Monday Musings | 9

I guess I should really change the title of this to "Whenever I get around to it Musings" but hey, better late than never. 

Y'all I have been so exhausted lately. Literally dragging, I even skipped my beloved cardio tennis last night and opted for the couch and an episode of the The Crown instead. Who am I?

As I was looking through my phone for pictures to accompany today's post I realized... I didn't take a single picture during Thanksgiving. Not a one. Obviously I am a professional blogger who finds all life's happenings bloggable whilst taking charming snapshots with c'est la vie.

The Friday after Thanksgiving we endured the cold to watch my Cousins son (also my Cousin?) play in a nail biting game against the University of Cincinnati. Lets be honest, I cut out at half time when things weren't looking so well for TU but I have to say I think my absence helped TU pull out the W. It was so cold that night too... but the miracles of all miracles happened and I was able to convince a 12 (almost 13 year old) boy to SMILE for a picture. 

Saturday I managed to sneak in a late lunch with a sweet friend and enjoy some laid back coffee drinking/antique shopping. 

Christmas decorations got put up on Sunday (heyyyo) and I think my house is officially as cozy as its going to get. What is it about twinkle lights that make everything feel that much warmer? The copious amounts of glitter on my floor is totally worth it if only for those evenings spent on the couch next to a lit Christmas tree.

What else? Great Black Friday deals? Any Cyber Monday shopping?

I might have snagged this beauty yesterday

I've got my eye on one of these but a special someone told me NOT to buy it for myself...

If that's the case and one does show up in the next few weeks then I'm hoping Santa might grab this and this

What is on your wishlist for Santa this year?


I did it! | Peep Hole

My office has such great incentives throughout the year to earn a little extra cash. Wellness Challenges, Competitions, and Safety Projects can earn you anywhere from $25 - $500 dollars for winning/completion!

I recently submitted a home safety project (which are highly encouraged for all employees to do each year) to add a peep hole to my front door.

Let me back up just a second and tell you how I came to this home project. Before the time change I was walking Murphy every evening to get out some of his nervous energy. I never walked the same route but always walked in my neighborhood. Typically I walk and listen to a podcast (Shout out to Young House Love) and as its nearing the end I know my 30-45 minute walk is up and I head towards my house. On this particular night I was headed home, technically I was one street over, and turned a corner noticing a man in a beat up sedan pulling over and stopping. It was odd because he pulled to my side of the road and didnt park in front a particular house and never acted as though he was getting out of the car. He just sat and talked to himself and rummaged around his car. As usual Murphy wanted to pee on everything in sight and it took us a bit to get past the car and turn the corner. I made sure to look directly at the car to let the man know I saw him. After turning the corner on my street and realizing he had not followed me I felt a bit in the clear. I swear the same moment I thought, "okay all is well" is the same moment I looked over my shoulder and saw his car driving very slow behind me. In a moment of clarity I started to walk up the driveway of a neighbors house (maybe 4 houses down from me) and made gestures as if it was my own. I stopped to "take Murphy's leash off" and slowly walked towards the open front door. As I did this the man speed off down the road and left. I quickly headed home and only went inside after looking around to make sure he was no where in sight. The last thing I wanted was for this person to know where I lived. Fast forward about 2 hours and I am in the shower and what do you know... my doorbell rings. Y'all, my doorbell NEVER rings. Ever. Murphy starts barking and my mind starts racing. I quickly rinsed off and jumped out of the shower. By this time who ever was at the door had to be gone but the only way I had to check was the peek out the window. Dead give away that I am home. Not only do I not want just anyone knowing if I am home or not, I don't want anyone to see me peeking through the blinds in my towel or robe!

After this I decided I had to get a peep hole put in my front door STAT. I started researching to see if it was a difficult task and came away rather surprised. Turns out peep holes are extremely easy to add to an existing door and rather cheap too.

I looked into buying a wide angle view but realized the hole size (9/16th) was not a common drill bit size and, to be honest, I didn't want to have to scour for a new bit. I settled on the standard peep hole for a whopping $4. 

There is something rather unnerving about drilling a hole in your front door and knowing it needs to be centered/leveled/straight. My front door has a steel panel on both the inside facing and outside facing parts of the door so a bit that was capable of going through metal was a must. I started with a small pilot hole using a 3/16th drill bit.  

