Things I Can’t Live Without

Good Morning, lovelies!

Is anyone recovering from a craaaazy Cinco de Mayo? I’m certainly not. The craziest we got was John stopping to pick himself up a Moe’s burrito and bringing home some free spicy guac – in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, obviously. 😉

Do any of you guys have those certain things you just can’t imagine living without? Those things that you use almost daily or weekly? Those things that you’ll make a special trip out for if you ever run out?

Today, I thought I’d share with you those things that I just can’t live without.

Ok, if we’re being honest, we all know I could live without these things, but I sure wouldn’t want to!

1. My Computer –


I actually DID have to live without it for a while. Thankfully though, I have a school issued laptop that I’m free to bring home and use as my own, so I was able to make do with that. But, I was oh-so-glad to get my beloved MacBook back in my arms hands.

2. Gum –


I recently shared my obsession with gum. It definitely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s one of those things that I must make an emergency stop for if my “stash” is running low.

3. Aussie Moist Conditioner –


This is my absolute favorite conditioner. Ever since I stumbled upon it back in college, I just can’t stray away from it. It makes my hair so soft and smooth. My hair can tend to get frizzy in the humidity that is Alabama summers. This conditioner does it’s best to calm it down.

4. Coffee – Does this really need an explanation?

5. My Thirty-One Lunchbox (lunchbag?)


Since I take my lunch to work everyday (school lunches – no thanks) a durable, yet cute, lunch box is a must. This is my 2nd Thirty-One lunch box. I used my first one for 2.5 years, until I eventually gave it a little too much love. 😉

I LOVE them! They’re cute, extremely durable, very roomy, and even have an outside pocket for things like silverware, salt and pepper packets, and other random things that I seem to constantly toss in!

6. Dove Powder Fresh Deoderant-


I think I’ve been using this brand since high school. I love it because it really gets the job done, but doesn’t have an intense scent. Rather, it smells fresh and clean. Confession: I used to get in trouble in middle school for forgetting to put on deodorant and we had to stop at a gas station more mornings than I’d care to admit. Thanks, mom, for helping me avoid humiliation. 

7. My Reebok RealFlex tennis shoes –


I bought these last year and I’m prreeetty sure I’ve worn them every day since, or at least close to it. They are so comfortable, so light, and fit my narrow foot really well. I immediately put them on when I get home from work and pretty much any other time I don’t need to be dressed for an occasion, work, church, or a date night/girls night.

8. My knife block/knives –


We received this nice knife set as a wedding gift. At the time, I was skeptical I’d use it very much. My mom didn’t have one as I was growing up, so I wan’t accustomed to one. But, oh man…I think I use at least 1 knife from it daily! Or at least every other day…

I realize these knives look disgusting. I’m not sure why? Maybe the lighting? But I promise they’re clean! 

9. Almay Clear Complexion Pressed Powder


I used to be a die hard Neutrogena fan. However, after frequenting my local drug store one day and my beloved Neutrogena powder was out, I stepped out on a limb and tried this Revlon brand, and I haven’t looked back. I love it because it takes the shine out of my face, and also works to clear up my naturally oily, blemish prone skin.

10. Fit and Fresh Containers


I love these tupperware sets! I have 2 of the rectangular containers (2 cups each) and 2 of the small oval (1 cup each) containers. I love them because the measurement lines make portion control easy and simple – no thinking involved – which is a definite plus when throwing together lunch or breakfast (for the following day) on a busy night when time is tight.

I think I could go on and on, but I don’t want to bore you. 🙂


I did manage to treat myself to a fabulous pedicure last Friday evening. Pedicures have always been one of my favorite treats, and I don’t see that changing anytime in the near future.


(head on over to Becky’s blog to see how others are treating themselves and why we like to participate in Treat Yourself Tuesdays!)

Let’s Chat…

1. What beauty product can you NOT live without?

2. What kitchen/food item can you NOT live without?

3. How did you treat yourself this past week?


Tips for Clear Communication

It has been beautiful around here the last 2 days. I could really get used to these sunny, temps in the high-70s/low-80s days. I better enjoy them, because before long it’ll be humid and hot!

Today, I want to talk about communication. As you probably know, communication is a vital  part of any relationship – spousal, friendship, family, co-worker, or business. Being someone who hates confrontation, I have made many mistakes while trying to communicate. Thankfully though, I’ve also learned a lot about communicating clearly through many of those snafus.

