I Confess Sesh

Thursday, October 13, 2016

I confess that...

++ Today is my 24th birthday. If at 18 you would have asked me if I thought I would be living with my wonderful husband and expect our first baby by the time my 24th birthday came around, I probably would have laughed out loud. Now, I couldn't imagine it any other way.

++ As excited as I am to be pregnant, I am that and one hundred more times excited to be a mama.

++ I woke up at four in the morning and couldn't go to back to sleep until I had some flaming hot lays chips that my baby body, knew was in my cabinet. After I ate some I slept for another solid 4 hours.

++ My best friend is flying from San Francisco to spend the weekend with me and I feel like a little kid who just got told she can have ice cream. I am SO excited to see her.

++ We applied yesterday for a two bedroom apartment. We've never had any issues getting our apartment of choice before, but I really want this one and I'm hoping that everything goes smoothly with our application.

++ I can barely stand to watch a single political thing on television anymore. Except when John Oliver talks about it because then I usually laugh so hard that I cry. Other than that, I cannot wait for this election to be over with.

++ I have had such a smooth first trimester, knock on all the wood, and haven't been sick a single time. I have to put on so much weight for this baby since I was technically considered underweight for my height before my pregnancy. So I'm hoping my appetite kicks into over drive.

++ Next week we get to find out whether we're having a boy or a girl so I can stop saying things like "this baby".

++ My student loans go into repayment next month and that alone is enough to send me running far, far away. How long do you need to disappear before they stop trying to collect from you? Asking for a friend.

++ And that's all for today because I've been a bad blogger lately and used whatever remaining brain power I've had lately to catch up on my favorite Netflix shows...and pretty much do nothing else.

Happy Thursday, everyone.

JORD Wood Watches For Fall

Friday, October 07, 2016

If there is one thing I understand about fashion staples, it is men's watches. As weird as that may sound, I have a confession to make. Actually, it's someone else's confession and I don't know how he would feel about me sharing it with you all, but it's about time it comes out. My husband's name is Daniel and he is addicted to buying watches. 

Phew, glad we got that off our chests.

In all seriousness, if there was only one men's accessory that he could wear for the rest of his life it would be a watch. In fact, we have a whole case of them here at home and for almost every holiday or special occasion I keep my eye out for a unique men's watch to add to his collection. 

When I found my way over to the men's shop of JORD Wood Watches I knew that Daniel needed one of these watches. I was immediately drawn to the Dover Koa & Black watch because of the contrast between the lighter wood and the dark face. It was like no watch that I had ever seen before and I immediately reached out to the people at JORD with the hopes that they would be willing to collaborate with me. 

I think that part of Daniel's obsession with watches comes from the fact that he's in the military and is on a constantly strict schedule. In a job like that, it's important to find a watch that's as durable as it is fashionable, especially as most of his time is spent outside.

Immediately upon opening the watch I knew that it was one that would last. It is clear from the packaging that down to the last detail JORD stands behind it's materials and wouldn't dare trade quality for anything. 

As much as I know that Daniel will love this watch for work, I love this watch because I can guarantee that he'll never be late for any of our baby doctor appointment's as we adventure into this next stage of our lives. 

Not only is the watch durable, but it's versatile as well. It's rare that I can find a men's watch that is as equally attractive on the wrist of a woman. And if you're anything like me and prefer a more feminine watch style, they have tons of women's watches as well that are just to die for. 

I have a birthday coming up next week and I bet you can already tell what's going to be on my list. 

As we head further into the holiday season I am a firm believer that it is never too early to start shopping for presents. This watch is the perfect watch for anyone on your list and as an avid watch buyer myself I can truly say that I've never seen anything so different in the best way. 

The people over at JORD were kind enough to offer all of you an amazing giveaway! All you have to do is head over here to enter for your chance to win $75 dollars towards the watch that all of your Fall dreams are made of. And the bonus? You get $20 dollars sent straight to your email, just for entering! This content will run until October 30th, so get over there right now and sign up. 

This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches, however, all opinions are my own. 
SaveSave
SaveSave
SaveSave

I Can't Believe

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I can't believe...that we got to see our new littlest love on the ultrasound screen this week, and even got to see a teeny tiny heart beat! I have so much love for our new baby already.

I can't believe...that today is the official first day of Fall. I've already been in the Fall mood since September started, but now no one can tell me it's too early.

I can't believe...that we've already gotten through an entire month of Daniel being away from me. With everything going on, it's flying by surprisingly quick and before I know it he'll be back home with me.

I can't believe...how wonderfully supportive everyone was when we announced Baby Peralta! I heard from people that I haven't spoken to in years, who were just so happy for us. This was the announcement we used to tell all of our sweet friends and family.

