Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Dad He Didn't Have To Be

Ever since a conversation with another guy a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to write this post. However, I knew I needed to write this post when I had cooled off a little bit and my emotions weren't going to get the best of me. Quite honestly I'm not even sure what I want to say, but I know I need to say it. This post might be a bit ramble-y and for that I apologize, but what I'm about to say has a huge impact on my life and the life of my daughter so I want it to be said…

My husband is a rockstar. My husband is phenomenal. My husband is my world. 
My husband is a DAD to a little girl when he never had to be. 

Backtrack to my conversation with this random guy a few weeks ago:
"Oh you have a daughter? Is it your husbands kid?"
Not only does that question PISS ME THE HELL OFF, but it's just rude. You don't ask someone that. And although I could lie to people and say "yes", for some reason this time I said "not his biological daughter…"
He replies with...
"Wait, let me get this straight….you had a KID with ANOTHER GUY and someone STILL married you? AND he raises your kid? WOW! Hats off to him because I could NEVER do that"

… know why you could probably never do that? Because it takes a real MAN to be in that kind of situation and still make the best of it. From the way you're talking right now you are a poor excuse for a man, random stranger I just met. It also takes a MAN to love a woman with a child. It takes a MAN to love that child exactly like his own and do the best job he can at raising he/she. 

So rude. Rude, rude, RUUUUDE! 
It literally made my blood boil. It took everything in me not to call my husband over and have him knock the stupid kid out. But because i'm a lady, I decided not do that. 

The thing is this; yes, it's not "cookie cutter" for relationships to happen the way mine did. But you know what? It did happen. And you know what else? Believe it or not, we are HAPPY. We are a family. We love each other, all three of us. Baby girl and M have a bond like i've never seen before. 
He is the designated "story reader" at night. He let's her ride on him like a horsey around the living room. He's taught her that dirt and mud are okay and that being afraid of flies is the silliest thing ever. 

So let me say again, my husband is a ROCKSTAR. He never HAD to be a dad. He never HAD to stay around when I told him about baby girl on the first night we met. But he CHOSE to do that. He KNEW what he was getting into. In my opinion, that's the manliest thing a man can do. 

Before you judge someones relationship or say ANYTHING to their face, please think of their feelings. Think of what they might have been through to get to the point they are in their life. 
I truly thank God each and every single day that my husband was brought into our lives. I couldn't love that man any more if I tried. One of his most attractive qualities is that he IS such an amazing DAD. 

We love you, M. Thank you for everything you do. You'll never know the impact you've had on our lives or how much we truly truly love you. You are our world. 
A million times over again, THANK YOU. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How-To Tuesdays! {Week 2}

It's week two of our amazing link-up party! Thank you to everyone who linked up last week! I LOVED looking at all the crafts and recipes! Y'all are really amazing people! Caitlin said last week we had over 400 views, that is awesome! Remember to SHARE SHARE SHARE so we can have as many people as possible link up with us each week! 

My features from last week:

Brussel Sprout Caesar Salad | Pellerini Proclaims 

Ask The Kids | Prototype Mama 

DIY Wood Easter Eggs | Sew Crafty Cat
If you are ever featured, please head over to Aprons, Trainers, and Bibs and grab a button to put on your page! 
She has the button featured on her post today


A few guidelines to read before submitting your link:
  • Link to a specific how-to post, not your home page
  • Share up to 3 new posts – keep it fresh – don’t link up the same posts every week
  • No links to promote giveaways, sponsored posts, other link parties, or your shops
  • Visit other links in the party, leave some comments, and share, share, share!
  • Share our button on your post, so that people know where you’re linking up, and so you have a chance to be featured! You must link back to us if you want to be featured!            
By entering a link, you give myself and the other hosts to feature your pictures on our blog. Proper links and credit will be given. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bachelorette Party!

It's about time I have a wedding related blog post, don't cha think?!
I've been waiting on getting my wedding pictures back so I can do things more smoothly and THEY'RE HERE! Last night M and I sat down with a bottle of champagne and went through all of them. I have never laughed so hard! I was reminded how much I loved our big day and I can't wait to share our pictures with all of you guys! 