My drill has a level on the top of it - which I have surprisingly never used. To make sure I was getting everything leveled just right I decided to stand on a chair and look over the top of the drill to make sure that little bubble stayed right in the middle. For me it was easier to eyeball if I was straight side to side (left to right) rather than trying to eyeball if I was level up and down. Does that make sense?

After drilling the pilot hole I jumped down off the chair to change my bit to a 1/2in size and realized my hands were shaking. The pressure to get this drilled just right was on!

The 1/2in hole went rather smoothly but I did get a few little steel snags around the hole. Using my pliers I pulled on the little shards and they came right off. Just be careful not to cut yourself on the rough edge. After that all I had to do was feed the peep hole through the 1/2 in hole and screw the two sides together. Seriously, so easy. 

I always feel so empowered after taking on new projects around the house. Knowing that I have the capability to do it myself gets me all fired up. Plus, now I have a sense of peace knowing I can always see who is at the door. 

Just for reference, I also looked into the video doorbells that shows who is on your porch and also provides motion censoring but didn't want to commit to the price tag. They are so cool though, especially the ability to talk back to whoever is outside your door even if you aren't home. But I think my new peep hole will suffice for now!


Monday Musings | 8

The thanksgiving addition!

Can you believe its already Thanksgiving time? That means Christmas is literally right around the corner and next thing you know its the New Year. Holy Cow. Time really does speed up as you get older. 

I have somehow managed to keep my garden producing well into the end of the year. Higher temps have a lot to do with it for sure. Pepper galore! This past week I picked no less than 2 lbs of peppers. This go around I decided to freeze them and then use them in pepper jelly! I read that peppers freeze and unfreeze really well holding their crispness after they have been frozen. So I decided to wash the sweet peppers, cut the stems, cut them in half, and then let them freeze on a cookie sheet for a day. After that I put them all in a ziplock until I am ready to use them! Same with the jalapenos, only I made sure to remove the seeds!

I'm thinking about making a pepper jelly recipe my mom sent over, unless you have a good one you want to share!

Two of my nieces, or the "Little Girls" as I call them, came over Saturday afternoon for a fun sleep over! We ate spaghetti, made brownies, painted nails, watched a movie, and gorged on popcorn Saturday night. The animals both got more attention in one night than they get in a week. Constant petting and chasing and playing. We go up bright and early for church on Sunday. Who knew the time commitment it takes to get two little girls ready for church. We made it, albeit a bit late, but we made it. They were both a bit nervous to hang out in class without each other (2nd vs 4th grade) during service but they both adapted so well. I actually went by to see if they wanted to go to big church with me after the first service (I volunteer) and neither of them wanted to leave their new friends. After church we had lunch and played outside. I've been on a mission lately to purge and organize and I needed to put a few things out in the shed. The girls saw me hanging things and quickly wanted to join in on the hammering. Scrap wood and a hammer... happy girls they were. I just loved watching them take on "non traditional roles" and learn to hammer and remove a nail. Its like teaching them life skills they didn't know they needed. 

They got picked up Sunday afternoon and I spent a few hours with a sweet friend chatting over coffee. There is something so great about a crisp fall day, sharing life in a cozy corner of a coffee shop.

This weekend turned out to be a great time to refill my soul with those relationships I cherish. I love investing in those little lives and nurturing that relationship. I love catching up with old friends and hearing whats new in their world.

I just want to be present and really drink it all in. Enjoy each and every moment, especially before the Holiday rush begins.

Happy Monday, friends!


Girls Night | Paint Party

It felt like I was on a mad dash. The entire time I was driving to the vet to pick Maggie up I kept asking myself why I didn't make this trip at lunch. Why didn't I plan a little better. Instead I was biting my nails through traffic trying to get her picked up and home and fed and the mail brought in and the trash taken out and the dog let in before I was late to my coveted Girls Night. Late I was. With Chic-fil-a in my purse I walked in exasperated and took my seat.

