for my family, myself and my schoolwork.
It goes without saying that if you call me, I will answer. If you text me, I will answer. I just feel I have a lot of time wasted at this point.
Please encourage me and hold me accountable.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 7: 30 Days of Me

Today is my day to write about what has impacted me most. That's easy.
This little girl is, hands down, responsible for having the biggest impact on me. Not only did she save me from myself, in a sense, but she continues to encourage me and keep me motivated without even knowing it. She is all beauty, inside and out, and that is so inspiring. God has blessed me with a beautiful gift. How can I doubt that He holds me in His arms and guides my life the way it is supposed to be. I can not imagine my life without my Abbey Kate. Her arrival changed the way I live my life, redirected experiences I should have, and all in a good way. Don't get me wrong, being a young Mommy definitely operates on a learning curve and requires difficult decisions and realities at times, but it is all worth it ten times over and has made me a better Me. I cannot discount my husband's role in all of this. He has blessed me beyond understanding and I am such a lucky wife! And, hey, Abbey is so much like her Daddy. The two go hand in hand.

Thank you, Pretty Abbey, for your smile every morning and your hugs every night. I love you to the moon! Can't wait til we get to Disney World, girl!

Getting a bit ahead of myself...

My beautiful friend, Morgan came to visit me this weekend. It was such a lovely visit. She brought me a baking book (my first one!) for my birthday. It's called I ♥ Sugar but I can't find it to provide a link for it. It's wonderful, though. Over 100 recipes to satisfy the sweet tooth we all get. It has big, pretty pictures on each page and easy-to-follow instructions. My favorite part about it is that each recipe has such simple ingredients and it's an old-school "pour on the sugar" kind of book. I love it.
So, Morgan and I made one recipe out of it, the Chocolate Crumble Pie. It was delicious, especially after being refrigerated over-night. So, I'm thinking about trying to work my through the whole book, Julie and Julia style. I am debating whether to wait until I have finished my 30 Days of Me or to do it concurrently. I think the latter may win out because I really can't wait for the white truffle cake and that's not until page 180. I would only do 1 or 2 recipes a weekend, so it would be manageable.
What do you think?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 6: 30 Days of Me

Okay, so I'm not really into today's topic so this will be brief. I'm supposed to decide who my favorite super hero is. I have gone back and forth between Super Woman and Batman. In the end, Batman wins. I suppose he is my favorite because the dude is messed up. I like that his super hero-ness is because of a trauma and the fact that he has gone crazy as opposed to some freak accident involving a spider or kryptonite. And seeing as I am a little psychologist in training, this really appeals to me.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

a lovely home: master bedroom

Here are some pictures that are currently serving as inspiration for our bedroom.


Hello, people!

So we are working on finally getting our bedroom looking like some thought went into it. I ordered a few things on and the order has been shipped...yay! Stay tuned later today for a sneak peek at what I have planned as well as Day 6 of my 30 Days of Me adventure.
Off to class!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 5: 30 Days of Me

Like the post about my friends, I'm discovering that I do not possess pictures of a lot of the places I've been. I would attribute this to the fact that most of my traveling was done when I still lived at home, so my Mom has a bunch of those photos. Here are a few that I do have:

Abbey and I in Mexico with Gammy (aka my Momma!) This was specifically in Puerto Vallarta, January 2009.

Here is a photo of 2 of my siblings and I on a cruise ship with our dinner waiter. I think this trip was when we went to Jamaica, but I could be wrong. During our cruising adventures we have been to: Cancun, Cozumel, Belize, Jamaica, Yucatan Peninsula (the ruins of Chichen Itza) and the Bahamas.

This is a photo from July 2009 in Colorado. We went for a family vacation with my husband's side of the family and I loved it!

Other places I have been that I don't have photos of:
-Toronta, Canada. Not sure why I don't have this trip documented. I know I have pictures from it, they just must be somewhere else. Part of that same trip was Niagra Falls. Boy, was that beautiful!
-Various fun family vacas in Branson, New Orleans, Florida (Disney World), Mall of America (!) in Minnesota. (Forgive me, Momma, if I am forgetting some. I've been doing homework all day and my brain is a little fried.)

