Life Lately told by my phone

Lots of life has happened lately with most of it revolving around the squishy faces I call nieces and nephews. Celebrating first birthdays, swimming, being silly, quality time, sleepy snuggles, and celebrating another big girl this weekend! When you have EIGHT nieces and nephews you realize the fun never stops!

My parents are heading in town this weekend for my nieces 5th birthday and I'm heading out shortly after to go see Chris Stapleton in concert. My level of excitement has reached an all time concert high!

Enjoy your weekend, lovelies!

Exploring Robbers Cave

Its official. I have the camping bug.

My brother is an Eagle Scout, yet I had still never tent camped.

Getting away from all the noise and really being present... smelling the fresh air... gathering around a campfire.... taking a really is something special.

We didn't get the best weather cards dealt. As a matter of fact we had two pretty severe thunderstorms roll through around 10 pm and 6 am. We hunkered down though and came out the other side. Funny how much more intense a storm sounds when you are holed up in a tent.

Rain or shine, camping is pretty great. The weather in Tulsa this morning was in the mid 50's with the highs in the mid 70's and all I could think was how great a day this would be for a camping trip!


September IPSY Review

Its that time again... another month... another IPSY!

I do have to say, this month wasnt my most favorite IPSY month. I liked the mix of products, skin care, nails, make-up, hair care... but I wasn't over joyed with the products themselves. Lets get to it!

From Left to Right: Briogeo Deep Conditioner, Too Faced Sexy Lips Plumper, Onomie Priming Serum, Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish, Epice Toner.

Let's break it down by product. First up Briogeo deep conditioner

I am currently trying to only wash my hair twice (maybe three times, if you're lucky) a week. A really amazing conditioner is PIVOTAL in keeping my hair nourished post wash but not too heavy or greasy. We all know... greasy hair is the worst. 

This deep conditioner didn't make my hair feel silky smooth post wash and really weighed down my strands. I'm from Texas, y'all, and we know the hair is all about volume. Weighing down my hair is about as horrifying as not finding my teasing comb and running out of hairspray. Needless to say... this product wasn't a favorite.

Big plump lips are all the rage right now, thanks to Kylie Jenner. When this showed up in my glam bag I was pretty stoked... until I tried it. They say you might experience some burning for a few minutes after application. What they don't tell you is that it feels like a million tiny needles are poking you in your pout. My lips got so red it looked like I had on lipstick when I didn't. All that to say, I would totally endure the burning/stinging sensation had it really plumped up my lips... but I was left with the same sized pout albeit quite a bit redder.

Nail polish is nail polish and though I enjoyed getting a full sized polish again.. this wasn't anything to write home about. I don't usually paint my nails the shiny metallics and especially not skin toned. I did wear this color for about a week but overall I was rather unimpressed.

I'll say this... I'm not sure how you can tell if a toner works in a matter of a week. Travel sized products don't give you enough of the actual product to use long enough to tell a true difference. I can't say this did or didn't work because I just don't know. I did like it was more of a gel toner rather than your typical liquid which made it easier to apply to a cotton pad. This is one of those things I can't give a definitive love it or hate it review.

I may or may not have forgotten to take a picture of the primer... oops. I will say this though, I was able to get 2 uses out of the sample and what I was able to use I liked. That being said, its hard to really say yay or nay after two uses.

So there you have it, September review. Not my favorite glam bag to date but I did love getting a chance to try a few products I have heard a lot about!

Have you tired IPSY yet? 


Bible Journaling

For so long I've felt this desire to really get serious about scripture memorization. At one point I had a small bound note pad that I would write a new scripture on every week but I never really took the time to memorize the verses. Such good intentions but no real follow through.

I've heard little bits here and there about bible journals for a while now but never really looked into them because... well... follow through.

Bible Journals are the same as regular bibles with various translations but they come with extra wide margins to write in. I use the word "write" loosely as you'll soon see there are people who have made this into an art.