I can't believe...how much I LOVED the premier of This is Us. I won't give any spoilers, but if you just want to feel all the feelings then go watch it right now!

I can't believe...how few books I've read lately, my current count for this month is zero. And that makes me so sad. I'll blame that on the fact that whenever I'm finally home I'm usually so tired that I have enough energy to eat and go right to sleep and that's about all.

I can't believe...that in one short month it will be time to start repaying my student loans, on another note I can't believe how little of what I learned in college is actually relevant to anything in my life right now.

I can't believe...that my birthday is in less than a month. Where is this year going?

Happy first day of Fall, friends! 

Blog-tember Day 16: Self Care

Friday, September 16, 2016

Today's prompt: Friday, Sept. 16: How do you de-stress/take care of yourself?  

I will be the very first to admit that I am a people pleaser. I hate to make anyone upset, or to let anybody down. And more often then not this is to my own detriment. My body shows stress in very negative ways. I usually eat less (without realizing) and lose weight at an alarming rate that is so difficult to put back on. If I let myself get too stressed out then I slip up in a lot of other areas of my life, whether that be in my work, in writing, or in my relationships. 

After finding out I'm going to be responsible for a tiny human being a few weeks ago it really put into perspective for me the importance of self care and keeping my stress as low as possible. Here are a few things I'm doing to work on that. 

I'm only saying yes to things that I really want to do. The harder I push myself to do things that other people want me to do, the less happy I am and ultimately the more stressed I become. There's nothing wrong with saying no if it's not something good for you. 

I'm going to pamper myself every once in awhile. Pampering doesn't mean you have to go to the fanciest spa and spend all of your money. Pampering could mean painting your own nails and spending the day in your pajamas with your favorite tv show on in the background. Maybe it means taking a nap in the middle of the day. Whatever it means to you, taking the time to pamper yourself is a huge factor in feeling less stressed and overall feeling better about you. 

I'm going to do what my body is telling me to do. Our bodies are so perceptive to our needs. Listen to them. My body is not telling me that it wants to go run a marathon, but occasionally it might want to do some yoga. My body baby is telling me that it is hungry all the time so I'm not going to listen to everyone else's opinions on what I should and should not be eating right now, I'm just going to eat what I'm hungry for. My body is always going to need some extra sleep to keep functioning, and at least for now I'm going to fit in all the naps I can get. Just trust in and listen to your body, it will tell you what you need to do. 

I'm going to spend more time with the people I love. I don't know about you, but not much makes me feel better then a day with my mom. I can vent to her, I can sit and watch movies to her, we can talk or we can just be together and instantly I feel so much better about anything going on in my life at the time. 

I'm going to stop comparing myself to other women. Everyone is different and it's so easy, especially in a world where we share so much of ourselves with other's, to feel like you're not doing as well or succeeding as much as the women surrounding you. But that's completely a matter of how you measure your own success. Right now, I feel tired 90% of the day. So when I did the dishes yesterday I felt like I really succeeded at the day. Then I went through the Mcdonalds drive thru and I was back to square one. Sometimes, my writing doesn't seem as important as other people's. Maybe it doesn't get as much attention, but it makes me feel good to do it and I can easily be happy for the people who feel that same happiness in their own writing. Comparing yourself to others is a huge waste of energy that can only cause more stress. So remember that what you're doing is important. 

Stress is a sneaky thing. Sometimes you don't realize that you need to take a step back until it's too late to do so. Self care is so important and relatively easy if you recognize the signs that you need it. Do something for yourself at least once a day. Something small is okay. Just take care of yourself, and things in your life will fall into place with where they are supposed to be. 

More or Less in September

Thursday, September 15, 2016

More pumpkin spice everything... Less sweet tea

More books... Less binge watching

More cooking at home... Less eating out

More fall decorating... Less pool floaties lying around

More saving... Less spending on things we don't need

More picture taking

More adventuring

More loving

Less complaining

Less worrying

Less uncertainty

What are you striving for more or less of this month? 

8 Ways to Show Someone You Love Them

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

After sharing yesterday's post I feel like I can finally get back to some normality around here.

Every time I sat down to write anything over the past few weeks, nothing seemed as important. Nothing seemed as special or as exciting as the news that we would soon be becoming a family of three.

It was like my mind was blocked and until I got to share that, then nothing else could be shared.

But now were back. And I'm feeling so much better. Tired, all the time, but better.

With Daniel gone, especially at a time like this, he has been working overtime to make sure that I feel one hundred percent supported and loved. I can imagine with as far away as he is, this can't be the easiest of tasks. I was talking to a friend the other day who lives with her boyfriend, yet they've hit this point where she doesn't feel the love she felt in the beginning. They've hit a wall, so to speak. And it got me realizing how lucky I am to have someone who, even from a distance, proves he loves me every single day.