I would love to do more traveling when my little family is older and more set in our finances, but I have some amazing memories from the places I have been so far!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 4: 30 Days of Me

Apparently, I'm supposed to pick a habit of mine that I wish I didn't have. 1 habit?! I'll try to pick my least favorite, I suppose.
My absolute worst habit has to be my procrastination. It bites me in the butt all the time and I still rarely change my behavior (isn't that called insanity?). I have gotten a handle on procrastination within homework and school-related things...almost. But, when there is a pile of dishes in the sink or laundry to be done, I am much more likely to put it off.
I say that, and today I cleaned the whole house. It feels great. I even timed how long it took me to do one meal's worth of dishes: 7 minutes.
The worst part about this bad habit of mine is that it upsets my hubby. I hate the feeling I get when I can tell he is frustrated that the house is messy after he has been working all day. I never want him to feel like I don't appreciate what he does or that I am not doing what I can at home.
Sometimes I am really, really busy. With school, Abbey, babysitting, errands, cooking...
But usually it just comes down to the fact that I. don't. want. to.
Ugh...I hate that about me! I really am making strides to improve on this part of me.
It's all part of this journey I'm on.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 3: 30 Days of Me

Today's challenge is to post pictures of my friends and Me. How sad. I barely have any. I'm especially sad that I have no pictures with my good friend, Sarah B. And I could only find 1 picture that has both my friend Sarah R and me in it. sheesh.
Well, at least I have a goal!

This lovely lady is my first best friend, Hope. I don't get to talk to her much but I am really loving seeing that she is seemingly living the life that she always wanted. I love you, Hopey!

These girls made my life in high school. I miss them so much! Nanas forever =)

Rae has been close to my heart for such a long time. I miss her a whole bunch!

My beautiful baby sister (my little rainbow). I am so proud of her and wish everyday that we lived closer.

Lisa and I were college roomies our freshmen year. That was admittedly difficult, but we are all peachy now and I appreciate her more everyday!

Apparently this is the only picture I have of Sarah and me (far right). That makes me really sad. Sarah is my bestie. The other 2 lovely ladies to the left are some new friends of mine: Staci and Peyton.

More girlies at Staci's wedding!

My number 1 best friend: my beautiful hubby, Rusty. He's my favorite.

Other people worth mentioning that I do not have pictures of:
Sarah B-we haven't known each other for long but I believe we have built a strong friendship that has silly husbands and beautiful baby girls in common. She has kept me sane in so many instances.
Kayla-we didn't become good friends she was about to graduate so our friendship is mostly long distance. We can talk for hours over an iced mocha! I have a special place in my heart for her and I pray that she is a happy girl!
Adam-Adam is one of the only guys that is obviously Rusty's friend that I would also consider my friend. He is a good conversationalist and really fun to shop with. ha! If I talk much longer I may embarrass him =) He's just a great dude and uncle to my girl!
Cully-He and I were friends through middle school and high school. He was a lot like a big brother to me. I'm so glad he is taking care of my girl, Morgan. But I never doubted =)
Gabe-We were friends since about 8th grade. I could always be silly with him and he kept cheer practice light. I'm so proud of him for getting his 1 man full extension with his lovely girl, Shelley.

Can your Mom be your friend? :)

The old adage we all learn in Girl Scouts: Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. It's so true. Without my friends that know me at the core, that knew me when I was growing up and becoming Me, I think I might die. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but at least I know I would cease to thrive. And my new friends that are with me through my current struggles and ambitions, that are seeing the extent of Me unfold (whether good or bad) and sticking with me through it all and sometimes even treating me to coffee, ice cream, or good ole moral support are priceless.
I love you all.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 2: 30 Days of Me

"Be Lovely" is a phrase I used to say in closing, usually in written form. I just really like the thought of encouraging people to exude loveliness. To me, being lovely is to welcome life as it comes. To handle things with grace and true beauty. I also love the idea of surrounding ourselves with lovely things to further enhance our pursuit of living lovely. It's not to say that we should suppress negative feelings or try to avoid negative emotions. In fact, I believe (and I think I am scientifically backed) that to be mentally healthy we need to accept the ugly in our lives and allow ourselves to process through yucky feelings. And being aware of yourself, and loving yourself enough to take the bad with the good is, I believe, part of this thing called loveliness.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 1: 30 days of Me

Here is a recent photo of me. This was on the morning of registration for this semester's classes (around Sept 1, 2010). I am joined by my beautiful daughter =)