But before I get into all the wonderful wedding pictures, I wanted to start off by talking about my Bachelorette Party! We didn't do anything "over the top" but I loved what we did and I had SO much fun! I'm not one for public attention, so some of the things that took place were horrifying, like opening up underwear in a restaurant. Haha! 

We first went to dinner at Culinary Dropout and it was wonderful. My closest friends were all there and I wouldn't have had it any other way. 
We then headed over to Dierks Bentleys Whiskey Row bar in Old Town Scottsdale. I was expecting it to be a low-key and it was anything but that! When we got there, the band that was playing that night introduced themselves and we quickly made friends. Little did I know the night would lead to us dancing on stage with them, meeting tons of people, and having the time of our lives! 
Thank you to the people at Whiskey Row and to Aces Up for providing an awesome night of amazing live music! 
Also, thank you to Speyer One Media for taking awesome pictures that night! 

Other random pictures from the night:

Thank you everyone who made my night so special! It was the perfect kind of party for me! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Let's Get Shazzy!

Working out is all the rage these days, right? Right. Well Shazzy Fitness has provided me with some awesome workout DVD's to review and also GIVEAWAY to one of my awesome readers!

Guys, i'll be the first to admit I am NOT good about working out. Actually, I'm quite terrible about it. Haha. Hey, just being honest! 
But when I DO workout I like two things to happen: make sure it's fun, and make sure it isn't too long. (Go ahead, judge me.) That is the two main reasons I LOVED these Shazzy Fitness DVD's. Each workout is only 10 mins. 10 MINS GUYS! If I can do 10 mins, anyone can do it. Also, I loved how upbeat and lively the music was! Shazzy Fitness only dances to Christian music, which I like because I know it is safe for my kids to listen to in the background, i'm not worried about what they might hear.

-Short, timely workouts
-I actually felt I was getting a workout
-Music is fun but wholesome so I don't have to worry about my child being around and hearing curse words. (Let's be honest, a lot of hip-hop music doesn't sound the best)

-I feel like an idiot trying to keep up with the dancers because I have zero rhythm.

Want to WIN an awesome copy of your own?! Enter in the form below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Best Brownies Ever

Have you ever had a recipe so amazing people know THAT dish? These brownies are THAT dish! 
On another note, have you ever had a piece of bake/cookware that you swear by? Because this brownies pan I use is the my holy grail kitchen item. But i'm getting off track here, onto the brownies! 

I've been making these brownies for as long as I can remember. (Okay, maybe just since I was like 13 and could bake on my own.) These are my go-to dessert. 
Can you guess which page my brownie recipe is on in the cook book?! 

The amazing pan I was raving about? Couldn't tell you where it's from or what brand it is, but BOY OH BOY is it amazing! I only use it for my brownies. Call me crazy, or call me genius. You pick. Either way, my method works. 
Alright, so let's start the magic. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

I usually use the stand mixer for this recipe, but baby girl was asleep when I was baking and I didn't want to wake her, so hand mixing it was! Place all dry ingredients into a 
bowl, minus the sugar, and mix together until it looks like delicious hot cocoa mix. 

Next melt the butter. I only do mine so it is around this melted:

Cream the butter and sugar together if you're using your stand mixer, or mix together by hand. Then add the eggs and vanilla. {Fun fact? My momma always told me to add one extra teaspoon of vanilla more than what it calls for. Try it. You won't be disappointed.}
Also, when you hand mix this stuff together, it looks terrible. Don't give up, it gets better. 

Ready for it to start getting pretty? Mix these two concoctions together. Go on with your bad self, mix. CREATE MAGIC! 

At this point, go ahead and stop to take a lick or two of the spoon. I know you want it. It's okay, this is a judgement free zone. Go ahead…i'll wait….


Now pour the batter into a GREASED pan. Don't forget to grease it. You do not want brownies stuck to the pan. That would just be an uncalled for and totally avoidable travesty. 