I think it's important to show love in all of our relationships. To get past those walls, and to constantly show each other how much we mean to one another, because in a world like today it's never been truer that we just don't know how long we all have here together. It's vital that we don't take one another for granted, and it's so important that we make it known how we feel about a person while we've got the opportunity. We have to show our love, openly and loudly, and not assume that the people in our life know how we feel.

So here's a little list of some things you can do to show the people in your life that you love them.

1. Leave them little notes, or send a quick message to them during the day. Every night before bed, or morning before I wake up, Daniel sends me a text message when he's away. Just so I know that I'm the last and first thing he thinks about when he's starting and ending his day.

2. Surprise them with something. Do they love flowers? Send some, or pick up a couple outside before you come in. Is food the way to their heart? Then cook them a special dinner, or grab them taco bell. Whatever will get the point across.

3. Don't stop putting in the effort. I'm not saying that they need to come home every day to you in full make-up, with the house clean and dinner ready. Hello, this is not the 50's. But every once in awhile, do something a little different, maybe that means painting your nails. Daniel notices every time mine are a different color and I love that.

4. Dance with them. This one I am the most shy about, mostly because Daniel likes me to dance with him in all of the very public places that make me very nervous to do that in. If you're in your living room, or kitchen, just turn on some music and ask them to dance. If anything you'll both giggle your way through the whole thing and it could be the most romantic thing ever.

5. Hold hands. Be proud of the person you're with, be silly with them. Skip around and just be happy that you're together.

6. Compromise. If they unwillingly watched your favorite type of movie last week, then watch their favorite type of movie this week. Suggest activities that you both might actually enjoy, that way one person doesn't feel forced into whatever it is that you're doing. And if that ends up being the case, then just agree to switch it up for the next time.

7. Do something around the house that they usually hate to have to do. For me, that would be the dishes and the laundry. For Daniel, probably the same. Just help out if you've got the extra time that way you guys can spend that time together once they get home.

8. Listen to them without distractions. I'm talking no phones, computers, televisions. Nothing that will hold your attention away from them. Spend at least a little time like this with each other every day, and you will probably learn a lot about them.

What other ways do you try to show love in your life?

The One Where My Life Changed in Mexico

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I finally found time for a long overdue vacation. I packed my bags a week after Daniel left and I flew first to Florida, and then to Cancun, Mexico.

If you stop by this blog every once in awhile, you may know that I haven't done any kind of vacation recap. I haven't shared any stories about my beach adventures, and all of the amazing food I ate.

I haven't recap'd any of it, and that's because things didn't exactly turn out the way I had planned.

So here's how it went.

On Friday I arrived in Florida to beautiful hot, sunny weather. It gets hot here in California, but nothing compares to that humidity and I was not prepared.

I stayed in Florida until Tuesday. I spent most of my time laying in the pool, eating entirely too much seafood and exploring. We visited St. Augustine and it was the cutest place. 

On Tuesday morning I packed up my bags and headed off to Cancun to meet Daniel's grandparents. They have a timeshare that they use every year and they were so sweet to invite me to come stay with them. 

It was exactly the getaway that I wanted and I couldn't wait to swim in the ocean and drink pretty drinks by the pool. 

And that's exactly what I did for the first day. I ordered myself a daiquiri, brought my kindle down to the water and lounged all day. We ended the night with some karaoke (watching, not participating) and fell asleep to the sounds of the ocean. 

The next day we had plans to go paddle boarding. We slept in, had a big breakfast and packed our bag to head to another resort for the day. 

But something felt different. 

One major red flag for me that morning was that I was supposed to have started my period the day before. Now, to most people that wouldn't seem weird, being just one day late. But my body is annoyingly on time when it comes to that time of the month and so I decided to ask Daniels grandparents if they would mind stopping at a pharmacy on our way to pick up a pregnancy test. 

Again, this may seem weird that I would jump to that conclusion right away. But what you probably don't know is that about a month ago Daniel and I decided that I would stop taking my birth control and we would start trying to have a baby. It was a big and scary and wonderful decision that we happily made together. So especially after that, any sign of not having my period was something that I noticed right away. 

We picked up the pregnancy test and headed to the resort. I figured if anything, I would take it and see a negative result and then continue to enjoy my vacation. 

But almost immediately, the test came back positive. And i'll tell you that even if it's something you're trying for, seeing a plus sign on that pregnancy test is still one of the scariest, most overwhelming things in the entire world. 