Side note: I remember being about 6 or 8 and watching my Dad highlight and underline in his Bible one Sunday morning and being mortified that anyone would WRITE in their BIBLE. Almost as though the Bible was to be looked at and read but never really digested. How many of us still feel that way?

These gorgeous examples and more can be found on my Pinterest

 I figured before investing in all the "tools" I would give myself a week of using my normal journal (what up five star!) as a space to take a verse and sit with it. See what parts stand out at me. Write it down. Think through what God is really telling me. Then... create.

I'm no pro and I'm not looking for a perfect pretty outcome and like everything... its still a work in progress. BUT I do have to say this gets me excited to get into the word and, without a doubt, keeps my attention. My goal is to be very mindful to not get caught up in creating a pretty picture but instead to really process the words on the page. As a *semi* creative person the need to deliver a beautiful image can so easily overpower the whole reason for journaling in the first place. How true is that with so many other areas of our life?

My goal is to work through a chapter every few days and really be mindful of what I am reading and how it translates into my life. Today I keep reminding myself of "the riches of his grace".. such a beautiful reminder. Where I see flaws, Christ sees beauty.

In my Bible Journaling research I came across the most beautiful hand painted journaling bibles. Y'all these are a work of art. Katie, the artist, comes out with a few custom spots each month and a few ready to ship bibles at the same time. They go quick, so you've got to be on your toes but I can't see how you could ever find a prettier bible.

Gorgeous, right?!!?! Okay so tell me have you ever taken a stab at bible journaling? Let me know!

Until next time, Happy Friday Friends!


Thirty Before Thirty // Whats left

A few days ago hit it me that December is fast approaching, which means so is my Birthday. Such a mix bag of emotions, on one hand who doesn't love to eat cake and open presents but on the other hand... thirty. I still feel like I shouldn't be old enough to ride in the car with boys but here I am fastly approaching 3-0.

I'm getting a few things crossed off my list (new ones are highlighted in pink) but with 87 days left to go I need to get cracking!

1. Eat at a nice restaurant alone
2. Purge 100 items
3. Host a dinner
4. Try 10 new recipes // 4 recipes in
5. Visit a new beach
6. Learn to play tennis... again
7. Read 15 new books (audio books count!) // 5 books in
8. Visit Chicago // twice
9. Pay off all debt
10. Send snail mail
11. Read the entire bible
12. Feel comfortable in my own skin
13. Take a fabulous 30th birthday trip
14. Go to Vegas
15. Play hookie
16. Reconnect with an old friend
17. Go to a Mass service
18. Skinny Dip
19. Hit my goal savings amount
20. Organize the shed
21. Print my favorite photos
22. Pay for a strangers coffee
23. Learn to shoot a gun
24. Have a huge garage sale
25. Capture more every day life
26. Get Murphy out more
27. Establish a safe place for important documents
28. Learn to change a tire
29. Participate in Lent
30. Set three fitness goals and achieve them // working on this for sure!

When I was in Chicago this summer we took an afternoon to ride bikes down Lakeshore Drive and stop and put our toes in the sand! New beach - check! 

If you follow me on snapchat (sarahosu) you'll notice a lot more sweaty post tennis selfies. When I was in middle school/high school I played tennis and, in all honesty, liked it okay but didn't love it. In August I picked up my racket and started playing again. All it took was one night and I was hooked! Hooked! Now I play anywhere between 2-4 times a week and try to never miss a cardio tennis session. Its an hour an a half of cardio torture but its so fun and the 1200 cals burned aren't bad either! Tennis - check!

Recently I've been working with a local dog behaviorist to help with some of Murphy's anxiety and subsequent behaviors. We have made a lot of changes lately including allergy medicine, DAP diffusers, more play time, lots of toys, and (lots of) walks. I find the dog park and doggie daycare are his favorite places and lets be honest, a tired dog is a well behaved dog! I've learned so much from our (as I call her) dog whisperer about why dogs act the way they do and how their posturing can tell you so much! Needless to say, Murphy dog has enjoyed every moment and we have been getting out so much more! - Check!

