Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekend Wind Down

My how the weekend just flew by. No complaints here though because the "crawfish boil", which was an alias excuse to tell mom because it was really her surprise birthday party, was beyond successful. During the last few minutes before her arrival I was beginning to think she was on to it. However, the look on her face when she got here and saw everyone casually chatting in the back yard said otherwise. She had no idea that a small group of some of her closest friends would all be in my backyard, of all places. I've been planning this for a few weeks now, and none of it would have gone smoothly without one of her best friends, Tracie, who helped me tremendously, and my stepdad Bubba. Can't thank them enough for all the work! It was a night I will always remember, not only because Mom had such a blast, but because Mike and I also made stronger and new friendships. So blessed for everyone that came to make Mom's day special. Of course I had to do something with my barcart,  because why not?! Mom's drink is, and has been for yeeaaarrrss, vodka/club fruit. If you know or are friends with Donna Joe, you know this. It only made since to feature the ingredients on the bar cart. And if you know me, from at least reading MN, you know that fresh flowers are a must for parties. Not intentionally, but when I got home and made the fresh flower bouquets, they gave off a very tropical vibe. After the freakish chilly evening Saturday, and don't get me wrong it feels amazing outside, I am ready for summer, the pool, sun, pina coladas, do some flamingling (flamingo + mingle)...

We literally finished the outdoor seating area in the nick of time. I think I picked up the last of the outdoor furniture on Friday. The new seating area came out just as I had envisioned and I'm pretty darn happy with the outcome. It was a completely necessary space for the surprise party as well. Luckily, the morning after the party, we went out there to find zero crawfish splatter stains on the white cushions. And let me tell ya, we were kind of shocked...and slightly impressed. There are a few more touches I would like to add before I post the final reveal. So stay tuned for more details on the outdoor seating area. 
We may have ordered and tad too much crawfish,,,(clears throat, 150 lbs)...that we didn't even put a dent in. Needless to say, we, rather Cristen (mostly) and Mike had a crawfish peeling party on the back porch yesterday. The crawfish were so good and seasoned perfect. This go around we also boiled some shrimp. They were also a hit and soooo delicious. After eating them I've decided instead of doing another crawfish boil, like I have been wanting to do with some of my friends, I think we will have a shrimp boil. We have already had crawfish several times this season (for me more than I have in the last couple years) and shrimp doesn't have a season that ends, so we can pretty much do a shrimp boil whenever. 

I started working on my coffee bar a little bit yesterday. I have been meaning to make it a little more guest friendly and haven't had the motivation. We had a couple over night guest Saturday, and we are also expecting several guest from now until about the first week of May. Sunday morning I realized I didn't leave any to-go coffee cups out or the machine on for our recent company. This ultimately inspired me to get to working on a friendlier coffee bar for future overnight guest. We love, me especially, playing hostess and having our, typically oversea, guest stay with us. It thrills me to be able to be hospitable to our company, because you get to form closer bonds and stronger friendships with them. Anyone is always welcome at our house...I don't have decorated guest bedrooms for nothin'! Here's a little sneak peak on the new & improved coffee bar I'll sharing later on MN.

We still have a busy rest of April but if it flies by like this weekend, i'm quite pumped for everything that's ahead. How was your weekend? Anything exciting happen? Thanks for stopping by MN and come back and visit soon...until next time...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Go Find It Friday

Ok so the chances of you being able to find today's outfit is slim. However, if your up for digging and have plenty of time, then you might just get lucky. In a sense it's also worth the dig, because you'll never believe this but, this whole outfit was $10! I was on the hunt for a festival, boho style look to take photos for my 1 year blogiversary. Literally the day before we shot this look I found this outfit in the depths of the Forever 21 clearance room. It took some time, but I was happy that I did. Even more happier when I realized their clearance items were buy 1, get 1 free. The crop top was marked down to $6 or $4, but it didn't matter because I only paid for the price of the skirt, which was marked down to $10. I took a chance and didn't even try on the skirt (it ended up fitting perfectly, in the length too) and the top was the only one I could find. I think the top is a size medium because its slightly big and I remember wishing when I had it on that it was smaller. I couldn't have been more happier with the outcome and it worked for me for the look and vibe I was going for. 