So naturally I ran outside, grabbed the first taxi I could find and went back to the pharmacy for another test. Which came back positive again.

Somehow, Daniel had perfect timing and called me right in the middle of my freak out as I was trying not to pass out in a random resort in Mexico. Our call went a little something like this:

Me: "Babe, I'm leaving Mexico. I'm going home."
Him: "Why?"
Me: "Guess. What could be happening right now that would make me leave my vacation?"
Him: "Uhm, I don't know...is there a storm coming?"
Me: "Well...I guess you could say that."

Then there were some tears, and some laughs and some omg we can't believe this is even happening. 

And then I called my mommy. Because if you know anything about me, you know that my mom is my best friend. And doing what any rational person with good news would do, I called her while I was crying like a baby and made her so nervous that something bad happened only to surprise her with the biggest news ever. 

In that moment, since I couldn't be with my husband I needed the next best thing. And, again being completely rational and all there at the time not at all handling things well, I jumped on the next plane out of Mexico and flew home after being stuck in the Cancun airport where there is no wifi for six whole hours. Which felt like slow torture after finding out life altering news while you're in another country. 

I am relatively early along in this pregnancy and part of me was hesitant to share the news here. Because god forbid I put this out into the universe and something bad happens. But I feel like I am about to burst every time I talk to someone. I want to yell, "I'm having a baby!" and then laugh, cry, and tell that person how afraid I am of what it is that is making me so happy. 

And why wouldn't I want baby to have all of the positive thoughts from friends across the world? Our new little love absolutely deserves that. 

I've only known about this big (tiny) news for a short time in what will be a lifetime of big things happening. 

I've never been so thankful, or scared, or happy or overwhelmed by any one adventure that I was about to begin. Although skydiving came pretty close, and sort of felt the same as seeing that plus sign on the pregnancy test. 

I went to Mexico with the intention of coming back rested and refreshed and instead I came back feeling like my life had been totally and completely flipped upside down. 

I'm linking up with Emily because I am beyond grateful for the start of this next wonderful chapter of our lives. 

Baby Peralta, we can't wait to meet you.  
SaveSave
SaveSaveSaveSave

Vacation is Over and I'm Feeling Thankful

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Getting back into the swing of blogging after vacation can be a little difficult. I spent so much of the time on my trip trying to stay away from all things social media, although snap chat may have seen a picture or two, that jumping right back into sharing didn't come as easily as I had anticipated.

We're slowly easing into the Fall season, aka the start of the most wonderful time of the year, and  I feel like I have so much to be thankful for lately. So I thought I'd share some of those things with you today.

I'm thankful for...the early return of the pumpkin spice latte and all of the other pumpkin goodness gracing Starbucks shelves this morning.

I'm thankful for...the fact that the weather held up on almost my entire vacation. When it did rain it usually waited until night time and was clear by morning.

I'm thankful for...Daniel finding out that he will be home about a month and a half earlier than he had anticipated. Having a husband in another state is really just the least fun thing ever.

I'm thankful for...this new beautiful ring that Daniel surprised me with after I left from Etsy. It's handcrafted and dainty and just the sweetest ring I could have ever hoped for. I got mine in rose gold.

I'm thankful for...all of the family time I've gotten to spend in the last week. I saw my grandparents, Daniel's grandparents and fit in the rest of the time sitting on my moms couch and soaking up all the time I could get.

I'm thankful for...weather that has finally started to cool down (until it hits 90 tomorrow). You better believe I will be bundling up in sweaters and boots at every chance I get.

This season is off to a good start. I'm so thankful for so much. What are you thankful for today?
SaveSave

Hello, Goodbye, and a Recipe

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hello, friends. I can't believe it's already been more then a week since my last check in with you guys.

But time has once again gotten away from me this week. Daniel left on Friday and I've been working as many hours as I could to make up for the hours i'll be missing when I leave for vacation tomorrow.
It's likely you won't be hearing much (if at all) from me in the next week. 

I'll be relaxing on the beach and soaking up all the sunshine, hopefully, although the current forecast looks like rain every day. I'm praying to the weather gods that that changes although I think thats just par for the course at this time in Florida and Mexico. 

Anyway, to leave you guys on this Thursday, I thought I'd share a family recipe with you. I made this on Saturday after Daniel left because apparently I bake and eat all the dessert when I'm sad. 

My grandma used to make this recipe for every holiday that I can remember. It's so fluffy and the icing is the perfect consistency! Although, I could be a little biased. Don't you love the stuff your grandma makes for you? 

It's a little bit of work but it's so worth it. I just couldn't keep it to myself, so here you go! 