One task you will notice crossed through is "feel comfortable in my own skin".... I could do so many blog posts around this but I'll spare you. This past year I have taken my mental health and emotional well being VERY seriously. For those that know me well, you know I have struggled for YEARS with extreme anxiety and panic. In March of this year I decided to take control and get off the medication I had been taking for 10 years. I started talking with someone about WHY I feel the way I do and WHY my feelings/emotions come out sideways. This has been one of the most enlightening and joy filled experiences ever. I can say with full confidence this is the first time ever that I have felt in control of my thoughts and reactions. This is the first time ever I have been able to calm myself down when the anxiety pokes and prods at every crevice of my soul. To have feelings, emotions, reactions is to be human and I am in no way saying that I don't ever feel anxious or panicked. What I am saying is that I finally I know the WHY behind it and that is a freeing feeling! - Check!

So there you have it - all the updates and so much more to accomplish! 87 days will fly by before I know it. Happy Thursday friends! 


Monday Musings | 1

because who can really put together a cohesive thought on a Monday morning. Hell, I'm lucky to remember to feed the dog and get my eyeliner on straight at the start of each week.

1. This. So powerful. "traces the story of how an untested president, a sidearm-carrying general, top aides, the Secret Service and the Cipro-wielding White House physician, as well as five reporters, four radio operators, three pilots, two congressmen and a stenographer responded to 9/11."

2.  I tried this friday night (if you follow me on snapchat you saw the end result) and loved it!

3. We hit up the dog park on Sunday afternoon, exhausted dog and happy mom. I would say it was a success. 

4. Has anyone read, For the Love by Jen Hatmaker? I got it a few months back and have yet to start it... love it? hate it? tell me everything

5. Following this adoption journey makes my heart smile. 

6. I watched this story Friday night and it was such an eye opener, especially as someone who struggles daily with anxiety and has a history of alcoholism in my family. I can not begin to imagine the courage it must take to openly share like Elizabeth did. 

7. Do you watch Big Brother? Its been my favorite season so far. I just want to put Asian cowboy James in my pocket, hes seriously the best. Any bets on the winner? 

Thats all she wrote folks. Happy Monday!


Girls Trip to Scottsdale

Lets talk Scottsdale. I mean its only been a full month since I actually went on said trip, but eh, better late than never.

A few months back I had one of those moments where life was crazy and everything seemed out of control and all I could think was "I need out of here stat". After a few quick texts to some of my favorite girls we had a trip on the books. We tossed around a few different places including San Diego and Denver but ultimately ended up on Scottsdale. A great decision, if I do say so myself!

We flew in Thursday after work and rallied at the airport before heading out to dinner, albeit a very late dinner. Laura, our resident trip planner extraordinaire, lives in the Phoenix area and introduced us to the most epic karaoke bar/restaurant ever - Copper Blues. Y'all these people were practically professionals. There was a live band that played your tune of choice and you sang along with the "lead" singer on a stage in the dead center of the entire restaurant. The upside to the whole shebang is you don't really ever get someone on stage who just cant carry a tune at all, like maybe myself!

Also, lets take a moment and try and count all those beers on tap...infinite!

After a quick hotel mishap Thursday night we found our self at the W Scottsdale Friday afternoon. This is definitely not the hotel for a quite weekend getaway. After checking in and getting settled we headed to the pool to catch a few rays and see what all the hype was about.

The pool its self was gorgeous and had ample amounts of lounge areas. Its very "Vegas Style" with its cabanas, bottle service, and umpteen amounts of bachelor/ette parties. We were able to grab two day beds and some lounge chairs fairly easily but honestly the sun is so strong in Arizona we stayed in the pool most of the time

After a little too much "enjoyment" we called it an afternoon... and got cleaned up for dinner at Taphouse Kitchen and drinks. 

