Monday, September 22, 2014

Celebrate Hillary

My closest, longest, bestest friend Hillary is graduating from college in May!  This may not sound like that big of a deal to some of you but to me, IT'S HUGE.  Hillary is a 33 year old single mom of an adorable little girl.  She has overcome so much adversity and has worked her tail off to get this degree.  I have never been so proud!  So, to celebrate, she has asked some of her closest friend to join her on a cruise to Cozumel!!  Of course I said "When and for how long!?!" I need to get a babysitter!!

I am so excited for this cruise.  Not only am I so happy for Hillary but I am still having withdrawals from our last cruise.  It was the most fun I have ever had in my entire life...true story.

Taking this cruise obviously means that I have to drop some pounds!  I won't bore you with the diet talk but I do want to keep myself motivated so I will be Instagraming little things and maybe posting stuff about the journey.  I'm not "overweight" per say but I weigh more now than I did when I was 9 months pregnant with Cameron!  That's not good.  I can't begin to tell you how stoked I am to finally have some motivation to get me back in shape.  I will let everyone know if I find any yummy healthy recipes or if I find one exercise that really works.  For now I just plan to eat better, walk on the treadmill and dance my tushie off!!

Congrats Hillary!  I know you haven't gotten your degree yet but you made it further than most!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Productivity [proh-duhk-tiv-i-tee]

  • noun

1. the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create,                         enhance, or bring forth goods and services:  The productivity of the group's effort surprised everyone.
definition from

Lately I have taken a long look at this word, productivity and/or being productive.  It is a word that I have been hearing all my life.  In the work force, this word is drilled into your head on a daily basis.  "Increase productivity!  That is the goal."  As a work at home mom, there really is no one in your face demanding that you "be more productive".  You just kind of do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.  Don't get me wrong the demand is there for sure.  Kids need food...feed them.  Dishes are piling them.  Toilets need cleaning...procrastinate until you just can't anymore ;).  However, if for some reason dinner isn't ready on time or the dishes pile higher than usual, there is no real backlash.  There is only the fear of inadequacy.  Thus, as a wife and mother, increasing productivity is forefront on the mind.  

In terms of my life as a wife, mother and business owner, productivity has new meaning these days.  Everyday it seems harder and harder to really understand this word.  The days I feel I am being most productive really just consist of how clean my house is.  So sad.

So let's exercise the mind and demo that definition, shall we?  I really want to break this thing apart with a sledgehammer right now!  Here goes...

the quality, state, or fact of being able to...goods or services

Generate and Create
   These words apply to so many aspects of my life.  I am a creative person by nature so I started a business in which I "create" and "generate" goods.  I also love DIY projects and changing the way my house looks on a regular basis, it soothes me.  Somehow changing the appearance of a room and where I put my hutch help me deal with the day-to-day.  Keep generating and creating to keep the sanity!

   Create to me has a double meaning right now.  Moving, and recent happenings with my family, has really changed the way I think about my relationships with friends and family.  I have never had an abundance of friends but the ones I do have, I know that in ANY situation, would be here for me.  Family has always been EXTREMELY important to me (my mom and my sister are 2 of my very best friends) but outside of them, my family seems...distant.  So "create" also stands for creating closer links to family and friends.  Family and friends that may not be close by don't have to be an eternity away.  Revive those relationships.

   Let's forget about the "goods or services" part and just examine the word "enhance".  I am going to use this word going forward as a sort of mantra.  Enhance the way you feel about yourself.  Enhance the way you look at yourself.  Enhance the way you look and feel about your home.  I have never really been a self conscious person and, to be frank, I generally don't care what I look like on a daily basis.  So, enter the word enhance.  It really makes me want to get up and put some make-up on. :)  It's almost like putting the finishing touches on a beautiful table scape...Enhance.

Bring Forth
   As odd as this may sound, "bring forth" speaks to me in terms of my kids.  It reminds me of the bible verse referring to bringing up your kids in the ways of the Lord.  As a productive mother it is my duty to "bring forth" well behaved, respectable and self sufficient children.  Is it okay for my kids to see that keeping the house clean is all I'm concerned about.  Let's get real people, my kids could care less if I spent hours cleaning their bathtub with a toothbrush.  They want quality time with their momma! and are good too!  Bring forth awesome kids so they can clean their own bathtub with a toothbrush!  ;)

So, what exactly does all of this mean you ask?  Because really, who understands the rantings of a crazy lady!?!  I'm not real sure but for now I will...

Generate, create, enhance and bring forth a productive way of living!  