All you need is: 
1 Box Angel Food Cake
1 Angel Food Cake Pan 
3T Flour
1 Cup Milk
Salt
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Imperial Margarine (You MUST use the imperial brand otherwise it will not come out right!)
1 t. Vanilla 
Chocolate Chips 

1. Make the cake according to the directions on the box, this part is easy. Fill the angel food cake pan with the cake batter. Dust 1 cup of the chocolate chips in flour and sprinkle them into the batter right before you put it into the oven. 

2. The cake takes a long time to cook and cool (about 40 minutes to cook and an hour and a half to cool) so you don't have to start the icing process right away. 

3. When you have about an hour left in the cooling process start the icing. 

4. First, in a pot on the stove mix together the 3T of flour, 1 cup of milk, and a pinch of salt. Cook until it thickens and then put in the fridge to cool. *Pro Tip: Don't let it cool too long (you'll know it's too long if the top layer becomes hard) otherwise it won't mix as well later. 

5. In a mixing bowl, add 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup imperial margarine, 1t. vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Cream these items together. This part takes forever! It needs to be a pretty white/cream color. 

6. Add in the mixture that's been cooling in the fridge and beat together until the consistency is fluffy. The icing will be soft and taste like sweet air. Sounds weird, I know. But it's so good. 

7. Ice the cake once it has completely cooled. This works best if your kitchen isn't too hot either. 

8. Sprinkle some chocolate chips onto the top of the cake, and enjoy! 

I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! What are some of your favorite family recipes? Share below!

Check back in a week for all the vacation photos. Do you have any favorite places in the Daytona or Cancun area? Let me know! 

Disneyland Tips and Tricks

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

At minimum, Daniel and I make a trip to Disneyland at least once a year. It's usually more like three times because they run a really amazing military special on three day tickets, but this year has gotten away from us. 

Since he's leaving at the end of the week we decided that this weekend was the perfect time to fit in a last minute trip to Disney before the end of summer. We knew that going on a Saturday in the week before school was starting might not be the best idea. But since we've been so many times, we've really done all of the things we've ever wanted to do there and can make it a much more relaxing and fun trip. 

During our past couple of trips we've learned a few things, and I thought I'd share some tips with you in case you're thinking about planning a Disneyland trip any time soon. So, here we go. 

The first step in planning a great Disney trip is to decide what time of year you want to be there (aka what type of decorations you want to take all the pictures of). My favorite time to go is right around Halloween. There are pumpkins everywhere and it's like walking through Halloween town. Christmas time is just as magical. 

After you've decided on a time, you have to decide on a day. If you can avoid the weekends then do that. I don't know why but Tuesday's sound like a good day to go, crowd wise. The weekends will generally be more busy then during the week but it also depends on the time of year. If you can go right after school starts thats generally a great time with a lot less people. Any holidays will be packed so steer clear! 

Make a game plan for your day, especially if you've never been before. Pinterest will be filled with all the things you need to do at Disneyland. Go through some posts and decide what you absolutely don't want to miss. Maybe you need a picture in front of the castle, or you don't want to miss out on a certain ride like space mountain. Make a list! There are apps that will show you maps and wait times for the rides on the day of your trip. 

Part of making a game plan is deciding whether you want to come early, or stay late (or both if you've got more will power than me). We live about an hour away from the park, so we usually have to make the decision about whether or not we want to go right when it opens and spend the day, or if we want to come later in the day to stay for the night time fireworks and water show. A benefit of staying in a nearby hotel is that you can do both, but they are really expensive. We've done both and I can honestly say that each has it's benefits but it all depends on what you want to see. My favorite show is the World of Color at California Adventure and it usually starts at 9pm!

Make a list of the characters you want to see and take pictures with. They're usually only out for around 15 minutes at a time so keep track on the Disney app for their locations. We've taken pictures with all kinds of characters. They sell autograph books and pens in all of the shops if you want some signatures!

Eat all the food. Some of my favorites include: Dole whip, turkey leg, ice cream cone from the ice cream shop on main street, frozen margaritas (sold in California adventure only), corn dogs, frozen bananas, clam chowder sourdough bowls. Plus pretty much everything else. If you want to eat at any of the restaurants, make a reservation far in advance. The restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride always looks like it would be so good, but we always forget about it until it's too late. 

Use the fast passes to your advantage. They don't cost anything, and you can get two at a time. If you're unfamiliar with fast passes they're basically a little ticket that you get for a busy ride, to come back an hour or so later and walk on. We usually get fast passes right away for rides like Tower of Terror and the Cars ride, and then wait in line for the less busy rides. It saves so much time and is a life saver on a hot day because you're basically waiting in air conditioning while you ride the other rides. 

Have you ever been to Disneyland? What would you suggest not missing out on?