We had chosen our door hangers long in advance and after arriving all I could think was... ohhh the possibilities. There were MDF cut-outs of every shape and size. My favorite, that I forgot to get a picture of, was the monogrammed pineapple. BUT we were here to create our Christmas doorhangers so I stuck it out with my manger scene. We talked, and laughed, and created for a solid two hours. Towards the end of that last hour I was starting to hit my "Ive been going all day and Im about to CRASH" wall. I stuffed my face with another chocolate chip cookie and it seemed to subside.

I love going to the Paint and Drink places but I always come out wondering what in the heck am I going to do with this painting (I have two in my office as I type this). You literally spend $50 bucks to paint on a canvas and drink wine - dont get me wrong its a ton of fun - but this time I felt like I had something I wanted to hang. I had a place for it. Plus it wasn't $50. 

If you're in the Tulsa area you really should check out Sister/Sister Paint Parties. The ladies were so nice and accommodating and let you create until your heart is content. Girls night, success!  


Monday Musings | 7

Good Morning! How was your weekend? Fruitful I hope. Is that time change kicking your bootay yet?

Friday night I had the pleasure of celebrating this beauty turning 30! We had an amazing dinner at the Brady Tavern and drinks around town plus brunch the next morning. It was so much fun! Maybe a little too much fun...

Surprisingly enough after brunch I managed to be productive and get my front flower beds cleaned up plus start some laundry. Who knew I had it in me?!

Saturday afternoon I had my first of two family sessions for the weekend. I have been capturing both these families since their oldest were newborns... 3+ years ago. Blows my mind every time to see how big they've gotten. I cannot wait to show you some of these sweet images!

Sunday was the usual, church, lunch, errands, laundry... overall just prepping for the week ahead. 

Have you seen The Crown on netflix yet? After reading this I am dying to watch!

Microblading. I would love this but umm the price tag. Yikes. 

I just finished The Broker by John Grisham this past week. (I'm coming for you 30 before 30) It was good, semi suspenseful, but I wasn't on the edge of my seat. Worth the listen if you need a good audio book for a long drive, though. 

Do you listen to Young House Love has a Podcast? Last week they talked about an online calendar of weird holidays. Go see whats celebrated on your birthday! Tomorrow we get to celebrate Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds day. ha!

Happy Monday, Friends


Newborns | Eliza

This baby y'all. She is just so pretty, the perfect skin coloring, little nose, those sweet lips. I can tell you now, this one will be a heart breaker.

She changed so much in the week between her birth and these sweet pictures. Plus there is nothing that will make a two year old look like a teenager quicker than putting them next to a newborn! I swear kids look so much older next to baby siblings! Toddler one day ... adult the next!


Selma and Loraine

Well kids, we did it. Selma and Loraine took first place yesterday, in all our nightgown, kleenex, wrinkled glory. Most people didnt recognize us and one co-worker even told me he thought someones Mom was coming for the Halloween party! ha!

Funny story, we headed to a happy hour with a few co workers and decided to take the act into the restaurant. We walked in hunched with our walking aides asked where our friends were and scooted on, albeit slowly, to our table. A bit later the hostess walked by and stopped to tell us she had no idea we were dressed up for Halloween. I would say the costume was a success.

Hope everyone had a happy and safe halloween!

Monday Musings | 6

Happy Halloween Party People! Am I the only one that sees these suckers and is automatically thrown back in the 4th grade during a fall festival? I swear these are caramel covered nostalgia.

Did you dress up today? Trick or Treating tonight?

We have a costume contest at work today, to which I have seen not one single costume. Maybe everyone has the same game plan as I do and is waiting until lunch time to transform. Into the bathroom I go as an (almost) 30 year old professional and out I come as an 80 year old grandma. I cannot wait to show you pictures. Like any good student, I have been watching youtube videos on "old age makeup" for a solid week now. Fingers crossed the idea in my head can come to life. Otherwise, I will look like I got drunk and passed out in college and someone drew on my face.

On our evening walk last night I moaned and groaned about how I felt like I couldn't keep friendships alive. Like I was the only one in the world that had "situational" friendships that all revolved around a common thing... like work or school or league. I know I can't be the only one who feels like friends come and go. The difference is I feel like I am the reason they go. Maybe I am too judgemental or not fun enough. Maybe I said something that upset them or should have called them more. After a solid 20 minutes of complaining, I came to the realization that it isn't about me or what I can or should have done. Instead its this constant entrenching of social media. Seeing other people out and about or going to do things in large groups and feeling inadequate. Feeling left out, when if I stopped and really thought about it I didn't want to actually be included in the first place.