Bake for 30 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. 
Take out and let cool until devouring enjoying. Or don't let cool, scoop some ice-cream on top, and sit back and enjoy a little piece of heaven. 

My heaven? These pieces. The corners. 

1 Cup Butter (Melted)                 1 Cup Flour
2 Cups Sugar                               1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Teaspoons Vanilla                    1/4 Teaspoon Salt
4 Eggs                                          Optional Nuts
3/4 Cups Cocoa Powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
3. In a stand mixer, or by hand, cream butter and sugar together. Then slowly add eggs, one add a time. Add in vanilla and mix well
4. Place dry ingredients in with the wet, and mix until fully incorporated
5. Pour batter into a greased 13X9 pan
6. Bake for 30 mins or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle
7. Enjoy the heck out of your brownies and share with absolutely no one
8. Kidding, share with everyone you know

There you have it folks, the greatest brownie recipe you will ever need in your life. Make them for your neighbors. Make them for your mother-in-law. Make them for your best friends husbands cousin. Just make them, enjoy them, thank me later. 

Are you a corner or middle person when it comes to brownies?
Do you prefer brownies with or without nuts?!

How To Tuesday {Come Link Up!}

It's finally here and I am SO excited! Caitlin, Kelly and I have teamed up to bring you a fun, weekly link party! Join us every tuesday to share your DIY posts, recipes, tutorials, or anything else in the "How-To" category! 

Just a few reminders when it comes to our link party:
-Link up to THREE posts, but please keep them fresh 
-No sponsored posts, links to giveaways, or links to shops
-Try and visit other posts, after all this is what is't about ;)
-Please SHARE our party with your friends! 
We'd love to have as many people participate as possible! 

Let's party, shall we?!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Oh, Just A Quick Trip To Chicago!

When thinking about what to get M for his wedding gift I was truly stumped. 
Another watch? A few rounds of golf somewhere? A trip to Chicago for the Home Opener Cubs game? You can imagine which one won! It has been on his bucket list to visit Wrigley Field because his Grandma was a Cubs fan. Wrigley Field was amazing! It was a short and sweet trip, but for how cold it was, that was perfectly okay with me! 

When we first got there it was foggy. Like the most fog i've ever seen in my life. Rather creepy, if you ask me. It was really awesome though because i've had never seen anything like it before.  

I was so thankful when we got to our hotel because the lovely lady at the front desk let us check in early. Our plans were to drop our luggage off, then find somewhere to eat and head to the game early. We were in desperate need of some sleep and we were SO grateful for her! We took a short nap then headed to the field. Man oh man, I was C O L D. I live in cold weather, I know what it's like. But for some reason, the wind that accompanied the cold weather in Chicago made me want to die. We endured though. We got to see Wrigley Field and we had such an amazing experience! 
(Side Note: NEVER ask if there is a "Jumbo-Tron" in Wrigley Field)

I was so excited to be heading to Chicago because one of my greatest friends from high school took a job there about a year ago. It was so nice to see her, catch up, and just hang out like old times! She took us to this awesome place called Dublin's. It's was the type of place that when we were walking up, I asked "Uh, are you sure this place is open?!" They were in-fact open and we stayed there for hours chatting, drinking, and eating plates of delicious bread. Okay, I was the only one going to nom town on the bread, but hey, it was good! (Also another side note: we went to McDonalds late that night after we got home, and the guy working didn't know what a "Hot N Spicy" was. Is that normal, Chicago?! Do you people know what "Hot N Spicy's" are?!)

The next day the only thing we wanted to accomplish was sleeping in. It is a rare luxury in our house and we very much accomplished that Saturday morning! I really wanted to see Millennium Park, which we did. I also got to meet a friend of mine I met through Twitter, which was really awesome! We also ate lunch at a delicious place called Cosi. Sadly, I read our flight wrong and we left at 5 AM and not 5 PM, so we had dinner and called it an early night so we could leave early for our flight. 

Chicago was such an amazing trip! I was so happy we did the things we wanted on our list and more importantly I was so happy to be there with my amazing husband! 

Have you ever been to Chicago?
What was your favorite part?!