Communicating with your teen will take practice and may not come naturally.


1. Say EXACTLY what you mean. I tend to beat around the bush sometimes because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or seem demanding. For example, at work I might say, “Do you know who is doing the vocabulary powerpoint for next week?” When I really mean, “Will you please do the vocabulary powerpoint for next week since I’ve done it for the past few weeks?” Or, I might say to my sister, “Don’t you think you might be uncomfortable in that outfit?” When in reality I might mean, “That’s not the most flattering outfit on you.” or “I’m not sure that’s the best outfit choice for this occasion.” Sound familiar to anyone?

2. Address an issue earlier rather than later. If there has been a misunderstanding between you and a friend, spouse, or co-worker, correct it as soon as you notice the issue. Otherwise, it’s only going to get worse. 99% of the time, it won’t go away. Likewise, if there’s a conversation you’ve been dreading having, suck it up and like Nike, “just do it.” I promise you’ll be glad it’s done and chances are it won’t be as bad as you think. If you’re like me, the anticipation is the worst part.

Every moment we have the opportunity to make things better or make things worse. Not communicating always makes things worse.

3. Your spouse is someone you trust, so you shouldn’t be timid in communicating. You married your husband/wife because you trust them right? Or at least, that’s one of the reasons you married him/her. So, while they may be unhappy about what you have to say in the short term, he or she loves you unconditionally and will get over it. If not, there may be other issues you may want to address. Which, in the long run, will be a good thing for your relationship.

Sarah & John, 3-12-11

relationship communication | true #relationship #Relationship Quotes

4. Writing your thoughts is sometimes the way to go. I can sometimes much more easily communicate my thoughts and feelings through writing than I can through my words. When I speak, sometimes words come out that I don’t want to say or emotions get in the way. However, when you write what you want to communicate, you have the chance to thoughtfully choose your words and have the luxury of time – meaning you can take the time to write exactly what it is you want to communicate.

5. Make sure what you want or need to say is positive and worth saying. Sometimes, there are things we should just not say. Like you’ve heard a million times, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” or “Choose your battles.” Sometimes, it’s best to keep whatever it is that you feel you need to say, to yourself. If it isn’t positive OR constructive criticism, you may want to just let it go. Choose your battles – there are some things that just aren’t worth the fight.

3 Tips For Communicating In A Relationship --- “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” James 1:19 The first year of marriage is hard. You are just starting to really get to know each other and are probably seeing… Read More Here #marriage #love

I hope you all have a Terrific Tuesday. Go Treat Yourself this Tuesday (thanks for the link-up, Becky!)!! I treated myself last week by taking Friday off of work, chalking it up to a much needed “Mental Health” day. For my mental well being, it was definitely necessary that I get away for a day. Winking smile

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Let’s Chat…

1. Do you have trouble communicating?

2. Tell me a tip you have for clear communication!

3. How have you treated yourself recently?

When is it OK to take care of YOU?

When should you forgo putting others first in order to take care of yourself?

I don’t know the answer to this question, and I’m not sure I’ll ever fully know how to answer it. However, I do think I’m learning more and more about this topic as I go through different stages and experiences.

I believe that we’ve all been blessed with certain gifts – there are things that we’re better at and things we’re not so good at. I am NOT a people person,  but my husband most definitely has the gift of interacting with others. He makes others feel at ease and comfortable. It comes very naturally to him. I, on the other hand really have to make an effort to speak to others, ask them questions, etc. I am NOT a natural conversationalist. Something I do think I’ve been blessed with is the gift of service.

I truly enjoy serving others. I like to do things behind the scenes and unexpectedly. I don’t want to be thanked or recognized. I don’t do it to get praise or recognition. I think I’m very sympathetic and adept at sensing what others need, and I really enjoy meeting those needs. Whether it’s putting folding my husband’s clothes, making copies for a co-worker, cleaning up the kitchen after Thanksgiving lunch so my mother/mother-in-law doesn’t have to, going over and above for a student, volunteering at school, etc. – I enjoy serving.

But, sometimes it comes at the expense of myself. I have a hard time determining when I need to stop doing things for others and take care of myself. When is it ok to say no? When is it ok to take care of me?