Surviving Long Distance

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Just two days ago, Daniel and I got the news that once again a military obligation will be calling him away from me for a few months, four to be exact.

In all fairness, we've been waiting for this since November when he started his time in the National Guard. And in the grand scheme of things, four months is a relatively short time compared to other times we've had to spend apart. Especially because he's leaving for a school, and won't be in any immediate danger which is a huge relief.

But he's leaving in just one short week. Not exactly enough time to fit in all of the things we would like to, but we'll make due.

Since he's been home, this is actually the longest time we've consecutively had together without him having to go away for some reason or another. That's 10 months out of almost four years of marriage without some kind of separation. To many people that seems crazy, but for us it's like a small victory.

Long distance relationships can be difficult in any situation, but long distance marriage is something tough, and something that I wouldn't wish on anyone.

When you get used to having your best friend wake up next to you every morning, or get excited with you about little things like Bachelor in Paradise being on Hulu, it's hard to have that taken away even for a short time. Even when you know that soon you'll have it back, because that person is your life and without them it just doesn't feel right.

If you're currently in a long distance relationship, or it's looking like it might turn out that way soon then I've got some advice for you. These are just little things that worked for us as a couple over the last few years, and maybe it might work for you too.

Make the most of the days leading up to your significant other leaving. Whatever that means for you, just don't take for granted the time you have in the last week, or month or day that you have together. You have so much time to be sad after they leave, that you'll feel better if you can look back on the last few days and remember a lot of smiling and laughing and just overall embracing the love you have between each other. For Daniel and I, that means planning a trip to Disneyland this weekend and pretending to have no responsibilities for awhile.

Write little notes and sneak them away into their packed bags. I used to always put a little letter into Daniels backpack that he would bring with him on the airplane, just to remind him that I'd still be thinking of him and waiting for him when he got back. Even for just a minute if it put a smile on his face then that was good for me.

Don't stop communicating. It's easy to get caught up in the day to day of what you're doing back home while you're trying to make time speed up before they get back. But it's so important to spend all day texting your person if they have the ability, or to spend all night talking to them on the phone. If there is something concerning you then this is even more important, just talk it out like you would if that person was right next to you.

Visit them if you have the means. Daniel is going to be in Texas, a place I've never been and kind of want to visit. Some of our most fun trips happened when Daniel and I met in places we'd never been before for short vacations. New Orleans is one of our favorite memories because we met there and explored a totally new place for both of us. If you are able to, don't miss out on visiting the place that they're in, you might just fall in love with somewhere new.

Remember that the time spent apart won't get easier, but you will get stronger. You're going to have bad days. You're going to want to cry, and pout and be upset that you can't see the person you want to see all day everyday. But just because the time apart doesn't seem to be getting easier, doesn't mean that you won't be getting stronger as a person, and as a couple. Daniel and I grew so much while we were apart that it took two incredibly strong people to come together and see how our time separated could be meshed into one loving couple, and we're stronger then ever for it today.

Take something from the time apart. Use the time to learn a new skill, or find a new hobby. Or maybe just take the time as reflection upon yourself. Are there certain parts of your relationship that you take for granted? Chances are that time apart will show you, which you can then use to better yourself and your relationship once they're back home.

Don't be afraid to look for support in unlikely places. There are so many people who have gone through the same thing as you, and were made better for it. The blogging community is an amazing resources for finding people in similar situations. Look for support if you need it, even if that just means finding someone to ask questions to once in awhile. There are absolutely people willing to make this easier on you.

Keep in mind that this isn't forever. The time apart will come to an end. You will have that amazing and wonderful moment where you are reunited and everything will be as it should. Mark the day on your calendar for when they're supposed to be home as a reminder that soon you'll get to see them. You're strong enough to make it last, and don't let anyone tell you any differently.

Do you have any tips for long distance relationships? How did you make it work? 

Summer 2016 In a Nutshell

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

This summer has brought with it a lot of emotion for me.

At the beginning of the summer I was more than thrilled to walk off of my college campus, knowing that finally I had completed what I came to do.

*actual image of me leaving school and entering the "real world".

I was filled with hope that I would leave school and find out what it was that I was really meant to do.

And I tried hard to ignore the fact that eventually I would owe all the money for the time I'd been spending there. Payments aren't supposed to kick in till November, so I'd have enough time to figure it out by then, right?

I spent all summer listening to people ask me the same question over and over again. So what are you going to do now? 

So instead of talking to them, I decided to stay inside all day every day and pretend that my real responsibilities didn't exist. 

But then my apartment started looking a little like this. (Just kidding, mostly).

Then August started and Target put all of the school supplies on sale. And I avoided the isle at all costs and picked up some wine instead. 

