Oh my, oh my. June has come and gone. Our year is halfway over and I am excited! I'm linking up with Shay and Sheaffer to share a little bit about what I've been up to in June. While you read this I will likely be in route to Tennessee to see my family and let.me.tell.you.something....I can't wait!!!!
Because I am finalizing this post on the one and only day I am home in between two trips I am going to try to keep this very brief!
What I'm eating this week:
The last few days before this post I was in Napa and eating at great restaurants and of course, a lot of snacks and cheese that are served with wine tastings. Going forward through the rest of this week I'll be eating anything and everything my Mammaw and step mom might be cooking up because I come from a family of amazing women who can cook and I'll be in Tennessee with two of the four of them. Oh yes, and I will definitely pick up some Cajun fries from the Cookout while I'm there. #guiltypleasure
What I'm reminiscing about:
Last year in June my mom and I flew up to NYC to surprise my sister. Her wonderful hubby was in on the secret of course, and he had a whole weekend of planned surprises for her too. It was a belated birthday extravaganza weekend basically. We had a ton of fun. We were pampered with great meals, went to see Aladdin, got our hair done, visited family and friends, and walked around the city.
We took at least 300 photos, most of which were pretty awful but they made us laugh and laugh until we cried. My sister is 3.5 inches taller than me and my mom is 3 inches shorter than me so getting us all in any photo without some funny expression was quite challenging, but exceptionally fun memories caught on (digital) camera to laugh at.
Of course, I cannot look through that album of pictures without laughing at my cutie pie fur-baby nephew who seriously crushes on me. Every time I visit and we cuddle, he makes the funniest faces and grins! Cracks me up. Little did I know in this pic that I actually had strep throat. Clearly I wasn't feeling well, but that explained a lot after the trip. Look at his grin! ;)
What I'm loving:
I dabble back and forth in trying hair products, but with little success. Most of the time the expensive salon products (that smell incredible) do not impress me and I give away what I've purchased. Over the years I accidentally stumbled upon using lotion to tame my hair when I wear the "beachy / natural" look when I've forgotten my flat iron at the gym. Well, that was years ago when I had long hair and since then just proceeded in putting a little lotion in my hair to tame the frizz. It works. It smells good. It's nothing scientific or magical.
I did finally purchase a sea salt spray to try for the "beach" look and I do like it! I found it at Target but you can buy it on Amazon as well. I wouldn't say it accomplished more than lotion, but it sure smells amazing. I also picked up the same brand's dry shampoo and love the toasted coconut smell of it too!
What I'm dreading:
Nada, except higher temperatures this summer! I'd like to crinkle my nose like Samantha from Bewitched and find myself anywhere with mild summer days and cooler evenings. I do not believe in dreading anything.
What I'm working on:
Me! This past month I intentionally allowed some sugar and diary into my diet to try to shock my system as well as be prepared for cheese in Napa because I am human, I am female, and I love wine & cheese. Factor in this trip to Tennessee now and I am sure to return to Houston with clothes a little tighter than preferred. But, I am OK with that. Vacations are meant to be enjoyed. Therefore in July I am ecstatic about getting back to doing Whole 30 and ramping up my work outs.
What I'm excited about:
Moving! Over the next month and a half I will be slowly moving out of my apartment and am super excited about my path forward and devoting more time to prioritizing that path. Over the last two months I have sold or given away a majority of my furniture already. Cleansing my apartment and life of items I no longer need, want, or that hold memories feels SO good.
The Father's Day service at Hope City addressed continuing to look forward and not let our pasts prevent us from the amazing future God has in store for us. It was precisely what I needed to hear that Monday morning and it's so true.
What I'm watching / reading:
Watching: I am not watching much of anything, as usual but hope to adjust my lifestyle a little bit in the coming months to allow at least a little bit of what I might affectionately call "dead air" time. I feel like my brain never veges out and rests because I'm always working, reading, writing, etc. and this might be enjoyable. I would love to watch something funny if you have any suggestions?
