Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Randomness | The Best Yes Giveaway!

Hey guys!  I hope you've had a fabulous week!  It's been fairly cool here in Texas which has been pretty enjoyable.  I even had to wear a jacket one day - the Sunday before that I had been in the pool.

I've got some random stuff this Friday and an awesome giveaway below so stick around!

*Quick reminder: Next Wednesday is the Monthly Faves link-up!  Share your favorites from April and come back to link up with me and Mia!


{ONE}

Last weekend, we had a few crazy storms.  It was some of the loudest thunder I've EVER heard.  We woke up on Sunday morning and found two massive branches that had fallen.  They landed right next to my neighbors car.  They were larger than her car so thankfully they didn't land on it!



{TWO}

We attended a local BBQ restaurant's ribbon cutting and ate some darn good BBQ!  We spent the rest of the day roaming around the Canyon Lake area which is super pretty!  I wish we could buy a house out there!




{THREE}

For those of you who haven't seen my Instagram this week, I want to share the little critter we found in our house with you! 

As we laid there watching the Texas Rangers baseball game, we looked down and noticed a gigantic tarantula scurrying across our floor.  We both screamed and said things we've never said before.  Haha!  We finally got him under some Tupperware and put weights over it to keep him there.


I eventually let him free once I got brave enough to pick him up.  They're not poisonous but still...it's a creepy, crawly spider!



Joey, I hope this doesn't scar you for life!


{FOUR}

On Tuesday, we went to a minor league baseball game, the San Antonio Missions, and had a blast.  We sure miss being close to the Texas Rangers stadium!




{FIVE}

Now for the giveaway!!!  I've joined some awesome bloggers in providing this giveaway that has 3 WINNERS!  Yep, that's right....3 lucky winners will win a copy of the book, The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst.  A special thanks goes out to Proverbs 31 Ministries for making this possible!





Linking up with KarliAprilErika and Amanda today!

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG
Friday, April 24, 2015

Hey-o!!! It's Friday!

Hey friends!  Happy Friday!

I'll be totally honest, all I do ALL DAY is stare at a computer at work.  I am so exhausted that I can't look at a computer screen much in the evenings.  I want to post more than once or twice a week, but it's just tough right now.

I have so many good post ideas so once I get a little peace from work, I'll write more.  Please bear with me!

{ONE}

About a week ago, I had one of those nights where I just needed to be girly.  I watched Downton Abbey, painted my toenails Essie's Bikini So Teeny and my nails Essie's Marshmallow while drinking some crisp white wine.  It's getting warm so white seemed appropriate.



{TWO}

Kevin bought us these awesome day packs from Eddie Bauer for $11 each!  What a steal!  They start in a little tiny pack and then, almost like a Popple, they turn into an awesome backpack.  I can't wait to use it while hiking!




{THREE}

I've been eagerly waiting to post about our April Chewy.com goodies!  We got the EVO Wild Cravings Herring Formula Dog Treats.  These are high-quality, grain-free treats and um, they're a little fishy smelling but oh my goodness, our dogs LOVE them!


I tried taking a photo of the treat and Riley chomped down on it

Luci eagerly waiting


{FOUR}

On the oils front...


I bought this plug-in essential oils diffuser from abundanthealth4u.com recently and I'm loving it!  Did you know that most store-bought plug-ins contain formaldehyde???  Yep, that's right...you're putting formaldehyde into the air that you breathe when you plug those in.

That's why I thought this option was the perfect alternative!  You just drop your favorite essential oil on the pads and it slowly diffuses it in to the air.


{FIVE}

Speaking of essential oils...it's summer time!  (Or almost for those of you up north)  There are some photo-sensitive oils that should be used with caution when you're going to be in the sun.  They're not going to harm you, just don't use them when you plan on spending the day at the pool.


I hope you all have a great weekend!  We'll hopefully be doing one more Fiesta event and then I'll be working some.  Grilling out on Sunday though!

Linking up with KarliAprilErika and Amanda today!

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Weekend Recap: Fiesta Time!!!

Howdy friends!