15 things about Me:
1. I am married to the perfect guy for me. We have been through so much together but we have always remained friends above all else. I believe that friendship is what makes our marriage so strong. I am very blessed to have Rusty in my life to take my hand and walk with me wherever God leads us!
2. I am a mommy and I love it. It is not without its challenges, but it is the single-most rewarding experience I've ever had. My little "Dot" is the light of my life and she makes things worth doing. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she saved me and made the way for the life that I am supposed to have.
3. I am a procrastinator. Why do you think I'm doing this right now? Because I desperately do not want to write a paper...
4. I really love to shop online, and I very rarely actually buy anything. I suppose it's another form of procrastination.
5. I miss my family every single day. Sometimes I cry, but I don't want my Momma to worry. I know I am where I need to be. It just gets tough.
6. I really love music. I am surrounded by it almost constantly. I wish so much that I had something to contribute musically. I cannot play an instrument or sing. I really wish I could sing.
7. Sometimes I want to be the perfect housewife, sometimes I want to be this strong, power-chick. Most of the time I want both.
8. I'm learning to say nice things to myself.
9. I like The Hills, One Tree Hill, cheerleading, and trashy VH1 reality shows. Sue me.
10. I am really terrible at house work. Actually, the quality of the work when it is done is fine, it's just that I rarely get it done. I need to work on this everyday.
11. I have a freckle above my left eyebrow that I really like.
12. I'm a lot smarter than my transcript would have you believe if you were to get a hold of it. I struggled for a while, now I'm back on the horse and ready to finish this race.
13. I really want to write and publish a book. Maybe a novel, maybe a non-fiction kind of thing.
14. I function best on about 6 hours of sleep. If I get more than 8 I am dead to the world.
15. I am really skeptical of most people. Don't mind me if we are out sometime and I am "scanning" people for guns. When you have a baby you'll understand.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

30 Days of Me

Okay. So, I know I have already posted twice today, but check the time stamp. It's definitely 12:13am and counts as a new day. I was reading the blog of one of my best-friends this evening when I came across this beautiful, inspiring, and refreshing task. 30 days of Me. Here is the list:

day 1- recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself
day 2- the meaning behind you blog name
day 3- a picture of you and your friends
day 4- a habit that you wish you didn’t have
day 5- a picture of somewhere you've been to
day 6- favorite super hero and why
day 7- a picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you
day 8- short term goals for this month and why
day 9- something you're proud of in the past few days
day 10- songs you listen to when you are happy, sad, bored, hyped, mad
day 11- another picture of you and your friends
day 12- how you found out about blogger and why you have one
day 13- a letter to someone who has hurt you recently
day 14- a picture of you and your family
day 15- put you ipod on shuffle: first 10 songs that play
day 16- another picture of yourself
day 17- someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why
day 18- plans/dreams/goals you have
day 19- nicknames you have and why you have them
day 20- someone you see yourself marrying or being with in the future
day 21- a picture of something that makes you happy
day 22- what makes you different from everyone else
day 23- something you crave for a lot
day 24- a letter to your parents
day 25- what I would find in your bag
day 26- what do you think about your friends
day 27- why are you doing this 30 day challenge
day 28- a picture of you from last year and now, how have you changed since then?
day 29- in this past month, what have you learned
day 30- you favorite song

I kind of love this. I feel like it is just what the doctor ordered. To spend a few minutes a day to really think about myself. Not in a narcissistic and self-centered way, but in a healing and empowering sense. I'm not doing this for my readers, but for myself. If you are reading, however, please feel free to comment and even do the challenge with me. Afterall, I am doing this with a dear friend. Here we go!

I really love this...

22 years...

Today is my first full day of being 22 years old
I really don't feel older, but I do feel a sort of change happening. Not that I woke up this morning and had a grand revelation, I have just learned a lot of lessons in the past few months that seem to be totaling up and making the way for a healthy and full 22nd year.
Anyone that knows me well at all knows that I can easily get "stars in my eyes"-as my Momma put it. This usually involves a grand idea (generally creative) and is usually a way for me to make money, or a name for myself. I think the need for these ideas is really from the fact that as a 20 something, I am still not completely comfortable in who I am and don't have a strong handle on where my place in the world is. I have tried everything from cupcakes, to sewing, to photography. While each of these things is a hobby and a happy thing in my life, none of them are indicative of what God has planned for me.
As a wife, a mother, and a student, I MUST focus more on those roles and begin to improve what God has set out for me.
I apologize to anyone who has been caught up in wave of my ambition. What I am learning is that my real passion in life is Rusty, Abbey, and the prospect of being a Psychologist. If you do know me well, please encourage me in my pursuit to do my best at those things.
What does this mean for Be Lovely? I'm not completely sure. I know that I will no longer be advertising any kind of products or services that I may offer. I feel that hobby and work need to remain separate in my life. I am undecided on what I will carry-on writing about. I really do love design and fashion, and because that is a hobby I suppose it needs an outlet. I would also like a place to just journal-with no deadlines or weekly plans involved. So, I'm still thinking and praying.
Hang with me.
Thanks to all of you who have encouraged me in all my pursuits and who have been with me when people have been flat-out-mean.
Be Lovely!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