The area of Scottsdale the W sits in also has a mile square of bars and restaurants. You can walk to dinner and around for drinks and then walk right back to your hotel. We ended up taking an uber to Taphouse Kitchen and then coming back and hitting up Bottled Blonde. I will say, this is about the point I started to feel my age. Five or maybe eight years ago this would have been the highlight of the evening, loud music and lots of people, but not so much now. After hanging out for about an hour we all looked at each other and decided we had enough for the night. 

Brunch the next morning was rather epic, seeing as we went to a place with the best bottomless mimosas but none of us could really pull off the hair of the dog. The food though... oh man the food was on point.

A few self motivation talks later and we were back in action. We had been told that Saturdays at the hotel pool were insane and to get there early. I think we headed there around 11:30 and found two (free) daybeds no problem. Let me take a moment and tell you... if you ever end up at the W Scottsdale do yourself a favor and order the chicken strips and french fries. You will not regret this decision, promise. We ate our weight in those fries, y'all. 

Dinner Saturday night was to die for. I was craving Italian but most places needed a reservation in advance. We ended up at the best dinner spot - Olive and Ivy - I mean the lasagna with its homemade noodles was life changing. Or maybe it had just been a while since I had pasta... either way it I devoured that dish.

We all headed our separate ways Sunday afternoon but not before brunch - i'm sensing a food theme here - and a quick jaunt over to Forever 21 Red. I can't say I have ever really bought much from F21 but after borrowing this red dress this from Laura I knew I needed it. 

That steal of a deal dress was only $10! I figure with a tank underneath and leggings it will be a great transitional fall work dress! Plus its light weight enough for a night out in the summertime. 

I do have to say we had the best time in Scottsdale! There was so much more we wanted to see and do - hike! - but wouldn't have changed our long weekend for anything.

Until next time!

Life Lately // Just Keep Swimming

Whew. This week has just been one of those weeks that I keep telling myself, "You can do this".

Please tell me I'm not the only one with weeks like that. Its all I can do to just maintain status quo. United Way is HUGE in Tulsa and this week just happened to be the big kick off of the 2016 campaign. The company I work for spends the whole week fundraising with all sorts of crazy activities. Its non stop around here with pie in the face competitions, tying balloons to your coworkers, and my personal favorite Trivia Happy Hour. Maybe its my favorite because it was my idea and the portion of the week I am in charge of... or maybe its because we get to sneak out today at 2:30 to go eat mexi food and drink a few adult beverages. Either way, its a much needed break.

On Wednesday I headed over to observe visitation with my CASA baby and ended up here

After a quick stint in the emergency room our little one was cleared with a clean bill of health. Hanging out in the ER does nothing good for my blood pressure though. Kids sure do keep you on your toes!

With all the crazy that has been going on I decided last night to take Murphy out for a little jaunt. I needed some fresh air and deep breaths and he needed to work off some major energy.

We are working on behavior modification right now and walks are such a great time to practice new skills. The behaviorist I am using mentioned walking Murphy for 30-45 minutes every day. Currently, we are starting slow with a walk one or two times a week. I just don't know how I can work up to everyday with our crazy schedules but I'm trying!

What else? What else?

Oh! I got this new (tennis) skirt from Academy for a whooping $15 bucks. I put it on SnapChat (sarahosu) on Monday night before I headed over to the courts. Its so flattering and uber cute. I mean gotta love those little see through panels? 

I'm about to head out to Trivia and try to wrangle these crazy people. Fingers Crossed. Then headed to North(ish) Tulsa tomorrow for the Healing the Hero's event. Healing the Hero's is a great weekend event for war veterans with a banquet Friday night and target shooting and a dove hunt Saturday. When you're dating the volunteer coordinator you get assigned to help out. Thank goodness its taking pictures and not helping out with the dove hunt. That could have been interesting!

Enjoy your weekend lovelies. I promise promise a Scottsdale recap and Healing the Heros recap next week. Promise. Plus some fun room updates too.