Our internet at home has been out for the past couple days so I wasn't able to blog.  That's why I'm bringing you my weekend recap today!

It was a busy, fun one!

First...you need to know something about San Antonio.  Every April, everyone in San Antonio drops everything and throws the biggest citywide party called Fiesta.   I'm talking...a 10 day party!  There are events going on all over the city at all times of the day for the full 10 days.  Parades, fairs, carnivals, shows, a tons and tons of food!

My work has the largest Fiesta wreath over the front door.  It's crazy huge!  We get a half day off on Friday for the Battle of Flowers parade.


Oh and I might have worn my fun, Fiesta outfit on Friday.  Got a lot of comments about my yellow jeans!

Ok they're glowing in this photo!  They're not quite that bright!

Our first experience was little different than normal, but still fun!  We went to Alamo Heights Night on Friday after work and had the hook up!  My friend got us free entry tickets and VIP wristbands.  We got into the VIP area where they had free food from Paesano's and drinks.  Delicious!

We walked around the festival, watched the cloggers, ate some fried Snickers and fried pickles.  




fried Snickers

Then it started raining (it had been throughout the day).  Thankfully we were up in the VIP area which was inside.  I think the rain kept the crowd smaller which honestly, I appreciated. 


On Saturday, we helped our friends move.  I just love our community!


On Sunday, I didn't wake up early, but I made it to Target by 10am, hoping to find some Lilly Pulitzer items still there.  This is what I found...


Haha!  Oh well.  I found some other cute items, including 2 swimsuits!  I must be getting older too because they're really modest! 

I also bought these flats that I've been eyeing for a while...


I wanted this one...it was made for me...


Then we went to church, came back home, met my sister at our house and headed to the Taste of New Orleans, another Fiesta event.  It was fun and the food was good!  It was hoooooot!  I guess it's summer here!

Like my cool hat??  Haha.  Protecting my face from the sun!!



alligator on a stick

beignets


sno cones!

 I think we got the true Fiesta experience with the crazy crowds here!

stopped by the Japanese Tea Gardens

Because it was so warm, we jumped in the pool back at home.  It was our first time in the pool at the rental house!  I loved where we lived before and now I super love it!  It was amazing!


Well that was a long one!  Thanks for sticking with me!

Have a great week, friends!

Linking up with Biana today!
Thursday, April 16, 2015

That Time That I Was Robbed At Gunpoint...

So...when I posted my #20facts on Instagram, #17 seemed to get a lot of attention...

#17) I've been robbed at gunpoint

...so here I am with a story for you today!

One summer, I was walking down a dark alley in the slums of Rio when I was mobbed by a group of gangsters who threatened to take my kidneys and sell them on the black market.

Just kidding.

My story is not quite that dramatic, or as my nephew says "lamatic," but it was definitely a night that I'll never forget.

I lived in my condo in Dallas and at the time, didn't have a roommate.  I had been there for 4ish years already so I was pretty comfortable with the area.  It was a nice complex, though Dallas is weird....good and bad neighborhoods are sprinkled throughout the city.  You will drive through 5 blocks of good neighborhood and then BAM, you're in the ghetto.

But I digress...

I think it was 2009.  I had gone to the grocery store on a Friday evening and got back home around 9pm.  I parked in my covered spot in the back of the building which was kind of dark.  The old people would complain when the street lights were too bright in their windows so they kept it dark and quiet.

As I opened the trunk to get my groceries out, I noticed two guys coming out of the shadows to approach me.  When I think back to that moment, I had so many thoughts run through my mind in about half a second...

"Are these guys walking up to me?"

"Oh, here come some people that are going to ask me for money."

"Oh, they're pulling out a gun."

"Oh, wait, no...they're going to steal my money."

And then time slowed down in the next 30 seconds. It felt like an entire 30 minutes.  Surreal doesn't even begin to describe it.

One of the guys had a gun with a handkerchief over his hand where he was holding it.  He held it up and directed it right at my chest. 

Robber #1: Give me your purse!

I hand him my purse. (Thankfully it was just a cheap one that probably cost me $30...not that I own crazy expensive ones)

Robber #2: Give me your keys!