a lovely wardrobe: ruche

Every once in a while I stumble across a little slice of shopping Heaven. Like when I finally discovered Etsy, or the eye candy of Design Sponge. Recently my online window shopping has consisted of staring (and staring, and staring) at the new items and lookbook of Ruche. This is one of those stores that I probably shouldn't tell people about so that I can be the only one that knows where the treasure is.
And when people ask me where I got my outfit I say something like, "Um...I don't remember. It was a while back."
But that's a bit snarky.
Ruche is an online shop with vintage-inspired clothing but it's totally affordable! I don't think there is one thing on the website that I wouldn't love to have in my wardrobe. It really is one of those shops that I would be willing to ditch all my clothing if I could have it replenished with Ruche items.
I have lately been on a seemingly materialistic hunt for "my style". Well, Ruche, you did it. This shop is totally "me".

Case in point. This outfit just needs to poof! on my person. Right now. I love every bit of it. The dress, the sweater, the necklace, the ring, the tights, the shoes, the bag. I even like that chic's hair.

I like this hairstyle, too. But what I really love about this outfit are the slouchy shorts mixed with high-socks and those cute booties. I think I sported this look in like 4th grade. And my tiny ankles are just begging to be trendy.

But here is the real kicker. Oh my goodness, I love this outfit. I never would think that green leg warmers would be stylish, but they clearly work in this case. The brooch is sold separately but it belongs on that coat. I never knew "the rules" about wearing a long sleeve sweater under a shorter sleeved coat. Well, I don't really care what "the rules" are, because it looks so cute and comfy to me.
I love, love, love layers. The reason autumn is my favorite season is because of the clothes. And now, because of the clothes from Ruche.

PS: my birthday is this month.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

i've realized something...

...when blogging, you can totally write the way you think.
Thanks to Emily Henderson of The Brass Petal (also HGTV's latest Design Star and new hostess of Secrets from a Stylist), my take on blog writing has changed. I'm in the full swing of fall semester now, so my brain has switched to "student-scholarly" writing mode, but that wouldn't be much fun to read, now would it?
Lisa and I have both been so busy with school that I don't think either of us have even thought about the blog in a few weeks.
I wonder if changing the focus of Be Lovely during the school year would be beneficial?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

a lovely home: workspace wall colors

I have been second-guessing my original decision to paint the wall panels in the soon-to-be workspace multiple colors. I think that's a good thing...
I have also been thinking I don't want to go with a pink space. I feel like I'm being disloyal! Blues and greens are just appealing to me so much more at this point. I'm going to paint all three pieces the same color so it will look closer to an installed wall.
I wanted this space for me, but I also want it to feel grown-up and sophisticated. Here are a few color choices I have in mind:

I'm really leaning toward the last one, above. I am planning on going to our Sherwin Williams store and seeing if they have any mis-tints the are close to the color I want so I can save a few buckaroos.
So, what color do you like?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

lovely parties: pancake feast

A while back I mentioned that we would be hosting a house-warming complete with a pancake feast! Well, we did and I have the photos to prove it!

In line for pancakes!

Friends in the kitchen!

A crowded (and happy) living room!

That's me cheesin' it up!
*And notice my ridiculously decked-out pancake! Bananas, whip cream, chocolate chips, chocolate syrup...yumm

Devouring the goods!


Our great friend, Paul!

And, of course, the pretty girl enjoying her very own pancake!

We made 2 boxes of pancake mix and had no left-overs! I think we ended up squeezing about 16 people in our little home, but it was absolutely lovely! We provided toppings galore, including bananas, berries, whip cream, peanut butter, chocolate chips, chocolate syrup and classic maple syrup. I was impressed with the many combinations our friends came up with for a delicious pancake! We also made lots and lots of coffee and had plenty or orange juice.
Now I'm just looking forward to an excuse to do this again. And I'm salivating just thinking about it...