Take care of yourself

I’ve learned through many different trials and experiences that I DO need to take care of myself. If I’m worn out at the end of the week, because I’ve been doing things all week for co-workers and friends, I’m not going to be the wife my husband needs or wants me to be. I just sometimes struggle with where to draw the line, and recognizing when I need to stop serving and take care of me.

One reason I have a hard time with this is because, as a Christian, I know I am called to serve the Lord, serve others, and NOT to be selfish. When am I taking “me” time to really take care of myself, and when am I taking that time selfishly? I think this is a question that we must each answer individually. I am the only person that knows my motives. When it comes down to it, I suppose part of figuring out if I should serve or take care of me is knowing my motives.

You have to take care of yourself


Like I said, I don’t know the answer to this question, but I do know it’s something I’m learning more about. I’d love to hear your thoughts!!


Since we’re on the whole subject of treating ourselves, I’m linking up with Becky today for a little TYT– Treat Yourself Tuesday(<—head on over to Olives N Wine to check out how others are treating themselves!).

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

I actually didn’t treat myself to this, rather my school system treated me to a little extra time Monday morning. Check out that listing!

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We had really bad weather and lots of flooding on Monday morning, so in order to let the weather pass and the threat of severe weather to subdue, school was postponed 2 hours. I was able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast at home while catching up on my blog reading.

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Let me say, I’m a big fan of starting at 10am. I was one happy teacher! Smile

Let’s Chat…

1. What are your thoughts on serving others vs. taking care of yourself?

2. How have you treated yourself lately?

Do You Know What I Hate?

I hate the fact that my first inclination, when encountered with a new food or when I have one of those “fat” (bloated) days is to count and calculate calories.

I hate that I sometimes plan my day around eating – not in a good way, but in an “I have to eat this at this time” type of way.

I hate it that when I’m in a new situation, my instinct is to restrict.

I hate that magazines make women feel less than beautiful if we don’t look like a certain ideal.

I hate that society says that women should always eat less than men. As a tall female, 5’10” to be exact, there are men who are shorter than me. I actually may need to eat MORE than them to fuel my body properly.

I hate that I need to gain weight. But, the truth is, I DO need to gain weight in order to be 100% healthy and to live the life I want to lead.

I hate that I believed the lie for so long that if only I was thin enough, everything else would fall into place. It would make life easier. It doesn’t.

I hate Weight Watchers. Now, hear me out on this one. I know Weight Watchers has done wonderful things for many people. And I’m so glad that those people were able to use the program to become healthier. However, for me, it did the opposite. It encouraged counting points. As in, count every.little.thing. that goes past your lips. As a perfectionist, I of course did this very well, better than I should have, naturally. There was never a day when I ate all my points. Eating less = success. This in turn led to calorie counting and restrictive dieting.

I hate the fact that the media glorifies over-exercising. The more exercising you do, the better, more fit, and healthier person you are. This is SO not true, friends. In fact, over-exercising is downright scary. It can cause you to be so fatigued that you end up hurting yourself. Even scarier, it can put stress on your heart which could lead to a heart attack.

I hate that I feel the need to stand and be unnecessarily active (i.e.: do laundry, clean, grade papers standing up, etc. – when I really don’t NEED to do these things) instead of doing things like watching a movie on the couch with my hubby.

I hate that I feel like I need to do some type of workout Oh, except Sundays, but on Sunday, I need to do other things to keep me active.

I hate photoshop.

I hate low-calorie diet plans. Can we puh-leeeze stop worrying about calories and just eat nutrient dense, whole, natural, and at times deliciously fried or sweet foods?!

I hate that I have a hard time believing and taking to heart the statement above.


My heart breaks when I think about all the time I’ve wasted and experiences I’ve missed out on because of partaking and believing in many of the things that I hate – letting my disordered eating and thoughts control my life. As much as I’d like to, I cannot go back and change the past. But, what I CAN do is change the future. I know, and am learning, what I need to do to take care of myself, to enjoy a FULL life – days spent in pajamas, dessert when I want it, rich meals like creamy pastas and casseroles full of deliciousness balanced with yummy fruits and veggies, grilled chicken salads, snack plates, and active days spent kayaking, walking, and playing tennis with my husband.

I am slowly giving myself the freedom to become me – truly who I am, who I was designed to be – free of the pressures and expectations of the world and myself.