I hand him my keys - yes, it had my house key, car key, mail key and my darn grocery store reward cards.

Robber #2: Umm....give me the stuff in your hands!

Ok seriously, I had my book (They Poured Fire on us from the Sky - a book about the Lost Boys from Sudan) in my hand and a water bottle.  He took it from me!  Jerk.  I'm still mad I didn't get to finish that book! I hope they read it, felt bad for living such heathen lives when kids are suffering in Sudan and repented.  Ha.  I'm going to keep believing that that's how the story ended.

Robber #1: Do you have anything else on you?

Me: (patting my hands on my pants) No.  You have everything!

And then they turned around and ran off.  I'm pretty sure they had a car waiting on the other side of the fence.

Since they had taken my keys, I didn't know what to do.  I went into my neighbors back fenced in area and crouched down into a ball for a while just to make sure that they weren't coming back. When I felt like they were for sure gone, I knocked on her back door.  Once she realized it was me, she opened it up and I started bawling.  When she heard "gun" she grabbed the phone, dialed 911 and handed it to me.

By the time the police arrived, I remembered that I had put a key out back for a friend that was stopping through town that week - I didn't normally do that.  Thankfully I was able to get to get my dog and some belongings and I stayed at my neighbors in case the guys decided to come back and rob my house.

They never found the guys but honestly, I don't think they cared that much.  All the robbers got away with was about $20 cash, $80 worth of gas on my work credit card and a bunch of worthless things to them - lip glosses...I mean, come on...they were worth more to me.  Ha!

My keys were later found in someone's yard about 10-15 miles away from my house by a postman.  I'm glad to know that they just threw them out of the window.  I had already had all of my locks changed though.

I was afraid of parking lots at night and I still kind of hate them....by myself at least.  I parked up front for a long time, but then became more comfortable in time and didn't have the fear of being robbed again.

I am so so grateful that nothing bad happened.  It could have turned out much worse and I praise God always for keeping me safe that night.  All they wanted was an easy buck.  I'm honestly glad it was me and not one of the elderly ladies in my complex, because I'm sure they keep much more cash on them and who knows how it would have affected them.  I realize how lucky I am to have been spared extreme pain if that night had turned out differently.  Actually, it wasn't luck at all...it was God's hand protecting me.

But I'm warning you...don't sneak up on me now or you might end up with pepper spray up in your face!

  
Friday, April 10, 2015

Feeling Contentment

Happy Friday, friends!

I hope you've had a wonderful week!  Mine has been busy with quarter-end.  After each quarter, I'm busy at work doing our tax provision.  It's been good though!  I love my coworkers and feel challenged in the work that I do.

Over the past year, I've physically and emotionally felt pretty "ugh".  Is "ugh" a word?  You know what I mean...I've just felt blah.  The move has been tough, but good.  Changing jobs is always a little difficult and getting to know a new city and making new friends can be challenging.  To be totally honest, I've felt pretty sad at times.  I've missed my friends in Dallas and really really missed our church.  Change is just hard.

Working more hours also means that I haven't been able to work out consistently so I've gained weight and felt tired more often.

But things are different lately!  I can honestly say that I'm in a different place than I was 6 months ago.  I can finally say that I like living in San Antonio and I feel at home.  I'm happier and I physically feel better!  I am learning to be content with this part of the journey that God has us on.



Today, I wanted to share 5 things that have gotten me to this place.

ONE // I prayed.  I have been praying and praying that God would give me comfort with where we are and would help me to find contentment.  I've asked Him for probably more than I should have, but I truly feel like He has answered my prayers.  Those answers may have been different than I thought they would be, but they are perfect because they are HIS answers.

TWO // I stopped throwing myself a pity party and I changed my way of thinking.  Instead of thinking about how much I missed my old church every Sunday morning, I went to our new church with a fresh and open outlook.  I tried to start seeing it as my church home, a place I would make friends and a place where I would deepen my relationship with God.