Challenge accepted!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

2014: Better Late Then Never

Okay so I know that it is a bit late for New Year's resolutions but since Christmas I have been doing a lot of deep thinking.  Generally, I don't do "resolutions".  They just aren't for me.  I have a tendency to totally forget about them by the end of January or I just get plain lazy.  This year I am making an exception.  Things have been EXTREMELY chaotic in the Revell Household.  In 2013 my Etsy shop BLEW UP.  An unexpected event, of course, since I opened shop in August of 2012.  While I LOVE having the extra cash, it has brought on its own kind of chaos in the form of an actual business.  haha.  This year we also took a ton of small trips, at least one a month, and that can really put a strain on the everyday chores along with 2 working parents!  I won't bore you with the rest of the chaos we deal with but I will tell you what this blabbering has to do with resolutions.  Goals is what I am choosing to call it.  For some reason I think it will be easier to stick with "goals for 2014" as opposed to "resolutions".  That's how my brain works, just go with it.

1.  Back to Basics

About 2 years ago Ben and I took a class at church on a "Simple Life".  That class was one of the most important things we have ever done.  Our teacher was one of the reasons Ben decided to let Jesus into his heart!  He made us want to live a simpler life based on Jesus and not what the world wants from us.  Over the past 8 months or so we have really started to loose the "simple life" mentality.  Hopefully we can get back to basics and really begin to enjoy each other again.  Family is one of the most important things in this life and just having them in the same room with you should put a smile on your face!  

2. Really Learn the Word

Keeping up with studying God's word can be a bit hard at times.  Part of the simple life class was MAKING time to spend with God.  Sometimes that can be a challenge.  For the most part I am doing okay with this but this year I really want to get back to the learning part.  I have been a christian for most of my adult life but I feel like there is still so much to learn about the bible.  Hopefully I can learn a lot this year!

3. Blog More

Even though I have only posted a few times to this lovely blog, I find that it is actually pretty fun pretending to have someone to talk to!  Other than family stuff, I hope to be able to share some of the projects we have been working on around the house.  These are some of the "before" pics of things I have already completed.  I hope to share the afters soon!

4. Spend Less, Save More

Perhaps the toughest goal I have set is this one.  Saving money has always been tough for us.  We don't have a debt, except for our car, but we have never really made a ton of money.  Just enough to get by.  Thankfully we have been blessed with the success of my business so we have set a goal of being able to buy a house in the next 2-3 years.  We have talked about getting rid of the excess and going back to the way we lived when we first moved to Jacksonville.  We were BROKE but we were happy.  No cable meant more movie nights with the kids cuddled up on the couch.  No money meant more creative ways of making the house pretty.  No food meant figuring out new recipes with what we had.  Okay so maybe that one is not the best example (I am not good at making up recipes)!  Our pastor at church said something the other day in a message that really got me thinking.  "If you can't eat it, you don't need it!"  Hopefully we can get as close to that mentality as possible!!  

So in conclusion, 2014 should be a simple, less is more, DIYing, Jesus loving year!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Happy Sweet 16 Taylor!

Taylor turned 16 on Sunday and we had a family get together for her on Saturday.  The grandparents visited from Tallahassee and my cousins and grandma came as well.  It was a really fun little party.  Taylor is not like most teenagers.  She didn't ask for a car or even to get her license.  Tay is in no hurry to drive, I can't say I blame her but we are slowly trying to encourage her to at least practice for the future.  Anyway, she asked for her bedroom to be redone for her birthday.  Okay so maybe she is a little like me ;)  I will share some of the final pics of her room in another post.  Today I want to share the party stuff!

Since this was just a small family celebration we didn't go all out.  No DJ, no band, no insanely expensive party.  Just an intimate get together to show Tay how much we love her.

Here are some of the decorations we used around the house for the party.  She wanted owls and red and turquoise.

Our entertainment center.  I hope to post some pics of what it used to look like very soon. :)

As you all know, Taylor is a budding photographer.  Her dream is to one day do photography professionally so we decided to get some family members to chip in to help us buy her a real professional camera!  She was so excited!  We even had an impromptu photo shoot in the front yard!  It was a blast.

Taylor and her new camera!  Sorry for the grainy pic, it was taken with my phone!

Taylor being a supermodel.  LOL.

Ben and I.  Isn't she a great photographer!?!

Taylor and Cameron

My mom and my sister.  This is true genuine laughter. I am in the background being goofy and they just couldn't help but laugh along!  This is one of my favorite pics!