I am now a more confident, stronger, loving, spontaneous, and joyful wife, daughter, sister, friend, and teacher. I have days that are wonderful and days that are much more difficult. But, I’m progressing, I’m learning, and I’m slowly taking back control of my life – or rather, giving complete control over to the one who created me, died for me, and saved me.

Today, on Treat Yourself Tuesday, I’m treating myself by letting go of the lies and clinging to the truth. I hope you will too!

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

Let’s Chat…

1. What do you hate?

2. Can you relate to any of my “hatreds?”

3. What is one thing you’ve done to become a more true version of YOU – free of pressures and expectations of others?

Do You Set Unrealistic Expectations?

Today marks the 2nd day of my spring break, and it has been lovely so far. Waking up at 7am vs. 5am, leisurely eating breakfast while watching the Today Show and catching up on blog reading, taking time for devotions, and having the time to get in a quality workout…just some of the things I’ve enjoyed. Looking forward to 3 more days. Woo!

Yesterday wound up being a busy and productive day. I was able to get the whole house cleaned! Yes, it took a while, but it feels AWESOME! I love having the time to really clean each room like it needs to be cleaned. It doesn’t happen nearly enough around here.

I was also able to get the grocery shopping done for the week and made a trip to Academy Sports for a few new items. I treated myself to new spandex capri bottoms and a new lightweight sweatshirt. (<—head over to Becky’s blog for more ideas of how to Treat Yourself.)

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I own a pair of Nike and Reebok running tights, which were both bought on sale. I just can’t swallow spending upwards of $40 for clothes I’m going to get all sweaty in. Winking smile But, this pair is the BCG brand that Academy carries. Typically I don’t like this brand too much because the items usually feel more cheaply made and don’t usually fit as well. But I love these spandex capri bottoms! The fit really well and seem to be very good quality. And at $16 a pair, I have a feeling I’ll definitely be back to grab a few more pairs. 

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I also bought an Addidas “climawarm” sweatshirt that was on sale. I immediately threw it on and have been loving it! Especially the thumb holes…anyone else obsessed with thumbholes?

Photo Mar 24, 5 46 53 PM

Let’s chat for a moment about Expectations.

In general, I believe having and setting expectations is a good thing. Having expectations for yourself can help push you through challenges and achieve your goals. Having expectations for others is also generally a good thing. For example, I think it’s good to have a set of expectations for your significant other. You may expect certain things from him/her – things like treating you with respect, listening to you, helping you, and having a similar set of beliefs, values, and morals.

But today, I want to discuss expectations we set for ourselves.

let go of expectations

Being someone with a perfectionist mentality (recovering perfectionist?), I tend to set unrealistic expectations for myself, and then push myself to achieve them. While there is nothing wrong with pushing yourself, I usually take it to the extreme and end up unnecessarily exhausted, stressed, and anxious. This is no fun for anyone. I tend to think that I’m only hurting myself, which, sadly, doesn’t phase me very much. But, this isn’t the case. I’m also affecting those around me. I’m moody, grumpy, and sometimes downright mean.

But, y’all, we deserve a break. I’m not perfect, and neither are you. And you know what? No one expects you to be perfect. In fact, by trying to be perfect, we sometimes push others away. Who wants to be friends or spend time with someone who is perfect – eats perfectly, always has everything organized, turned in on time, is neat, and gets in a sweaty workout everyday? Uhhh….not me.

In fact, NO ONE expects you to be perfect – except you!

A really good self reminder from a self confessed 'perfectionist' - those expectations are the only true disappointment.   Where in your life are you expectations trapping you?  PRESENT MOMENT, only way forward... x

As I said earlier, I DO think setting expectations, generally, is a good thing. But the kind of expectations I’m talking about are not tangibly measurable. The expectations I’m speaking of are things like doing YOUR best everyday in every task, treating others with respect, and finding joy in every circumstance. I’m slowly learning to change my expectations from things like get all the laundry done, all food prepped, a perfect meal on the table, perfect lesson plans, a perfectly cleaned house, and so on, and so on, to things like I mentioned above.

Let go of expectations.  They only serve to disappointment us.  Accepting what is lets us be in the flow of life and not get trapped in trying to control things or people.  Fear causes us to want to control.  Let go of fear too. <3

In my experience, once I let go of those strict and unrealistic expectations of myself, I am happier. I’m not constantly disappointing myself for not reaching those expectations, and I don’t constantly feel pressure to be achieving these crazy high goals. I’m more rested, less stressed out, and less anxious. I’m definitely more relatable and someone others are more likely to want to be around.