All of this to say... I am taking a social media break. I have no idea how long it will last but this blog is the only thing that will stay alive. No facebook or instagram. Shutter. No Snapchat.... serious withdrawals, y'all. No Pinterest. No.Social.Media.

My hope is that the removal of all these outside noises will give me more time to invest in the people around me. Help clear away all the FOMO (it means fear of missing out, mom) cobwebs and start fresh.

In full disclosure, there might be a contest going on behind the scenes. Who can last longer... me without social media or my boyfriend without sugar. I have full faith that I can withstand longer.

Okay, thats about all I've got for the moment. There is some old lady make up and garb calling my name!

Birth Photography | Eliza

Every time I tell someone I am off to shoot a birth I get this wide eyed stare. I can see the thoughts tossing and turning in their heads wondering what am I actually taking pictures of. My response is almost always the same, "No I don't take pictures of THAT"... instead my goal is to capture the feeling and anticipation that comes with birth. To capture that special moment when a Mom and Dad see their baby for the first time. To give a family the opportunity to relive a special day in their lives over and over.

Birth photography is my absolute favorite. I've done it quite a few times now and every one is still so special and so awe inspiring. As a photographer I get invited into some of the most intimate moments in a couples life and this one, watching life come into the world, is the most rewarding.

Sweet Eliza came into this world a short three weeks ago and told everyone exactly how she felt about it. That hair, those rolls, that sweet baby cry. Oh man.

Congrats Brittany and Kyle on your gorgeous new addition.

Monday Musings | 5

This last week was one for the record books. I've always been one to pack things in and burn the candle at both ends but wow. 

I have been planning an event for work/our customers for a few months now and it all came to a head on Wednesday. The day consisted of golf/drinks/lunch at Flying Tee (Tulsa's version of Top Golf) back to the hotel for a quick email check/rest and then a "Social Networking Hour" aka Happy Hour before heading out to Oktoberfest Corporate Night. We had such a good group of people come to town to join in on the fun and overall it was such a success. My boss sent me this gem from Flying Tee... his caption was "Samsung Galaxy makes a great coaster"... I guess I got a little excited when it was my turn. I will say I obviously have mad balancing skills.

Oktoberfest in Tulsa never fails to be an exciting weekend with corporate night kicking the whole thing off. Picture huge tents, tons of wood picnic tables, live German music, and huge steins - thats Oktoberfest. The only difference between corporate night and any other night are the "table sponsors". So to attend on Wednesday you have to "sponsor" a table to get tickets... individual tickets are sold any other night. 

After wrapping up a great event I took off my corporate event planning hat and put on my garage sale planning hat. I'm not sure why I decided it was a good idea to have a garage sale on the tail end of a big work week but go big or go home, I guess.

I have been wanting to clean out my shed for a while now, hey its even on my 30 before 30! It was so needed, especially if I want to make that space functional. The sale went off without a hitch at 7am - we even had a few early risers show up with flashlights at 6:45. I guess they didn't get the memo that Saturday mornings are for slow starts. 

I always try to get a walk in with Murphy every day to wear him out... turns out all he needs to do is greet customers all morning and hes a tired pooch!

The sale went well and by 9 am all the items I wasn't sure I wanted to sell were gone. Funny how that happens. I scheduled a local rehabilitation organization to come around 4 pm and get the rest of the items that didn't sell. That was a fantastic idea until they showed up at 1 pm. All in all though it was a good sale and a great way to spend a morning and make a little bit of cash. 

After the sale wrapped up I took a few of the nicer items that didn't sell to a consignment store and ran a few errands. Dinner with a sweet friend and next thing you know its Sunday morning!

Church with my sweet babes in the morning and afternoon tennis before community group.

Again, I must have failed to pull out a calendar but I volunteered to bring dinner to my community group on Sunday night. When in doubt... order pizza.

I wrapped up the evening like this..

and what do you know, its already Monday again.