Reading: I am in the middle of Beth Moore's Entrusted bible study covering 2 Timothy and loving it. It is actually the first bible study I have ever done and now that I'm getting my feet wet (metaphorically speaking), I look forward to other studies in the future.
I finished the 21-Day Financial Fast this month and would recommend it to anyone looking to cut back their spending, reign in on shopping addictions (yours truly), save money, and create a budget. The author does a nice job walking through a topic day by day with an assigned task. It helped me to realize my tendencies to be frivolous at times, my blessings in how much I have, and my wastefulness in eating out and shopping. Some days felt like torture not being able to purchase something. Some days I felt guilty because I ate out anyway, knowing when I started the book again that I would, but also realizing that there are ways to alter that without necessarily always canceling my heavy social calendar.
I finished An Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer on my iPad Kindle app and started re-reading Made to Crave. I read this two to three years ago and thought it was pretty good. I'm sort of trying to re-read books I've previously purchased on my app as a means to refresh myself but also save money. I have a stack of physical books waiting to be read and I feel bad that I can't get to them yet!
I finished 2 Samuel, John, and 1 Kings in The One Year Bible and am currently reading 2 Kings, Acts, Psalm, and Proverbs. Psalm and Proverbs is spaced out to be shared every day throughout the year.
What I'm listening to:
My fave bands: Hillsong United, Coldplay, and Lord Huron.
My fave podcasts: Hope City, Joyce Meyer Ministries, Bayou City Fellowship, Marriage Today, and Ecclesia's sermons that are emailed every week.
What I'm wearing:
This month has been focused on as many comfortable things as possible given the heat and travel.
I shared this maxi dress that I'm in love with in a previous Friday Favorites post. Comfortable like a nightgown yet cute for doing anything this summer. You can shop this look by clicking here or copy and pasting this link into your browser: http://www.shopstyle.com/collective/everypiecefits/42898416
I shared options for tassel earrings and necklaces in this Friday Favorites post because I love the pops of color they provide to any outfit! You can shop for them through the Friday Favorite's link or through the widget below this pic.
I wore this ivory/neutral outfit (below) to dinner one evening this month and loved it enough to pack it to go along with me to Knoxville so you may see it again soon. I've provided 2 similar options for each item below.
I'll share more about the outfits I wore in Napa next week!
What I'm doing this weekend:
I'll be in Tennessee celebrating my Mammaw's 92nd birthday as well as celebrating my four nieces' birthdays that are all this summer in June, July, and August and they're turning 4, 3, and 2 years old. I want to squeal with excitement! It's been a year since the entire family has been together logistically because out of state moves so we're really going to have blast being together.
What I'm looking forward to next month:
I have made a concerted effort to not make plans in July because of my exhaustion, 8 trips I've taken this year so far, my desire to move out of my apartment slowly over the month, and to spend time with someone as well as go to Hope City's love, sex, & dating series every weekend.
That's already a lot, don't you think? I truly want to rest in between all of that before I begin loading up my calendar with the other trips I have in mind for the remainder of the year. So I guess you could say I am looking forward to a season of rest.
**If you're not familiar with what a soul tie is, you should listen to Hope City's series called Uncomplicated - Love, Sex, and Marriage. YouTube has the videos from last year, but Pastor Jeremy will be sharing the series again in July and I would truly encourage each of you to listen or attend! Part 1 is below, and you can find the remaining 5 parts (of the 6 part series) listed on the right of the YouTube screen. You'll enjoy it. You'll laugh a lot. You'll be enlightened. Thus, I am also EXCITED to attend Hope City every weekend next month for this series. Every time I've listened/attended through the years it has changed my heart.
What else is new:
Nothing much else to report, however with the 4th of July next week I thought I'd redirect everyone back to my Memorial Day party idea post for ideas on decorating in red, white, and blue.
You can find my previous What's Up Wednesday posts here. If you haven't subscribed please do! It's the best way to stay in touch with my latest posts and to share with your family & friends.
Wishing everyone a wonderful & blessed day!