THREE // I started making friends.  This one is huge for me, y'all.  I have always been one to have a lot of friends.  I have some really awesome friends in other cities, especially in Dallas, but sometimes I spread myself too thin.  I tried to keep up EVERY friendship, tried to meet the needs of so many people and found myself busy almost every night of the week.  I LOVE relationships!  I believe in them so much.  But I have been desiring to make that group smaller.  My intentions in this new city are to have fewer friends, but to really cultivate those relationships.  So far, I have been blessed with some really amazing women who are now my friends.  They are loyal, deep, honest, fun, smart and respectable women.  I am so excited about cultivating those relationships here.  It's REALLY helped me to settle into San Antonio.

FOUR //  I've started exercising regularly.  This is a fairly new one.  I had to realize that evenings were not going to work for me, especially because I work late often.  So I've started working out in the mornings before work and let me tell you...this has been tough!  It is so hard waking up at 5am!  But on the days that I do it, I feel fantastic!  I feel more awake, I think better at work and I just feel happier.  I worked out 4 days last week which is a huge step for me and I hope that I can keep it up.  The key for me is getting to bed early.  I need your encouragement!

FIVE // I've explored my new city.  As often as I can, I get out and explore San Antonio.  I don't feel like I gave it a fair chance at first so now I am.  Of course it's not as glamorous as NYC or trendy as Dallas, but it's really growing on me.  I go out to eat at various restaurants every chance I get.  I ask my coworkers for suggestions.  I meet friends for happy hour.  I've also found some amazing places to hike recently that are less than 30 minutes from my house!  I have yet to check out the trendy areas so I need to do that soon.

I'm really feeling like this is becoming my new home.  There's really something about gaining that sense of belonging where you live.  I'm excited about this path and praise the Lord for it daily!

Have you ever made a big move?  What types of things helped you to feel more at home in a new location?

I hope you have a wonderful week, friends!  I'll be hiking and going through our storage unit.  Woo hoo!  Sunday evening, I'll finish it off with a Young Living essential oils class!  Yay!

XOXO


Linking up with KarliAprilErika and Amanda today!

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Exploring the South Island of New Zealand: Part 1

So I'm super excited to link up with Andrea today in her show and tell link up!  I've been wanting to post more about my travels so this is the perfect opportunity.  Today I'm sharing about my favorite vacation ever - New Zealand!

In 2008, two friends and I took off 2.5 weeks of work in November....crazy, I know!  I'm surprised a public accounting firm let me do that!

We flew to Christchurch, New Zealand on the South Island where we started our adventure.  Side note: we spent MONTHS researching for this trip and training for the physical part of it.  We were prepared!

We stayed in hostels in each city and LOVED it!  New Zealand is one of the safest countries for travel so I highly recommend it.  We stayed mostly in the "dorm room" sections with other travelers and we totally felt safe.

{Christchurch}








We rented a car and headed towards Wanaka.  The roadtrip alone was beautiful!  This is the ONLY time in my life that I've driven a car with the wheel on the right and on the left side of the road.

 Rakaia River

 Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo


{WANAKA}




Sky Diving!!!!!


this is my awesome friend



{QUEENSTOWN}

Queenstown was our favorite city!  The actual city was quaint, full of life, fun, and there were plenty of outdoor activities outside the city.

We went canyoning - possibly my favorite activity.  Canyoning is basically just going into a canyon - usually a smaller one but really cool, and repelling down into it and following the river that flows inside of it.  

It was a cold day so we wore wetsuits.  Since the snow had been melting, we couldn't go to the planned route.  It was making the rivers really high/fast and dangerous.

The one we did was amazing!  It's what started my love for rock climbing.  It rained the entire time but it was still a blast!

The photos were taken with a water-proof camera so they're blurry, but you can still see how cool it was.  We repelled, climbed, jumped off waterfalls, slid down chutes...it was awesome!

I've got a blue vest on with a hat that says "Mork".















I'll leave off here for now.  There are SO MANY cool things to share with you!  Next, we did our three day hike to one of the most photographed places in the world....the Milford Sound.  I'll be sharing Part 2 soon so come back!

I hope you enjoyed this!  I want to go back now!


Some of my other trips:



Have a wonderful Tuesday!