So, I challenge you today – let go of those unrealistic expectations you have.

Side Note: only YOU know if expectations are unrealistic for YOU. They may not be unrealistic for someone else, but for YOU they are. You are unique, honor YOU!

And set expectations for yourself that are really going to have an impact on you and those around you in a positive way.

Let’s Chat…

1. Do you set expectations for yourself and others?

2. Do you ever find that you expect crazy things of yourself?

3. What is ONE expectation of yourself that you will let go of today?! I’m choosing to let go of expecting myself to be productive every minute of the day. It’s OKAY to sit, rest, relax, and rejuvenate.

Whoops…It Happens!

It seems that once again, I got too busy over the weekend and Monday to get a post written up. I honestly had good intentions, but with a high in the 70’s Saturday and Sunday, and a full day Monday (and the fact that it now stays daylight a little longer) I just ran out of time! Whoops!

So, once again, please forgive me. Ah, well…it happens, right?!

This weekend was another gorgeous one around here. Absolutely beautiful, sunny days and highs in the low 70’s – perfection, I tell ya!

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Don’t get too jealous though, although today’s high IS 75 (!!!), we’re back to highs barely making it out of the 40’s later this week. And, for us folks down here in Alabama, that’s a tad on the chilly side.

Friday, when John got home from work, we ran a few errands that needed running, and grabbed take-out on our way back home. Neither of us was really feeling eating out. Friday night, chilling on the couch, in my opinion, is awesome – since it means I’m probably in my pajamas, with my man, eating delicious food, and watching good TV/movies.

Saturday began with a 10 lb. Slim Down workout via YouTube. Courtney inspired me to look them up, and I must say, I’m hooked. It was relatively quick and had me moving and sweating, A+ workout in my book!

I then rode with John to get his hair cut and we spent the afternoon searching for some new chairs to go with our new table. We are also on the lookout for some new patio furniture. We *think* we’ve found something we like, so hopefully we’ll order it soon.

While we were out, we also picked up a lattice for the side of the house on which I plan to grow a hibiscus or mandevilla vine. In addition to the trellis, we purchased some hanging baskets for our new posts and a shepherd’s hook from which to hang the bird feeder.

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The birdfeeder used to be way closer to the house, and it made a HUGE mess! We were always tracking birdseed in the backdoor. John loves the birds, so I didn’t want to do away with it, but this solution is so much better!

Sunday, per usual, began with church. Our Sunday School class usually tries to provide breakfast. We ladies sign up for a date to bring breakfast and just rotate through. Sunday it was my turn, and this is what I decided on making.

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Pancake, whipped cream, and strawberry trifle. It was a hit! And SO super easy to throw together!

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On the way home, we stopped by the grocery store to grab our groceries for the week. After lunch, we headed to the tennis courts. John was meeting some girls who he helps to coach, and then playing with some guys from his office.

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While he coached and played, I also made a quick Target run – and of course bought things I don’t need – Including this Justin’s PB and Dark chocolate cup. Mmm! Dark chocolate is my favorite! Definitely treated myself to this! <—Hop on over to Becky’s Blog check out how others are treating themselves, because we all deserve it.

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I then returned to the courts to enjoy the outdoors and pretty weather and get a little magazine reading done.

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I wound down the evening by completing my lesson plans, preparing for the field trip we took Monday, doing lots of meal prep for the week, and then hanging with my guy on the couch watching The Amazing Race. We love it – so neat to see all the different countries all over the world and get a taste of their cultures.

And…ummph. I was totally feeling the fact that when my alarm went off yesterday morning it was really 4am, not 5. My body isn’t quiiiiite adjusted to Daylight Savings Time yet, you?

Yesterday consisted of a field trip to see a science show.

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After work I completed another 10 lb. Slimdown workout after school, a walk with John when he got home from work, and The Bachelor finale. I’m so glad this season is over! I’m not sure Juan Pablo is who they thought he was when they signed him up.

Today, I’m ready for another full day!

Let’s Chat…

1. What did you do this weekend?

2. What is your (and your significant other’s) favorite TV show?

3. Best breakfast you’ve made in a while?