March marked 1 year of blogging for me, and what a year it has been. I can't count the number of times I have wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits. I still have those moments today. All the hard work I put into my blog and to feel as if no one really cares or gets it is draining. Blogging is exactly like a business, only less risk. I give it my all, 100%, 24/7. When I go so long without any results it becomes very discouraging. The one thing that always brings me back around is reminding myself that I'm doing it all for myself. Never have I had the chance to be so freely creative. And it really is rewarding when I do something that i'm proud of. It's also hard to see other bloggers who seem to be doing so well and i'm over here feeling stuck like chuck. Again, I have to remind myself, to do my own thing and that it's only been a year. In reality that's not enough time to prove myself. I'm still being seasoned and getting experience. When you do have those moments of feeling successful, it's all worth it. And even though i'm not in a big clique of other bloggers, I would take the 3 bloggers who've cheered me on and brought me back up any day. As long as I am staying true to who I am and what I like, not what everyone else likes and is doing, i'm a happy blogger. 
Having this blog has, in a way, given me purpose. I stopped working as a dental assistant, about, 2 years ago. I didn't necessarily jump right into blogging either. It took me a while to gain confidence and convince myself that I could do this. I also wanted to make sure I was blogging for a reason, my reason. When I did start to dip my toes in the water, MN blog started consuming my thoughts. Much like owning your own business. How could I make it better? What can I do to grow? How do I make it relate-able? So, MN gave me a reason to wake up and stay busy and actually do something, vs. nothing. I still ask myself millions of questions regarding improvement and growth, and do my best to take action towards answering these questions. 

I by no means am experienced or successful enough to give advice. Some might think that i'm still categorized as a wanna be blogger. But, what works for some doesn't necessarily work for me. What I want for my blog isn't what others may want for theirs. So, it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks. I'm still very much in the learning stage, but I feel like i'm headed in the right direction for what's best for me and MN. And as much as I tell Mike I want to give up, or as much as people make fun of me for what I do (and EVERYONE pokes fun at me) and make me feel irrelevant for working so hard for nothing, it is for something. It's for me. Just because i'm not generating an income, yet, doesn't mean it's pointless. I have to remember that not everyone completely understands what a blog is. Which is fine, but to perhaps put it in perspective for you, I just have more of a unique job then you do. I'm not savvy to your business and you don't need or have to be savvy to mine. If your not a blogger you have to understand that it is a business. Because if I didn't treat it like a business then I would never be a successful blogger. Not to mention there are, i'm sure, thousands of bloggers who actually have turned their little ol' blog into LLC's/DBA's. I may be a long way from that, but i'll get there some way or another. When I get discouraged, it's not from the constant jokes about being a blogger, in fact that makes me want to work harder and prove them wrong (so keep the jokes coming), I get discouraged from my performance and knowing and thinking I could do better or produce better quality content. It's pure frustration with myself. Sometimes the feeling of lack of support from my loved ones closest to me is a little discouraging, but, again, I have to remind myself i'm not blogging for them. I blog for me, I blog because it's my outlet to share my creativity and my interest. I may not have thousands, and thousands of followers but I so appreciate and love the one's that do follow me. If your new to blogging, like me, just don't give up. That's probably the best advice I can legitimately give right now. And to the new bloggers, feel free to ask for and tips if you have any questions on your journey. I may or may not be able to help, but am willing too.

I mentioned earlier meeting a few bloggers who have really been the best cheerleaders. Elvira with Fashion Rowe has been one of them. Her and I started blogging at the same in March last year, and we are both in The Woodlands. I'm so very lucky and blessed to call her friend and walking with me on this journey called blogging. I consider her my blogger bestie and just adore and love her to death. Her taste and sense of style is impeccably stunning. She is the most gorgeous person I've ever met, inside and out. I can't thank her enough for her friendship and cherish every minute we get spend with each other. If you don't follow her or read her blog, you must. Fashion Rowe will surely inspire you.

P.S. Balloons and Rooftops don't always go well with each other...