And I spent considerable time wondering if I should apply for grad school, or work harder to find a full time job or just enjoy what I'm doing here and now. It's hard to know what the right decision is. 

So while my friends are soaking up their last few weeks of summer before the semester starts, buying all of their notebooks and finalizing their classes, I'm over here pretending to be a grown up.

Which in my book means planning a vacation for the week that everyone else goes back to school, and pretending like I don't care that I'm not there with them. 

Someone pass me a drink. 

Here's to the soon to be end of Summer 2016. If you're getting ready to go back to school in the next few weeks, good luck. If you're out there adulting, then I hope you have a vacation in your future. Whatever you're doing, cheers to all of you. 
SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Currently: August

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Today I'm linking up for a "Currently" post with Anne and her cohost Dana! I hope you'll link up too.  

Hearting: All of my Nsale purchases. Especially these Ugg boots that I won't be able to wear for probably another three months here and California, but still don't mind staring at every day until it's time. 

Watching: The new Gilmore Girls trailer. Again, and again, and again. 

Exploring: All of our options for after our lease is up on our apartment in November. Do we get another apartment, a bigger one? Do we look at houses? Do we rent or do we buy? So. Many. Options. 

Creating: My first Project Life photo book. I just got some pictures in the mail and I can't wait to get started! 

Eating: Tacos, and burritos, taquitos and any and all other Mexican food we can think of after we cooked a three pound pork shoulder in the crockpot yesterday. That is seriously the easiest and best thing ever to do. It cooks for anywhere from 8-12 hours, and then you have meals for a week that are so delicious and flavorful! 

What are you up to this month? 
SaveSave

Savoring the Month of August

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

August is a transition month.

I talked before about why I don't like Summer, but there's just something about August that makes me feel like I need to spend a little extra time soaking up all of the Summer things before Fall takes over.

In August I try to eat more watermelon, spend a few more hours at the pool, and burn my lemonade scented candles a couple of extra times. I'm just bursting with excitement over the fact that my favorite season is right around the corner, but at the same time I feel a little sadness over the fact that another season will be ending in a short time.

I try to savor the month of August. To drag it out just a tiny bit longer, and to make the most of the last long days of summer time.

Usually, the end of summer is marked for me by the beginning of a new school semester, but this will be the first time that I won't be joining anyone in buying school supplies and attending my first week of classes.

Instead i'll send the summer out with late night ice cream dates, last minute trips to the beach and buying all of the Target bikinis until it's too cold to wear them anymore (which in California really doesn't come until much, much later in the year).

Even if it isn't your favorite, enjoy the month of August while it's here. Sooner than we realize, the month will be over and I want to be able to say that I savored each and every day.

How will you be making the most out of this month? 

Goodbye July, Hello August

Monday, August 01, 2016

Goodbye, July.

goodbye to fireworks and red, white and blue everywhere I look. 

goodbye to counting down the days till vacation. 

goodbye to summer days that make it feel like fall will never arrive. 


Hello, August

hello Daytona, Florida and Cancun, Mexico (25 days till vacay!) 

hello to the (almost) beginning of the best time of the year. 

hello to soaking up as much sun as I can.  

hello to making decisions about what our next few months is going to look like. 

hello to spending more time writing and blogging. 

What are you saying goodbye and hello to this month? 

Planner Talk

Friday, July 29, 2016

My name is Abbey, and I'm addicted to planners and all things happy and organized. 

Phew, that felt good to get that off of my chest. 

Yesterday after buying my fourth planner of the year clearly ignoring the fact that it's only July I decided that however hard I've been trying to deny it, I just have to accept the fact that I do have a problem. It's a problem that costs money. It's a problem that takes time (moving all important dates from one planner to another), and it's a problem that I just can't avoid any longer. 

In all fairness it is that time of year when all the new July-July planners come out instead of the January-December ones, so of course I needed one four of them. 

Anyway, today I thought I'd share with you what I've liked and disliked about my most recent planner purchases to save you the hassle of having to buy four before you're really happy with the one you've got. Let's get started, shall we?

#1 Day Designer by Whitney English 
Pros// 

1. I love the cover design. It's like a chic dalmatian print (is that a thing?) And the gold coil is a surprisingly pretty accent although I usually am more of a silver girl. 

2. There are tons of pages! This planner has an hourly layout that allows you to really plan your days out to the last minute. 

Cons//

1. Because there are so many pages, this planner is really heavy and a little inconvenient for everyday use. 

2. All of the pages are blank and white, which works for a lot of people. I prefer a planner that is a little more colorful and fun. But this one did make me feel like I needed to get right down to business!