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Friday & weekend. We have a busy one ourselves. What are you up to? Remember if your in The Woodlands, Ironman is this weekend so there will be road closures and detours. Until next time...


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Budget Blooms: $15 or under

April could not be any busier for us. From the crawfish boils to traveling, I feel like a chicken with it's head cut off. With that being said, April is probably one of my favorite months. To me, it's the month of love. So many people I know, including Mike and I, met and fell in love in April. Not to mention, my mom and Mike's birthday is in April. 
To start the month off, literally on the 1st of April, we hosted a crawfish boil as you know. Anytime we are having guest over gives me an excuse to buy fresh flowers. Because I was so short on time when I bought the flowers (the day before the boil), I didn't get to lay them all out for you like I normally would for Budget Blooms. And I shouldn't be surprised, but I didn't take the opportunity to snap photos of the rest of the sunflower stalks I bought for the crawfish boil. I think sunflowers are the perfect flower to have around for a boil. Maybe it's the yellow of the flower with the red crawfish, but it just works.

I am sharing a couple photos of my anniversary flowers, which was really a branch from what I believe is some version of a Cherry Blossom tree. I never got the name, nor saw it on the tag. However, I did know I needed it when Mike asked if I wanted to get some flowers "from him"while we were grocery shopping. The sunflowers I had were housed in the same vase I put the blossom in, so you can use your imagination and get an idea of where and what the sunflowers I had were in and looked like. I can't believe I didn't take photos of them, and all this time I thought I had. I'm telling you, it's been a crazy, busy month. It's not over either. We are having another boil this Saturday at the house. That only means I have an excuse to buy more fresh blooms.

I'll do better for the next budget blooms and have more photos for you. Not including the anniversary blossoms, this weeks total for fresh blooms was under $15. The roses and sunflowers came from Trader Joes, and I grabbed the carnations at HEB Central Market. It's time too to toss them, I just haven't done it yet, but the carnations are still in a small vase on the coffee table. They were still kicking up until last weekend, just to give you an idea of how long carnations last. 
Total for 1 sunflowers/5 stems (est. $3.99), 1 bundle carnations (est. $4), 1 bundle roses (est. $4.99) was under $15. Like I said, I did terrible for Budget Blooms this week and didn't even keep track of the receipts for the exact total.
Cheers loves, 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Weekend Wind Down

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. Easter is one of my favorite holidays because we get to celebrate that He is risen. Also, most often we spend it with family. We had a rather busy weekend. Friday we got to watch my childhood friend from kindergarten get married to someone I also consider a favorite friend. Their wedding was so perfect, so beautiful, and so much fun. Every last detail was stunning. Mike especially loved the fact that they served chicken fried steak with white gravy. And it was absolutely delicious too. I'm so glad I got to be apart in witnessing Brad & Chelsea unite. They both have a special place in my heart forever and ever. I received lots of compliments on my dress I wore, which was under $30. You can find out more details on the dress later on MN. I'll also have more photos of the wedding decor and venue when I share my dress. 
How beautiful was the bride, Chelsea!

As if partying until the early hours of the morning isn't crazy enough, we got up pretty early Saturday and headed to Louisiana for a crawfish boil with Mikes family. Of course there was an Easter egg hunt for the nieces and nephews. Addison found the giant golden egg this year that was full of candy and a 5 dollar bill. They had "the machine" (as everyone called it) on with frozen White Russians. I wasn't the only one that followed the "hair of the dog" trick. There was two cakes to celebrate Mike and his mothers past birthdays. The crawfish were yummy, as always, and it was just nice to visit with all the family. We ended the weekend Sunday by first, stopping to go to church with Mikes brother, and then having lunch with him and his niece before heading back home. I was so exhausted from all the traveling and wedding fun, that I think I fell asleep at about 7 pm last night.

I'm so thankful for the family and friends God has blessed me with, and even more thankful and blessed for the relationship that I have with Him. What did you do for Easter? And what was the highlight of your long weekend? Mine was the wedding fun (sorry family). There is nothing like a good party with friends you adore and haven't seen in forever. However, the memories made with all the children on Saturday was special too. I need to hurry up and wake up this morning because I have another busy week ahead of me and need to get to moving. Until next time loves...