3. I bought this one at full price for $59 dollars, which went to waste a little bit because after a couple of months I was already looking for a new one. 

#2 Erin Condren Life Planner

Pros // 

1. These planners are totally customizable. From the cover, to the layout there's not much you can't fit to your own style. 

2. They are so colorful! Each month is color coded to something different. 

3. They have a bunch of different add-ons for their planners which can help to even further customize your planner experience. 

4. The planner includes a little pocket for all of your things, as well as a small bag in the back for pens and extra papers. That is really helpful. 

Cons // 

1. These planners are also a little expensive if purchased at full price. However, I bought mine during a sale and only paid $25 dollars which was totally worth it. 

2. The planner includes some clip-ins (like a bookmark for your pages) but taking it in and out of the planner messes up the clip-in parts and eventually you can't use them anymore. 

#3 Create 365 - The Happy Planner 

Pros// 

1. This being my most recent planner purchase (I bought it yesterday) I'm most partial to this one right now. First and foremost I love the cover options, just as I loved the others! They had a few different designs and options which were all so cute. 

2. It was only $25 dollars (including a pack of stickers and binder clips) at Michaels because there was a 50% off coupon. 

3. It is an 18 month planner. That's crazy to me, it goes all the way until next December. 

4. It's not heavy, even with as far as it goes. 

5. Each month has the cutest little quotes at the beginning along with including pages for goals, and a "currently" section for each month. 

Cons// 

1. I don't love the coils (they're plastic) and it makes it a little difficult to turn the pages. 

2. There were things I loved about each different design and I wish I could have just put them all together into one planner. Although this one ultimately ended up being the one I was most happy with so it's what I decided on. 

What is your favorite planner right now? What do you look for in a planner design? 

Vacation Checklist: One Month Till Travel Time

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I have always been good about being prepared when it comes to taking a big trip. In fact, I'm usually that annoyingly organized person that everyone is happy to have with them, but also slightly hates because they packed for vacation two-weeks in advance. 

Okay, I've never packed two weeks in advance. Three days, maybe. 

Anyway, at the end of next month I'll be packing up and flying first class to Daytona, Florida for four days followed by five days in Cancun, Mexico. And no, I didn't suddenly come into a ton of money but we had a flight voucher that had to be used by the end of August. So basically I'm flying first class for the greater good of the airlines, I wouldn't want them to lose any money on an unused ticket voucher (haha, yeah right). 

It's been awhile since my last trip and I feel like this one would sneak up on me if I let it so I'm going to make this little checklist not only for myself, but for you as well. If you're going on a trip anytime soon, don't let it get the best of you. Start planning early so you have less to stress about when the time comes. 

Here's what you'll need to do one month in advance of a big trip: 

1. (If you haven't already) make sure all of your flights are booked, as well as your hotel reservations. Print out all of your confirmation numbers and have them handy just in case. 

2. If you're going out of the country you hopefully already have your passport, or you're waiting for it to arrive. Keep it in a safe place, but make sure it's easily accessible. If you forget your passport when you're headed to the airport, you will probably cry (speaking from experience here) and nobody wants you to be sad. 

3. Ask for the time off of work. The sooner you can give them the dates of your travel, the better. Don't mess up a good thing at work by springing it on them two weeks in advance that you'll be gone for 10 days. Give them the time to find coverage for you, or you might not come home to a job. 

4. Research the weather for the place and time of year that you're visiting. Obviously you won't find specifics a month in advance, but it will definitely help you to start buying clothes for your trip. 

5. Speaking of buying clothes, start doing that early. You don't want to be rushing around the day before you leave to find outfits for your trip. Start ordering bikinis online if you're going somewhere tropical. If you're headed to a colder climate look for those leggings and sweaters ahead of time. 

6. Start researching things you absolutely want to do at your destination. Some places required advanced reservations for activities so make sure you're all mapped out on the things you don't want to miss out on. Last time I was in Mexico I swam with dolphins and released sea turtles into the ocean, this time I think you'll mostly find me lounging on a beach chair with a drink in my hand, not a lot of planning necessary for that one. 

7. Save up some money! If you're going to need spending money for your trip, research the average amount that people bring with them wherever you're going. Find out the general price range of meals and drinks there, and save save save. It's so much more fun going on a trip when you know you can be comfortable about your money. *side story - when Daniel and I first got married someone gave us a trip to Disneyworld. We went with less then $200 dollars (because we didn't have much more then that at the time) and spent it all. We came back with close to no money and still another few days before pay day. Can you say, ramen noodles for dinner? It definitely wasn't our smartest decision but we learned from it and now you can learn from us. Save up that spending money! 

How far in advance do you start planning your vacation time? What tips would you add? 
DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS